The knee jerk reaction from both Jews and Christians is a resounding, “NO!!!” But, does Scripture bear this out, or are we willfully blind to a most difficult topic that we relegate to some ancient culture and time?
Buckle your seat belt and let’s examine Scripture without doctrinal or cultural filters.
Ezekiel 23 is a vile and gut wrenching chapter that few read with any pleasure. Jerusalem and Samaria, capital cities of Judah and Israel respectively, are vividly described as sister brides, wed to God Himself, who commit adulterous acts.
23 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; 3 and they played the harlot in Egypt. They played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and there their virgin bosom was handled. 4 Their names were Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister. And they became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters. And as for their names, Samaria is Oholah and Jerusalem is Oholibah.
Begin by noting that while the language is metaphorical, God is making a very specific point. This chapter begins with a bold and direct statement: two women, daughters of one mother became His and bore sons and daughters. This is marriage language that is confirmed again multiple times through the text. Oholah and Oholibah pursue other lovers and play the harlot to the anger, frustration and embarrassment of God the Husband. Continue reading “Does God have two brides??”
In recent weeks I have had several run-ins with anti-missionaries. While I prefer not having such encounters as only rarely does anything good come of them, when they come to me, I have to respond as clearly and firmly as I can in humility and gentleness. Because many anti-missionaries are professional deprogrammers, they can be particularly dangerous to have extended conversations with. So, I’d like to share a few tools to defend yourself, should you or one you know have a similar encounter. But, before I do, I would like to share a few reasons why denying Yeshua and converting to Judaism is counter-productive toward reconciliation and damaging to the restoration of the Kingdom.
Because most who know and have relationship with Yeshua were reared in Christianity, most know the seriousness of denying the Messiah. I’ll not delve into His credentials or the reasons we need to maintain our faith in Him from the perspective of personal salvation. Rather, we need to take a look at the importance of maintaining our identity for corporate salvation.
The restoration of the Kingdom requires the fulfillment of prophecy. Any seeming restoration that bypasses prophecy is a false hope and works against the Word of God. Many, many prophecies can be pointed to that demonstrate the restored Kingdom has two parts that walk together. Those two parts are spelled out for us in Ezekiel 37:15-23, the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph. Verse 22 tells us these are two nations or two kingdoms. Hosea 1:11 confirms this. Two nations, two kingdoms come together under one head. Simply, prophecy cannot be fulfilled if Ephraim becomes Judah, nor can it be fulfilled if Judah becomes Ephraim!! Continue reading “Answering the Anti-missionaries”
Colonel David Stirling, founder of the British SAS, pioneered the modern military understanding and employment of special forces personnel. His mix of highly trained very small units operating audaciously in an unconventional manner led to very high success rates in facing off the Germans in WWII. Stirling is credited with the SAS motto, ‘Who Dares, Wins!’
Well readers, lately I (and others near me) have taken flak from a couple quarters for being willing to associate myself (ourselves) with individuals some would regard as the enemy. So, as a note of reassurance and as a warning that there will be rock throwers on this journey, I want to tell you, ‘Who dares, wins!!’ (Another, and more dear way to say this is ‘Rangers Lead The Way!!)
Christendom has a long history of throwing Judah under the bus and trying to force them to minimally see things ‘our way,’ or worse, convert to Christianity, leaving the ‘antiquated Torah’ behind. Even today, there are many in the Messianic that haven’t figured out that 1800+ years of failed Christian mission to the Jews has NOT produced good fruit. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to rethink our approach. And, for acting on that conviction, I/we dodge eggs and rocks.
One of the recent egg throwing episodes was shared with me this morning and honestly, my reaction was to laugh. Considering the host of one show had only to Google ‘Pete Rambo’ and have my name come up as the top five hits, it is instructive to note that he prefers throwing stones to doing simple research. He gives himself away in the first twenty seconds of this clip Continue reading “Who dares, wins!!”
Twice in the last couple days I have run into well-meaning individuals who denigrated the ‘Two House’ understanding of Scripture.
I realize, God has to open eyes and bring understanding, but at the same time, it is frustrating to deal with people who haven’t even taken the time to do something very simple:
-take a sheet of paper
-divide it into two columns
-label one column Continue reading “Two House… Unavoidable conclusion.”
In my last post I promised more about the recent B’ney Yosef Plenary Session in central TN. Honestly, I am still processing and incredibly busy with some of the work that came out of it in planning the upcoming B’ney Yosey North America Summit, info to be released as soon as I have it!!
Mike Clayton has just sent out his weekly newsletter that has his Torah Life teaching. The first 20 minutes, or so, he talks about his thoughts on the Plenary Session and what he sees going forward. Here is the video:
The provocative title is true and intended to get your attention. Simply, the New Covenant is NOT with the Gentiles. That is not to say Gentiles can’t enter in, because Ephesians 2 and Romans 9-11 teach that they can, however, they immediately stop being Gentiles and become a part of Israel.
Until one understands this and the attendant implications (Torah to be written on their heart), they simply do not understand Scripture nor can they correctly assemble prophecy. Hard to swallow, I know.
Study it out. How many eternal promises are there to Israel? To the ‘house of Israel?’ To the ‘house of Judah?’ To ‘Ephraim?’
Christian doctrine ignores these glaring pieces precisely because they do no understand them. I was a pastor. Seminary trained. I nor my professors understood these things, yet in His mercy, Abba is restoring the ancient paths (Jer. 6:16-19) and recovering His flock.
Dare to ask God to open your eyes to ALL of His Word.
Following is a terrific article by Ken Rank explaining the Two Stick Prophecy of Ezekiel 37, a passage that is largely overlooked by theologians in its significance.
Until the Two Become One
by Ken Rank
What the herders did not see before them was their brother. In fact, before Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers, they had spent at least many hours with him, dining, being entertained, and also being berated and yet they saw only an Egyptian. To anyone who might have been standing at a distance, looking upon Joseph and that family of herders, being able to see that they were family would likely have been impossible.
The Prophet Ezekiel gives us a similar end-time picture in that we have two players who might just as well stand in such contrast. In chapter 37, verse 16, where we read the following:
“And you, son of man, take a stick and write on it, For Judah and for his companions, the sons of Israel. And take another stick and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and all the house of Israel, his companions.”
What is easy to miss in the above verse is that Ezekiel takes two blank sticks that represent people and he is to identify who the two sticks are. The first he determines as Judah and those who are joined with Judah. The second stick is said to be for Joseph, but a stick that is Ephraim, and it includes the House of Israel and those joined to Israel. So we have a lot going on in this one verse. Most scholars believe that these two sticks represent the Whole House of Jacob, what was once a great nation that divided into two Kingdoms, Judah and Israel. But why the use of those names? Continue reading at United2Restore
Yesterday, I received an email alerting me to a global initiative to pray the Shema at 9 p.m. Jerusalem time (2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time). I encourage readers here to participate in solidarity with Brother Judah as we call on the Holy One of Israel.
A personal note on the Shema: while this is a recitation of Scripture and a declaration of our Elohim (God), this has also become a commandment that I make into the spiritual realm that surrounds me as I declare to All Israel to Shema, HEAR!! As often as you pray/declare the Shema, remember that you are making a statement to All Israel and the spiritual realm around you as well as our King hears and presses this forward to the ears of those yet deaf!
Here is a link to the article on Breaking Israel News:
So, a couple days ago while reading/researching the beginning of the series we started yesterday, A Common Error in Christianity and Judaism, I came across a couple verses I do not recall having ever seen. Because I was researching examples of ‘Israel’ and ‘Judah’ in juxtaposition, this was one of the passages that I happened upon…
7 He took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout the territory of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, “Whoever does not come out after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen.” Then the dread of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out as one man. 8 He numbered them in Bezek; and the sons of Israel were 300,000, and the men of Judah 30,000. 9 They said to the messengers who had come, “Thus you shall say to the men of Jabesh-gilead, ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you will have deliverance.’” So the messengers went and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad. 10 Then the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you may do to us whatever seems good to you.” 11 The next morning Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp at the morning watch and struck down the Ammonites until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
Immediately, another verse came to mind, Continue reading “Interesting verse with 10:1…. (prophetic picture?)”
Recently, I happened across a Bethany Christian Services magazine and was reading a couple articles about adoption, and no, that is not something we are considering at this time. But, a point in one of the articles prompted some thought about family unity and division.
A short conversation this morning in the comments section of another blog connected the thoughts to the One Law v. Two Law debates/discussions I have had before!
A much debated subject in the Messianic movement is whether the Torah is just for the Jews, or is it the revelation of righteousness for all mankind. We’ve looked at this topic multiple times from various angles, a list of links below, but here is another thought: ‘How to Divide a Family…’ Simple, have different standards and rewards for the adopted children as you have for the natural born.
Seriously, think about it! If you had a child and then you adopted another child, would it not cause bitterness, anger, jealousy, resentment and myriad other sins if you treated the two radically differently in terms of rules and expectations? Continue reading “How to Divide a Family… A Thought.”