Monday, December 19, 2011

New Covenant Israel

Looking back at recent history, some of us may remember the move of the Spirit that took place in the late sixties and early seventies. YHVH's grace raced through the denominational churches and caught thousands of people up in His Holy Spirit. This move of Elohim created a hunger in a lot of hearts for the whole counsel of YHVH, which included the Torah and the books of the prophets. Many of these Bible believers began to identify to the present Jewish nation and Zionism. In doing so some also started to search out their own Jewish roots. Ultimately this evolved to the understanding of the prophetic destiny of the House of Jacob and its division into two houses, two families. But it was not only Christians that were visited by the Spirit; Jews also began to accept the New Covenant blood of their Messiah Yeshua, which then progressed into the Messianic Jewish movement.

In the course of time the Messianic body split into many fragmented groups, with a variety of definitions as to who is a true believer in the gospel of Yeshua the Messiah and how such a believer should conduct himself. The title "Christian" was frowned upon by many, and so like the Muslims we called ourselves "believers." However, taking up that 'title' did not define what it was that we actually believed. With that query in mind, may I offer a Scripture-based synopsis of the New Covenant person?

Obviously such a one would have to identify with the text of Jeremiah 31:31 which introduces the New Covenant: "Behold, the days are coming, says YHVH, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." But it doesn't stop there. YHVH further elaborates on the nature of this covenant and its recipients: "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YHVH: 'I will put My law/Torah in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know YHVH,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says YHVH. 'For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more'" (Jeremiah 31:33-34).

From these scriptures we can draw several conclusions:
1) These "new covenant" people know that they are Israelites or Jewish. 2) Torah is in their minds and hearts. 3) The Spirit residing in them leads, guides, and instructs in righteousness. 4) They all know YHVH the Elohim of their forefathers. 5) They also know that YHVH has forgiven their iniquities and will not remember their sins.
Although these parameters are quite basic, they are sufficient to form a sound foundation.

In a recent letter I had received from a friend, he told me of a question that is often hurled at him: "So just what kind of Christian are you anyway?" He then goes on to say, quite revealingly: "I no longer tell them that I'm a 'born again, Spirit filled, evangelical, HYPOcharisMANIAC, judeo-christian-zionst, non-Jewish Jacob, sons of Joseph Messianic, Jesus Freak (maahn!)…"

The simplest answer to the above-posed question is given by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (2:12), where he tells the believers that they now belong to the commonwealth of Israel; making them redeemed "Israelites." Why must we narrow our identity down to this one word? Because YHVH says, as we saw above, that the New Covenant pertains to the "house of Israel and the house of Judah," and what's more, that days are coming when these two houses will be joined together as one nation in the land.

"Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again" (Ezekiel 37: 21-22).

In scriptural chronology, the restoration of the whole nation of Israel seems to be YHVH's grand finale in His redemption plan of the creation, during the course of which He also demonstrates His faithfulness to His chosen people. There is only one nation on this earth that has been called to become YHVH's expression of righteousness, a light to the rest of the nations. There are 'Christian ministries' that presume that their 'anointing' will bring about some great national revival that would restore a nation like the United States, for example, to some previous spiritual glory (that it never had in the first place) and catapult this nation to an even greater splendor. Scriptures indicate, on the other hand, that all the nations at present are dangling over the valley of Yah's judgments.

When Israel was in bondage in Egypt they could only be released to return to the land of promise when the iniquity of the Amorites became full, or complete. Could we be seeing something very similar today, as we are fast approaching the fullness of iniquity of this world? Watch and pray that the day of your return will not come upon you/us as a thief. (from letter 459) (02/07/2010)

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