Friday, October 18, 2013

1 + 1 = You

In one of the recent letters (“the Birthmark), reference was made to Paul’s emphatic statement about Abraham being the father of “all who are of the Law [the Jews]”, and all those who are not “of the Law” (non-Jews), but are of the “faith”. For those who are not of Jewish descent, but yet have an affiliation with the Jews, the Land and the forefathers, these words confirm that what they know or feel is not some extra-biblical fantasy, but is indeed deeply rooted in the Word.

The scriptures sometime make things as simple as one (“faith”) plus one (“promise”) equals two, but until the Spirit illuminates the full equation we may miss it.  In this letter let us take a look at the other “one” in the equation, making the equation look something like this: “Faith” plus the “Promise of the Spirit” (that is, the other “one”) = YOU” - a progeny of Abraham and Sarah.  

If YHVH, by His Spirit, sowed the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob into many peoples and nations, how are we to know who they are, except by the characteristics that mark them?  Thus the Apostle adds the second witness to our true identity, when he confirms the words of YHVH through His prophets from of old.      

“I will pour My Spirit on your descendants [referring to Jacob)”, (Isaiah 44:3).

"I will put My Spirit within you [Israel]” (Ezekiel 36:27).

“And I will put My Spirit in you [the whole House of Israel], and you shall live” (Ezekiel 37:14).

“’I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says YHVH Elohim"
(Ezekiel 39:29).

In the letter to the Galatian believers, Paul asks a very important question: “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith [the faith of Abraham your father]?” (Gal. 3:2). He then reiterates, “Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Gal. 3:5).  In these two scriptures Paul is connecting the equation: faith plus the receiving of the Spirit equals the identity of the natural seed of Abraham. “And if you be Christ's [that is anointed with His Spirit], then you are from Abraham's sperm [life], and heirs according to the promise (Gal. 3:29).  If you have received the anointing of the Spirit of Holiness, you are a fulfillment of the above prophecies which were spoken to Jacob/Israel.  Thus, all those who have the faith of Abraham, whether Jews or those who are (or were) lost to their natural heritage and have became Greeks, whom YHVH scattered into all nations, slave or free, male or female are one in the same Spirit of Holiness, and have the same natural father – Abraham. Again, one (Spirit) + one (faith) = you (or, if you will “ewe”, one of the sheep).

"Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes…” are all mentioned in Acts 2:9-10, and by now it could be any one on the face of the earth. The promises were given to Isaac, and that includes the promise of the indwelling Spirit (see Romans 9:6-9). YHVH has not abandoned His word to those forefathers.  If He did, we are all in big trouble.

Many who are into replacement theology, will interpret that Galatians scripture to mean that “being in Christ Jesus makes you the seed of Abraham by some kind of adoption or spiritual transfer”. However, the above quoted verses do not say that. Those who hold to that idea, are the same ones who claim that we do not need the Torah and diminish the importance of the Tanach (Old testament), because “Jesus” established a whole new covenant that really does not have anything to do with the natural seed of Abraham.  It is for this reason that those espousing the above- mentioned doctrine have no attraction to the Land, or to the plight of the Jews living in the Land.  As a matter of fact, most of them believe that the Palestinians have just as much right to the Land of “Palestine” as do the Jews, and even more so (especially when the gas prices go up).  If YHVH commenced His work only two thousand years ago, then the writings of the Apostles would suffice. But what about all the many references in the New Covenant books to the Torah and to the books of the prophets, and to the “called”, “chosen” and “predestined” (that is, those who are to inherit that which according to Scripture rightly belongs to them because it was given to their ancestors)? 

I hope we will always remember Yeshua’s words to His disciples when they asked Him “when are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:16).  There is no doubt in my mind that by “Israel” they were referring to the natural descendants of Jacob/Israel.  Yeshua’s answer is confirming what was promised to the forefathers and to their seed: "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Witness to what?  To the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, because when they received the promise of the Spirit (through the faith that is in them from their fathers), they also received the kingdom.  What is the kingdom of Elohim?  “For the kingdom of Elohim is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17).

Let us celebrate and worship in Spirit and in truth and declare with the prophets:
“Therefore thus says YHVH, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: ‘Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now grow pale; but when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My name, and hallow the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the God of Israel. These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine’" (Isaiah 29:22-24).

Shabbat Shalom