"That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore;" Genesis 22:17
The Bible speaks of one nation that our Heavenly Father set-apart for Himself: Israel. As new covenant believers, we gain citizenship in this nation and are proud to adopt this spiritual heritage and pass it on to our children.
“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. ~ Genesis 17:4-7The words for "multitude of nations" is ha·mo·vn go·v·yim which means an abundance of gentiles or nations! Many Christians I know consider themselves to be Gentile Christians, but little do they know about their true heritage. Galatians 3:29 says,
"And if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."The Promise was passed from Abraham, to his son Issac, to his son Jacob, and to all the sons of Israel.
"Be you mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath to Isaac; And has confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant," ~ I Chronicles 16:15-17This is as everlasting promise! God gave His people a specific set of instructions called the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible), so that Israel would know how to live a set apart life for Him.
"Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who has God so near to them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call on him for? And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law (this Torah), which I set before you this day?" Deuteronomy 4:6-8YHVH, the LORD our God, is a merciful God, so He made a way for anyone who wishes to sojourn with Israel. To join YHVH's nation in the old covenant, there were 3 requirements:
- Keep passover
- Be circumcised
- Sojourn with Yahveh's people
"Behold, the days come, said YHVH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:"The word for new in this verse is the same word to describe a new moon. We know there is not a new moon each month, though. It is, in fact, a renewed moon. In the same way, the new covenant is not new. It is a renewed covenant! Only the Father can improve on something that is perfect! He did this through His Son, Yeshua (Jesus Christ). The Old Covenant is made new through Messiah Yeshua. Did you also notice that the coveneant was made with the house of Israel (collectively known as the ten Northern tribes or Ephraim) and the house of Judah (the Southern tribes)? If you are not in either of these houses, then the new covenant is not for you! The New Covenant was made only with Israel. The requirements for becoming an Israelite have not changed. But the law was to be written upon our hearts. Now we:
- Observe Passover, and accept Yeshua's blood as our sin covering
- Be circumcised of the heart.
- Sojourn with Yahveh's people
Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; ~ Ephesians 2:19Ephraim and Judah were separated into two kingdoms (which later became two witnesses to confirm the truth of His word), and because Israel disobeyed, Yahveh allowed them to be carried off by the Assyrians.
For, see, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall on the earth. ~ Amos 9:9This is how Ephraim was to fullfill the prophecy that he would become the fullness of the gentiles. Ephraim lost his family identity. They became what Scripture calls, "not a people." (Hosea 1:9) But, even though they were "sifted" like grain, God did not let one grain fall to the earth (become lost). But, Jeremiah prophesied about a time when once again Ephraim would return to his ancient roots. (Jeremiah 31:17-19) We are living in those times! Yeshua/Jesus came to save that which was lost. Scripture says He came only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. These lost sheep are Gentiles and include scattered Israel as well as actual aliens or strangers to the common wealth of Israel. Yeshua/Jesus is the Good Shepherd that lay down His life for His sheep. (Jeremiah 50:6, John 10:11, Matthew 15:24, Matthew) When Yeshua spoke with His disciples, they asked Him, "Lord, is it at this time that You are restoring the Kingdom to Israel?" They knew that the Scriptures spoke of Israel's restoration. Yeshua is the One who will restore the House of Israel. The restoration began with His commission to go into the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). His followers were to make disciples and teach them the commandments.
Thus says the LORD, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. ~ Jeremiah 6:16Both Houses of Israel have stumbled. Judah has failed to accept Messiah and have added extra rules and regulations to His torah, and as Christians, we have failed to uphold his law and have mixed with the nations, taking part in their pagan worship, substituting His Feasts and Holy Days for traditions of men. Our family chooses to walk in humble obedience and embrace our heritage and fulfill our calling to be a part of the commonwealth of Israel ~ as native born citizens!