My Scripture Studies
Removing the Blinders

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Don't Be a Victim of Identity Theft!

Consider how Jacob's name was changed...

We must consider it because there is a message behind the name for you: Don't Be a Victim of Identity Theft!

To better understand what it means to be the children of God's covenant, Believers must consider how it happened that Jacob’s name was changed because the time has come for change and for truth!

Jacob's new name is not just a story.

After Jacob's family “crossed over” the river ahead of him, Jacob “wrestled” with "the man of God" (see Genesis 32:24 for the evidence) and Jacob held on to the man from Heaven through the dark of night. Do you remember what happened at the end of Jacob’s struggle?

The man from Heaven, the man of God messenger altered Jacob’s stride, his “walk” was permanently changed as his hip was injured. Jacob was then given a new name... “Israel” (see Genesis 32:28 and Genesis 35:10). Jacob the son of Issac was no longer Ya’acov ben Yitzchak, he was Y’israel.

This wrestling continues today as people wrestle with Messiah, the man of God.

If you doubt that the man Jacob wrestled with was the man of God your argument is with the words of the Bible, with Jacob and the God of Israel not with me. Moses verifies this (read Genesis 32:24-30).

When God changes a person's name given by one's father or mother there is a prophetic reason because the new name is from the Creator of the Universe and it reveals their purpose and prophetic heritage. The God-given name reveals something very important about the life mission, new found character and identity in God's eyes linking the past to the future.

Can you just imagine the conversations of Jacob the man that the man of God renamed "Israel" might have had for the rest of his life whenever he met someone that did not know of him?

His story is like a parable.

There’s a good chance that whenever anyone met him for the first time and saw his distinctive walk and stride, they probably asked, “Wow… What happened to you?” I can just imagine the gist of his reply…

My “walk” was changed by the man of God.  I was wrestling with the Lord in the form of a man and as a blessing for my refusal to let go of Him in the dark of night is my name and my walk that you see. I told the heavenly man of God I would not “let go”or stop struggling until He blessed me, so He did and gave me a new name to remember my dark struggle ended in a blessing. My new name, my identity is Israel. It reveals "God Prevails." After I received my new name from the God-man I was then able to “cross over.” It was in the beautiful dawn of the morning light that I “walked” through the water into the Promised Land. The way that you see me walk today is the way that I will always walk and it will always remind me that my wrestling with the God-man was real, not a dream.

Can you also imagine that whenever anyone that knew Israel saw him coming, long before they could see his face they knew it was him - by his walk – and his encounter with the man of God.

“Israel”… it is the family name God gives those like Jacob
that struggle yet take hold of the God-man, the Messiah.

It is the family name that the King of Hosts, the God of Israel still uses for the children of His Kingdom because "God Prevails" and He does not change.

If you are holding on the "One" from Heaven who is Yeshua Ha-Mashiach your identity has been changed like Jacob's and you no longer need be a victim of identity theft, you belong to the Messiah of Israel no matter the nation of your heritage, and because of your encounter with Him, your walk must change too.

One mystery of the gospel of The Kingdom is that Israel is to be made up of both Jew and Gentile, each to be grafted by faith into the royal citizenship of God's Kingdom. To be grafted, whether natural branch or wild is to inherit the root faith, the name and walk of Messiah!

The words of The Almighty after the blessing can clear up any confusion on this when he told Jacob a nation and a compnay of nations shall come from you.

"Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came
from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.
God said to him, “Your name is Jacob;
You shall no longer be called Jacob,
But Israel shall be your name.”
Thus He called him Israel.
God also said to him,
“I am God Almighty;
Be fruitful and multiply;
A nation and a company of nations shall come from you,
And kings shall come forth from you.
“The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac,
I will give it to you,
And I will give the land to your descendants after you.” Genesis 35:9-12

The word company is the Hebrew word qahal, it means assembly. Israel's descendants are the assembly of gowry in the blessing of the family name and they include adoption or grafting by faith so one may inherit the blessing promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Grafting a branch is not replacement, it's the opposite, it's becoming a part of the tree. By grafting, the olive tree of faith is not cut down, replaced or destroyed, it is restored and revived to new life so that the fruit of the tree may abound and become a light to a dark world.

So, if you consider yourself a part of the family tree of God's children by your faith, yet you still consider yourself a Gentile sinner, you need to know your new identity in the Messiah of Israel. By faith you're grafted into the one family of God in the Kingdom of Israel because faith is not genetic, its by choice.

If you are wrestling with Messiah; grab hold of Him now and don't let go. When you do, you will be blessed, no longer a Gentile lost among the nations. You have identity in the blessing of Israel in Yeshua.

The good news is that by faith you are grafted into God's chosen just as Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh. They were both born in Egypt, their mother was Asenath, a Gentile daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On a false-god, yet they were adopted by Jacob and their progeny walked out of Egypt and were allotted a portion of Israel.

Manasseh literally means "causing to forget" its like identity theft, yet you too can be from a Gentile parent yet by adoption you too can be a citizen of the heavenly family with a faith identity bearing the God-given name Israel as your blessing. That family blessing is the name Israel.

I pray that you might now see there is a faith connection to the words Yeshua used: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).

As a part of the heavenly House of Israel, you are not claiming that Gentile believers must be descendants of the ten northern tribes of Israel or a part of “British Israelism” claiming a required genetic connection to the ten lost tribes of Israel because faith in the Messiah of Israel does not come from DNA .

The promise of faith inheritance is from Heaven - not Earth… 

You are not a part of a “two house” movement either, the promise of heavenly inheritance by faith is about "one" family, one Biblical faith promise whether Jew or Gentile, native, alien or sojourner accepting the call to be a child of God, one in Messiah.

The father of your faith is a man that God renamed Abraham, his identity from heaven and he is "the father of multitudes." His grandson Jacob did not know His identity from Heaven before he stuggled and was blessed by God by his new name... Israel. That same blessing can be yours, yet it alos means you need to change you walk to follow Messiah.

You can be like Jacob who grabbed and held on to the "man like God." Jacob wrestled and refused to loosen his grip, he held on for dear life to receive his blessing. That is what you can do as an adopted child of God. In your struggle, reach out and grab the God-man Messiah Yeshua and never let go of Him - even in darkness, hold on to Him and ask for His blessing.

Repent and you too will be blessed like Jacob in merciful forgiveness and grafted-in by lovingkindness into the Kingdom identity of God's children that He names. After you do, its time to change your walk like Jacob and follow "the way" of Messiah outlined in the Torah.

Israel is a heavenly assembly, a community around the world, holding on to and following Messiah Yeshua as a a mixed multitude and native born who love the God of Israel. We are to cling to each other too as brother and sister walking toward Zion until The King returns to the place of God's name, Jerusalem.
"God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you. Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. " Genesis 35:9-13
A heavenly concept we must all understand is that God does not use man's method of religious membership embedded the traditions of men to give them their identity. The Heavenly Father accounts for all who love Him. "Israel" is the blessing of identity in covenant that the God of Israel is the God of mercy and lovingkindness Moses teaches:
"Know that Y-H-V-H your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands." Deuteronomy 7:9
Paul teaches about the natural branch too, the Jewish people in Romans 11:1 when he writes: “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means!”

How is it that Paul is so convinced of this? Because he knows the unchanging character and promise of God. Paul teaches of adoption which if you think about it, only comes from love. No parent adopts a child unless they are fully, purposefully and voluntarily committed to caring for and loving a stranger's child as their own.

Adoption is from love and the purest depth of the heart!
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:15
God's adoption promises were never made to a religious group or a denominational identity that any "man" has named. Many have lost their identity thinking of themselves as a Gentile as they assimilated into society, religious opinion, culture and doctrine instead of Yeshua.

Those that consider themselves a part of the "Church" must get out of the pew and recommit to restoring the Biblical relationship between Christian and Jew.

Consider the International Council of Christians and Jews established by William Temple, the Archbishop of Canterbury following World War II. In 2009 they issued a new clarion call to both Christian and Jewish communities around the world commemorating the anniversary of the Seelisberg Gathering in 1947 which examined how Christianity theology had allowed the holocaust, (the Shoah) to occur...

"In the summer of 1947, 65 Jews and Christians from 19 countries gathered in Seelisberg, Switzerland. They came together to express their profound grief over the Holocaust, their determination to combat antisemitism, and their desire to foster stronger relationships between Jews and Christians. They denounced antisemitism both as a sin against God and humanity and as a danger to modern civilization. And to address these vital concerns, they issued a call in the form of 10 points to Christian churches to reform and renew their understandings of Judaism and the relationships between Judaism and Christianity."

But there is more to consider. Remember, the name "Israel" comes as a blessing from our Heavenly Father and adoption teaches us that one's identity is given by Almighty God, our Heavenly Father.

Those who believe in Yeshua HaMashiach are grafted in faith as children of Israel and are heirs according to the everlasting covenant and promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:
Understand, then... if you belong to Yeshua, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:7,29
Being the seed and heirs of the promise of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not a theory, it is not a religion, it is not two house and it is not British Israelism or replacement theology where the Jewish roots of faith are severed to the promises of the Kingdom gospel message of Messiah.

The promise throughout the TaNaK is that all Israel will be saved and the Kingdom restored. That requires faith and the promised blessing.

When Yeshua’s followers are unaware of their true identity, a veil covers their heart due to a lack of understanding Scripture and its promise of adoption by faith. They take on a separate identity and miss the promise that as a believer and follower of Yeshua, your name and inheritance is grafted-in, no longer a sojourner.

No child chooses their earthly family name.

Messiah Yeshua restores identity from God. Those who are walking with Yeshua have been given a double portion, the birthright and an inheritance that was promised to Abraham. When God's people come together, their union promised in Ezekiel 37 will reveal that the time of the Messiah’s return is at hand (Genesis 14:18 and 2Samuel 7:12-16).

The religious labels taken by people to describe their own faith or lack thereof is simply not a God given identity found in any Scripture. As it turns out, when we open the Bible, we find the Word of God does not call God's children by the names that many of faith identify themselves with today. To prove that, just ask yourself two questions, but don't be offended, open your eyes:

1. Was Peter a Catholic, John a Baptist?

2. Where do we see that Abraham, Isaac or Jacob are called Methodist?

Contrary to popular belief, God did not give His children an identity from "religious" belief as we give to ourselves.

In fact, the half brother and disciple of Yeshua was never called James. James was Ya'cob, and he gives us a definition of "religion" that will not be easily found in any "What We Believe" doctrinal statement found in the back of any church pew:
"Religion that is pure and un-defiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." James 1:27
So, it is time to ask, did God give His children any family name other than "Israel"?

Consider this, is Christianity only Catholic? Is it only Eastern, Greek or Russian Orthodox? No? Then is it just Coptic, Anglican, Protestant, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian or Baptist? No again? Well, then is it just Pentecostal, Charismatic, Seven-Day Adventist or Non-Adventist?

If none of these fit the bill, also some believe the others or "lost" then what about the 30,000 or so other "religious" identities people choose to give themselves?

I think anyone would agree that all of these take different identity paths along a wide road with many turns, curves as they differ in doctrine and theological belief. In fact, each focuses in on the areas in which they differ. Their differences define their identity. But, the Bible says the way of life is straight and narrow, it says God seeks true worship in spirit and truth. It says God does not change. The Bible does not offer a wide array of alternatives if you choose to hold on to and worship the one true Almighty God of Israel.

Paul, the Jewish rabbi whose life was transformed on the road to Damascus when he met Yeshua Ha-Mashiach in His bright glory, teaches us about this in Romans 11 as Paul is teaching the Romans about the prophetic words found in Jeremiah 11.

Yet, the amazing thing is that the word "religion" by its own definition, can actually lead to the truth if we just dig in. Let's do that and look at several sources, the Encarta® World English Dictionary defines religion as:
"people's beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life; a system: an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices relating to the divine"
Merriam-Webster says religion is a:
"personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices"
The Farlex Free Dictionary gives us this:
"A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship. The life or condition of a person in a religious order."
The Cambridge Dictionary cites that religion is:
"the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or any such system of belief and worship"
Wow! Religion, may be a lot different than we know it. Many of us think of it as "being good" in a Bible sense, but it is in actuality the identity of the "personal" belief and "opinion" of people, not God. And to top it off it can be polytheistic - which is specifically prohibited by God. Just look at the ten commandments. Perhaps, that is why there is so much confusion as we try to "define" our own religious branch.

The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that "confusion" is:
"when people do not understand what is happening, what they should do or who someone or something is"
The Bible also teaches that with God, our identity does not need to be confused by our genetics either. The Deceiver is the author of confusion. Could that be why we don't know who we are in God's eyes because we are lost in the sand beneath the salty sea of humanity? After all, salt water does not give life, it has to be purified first.
Therefore rejoice [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:12
If the sea is gone, we are left with a harvest of sand that can't be counted:
And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. Genesis 32:12
What really matters is what God says - - not what we "think" or what we call ourselves. In Scripture, our identity is dependent on God's voice, His declaration, not ours. After all, it's His book so we have to get our eyes off religion to see our identity in Him and we must meet scriptural guidelines to rightly divide the scriptures in truth by setting aside personal agendas, religious tradition and motives.

If you are a typical Believer, you may not know the mystery of your identity in Messiah that the Bible teaches, but here it is:
And if ye [be] Messiah's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29

That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:12-13
What Paul is teaching is that the identity with Israel’s commonwealth has always been and is open to all peoples who seek to sojourn with them and the commonwealth of Israel is 100% lawfully part of Israel by blood... Yeshua'a blood!!

Re-read the letter to (Ephesians 2:11-19) for yourself and read Exodus 12:48-49; Numbers 15:15-16; Isaiah 56:3-8and Ezekiel 47:22.

If you are saved by the blood of Messiah, you are no longer alien to the commonwealth of Israel and because of that you must also consider Jesus' name... Did you know that His real identity is found in His Hebrew name? It is not from Latin or Greek. His Hebrew name, believe it or not, is "Yeshua". It literally means "salvation". Can you believe that? The Creator and Savior of the world has the name that describes His mission for mankind in just one word.

Beginning in Exodus 24:10 and carrying on to Matthew 15:31 the Bible shows us 201 times something critical about our loving God. People insist on are placing all sorts of religious labels on themselves, but the Bible tells us over and again that "The LORD" YHVH is the "God of Israel".

The Bible's repetition is critical because despite our personal opinion, our religion or theology, the names we now give our religious systems to identify ourselves with God through the blood of Messiah are never found in His Holy word. Perhaps that is why there is so much confusion when we try describe ourselves and identify with a name other than the one that God choose to give at the brook of Jabbok.

This is a very difficult thing for some, but if we are to know our identity, our family name as the Children of God, the time is now.

For 40 years after Messiah's resurrection, all early believers knew who they were. But, our identity was lost.

Paul taught the Roman believers:
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Messiah Yeshua, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith-- Romans 16:25-26
God is the "God of Israel", the King James and the NASB translation gives that phrase 201 times. Young's Literal Translation identifies it 202 times, so if you are a child of God you need to know your name from God's perspective. Simply put, your identity in the family of the God of Israel is "Israel".

It's important to remember a simple truth to understand this, whenever one is adopted they take on the name of their father. Just as we carry the surname of our earthly fathers, our heavenly Father gives us a heavenly family name to identify us with Him. Sure you have an earthly surname from your Father, but as a Believer, you are the bride of Christ and you have been given a Heavenly name given to you from the Father. It is a name from Heaven. It is Israel.

It is important, no critical to understand this because you need to know who you are meant to be. To understand the name God gives His children, we have to wrap our heads around this because we can understand our "identity" from God's word. Matthew 19:28-29 makes complete sense when we do:
"And Jesus (Yeshua) said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life."
Paul understood this and taught that the children, the family name of the God of Israel is called Israel:
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Messiah Yeshua, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" Ephesians 3:14-15
The words of Isaiah 4:5 are true. God gives a surname to His born-again adopted children, His elect!
One shall say, I am the LORD'S; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel.
A family surname is a name added to a given name and is part of one's personal name that links them to their father. It is a family name shared in common to identify the members of the family group. Webster's says a surname is "an added name derived from occupation or other circumstance". Today we call it our last name. The Hebrew word is 'kanah' it means a flattering title.
For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I [am] the LORD (YHVH), and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that [there is] none beside me. I [am] the LORD (YHVH), and [there is] none else. Isaiah 45:4-6
If you believe in none else, you believe He speaks the truth... and if you believe in the day judgment (Yom Kippur) to come, then you better believe in the family name Israel because God, our Father "alone" names His children and He adopts (grafts) them into the family.

God alone names "His children" and He chose to call His elect by the name He gave to Jacob after the struggle in darkness. So, we too need to come out of blindness and stop the debate with the Bible, God is the God of Israel.

Think of it this way, when have you ever heard of a parent asking their child what name they would choose for themselves? It does not happen. A child is not capable of legally doing that, nor are we, but like a child, we can learn our name as we are reborn as a child of the God of Israel. We need to do this for good reason, for when "our Father, our King" (Avinu Malkeinu) comes calling us by name, we want to be able to reply: "Here I am".

In His omnipotence, since creation, God knew many of us, a multitude would lose sight of our name and identity with Him. (Read more about this promise for yourself, see Isaiah 62:2 and Revelation 2:17 and Revelation 3:12).

Despite our personal selection of a "religious" identity that depends on a group's belief, an alignment with other men's views, sects or denominations, our "true" identity that is in alignment with God's view is all that really matters at the end of the day and that "end day" is upon us now.

The time is now, don't be a victim of identity theft any longer! Instead, be blessed with your family name from Heaven and join the cloud of witnesses called Israel. It's the blessing of the prodigal son and it is your identity in Messiah God if you follow Him in faith.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us]... Hebrews 12:1
And don't think for a moment the word of God as told by men has failed you because you have not known this.
For I [am] the LORD (YHVH), I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6
As an adopted, re-born child of God... you have received Israel's family name even if you do not understand your identity just yet. But when you know in your heart who you are, it will change your view of the entire Bible and it will reorder prophecy so that you can understand the Bible's message for the world and your life. Every page of the Bible that has the family name of Israel on it will suddenly jump off the page full of meaning as you shout for joy and laughter because your name is based on God's word and promise.

Paul tells us your name comes from the joy of laughter. How? The word laughter is Hebrew for Isaac:
"But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED." Romans 9:6-7 NASB
There is only one unchanging name for the family tree that God uses for His children throughout the Bible.

It is "Israel".

And you can accept it as your surname, a gift from God and that will lead you out of Egypt's confusion of identity theft.
Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. Exodus 3:10
Egypt causes confusion, it is time to come out now and know the family name!

The descendants of Jacob are Israelites but their heritage is from the faith of Abraham. Jacob had twelve sons, they are called the descendant of Israel because God gave Jacob a new name as a blessing. It is Israel. So, just as the Bible tells us, the sons of Jacob became known as the 12 Tribes of Israel. But that happened and why thousands of years ago has blurred reality.

Today, many people now interchange the words "Jew" with Israel. Many people call Abraham a Jew, although Abraham was from Ur of the Chaldees, he is Israel's grandfather. Chaldea was a Gentile land, call it pagan if you will. The thing is Abraham is called a Hebrew because he left Ur and "crossed over" into the Promised Land just as God instructed him. Crossing over is the essence of the word Hebrew. Jacob was given the name Israel because he held on to the God man and did not let go, s he was given the name as a blessing. That's the story in Scripture.

The Bible shows that one of Jacob's twelve children was named Judah (in the Hebrew language "Yehudah"). His family of descendants were called Yehudim ("Judahites") and they lived in the land area of Israel named after them, it was called Judah. Most English Bible translations today use the word "Jew," which is a shortened form of "Judahite." Judah is the 4th son of Israel and his descendants were granted the land area we know as Judah. The Bible records that it was Joshua that parceled out the Promised Land sections to the 12 tribes of Israel including Judah.

Over time, Judah's name has come to encompass all of Israel, after the ten northern tribes of Israel disappeared or in the sight of history it seems they did. The other eleven sons other are Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. But there is more to consider because Jacob aka Israel adopted two sons in Egypt. Their names are are Manasseh and Ephraim, the sons of Joseph and their mother was an Egyptian. Her name was Asenath, she was the daughter of Potiphera and he was a pagan, the Egyptian priest of On, a false Egyptian sun-god.

As Jacob neared the end of his life, he looked past the issue of their DNA from the daughter of the Egyptian priest of On as Joseph was summoned to his father so that he could bless Joseph's sons. The time had come for Joseph's father to pass on his blessing and birthright. The blessing he was given came from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and it was God that would make Jacob into a group of nations to bless the entire world through Messiah. Although he did not know what would happen in the promise of blessing, Joseph took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim to witness the momentous event. When Jacob saw Joseph, he said:
“Then Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and He said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession.'” Genesis 48:3-4 NASB
This was the same eternal, unchanging covenant given Abraham that was passed to Isaac and then Isaac on to Jacob who was renamed Israel by God The Father. Take note, God said  there would be a company of peoples. That assembly קָהָל qâhâl is plural is a part of the mystery Paul wrote about.

It was now time for Israel to extend his family blessing. Usually it was reserved for the firstborn, but he did not give the blessing to Reuben. He did not give the blessing to Judah or Joseph either.

Judah's ultimate blessing would be reserved for the scepter of Messiah.

Jacob extended God’s covenant blessing first promised Abraham to Joseph's two sons by adoption. Jacob asked Joseph: who are these that were born to Joseph in Egypt and he shocked Joseph by the adoption:

“And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are [mine]” Genesis 48:5.

From that time forward, Jacob announced that both Ephraim and Manasseh were to be as sons of Israel. He did not refer to them as his grandsons or Joseph’s boys and don't forget their mother Asenath was an Egyptian and her father was a pagan priest.

Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons and removed them from their earthly tie to the priest of On as he extended the blessing from Heaven that God gave to him. In doing so, Jacob pronounced prophecy over Joseph’s future descendants as those adopted into to a firstborn blessing. An inheritance of eternal life in the Kingdom promise under Messiah for others.

This is huge, the House of Israel, both native born and stranger may all be considered a part of Abraham’s promise according to Scripture. Paul taught about this in his writing to the Romans telling them that they are not Gentiles separated from the blessings of Israel.

Paul was teaching those in Rome that they too are chosen, grafted in faith. They too are all part of Israel by blood, but that blood is Yeshua’s, if you hold onto Him.

Batya Wootten writes of Ephraim firstborn status in her booket "Who is Israel? Redeemed Israel—A Digest":
"Ephraim will repent of his youthful sins when he is instructed about his own Israelite roots, when he comes to know himself and understands that he, too, is part of Israel.

He also need to realize that Judah is his brother and he must begin to treat him as such (Jeremiah 31:18,19). Ephraim was called to be a watchman for the whole house of Israel. This is shown in Hosea 9:8; Jeremiah 31:6; 30:24; Isaiah 48:6 and Habakkuk 2:1. Ephraim is especially called to guard people, to warn of impending danger, to care for those who are in trouble.

Ephraim, as a second witness is also destined to return to the Promised Land in The Lord's righteousness, in might, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. He is destined to re-examine the truth about the Ruach HaKodesh and the restoration of the whole house of Israel (see Jeremiah 31:21; Ezekiel 37:23; Hosea 1:10; Zechariah 10:7).

The first example in Scripture of two witnesses who gave a good report about the God of Israel were the two spies, Joshua and Caleb. They are the first “two witnesses” and were from the tribes, the families of Ephraim and Judah (Numbers 13:2,6,8).

We know too that Revelation tells us Yeshua gives His two witnesses the power to prophesy and describes them as two olive trees and two lampstands. This promise begins in Zechariah. In Revelation, lampstands also are revealed to be ekklesias or congregations but many Bibles have morphed the ekklesia that has existed since the days of Moses into the "church".

You need to know, in the last days, YHVH calls forth two congregations of peoples to share His light, His gospel with the world to proclaim Yeshua as Messiah.

"Our Father long-ago declared His latter-day plan to reunite both the houses of Israel: A remnant from both houses will come to true repentance and be rejoined to one another in the power of the Ruach haKodesh (see Deuteronomy 33:7; Isaiah 27:9; Jeremiah 3:17-18; 50:4; Daniel 7:27; Hosea 11:8-10; Amos 9:11; Zechariah 4:6; 8:23; Micah 5:3; Luke 12:32; Romans 11).

The Bible shows us that many Jewish people will believe in Messiah when Judah sees Believers reunited in faith as a part of Israel, righteously representing both the Messiah and God's commandments just as Messiah Yeshua did. Yet the majority of Jewish people have been blinded to the Messiah of Israel largely due to anti-semitism and replacement theology that has been blind to the truth of Torah saying the law has been done away with. Both are wrong and now is the time for both houses, both people to see the full truth of Scripture and the Jewish Messiah. And when we do see the light we can work to help make these truths known (Matthew 23:37-39; Romans 11; Isaiah 8:14).

When Jew and non-Jew are united in faith, when their reunion begins, they will become like their Messiah, loving not their lives even unto death, then they will become an invincible army redeemed by Messiah.
The Jewish people, the physical descendants of Abraham who place their faith in Messiah Yeshua of the royal family of David, continue to be Jewish, like Messiah according to the Scriptures.

Non Jews or Gentiles who place their faith in Yeshua are by adoption grafted into the olive tree of God's family of faith become sons and daughters in the faith of Abraham, Issac and Jacob because the “middle wall of partition” that divides has been broken down by Messiah, and we can worship the God of Israel together, native born and sojourner.

Replacement theology is a lie. All of God’s word to Israel is still valid. The faith of first-century believers, is the same faith which we may seek to believe and walk in. The Sabbath and the Holy Days given by God to Israel with their fulfillment in Messiah Yeshua are still intact because heaven and earth remain.

The new covenant Messianic community (the assembly) is composed of both Jews and Gentiles who have received Yeshua the Messiah as their promised kinsman Redeemer and now we are to worship the God of Israel together according to the Scriptures.

Yeshua is the Son of God. He became flesh as the promised Messiah of Israel, He was conceived by the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit of God) and was born of the Jewish virgin Miriam (Mary). He is both fully God and man in the image of God.

Yeshua the Messiah, died as a substitutionary sacrifice for mankind's sin and all who believe this are declared righteous on the basis of His shed blood.

One's righteousness in redemption to eternal life by Messiah's life substitution was foreshadowed in all of the Tanakh with the slaying of the Passover lamb, the trespass offerings, and the sin offering on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Eternal salvation and a coming resurrection by God's grace comes through faith in Messiah.

Yeshua of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel lived a sinless Torah life. He was sentenced to death as He opposed those that added to or took away from Torah of God. He arose from the grave, regenerated by God's power bodily and He ascended into the Heavenly realm. He is seated on the right hand authority of God, the Father, and The Father sent His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to be a comforter, a counselor, teacher and spiritual gift giver until Messiah returns to call His bride in resurrection and regeneration in holiness to establish His Kingdom on earth and overcome sin and evil that opposes The Father.

Hosea's word's are for today:
Hosea 7:8 “Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.”
In Hosea’s time, bread was cooked in an oven one side at a time, just like a pancake that has to be turned to be complete. This prophecy was written just before Assyria overtook the northern kingdom. The ten tribes of Israel have been called by the broader name of Ephraim after Solomon died and the 'united' Kingdom was divided. The Bible tells us that the capture of the Israelites at that time is only half the prophetic story of the so-called “Ten Lost Tribes.”

Keep in mind, Hosea preached this before the northern tribes were dispersed by the Assyrians and taken out of the Promised Land beginning around the year 724 BC. Yet today, the mystery of identity theft is that the House of Joseph, also called Ephraim is still a big part of God’s chosen people! Israel is a multitude of nations crossing over by adoption of true faith. The unchanging promise is recorded in Genesis 48:19-22.

The tribes of Israel lost their identity as they devoted themselves to separation from God and Judah as they sought idolatrous worship in strange gods and abominations. Because of this they were scattered, returning back to Ur if you will, assimilated, blended back in among the nations (Gentiles). This is exactly what Jacob told Joseph would happen in Genesis 48:19.

Yet, the lost tribes will be restored to their identity, no longer a foreigner to the Torah and to brother Judah as God is now flipping the hotcake of Ephraim, doing His promised restoration of identity for a people that call themselves "Gentiles".

Today, many still hold to their identity crisis in Messiah. They do not see a need for Judah's faithful Sabbath rest or for The Lord's Feast Days, or even God's diet plan that they call Jewish. Yet, many are now coming to realize they too are a part of the promises given Israel and passed on by him to Joseph's sons as an adoption blessing in Egypt. They now see themselves as God's children like an adopted firstborn son. Their eyes are opening up to the fact that the Creator of the universe created the Sabbath for them and that The Feasts are The Lord's appointed times and His seasons are woven into His redemption and the fabric of His restoration plan.
They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. Jeremiah 31:9
Many are now coming to realize their richness of their faith is in the Torah walk of Messiah Yeshua - the Jew. It's been a mystery, but today some Christians are now beginning to live in the "fulness" of the Gentiles filled with the presence, power and riches of God and Messiah, a fulfilling which is a keeping of His way shown in the perfection of Yeshua Messiah's Torah life.

Isaiah recorded God's word about this:

Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from His people.” “Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath and holds fast My covenant; Even those I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” The Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, “Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered.” Isaiah 56:3-8

Believers in the Messiah of Israel are hearing the gathering call of the Spirit, a call to keep Torah because they have the living Messiah who lives in and through them who walks in the Torah and calls all of His disciples past and present to follow him in doing so.

If you have heard this call of the Ruach HaKodesh, it is because the Spirit of God lives in you, and He is calling out your identity in Messiah.

As Isaiah shows us, genealogy means nothing to the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD and the walk of Messiah. The Spirit of God convicts us all individually to return to the covenant that Moses said was made with “those not there” at the giving of the Covenant to Israel and this includes you, your family, friends, everyone past, present, and future who were not there in Deuteronomy 29:14-15:
"I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God but also with those who are not here today."
I know it's hard to understand. After all, church or rabbinic tradition that takes away saying the Torah is for the Jew alone strips our identity, but the reality is... God's word NEVER says that.

Moses was describing a mystery that is unfolding today. Many in the so-called "Gentile" church are turning away from the traditions of Rome's church fathers and returning to the ways of "The Father." This move of God is now opening the eyes of many of Judah as well to see their Jewish Messiah and remain Jewish. They can see Him because they know He never turned away from The Lord's Sabbath, the Feasts of The Lord or the Torah.

Amos describes a great promise that God is fulfilling:
And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God. Amos 9:14-15
Many have missed it because we have been taught to read verses instead of passages or portions at the back of the Bible. But Paul wrote a letter some 2,000 years ago to the Ephesians and explained that in a coming age the family name of the children of God would be known as one "in peace," as the Temple, the dwelling place of The Lord and no longer divided as two: Jew and Gentile, but as a family called Israel. It's mystery is shown right there in plain sight if we just look at the front of the Book. Paul wrote this about the promise:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts.

Like the rest of disobedient mankind, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) — remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.

In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.

This mystery is that through the gospel, the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:1-22; 3:1-6 NIV
Did you see the words "members together of one body"? That body is Israel. In mercy, Yeshua the King will restore the Tabernacle of David that has fallen. He will restore it for those who seek to walk with Him:
And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness. Isaiah 16:5

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: Amos 9:11

[[A Psalm of David.]] LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. Psalm 15:1
You may have missed it but James or rather "Jacob" understood this:
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Acts 15:16-17
Read enough to get the big picture?

This short 4 minute slide presentation gives a beautiful overview.

If you want to dig further, this important study is continued part 2. Believe it or not, the Bible is your family album and it is full of graphic images that tell your story: past, present and future and it shows the story of your Savior, Redeemer and King.

Israel means God Prevails and it is the 'identity' for all of God's children and if you are a child of God your name truly is your mission.

I invite you to read Don't Be a Victim of Identity Theft... Part 2.