My Scripture Studies
Remove the Blinders - Live the Bible!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Don't Be a Victim of Identity Theft!

Have you considered why Jacob's name was changed?

In my Scripture studies I found there is a message behind Jacob's name change blessing:

Don't Be a Victim of Identity Theft!

To better understand what it means to be the children of God in faith, we must consider why Jacob’s name was changed because the time has come to know what that identity means!

Jacob's new name is not just an old story in Genesis 32, it's an ongoing story of transformation. Many people are now digging through the Roman past of religious church tradition to separate truth from tradition. 

Leading this is a heartfelt endeavor to return to Biblical truth as taught by Yeshua and rediscover their identity in an assembly of faith and spirit?

The Genesis account reveals that after Jacob's family was "divided" they “crossed over” the Jordan River ahead of him. They left Jacob behind and that night he “wrestled” with "the man of God" (see Genesis 32:24 for the evidence). Jacob struggled but he held on through the dark night. This is a prophetic.

Do you remember what happened at the end of Jacob’s struggle?

He left Jacob behind too. He was a changed man in more than one way.

The man from Heaven, the messenger of God injured Jacob’s hip and his “walk” was changed in the struggle. Once Jacob realized he could not win, he would not let go until he was blessed... The blessing was a new name and a change of heart (see Genesis 32:28 and Genesis 35:10).

Isaac's son was no longer just Ya’acov ben Yitzchak, he was now blessed as Y’israel and he received his name from the "man of God" that he struggled with.

We all struggle. Jacob's lesson is our own road map. That's why is also a prophecy.

When we face adversity, the thing is, our struggle is often with the man of God as the God of Israel is seeking to change our walk. To do that, God must humble us so that we too can be blessed.

Today, many people struggle with the identity of Messiah, the man of God. Genesis tells us Jacob wrestled a man, yet it was Jacob that said: "I have seen God face to face."

How is that possible? 

If you doubt the possibility, your struggle is with the Bible, and the God of Israel not me. The Word of God verifies this claim from Jacob (read Genesis 32:24-30 for yourself).

In the Bible, whenever God changes a person's name given by one's father or mother there is a prophetic reason. That reason is the new name from the Creator of the Universe reveals the person's assignment from Heaven in God's big plan to redeem and restore mankind's image (Genesis 1:26-27).

We all need to know identity theft comes from not understanding our role in serving in the Lord's plan. To help us, the Bible allows us to start our study with the lives of Abram, Sarai and their grandson Jacob to see how their relationship with God redefined their identity as Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah and Jacob became Israel.

The God-given surname "Israel" reveals something very important about the faith relationship with our Elohim God. It includes purpose, character, image and a change of heart identity in God's eyes, linking the past to the present and the future Day of The Lord.

In the Genesis story, can you imagine the conversations that Jacob, the man that God renamed as "Israel" as a blessing during his struggle might have had for the rest of his life whenever he met someone?

His story is like a parable, after all, the struggle he had is much like our own. It was greater than just a one time wrestling match that ended with a hip injury. 

There’s a good chance that whenever anyone met Israel for the first time and saw his distinctive walk after that night, they probably asked, “Wow… What happened to you?” I can only imagine the gist of his reply may have been a bit like this…

My “walk” was changed when I received a "blessing" from the man of God.

I thought I was wrestling with a man 
but then I saw the face of God and He blessed me. 
I refused to let go of Him in the dark that night 
and now my identity is a part of my walk. 

Both have changed. 

I told the messenger God I would not “let go” until He blessed me, 
so He did and gave me a new walk to remember 
my struggle ended with my new God-given identity.

My name was Jacob now it's now Israel.

Israel reveals that God prevails and 
I will continue to walk like this, changed forever.

After I received my blessing from the God-man 
I was able to “cross over” and it was a beautiful morning when 
I saw "the light" and “walked” through "the water" into the Promised Land. 

The way that you see me walk today constantly reminds me that my blessing is from God!

Can you imagine that whenever anyone that had met Israel saw him coming, long before they could see his face they knew who he was. The reason, he was changed – by his walkand his name – and they always remembered the man of God changed and blessed him.

They knew not only was Jacob's physical walk changed, his identity had changed too, that's part of the blessing of a new name from Heaven. We can share in Jacob's blessing. The God of Israel that we all wrestle with when we are in the dark is the same God that we can embrace in the light.

Israel is the family name that the King of Hosts, Sovereign of the Universe, the Almighty God of Israel still uses for all the lost children of His Kingdom that choose to follow Him. The reason: "God Prevails." 

God does not change but it's up to you to do something if you are wrestling with the man from Heaven. Your identity and walk can be changed like Jacob's and you no longer need to be a victim of identity theft. Open your eyes if you are wrestling with God and believe Him. The reason for the struggle is that God wants to get your attention to bless you.

To know the man of God, you can know Yeshua the Messiah and be blessed no matter the nation or company of nations of your earthly heritage. Isaiah wrote about this and Paul explained it:
"Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from His people.” Isaiah 56:3 
“And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. 
The Lord GOD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”” Isaiah 56:6-8 
“You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household.” Ephesians 2:19
One mystery of the gospel of God's Kingdom is that Israel is the name of God's household. His family is made up of all people that seek relationship with Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel through faith as the children of promise.

The big family message of faith is based on doing the will of my Father is seen in Matthew:
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:46-50
But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. Romans 9:6-8
Many are confused over their identity and stumble over Yeshua's plain words about family...whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is family. 

Isaiah and Paul explain the identity theft as a stumbling stone: 
And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Isaiah 8:14 

As it is written, "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." Romans 9:33
Yeshua gives the test in faith identity with God's household name simple as whoever does the will of my Father in heaven. A short story in Matthew 15 describes the test. Many get confused reading the account of the Canaanite woman that describes her action when Yeshua tested her faith before her daughter was healed:
Yeshua went out from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon. Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely demonized!" But he answered her not a word. His talmidim (disciples) came and begged him, saying, "Send her away; for she cries after us." 
But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me." But he answered, "It is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." But she said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." Then Yeshua answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that hour. Matthew 15:21-28  
To properly unwind this account it's important to understand that word "but" as it is written in the Greek parchments. It's the Greek word δὲ and it means "but, on the other hand" or "but moreover, indeed" and the Greek δὲ is added to oppose a preceding statement:

The disciples didn't really understand what was really happening at the time. They only saw her as a stranger, a Canaanite woman, a foreigner. The good thing is that they were forgetting that both Judah and Simeon married Canaanite women and even Joseph married an Egyptian which meant that the disciples all had mixed blood in their veins and they had not yet connected to dots to whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is family, so they said, "Send her away; for she cries after us."

Yeshua's reply taught them about faith. [But, on the other hand] he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel." In other words, I can't ignore her, I was sent for her and her daughter's healing. The reason: faith is the requirement. Yeshua knew her faith needed to be tested to validate her heart. Yeshua answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire."

That Canaanite woman passed the test of faith required of the all lost sheep... whoever does the will of our Father in heaven is family. 

The book of Luke chapter three gives us an important timestamp we need to look at.

Tiberius Caesar reigned as Emperor of the Roman Empire from September 18, 14 AD to March 16, 37 AD. According the the book of Luke, in his 15th year of reign, which would have been at least 29 AD during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the Levite son of Zechariah the priest.

John then went into the region around today's Jordan Valley proclaiming God's requirement spoken through Isaiah of a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He never told the crowds that birthright heritage, family tree and DNA alone were the soul criteria to be considered for one to be worthy of the blessing of Abraham's inheritance. 

The key identity is righteousness from faith and the purity of one's heart and soul beginning with repentance as the way of blessing. John even declared Almighty God's glory could make rocks His children if he wanted to. After all, John knew Adam was formed from clay and God blew His Spirit of life into him.

John preached that everyone has to turn repentance into action and spread the good news. He used the big Biblical metaphor of bearing good fruit. He said:
"Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Luke 3:8-11
Think about the message, God can even turn a rock into His children if He wants to. That why you need to know the identity of Israel as a tabernacle family of faith made of living stones of the Household of God marked by the faith gift of a name that God gives His children that have wrestled with Him and choose blessing.

The God of Israel tells the world declaring who He is in Exodus 5:1 and the Almighty One is described as the God of Israel throughout the Bible. In fact, the balance of the Hebrew Scriptures including the Prophets and the Writings declare the title Elohim of Y'israel in some 180 or so verses.

Take note too the so-called Newer Testament proclaims The Father's identity as "The God of Israel" at least 17 times and there's a reason, the Elohim God of Hosts is The God of Israel. 

Are you in His army?

If so, do you know the household name? The Heavenly Father seeks a faith changed person with a new walk and the good news is if you repent of sin and trust in the redemption of the blood of the man of God, the Messiah of Israel, you are no longer a lost sheep scattered in the nations. Your identity is grafted in the faith of Abraham. Like Jacob's flock, you are a child in the house of the God of Israel, a living stone aligned with the corner stone: Messiah Yeshua, the man of God.

Do you believe God, if so do you also follow and seek to honor his Kingdom mitzvot? Do you truly follow Yeshua the Messiah of Israel? Do you seek to walk and talk like Him? If so, you are a part of the congregation of the commonwealth of redeemed Israel, an assembly of faith and spirit.

The good news is that Almighty God seeks orphans of faith and spirit like the Canaanite woman to be adopted in repentance and a test of faith, grafted-in like a wild branch to inherit the blessing of the root in faith and bear fruit. 

That lost sheep inheritance includes a name in the injury of the Messiah of Israel.

Like any adoption, one's name identity is changed.

Yeshua offers the world the promise given to Abraham and redemption in the family name. 

Yeshua of Nazareth was falsely condemned, despised and beaten, He was hung on a tree and pierced for our transgressions, yet He arose in resurrection glory and lives today so that you too can join God's Kingdom family and be reborn in resurrection and return in the end of our journey to the Promised Land just as Jacob's family did. 

Jacob was the father of twelve sons and he adopted two others. Together they are known as the
tribes of Jacob, but in God's election, the called out family of the children of God are called Israel. 

Jacob adopted Joseph's sons as his own showing us that thos who are in Yeshua household are called Israel. The definition or understanding of adoption is basic and universal absolute sonship, as the action or pledge of admission to all of the privileges of natural kinship a natural born child. 

Those who believe and follow in the faith footsteps of Yeshua Messiah are considered full heirs as natural descendants of Abraham. That's the same message Paul explains in Galatians 3:7-9, 29:
Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Thats why he wrote: 
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua.  And if you are Messiah’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
If you believe in Jesus and walk as He walked, yet don't know the family name, the words of Almighty God given in Jacob's blessing can seem old. They are not and they can clear up a lot of confusion on any lost identity of faith. By the way, faith is not just a belief, a thought that you accept as truth. Faith includes putting that belief into action. It's what you do or don't do about your belief that turns belief into faith.

After the wrestling match at the Jabbok brook, Elohim God gave Jacob a blessing in the same promise He provided to his grandfather Abraham. What was it, to be fruitful and multiply: a nation and a "company of nations" shall come from you!!

Open your eyes, Jacob had to do some thing to be fruitful and like Abraham's promise it's not just about one nation, but a "company of nations." That is the blessing of Israel's blessing. It's about true faith identity, belief and action and a gift. Here's the Almighty's blessing:
"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" used here in Genesis 35 is the Hebrew word "qahal" and it means assembly or congregation, a people group that is a family. 

Hold on to your hat, because it's the same as the Greek word "ekklesia" that' made its way in the King James Bible by the English label "church." It's from the Olde English word cirice or circe and that come from German and old Saxon. 

The first know use of the word is from the thirteenth century, it did not exist before that time. It's has no Greek or Hebrew origin.

The word church is listed about 70 times in the newer testament, but it's not new at all.

"Qahal" is the Hebrew word that describes the "crowd" of "congregation" at Mount Sinai, both native born and sojourners with them and its the same word Master Rabbi Yeshua used after He asked the disciples this big question:
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter gave the answer: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus then told the disciples that the answer was revealed by The Father in Heaven and that: "upon this rock I will build My "congregation" and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."
Peter's name was Kepha, it means rock but Peter wasn't the rock, the cornerstone of the congregation of faith is Yeshua.

People walking in the cornerstone faith of Messiah revealed by the God of Israel are a people group, a nation of faith with the blessing of a family name as the children of the God of Israel. 

The assembly at Mount Sinai included both native born and sojourners that walked with them, a “mixed multitude” (see Exodus 12:38 for the proof text). They were together, all following Moses to the mountain of God to worship and serve Him and the crowd that accepted the covenant included the "gowry" nations grafted in by their faith walk to obey God's voice and inherit the blessings promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

But remember, grafting a wild branch is never a replacement for a natural branch or the root, it's the opposite, it's becoming a part of the tree and bearing the fruit of the tree that tastes and looks the same as the original. A grafted-in branch from a wild olive tree, a sojourner or exile cannot grow apples or figs. 

Some 1,500 years after the crowd that was called out of the darkness of Egypt said I will do at Mount Sinai, the disciple Peter provided an explanation of the responsibility of the common congregation of faith. Peter's words go right back to those assembled at Sinai and he uses Moses' word "priesthood."

Peter explains the characteristics of the shared faith of God's people as they are no longer disconnected wild branches:
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 
Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation." 1Peter 2:9-12 ESV
Peter also defines  those that stumble and choose to not walk in God's ways which are Messiah's ways. In 1Peter 2:8 he writes: "They stumble because they disobey the word..."

What word? 

The words at Sinai, God's voice of instruction that Yeshua taught. 

Yeshua had this to say about that:
“My teaching is not My own,” Yeshua replied. 
“It comes from Him who sent Me. If anyone desires to do His will, he will know whether My teaching is from God or whether I speak on My own. 
He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is a man of truth; in Him there is no falsehood." John 7: 16-19
Can you say that faith teaching is not your own, or do you speak for yourself?

For 1,700 years, many in the newer so-called "church" have had their identity rebranded as Gentiles that do not need to walk in God's ways, thinking God's teaching and instruction is old and done away with. 

If so, we have remained Gentiles and we do not give glory back to God as He requests. Instead we stumble because we disobey the word of instruction. That includes the things we think changed such as the weekly Sabbath. It includes the Feasts of The Lord too. 

Yeshua teaches and upholds these. 

We stumble over things we call food that God calls an abomination. God calls them unclean for a reason, because they're bad for us, so we stumble over the cornerstone of Yeshua's teaching.

How did this happen? 

It seems it all started with the iniquity of anti-Semitic, replacement theologies of so-called church "fathers." 

They arrived on the scene after the Jewish disciples had all been martyred for their faith. Those so-called fathers are the Gentiles of Rome's faith, not the former Gentiles in the faith of Sinai or Jerusalem, but you can become an exile of Rome and walk back in repentance to the faith of Yeshua of Nazareth.

Here's the thing about that word Gentile that is will be repeated in various posts because it is important and thankfully Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary sheds some light saying: 

"GEN'TILE, noun [Latin gentilis; from Latin gens, nation, race; applied to pagans.]

In the scriptures, a pagan; a worshipper of false gods; any person not a Jew or a christian; a heathen."

Mr. Webster points to the issue of idol practices as being their character distinction. They were linked to the heathens, the image-worshippers according to the 1880 McClintock and Strong Biblical Cyclopedia:

"As to the religion of heathenism, it is "a wild growth on the soil of fallen human nature, a darkening of the original consciousness of God's deification of the rational and irrational creature, and a corresponding corruption of the moral sense, giving the sanction of religion to natural and unnatural vices."

Paul agrees with Noah Webster, he called the Ephesian “former Gentiles”… you once were separate, excluded "strangers" from Messiah and the identity of none other than… Israel!
“Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles… remember that you were at that time separate from Messiah, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” Ephesians 2:11-12
There is a reason God declared His teaching at Mount Sinai for both the native born and sojourners. They were both exiles of Egypt that walked out of Egypt to follow God's pillar of fire and hear His voice:
"... I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments."
Exodus 20:5-6 is the focus of the covenant in the Ten Commandments. 

In the fire on that mountaintop, God declared He would visit the iniquity of the fathers on their children. 

Do you get it?

One genesis of this iniquity began with the new teaching of the church fathers, it was their own teaching, not Yeshua's, and not the teaching of Almighty God that He declared.

When you study church history and the Bible, you might just realize there was nothing really new about their theology in Rome and Constantinople. It was old, just like Jeroboam's. He was the first king of the northern Kingdom of Israel that split the scene and revolted against Jerusalem. Jeroboam was a member of the tribe or family of Ephraim, but he argued and turned against the faith. 

Believe it or not, Jeroboam's name means "the people contend." 

The iniquity Almighty God spoke about at Sinai is the bad faith of a contentious, anti-Semitic replacement theology born out of the hatred of the Jewish people claiming they killed Christ. It's still taught by a Torah rejecting theology that began when the church fathers re-wired the priesthood with celibacy, black robes and the edicts of Constantine and his councils, saying Almighty God's voice was old and done away with.

The faith promise give the Jacob to be fruitful and multiply and the instruction to the priesthood to wear white linen stands in stark contract to Constantine and the church fathers.

Many others since have been innocently led astray in the same stiff-necked, uncircumcised heart deception and forgotten their roots of the faith of Abraham. That's the inheritance of the inquity God spoke about 3,500 years ago. His words still stand true.

There's a big reason Matthew begins his gospel account with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There's a big reason Stephen spoke about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the assembly at Sinai before he was stoned to death by those in the crowd he labeled as stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears that resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

Do you?

Contrary to the Holy Spirit,  the church developed an old stiff-necked, uncircumcised replacement theology institution like the one Stephen called the tent of Moloch in Acts 7. 

Don't stone me, but that is the IDENTITY THEFT of the ages.

We forgot that by in-grafting and adoption into Israel's olive tree of faith, true faith, original faith is not replaced, it is revived. The reason, the fruit of the olive tree must multiply and abound and be used as a light in a dark world just as it was intended. That's why Revelation starts out with a picture of the imagery of the seven-branched menorah and letters of warnings. 

The dark candle of replacement theology holds fast to the deception that God changed His mind and the assembly took a new "church" name and replaced Israel while turning away from the priesthood identity and the blessing of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

The Holy Scriptures teach that sojourners and exiles can be grafted into true faith, adopted as children of the God of Israel. If you've not seen the light just yet, that is the very teaching explained in Romans 9, Romans 10 and Romans 11 in which Paul provides his dissertation on this great mercy and lovingkindness of Almighty God.

God's declarations at Sinai have not changed. They are what Jesus taught and they teach us that we are all to follow God's ways in our walk through life. 

So, if you consider yourself a part of the family, aka God's children by the foundation of your faith, yet you still consider yourself a gentile sinner, saved by grace while rejecting God's teaching, you are mistaken and living in the iniquity of Jeroboam if you do not love God and keep His instruction for life that Yeshua taught and explained.

This is not my message. I am just repeating it.

It is John's declared in the Revelation of Yeshua as it emphasizes preserving God's words from Sinai "keep the commandments":
Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Revelation 14:12
You need to know your identity in the Messiah of Israel should be one of a "saint" and that includes a saint's perseverance to endeavor to keep the commandments of God out of love for the Messiah of Israel. The Bible teaches us that to understand perseverance, you must understand your identity, and that a part to your spiritual inheritance is to keep the commandments of God, not for salvation but out of love for The Father.

By walking in the faith in Messiah and in God's grace in forgiveness, you are grafted into the family of God, but as in all households children have responsibilities in the home.

Faith is not genetic, it's not a bloodline, its by choice and your responsibility in your love for Almighty God is to walk in Messiah's faith which are the Father's ways, otherwise you become a victim of identity theft in ungodliness.

Consider the promise Paul repeated in Romans 11:26:
"Even as it is written, 'There will come out of Zion the Deliverer (Redeemer). He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant to them, when I shall take away their sins.' 'Even as it is written."
So, whether you are a Jew or not, if you are wrestling with the man of God called Messiah; be like Jacob and grab hold of the man of God and don't let go. When you do, you too will be blessed, and your identity as a child of God will no longer be lost. Like the Canaanite woman, you can have blessing in the identity faith of Israel granted by the healing of Israel's Messiah.

The good news blessing is although lost, you can be found and grafted into God's family in the faith of Messiah Yeshua much like the way Jacob adopted Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh as his own. Jacob loved those two boys, and by adoption Joseph was given a double portion blessing with an inheritance promise. 

To better understand the parable of their story, consider the facts given in the Bible.

Both boys were both born in Egypt, their mother was Asenath, a Gentile daughter of Potiphera, the pagan priest of "On," one of the many false-idol gods of Egypt. Yet, despite that they were adopted in love by Jacob and their descendants walked out of Egypt. Both Ephraim and Manasseh's families were counted in the census of Israel and each were allotted a portion in the Promised Land.

Jacob was nearly blind when he laid his hands on the heads of Joseph's sons to bless them. Then Jacob did a wonderful thing and laying hands remains a blessing in faith today. Years later, it became a custom in Jerusalem to take boys in their thirteenth year to the elders so that they too might bless them. Today, it's a big part of every Bar Mitzvah.

Joseph's son's were adopted into to the promise given to Abraham, Issac and Jacob. The promise was given to Abram after Almighty God changed his name to Abraham after he too left a pagan land. That promise was passed on to Isaac, given to Jacob and passed on to Ephraim and Manasseh.

Joseph's sons link the word of God passed on to his father Jacob after God changed his name to Israel and it does not end there. As you have seen, Jacob passed the promise on to Joseph's two sons by adoption and Jacob’s unprecedented adoption was final. When the Israelites left Egypt, the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh left as a big part of the family and other Egyptians that witnessed those ten plagues and believed in the God of Israel walked out with them and Moses' right hand man was Joshua of the tribe of Ephraim. He would go on to lead everyone into the promised land. 

This story in the beginning should point everyone to the one in the end in Revelation 21:12-13 where you should take note the only gates are those named for the twelve tribes. There's no Gentile gate and Revelation has nothing to do with replacement theology. The word Gentile has no connection, it's identity theft and worth repeating that Webster's 1828 Dictionary gets it right saying: "GEN'TILE, noun [Latin gentilis; from Latin gens, nation, race; applied to pagans.]"

Many in a church pew take on an identity as saved sinner Gentiles that have replaced Israel and are restored without any connection to Jacob. They choose to believe in Jesus but reject His Hebrew roots and Torah obedience.

Read Romans 11 and you will see, that by faith, you can enter into one of those twelve gates and inherit the same promises as brothers and sisters returning home.

Did you know that Manasseh literally means "causing to forget" and the name alludes to identity theft?

Ephraim and Manasseh are not the beginning or the end of adoption by faith blessing as the sons of Israel. 

Genesis 46:8-10 is a big deal. The passage tells us that a man named Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman, was also counted among the names of the sons of Israel:
Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn. The sons of Reuben: Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi. The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.
Did you notice the Shaul is in fact included in the list of the sons of Israel?

That should point us all to a deeper understanding in the Bible's narrative.

There's also the amazing story of Boaz's bride that became the great-grandmother of David. Her name was Ruth and she was a former Gentile but she made a faith choice. Like Bathsheba, she provides a faith connection from non-Jewish nations. Ruth was a Moabite, she was from Moab, the land due east of the Jordan River.

The people in Moab were idol worshippers known to follow the false-god Chemosh. If you have read the Exodus story, you might remember that The Lord told Moses "do not harass Moab or provoke them to war for I will not give you any of their land." Ruth was the hidden reason for that instruction.

Think about it, had Moses not followed the Lord's "do not" commandment not to war with the Moabites, he would have destroyed them and Ruth would not have been born. Not only that, Elimelech and his wife Naomi that had two sons in Bethlehem would not have married two Moabite women either. Had Moses been disobedient, David would not have been born and he would have never been chosen by God to be king of Israel. We all have to remember how Ruth became king David's great grandmother!

She made the right choice.

When they moved away to live in Moab during a famine, Naomi's son Mahlon married Ruth and his brother married Orpah, but both men, like their father before them died in Moab, so Naomi returned home with the two girls ten years after leaving Bethlehem. Naomi tried to get both widows to return to Moab, but Ruth in great faith refused saying: 

"Your people shall be my people and your God, my God."

Ruth, the Moabite made the decision to be grafted in by faith and that choice changed her identity forever. You can do the same.

Ruth came from a people that worshipped a false-god, but Ruth turned away, she repented and chose "Your people shall be my people and your God, my God." She chose to join the faith of Israel. She made her decision while she was in Bethlehem at the beginning of the spring barley harvest. That's the time we know as Passover.

Ruth, was no longer a Moabite because she chose the one true God, the God of Israel when she said: "Your people shall be my people and your God, my God."

Like the sojourners years before her that left Egypt, she made the right choice and turned he back on Moab.

That is why the Bible tells us King David became the great grandson of Boaz and Ruth. Think about this long and hard: no former Moabite Ruth - no Jesse- no David - no Jesus!

Ruth once lived under the identity of Chemosh, but she made the right decision to no longer be a part of that idolatry when she said,"Your people shall be my people and your God, my God."

Everyone should know the story: Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

Ruth became king David's great grandmother by her choice!

The stories of Abraham, Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh, Ruth and even Rahab declare that you too can make the right choice to be a citizen of the heavenly family with a faith identity bearing the God-given name Israel as your blessing and also say: "Your people shall be my people and your God, my God."

A part of that family blessing is the name Israel. After all, God is the God of Israel. When you do this question will make sense: What people group did Yeshua proclaim: “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”? 

This preaching proclamation is in Matthew 4:17.

The answer is found in Matthew 15:24: "But he answered and said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”"

Now you know why I say: Don't Be a Victim of Identity Theft! Jesus is the Jew born in Bethlehem and He is the most famous Jew of all. He seeks all lost in faith. His earthly family descended from Abraham and He fulfilled the blessing of the offspring that the ten elders gave Boaz with these words at the gate of Bethlehem:
“We are witnesses. May The LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the LORD will give you by this young woman.”
This faith prophecy was for Ruth the former Moabite to be just like Rachael and Leah of the House of Israel. This is amazing and while some believe it only points to king David, the prophet Micah reveals that the prophecy is greater. It points to King Messiah.

After all, David reigned some 300 years before Micah ever penned these words 700 years before Jesus the Jew was born in Bethlehem:
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. 
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.
Therefore He will give them up until the time
When she who is in labor has borne a child. 
Then the remainder of His brethren
Will return to the sons of Israel” Micah 5:2-3
I pray that you might now see there is a faith connection woven from Genesis (Torah) to Ruth (The Writings) to Micah (The Prophets) and the words of Jesus: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)

As a part of the Biblical faith of the brethren of the House of Israel, you are not claiming an identity theft called church replacement theology or the identity theft that all believers are physical descendants of the ten northern tribes of Israel. In true Biblical faith, you are not a part of an identity theft following “British Israelism” nor are you part of another identity theft known as an Ephramite movement claiming you must have a connection to the ten lost tribes of Israel. 

In the Bible, there is no need DNA test to receive the family heritage of faith for the household. We are not born into heavenly heritage by blood or the will of our parents, but by God's will and our response to His call.

Don't forget, remember... Judah the first Jew had a Canaanite wife. Her name was Shua (see Genesis 38) as did his brother Simeon (see Exodus 6). 

Joseph's wife Asenath was an Egyptian (Genesis 46:20). Not only that, she was the daughter of Potiphera, a pagan priest of On. 

Remember Ruth? She was a Moabite, yea she was king David's great grandmother and her election was her choice of faith.

All of these are given to us as a parable picture of our faith. The family line of Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel proves the family of God faith identity comes by faith choice. Ruth is NOT a work of fiction, her story is real and a wonderful picture of heritage faith by choice. 

Ruth's faith was a chosen matter of fact and trust in the Lord God of Israel to say, "Your people shall be my people and your God, my God."

Faith Inheritance is from a heart for Heaven… 

If you choose to say: "Your people shall be my people and your God, my God" to Jesus the Jew, you too can receive the promise of heavenly inheritance of the faith family of the Messiah of Israel whether Jew or non-Jew, native born or sojourner. Your kinsman-redeemer choice is just like Ruth's words to Naomi:

"Your people shall be my people and your God, my God."

The call of true faith is joining the Household of God. The faith call is a shout for blessing as a child of God as one in the family, even the family that still struggles with Messiah's identity. 

In faith, the invisible human spirit transcends the physical limitations of the visible. It affirms the unseen reality which cannot be explained. True faith is the courageous act of the spirit and heart: "which searches all things, yes, the deep things of God."

The Father's faith calling for His children does not require DNA connections, it is your decision to hear the call and make the right choice to repent and turn from sin and to persevere in the Father's calling. 

Walking in the instruction of God is to walk like Messiah and choose to return your love to God by honoring the Father's requests, not because your walk might earn good standing in the throne room.

As we have seen from the beginning, Abram is the father of this family of faith. He was a man from a pagan nation just like Ruth. He chose to follow God's call and walk away from Ur of the Chaldees. He is the man that God renamed Abraham.

That name is Hebrew and it means the father of a "multitude of nations." Abraham's identity comes from heaven. His faith promise was passed on to his son Isaac and to his grandson Jacob after he was blessed with his identity from Heaven after he struggled with the man like God.

Remember, it was only after the dark struggle that Jacob was blessed with his new name... it's another heavenly family name, and it is Israel.

Yeshua said this to a woman that was caught in adultery:
“I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” John 8:11
He meant that. You might be like her in adultery, but follow Yeshua's promise and be like Jacob and remember, he grabbed and held on to the "man like God." Then he was blessed.

Jacob wrestled and held on for dear life for his blessing. That is what you can do adopted in faith as a child of God. In your struggle, reach out and grab Messiah Yeshua and never let go of Him - even in darkness, hold on to Him and ask for His blessing.

Repent and He will give it to you and too will be blessed in merciful forgiveness, grafted-in by lovingkindness adoption into the Kingdom identity of God's family. Don't forget, the righteous identity is: "Your people shall be my people and your God, my God."

After you make your decision, it's time to change your walk and chose to follow "the way" of Messiah outlined by Jeremiah as the new covenant:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34
Make no mistake, Israel is a name from Heaven, it points to the identity of an assembly and congregation of the offspring of faith around the world and the promise given to Abraham. You too can join the family holding on and following Messiah with God's law written on your heart whether you came from a mixed multitude or are native born. You can make the choice to love the God of Israel and say: "Your people shall be my people and your God, my God."

That does not mean you will not struggle. Even after he was blessed, Jacob thought he lost his son Joseph. He endured heartbreak and famine too. For that reason, we all need to cling to each other as brother and sister walking toward Zion until The King returns to the place of God's name. It is 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 message we must all understand is that God does not use man's method of religious membership that is embedded in the traditions of men to make their own their identity. The Heavenly Father accounts all who choose to love Him as His children. So don't let tradition steal your identity. 

"Israel" is the blessing of your faith identity in the covenant that the God of Israel is the God of mercy and lovingkindness just as Moses teaches us all:
"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 us about the lie of replacement theology and about the natural branches, the Jewish people in Romans 11:1 when he writes: “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means!”

That means there is no room in Heaven for anti-semitism or replacement theology.

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

Adoption is family. A family joined by love from the purest depth of the heart! That's why the Benjamite Jew from Tarsus, the rabbi named Paul penned this:
"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 of the new covenant were never made to a denominational identity called a church that "churchmen" have named. In the same way, many have lost their identity still thinking of themselves as sinners saved by grace as they assimilated into various religious opinions, cultures, doctrines and denominations.

Those that consider themselves a "church" replacement for Israel must get out of the Gentile pew and repent because restoring the Biblical relationship between Christian and the Jew is critical to God's one new man plan that Paul wrote about.

Not long ago the International Council of Christians and Jews was established by William Temple, the Archbishop of Canterbury following World War II. In 2009, the organization issued another clarion call to both Christian and Jewish communities around the world commemorating the anniversary of the "Seelisberg Gathering" in 1947 which examined how Christian theology had allowed Hitler's 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."

And there is more. Don't forget, the name "Israel" came as a blessing from our Heavenly Father and adoption and choice teaches us that one's identity is ultimately given by Almighty God, our Heavenly Father.

Those who believe in Messiah are grafted in faith as children and are heirs of adoption according to the everlasting covenants and promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is not my idea, it's Paul's:
Understand, then... if you belong to Jesus, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:7... Galatians 3:29
Being the heirs of the promise given Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not a theory, it is not a replacement religion either where the Jewish roots of faith are severed to the promises of the Kingdom gospel message of Jesus the Jew.

The promise throughout Messiah's Bible, the TaNaK is that all Israel will be saved and the Kingdom of The God of Israel restored. That's why it is Paul's message too. Understanding that requires a struggle, but a blessing follows.

When Jesus' followers are unaware of their faith identity, a veil covers their heart due to a lack of understanding Scripture and its faith promise of adoption and grafting. They look for their own religious identity and miss the promise that as a believer, your name and inheritance is no longer that of a sojourner form Egypt, like Ruth you're a companion and a bride.

When God's people come together, their union in God's hand as 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).

Messiah can restore the blessing from God. Those who are walking with Him have been given a double portion: the birthright and an inheritance promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The religious labels taken by people to describe their faith is simply not a God given identity found in the Scriptures. As it turns out, when we open the Bible, we find the Word of God does not use the names that so many identify themselves with today.

To prove that, ask yourself a question, but don't be offended, open your eyes:

Was Peter a Catholic or John a Baptist?

Here's a more difficult question: what church was Jesus a member of?

Words and names are important to true identity.

Did you know that Jesus never heard the name Jesus? His name is Yeshua, it means salvation.

The half brother and disciple of Yeshua was never called James. His real name is also Hebrew, it is Ya'cob, and he gives us a definition of "religion" that may not be easily found in any "What We Believe" doctrinal statement found in a 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
We need to understand the Hebraic concepts of Scripture whether written in Greek or English. What we have to do is dig in to the root, that's Hebrew and sometimes Aramaic as is the case with Peter's name.

Peter's nickname given by Yeshua was Kepha... a rock. His given name was Simon son of Jonah, its Hebrew for Shimon ben Yonah.

Jesus is Yeshua. Mary is Miriam. Zebedee is Zebulon. Peter is Kepha. John is Yochanan. James is Jacob. Matthew's Hebrew name is Matityahu.

Places are important too.

In Matityahu's account, we are shown where Yeshua began teaching for a reason.

Despite their falling away from God, the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon are still honored, the reason is from Moses blessing in Deuteronomy 33:18; 23: "Of Zebulun he said, “Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going forth,... O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, and full of the blessing of the Lord, take possession of the sea and the south."

Matityahu tells us:
"Now when he heard that Yochanan had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations—
the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.”

From that time Yeshua began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”" Matthew 4:12-17
Matthew's hometown was Capernaum. He did not quote the full Kingdom promise from Isaiah, the reason, he points his readers to study Isaiah's prophecy. It's the promise of Messiah born as a child, the son who will turn former contempt and break it into latter day glory. This is the full quote from Yesha'yahu, aka Isaiah:
"But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone. 
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil. 
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian. 
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire. 
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:1-7
Yeshua chose the Galilee because He did not forget that the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon played an important role in the coronation of king David at Hebron. This is shown in 1 Chronicles 12. Two of the largest families numbered here are from the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali.

Contrary to popular belief, God does not forget His children or the promise of His Kingdom because He keeps His covenants. For that reason, Yeshua, the son of David begins preaching of the Kingdom at the very place where judgment had fallen first on the families of Zebulun and Naphtali some 700 years earlier when they were attacked and then deported by the Assyrians, as a result of their idolatry.

By identifying the place as the allotment given to Zebulun and Naphtali, Matthew shows us we can realize God forgives and does not give Kingdom identity from new denominational "religious" labels and brands we give ourselves.

So, it is time to ask, did God ever give His children of faith a family name other than Israel?

Consider this too.

Is Christianity Catholic? Is it Eastern, Greek or Russian Orthodox? If not, is it Coptic, Anglican, Protestant, Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian or Baptist? Is it Pentecostal, Charismatic, Seven-Day Adventist or even Non-Adventist?

Sorry, none of these fit the faith of Abraham, nor do the 30,000 or so other "religious" denomination identities assumed over the past 2,000 years. The history of the church has been one of endless argument, each claiming their own doctrinal interpretation of God's Word. This has led not only to division but worse the hostility of replacement theology, inquisition and pogrom.

No wonder it's so hard for Jew to see the identity of Yeshua Ha-Mashiach from the history of Christianity that takes different paths along a wide road that argue over faith and belief with a focus on the areas in which they differ.

Don't Be a Victim of Identity Theft! Differences do not define the identity of Biblical value or faith.

The Bible says the way of life in faith 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 road of alternative if you choose to hold on to and worship the one true Almighty God of Israel.

Paul, the Jewish rabbi whose name was from another Benjamite called Saul (Shaul) was transformed on the road to Damascus when he met Yeshua Ha-Mashiach in His bright glory. Paul writes about true faith identity in Romans 11 as he is teaching the Romans about the prophetic words found in Jeremiah 11.

The amazing thing is that the label "religion" by definition, can lead to the root of identity theft 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 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! Many of us think of it as "being good" in a Bible sense, but it is an identity from the "personal" belief and "opinion" of people, not God. And to top it off, it can be polytheistic, a many gods system which is prohibited by the God of Israel.

Perhaps, that is why there is so much confusion as we try to "choose" our own religious branch of the tree of good and evil.

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 teaches that with Almighty God, the identity of God's children should not be confused by argument but confirmed by faith. 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 a sea of humanity? After all, salt water does not give life if you drink it, it has to be purified.
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
When the sea is gone, we are left with 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 want to call ourselves. In Scripture, faith identity is dependent on making the God of Israel our choice. After all, it's His book of life so we have to get our eyes off our religion to see our identity in Him and follow God's guidelines to rightly divide the Scriptures in truth, setting aside personal agendas, religious traditions and prideful motives.

If you are a typical Believer, you may think Paul preached a "new" religion and not know the mystery that the back of the Bible teaches, but here it is:
And if you [be] Messiah's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:29

That at that time you were without Messiah, 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 Messiah Yeshua you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of Messiah. Ephesians 2:12-13
What Paul is teaching is very old, not new at all. Identity in Israel’s faith is open to all people who seek to sojourn in the commonwealth of Israel by Yeshua'a blood!!

Re-read Romans 9, Romans 10 and Romans 11. Read the letter to the Ephesians 2:11-19 for yourself and study its foundation in Exodus 12:48-49; Numbers 15:15-16; Isaiah 56:3-8 and 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 consider Jesus' Hebrew name... His identity is found in His Hebrew name, its not Greek, Latin or English. His Hebrew name is "Yeshua." It means "salvation." Can you believe that? The identity of the Messiah 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 King James and the NASB translations give that identity 201 times. Young's Literal Translation identifies it 202 times, so if you are a child of God, you need to know your family name from God's perspective.

The Bible's repetition is critical because despite our personal opinion, religion or theology, the names we give our religious systems to identify ourselves with God through the blood of Messiah are never found in the Holy Bible. That is why there is so much confusion when we try describe ourselves and identify with a name other than the one that God chose to give Jacob at the ford of the Jabbok halfway between the living water of the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

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

For 40 years after Messiah's resurrection, all of the early believers knew who they were. But, their 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
It's important to remember a simple truth, whenever one is adopted they take on the family name of their father in that adoption. 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 body of Messiah and you have been given a Heavenly name given from the Father.

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 all 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:
"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 identity that links them to their father by adoption or not. 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, you should believe Isaiah, he speaks the truth... and if you believe in the day of judgment (Yom Kippur) to come, then you better believe in the family name Israel.

God, The Father chooses what He names "His children" so we 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. We need to know our name 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 election of a "religious" identity that depends on a group's belief, an alignment with other men's views, sects or denominations, our "true" identity must be in alignment with God's view and that is what really matters at the end of the day and that "end day" is coming.

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. Your identity needs to be in the Messiah of the God of Israel 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 truth:
For I [am] the LORD (YHVH), I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6
When you know in your heart who you are, it will change your life view of the entire Bible and it will reorder prophecy so that you can understand the Bible's message for the world. 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 in God's promises.

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."

It's a gift from God and that can 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!

The descendants of Jacob are Israelites and their heritage is from the faith of Abraham. Jacob had twelve sons, they are called the descendants of Israel because God gave Jacob a new name as a blessing. It is Israel.

The Bible shows that one of Jacob's twelve boys 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 Israel after the ten northern tribes of Israel disappeared or in the sight of history. The other eleven sons are Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher. But there is more to consider as we have seen 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.

As Jacob neared the end of his life, he looked past the issue of their mother's DNA from 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 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 the Jewish Messiah. Although he may not have known what would happen, 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 and it is a part of the mystery Paul wrote about.

It was now time for Israel to pass on his 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 blessing would be reserved for the scepter of Messiah.

We have seen 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, it's easy to imagine that Jacob announced that both Ephraim and Manasseh were sons of Israel. He likely 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, yet they were  part of Israel.

Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh as his 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 a parable-like 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.

This is huge, both native born and stranger may be a part of Abraham’s promise according to Scripture. Don't forget, Paul taught about this in his writing to the Romans telling them that they are no longer Gentiles separated from the blessings of Israel.

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

The Jewish people, the physical descendants of Jacob who place their faith in Messiah Yeshua of the royal family of David, continue to be Jewish and Israel, just like Messiah according to the Scriptures.

Non-Jews who place their faith in Yeshua are by adopted faith grafted into the olive tree of God's family of faith to 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, both native born and sojourner.

All of God’s promises to Israel are still valid. The faith of first-century believers, is the same faith which anyone may seek to believe and walk in. Not only that, the Sabbath and the Holy Days given by God to Israel and the sojourners with them will see their fulfillment in Messiah Yeshua because heaven and earth remain.

The new covenant community (the assembly) is composed of both Jews and former Gentile who have received Yeshua the Messiah as their promised kinsman Redeemer and we are both to worship the God of Israel together in unity as one new man.

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 young Jewish virgin Miriam (Mary). He is the man made in the image of God.

Yeshua the Messiah, offered His life and died as a substitutionary freewill offering for mankind's sin and all who believe this are declared righteous in the redemption 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 offerings on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Eternal salvation and the coming resurrection by God's grace comes through Messiah.

Yeshua of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel lived a sinless Torah life. He never missed the mark and was sentenced to death as He opposed religious men that added to or took away from Torah of God and killed by the pagan Roman named Pilate. Yeshua arose from the grave, regenerated by God's powe and He ascended into the invisible Heavenly realm. He is the One seated on the right hand authority of God and The Father sent His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to be a comforter, a counselor, a teacher and 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 many 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 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. This is exactly what Jacob told Joseph would happen in Genesis 48:19.

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 to Joseph's sons as an adoption blessing in Egypt.

They can now overcome identity theft and see themselves as God's children like an adopted firstborn son. For a remnant, eyes are opening up to the fact that the Creator of the universe created the Sabbath and that The Feasts are The Lord's appointed times and His seasons are woven into redemption and the fabric of His restoration plan. This is shown in the same chapter as the new covenant:
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 non-Jews are now coming to realize the richness of their faith is in the Torah walk of Messiah Yeshua the Jew. It's been a mystery, but today some are now beginning to live in "fullness." A last days fullness filled with the presence, power and riches of God and Messiah, a fulfilling keeping God's ways shown in the perfection of Yeshua Messiah's lifestyle.

Isaiah recorded God's word about this:
Now it will come about that in the last days
The mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it. 
And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples... Isaiah 2:2-4 
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 of God, a call to join themselves to The Lord and to honor the Torah as best they can, the same Toah that Jesus kept perfectly because they know the Messiah who lives calls all of His disciples past and present and future to follow Him.

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

As Isaiah shows us, genealogy really means nothing to the foreigners, the nations who join themselves to the LORD as companions in the faith walk of Messiah to love the name of YHVH and to keep Sabbath and hold to God's covenant. The Spirit of God teaches us to return to the covenant that Moses said was made with “those not there” and this includes you, your family, friends, everyone past, present, and future who were not there:
"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." Deuteronomy 29:14-15
I know it's hard to understand. After all, church or even rabbinic tradition that insists on a conversion and a religious name change under their tradition that does not align with Isaiah 2, Isiah 56 or Deuteronomy 29 takes away from the Torah. If the covenant of God and the Sabbaths are for Jews only, that strips one's identity from God's promise to Isaiah, but the reality is... God's word NEVER does that, God says: Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from His people.

Moses described a Deuteronomy 29 mystery that is unfolding today. Many in the nations are turning away from the Gentile traditions of Rome's church fathers and returning to join themselves to the ways of "The Father." Amazingly, just as YHVH God told Isaiah the Sabbath is a signpost of this, another is a love for Israel, the home of God's House of Prayer for the nations and the Jewish people because The LORD will surely NOT separate the nations from His people.

This move of God is opening the eyes of many Jews to see their Jewish Messiah Jesus and remain Jewish. They can now see Him in truth as Yeshua, no longer disguised by a Sunday wafer or a crucifix and know He never turned away from the Sabbath, the Feasts of The Lord, the Torah or from His people.

Amos describes the great promise that God is fulfilling in real time in Israel that has opened the eyes of so many to join themselves to The Lord:
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 iwhat has happened since 1948 because we have been taught to read verses of the day from the back of the Bible instead of using it to build on portions from the front of the Bible each week.

To understand the Greek text we have to see its Hebrew context.

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 the living Temple, the dwelling place of The Lord that is not to remain divided in two, but as a united family of God joined to The Lord.

It's mystery is shown right there in the Bible in plain sight if we just look at the front of the Book.

Paul wrote this about the promise of transformation from foreigner to family in his commentary on Isaiah 56:
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 Messiah even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.

And God raised us up with Messiah and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Messiah Yeshua, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Messiah Yeshua 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 Messiah Yeshua 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 Messiah excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Messiah.

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 Messiah Yeshua 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 Messiah Yeshua 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 Messiah, 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 Messiah Yeshua." Ephesians 2:1-22; 3:1-6 
Did you see the words "members together of one body"? In mercy, Yeshua the King will restore the divided 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 before but have you read enough to get the big picture?

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 faith family "identity' given for God's children and if you are a child of God your name is one He gives.

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

Shalom ya'll.

1 comment:

Rev. Marcia L. Defnet said...

I pray that many can hear with a prophetic ear, what Dennis wrote “Our Name is Our Mission”. The reason that I was so moved and deeply touched is because what Dennis wrote was of a deep spiritual significance. One had to hear the weight of YHVH’s glory in it. It’s very current from YHVH. I know we all have hear it before.. But not like how the Spirit is bringing it around this time, or how Dennis has proclaimed our Mission. With a call for action to get behind and press in and support the Mission. I have been hearing the same message from the Spirit for two weeks. So I gave the message on 1/22/2011 on Sabbath, for our congregation here. I praise YHVH for my brother who is truly a kindred spirit. If you have time Dennis, you may like to hear the message. Just copy and paste this link into your browser and click on “Resurrection of the Dead”