As some of you remember, several years ago I sent out, from time to time, personal testimonies that ultimately ended up in a book called, "Return to The Land". Now I have another series of articles that have accumulated over the years. The series starts with my testimony on how the Spirit brought me to my present understanding of YHVH's plan of redemption and the restoration of His kingdom to Israel. YHVH willing, I will be sending out chapters from this manuscript as part of Friday's communiqué.
Being a post-war baby growing up in the late 40’s and 50's, I was immersed in the professed freedom and religious tolerance of the American Dream. My family members were die-hards Lutherans, and consequently I became acquainted with a Lord and Savior whose first name I knew was “Jesus" and last name "Christ”. My parents prayed before every meal that Jesus would come and be our guest. Never seeing an extra plate on the table, I assumed that because he never showed up, they had stopped setting a place for him. Each Sunday, before going to church, I donned the expected starched white shirt and bow tie. The winter months produced even more suffering, as I was made to wear prickly, itchy woolen underwear. I construed that all this discomfort had to be undergone "for Christ's sake".
Graduating from high school, I attended a Lutheran college where Bible courses were rendered low on my priority list. In 1966, with a B.A degree in Biology, I enlisted in the Army. Thankfully, my tour of duty did not include Vietnam and by what I felt was a stroke of luck, I was stationed in California. It was there that I began to take an interest in popular Eastern philosophies such as Transcendental Meditation (TM), Yoga and the Great White Brotherhood (“White" indicating spiritual purity and not racial supremacy). I was hungry for righteousness and virtue, which I had not seen in the Church. Yet, life was confusing, at least partly due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages in my free time.
But even in this darkened state, some light began to filter into my muddled life. For some indefinable reason, I was being "tinkered with" by the God of the bible. Before long, I became a Spirit-filled believer, referred to at the time as a “charismatic". Scriptures came alive, and as I read through the pages of my Bible, it was milk to a thirsty soul, " as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2 NKJ).
A song we sang and I strummed on my guitar at almost every meeting was “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God [Elohim] and His Righteousness" (based on Matthew 6:33)” Although very meaningful at the time, its real significance and meaning was as far away from us as kindergarten games from university studies. It would take years before the Spirit of the Living God [Elohim] would begin to open my mind, through revelatory understanding, as to what was taught by those early apostles from the Torah of Moses, the writings and the Prophets.
In 1976, my new life in Messiah was further transformed when I went on a tour of Israel. A most compelling feeling of coming home greeted me, when I looked down at the shoreline of this land from the window of the 747 aircraft. Of course, a fuller meaning of this experience would also have to wait at the portal of my future life experiences.
One of those episodes met me in late 1982. While living with my new bride on a Kibbutz in the Upper Galilee and studying Hebrew, I was hit by a major revelation. The three-month Hebrew course was almost over, and we were reading the weekly Torah portion ("Parasha") one Friday morning. The section that I had been assigned happened to be Genesis 48:8-20. As I came to the part about Israel/Jacob pronouncing a blessing on the head of Ephraim, declaring that his seed would become the "m’lo ha-goyim" – the fullness of the nations (or "gentiles") - I was suddenly stopped in my tracks as revelation electrified me. After class I went back to my room and grabbed my Green’s Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Bible. I flung it open to the same text and read it again, this time in English. The question that popped into my mind, as I read about the “fullness of the Gentiles” was, “Is this the same fullness of Gentiles that Paul mentions in Romans 11:25?"
The answer came bursting into my bones like a bomb, “Yes, of course! Where do you think he got it from?!” I gasped for a breath of air and then burst into tears as the reality of the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping Elohim touched my Abrahamic soul. I now had the answer to why I, being of a Gentile family, felt at home in Israel and a close kinship to the Jewish people. The Apostle wrote: “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: 'The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob... ' " (Romans 11:25-26 NKJ). With that a string of questions began to array themselves in my mind: Why Jacob? What does “all Israel” have to do with the “fullness of the Gentiles” coming in? Coming into what?
During the following months of rereading the Tanach (Old Testament), especially the Torah, I began to see that there were two houses in Israel, as stated in Isaiah 8:14 (NKJ): “And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel.” The most obvious reference to the "two sticks" or nations (goyim) is found in Ezekiel: "As for you, son of man, take a stick/tree for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions' "(Ezekiel 37:16 NKJ). I started discovering many more scriptures that spoke about Judah and Joseph/Ephraim and my heart was set ablaze. Suddenly I realized that much of scripture addressed "two families", "two sticks/trees", and "two houses", with a distinct destiny for each one of the two. I felt that the true believers needed to hear this gospel message. But did I have a surprise coming…!
In the summer of 1983, my wife and I left the Kibbutz, feeling we were to spread this good news to the lost Israelites who were now 'found' in the form of this 'New Covenant people', the people who had the same faith as their father Abraham. "Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed/sperm [of Abraham], not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all" (Romans 4:16 NKJ). The mystery of the life of a forefather in his progeny is beyond our comprehension, but when given certain birthmarks one can see the reality of that fact.
Little did I know that the Church, along with Messianic Jews, was not interested even as much as lending an ear to such an uncommon idea. All the same, I went ahead and pursued what was burning in my very bones, assembling as many scriptures as I could find that spoke of this mystery. From September 1983 until March of 1984, while living in the new settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, I worked on this undertaking. Regrettably, no one wanted to publish my finished manuscript. It was at that time that the Father brought into our lives Angus and Batya Wootten, who shared the same revelation, and had been teaching it for several years. Finding them was an answer to prayer, as we were quite alone with this insight, so we thought.
After several years of sharing what we understood to be the “Two House" teaching, that is the House of Israel/Ephraim and the House of Judah, I turned one day to the Father in prayer. I did not want to 'camp' on just this revelation alone, but rather to seek further understanding of YHVH's plan of redemption and the role that Israel was to play in it.
 Posted on http://thussayseloheyisrael.blogspot.com/