This morning was another one of those early-dawn stirrings for prayer purposes, accompanied by the oft-repeated ominous sensation. Since the Feast of Pesach is about to alight upon us, there is a heightened awareness of the enemies' schemes. I therefore turned to Psalm 83, which for the past few years has become a leitmotif (as many of you are well aware), of the state of affairs in the land and its environs. Praying this psalm for the umpteenth time, I was seized by an unusual sense of alarm when I arrived at verses 2-5, which read as follows: "For, behold, Your enemies, [YHVH] make an uproar; and those who hate You, [Elohim of Israel] have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, "Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more." For they have conspired together with one mind; against You [YHVH, the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yisrael) do they make a covenant."
I realized that the company of those who cry, "let us wipe them out as a nation that the name of Israel be remembered no more," includes also those who cling to Replacement Theology, and oppose the restoration of the House of Joseph/Israel! I therefore submit to you this thought with fear and trembling, and pray that you too will travail in intercession for those in the body of Messiah who are speaking out and taking counsel against YHVH's people of the House of Joseph/Israel, or Judah/Israel. I pray that this will not engender criticism or judgment of our brothers, but, rather, an attitude of urgency and concern leading to supplication.
It was almost twenty-five years ago that I received revelation- understanding about the division which occurred within the House of Jacob. It was like a bombshell. At the time, I was reading the blessing that Israel (Jacob) pronounced upon Joseph and his two sons, Ephraim and Menashe: "And he (Israel) blessed Joseph, and said, Elohim, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the Elohim which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Messenger which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name (Israel) be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth…a great people…the m'lo-ha-goyim" [fullness of the nations], (Genesis 48: 15-17, 19).
The name "Israel", according to the above excerpt (and many other Bible references), was very obviously imparted to Joseph and his sons. This particular aspect of the blessing, therefore, becomes very important, as the enemies' goal is to wipe out the nation so "that the name Israel be remembered no more."
Additionally, Joseph's descendants were to fulfill the multiplicity provision of the covenant, which YHVH had made with their forefathers. Thus, they were to become the uncircumcised seed of Abraham (which was not hard to do as all of the Abrahamic seed was uncircumcised when born). In that state of un-circumcision they would become the "fullness of the nations/gentiles". It was in this manner that YHVH hid His treasured ones in the deserts of humanity. Paul, the Apostle, understood this mystery, which he explains in Romans chapters 4 and 11.
Throughout the books of the prophets YHVH addresses these two trees (etzim) - the olive tree of Judah (the "circumcised"), and the uncultivated ("uncircumcised") olive tree of Israel/Joseph. The prophet Ezekiel calls them "two nations": "And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations" (Ezekiel 37:22). Through the prophet Jeremiah, YHVH established the new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah (again, two trees, two nations, two houses). And although YHVH saw both of them as "Israel", yet He prophetically distinguished between them: "Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over" (Isaiah 8:14).
To my dismay, now knowing by the Spirit who is included in the company of the enemies of Israel, how could I continue to pray Psalm 83, which declares their (the "enemies'") dismal and formidable fate? "O my Elohim, make them like the whirling dust; like chaff before the wind. Like fire that burns the forest, and like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, so pursue them with Your tempest, and terrify them with Your storm. Fill their faces with dishonor, that they may seek Your name, YHVH. Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever; and let them be humiliated and perish, that they may know that You alone, whose name is YHVH, are the Most High over all the earth" (Psalm 83: 13-18).
Nevertheless, it bears repeating that we are not to be critical of those in the body of Messiah who are inadvertently opposed to YHVH'S PLAN of REDEMPTION. But instead we are to pray for them with fear and trembling, because if they were aware of what they are doing, they most certainly would not join the enemies of YHVH in their devises to wipe out the name of His people (be they of the one house, or the other).
YHVH is restoring the identity of His lost, rejected, un-circumcised, covenant people whose destiny and identity are described by the prophets. The two, Judah and Israel, are ordained to become one and there is nothing that can derail this plan. But at the same time, as we have observed, YHVH addresses in very strong terms those who are opposed to the restoration of the house/nation which carries the blessing of the name "Israel", that is Joseph and his sons.
As a backdrop against which we are to view this difficult quandary, it is advisable to refer to Psalm 37, which declares that it will only be the humble, or meek, who will qualify for the inheritance (ref Psalm 37:11; Matthew 5:5). Please keep in mind, therefore, that the prideful and self-righteous will not inherit the earth/land, and that includes those of us who are affiliated with the Whole House of Israel restoration. The Apostle warns us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, lest we be deceived (ref Romans 12:3; Galatians 6:3).
"How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity…it is life eternal (Psalm 133:1&3).