Friday, May 23, 2008


May 23, 2008

Last week's letter was concluded with an excerpt from 1 Corinthians 15:55; "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" Paul quoted these words from Hosea 13:14. In its original context this text forms part of an address to Ephraim. Earlier on in the same chapter YHVH declares: "He [Ephraim] exalted himself in Israel, but through Baal [pride] he did wrong and died. And now they sin more and more, and make for themselves molten images, idols skillfully made from their silver, all of them the work of craftsmen. They say of them, 'Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!'… "Their heart became proud; therefore, they forgot Me" (Hosea 13:1-2, 6). The sin of pride and self idolatry (as expressed in the worship of Baal) has indeed brought death upon Ephraim. Thus YHVH told them in no uncertain terms that He would tear their evil heart out of their chest (ref v.8). Ephraim's fondness of and propensity for sin caused YHVH to also decree that He would be like a lion, a bear, a leopard and a wild beast to them (ref Hosea 13:7-8).

In the book of Daniel mention was made of the same four beasts, which symbolized four major world empires that were destined to shape world history (Dan. 7:4-7). Thus Israel, being at the very center of YHVH's machinations, fell into the hands of those whom He had selected as His instruments. YHVH rejected and cast these sons away to the lion (Assyria/Babylon). Later Israel encountered the bear (Medeo-Persian empire), and then received his new identity from the leopard (Greek). Finally he was dispersed into all nations, devoured, as it were, by the wild beast of the Roman and Holy Roman empires. Yet while in this condition YHVH multiplied him exceedingly, and he became, as prophesied, "the fullness of the gentiles/nations". Was this actually the end of the identifiable Ephraim/Israel? Not according to YHVH's words of promise… However, for restoration the Almighty placed conditions upon His firstborn son: "Return, O Israel, to YHVH your Elohim, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to YHVH. Say to Him, 'take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit of our lips. Assyria will not save us, we will not ride on horses; nor will we say again, 'our god,' to the work of our hands; for in Thee the orphan finds mercy'" (Hos 14: 1-2). And again, in Jeremiah, it is recorded that when Ephraim, under the chastisement of his Elohim, cries out in repentance YHVH hears and response: "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself: 'You have chastised me, and I was chastised, like an untrained bull; restore me, and I will return, for You are YHVH my Elohim. Surely, after my turning, I repented; and after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, because I bore the reproach of my youth.' "Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For though I spoke against him, I earnestly remember him still; therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says YHVH" (Jeremiah 31:18-20). Thus, because of His great love YHVH enacts a "New Covenant" with the Houses of Israel and Judah.

Within the past decade or so, YHVH has been restoring Israel the orphan to his true identity. With this turn about of destiny comes, of course, the responsibility to repent, that is to go full force into a process of "smiting the thigh" and to atone for many flagrant iniquities and atrocities preformed against Elohim by our forefathers, as well as by our own doing when we were walking in darkness and ignorance. But is Ephraim fulfilling what has been foretold? Is he truly "smiting his thigh in repentance for the sin of his youth"? Or are pride and self-righteousness of youth, which constitute Baal worship, still active? Are B'ney Ephraim still worshipping the works of their hands (that is, their achievements)? And even now, is not Ephraim's blessed return to Torah marred quite often by strife, jealousy, envy, competitiveness and contention as to who has the "right" interpretation of YHVH's Word?

Our indebtedness and deep gratitude to Abba for the richness of Torah treasures that He has bestowed upon this restoration movement, should cause us all to handle them with an attitude of "kodesh" (holiness), great care, and respect. Thus, in our pursuit of Torah knowledge and the restoration of the Hebraic mindset, which is the mind of Messiah, we cannot run the race in a Greco-Roman fashion or style. Let us take our leave of the gymnasiums, arenas and hippodromes for a secure dwelling place under the vines and fig tress of the true Torah, brought about through the blood of the New Covenant.

YHVH seals off the book of Hosea with the following: "O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; from Me comes your fruit. Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of YHVH are right, and the righteous will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them" (Hos 14: 8-9 emphases added).



May 16, 2008

What do you believe?

"For Elohim so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). This verse is probably the most quoted scripture in the entire Christian world. But it is also the least understood. Most seem to believe that if they confess Yeshua as Lord, when they die they will go to heaven and at some point in time will be resurrect from the grave. While it is true that this hope is buried in the context of the verse, its content is also relevant to the restoration of YHVH's Kingdom in the present life of the Believer.

Let us take a look at a paraphrased version of John 3:16: Elohim the Creator loved this present world/cosmos (His fixed order of government) so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son in order that Man could be redeemed and restored to his rightful place in His present Kingdom order.

In the beginning Elohim entrusted Adam/Man (male and female) with dominion-rule over all of the living things (ref. Gen 1:26), which He had created. Before partaking of the "Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil" Man was united with His Creator in a state of divine/everlasting life. At that time Man was only God-conscious; life and light were flowing through him to the creation. Adam's spiritual nature was the same as YHVH's, as he/they lived under His dominion and expressed His peace, joy and righteousness. Thusly the Kingdom of Elohim was being manifested on earth as it was in heaven: "For the kingdom of Elohim is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom 14:17).

After Adam and Eve opened themselves up, by being disobedient, to another kingdom that was present in the Garden, they began to give expression to its nature. The ruling authority - Lucifer - seduced Eve and through her deceived Adam. They believed the lie that they could become like Elohim, if they were to digest into their being the spiritual fruit (nature) of the forbidden tree. After doing so, the Spirit of Elohim departed their "heart" and they became conscious of their outer being (nakedness - that is "self consciousness"). Their soul now started feeding from the spirit realm of darkness, and thus their expression was conveying the nature of "good and evil" and bearing its fruit.

In the Torah and through the New Covenant writings we continue to see YHVH uncovering the nature of this counterfeit kingdom. It is very important that we, as the redeemed remnant of Israel, understand the nature of this poisonous fruit. YHVH placed a curse over this tree, and hence anyone who eats of it will be subjected to YHVH's judgments (see Deut 28). Ignorance does not save us from the consequences of participating with its nature, which is "the power of Sin". More over, YHVH has sent His only begotten Son to destroy this kingdom and its works (ref 1 John 3:8). Through the blood of the New Covenant, working through faith (that is, believing what is true about what the Father accomplished through His Son in His death, burial and resurrection), we participate in YHVH's victory over the nature of Sin and Death and partake of the restoration of His Kingdom-nature in our hearts.

"Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). "And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15).

The means by which the Almighty accomplished this victory over the other kingdom and reconciled us to Himself was through the death of His Son. How the curse of death and the power of death could actually bring us into eternal life, is hard to comprehend as it is a mystery. But unless a seed falls to the ground and dies it remains alone, yet when it dies it comes forth in newness of life (see John 12: 24). Death is no longer to be looked upon as an enemy, but as a blessing, for in Yeshua's death the Father saw to it that all would die: "For the love of Messiah compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all" (2 Cor. 5: 14-15) "… Do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Messiah Yeshua [through faith] were identified to His death? Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, and that we should no longer be slaves of sin, for he who has died has been freed from sin. Because we have been united together in the likeness of His death, death no longer has dominion over us. Thus when Yeshua died He died to sin, so also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to Elohim in Messiah Yeshua our Master. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives in Elohim" (Rom. 6: 3-10). "I have been crucified with Messiah and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). "For you have died and your life is hidden with Messiah in Elohim. When Messiah who is your life, is revealed, then you are also revealed with Him in glory" (Col. 3:3-4). "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" (1 Cor. 15:55).

What is it that you believe?



May 9, 2008

Chapter Five of Genesis is essentially an inventory that lists the fathers, from Adam all the way to Noah. Why was it necessary for YHVH Elohim to list these men in His records? As mentioned before, these ones belonged to Him and thus His name had been inscribed upon them for His redemptive purposes. These forefathers form the genealogy of the “firstborn”. The meanings of their names outline a prophetic picture:

Adam: man; Seth: appointed; Enosh: mortal; Kenan: sorrow; Mahalalel: one who praises Elohim; Jarad: will come down; Enoch: dedicated; Methuselah: his death shall send; Lemech: hidden king (the letters for the word "king" - "melech" - are jumbled up and hence hidden in "Lemech"), and Noah: rest. Thus, from the very beginning YHVH hints at His redemptive plan for Mankind. The message that these names form is therefore: To man is appointed mortal sorrow, (but) one who praises Elohim will come down and dedicate (himself), his death bringing the king (although hidden – and may I add, for a time) and rest.

The above mentioned patriarchs of humanity were all firstborn, or had filled that position because of unfaithfulness of an older brother. Each of them was like a prince in YHVH’s Kingdom Order, and therefore did not belong to himself. They carried the anointing as elders, or redeemers, of the family and potential possessors of the birthrights after the death of the father. However, because of the sin nature in them, having been born of the natural lineage of Adam, they could never qualify to inherit the spiritual Kingdom of YHVH and enjoy the full benefits of their place as YHVH's servant-princes and priests, for they themselves were in need of a redeemer. Nevertheless, they still held the rights of the "firstborn". Noah and his son Shem were the last of the firstborn patriarchs who lived before YHVH's judgment, in the form of a flood, made an end of that world, and its habitation.

Noah both trusted YHVH, and was obedient to Him. Had Noah not been more righteous than his contemporaries (ref. Genesis 6:9) he obviously would not have qualified for the position of the firstborn, but "Noah found favor in the eyes of YHVH" (Genesis 6:8) and YHVH preserved him and his family. YHVH needed to have this firstborn to father and populate the earth again and to continue the lineage of the ones who belonged to Him and who carried His name, according to the laws that govern His Kingdom. Noah was the only rightful heir to the promises and blessings that the Creator gave to Adam, that is to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and have dominion, or rule, over all living things.

After, the flood waters receded, YHVH established an additional covenant with His family, the rainbow in the clouds. The rainbow is a very significant sign, as man is likened to a mist, or a cloud (ref. Psalms 91:11; James 4:14 etc.), but when the unseen rays of the sun hit those little particles they reveal the hues of the light. How much more will the beauty of His glory shine through us, His vessels of righteousness, and revealing the essence of His nature?

Scripture records that Noah was five hundred years old when his three sons were born. Interestingly, because of the wording in Genesis 5:32 some speculate that they had to be triplets. But even if that were the case, only one could have been the first to emerge out of the womb. Additionally, Shem’s name is first on the list of the siblings, and thus we are safe in drawing the conclusion that he belonged to the firstborn order. This fact was also borne out when Noah spoke over his sons (ref. Genesis 9:25-27).

These words were uttered sometime after the family came out of the ark, in the wake of a strange and puzzling episode. Noah, who had planted a vineyard, enjoyed its fruit (wine) to the point of becoming so inebriated that he exposed himself. His son Ham looked upon his father's nakedness, whilst his brothers took meticulous care not to do so. There is a lot of speculation concerning what had actually occurred that day, as it is rather odd that one male looking on the nakedness of another would generate such grave consequences, as was the case in this situation. Torah defines for us what constitutes "exposing or uncovering of nakedness": “The nakedness of your father's wife you shall not uncover; it is your father's nakedness” (Leviticus 18:8 emphasis added); and again: “And the man that lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness" (Leviticus 20:11). If Ham had indeed sexually defiled his father’s wife, his own mother, or even looked upon her, it indeed would have been a major transgression.

Ham's action resulted in a curse over his fourth born son, Canaan, who was destined to be a slave of slaves. It was the latter's territory that YHVH gave to Abram and his firstborn progeny. This will be covered in more detail later.

Shem’s right as a firstborn was made even clearer, judging by Noah's own words: “…blessed be YHVH Elohim of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. Elohim shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant'" (Genesis 9:26-27). Several important Torah facts are presented in this short blessing. It is imperative to stress these matters at the outset, because this prediction is an embryonic form of what is approaching maturity in our day and age.

As we have already seen, it says: “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations" (Psalm 145: 13). Consequently YHVH was establishing His Kingdom arrangement in the family of Noah and his firstborn son Shem. Notice that Canaan was to be a servant of the servants. Who are the servants that he was to serve? Shem and Japheth, each of whom, respectively, was also to be a servant; Japheth was to serve in the tent of Shem. This statement established Shem as the responsible head of his father’s house, or tent. But how was Shem to serve? This takes us back to the firstborn position. As such, he was to serve his father and the One to whom he belonged, that is, YHVH Elohim. Shem was the prince of the family and responsible for the well-being of all his relatives; he was to be his brothers’ keeper and redeemer. YHVH inscribed His name upon Shem because Shem belonged to Him. Noah, therefore, blessed and praised YHVH, the Elohim of Shem. At this point in time YHVH was governing the family through Noah. But then a problem arose…



In previous letters I pointed out that James had singled out the twelve tribes as the first fruit of a new order. Why were the sons of Jacob chosen and predestined for this purpose? Why does YHVH Elohim call Israel His firstborn (ref Exodus 4:22)? Why does He also call Ephraim a firstborn (ref Jeremiah 31:9)? What is behind this first fruit administrative order of YHVH’s redemption and Kingdom on earth? In order to understand this arrangement we will have to continue following the Torah principles, especially as they are expounded in Genesis. The Genesis account is a microcosm of what is a macrocosm today, as the life and covenant calling of the forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have been passed on to their posterity, who are alive and well in our day and age. As we follow the history of YHVH’s Kingdom and its restoration to all Israel, the recurring theme of the "first fruit order" will accompany us all the way through.

The importance of the first fruit/firstborn principle within the family of Adam becomes evident right away. Scripture records that when Cain and Abel were of age, each of them brought an offering to YHVH Elohim. Because he was a tiller of the ground and grew crops, Cain offered some of his fruit to YHVH. Abel, who tended flocks of sheep and goats, took of his firstlings and offered them to the Creator. YHVH did not accept Cain’s contribution, but He did look favorably upon Abel’s. This had an adverse effect upon Cain, who became very angry. Unable to overcome sin's temptation, he eventually murdered his brother. Several questions come to mind. Why did YHVH not regard Cain’s offering, but accepted Abel’s? What caused Cain to harbor evil desires against his brother, and why did YHVH ask him as to the whereabouts of His brother, when He already knew? Why did Cain respond so defensively, saying: “am I my brother’s keeper”?

Pondering these questions and having studied further the Torah laws, statutes and ordinances, I discovered an interesting scripture that shed light on the reason for YHVH’s rejection of Cain’s offering and His acceptance of Abel’s. In Exodus 23:19 it says that "the first of the first fruits of your land you shall bring into the house of your Elohim” (Exodus 23:19, emphasis added). Some contend that because Cain was a tiller of the ground, which was cursed, YHVH could not accept his offering. But if that were the case, was Cain at fault for being a farmer? And furthermore, if the ground was cursed why did YHVH put the above mentioned ordinance in the Torah?

The same ordinance goes for the first fruit of the womb, whether of man or beast: “Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine" (Exodus 13:2). These scriptures explain why Elohim did not accept Cain’s offering. A closer look at Genesis 4:3 reveals that Cain held back for himself the first fruit of the ground: “Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto YHVH” (Genesis 4:3). This unrighteous behavior had a very devastating consequence and was the reason why sin was already stalking Cain. Since Cain was a firstborn, and did not belong to himself, he had birthrights that awaited him were he to qualify by being obedient to YHVH’s righteous instructions.

Unlike his brother, Abel demonstrated righteousness. Note that he even offered up the fat when he brought of the firstlings of his flock. Thus his offering was accepted. Abel did not hold back that which belonged to his Creator. But what caused Cain's anger to flare up over this matter, and why did he vent this anger on his brother? The answer to this question is crucial in understanding a problem that keeps arising in families throughout the Scriptures and even to this generation. As we keep examining YHVH's Kingdom and His Redemption's Story, the answer to the above question will begin to open up a mystery.

Cain and Abel were out in the field together when Cain struck the deathblow to his brother. YHVH warned Cain that sin was crouching and ready to pounce on him, if he would not turn from his jealousy and hatred toward his brother. Obviously YHVH’s rejection of his offering was not the only motive behind Cain’s behavior. His anger was the result of the loss of his firstborn birthrights, having not fulfilled his obligations to the One to whom he belonged. It was for this reason that the Almighty posed a challenge before Cain, regarding the whereabouts of his brother. In his sarcastic response Cain was expressing defiance toward Elohim, since as the firstborn he would not have been unaware of his responsibilities toward his sibling.

Once he realized that he had been cast off and that his rights were given over to his brother, Cain fell prey to the nature of the power of sin. Spirits of rejection, jealousy, retaliation, rage and ultimately murder invaded his being. This example of a firstborn losing his birthrights to a younger brother also illustrates the principle of the "first Adam" losing his rights to the Second One. “The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Adon[Master] from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47).

Now that Cain lost the position of the firstborn and Abel was dead, there was no one in the family who could carry on the responsibility of a future father and redeemer, and so Eve conceived another son. This son was born in the image and likeness of Adam's (sin) nature (ref Genesis 4:25-26). With Seth begins the genealogy of the firstborn, and the commencement of the story of YHVH’s Kingdom Order in the family of Adam.



During my morning walk just recently, I found myself contemplating on "Yeshua riding the beast of burden" (donkey) that had carried Him into Jerusalem. As we know, it was four days before Pesach that the priests and the faithful carried the lambs to the Temple for the sacrifice. These lambs were then examined for the next four days for any blemishes. Those that were found perfect were the ones to be sacrificed on the 14th day of the month. One can almost picture the scene of Yeshua, "the lamb of Elohim", coming into the city on that donkey, while the priests were carrying the lambs along the same route.

Why was Yeshua riding that beast of burden? Obviously the familiar prophecy of the suffering Messiah in Zechariah 9:9 had to be fulfilled:
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey." As I walked along the security fence, viewing the groves of olive trees where the Arab farmers bring their donkeys, during olive harvest, I kept thinking about the "beast" that the Lamb had been riding (ref Matthew 21: 2-9). I recalled the scripture about the firstborn foal of a donkey that had to be redeemed by a lamb: "But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem" (Exodus 13:13). And then the inevitable question popped up: what is the connection between Man and this beast of burden?

In Psalm 73 David identifies himself before YHVH as a beast:
"I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You" (ve. 22).
Psalm 49:12 and 20 declare: "Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish". Then there was Nebuchadnezzar, representing the head of the statue of Man. In his pride the Babylonian monarch worshiped the works of his hands. As a result YHVH changed his heart/nature to that of a beast, and sent him out to eat grass (ref. Daniel 4:16). After a period of time the king recognized that "the Most High is sovereign over all the kingdoms of men" (Daniel 4: 17).

Truly, unredeemed man is like a beast of burden and in need of a lamb who takes away that heavy yoke /guilt of Sin. Yeshua, referring to His role as the sacrificial and redeeming Lamb, said: "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:29-30).

The most common word for donkey, or ass, in Hebrew is "chamor" ("ch" pronounced as the "ch" in the Scottish "loch"). It is also the word that appears in the above-mentioned verse in Zechariah 9:9. Interestingly, the root of that noun, ch.m.r, is also the root for "chomer", which is clay. Job prayed: "Oh, remember that you fashioned me from clay! Will you then bring me down to dust again?" (Job 10:9 emphasis added). Isaiah also points out: "Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' Or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'?" (Isaiah 45:9 emphasis added). "Clay", then, is to the "donkey" what "earth" is to "man" (earth is "adama", and man is "adam"). Thus it should not come as a surprise that the animal, whose firstborn had to be redeemed by a lamb, was the donkey/chamor (ref Exodus 13:13).

The connection between the firstborn of man and the donkey rings loud and clear, as YHVH's Lamb riding the "chamor" portrayed the Lamb for the Sacrifice that the Man of Clay (chomer) - Adam the sinner - had to carry to the Temple (ref. Leviticus 5:6), thus owning up publicly to his fallen state. On the national level, Israel, being YHVH's firstborn nation had (and has) to be redeemed by the Lamb. Thus, Yeshua's entry to Jerusalem was a clear sign of the Almighty's intent to restore His people, His inheritance, to Himself.

During the days of the first waves of immigration to the Land of Israel (beginning of the 20th century), in the wake of the Zionist renewal, one prominent rabbi who supported the movement was criticized for accepting its extremely secular members. His answer to his detractors was that these builders of Zion were the "donkey of Messiah", ushering in His kingdom and rule.

When Yeshua sent his disciples to fetch the donkey and its colt, He told them that if anyone was to ask them why they were taking the animals, they were to say: "the Master has need of them" (Matthew 21:3). At this season let us take to heart the fact that as Messiah's 'redeemed donkey', the King of kings HAS NEED OF US!

Ephraim and Rimona


As mentioned in the previous chapter, man was made in the image and likeness of his Creator. Now in order to understand how YHVH Elohim could view natural and earthy man in His own image/shadow and likeness/character, we must rely on one of the Apostles' commentaries. The Creator, being Spirit, Word, Life and Light (glory), and having made Himself known in the things which He has created, has also made man in His image and likeness. But in what way does man express the image and likeness of the Creator?

YHVH Elohim formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life – "neshama", and thus man became a living being (nephesh chaya). Paul the Apostle writes: “And so it is written, ‘the first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Master from heaven" (1 Corinthians 15:45-47).

Paul describes natural man as an entity that is sown: “But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?’ Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain [seed] -- perhaps wheat or some other grain. But Elohim gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body” (1 Corinthians 15:35-38).

These verses portray what I call the principle of the seed: YHVH Elohim "gives it its form", as He has determined. He sows it, it falls to the ground and dies, but after being watered it comes back to life in a whole new form. The new figure, or shape, will look just like the parent plant, and will bear the same “image and likeness”. Thus, natural man (Adam) is actually only an outer shell of a seed, as it were. When that seed falls to the ground and dies, another image will appear, or be resurrected from the dust, becoming like the parent, and in this case the “Father” - YHVH Elohim..

Paul uses another analogy to describe this phenomenon, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of YHVH, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, according the original (likeness) of the Spirit of YHVH” (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Greek word metamorphoo is translated “transformed”. As we know, this is what happens to a caterpillar while inside its cocoon. How many of us, when looking at that caterpillar (natural man), can see the butterfly within (that is, the New Creation Man)?

Elohim placed His own breath (the neshama) into His created being and called him Adam (while in Hebrew adama is earth). Man was the only fashioned creature into whom YHVH Elohim breathed His own breath. But Adam's spirit-life would remain in its embryonic form until the appropriate season would come for Adam (the "seed") to be "sown". To use another metaphor, the Creator's Spirit-life within Adam was but a flickering flame. However, after falling away from the relationship with the Source, through disobedience, the flame diminished into a mere spark; a spark that would smolder until the time of redemption, when the wind/breath of the Spirit of YHVH would once again ignite it into a flame.

This original Spirit that was breathed into the core of human life was the tselem (image), and d’moot (likeness) of the Creator. Let us take a look at the meaning of these two words. The first is tselem (image), in which is hidden the word tsel (shadow or silhouette); a form that does not have its own existence apart from the object that blocks the light and casts its shape upon a given area.

The second Hebrew word d’moot, is much more revealing in that it comes from the root “dam” or "blood". Because life is in the blood and the nature is in the life, YHVH's life and nature would be resident in the "blood". “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of Elohim; and every one that loves is born of Elohim, and knows Elohim. He that loves not, knows not Elohim; for Elohim is love [agape]” (1John 4:7-8; 16). In a much more literal way, “YHVH was in Messiah reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19, emphasis added). How was that possible, unless the life of the Father was in Yeshua’s blood? Thus, without the blood/life of the Messiah, man cannot be anything but a two-dimensional silhouette in relationship to his Elohim. Interestingly, tzelem is also the term that Scripture often employs to describe the false gods, that is images and idols.

To reiterate the point: YHVH placed His very nature into the heart of man. The seed (man) would be sown under the guiding hand of the Husbandman and this inner life would remain hidden in the dust of his humanity, the earthiness of his being, until such a time that the Creator would send His Word in the form of another Man (His Son), who would take natural Adam into death and burial.

“For the love of Messiah constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead, and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). When YHVH's Son died, all men died. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Messiah Yeshua were submerged into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through immersion into death, that just as Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).

In his horticultural analogy Paul concludes that there is an order: “For as in Adam [the seed] all die, even so in the Messiah shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Messiah the first fruits, afterward they that are Messiah's at his coming/appearing"
(1 Corinthians 15:22-23). In speaking of this order Paul emphasizes, first the natural (seed), then the spiritual. This "agricultural" reality has continued throughout all history. Scripture refers to those who will experience the process of death, burial and resurrection and calls them the “first fruit of the new creation” (James 1:18). Please note that James addresses his letter to the tribes of Israel.

Thus, a first-fruit of the seed of Adam was to come forth into the newness of life in the judicial order that YHVH predetermined.


When Elohim created the firmament on the second day, as we saw in the previous chapter, it was not declared good. However, the sun, moon and stars placed within the firmament on the fourth day, were declared good. YHVH was using the greater light to rule the natural day, and the lesser light, with all the stars for ruling the natural night. These He created in order to illustrate a divine order and to reveal hidden spiritual realities, as well as for signs and seasons.

Let us take, for example the promise to the forefathers that their seed, "Israel", would be like the stars of heaven. Could this be more than a mere reference to numbers, being an indication that they were also to become a light and governing influence in this spiritual realm of darkness? And what's more, that they, like the stars, would be used for signs and for seasons in YHVH's Redemption timetable. Another illustration is seen in the life of one Israelite – Joseph – in whose dreams his family appeared as the sun, moon and stars. Yeshua was also referred to as the "Bright and Morning Star" (ref. 2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 22:16), revealing the fact that He holds a very specific position amongst the "stars of Israel" (also Numbers 24:17).

The spiritual demonstration of YHVH’s reality occurs daily. During the day we cannot see the stars or the moon, for their light is absorbed in the brightness of the presence of the greater light, just as it is in the life of the redeemed: "…Your life is hidden in Messiah in Elohim” (Colossians 3:3). This sets an example for what will take place at the end of the night order, when the Father’s day of redemption will dawn fully through His Son: " The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but YHVH Elohim will be to you an everlasting light, and your Elohim your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for YHVH Elohim will be your everlasting light” (Isaiah 60:19-20; refer also to Revelation 21:23).

In the course of the creation process, the Creator brought forth by His Word, a progression of life forms. Though the creative Word emanated out of the Realm of Light, it materialized in life forms that originated either from the waters/seas or from the dry ground/earth both of which were immersed in Spiritual Darkness. Like the plants, so now the reptiles and the birds, each carried the uniqueness of its particular species or kind, bearing witness to some aspect of the Creator’s Life and Nature that had been embedded within them. Elohim’s intent was that each kind would multiply and fill the earth. The environment was perfect for this growing process, but every species was in need of YHVH's ongoing rule, management and administration. So Elohim ended the Fifth Day with another evening and another morning, pronouncing it “good”.

On the Sixth Day YHVH's Word created still higher forms of nephesh chaya (a living soul). These types were permeated with instincts and learning capabilities that would respond to discipline, or training, by yet another species - Man – who was the last on the list of creation. Unlike those who reproduce by oviposition (egg-depositing), these Sixth Day creatures, having to carry for a term their young in their own bodies, would be reproducing in smaller numbers. They would also depend for their survival upon a more sophisticated eco-system.

The ground work had now been laid by Elohim for the crown of His creation, the one genus that would become the expression and heart of His own nature, and would be given the responsibility to name, manage, rule and serve the rest of the living creatures that had been brought forth previously.

“And Elohim said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth’” (Genesis 1:26)… “And YHVH Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

As we see from the above quote, YHVH Elohim created Man from the dust of the earth. The earth and its dust were brought forth from a realm of spiritual waters that was faced or governed by the spirit world of Darkness. Natural Man was going to be YHVH Elohim’s expression, or conduit, to subdue, rule over and put into order this realm of potential chaos, disorder and rebellion. In other words, Man would have the delegated authority to establish YHVH’s Kingdom here on earth, as it exists in heaven. But because Man was created from this very earthy and natural substance, he had an inherent weakness which would ultimately show up and express itself. Yet YHVH planted within natural Man a mystery. A closer look at the words He pronounced, when He created man, will allow us to get a glimpse of this mystery: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. How is it that Man (both male and female), could look like Elohim and yet be earthy? How can something created from a substance of Darkness be an expression of the Light? This will be discussed in the following chapter.

Just as we have seen in the preceding Days of Creation, Elohim was watching over His Word to do, accomplish, perform, fulfill and bring to completion whatever He had designated for it to do. What He spoke came to pass, and even now, in our generation, this should be our reality. His word is an anointing (a moving and determining force) in and upon the life of our forefathers throughout all their progeny, even to the present and beyond, until all that has been spoken and promised is fulfilled. The Word of Elohim, Yeshua the Messiah, is the same yesterday, today and forever (ref. Hebrews 13:8)!

“Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides” (Psalm 119:90).


From the very beginning, Elohim had determined that humanity would be cognizant of the fact that He is faithful to perform that which He had declared. This is a fundamental principle demonstrated in the very act of creation: "And Elohim said…. And it was so…" YHVH declared in no uncertain terms that He "would watch over His word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12), and that He will accomplish and fulfill all that He has spoken by the mouths of all His holy prophets from of old (ref. Acts 3: 20). There is, therefore, an assurance and guarantee that His redemptive plan, backed up by His faithfulness, will find its total fulfillment in the fullness of the times and seasons.

The two contrasting spiritual realms which faced the waters (i.e. the Spirit of Elohim and the Darkness, respectively) had been separated from each other already in the first day. However, the waters had not as of yet been divided. Thus on the second day "… Elohim said, ‘Let there be a firmament (ra’kee’ah) in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters’"… “And Elohim called the firmament heaven (sha’mayim) (Genesis 1: 6, 8). Please note that He divided "waters from waters" and not "waters from earth" (also ref 2 Peter 3:5). Whether the term waters refers to the H2O kind, with its three different forms of consistency, or whether that term describes some kind of spiritual condition is not known. Never-the-less, YHVH decided to separate the waters that were faced by His Light and Spirit from the waters that were faced by the darkness, thus creating three distinct "heavens".

Interestingly, Elohim did not call the firmament "good" as it did not have eternal value. It would only be there to keep the two areas separated until the Creator’s redemptive plan would come to completion, and then as described by the Prophet Isaiah and the Apostle John, "All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falls off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree” (Isaiah 34:4); "And the heaven [firmament] departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places" (Revelation 6:14).

At this juncture in the creation process there are three separate and distinct spaces, or heavens: 1) an outer, or upper level, or third heaven (refer to 2 Corinthians 12:2), which is the dwelling place of the Most High and is the realm of Light; 2) a middle, or an in-between area called the firmament, or second heaven and 3) the lower level, or the deep that is still faced by that realm of spiritual darkness, which after the third day will be called earth with its atmosphere and natural bodies of water called "seas". If we could but step back and see how infinitesimally small this area of darkness actually is, compared to the massive universe of the second and third heavens, it would give us a different perspective on YHVH's supremacy over His creation.

On the third day of creation we see a very important aspect of YHVH's manifested Word: “And Elohim said, 'Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so'. And Elohim called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas, and Elohim saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:9, 10). The Creator took the waters that were under the firmament; the waters that were faced by the darkness and gathered and compressed them together to form the dry land or earth, and its seas. Interestingly, the Hebrew word used for the "gathering" of the waters is of the same root as the word for hope ("tikvah), intimating that there was "hope" embedded within this realm that was devoid of spiritual life and light.

The Maker chose this realm of spiritual darkness, and all that He would create within that sphere, to ultimately reveal Himself and His nature. Light cannot be seen in light, as an opposite medium (darkness) is needed in order to see it. If all natural light could be extinguished, nothing would be seen. But when light appears, it is reflected from all the things around. Thus, it is actually the different hues or colors, of the invisible rays of light that are seen reflecting from any object. In other words, paradoxically what we see is actually the unseen.

Here is how the Bible describes the above principle: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of Elohim, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal”
(2 Corinthians 4:18). “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and divine nature; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Before the third day was over Elohim created grass, herbs and fruit trees; each with its own distinct seed. Since there was no natural sunlight in the third day, without which plants cannot exist, the question arises, "What was the state of these plants?" This unmistakably leads to the conclusion that Elohim created the seed first, and sowed it into the ground.

Like any good farmer, YHVH knows what the mature plant will look like, in view of the fact that the seed contains within it the very likeness of its respective grass, herb, or tree. Although the seed is totally different from the plant, after it falls to the ground and is watered, it will grow to look like its progenitor. Genesis 2:5 makes an indication of this order or process: "And there was no shrub of the field yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprouted, for YHVH Elohim had not rained upon the earth, and there was no man there to serve the ground" (literal translation). Each plant or herb that springs up out of the ground starts its existence as a seed. We will take a closer look at the “seed principle”.

Friday, May 16, 2008


March 21, 2008

The content of the next four chapters is a slight deviation from the storyline of redemption, but is essential in order to establish a foundation for understanding the Creator's faithfulness to accomplish all that has been spoken through His prophets from of old. Please bear with me, as some of this may be new to many who have been taught something different. Satan is not the mastermind behind the fall of man. YHVH's sovereignty remains in tact, His will and Word govern His Kingdom and His purposes for the creation.

Let us now digress slightly from following the Divine Order in the family of Adam, and reflect on the Creation account in order to reinforce Elohim's faithfulness to His Word. His Word, as well as His Kingdom, is a manifestation of Himself. What YHVH says is what will be, for He calls Himself "I will be what/whom I will be" (literal Hebrew translation of Exodus 3:14 – E'he'ye Asher E'heye). His Spirit is the power that carries out what He decrees by His Word. Viewing His characteristic of consistency will help us better understand His Plan of Redemption, as revealed in the Creation process. This will also have significant implication upon our faith in the covenants, promises and prophecies that He would make at a later point.

The opening lines of Scripture, "In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1), comprise a statement of intent; as in the first verse of the second chapter it is written, “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Genesis 2:1). What took place then, between those two verses, was the process and order of creation, until its completion at the end of the sixth day, for "on the seventh day Elohim ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made" (Genesis 2:2).

According to Genesis 1:2, “The earth was without form and void…” Thus, the location where the creation process was to take place was called earth (eretz), although at that point it (the earth) had not yet taken its present form. This transformation would occur only on Day Three of the manifestation of Elohim’s Word.

"And darkness was on the face of the deep…" What kind of darkness was over the face of the deep, and how did this spiritual condition of darkness come about? We understand that at one point in eternity past there was an angel, a created spiritual entity called Lucifer (Hey'lel Ben Shachar), whose name means light bearer or shining one. This entity coveted the position of the Most High, and is hence addressed by the following: "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” (Isaiah 14:12). Thus, when he was expelled from heaven his light was removed from him, as well as the light of all those who had rebelled with him, and his abode was left in a state devoid of (spiritual) light. This realm of the deep was now characterized and described by the terms tohoo va’vohoo and "sheol" (ref. Isaiah 14:15).

The spiritual state devoid of light and life was in total opposition to the nature of the Spirit of the Creator. Nevertheless, this contrast was very important and necessary in Elohim's plan, as the darkness was destined to become the medium through which He will manifest His Word and reveal Himself. The principle of "light out of darkness", and by the same token "death out of life", is at the very core of redemption. And so, the Spirit of Elohim hovered, or brewed, over the face of all that was called "waters", including the realm of darkness, indicating that YHVH had not lost His sovereignty.

"Then Elohim said 'Let there be light'" (Genesis 1: 3). Keeping in mind that everything that was brought forth by Elohim's Word revealed aspects of His nature, the Light was also a type of manifestation, or emanation, of Himself. This Light was not natural light, as the luminaries had not yet been created, but the very essence of the Creator’s nature! It is the highest form of Life and the quintessence of His being. This Light also contains all the laws, statutes, and ordinances that govern His Kingdom and its administration, as revealed in the light of Torah.[1] Because Elohim is Light, by necessity He had to separate the Light from the Darkness. Had He not separated one from the other, there would have been no darkness, as the light would have swallowed it up. However, it should be noted that as far as YHVH is concerned, there is no difference between light and darkness (ref, Psalm 139: 12).

[1] A well known Hebrew idiom is Torah-Ora (or "Torah Or"), that is - "Torah-Light". The Aramaic term for Torah is "Orah'y'ta", thus combining "light" and "Torah".


March 14, 2008

As I turned to the first Chapter of Genesis, I began to read it prayerfully verse by verse. But it was primarily one word that illumined the path to further understanding: “Then Elohim said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion - vayirdu - over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’ " (Genesis 1:26 emphasis added).

Upon this discovery, my thoughts burst out joyfully: “Of course, dominion; YHVH’s Kingdom, rule and sovereignty were already present in the beginning-- with Adam and Eve!” Both man and his wife were delegated authority to rule and serve all the other living creatures that YHVH had created in the fifth and sixth days.

Two verses later, the very same word caught my attention again: “And Elohim blessed them, and Elohim said unto them, ‘be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion – u’rdu - over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’ ” (Genesis 1:28 emphasis added).

The Creator did not relinquish His own sovereignty, but instead entrusted a dual position to Man (both male and female): “And YHVH Elohim took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden [delight] to till [work/serve] it and to guard [watch over] it” (Genesis 2:15). Thus Man was to be an “Eved” (servant) and a “Shomer” (watchman). The dominion that was granted to Man/Woman in YHVH’s Kingdom on earth was, therefore, that of a servant-king-priest, ruling over all living creatures. As watchmen, Man and Woman would "walk with" the Creator; in other words they would have an intimate relationship with Him and thus receive from Him His Life and Light. This Life and Light they were to minister to the creation. However, Man was not to rule or have dominion over other human beings. That position was reserved to Elohim alone, who was King of kings (or Sovereign) over all.

As long as Man would maintain his relationship with Elohim through obedience, this state of harmony would prevail. But if Man were to fail to live up to the Creator's instructions, he would experience the consequence of a broken relationship with Him. Elohim, fully aware of the weakness inherent in natural Man and what this weakness would cause, had prepared a way even before the foundation of the world for restoring humanity's relationship with Himself. His scheme for dealing with Man's rebellion, or disobedience, and fall under Satan's kingdom authority is alluded to in the following words: "And I will put enmity between you [talking to the serpent] and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel ["akev" in Hebrew - root word for Yaacov – Jacob] (Genesis 3:15).

The fulfillment of this enigmatic pronouncement would have to wait until the time that a New Covenant would be made with the house of Israel and Judah (ref. Jeremiah 31:31). The New Covenant had been designed into Elohim's plan, to be fulfilled through a faithful Firstborn-Redeemer-Son, born of the seed of a woman (ref. Genesis 3:15; Mathew 1:23), who would ratify it by His blood. On the day when the intended recipients of the New Covenant will finally enter their promised restoration it will lead to their union; they will become the one house of Jacob – or heel company. As such, they will magnify their Redeemer's victory over the enemy, fulfilling the words penned by the apostle Paul: "And the Elohim of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly" (Romans 16:20).

In the book of Revelation we get a glimpse into YHVH's judicial order of redemption; reference is made there to a scroll that was to the right-hand of the throne (ref. Revelation 5.1). The requirement to take and break the seals of this scroll in which were specified the terms for redemption and restoration (cf. Jeremiah 32: 6-16), was so high that no one in heaven, on earth or under the earth qualified. As we see from this text, Elohim's Son was the only one able to meet the stringent conditions. The provision, therefore, for restoration was not an afterthought.

From the very beginning, Elohim had determined that humanity would be cognizant of the fact that He is faithful to perform that which He had declared. This is a fundamental principle demonstrated in the very act of creation: "And Elohim said…. And it was so…" YHVH declared in no uncertain terms that He "would watch over His word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1:12), and that He will accomplish and fulfill all that He has spoken by the mouths of all His holy prophets from of old (ref. Acts 3: 20). There is, therefore, an assurance and guarantee that His redemptive plan, backed up by His faithfulness, will find its total fulfillment in the fullness of the times and seasons.


March 7, 2008

This week I will not be sending another chapter in the sequel of chapters that you have received in the past 3 weeks. There are some pressing matters at hand which I felt led to address.

By now most of you have heard about the terrorist attack that took place yesterday in a Jerusalem Yeshiva (school for Jewish religious studies). There are thousands of Yeshivas in this city, but this was not just an ordinary school. This particular Yeshiva is known for its right wing Zionist stance. Rabbi Kook, the founder of the Yeshiva (84 years ago), also laid the ideology of the religious Zionist movement (as in Jewish Orthodoxy there was, and still is in some circles, a tremendous opposition to Zionism, especially when the movement was birthed). The settlement movement in Judea and Samaria is therefore largely the outcome and fruit of the ideology which this Yeshiva stands for. By targeting this institution, the terrorists are sending a much more calculated message to the world than by blowing up a bus. They struck the very heart of Biblical fulfillment of prophecy, and its participants. The choice of this particular day, the eve of the New Moon of the (second) month of Adar, which stands for joy, turned the celebrations so sinisterly into mourning.

The Israeli security forces foil hundreds of terrorist attempts weekly, making this particular one no small 'success' on the part of the terrorist organizations. Yet, because the terrorist came from within Jerusalem and was the owner of an Israeli I.D. and did not have to tackle a guard at the entrance of the Yeshiva, his task was made very simple. Gaza's residents were jubilant and broke out into wild celebrations. Will this be a setback to the peace process and to President Bush's aspiration to form a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza by the end of the year? One of Israel's intellectuals, a University professor, came out with the declaration that the only solution is through diplomatic means, bringing Hamas and the PA to the negotiating table. That same individual said that Hamas is the legitimate democratically elected representative of the Palestinian people, and must be a part of the peace process. This professor agreed that in spite of Hamas' open declaration of their intent to destroy the Jewish State we must negotiate with them at any cost. In other words, we are to commit national suicide. This same message was subtly echoed by our government, in that there was not one government representative at the funerals today.

Incidentally, this Shabbat's Parasha (Torah reading), which concludes the book of Exodus is called Pkudey (ref Ex. 38:21 to the end). In it are itemized the Mishkan's sacred articles, but also the "pkudey" of the congregation. The root p.k.d means to number, visit, enlist, make inventory of etc. But in another conjugation p.k.d lends itself to a verb which means to "be absent" or "missing" (e.g. Numbers 31:49). As this Shabbat is coming in, eight of our choicest youth are no longer with us.

Prophecy informs us that a war between Israel and the surrounding nations is unavoidable. This war is not Israel's war; it is the battle of the Elohim of Israel. Will the Jewish Biblical Zionists be able to stand alone in their fight for the Land, the People, and the Torah?

The question is what is our role as Ephraimites in YHVH's plan? In what way are we going to be "pkudey ha'eda", the "numbered ones of the Congregation" of Israel? In many ways this movement is still very young, as the restoration of the second stick/nation has just begun. We are much like Joseph in his youth. Joseph was reared in the tent of an idol worshiping mother – Rachel (ref. Gen 31:34), who may be compared to the "Church". Joseph was her firstborn son, as are the sons of Ephraim – "B'ney Ephraim" in Hebrew. Joseph was given a princely garment which was a sign of his status in the family. He had dreams of his brothers bowing down to him, not unlike some in this restoration movement who are aspiring (each in his respective field of biblical expertise) to 'show our brothers a thing or two'.

Paul warns the Believers that "when we think we are something when we are nothing we deceive ourselves" (Gal. 6:3). He also reminds the wild olive branches (B'ney Ephraim) not to be arrogant in their attitude toward the natural branches (Yeudah), because the former only stand by faith (ref. Rom 11: 20-21). But on the other hand, are we to stand by idly, doing nothing? Joseph, for example, when he didn't find his brothers in his father's field around Shechem (ref. Gen. 37:1-17), did not just return home and tattle on his brothers again. No. He kept on looking for them with great care. Today, although the House of Judah is not exactly where the Father would want them, Joseph/Ephraim is not to just abandon his responsibility in seeking them out and in lending them a hand. There are millions of Jews yet to return to the land from the American continent, from Russia and other places. Out of those who have returned, many are poor and needy. Within this group there are widows and orphans, elderly Holocaust survivors and handicapped people.

In Jeremiah 31:9 and 1Chronicles 5:1 YHVH states: "Ephraim is my firstborn". As a first-born we must recognize that we do not belong to ourselves (ref Num. 3:13) and should not espouse attitudes of self-interest, pride, and self-righteousness. These were some of Joseph's traits that led YHVH to take him through years of suffering, in order to prepare him for his future role as a leader and redeemer of the family. May the Ephraimite nation walk alongside our brother Judah in humbleness and servitude! We are YHVH's mercy vessels. Pray that we all might know what to do in order to render help and exercise our mandate with humility. Let's take to heart what Yeshua said to Simon Peter: "I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned [made "teshuva"] to Me, strengthen your brethren" (Luke 22:32 emphasis added).


February 29, 2008

Reading Psalm 145 one day was followed by more inquiries: “YHVH is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall praise You, O YHVH, and Your righteous ones shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of Your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations” (verses 9-13).

The questions that initially flooded my mind were: "What, or who, are these works that YHVH has mercy over?" And, "Who are the righteous ones that will praise YHVH and speak of the glory of His Kingdom and power, making known to the sons of men His mighty acts and the majesty of this Kingdom?" Some of the answers to these questions began to surface as I read Isaiah 29: “Therefore, thus says YHVH, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: ‘Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now grow pale; but when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My name, and hallow the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the Elohim of Israel. These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine ‘" (verses 22-24, emphasis added).

Upon reading this text, I construed that the redeemed of Abraham and the children of Jacob are the works of YHVH’s hands. It is these children of Jacob who bear His Name and will bring a testimony of it, along with the glory of His Kingdom, to the sons of men. I kept asking: "But who are those ‘who err in spirit and who need to come to an understanding’ “? This too would be answered in due time, but the verse that stood out and gripped my attention was the one in the middle of Psalm 145: “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations” (verse 13, emphasis added). If that were the case, then the disciples' question about restoring YHVH's kingdom to Israel was even more relevant. "How then was it in Israel in the generations past?" I continued to query. What had come to my mind as a response was the episode of Samuel's grievance to the Almighty, namely, that the people of Israel had not been heeding him. YHVH pointed out to the prophet that it was not him that they were rejecting, but rather, it was His rule as a king over them which they had been attempting to throw off. "And YHVH said to Samuel, 'Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them'" (1 Samuel 8: 7).

That little four letter word - king – flashed at me like a neon light at midnight. Here was the answer to my question: YHVH’s rule as king over the house of Jacob was the evidence of the kingdom’s existence on earth. However, when the people chose a man to rule over them (like Saul, David and Solomon), they were in fact rejecting YHVH as king. Yet, much to my amazement, I discovered that David and Solomon are said to have actually sat on the throne of YHVH. "Then Solomon sat on the throne of YHVH as king instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him" (1 Chronicles 29:23).

Equipped with this information, my thought now turned back to the statement that I had read earlier about YHVH's Kingdom being in every generation. "Well, if His Kingdom has been in every generation, it must have been in the first one!", I concluded, and proceeded to turn the pages of the Bible back to the first chapter of the first book, asking the Holy One of Israel to teach me. That was the beginning of a path that I am still on today, even as I write these lines.

Thus, it is with fear and trembling that we are to respond to Yeshua’s exhortation, to “seek ye first the kingdom of YHVH Elohim and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Let us pray along with Paul the Apostle: “That the Elohim of our King and Messiah Yeshua, the Father of glory, may give unto us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: and that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the holy ones, and the exceeding greatness of His power toward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Messiah, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:17-20 my alterations). Amen.


Almost a decade had gone by, when in an early morning time of reading scriptures, (in the year 1994 to be precise), I became intrigued, like never before, by Acts 28. Paul was under house arrest in Rome for the "hope of Israel". He had called together the Jewish leaders and explained to them why he was there. These leaders had heard about this sec of Judaism that was "spoken against everywhere".

After listening to Paul, they set a day to have him clarify what this sect was all about. When the day arrived, Paul “solemnly testified of the kingdom of God [Elohim], persuading them concerning Jesus [Yeshua] from both the Law [Torah] of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening” (Acts 28:23). Upon reading this something leaped inside of me with a big, “WHAT? Paul was teaching the Kingdom of Elohim from the Torah and the Prophets?"

I had never once, in all my years, heard the Gospel of the Kingdom being presented from the Torah and the Prophets! “Where in the Torah is God/Elohim's Kingdom?” I prayed. I turned to my Heavenly Father and asked Him to show me. I left for work that morning in a state of absolute bewilderment. How was it possible that after 20 years of being a Believer and singing that song, “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God,” I could still be so totally ignorant of something so important? I had read many times the parables of Jesus/Yeshua about the Kingdom of God/Elohim, but did not really understand what Yeshua and His apostles were actually teaching about the Kingdom from the Torah and the Prophets! Truly, I fit the shoes of those who have ears but do not hear and eyes but do not see!

In the following weeks, I started studying Scripture making special note of anything that spoke of, or referred to, Elohim's Kingdom. One morning I awoke with one of those Holy Spirit promptings to read the first chapter of Acts again. The setting was 40 days after Yeshua’s resurrection and He was on the Mount of Olives with His disciples. Scripture records that He had just spent all those days speaking to them about the Kingdom of Elohim. Then, just before He left this earth, the disciples asked Him a very candid question: “When are you going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?” In their hearts, they assumed that this was what He was going to do all along, but became terribly disappointed when the Romans crucified Him! All of their hopes died with Him.

However, to their amazement, He arose from the dead three days after He was put into the grave and rekindled His followers' hopes. That was the reason for the question: “When are you going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?”

What struck me about the disciples' query, regarding the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel, was the usage of the term “restore”. The very employment of that verb meant that the Kingdom had been in Israel sometime in the past, but where and when? How was it perceived? What did it look like? Why Israel?

The question about the "restoration" really stirred me, as in the past I had always assumed that the Kingdom would only be set up when Yeshua returned. The more I studied Yeshua’s answer to His disciples, the more my original thoughts on the matter changed. “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power, after that the Spirit of Holiness is come upon you: and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1: 7-8). What appeared to loom large about Yeshua's answer was his statement regarding witnesses. “Witness to what?” I asked. Was it to the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel? If that were the case, then I had a lot more questions to ask and to take more seriously Yeshua's exhortation to “seek first the kingdom of Elohim and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Secondly, I needed to gain an understanding about the correlation of YHVH's Kingdom to the present restoration of the Nation of Israel.

Generally, most people are given to seeking first food, drink, clothes and shelter, which can all be summarized by one phrase, "the quest for provisions". And I am no different. However, Yeshua declares that this is something we are not to worry about, as our Heavenly Father already knows that we have these needs. Yeshua adds that we are not even to “take thought for tomorrow” (Matthew 6:34). In fact, He placed so much importance on seeking first the Kingdom of His Father, that He wanted His disciples' attention to be wholly focused on it. After all, this was one of the main reasons for His coming as a Prince and Redeemer. Luke 1:31-33: "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Yeshua. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and YHVH Elohim will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end" (emphasis added).

Back on the Mount of Olives, Yeshua (answering His followers' question) tells them that they will receive power. Where will that power come from and for what purpose? The power would come with the Holy Spirit(ref. Acts 1:8). So what is Yeshua really implying here about the Kingdom? In the Epistle to the Romans (14:17), Paul the apostle, under the guidance of the same Spirit, says: “For the Kingdom of Elohim is not meat and drink; (repeating Yeshua's words) but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Spirit of Holiness” (emphasis added). Thus it appears that the Kingdom of Elohim comes with the Spirit of Holiness. Yeshua's wounds and His blood, shed for the forgiveness of sin, opened the way for the Spirit of Elohim to regain access to the heart of man.

So how is it that a person full of the Spirit of YHVH is to be a witness to the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel? By that time, had not most of the Israelites been scattered throughout the world for many a century and lost their identity, becoming what the prophet Hosea calls, “Not My People” (ref. Hosea 1:9)?

The only known Israelites in that day were the Judeans, made up of mostly Judah, Levi and Benjamin with a remnant of the other tribes, and their land was part of the Roman Empire. Could it be that when Yeshua had commissioned His disciples to go to "all the nations", He was sending them to the "lost sheep of the House of Israel"? Were they not the ones destined, through the New Covenant to receive the Spirit and thus testify to the restoration of the Kingdom to Israel (ref. Isaiah 44:3; Ezekiel 37:27)?

February 20, 2008

Thursday, May 01, 2008


February 15, 2008

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.[1] 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.


[1] Posted on