and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|November 1, 2013||
Volume 12 Number 21
You Are No More Strangers
Only three months after Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt, Yahweh made a conditional promise to them. He said that IF they would obey His voice and keep His covenant, THEN they would be a "peculiar treasure to me above all people" and "a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation:"
5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure to me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. -Exodus 19
However, the "children of Israel" refused to obey His voice and they rejected His covenant. Consequently, following the sins of Solomon (see 1 Kings 11:4-11), the united kingdom of Israel was split into two kingdoms, which were called Israel and Judah (see 1 Kings 12).
Both of these kingdoms, which were also called "the house of Israel" and the "house of Judah," broke the covenant which Yahweh had made with their ancestors:
10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. -Jeremiah 11
Their priests, without admitting it, despised Yahweh’s name:
6 A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I am a father, where is my honor? and if I am a master, where is my fear? says Yahweh of hosts to you, O priests, that despise my name. And you say, Wherein have we despised your name? -Malachi 1
Instead of teaching the knowledge of the Word of Yahweh, their priests corrupted it and led the people astray:
7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of Yahweh of hosts.
8 But you have departed out of the way; you have caused many to stumble at the law; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says Yahweh of hosts. -Malachi 2
Consequently, because the houses of both Israel and Judah, "all of the seed of Israel," rejected Yahweh, He also rejected them:
19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of Yahweh their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
20 And Yahweh rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. -2 Kings 17
Far from being a "kingdom of priests" and a "holy nation," the "seed of Israel," of which those living in Jerusalem were part, had become even more wicked than the nations around them:
6 And she has changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. -Ezekiel 5
The word "nations," also means "heathen" and "Gentiles." In other words, the "seed of Israel" had become even more wicked than the Gentiles!
Even though Yahweh rejected them, the "seed of Israel" was not without hope. Jeremiah pleaded with Yahweh, as "the hope of Israel:"
13 O Yahweh, the hope of Israel, all that forsake you shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Yahweh, the fountain of living waters.
14 Heal me, O Yahweh, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise. -Jeremiah 17
Yahweh revealed to Jeremiah that He would raise up a "righteous Branch" that would reign as both the King and Judge in the earth:
5 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. -Jeremiah 23
This righteous King would come in the name of Yahweh as "YAHWEH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" and would be a Savior of Judah and Israel:
6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, YAHWEH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. -Jeremiah 23
Isaiah prophesied that this "Branch" would come as a "rod out of the stem of Jesse," which was David’s father:
1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: -Isaiah 11
The "spirit of Yahweh" would "rest upon" Him and He would have wisdom, understanding, and much more:
2 And the spirit of Yahweh shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Yahweh; -Isaiah 11
Therefore, as Isaiah later also prophesied, He would be "anointed" with the Spirit of Yahweh:
1 The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is upon me; because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; -Isaiah 61
The word "anointed" is translated in the Scriptures from the Hebrew wordxyvm (mashiyach), which also means "Messiah." Therefore, the prophecies are of the Messiah.
The "Righteous Branch" will not only be the Messiah for the "seed of Israel," but also for the nations, which are called the Gentiles. They also will seek after Him. Those that find Him will enter into His glorious rest:
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. -Isaiah 11
However, not everyone who is born as the "seed of Israel" will seek after Him. In fact, according to Paul, these are not even counted as being "Israel:"
6 Not as though the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: -Romans 9
Nevertheless, the Messiah will restore the "preserved of Israel" and will also be the Savior for the Gentiles, revealing His salvation "unto the end of the earth:"
6 And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation unto the end of the earth. -Isaiah 49
Paul says that the "children of God" are not so because of their flesh, but they that are "counted as the seed" are the "children of the promise:"
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. -Romans 9
Peter told the "house of Israel" to repent and be baptized in the name of Yahshua (Jesus) the Messiah for the "remission of sins" and to receive the "gift of the Holy Ghost" (see Acts 2:36-38). He proclaimed that this promise was not only for those of the "house of Israel" that were at Jerusalem. It was also for others, likely also meaning Gentiles, that were "afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call:"
39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. -Acts 2
Consequently, Yahweh raised up apostles, such as Paul, to bear His name through Yahshua (Yahweh is salvation) to the "children of Israel," as well as to kings and the Gentiles:
15 But the Lord said to him, Go your way: for he is a chosen vessel to me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: -Acts 9
It is through such apostles that the prophecy would be fulfilled that the name of Yahweh shall be "great among the Gentiles!"
11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, says Yahweh of hosts. -Malachi 1
Indeed, Paul said that the "Gentiles in the flesh" were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel" when they were "without the Messiah." Like the rejected "seed of Israel," they were also "strangers from the covenants of promise." However, now they are "made near by the blood of the Messiah:"
11 Therefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time you were without the Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in the Messiah Yahshua you who sometimes were far off are made near by the blood of the Messiah. -Ephesians 2
Through faith in the name of Yahshua the Messiah, those of us who were without hope, whether we were the rejected "seed of Israel" or the nations, called the Gentiles, are made fellow citizens in the "commonwealth of Israel:"
19 Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; -Ephesians 2
Through faith in His name, we are "no more strangers and foreigners," but, as the "children of the promise," we are part of His "holy nation," which is the "household of God."
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Scriptures are taken from the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible.
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