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We of Ephraim join Judah in turning to deeper truth of Scripture. Now that we have learned our Heavenly Father’s name is Yahweh and His Son is Yahshua, we desire to proclaim Yahshua’s name correctly and admit He is Yah’s salvation. As we seek circumcision of the heart we are not interested in lighting candles, wearing outer adornments or following the Talmud. We seek to follow Yahshua, our High Priest of the Melchizedek order, and join with Judah, for we of the ten men read that Yahweh is with them, Zechariah 8:23
The growing worldwide desire afoot to get back to our Hebrew roots brings us to a deeper interest in the Old Testament. As we learn the history of the ancients, such as Abraham and his progeny, we seek a closer association with them and the problems they’ve had. Seeking a deeper understanding of their culture, some have considered taking on a Hebrew or Jewish name. The Bible examples indicate only Yahweh or the parents can change one’s name (Genesis 17:5; 35:18; Num 13:16, etc.). Our advice to them is to keep the name they were given; determine to maintain honesty and integrity; treasure the name their mother gave them, making it a name of honor and respect by the life they live.
Still others want to be Jews. In getting absorbed in their search, they soon turn their attention to peripheral things of every day life that prove absorbing to them such as the writings, language, customs and appearance of the orthodox Jews. Those seeking their roots become interested in Jewish customs including their dress and apparently want to identify with them. The following verse in Numbers is often seized as their reason to imitate Jewish dress:
Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of Yahweh, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring, (Numbers 15:38-39 KJV).
Today we do not wear the same type garments as did those of that bygone era whose attire usually included a four cornered robe covering which they wrapped about themselves. This was to have fringes (Hebrew, tzit-tzit) or tassels on the four corners. Some Jews do wear an undergarment much like a t-shirt beneath their regular clothing which has tassels at the four corners (called by some arba canfot). John Gill’s Expositor also states that the tassels applied only to square garments like a robe, all others were exempt. The Messiah may have worn them (Mat. 9:20) but the Pharisees certainly did, Mat. 23:5.
FRINGES AND TASSELS
Those new to the faith soon take note of these adornments and commence to make their own tassels [tzit-tzits] (or purchase them from some entrepreneur) and hang them on four belt loops of their trousers. These may be short and small, or large and long, depending upon the recognition and attention desired.
Yahweh clearly says the reason for the fringes is for the awareness of the wearer. The wearer, upon looking at the fringes, will be reminded of all Yahweh’s commandments and do them. With the tzit-tzits on the four corners of their clothing, wherever they look, downward, in front or behind and on either side, the precept of obedience to the Commandments is before the wearer.
There are lessons we can learn from the past, and especially from the Bible (Torah) teaching of the Jews. They often have a deeper perception of Bible truth than one finds in churchianity. However, physically dressing and wearing garments and adornments like a Jew will not of itself deepen one’s comprehension of Bible truth, nor will it draw us closer to Yahweh and Yahshua. It takes more than that. It is a change of heart that Yahweh is seeking.
Are those new to the faith aware that wearing fringes on the outside of their clothing is to follow the example set by the Pharisees and their visible ostentatious badge of righteousness? The tzit-tzits are an obvious example of the Pharisees’ meticulous following of the least commandments, even down to the keeping of small things like visible threads worn on their garments. Their message to the world is, if they are so scrupulous in observing minor things, it can be inferred that things big or little are observed with the same careful scrutiny.
The question we must ask is, should we also be wearing the fringes of Numbers 15:38 today? A number of observant Jews do wear the fringes or tzit-tzits, but wear them on a t-shirt type undergarment, not hanging on the outside. The wearer knows these threads are there, (but not always the commanded blue) though they remain invisible to others. Many Jews feel an obligation to continue wearing the tzit-tzits today even after accepting Yahshua as the Messiah. For those who are ingrained in the Levitical mode of dress, we understand. The question is whether those of the Melchizedek order should strive to be under the Levitical dress code. Will that make us a better follower of our Savior and King?
THE PHARISEES’ EXAMPLE
The Pharisees sought to call attention to themselves in the things they said and did as well as their ostentatious dress. They tried to be in the limelight and found ways to gain popularity and greater notoriety. Yahshua criticized their actions and vanity especially in the additions to their dress:
They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, (Mat. 23:5 RSV). Instead of wearing the tassel reminders of the Torah discreetly on the inside, the Pharisees wore their badges of righteousness on the outside for the world to see, and enlarged them to gather more attention. They missed the whole point of Yahshua’s message. He came to strengthen the spiritual aspect of the people.
A SPIRITUAL BATTLE
Yahshua came to his own people with the message of the Kingdom and their opportunity to be a part of it. Only a few had ears to hear. He came to proclaim himself as the Anointed one of Yahweh, but was rejected because He did not drive the Romans out of the land as many had erroneously anticipated. His own people rejected Him as King. They expected Him to carry out a physical overturning of the Roman occupying power, and restoring Israel’s sovereignty. The people in general did not comprehend Yahshua came to wage a spiritual battle, and set an example for us.
As delegates to Yahweh’s Kingdom we must first learn the principles of Yahweh’s attitudes and way of life. It begins with a change of heart, overcoming a carnal, boastful, proud, pompous, self-righteous, mind-set like the Pharisees. Yahweh seeks a broken and contrite heart which allows Him to work with mankind. Instead carnal men desire physical, earthly signs, miracles, wonders and blessings without measure, and without repentance on their part.
JOHN LOSING HEART
John the Baptist himself began to harbor doubts whether Yahshua was indeed the promised and true Messiah. Expecting the Kingdom should immediately appear, John had proclaimed Yahshua as the Savior of the world, but now found himself languishing in prison. The true Messiah was to come and establish the Kingdom, (Matthew chapter eleven), but it was not happening as John had anticipated. He had spoken boldly against Herod’s sinful ways, but now was imprisoned. Why did not Yahshua perform a miracle and release him! Yahshua’s reply to John’s inquiring messengers was to note the various healings that had taken place; the deaf hear, the lame walk, the blind see, the lepers are cleansed.
The deaf could now hear the good news of the Kingdom; the blind could now see the truth; the lame could walk in Yahshua’s footsteps; the lepers could join with the body of Messiah. Yahshua was also pointing out that His healings were in fact freeing the people of the infirmities they would no longer have to contend with in the Kingdom (as we see in Rev. 21:3-4).
Physical miracles are always of interest to mankind, and Yahshua performed miraculous acts to gain attention so more people would gather and be attentive to His message. Yahshua enthralled the people who looked for more and more miracles. When it came to spiritual knowledge and comprehension, they lacked spiritual understanding.
When Yahshua fed the five thousand with five barley loaves and two small fish, the people apparently saw Him as a free lunch ticket. He could multiply the food from five loaves to feed five thousand hungry souls (Mat. 14:20) and still have twelve baskets of leftovers! Why here was a meal ticket they could follow around every day. When Yahshua saw that the “free lunch crowd” wanted to make Him their ruler that day, He fled up a mountain:
Therefore when Yahshua perceived that they would come and take Him by force, that they might make Him a king, Yahshua withdrew again to the mountain alone by Himself, (John 6:15 MKJV).
BEYOND THE PHYSICAL
Orthodox Jews have rejected the Savior and still do not understand the spiritual level of Yahshua’s teaching. For example, they wear special Bible verses (in little boxes known as phylacteries) on their forehead, binding them on their hand as a literal and physical fulfillment of Scripture, such as Deut. 6:8. However, Scripture says first the laws should be in their heart (verse 6) within, not hanging on the outside. They do not understand that what is needed is a soft heart and greater spiritual understanding.
Wearing the tassels, having on the yarmulke, the tallith or prayer shawl did not change the hearts of the Pharisees. They still were determined to kill the Savior. When Peter pointed out they were indeed responsible (as are we, for all have sinned) for putting the Savior to death, the question was, what can we do after all this? What can we do about it? The answer from Peter was clear:
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as Yahweh our Elohim shall call, (Acts 2:38-39 KJV). Nothing is said here about wearing the prayer shawl, the tallith, the phylacteries, the yarmulke, zit-zits, or kipa. The action the Jews were to take was to repent of their past, change their ways and be immersed into the name of Yahshua Messiah and have their sins washed away so they may walk in newness of life.
It is a disappointment that a great majority of the Messianic Jews who have accepted Yahshua in general do not teach baptism into Yahshua’s saving name. These are Jews with whom we share much deeper truth in Yahshua and the New Testament. Hardly ever do they encourage one to get baptized into the name of Yahshua. Instead of urging converts to do as Peter said, “Repent and be baptized in Yahshua’s Name…” we hear, “keep the Sabbath, study the Torah and be circumcised in the flesh.”
When they do encourage one to be baptized, they seem reluctant to state we are to be immersed into Yahshua’s name, the only name under heaven whereby we can be saved, Acts 4:12. The early disciples boldly proclaimed Yahshua, Acts 5:28-29. Those coming from Judaism seemingly find it difficult to put their faith in the man, Yahshua.
Many Messianic Jews insist one be circumcised and will at the same time contend it is not for salvation, but yet it is required for acceptance into their fellowship. Paul said something different:
(Yahshua) in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah, buried with Him in baptism, in whom also you were raised through the faith of the working of Yahweh, raising Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, (Colossians 2:11-13 MKJV).
Note that in the above verse, Paul equates baptism into Yahshua’s name as a type of circumcision; and being dead in our sins, we are made alive with all sins forgiven. We are given the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands following immersion. Furthermore we are marked as His property, for we carry Yahshua’s name.
A NEW AND LIVING WAY
Following the ways of the Pharisees and taking on their appearance does not bring us closer to Yahweh. A big difference between Judaism and our Melchizedek priesthood is Yahshua emphasized the spiritual aspect in living our faith. Yahshua has shown us the way we can enter the very presence of Yahweh by being a living example of Yahweh’s truth:
Therefore, my brothers, having boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Yahshua, by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh, (Hebrews 10:19-20 MKJV).
Most Orthodox Jewish groups today insist one also wear a “kipa” or “yarmulke” which is a beanie type head covering men wear in worship. Paul said very clearly that in worship a man should not have anything on his head, but the woman should have her long hair covered, (1Corinthians 11:1-16). Jewish authorities admit there is no Bible command for men to wear a kipa head covering, yet to join most fellowships, a visitor must don a kipa. (For a clear understanding of this, request our mini-studies: “Responsibility of Headship” and “Yarmulke, Men’s Headcovering.” You may also read these at our website at www.YAIY.org).
A NEW CREATION
The men of some Messianic Jewish groups, even though having accepted the Messiah, will wear a kipa and often a tallith (prayer shawl). Some will insist that only certain of Paul’s writings be followed; those which seem to demand one be physically circumcised, which we understand is the opposite of Paul’s teachings. The following verses clearly show Paul states one should remain in that calling in which he is called, and he clearly refers to a circumcision of the heart:
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of Yahweh. Let each one remain in the calling in which he was called, (1 Corinthians 7:19-20 KJV). Paul added a new dimension in his stand on circumcision. He stated physical circumcision of and by itself had no power at all. What was really needed was a renewed outlook on life, a change of attitude, a spiritual reformation:
For in Messiah Yahshua neither circumcision availeth anything (has any strength), nor uncircumcision, but a new creation, (Galatians 6:15 MKJV). The new creation Paul referred to here was to be in Messiah, (2Cor 5:17) by receiving the Holy Spirit upon baptism. Rather than make circumcision an end in itself, Paul likely based his understanding upon being completely yielded to Messiah Yahshua, doing Yahweh’s will from the heart, which is the deeper meaning of circumcision even in the Old Testament:
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked, (Deuteronomy 10:16 AV).
And Yahweh thy Elohim will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live, (Deuteronomy 30:6 AV). Again, it is our understanding the New Testament teaches that baby boys should be circumcised on the eighth day, but with adult men it is not a physical requirement but the circumcision or change of heart.
JEWS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
While we are looked upon as being one of the “Israelite Messianic Assemblies,” we indeed have a lot in common with the “Jewish Messianic Assemblies.” Most have left an orthodox Jewish synagogue group just as we have dropped out of nominal churchianity. Their spiritual goals are much the same as ours. They also accept the Savior Yahshua, and keep the weekly and annual Sabbaths. They generally accept the true and set apart name of Yahweh and Yahshua. Reputable scholars admit the name is Yahweh, but some Jewish groups continue to use the Germanic Ashkenaz “YahVeh,” instead of the more correct Sephardi Hebrew “Yahweh” which is more closely akin to Temple Hebrew.
A few Messianic Jewish groups still spell the Savior’s name as “Yeshua” instead of the scholarly “Yahshua,” perhaps to placate those who strive to conceal even the short form “Yah!” We disagree with the wrong spelling “Yeshua” (instead of Yahshua) as it breaks the Third Commandment by replacing the short form YAH (as found in HalleluYAH), with the “yeh” prefix. Who would ever say, “HalleluYeh”? Whenever we attempt to cover up or set aside, or do away with Yahweh’s name we are breaking the Third Commandment. Yahshua boldly proclaimed Yahweh’s name, Psalm 22:22, John 17:6, 26.
THE NEW COVENANT
It is indeed a fact those of us who are now living since the time of Yahshua are under the New Covenant. There are certain changes the Savior brought in the New Covenant that demand some modifications and differences in our life of obedience.
In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away, (Hebrews 8:13 AV).
In the book of Hebrews we find the changes in the worship of Yahweh as introduced by Yahshua and followed up by His disciples. Some of the most notable changes include:
· We are to bring forth fruits of the
Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) instead of animal sacrifices.
· Yahweh’s Word is to be remembered and
dominate our thinking as we repent and overcome our sins and do not continue
· The Holy Spirit indwells us and now remains on earth.
· Greater is He that is within us than he that is in the world, 1John 4:4.
· Our sacrifices today are spiritual and not physical. We obey from the heart and mind.
· We offer up the fruit of our lips in praise, giving thanks to His name, Heb 13:15.
· To be accepted we are to repent and be baptized into Yahshua’s saving name, the
circumcision made without hands.
· Circumcision is that of the heart, prepared to obey.
THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK
The Temple was destroyed in the year 70 C.E. Since then the Levitical priesthood no longer functions. Sacrifices and offerings under the New Covenant are spiritual. It is the sacrifice of our heart and mind to Yahweh’s will. The New Covenant can be said to be a spiritual covenant, in which we joyfully obey Yahweh from the heart. We do not fully comprehend everything, but seek to overcome our carnal nature and be like Yahshua, who having offered Himself as the offering for the sins of the world, is now our eternal high Priest:
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of Yahweh an high priest after the order of Melchizedek, (Hebrews 5:9-10 AV).
The Savior is shown to be in type much like the king and priest Melchizedek. While some feel this king may have been Shem, the son of Noah, others may think it was Yahshua Himself. Hebrews says Yahshua is “like” Melchizedek, and will fulfill the position of both king and priest. He will be established as King over the world when He returns. At present He is our High Priest, the Advocate of “the called out ones,” the Ekklesia, known as the “saints,” erroneously called the “Church.”
MELCHIZEDEK A KING AND PRIEST
There are several points we must note in the history and position of this Melchizedek, as is told in Genesis 14:
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high [El-Elyon]. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high [El-Elyon], possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high [El-Elyon], which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all, (Genesis 14:18-20 AV).
Melchizedek was first of all, King of Salem (often understood as Jerusalem, and before that, Jebus) and also priest of the Most High Yahweh. He had brought forth bread and wine for Abram’s victory celebration. This priest blessed both Abram and Yahweh, and we note Abram tithed to this Melchizedek. Hebrews chapters 5 to 8 go into detail to show that the priesthood of Melchizedek was superior to the Levitical, (which came later) in many ways, even to the point that the Levitical priesthood paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abram (Hebrews 7:1-7). Thus, the Melchizedek order is older and superior to the later Levitical priesthood.
As followers of the Messiah, we belong to the Melchizedek priesthood, established upon better promises. Once He had ascended into the heavens, Yahshua became our High Priest. He is the Mediator for the “called out ones” the Ekklesia.
Yahweh hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek, (Psalms 110:4 AV).
We today are not under the Levitical priesthood for Hebrews 7:12 reminds us that the priesthood has been changed. The Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. and the Levitical priesthood was in disarray and unable to carry out their sacrificial duties. The local synagogue became the substitute for gathering and worship.
However, it is not uncommon to learn some Jewish circles insist the Levitical priesthood is still active, but awaiting the construction of the “tribulation” Temple in Jerusalem. The book of Hebrews, they allege, shows Yahshua as a sort of “Acting” High Priest just as Moses acted as a high priest (Cohen HaGadol) before the Levitical priesthood was established. They allege that when Yahshua returns, then He will become the true Messiah. Right now He is up in the heavens.
Hebrews says once ascended into the heavens, Yahshua became the High Priest and sent the Holy Spirit to earth on Pentecost day, enabling us to keep the commandments. We understand that Yahshua is with us in spirit even though we are unable to see Him, He did say where two or three are gathered together in His name, there He would be in the midst of them, Matthew 18:20.
THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD
Under the Melchizedek order our sacrifices are now spiritual and our sins forgiven when we accept the shed blood of the Messiah’s sacrifice through baptism. Obedience to Yahweh’s word is required, and when we sin we are to repent of that sin, and by overcoming those sins that so easily beset us, we grow in grace and knowledge and become more like the Savior:
For even hereunto were ye called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps…
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed, (1 Peter 2:21…24 AV).
As followers of Yahshua in the Melchizedek order, we do not offer up animal sacrifices for our sins. When we sin, we repent of these sins and turn to Yahweh for forgiveness. In so doing we grow in grace and knowledge as we overcome the little things that can so easily entangle us. The Melchizedek priesthood emphasizes the spiritual training of the saints (the “Ekklesia”). We keep our mind on the meaning of Yahweh’s teaching as we learn to control our emotions and direct our energies to doing good.
Because we learn spiritual lessons by physical acts, the Levitical order was for the physical training of fleshly people to be prepared for the Kingdom. Physical sacrifices were required. As the people brought animals to be sacrificed, they were made to realize a life had to be given so that their sins might be covered, for without the shedding of blood there is no remission, Hebrews 9:22. Their sins brought the death of an animal.
For the present, under the Melchizedek order, the physical sacrifices are set aside as we seek perfection in the spiritual. Right now we are to depend upon the influence of the set-apart Spirit to teach and guide us in our spiritual growth. Under the Levitical economy, one could sin, bring an offering to the Temple and his sin was covered. He could then commit the same sin and bring another offering. His sin was covered. He could repeat this again and again. His heart was never changed. He did not grow and mature in the stature and fullness of the Messiah. At present we are to continue to overcome daily and repent of the wrongs we have done and walk in newness of life after Yahshua. However, Ezekiel 45:11-23 foretells physical sacrifices again will be carried out when the Kingdom is established.
AND THE TEMPLE?
Israel as a nation was recognized by the world powers in May of 1948. Since that time there has been much discussion of building a temple in Jerusalem. However, now some 53 years later there is no temple and no construction of any kind going on. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:4 the man of sin will sit in the “naos,” the most holy place. The area known as “The Temple Mount” is understood by some scholars as the area where Roman troops were garrisoned, and is the fort Antonia. The Temple mount is actually a block farther south, over the Gihon spring, according to Ernest L. Martin and others.
WE ARE THE TEMPLE
Since Yahshua has ascended into the heavens and sent the Holy Spirit to earth, we find a change made in the TEMPLE. The change from Jerusalem as the place to worship was first given to the woman from Samaria when Yahshua told her that the time was coming when Yahweh would not be worshiped in Jerusalem or in mount Gerizim:
Yahshua saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him, (John 4:21, 23 MKJV).
Within 40 years the Temple would be destroyed and the Jews driven out of Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit was sent to earth at Pentecost after Yahshua ascended. With Yahshua as our High Priest, we can be in an attitude of worship anywhere, any time.
Our human bodies are now the Temple in which Yahweh’s Spirit resides. When we repent, our sins are forgiven and we then receive the set apart Spirit upon baptism into Yahshua’s saving name, followed by the laying on of hands:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, (Acts 2:38).
Know ye not that ye are the Temple of Yahweh, and that the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16 AV).
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of Yahweh, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19 AV).
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of Yahweh, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto Yahweh, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of Yahweh, (Romans 12:1-2 AV).
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them, (Matthew 18:20 AV).
Peter goes on to show that we as humans are like living stones that make up the spiritual Temple of Yahweh today. The chipping, fitting, shaping, and polishing of these living stones that make us fitting for Yahshua’s Temple goes on as we strive to overcome the world, our flesh and the adversary, to become a fit part of the Messiah’s spiritual body:
Ye also, as lively [living] stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Yahweh by Yahshua Messiah, (1 Peter 2:5 AV).
Yahshua explained to the woman at the well that the time was coming when the worship of the Father would be a spiritual worship, and one could worship Yahweh anywhere, for His Spirit permeates the earth and the heavens:
Yahweh is spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth, (John 4:24 KJV).
THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
We are certainly in the time that we are to worship Yahweh in spirit and in truth. He allowed the Temple to be destroyed after His Son had paid the sacrifice for sin. Yahshua said He was sent to the “House of Israel,” which includes not only the house of Judah, but also the house of Ephraim and all the twelve tribes:
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, (Mat 15:24).
The House of Israel refers to all the 12 tribes, which includes the Jews, comprised of Judah and Benjamin as well as the Levitical priests. The rest of Israel is made up of the 10 tribes carried away from the land by the Assyrians around 725 BCE. The Jews make up one nation and the lost ten tribes make up the second group, often referred to as “Ephraim” (Iphriam).
EPHRAIM KNOWN AS ISRAEL
Those who are followers of the Savior are under the Melchizedek order and are to worship Yahweh in spirit and truth. Tassels were for those living under the Levitical priesthood. We are under the Melchizedek order. Now we are to have Yahweh’s word in our hearts and minds, that is, we are to have the mind of Yahshua within so that we think like Him, act like Him, respond like Him, have attributes like Him.
A growing number of Bible believers have the distinct impression they might themselves be descendants from the ten tribes of Israel that were taken captive by the Assyrians and never returned. The historian Josephus wrote these displaced northern ten tribes of Israel had never returned to the land of Israel. The 50,000 which returned under Ezra and Nehemiah were the Jews from Babylon.
History shows the 10 tribes were settled in Middle East (in the present area of Iraq), between the Caspian and the Black Sea. From this area of Georgia and Armenia, they crossed over the Caucasus Mountains and became known as “Caucasians.” From thence they have scattered even further, both east and west. (Request: “Babylon the Great Pagan Influence”)
Josephus wrote of this group as being an innumerable company and had settled in northwestern Europe. A growing number of historians have authored books in the last several years showing growing evidence that some of the ten tribes of Israel have been located. Some examples include: “The ‘Lost’ Ten Tribes of Israel…Found,” by Steven M. Collins; “The Mystery of True Israel,” by Gordon Jack Mohr; “Iceland Light to the Nations,” by Des Thomas; “Ephraim,” by Yair Davidy; “Restoring Israel’s Kingdom,” by Angus Wootten, “Ephraim WHO??,” by Jill Hulley.
THE HEBREW BIBLE
A most interesting but simple question is, “What are Europeans doing with a Hebrew Bible?” Why is the Bible the religious book of the European countries, including Russia in the east, England in the west, and the Mediterranean in the south to Norway in the north? Why is the religion of Europeans (both Catholic and Protestant) based on the Old Testament of the Jews, and the New Testament comes from the land of the Jews now known as Israel?
Africa is rife with various tribal pagan religions (except where the Bible or the Koran has been introduced by Europeans or Arabs). India has Hindu and other religions, and Shinto and Buddha are found in China and Japan. Malaysia has a number of tribal religions. North and South America both have their own religions. It is the Europeans who have been the evangelists to introduce Christianity to the world, which is primarily based on the Hebrew Bible.
REGATHERING OF ISRAEL
It is rather interesting that both mainstream Christian and Orthodox Jewish teachings erroneously allege that the Jews and the Ten tribes have already returned from captivity and make up the people in the Middle East we know as Jews today. This supposedly occurred during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. However, reliable history books state that only 50,000 Jews returned from exile. The Ten lost tribes have not yet returned to the land of Israel. Ephraim became the dominant tribe of the Ten and often stands for the northern Ten tribes. They supposedly are lost to human knowledge, but Yahweh says not one grain will be lost:
For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth, (Amos 9:9 AV).
When Yahshua sent his disciples out to teach, He sent them to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He also said He Himself was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Thus, there were more than only Jews in the land of Israel when Yahshua sent out the twelve:
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, (Matthew 10:6 AV).
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, (Matthew 15:24 AV).
NOT ALL ISRAEL ARE OF ISRAEL
Today Yahweh is calling out a people to replace the Israel that did not measure up to their high calling. Yahweh is replacing some of both houses of Israel, Jews and Ephraim. He is seeking those who could become kings and priests in His kingdom:
Elohim had provided some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us, (Hebrews 11:40 MKJV).
Romans 11:17 reveals there will be many non-Israelites who will be grafted into the Abrahamic tree of promise. It really makes little difference whether one is an Ephraimite, a Jew (as both are Israelites), or one from the nations (Greek, ethnos). If you feel Yahweh is calling you through His Spirit, He wants you to become a firstfruit and be in the first resurrection.
If you feel an inner compulsion to seek His face, having a thirst for more knowledge and understanding of Yahweh’s will for your life, it is our prayer you will answer the call. It makes no difference what your race or background. Scripture says in Acts 15 and other places for His Name’s sake, Yahweh is calling certain Gentiles to share the promises and blessings made to Israel:
Even as Simon (Peter) has declared how Elohim at the first visited the nations to take out of them a people for His name…So those men who are left might seek after Yahweh, and all the nations on whom My name has been called, says Yahweh, who does all these things, (Acts 15:14, 17 MKJV).
REGATHERING OF ISRAEL
Yahweh reveals He has not cast away His people Israel, there is a remnant which will come through and obtain the first resurrection to the spirit realm, a very small remnant:
Except Yahweh of hosts had left us a very small remnant, we would be as Sodom; we would be like Gomorrah, (Isaiah 1:9 MKJV).
Though the number of the sons of Israel is as the sands of the sea, a remnant shall be saved, (Romans 9:27 MKJV).
Even so then, also in this present time a remnant according to the election of grace has come into being, (Romans 11:5 MKJV).
This remnant is comprised of Gentiles and those from Ephraim and Judah who are obedient and have accepted Yahshua as their Savior and call on Yahweh’s name. Those who come out of the churches will be under the Melchizedek order, and those from Judah will likely still cling to their Levitical background having a tendency for the material or physical worship. At the end of the age Judah and Ephraim will cooperate with and work with each other:
The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them, (Isaiah 11:13-14 AV).
In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance to your fathers, (Jeremiah 3:18 MKJV)
What should we be doing now that we obviously are entering the end of the age? A growing number from churchianity realize there is something wrong with their present affiliation. Yahweh’s Spirit urges them to get back to the truth of the Word and keep the days that will be observed in the Kingdom to come. We have left churchianity and its twisted teachings from paganism behind. We follow Yahweh’s commandments as we prepare for the Kingdom.
We are often referred to as “Messianic Israelites,” (as opposed to “Messianic Jews”). We strive to keep all His Sabbaths, statutes, laws and Commandments, (including the Third that directs us to proclaim Yahweh’s name to all who will hear). The commands to keep Yahweh’s name in reverence and observe the Sabbaths of Yahweh are the two most ignored of all Ten Commandments. Observing these two alone will really set one apart in today’s world!
Messianic Israelites (Ephraim) worship our Heavenly Father by calling upon His name Yahweh, the Mighty One of Israel. We accept Yahshua as our Savior and are baptized in the name of Yahshua and walk in His steps, offering spiritual sacrifices: Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to Elohim by Yahshua Messiah, (1 Peter 2:5 AV).
There is also the group of Messianic Jews who have left the orthodox Jewish groups and have accepted Yahshua as the Messiah. The beliefs of this “remnant” are in basic agreement with our goals and understanding. However, most insist that to join their fellowship one must be physically circumcised. Being baptized (mikvahed) in Yahshua’s name is seldom emphasized.
We must separate the Messianic Jews from the Orthodox Jews, as the orthodox believe they represent the whole house of Israel, all 12 tribes. The Messianic groups agree with us that the Jews today comprise the tribes of Judah and Benjamin plus the Levitical priests.
We of the Melchizedek order understand that our veins likely carry a measure of Israelite blood from the lost 10 tribes. But it really makes no difference, for Yahweh seeks a sincere and contrite heart that trembles at His word.
Gentiles will replace those Israelite branches torn out of the Abrahamic tree of promise:
I say then, Did they not stumble that they fall? Let it not be! But by their slipping away came salvation to the (Gentiles) nations, to provoke them to jealousy. But if their slipping away is the riches of the world, and their default is the riches of the nations, how much more their fullness? (Romans 11:11-12 MKJV).
NOAHIDE (NOACHIAN) LAWS
The Orthodox Jews have seven laws which the rabbis allege Yahweh gave to the sons of Noah. These laws supposedly set forth the rights of mankind, and the keeping of these was enough to ensure salvation. The laws are: 1. Obedience to magistrates, judges; 2. Worship of false deities forbidden; 3. Cursing Yahweh (blasphemy) forbidden; 4. Sexual sins forbidden; 5. Spilling blood forbidden; 6. Theft, fraud, lying forbidden; 7. Animal parts from live animals not to be eaten. Other stipulations rumored to have been added later, but proof is lacking.
McClintock & Strong’s Ecclesiatical Dictionary says the Jews would not suffer any stranger to dwell in their country unless he would conform to the Noachian precepts. The foreigners who submitted were Proselytes of the Gate. Those who entered into the community of Hebrew citizens by the solemn ceremonies of circumcision, baptism and a sacrifice became the Proselytes of Righteousness.
The Noahide Laws are not ordered by Yahweh and are man made, not delineated by Yahweh. The Jewish Rabbis have made up this series of their own regulations and rules and laws. However, Yahweh says there shall be one set of laws for all Israel and the stranger that journeys among them. Not only was this same law command given to Israel for their observance of the Passover, but the command included those that sojourned with them:
One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you, (Exodus 12:49 A V).
The theme of one law for Israelite and Gentile is confirmed in Leviticus 24:22; Numbers 9:14, 15, 16, 29, etc. Paul wrote in Galatians 3:28 there was no difference between Jew and Gentile and repeated it in Colossians 3:11. Though we may come from different backgrounds, we as Yahweh's people are destined to be shaped and guided by the same laws and commandments as we yield to His Spirit.
The destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. left the Levitical priesthood in disarray, and sacrificial offerings since are no longer offered. We are told that some of the Jewish Messianic groups insist that to join with them, one should be physically circumcised. Baptism into Yahshua's name was seldom brought up, but circumcision is frequently mentioned as a command. There are groups which have an unwritten law that a non-Jewish Israelite Messianic member will not be made a teacher, for only Jewish-born Rabbis will be appointed to such leadership positions. There is no such requirement in the Melchizedek order of Israelite Ephraim.
WHAT IS A TRUE JEW?
The book of Romans describes the circumcision we should seek is not the outward appearance, but an inward work of the heart that we might be like the true Jews (Yahudim, those who praise Yahweh). Yahshua denounced those who attempted to create attention to themselves in outward appearance. We are not to seek the attention and praise of men as do the Pharisees. We are to seek the praise of Yahweh by pleasing Him:
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of Yahweh, (Romans 2:28-29 AV).
Paul goes on in Romans chapter three, pointing out it is the Jews who have been made caretakers of the Old Testament, upon which our faith is based. We can learn from the Jews a deeper insight as we seek the truth of Yahweh's word. On the other hand we can help the Jews come to a deeper appreciation of the love and spiritual way of life Yahshua has for all of us.
While the Jews have been made custodians of the Old Testament, only a few have noted that the goal of the saints is to be the bride of Messiah. In Revelation 21:9 an angel reveals the bride, the Lamb’s wife, to John who then sees a celestial city coming down from Yahweh out of heaven. The city hovers over the earth, and is comprised of the saints who were resurrected to the spirit realm in the first resurrection It’s called the “New Jerusalem,” this is where Yahweh sets His throne and along with Yahshua, are the “Temple,” and they rule from there.
Take special note this spiritual city, the abode of the coming King and His Messiah, has 12 foundations, named after the 12 Apostles:
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them were the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb, (Revelation 21:14 MKJV). Notice the foundations of the New Jerusalem that is above has its foundations based upon the New Testament Apostles, not the Old Testament. Emphasis is on the New Testament teachings of the Savior and the writers of the New Testament:
Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of Yahweh, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Yahshua Messiah Himself being the chief cornerstone, (Ephesians 2:19-20 MKJV).
The Ekklesia, the called out ones, (the Church, as defined by many today) was built upon Peter and his confession that Yahshua was indeed the promised Messiah, and the Assembly belongs to Him:
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Assembly, and the gates of hell (the grave) shall not prevail against it, (Matthew 16:18 MKJV).
We trust the above will show that we who have come out of the churches are to follow the example of the Savior and are under the spiritual Melchizedek order as we seek the true worship of Yahweh under Yahshua our High Priest. We are not to be conformed to this world nor to follow the ways of the Pharisees. We are to be bearers of spiritual fruit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law, (Galatians 5:22-23 MKJV). The spiritual Melchizedek order has replaced the Levitical order of physical offerings. Our battle is in the Spiritual realm:
Finally, my brothers, be strong in Yahweh and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of Elohim so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore take to yourselves the whole armor of Elohim, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand, (Ephesians 6:10-13 MKJV).
We do not draw closer to Yahweh through wearing tzit-tzits on our clothing, or wearing phylacteries on our arm or forehead. We draw closer to Yahweh by having our spirit in tune with His Set-apart Spirit. Our thoughts, goals, ambitions, attitudes and life itself is to be in complete harmony with Yahweh and Yahshua. Prepare yourself to join that glorious throng which will meet Yahshua in the air when He returns:
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready, (Revelation 19:7 AV).
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