In Search of Kingdom Unity
What would happen if all the people who claim to have pledged allegiance to Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) actually cooperated with one another? The operative word is “cooperate”, not “agree”. Total agreement has never been possible, even among the prophets and apostles of old (Numbers 12:1-16, Mark 9:38-40, Acts 15: 36-41, Philippians 1:12-18).
Nevertheless, there should be a unifying factor of some kind among godly people to distinguish them from the rest of the world and ensure they get on with YHVH’s business rather than their own.
Finding that unifying factor is the purpose of the B’Ney Yosef (Sons of Joseph) Region 35 Conference. The conference will take place December 4, 5, and 6, 2015 at the Tally Retreat Center on Camp Copass in Denton, Texas
The conference grew from an idea discussed at a Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) celebration on the Red River near Wichita Falls, Texas, early in October. Some of the participants at the feast had been delegates at the First B’Ney Yosef National Congress in Ariel, Israel, late in May 2015.
The Congress served as the launching point for a concerted effort to follow YHVH’s lead in the long-anticipated restoration of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Ten Tribes of the House of Joseph (House of Ephraim). In discussing what could be done to advance the work of the Congress, particularly in view of recent initiatives by the State of Israel and by Jewish organizations to identify non-Jewish groups that have an affinity with Israel.
For a comprehensive discussion of these initiatives, see two recent posts on Pete Rambo’s blog, natsab:
Pete Rambo blog post #1, JPost Bney Yosef Advertisement
Pete Rambo blog post #2, Yosef is Alive!
That discussion developed into a plan to hold a the conference in Denton, not far from Dallas, to bring together Hebrew Roots believers in Texas and Oklahoma in the interest of sharing the vision of the B’Ney Yosef Congress and organizing for a B’Ney Yosef North American Summit planned for the first weekend of March 2016 in Orlando, Florida.
It did not take long for this idea to grow as the Holy Spirit provided further direction. Before leaving the Sukkot celebration, organizers Larry Ferguson, Al McCarn, and Akpene Torku realized the need to include like-minded brethren from the central part of the United States, meaning the region around the Interstate 35 Corridor.
That was the genesis of B’Ney Yosef Region 35. It is not yet an organization, but a concept embracing the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. An invitation letter sent out in mid-October produced sufficient response to beginning conference preparation. Now, just a month after the initial idea was proposed, the Region 35 conference is already on its way to reaching the maximum registration of 300 participants.
As the conference concept took shape, it became clear that this was to be more than merely a Hebrew Roots/Two House event. To reflect the Holy Spirit’s direction, it has developed into a forum at which all who love Israel are welcome, not only from among Torah-keeping Hebrew Roots believers, but also Christians and Messianic Jews. The unifying theme is that all who have a testimony of following Yeshua are part of the Commonwealth of Israel and the seed of Abraham.
According to the testimony of Scripture (Isaiah 56:1-7; Ezekiel 37:1-28; Romans 11:11-32; Ephesians 2:11-22), these believers share with Jews an Israelite identity that distinguishes them from the rest of the nations (gentiles), regardless of their ethnic or national identity of birth. This identity is firmly grounded in the covenantal promises of YHVH to our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to the work of Messiah Yeshua in opening the way for the lost sheep of the House of Israel to return (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-6, 26:1-5, 28:13-15; Matthew 15:24).
Sadly, this identity question is something that eludes many believers. Moreover, the different terms used by Messianic, Hebrew Roots, and Christian believers amplifies misunderstanding, leading to further division. These are the things the Region 35 Conference is designed to address.
Speakers confirmed thus far include:
Pastor James Sterling of Christ’s Community Fellowship in Wichita Falls, Texas
David Altman of the Alliance of Redeemed Israel; and
Al McCarn, co-host of The Remnant Road on Hebrew Nation Radio and author of The Barking Fox blog
A centerpiece of the conference will be a panel discussion on Shabbat (Saturday) focused on the question of how Christian, Hebrew Roots, and Messianic Jewish believers can work together as members of the Body of Messiah. At the heart of the event is a desire to seek the will of the Father regarding His Kingdom purposes. For that reason there will be emphasis on prayer and repentance, as well as praise and worship, from the start on Friday evening.
Registration is still open for all who sense a leading to participate. Ministry partners are also encouraged to register to set up displays of the resources they can provide in the process of educating the Body of Messiah to their identity, and supporting our Jewish brethren and the State of Israel.
This article was originally published as a Hebrew Nation News Alert, November 12, 2015.