Tag Archive | Australia

The State of Israel and Ephraim’s Awakening: An Academic Investigation by Stephen Hindes

The concept of the "nation-state" was a product of the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War in 1648. The nation-state, however, is not the ultimate expression of God's Kingdom order. (The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, Gerard Terborch.)

The concept of the “nation-state” was a product of the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War in 1648. The nation-state, however, is not the ultimate expression of God’s Kingdom order. (The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, by Gerard Terborch.)

Thinking is hard.  If it were not hard, then more people would do it.

In truth, all of us prefer to remain in our comfort zones, where familiar things surround us – including familiar answers to questions and familiar solutions to familiar problems.  Most likely this preference for the familiar, the things we know and can deal with well enough, is a big reason few people take an active role in making the way for Messiah to come.

That last statement is bound to generate opposition.  Those who view it from the Christian side (including Messianic and Hebrew Roots believers) will say that Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ) is the Messiah (Christ means Messiah, by the way), that he has come once, and that he will be coming back.  Those who approach from the Jewish side say that Messiah is yet to come.  The point of this article is not to address either perspective, but to consider something both have in common:  the faithful expectation that Messiah Son of David is coming as King of Israel to rule the nations from Zion.

If we all have this common expectation, then it would be wise to consider what that future Messianic realm will look like.  Maybe we should even consider what we have to do to make it happen.

This is where we run into the hard part.  We have to think about it, and that is scary and uncomfortable.  Those of us who have come from the Christian side have lived our lives expecting Messiah to return and fix everything.  According to our expectations, there is no effort required on our part to bring him here; he just shows up one day according to some predetermined timetable God established from the beginning.  To think, like our Jewish brethren, that we have responsibility for creating the conditions for Messiah’s coming (or return) requires a major paradigm shift.  It means we must step out in faith and do things that we usually leave up to God alone.

But then, that is the consistent testimony of Scripture –

  • Noah had to do things to secure the salvation of his family (such as think about how to follow the instructions God gave him to build that very large boat, and then actually do the work).
  • Abraham had to do things to receive the promises God gave him (such as pack up and leave comfortable, civilized Mesopotamia, and go to a hostile foreign land – first in Syria, and then in Canaan).
  • Moses had to do things to receive God’s instructions for the nation of Israel (such as walk to Egypt, then convince the elders of the people that God had spoken to him, and then seek an audience with Pharaoh – and that was only the beginning of the work he had to do!)

There are many more examples summarized in Hebrews 11.  The people in that “Hall of Faith” chapter deserve praise not because they sat around waiting for God to move, but because they got up and did the moving themselves in response to God’s promises.  As they moved, He provided direction, resources, help from others, and miraculous intervention when necessary.  Yet would YHVH have done so if they had not invested their own blood, sweat, treasure, and intellectual effort?

Probably not.  In fact, when God’s people sat around waiting for Him to move, He had to take extreme action just to get them off their backsides and into motion!  We see that in the record of the apostles.  Even though Yeshua had told them to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, they were content to remain in Jerusalem until God raised up a man named Saul of Tarsus who forced them out (see Acts 8).

Which brings us to the dilemma of the present day.  Are we really at the “end of the age”, when Messiah is about to show up?  If so, what does that mean?  More importantly, what are we to do about it?  How do we prepare for Messiah’s reign in what will be a very real Kingdom centered in a very real place called Jerusalem?  What will this Kingdom look like?  How will it resemble what we know today in the modern nation-state system?  How will it be different?

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Israel 2016: In Search of Hebrew Roots Judaism

General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore on Leyte, Philippine Islands, in October 1944 to keep his promised, "I shall return".

General Douglas MacArthur wades ashore on Leyte, Philippine Islands, in October 1944 to keep his promised, “I shall return”.

There is a joke from World War II that no longer makes sense without some explanation.  It is said that a foreign student at an American university wrote an essay about General Douglas MacArthur.  In the early months of 1942, as MacArthur presided over a doomed defense of the Philippine Islands, he was ordered to leave his command and go to Australia, there to organize the multinational Allied force that would halt Japanese expansion in the South Pacific.  At his departure, MacArthur reportedly promised the people of the Philippines and his Filipino and American troops that he would one day come back with an army to liberate them – which he did two years later.  On that momentous day in 1942, though, all he could do was promise, “I shall return.”

Those were inspiring words to Americans about to lose their forward bases and their largest military force in the Far East, and who could not bear to lose with them one of the most senior officers of their Army.  MacArthur’s words inspired this young foreign student as well.  However, his knowledge of English being imperfect, he conducted his research in his native tongue, and therefore committed an unfortunate faux pas when he presented his paper.  Standing proudly in front of his peers, the young man said, “I write about Douglas MacArthur, who said those famous words, ‘I’ll be right back!’”

What is the proper response in such a situation?  If there is no offense, then laughter erupts.  However, if the hearers take offense, then they respond in anger.

It may be that neither is the proper response.  If the one who made the error is trying to communicate in good faith, then the audience should give grace, seek to understand the true message, and help the author overcome the error.  That is the point behind King Solomon’s wise words:

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.  (Proverbs 10:12 NKJV; see also Proverbs 17:9)

Solomon’s observation is rooted in a Torah principle:

You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God:  I am the Lord.  (Leviticus 19:14 NKJV)

Jewish sages understand that this principle refers not only to the physically deaf and blind, but also to people who cannot hear or see things clearly.  Perhaps they are not present when something is said, or perhaps they do not have the language or experience to grasp the intricacies of a subject under discussion.  Consider, for example, a man who is brilliant in his native language, but struggles to order a cup of coffee in English, and is laughed to scorn by those who do not realize the importance of being kind to strangers (another Torah principle).

To be honest, Jews are strangers to me, and I am a stranger to Jews.  Although I identify as a Hebrew Roots follower of Messiah Yeshua, I have yet to grasp the intricacies of Judaism.  The more Jews I meet and get to know, the more I begin to understand, but always what I say and do is tempered with the fear that I may give offense in some way that I had never anticipated.

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Israel 2016: Family In Twelve Languages – The Conclusion of the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress

Dorothy and Tommy Wilson teach from the Torah portion Beresheet (In the Beginning), applying insights from the creation of man and woman to the process of restoring the people of Joseph/Ephraim.

Dorothy and Tommy Wilson teach from the Torah portion Beresheet (In the Beginning), applying insights from the creation of man and woman to the process of restoring the people of Joseph/Ephraim.

In some ways the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress was actually the Second First B’ney Yosef National Congress.  This emerging people of the House of Joseph (Yosef) is still a long way from transacting business as one would expect from cohesive people groups such as the Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians, Lakota, Navajo, or Ibo.  We still have much to discover about ourselves and much historical division to overcome before we can speak with a unified voice.  Nevertheless, the seeds have been sown, both in the First Congress and in this Second Congress.  The fruit is not yet ready, but it is becoming recognizable as fruit, and that in itself is a major step forward.

My earlier report on the first half of the Congress (see Picking Up Where We Left Off:  A Report on the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress) covered most of the formal business on the schedule.  When we arrived at Shabbat on the evening of Friday, October 28, we had already heard from visionaries and scholars such as Iris Bouwman, Ron Campbell, and Ephraim Frank.  They focused us on:

  • Our identity as the returning children of Yosef/Ephraim
  • Our hope in restoration by YHVH and reunification with our brethren of Judah
  • Our responsibilities in moving with the Almighty as He directs and empowers this process.  

What happened over the next two days did not bring anything new or different, but instead imparted greater depth to what we had already heard and shared.

The formal meetings on Shabbat did not commence until late in the afternoon.  As with any such gathering, the real business took place not in the formal presentations, but in the quiet conversations among two or three huddled in the common room, or sitting at table for a meal.  It seemed that these informal meetings took on a heightened importance during and after Shabbat.  After breakfast, many delegates gathered to read the Torah portion Beresheet (In the Beginning), another simple activity which enhanced the bonding already taking place among these diverse Ephraimites from so many different places and cultures.  Others who did not participate in the Torah reading continued in quiet relationship-building conversation, or in private prayer and Bible study.  All partook of considerable rest during the day, the feature of Shabbat which has become precious to us all.

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Israel 2016: Picking Up Where We Left Off – A Report on the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress

A remarkable thing happened seventeen months ago, when the First B’ney Yosef National Congress convened in Ariel, Israel.  At that time a people who had not existed as a people for over 2,700 years came back from the ash heap of history.  The people of the House of Joseph (Yosef) – Ephraim, those “Lost Tribes” of Israel’s northern kingdom – assembled in Samaria, the territory of their ancient ancestors, and acknowledged their belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to accomplish His Word to bring their people back as a nation and join them with the Jewish part of Israel (the House of Judah) in fulfillment of His covenant.

Delegates gather at the Second B'ney Yosef National Congress, October 26, 2016.

Delegates gather at the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress, October 26, 2016.

It was a modest beginning; only a little over 130 people attended, representing 12 countries.  We made no bold declarations, but humbly whispered to one another and to the world that we were ready to answer the Father’s call and walk out the return of the Prodigal.  Humble indeed, but astounding nevertheless.  Certainly no less astounding than the reestablishment of the State of Israel in 1948 after 1,900 years of dissolution.

The momentum of that First Congress has carried into the Second B’ney Yosef Congress, which is now in its third day.  The Congress convened on the evening of October 26, 2016, and will continue until Monday, October 31.  The venue once again is the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.  The numbers of delegates are about the same, but this time there are some significant differences. 

For one thing, the number of nations has grown to 15.  Not surprisingly, the United States has the largest number of delegates, comprising about half of the total.  What is surprising is that the second largest contingent is from one of the world’s smallest countries:  the Netherlands.  Over 20 Dutch Ephraimites are here, imparting a beautiful Dutch accent to all the proceedings.  Also represented are Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Fiji, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Peru, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland.  A central feature of the Congress has been reports from each of these countries, as well as video and proxy reports from Finland, Pakistan, Uganda, and India. 

These reports build a mosaic of the Hebrew Awakening happening across the globe.  In Pakistan, for example, Pastor Qaiser Ilyas shared by video his work in building Hebrew language and Torah teaching programs in Urdu for children and adults.  Valerie Bulkunu, representing the Aboriginal people of Australia, shared the revival that is beginning among the youth of her people, and the awakening among Aboriginals to their Hebrew roots and Israelite identity.  A similar phenomenon is happening among the Mizo people of northeast India, as Margot Crossing related in her report about the descendants of exiled Israelites who migrated across the Silk Road into South Asia.  These developments are happening simultaneously with the better-known Torah awakenings in Europe and North America, and in time will have an even more significant impact as tens of millions of Ephraimites come into the understanding of their covenant identity.

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Israel 2016: Days of Transition

imageComing to Jerusalem at the invitation of the Almighty for one of His feasts means stepping into a bubble of time and space.  It is holy and joyous, but like all good things is must end at some point.  My friend Pete has written about the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles our families shared in the moshav (village) of Gi’vat Ye’arim.  I cannot improve on what he shared in his post called Embraced!  (To read it, please go here:  https://natsab.com/2016/10/24/embraced/)

Our farewell to Gi’vat Ye’arim arrived on October 25.  We travelled from there in three cars to Ariel, site of the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress.  The plan as to take the highway to the coast and drive up Route 2 along the Mediterranean, then stop at Mount Carmel where Elijah defeated the prophets of Ba’al (I Kings 18), and from there go to Ariel.  We did not count on Tel Aviv traffic!  Before long we became separated, leaving my wife, Charlayne, our daughter Katie, Pete’s son Jeremiah, and myself to make our own way.

It turned out to be a very pleasant journey.  We did dip our feet in the sea at Caesarea, where the old Roman aqueduct still stands.  The calm blue of the water captured our admiration, but could not keep me from remembering that the ships of at least five navies were playing games of cat-and-mouse not that far away in the deadly dance over Syria.  Such thoughts are never far away when one is in Israel.  And yet they did not diminish our enjoyment of Caesarea that day.

As we resumed the journey, we drove to and through the Mount Carmel National Park.  The views are splendid, the roads wind up and down the hills, and sometimes large trucks slow the journey.  Driving through the Druze town on the slopes of the Carmel Range was a cultural experience – made more interesting by a wrong turn down a side street.  (Hint:  never, ever, ever do that in the Middle East!)

Eventually we arrived at the Carmelite monastery which is the traditional site of Elijah’s victory.  There we were reunited with our friends, thanks to the timely arrival of several tour busses why I blocked their cars in the parking lot for an hour!  We had time to take in the stunning views of the Jezreel Valley and of the imposing statue of Elijah on its tall pedestal before continuing on to our final destination:  the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.

Since arriving here we have enjoyed continuous fellowship with old and new friends from 15 countries and six continents.  The Congress convened last night, October 26, with a review of the First Congress by Ephraim and Rimona Frank, and reports from delegates of the participating countries.  Mike Clayton provided a short exhortation from Scripture which set the tone for these five days.  He pointed out that Judah’s returning exiles in the days of Nehemiah celebrated Sukkot (Tabernacles) after building Jerusalem’s wall, and then assembled on the 24th day of the seventh month to fast, pray, read the Torah, and declare their repentance and allegiance to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to His covenant (see Nehemiah 8 and 9).  As Mike pointed out, we returning Ephraimites just happen to have assemble on the 24th day of the seventh Hebrew month to convene our Congress for the same purpose.  As in all things of YHVH, that is not a coincidence.

The evening ended with a time of worship and dance, featuring a powerful dance presentation by the Dutch group Mahanaim (Two Camps).  They depicted two brides – Judah in white and Ephraim in red – who separated, fought with one another, and in the end were reunited by the same Bridegroom they both love.  Their performance established a worshipful tone which introduced Andrew Hodkinson of South Africa to lead us all in song and dance.  Those of us who joined the dance circle had come from Holland, England, Fiji, Australia, Sweden, South Africa, the USA.  Together we danced as one people, brought near by the Messiah we adore to the brother we have longed to embrace here in this land of Israel.  At the of the evening, Ed Boring of the USA led us all in singing Hatikvah – Israel’s national anthem.  It could not have been a better ending to these days of transition.

The Roman accused the at Caesarea.

The Roman aqueduct at Caesarea.

image

On the beach at Caesarea.

On the beach at Caesarea.

Statue of Elijah's Victory over the prophets of Ba'al at Mount Carmel.

Statue of Elijah’s Victory over the prophets of Ba’al at Mount Carmel.

Enjoying the view at Mount Carmel.

Enjoying the view at Mount Carmel.

The Jezreel Valley as seen from Mount Carmel.

The Jezreel Valley as seen from Mount Carmel.

Delegates from 15 countries assemble for the Second B'ney Yosef National Congress at the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.

Delegates from 15 countries assemble for the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress at the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Israel 2016: Breakfast with King Saul

 

Sunrise at Gi'vat Ye'arim

Sunrise at Gi’vat Ye’arim

And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and valiant men went with him, whose hearts God had touched.  (I Samuel  10:26 NKJV)

Is there a better way to wake up that with a beautiful sunrise?  It was a surprise to find such a view of the hills to the west of Jerusalem from the house we are staying, but a welcome surprise after a very long day of travel. 

We are staying in Gi’vat Ye’arim, a town in the hills west of Jerusalem.  In ancient times this was Gibeah, the home town of King Saul and a city with an interesting (and not that pleasant) history (see Judges 19-21).  We are sharing the house here with very good friends, and today will set out on our first full day of seeing the Land.  Our travel yesterday from North Carolina through Germany to Israel was relatively uneventful, although I would recommend patience in dealing with Israeli rental car agencies!  Our friends the Rambos and Wilsons travelled separately, coming through Toronto to Tel Aviv, but we all arrived at about the same time and are now sharing this beautiful house for the next week.  (You can see Pete’s account of their travels on his blog, natsab.com).

View of the hills west of Jerusalem from Gi'vat Ye'arim

View of the hills west of Jerusalem from Gi’vat Ye’arim

We are in Israel for two momentous occasions:  the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), and the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress.  Expectations and excitement this year as the prophetic developments on many fronts indicate the world has entered a very special year on YHVH’s timeline.  That is why all of us who have blogs, radio programs, video channels, and other outlets will do our best to share our experiences as they occur.  We do not know exactly what will happen, but we expect to have a number of divine encounters that as our God continues the work of bringing His people together for His Kingdom purposes.

Regarding bringing His people together, there is already an exciting development to report on the Second Congress.  With nearly 150 people registered from 14 different countries, this Congress is already bigger and more diverse than the First Congress.  New countries represented include Australia, Belgium, Indonesia, New Zealand, Peru, and South Africa.  There are also several Indigenous Peoples from some of these countries who will be contributing of their special gifts and callings to this process of Israel’s restoration.

There is an opportunity for those who are not going to the Congress to take part in a meaningful way.  As always, prayer is essential – for unity among the brethren, for safety in travel, for clarity in hearing the Holy Spirit communicate the Father’s intent, and for wisdom in making the right decisions. 

There is also a way to contribute directly to help restore the Native voices to the House of Israel through the B’ney Yosef Indigenous Peoples Scholarship Fund.  Contributions to the fund initially will be applied to the costs of Indigenous representatives to the Second B’ney Yosef National Congress in Israel, October 26-31, 2016, and for related purposes as the people of the House of Yosef come together across the globe.  If you are interested in making a contribution, please click on this link:

B’ney Yosef Indigenous Peoples Scholarship Fund

This is a very exciting time to be alive!  Whether you are able to come to Israel or celebrate the Feast at home, expect this year to be unlike any other!

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© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tracking the Tribes

Here’s what is coming up on The Remnant Road on Hebrew Nation Radio for Monday, May 30:

160530 Crossing

Margot Crossing is back! Our Australian friend recently completed a lengthy visit to India where she continued her investigations into the whereabouts of Israel’s Lost Tribes. Her first stop was in Kashmir, where she expanded her connections with Muslim academics who understand the Israelite origin of many of the tribes of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. On the other side of the Subcontinent, Margot enjoyed a sojourn with the Bnei Menashe (Children of Manasseh) in Mizoram, and along the way she found time to visit awakening Hebrews in the city of Hyderabad. This will be another information-packed show! Join us for news about the restoration of the House of Joseph/Ephraim in South Asia.
Check out Margot’s blog at https://losttribesfoundblog.wordpress.com/.

Remnant Road 01, with co-hosts Al McCarn and Daniel Holdings, is the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  You can listen live at 11:00–1:00 EST, 8:00-10:00 PST at http://hebrewnationonline.com/, and on podcast at any time.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Our Baby is Alive and Well! A Report on the Growth of B’ney Yosef North America

Great celebration attended the birth of B'ney Yosef North America on March 6, 2016.

Great celebration attended the birth of B’ney Yosef North America on March 6, 2016.

Parents know very well that the excitement of a child’s birth fades very quickly as reality of life with a newborn infant sets in.  After the ordeal of labor and delivery, the rapid passage of news by phone calls and Facebook posts, and the welcome of a seemingly endless stream of family and friends, a rather dull routine sets in.  Much to the frustration of older siblings, the baby does very little except sleep, eat, cry, and . . . well, you know.  It will be quite some time before the child gains controls of its limbs, and still more time before it can sit up on its own and even begin to think about crawling.  Only after that can the child progress toward walking, talking, feeding itself, and learning how to be polite in public.

A newborn organization goes through these same growth stages.  Whether it is a company, a ministry, or a nation, the newborn still requires time and nurture before it can stand on its own.

Such is the case with our newborn, B’ney Yosef North America.  BYNA is barely one month old, and although there is not much visible to the public, this child is healthy and growing just as it should.

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The Most Interesting Thing I Have Learned This Month

Abraham and Isaac Anthony van Dyck

Abraham and Isaac
Anthony van Dyck

Having walked this path of faith for several decades, I have come to understand that the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not require His people to do anything that He Himself is not prepared to demonstrate by example.  In other words, whatever requirements He places on us in the form of commandments will have some corresponding requirement He has placed on Himself.  For example, in the famous Akedah, the Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19), YHVH calls on Abraham to take his only son Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice.  Abraham obeys, and on the way to the place Isaac asks him where the lamb for the burnt offering is.  Abraham answers, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering” (Genesis 22:8).  Many centuries later, we find that Messiah Yeshua fulfills that role of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29-36, Revelation 5:1-14), just as prophesied in Isaiah 53.  The holy example is that God Himself gave the His very own Son, withholding nothing to redeem mankind, and therefore demonstrating that those who choose to follow Him must hold nothing back in their obedience to His will.

If this principle of “heavenly reciprocity” is true, then there should be some equivalent to the Lord’s requirement of His people to love Him and love one another.  Yeshua identified these as the two greatest commandments, and the authorities who questioned Him had no disagreement on that point:

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Reverse Replacement Theology?

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these thing shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 KJV)

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these thing shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 KJV)

One of those songs I recall singing in church as a youth begins like this:

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

And His righteousness;

And all these things shall be added unto you,

Hallelu, Hallelujah!

(“Seek ye first”, by Karen Lafferty, 1971)

It is a good song taken directly from Scripture.  This particular chorus is from Matthew 6:33, as rendered in the King James:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these thing shall be added unto you.  (Matthew 6:33 KJV)

Like so many things in my Christian upbringing, I do not recall a succinct explanation of this instruction by Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ).  Perhaps it was assumed that we would absorb the meaning in our Sunday School classes or in our own study of the Bible.  Even the Biblical instruction I received in my Christian school never included a full disclosure of what the Kingdom of God is, or a definition of righteousness.  This is not to say that my Christian upbringing was without value; I owe an incalculable debt of gratitude to the teachers, pastors, and counselors who labored lovingly to help me become a disciple of Jesus and to impart their love of the Word of God and the God of the Word.  However, there were some holes in my education, particularly regarding the specifics of certain key terms in my Christian vocabulary.

Righteousness was one of those terms.  Simply put, it is being right according to YHVH’s standards.  Moses provides the details in the Torah.  The rest of the Bible elaborates on that foundation, providing examples of how God’s people succeeded or failed in meeting those standards.  When we get to the Apostolic Writings (New Testament), we see those standards demonstrated by the example of Yeshua, and then we find commentary by the Apostles.  Consequently, even though I cannot recall anyone giving me a definition of righteousness when I was young, it was easy enough to figure out what Yeshua meant when He commanded us to seek it.

But then there is that problematic term, “Kingdom of God”.  What exactly is that?  The Bible tells me about the Kingdom of Israel and about the Kingdom of Heaven, but in my church upbringing it seldom occurred to me that the two might be the same.  And in fact they are the same.  Much Christian teaching has attempted to separate the two, but doing so leaves the Kingdom of God as nothing more than a nebulous, over-spiritualized concept.  The Kingdom of Israel, on the other hand, is a concrete, definable, knowable entity, and all the people of God are part of it.  It matters not whether they are Jewish or of Gentile background.  The terms of the New (or Renewed) Covenant tell us that YHVH has executed this agreement only with the people of Israel and Judah (see Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrews 8:8-11).  Isaiah 56:4-8 explains that foreigners will join themselves to the Lord and come into His Temple, the house of prayer for all nations.  Paul tells us how this will happen, explaining in Romans 11 how non-Jews are “grafted into” the olive tree of Israel along with Jews, and in Ephesians 2 how faith in Messiah Yeshua makes these former Gentiles part of the Commonwealth of Israel.  As if there were any doubt, John records the proclamation of the angel at the end of this age that the kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15).  With that kind of Scriptural foundation, no wonder the ancient carol proclaims, “Born is the King of Israel!”

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