Tag Archive | Ephraimite

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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Celebrating Shabbat Texas Style!

B'ney Yosef National Shabbat New

Fischer Park in New Braunfels, TX, site of the first Central Texas National Shabbat.

Fischer Park in New Braunfels, TX, site of the first Central Texas National Shabbat.

The National Shabbat movement arrived in the Lone Star State through a gathering of about 100 people on March 19 at Fischer Park in the city of New Braunfels.  As with National Shabbats in Georgia and South Carolina, some participants traveled many hours to get there, coming from as far away as Sabine Pass on the Louisiana border, Wichita Falls near the Oklahoma border, Arlington in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, and Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast.  Most of those assembled in New Braunfels came from around Austin (Georgetown, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Kyle) and San Antonio (Boerne, Converse, Poteet, Adkins, Floresville), with a significant number from the Houston area (Katy, Sugarland, Pasadena). Please click here to continue reading

Can These Dry Bones Live? A Report from the Bney Yosef Congress of North America – Israel News

BFB160317 BYC from BINAfter less than two weeks of life, B’ney Yosef North America has begun to receive international attention. Breaking Israel News published the article reposted here on March 17, 2016. The writer, Laura Densmore of Hebrew Nation News, was present at the BYNA Summit in St. Petersburg. Her comprehensive account explains the proceedings and provides links to many other sources of information on what our friend Hanoch Young calls “an earthquake in Florida”.


Breaking Israel News

Can These Dry Bones Live? A Report from the Bney Yosef Congress of North America

By March 17, 2016 , 11:00 am

The Bney Yosef North America Summit took place on March 4-6, 2016  in Tampa, Florida. What is this assembly of people? It is a network of North Americans who have heard the call to join together for the common purpose of the restoration and reconstitution of the people of Northern Israel, also known as the House of Yosef/Ephraim.

The purpose of this Summit was twofold:

*to discuss and affirm a statement of identity and purpose AND
* to get a biblical leadership structure in place, consisting of a Council of Elders to guide and lead BYNA and an Executive Council, to be the administrative arm.

Why this Summit now?  There is an ever increasing awakening of Ephraimites in North America who are looking for their long-expected reunion with Judah.

Read more at Can These Dry Bones Live? A Report from the Bney Yosef Congress of North America – Israel News.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2015-2016.  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.

When Brothers Don’t Get Along

On December 4, 2015, the B’Ney Yosef Region 35 Conference convened at Camp Copass in Denton, Texas, for the purpose of bringing together people in the central part of the United States to seek YHVH’s direction about His Kingdom work at this time.  The initial concept was to continue in the spirit of the First B’Ney Yosef National Congress in the interest of building Ephraimite (Israelite) identity among believers in Messiah Yeshua.  The Holy Spirit quickly expanded that concept into a call for repentance within the Hebrew Roots/Two House movement and reconciliation with other parts of the body of Messiah, particularly with our Christian brethren.  That was the motivation for this address which opened the conference.

BFB151204 MNF-IThe best boss I ever had was the man under whose supervision I served the last time I was in Iraq.  He was also the most profane man I have ever met.  The name of Jesus Christ was for him but one weapon in a formidable arsenal of expletives.  Not a single day passed that some outrage did not fall from his lips, causing my ears to burn and my heart to wonder how long I would have to endure such offense.  And yet I continued in his service, not merely because I had no choice (both of us, after all, were soldiers assigned to serve together), but because God gave me grace to look beyond the offense to see and benefit from the substantial qualities he possessed.  Those qualities included an encyclopedic knowledge of intelligence functions and procedures based on decades of hard experience.  He possessed as well a dogged determination to persevere through all opposition and achieve success in whatever goal he or his superiors established.  That determination sprang from his undying loyalty to the United States of America, and to his belief in the ultimate good of our mission in Iraq.  Yet none of that would have mattered in the least had this man lacked the greatest quality of all:  he regarded every person as having intrinsic value, and as a potential ally in achieving the goals set before him.  He may have spoken roughly, and even in private moments vented his frustration and anger, but he never diminished the value of the human beings in his charge, nor of those under whom he served.

We had occasion to work with military and civilian officials from a number of services and agencies.  Whether they were Army like us, or Marines, Air Force, or Navy, they were all “great Americans” in my boss’s opinion – if for no other reason than because they had volunteered to wear the uniform and be deployed to a Middle Eastern war zone.  He could not call our British, Australian, and German colleagues “great Americans”, but he did hold them in high esteem – while at the same time recognizing that the highest priorities for each of them were the interests of their own nations, not those of the United States.  The true professionals among us, regardless of nationality, recognized this.  We knew that at times there would be questions we could not ask and answers we could not give, but whenever and wherever possible we helped one another.

That “great American” description did extend to the civilian intelligence professionals we encountered.  Those men and women represented nearly all of the 16 agencies of the U.S. Intelligence Community.  The ones you would expect were all there:  each of the agencies of the military services, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the State Department.  Our office dealt mostly with the CIA, whom my boss lovingly called, “Klingons”.  Like our foreign counterparts, they, and all the other intelligence agencies, had their own priorities which were not necessarily the same as ours in the Department of Defense.  Their vision of how to support the national interests of the United States sometimes clashed with ours, and the means and resources at their disposal often put them at an advantage over us.  We had much reason to distrust them, but we had even more reason to work with them – just as the Start Trek heroes found reason to cooperate with the Klingons to defeat their common enemies.

We laugh at the description of the CIA as Klingons, but long before I arrived in Iraq I understood exactly what my boss meant.  Early in my tenure in Washington, DC, I had occasion to work with the CIA on a joint project.  Most of the people with whom I worked were intelligence analysts, people not very different from myself.  They were well educated, often from privileged backgrounds, highly academic (a reflection of the CIA culture), and professionally courteous.  As part of our project we had to consult with a different type of CIA employee.  This person was not an analyst.  Intelligence analysts look at information from various sources and put it together in different ways to understand what it means.  They are the friendly face of the CIA.  There is another face, however, and it is not very friendly.  That face belongs to the operators, the men and women who go about the difficult business of collecting the information.  They are consummate professionals, very good at what they do, but they are not the kind of people you would want in your social circle.  Quite often the name by which they introduce themselves is not the name their parents gave them at birth.  In the course of their duties they will have to do some questionable things, and perhaps even some very unpleasant things, to acquire information their agency has commissioned them to gain.

This was the kind of person with whom we met in that office on the CIA campus in Langley, Virginia long ago.  He was an impressive man, and one whom I admired for his courage and devotion to his country.  I could tell without asking that he had suffered much personal loss in service to the nation, and that my own poor service paled in comparison to his.  Yet we could not be friends, and we would have difficulty working together as colleagues.  His world was one I could not enter, and my world was one he would not find comfortable.  Nevertheless, my work could not continue without him, and without me his work would have no meaning.  That is why I have never forgotten the man, although our paths have never crossed since that day.

BFB151204 US Intelligence CommunityWhat would happen if this vast intelligence community in the service of the United States of America ceased to function as designed?  What if the various individuals and organizations within it forgot that they were all Americans, and instead placed their own personal agendas, or the name and reputation of their own agencies and services, above the interests of the country?  That is not a rhetorical question; I can tell you what would happen.  I have seen it.  What happens is a fragmentation of the national intelligence establishment. 

For the most part that establishment consists of good, honest people trying to do the best they can with limited resources and time.  They have a tendency to focus exclusively on the work right in front of them, whether it is office administration, counterterrorism analysis, national technical means of information collection, the number of tanks in the Russian Far Eastern Military District, or poppy production in Afghanistan.  They forget that there is a wider world out there, and that their work is but one small piece in a very, very big puzzle.  It does not take much to convince them that their piece is the most important.  Once convinced, it is but a small step toward competing with others to gain a greater share of attention and resources.  Having entered that arena, it is nothing to begin pushing others aside in ever more aggressive ways, taking resources and people away from them so that one’s own piece of the puzzle grows in size and importance, and the competitors’ pieces shrink, or disappear altogether.  In time the picture that emerges is distorted at best, magnifying certain things to the extreme, diminishing others, and ignoring important bits that would otherwise tie together the seemingly contradictory reports from various sources.  That is the picture which goes before high level decision makers like the commanders of our forces in the Middle East, and even the President himself.  Is it any wonder, therefore, that we have national disasters such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001?

My lesson from this should be clear.  National defense is a team effort.  I know my part of the effort, and my job is to do it to the best of my ability.  I do not know most of the millions of others involved in the effort, nor do I understand what they do.  I could not do what most of them do, nor could most of them do what I do.  Very few of them could be considered my friends, and most of them would probably never want to associate with me anyway.  Nevertheless, we need each other:  every warrior, every clerk, every mechanic, every technician, every lawyer, every cook, every aviator, every logistician, every sanitation worker.  If we do not find a way to cooperate, then this living, breathing organism we call the National Defense Establishment will fail, and with its failure the United States of America fails.

Is this any different from the living, breathing organism known as the Body of Messiah?

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Predestined Identity?

James Arminius (Jakob Hermanszoon) and John Calvin, two highly influential figures of the Protestant Reformation whose opposing doctrinal positions illustrate the fact that we still see YHVH's plans imperfectly.

James Arminius (Jakob Hermanszoon) and John Calvin, two highly influential figures of the Protestant Reformation whose opposing doctrinal positions illustrate the fact that we still see YHVH’s plans imperfectly.

Among the many things for which I frequently thank YHVH is that I got to grow up in a Southern Baptist church and a Presbyterian school.  From an early age I came to appreciate the doctrinal positions of both and their roots in Arminianism and Calvinism.  Concerning the key elements of free will and predestination, I concluded long ago that they are not mutually exclusive.  I do not understand exactly how they work, but I do know that both are part of God’s operation in human affairs.  God’s sovereignty and human responsibility intertwine in very complicated and intricate ways to produce outcomes that YHVH declares from the beginning, but which finite mankind must play out in faith and obedience – or in ignorance and despair, depending on one’s perspective.

But what if predestination means something different from what we suppose?  What if it refers to the fate of a nation rather than individuals?  Consider this:  YHVH has promised from ancient times to establish permanently the seed of Abraham on the Promised Land in the form of a nation called Israel.  Moreover, He has promised to open the way for people of all nations to come into that holy nation and be part of His eternal covenant of peace.  What if predestination refers to YHVH’s intent to do this thing just as He said?  If “nation” is the real object of predestination, then we have no need to speculate about whether God has chosen certain individuals for salvation and others for damnation.  The way of salvation is open to all individuals through the nation He has predestined as His vehicle of salvation.

This line of thinking requires far more development than is possible in a short blog post.  However, it is unquestionable that God, through Messiah Yeshua, has opened the way for every person on earth to exchange his or her identity of birth for an identity as Abraham’s children, and therefore as Israelites.  This is a point Ephraim Frank explores in the following commentary.


BFB150909 Etz Bney Yosef

Predestined

Ephraim Frank

Etz B’ney Yosef

October 16, 2015

Shalom Fellow Israelite,

Trust you all had a wonderful Succot celebration.  I’m sure you have heard about the various happenings here in the land, with the spirit of violence manifesting again through Israeli Arab citizens, Arab residents of Jerusalem, and others, in the Palestinian territories and Gaza (while this spirit is not totally sidestepping Israelis either).  Thank you for your prayers during these troublesome times.

As we continue into the unpredictable future (a phrase that some may take exception to), our faith and confidence in a faithful covenant keeping Elohim should reach new heights of revelation-understanding.  Yeshua’s purpose in returning to the heavens was to send the Spirit of the Kingdom into the hearts of those elected and predestined for the promise of this Spirit, as is evidenced by the following:  “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will…”  (Ephesians 1:11).  “For whom He [the Father] foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).  He also “predestined us to the adoption as sons by Yeshua the Messiah to Himself [the Father], according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:5-6).

The question that arises from the above scriptures is, who are the predestined ones that have been called, foreknown and chosen beforehand, justified, glorified and adopted for His purposes?  The apostle states very clearly in Romans 9:4-5a, when he makes reference to those “…who are Israelites, to whom belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Torah, the service of Elohim, and the promises; of whom are the fathers…

Most of the Israelites (those who are not Jewish) have lost their identity, but as prophesied have become multitudes in many nations.  Those from among them who are still lacking the knowledge or realization of their true identity will not fully understand the New Covenant, their destiny and the reconstitution of nationhood, nor the above-cited predetermined characteristics, even though what is written in Ephesians 2:11-13, concerning those who were “once far off”, but who are now part of the “commonwealth of Israel” should cause them to at least question their present (“gentile”) identity.

However, through Yeshua the Kinsman Redeemer, and the working of the Holy Spirit many are now embracing Torah, and as a result their hearts are turning back to the forefathers and to the identity (or, conversely, for others, the discovery of the identity is what restores them to the forefathers and the Torah).  The light of this revelation points to the importance of reconciliation within the House of Jacob (which is the whole House of Israel).  Hence efforts are being made toward the re-gathering of our nation.  One such meeting took place last May in Ariel, Israel, in the form of the “B’ney Yosef National Congress”, and now follow-up summits are due to occur in Texas, Germany, and Florida.  The next B’ney Yosef National Congress will be held, Yah willing, once more in Ariel Israel October 26-31, 2016.

Shabbat Shalom,

Ephraim


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2015-2016.  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.

Invitation to the B’Ney Yosef Region 35 (Central Region) Conference

BFB151029 BNY35Congress Banner

For all of you in the I-35 Corridor (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota), please prayerfully consider joining us at the B’Ney Yosef Region 35 (Central Region) Conference in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area December 4-6. The attached letter gives you as much information as we have at the moment.  We expect to have further details before the end of the week.  Among the many purposes intended for this conference is to establish a network of Ephraimites in this region to help us prepare for the North American Summit in Orlando next March.
If you don’t live in the I-35 Corridor, but are interested in attending, you are also welcome!  Just send us an email at bneyosef35@gmail.com and we’ll be glad to answer your questions.

Please click here to learn more and register for the BYNC Region 35 Conference.


Two Sticks 01Update #4, November 8, 2015

In less than one month the B’Ney Yosef Region 35 Conference will convene in Denton, TX!  Just one month ago this conference was merely an idea thrown out in a conversation at our Feast of Tabernacles celebration.  Now we are one month from the event itself.  Registration is in full swing.  There is still plenty of room, but remember to register and pay by the deadline of November 28 to secure your place in this historic undertaking.  To register please visit our website at:

http://bneyosef35.com/2015conference/.

There is much to share in this update.  First of all, our list of speakers and presenters is now complete.  We will be blessed to hear from:

One of the most important features of the conference will be a panel discussion on Saturday afternoon addressing the question, “How can Christian, Hebrew Roots, and Messianic Jewish believers work together as disciples of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ)?” 

We invite all conference participants to take part in this discussion by submitting questions for the panelists to consider.  To submit a question you must be a registered conference participant.  Please email your question to bneyosef35@gmail.com, with the words “Panel Question” on the subject line.  All questions must be submitted by 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, 2015.

The next important item is that we are able to welcome ministry partners to display their resources at the conference.  Those who would like to do so must coordinate with us ahead of time to make sure we reserve space for you.  If you would like to set up a display for your ministry or organization, please email us for details. 

There are two important things to remember about ministry displays.  First of all, please wait until after Shabbat is ended on Saturday evening to sell books and other resources.  Second, since the focus of the conference is on repentance and reconciliation in the interest of doing our part in YHVH’s Kingdom building process, we ask that the ministry partners and resources contribute to this focus.

Finally, we ask for prayer!  Our planning and coordination team is very small, and so far we have been able to handle the task.  We will need a few volunteers to help with jobs at the conference, and may need some help before then. 

Perhaps the biggest need is finding someone to make video and audio recordings of the key presentations and help us make them available afterward.  If you are able to help, or know someone who can, please let us know!

Thanks once again to everyone who has expressed interest in the B’Ney Yosef Region 35 Conference.  Please help us get the word out by sharing this update, and be sure to register soon to reserve your place in Denton!


 

Two Sticks 01Update #3, November 1, 2015

We have had good response since registration opened for the B’Ney Yosef Region 35 Conference opened one week ago.  Thanks to everyone who has expressed interest and who has registered!  We still have plenty of room, but do expect to reach our capacity of 300 people before long.  Once again, the conference is December 4-6 at the Tally Retreat Center, Camp Copass, Denton, TX.  Full information is at our web site, http://bneyosef35.com/.

There are some points to clarify about registration.  First of all, there has been a little confusion about the registration deadline.  Our initial invitation letter asked for those interested to respond by November 1.  That was not the registration deadline; all we wanted to do was get an idea of the interest in holding this conference.  We praise YHVH that the interest has been very encouraging!  So do not worry if you have not registered yet – just go on our website and fill out the registration form.

This brings up the second point:  If you are going to attend the conference, you must register and pay by Sunday, November 28, 2015.  We will not be able to accept registration after that date, and will have to cancel any registrations that are not paid in full by then.  To register please go to our website and fill out the online registration form.  Preferred payment options are PayPal or credit card, which can be done online.  If you would like to pay by check please let us know.  The registration form is at this link:

http://bneyosef35.com/2015conference/

We have had a question about having booths or tables set up for ministries and vendors.  That is a question we are asking our hosts at Camp Copass this week.  If you are interested in setting up a table for your ministry please let us know.  As soon as we get the answer on whether this is possible and how to do it we will pass on the details.

Our schedule for the weekend is continuing to evolve.  By the end of this week we hope to have full information on our speakers and worship leaders.  Come expecting to pray!  The sense on our hearts is that the Holy Spirit is directing a move of repentance and reconciliation in this event, so we are being careful not to fill up every minute of the schedule so that conference participants can have time to respond to the Spirit’s leading.

We continue to ask for your prayers for the Region 35 Conference.  This is just one of many things our God is doing in this season to awaken His people to their destiny and responsibility for their part in building His kingdom!


Two Sticks 01Update #2.5, October 30, 2015

Registration for the B’Ney Yosef Region 35 (Central Region) Conference is now open!  Please visit our web site where you can register and find out the latest conference news.  The address is:  http://bneyosef35.com/2015conference/.  Here is a summary of the information you will find there:

What: B’Ney Yosef Region 35 Conference, with emphasis on nation-building, particularly on reconciliation within the entire Body of Messiah

When: Friday, December 4 to Sunday, December 6, 2015.

Where: Tally Retreat Center, Camp Copass, 8200 E. McKinney St., Denton, TX 76208.  Information on the facility is available at:  http://campcopass.com/facilities/accomodations/tally-retreat-center/.

Who: The invitation extends to everyone in the Body of Messiah who has a love for Israel and desires to see the restoration of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).  This includes not only Hebrew Roots believers, but also Christian and Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters, primarily from the I-35 Corridor (states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, as well as Louisiana, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota).

Capacity: 300 people, including overnight guests and participants for the day only.

Cost: Conference Rates per person include lodging on Friday and Saturday nights, and six meals (Dinner Friday & Saturday; Breakfast and Lunch Saturday & Sunday).  Rooms can accommodate up to four (4) people.  The rates are:

  • 4 person Room: $125 per person
  • Triple Room: $150 per person
  • Double Room: $200 per person
  • Private Room: $275 per person
  • Commuter Rate (no overnight stay): $75 per person
  • Married Couple Double Room Discount Rate: $350
  • Married Couple Commuter Discount Rate (no overnight stay): $125

We have set up payment options via PayPal (which includes credit card payments).  If you would prefer to pay by check please let us know.

Schedule: Registration and check-in opens at 4:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon.  The evening meal will be at 7:00, followed by a praise and worship service at 8:00 p.m.  We will gather for worship on Saturday morning, and for afternoon and evening sessions with invited speakers.  The final gathering will be Sunday morning, followed by lunch at noon and departure.  We will build in time for small group break-out sessions to discuss organizational matters and other business as the Holy Spirit leads.  You can expect a draft schedule at our next update.

Thanks to everyone who has expressed interest and encouragement in this initiative!  We have been blessed by your prayers, and continue to ask for your intercession on behalf of this effort to follow Abba’s lead at this critical season.


Two Sticks 01Update #2, October 25, 2015

We are happy to announce that registration for the B’Ney Yosef Region 35 Conference is now open!  Please visit our web site where you can register and find out the latest conference news.  The address is:  

http://bneyosef35.com/2015conference/

The web site will improve as we go along.  For now it has only the basic essentials, but it is good enough to move us forward!  If you have any suggestions on improvements or any questions we have not yet answered, please let us know!

Here is the information many of you have been waiting to hear:

  • Where:  Tally Retreat Center, Camp Copass, 8200 E. McKinney St., Denton, TX 76208.  Information on the facility is available at:  http://campcopass.com/facilities/accomodations/tally-retreat-center/.
  • When:  Friday, December 4 to Sunday, December 6, 2015.
  • What:  B’Ney Yosef Region 35 Conference, with emphasis on nation-building, particularly on reconciliation within the entire Body of Messiah
  • Who:  The invitation extends to everyone in the Body of Messiah who has a love for Israel and desires to see the restoration of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).  This includes not only Hebrew Roots believers, but also Christian and Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters, primarily from the I-35 Corridor (states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota).
  • Capacity:  300 people, including overnight guests and participants for the day only.
  • Cost:  Conference Rates per person include lodging on Friday and Saturday nights, and six meals (Dinner Friday & Saturday; Breakfast and Lunch Saturday & Sunday).  Rooms can accommodate up to four (4) people.  The rates are:
    • 4 person Room:  $125 per person
    • Triple Room:  $150 per person
    • Double Room:  $200 per person
    • Private Room:  $275 per person
    • Commuter Rate (no overnight stay):  $75 per person
    • Married Couple Double Room Discount Rate:  $350
    • Married Couple Commuter Discount Rate:  $125

We have set up payment options via PayPal (which includes credit card payments).  If you would prefer to pay by check please let us know.

  • Schedule:  Registration and check-in opens at 4:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon.  The evening meal will be at 7:00, followed by a praise and worship service at 8:00 p.m.  We will gather for worship on Saturday morning, and for afternoon and evening sessions with invited speakers.  The final gathering will be Sunday morning, followed by lunch at noon and departure.  We will build in time for small group break-out sessions to discuss organizational matters and other business as the Holy Spirit leads.  You can expect a draft schedule at our next update.

Thanks to everyone who has expressed interest and encouragement in this initiative!  We have been blessed by your prayers, and continue to ask for your intercession on behalf of this effort to follow Abba’s lead at this critical season.


Two Sticks 01Update #1, October 18, 2015

Thanks to everyone who has expressed interest and support for this conference!  We had hoped to have registration information by now, but we are still a few days away from that.  We have literally started this process from nothing more than an idea.  More accurately, it is a vision which grew out of our Sukkot celebration a little more than two weeks ago.  Since then there have been three of us in three cities in Texas working on this project, and all of us have other things going on in our lives which demand attention.  That is the reason we are a little slower getting things in place than we had hoped.  We are already moving on reserving a venue, setting up a bank account and post office box, establishing a web site, creating a registration form, and building a schedule for the weekend’s program.  All of those things will become available to the public soon – and at that point we’ll be gladly accepting help to complete this work!

Here is what we know so far:

  • What:  B’Ney Yosef Region 35 Conference, with emphasis on nation-building, particularly on reconciliation within the entire Body of Messiah
  • When:  Friday, December 4 to Sunday, December 6, 2015.
  • Where:  We are looking at a Christian retreat center in Denton, TX, about 30 miles from DFW airport.  We would appreciate prayers to ensure the facility remains available as we get things in order to reserve it.
  • Who:  The invitation extends to everyone in the Body of Messiah who has a love for Israel and desires to see the restoration of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).  This includes not only Hebrew Roots believers, but also Christian and Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters, primarily from the I-35 Corridor.
  • Capacity:  We hope to accommodate 300 people in the conference meetings, including both overnight guests and participants for the day only.  Lodging on site is available for at least 200.
  • Cost:  Somewhere around $100 per person, with varying rates for those who would like a private room.  This includes meals (Dinner Friday & Saturday; Breakfast and Lunch Saturday & Sunday).
  • Schedule:  Currently we are planning on arrival and check-in to begin on Friday afternoon, with an evening meal at 6:00, and the first meeting at 7:00.  The final gathering will be Sunday morning, followed by lunch at noon and departure.  The schedule includes worship services on Friday and Saturday, several speakers, and a break-out session to discuss organizational matters in small groups.

Wildbranch Ministy 01There is one more thing.  We are aware that Brad Scott will be holding a praise conference in Oklahoma City the same weekend.  Information about his conference is at the following link:

https://www.wildbranch.org/conferences/OKpraise2015.html.  

We did not believe there would be a conflict since these two conferences are convening for different purposes and with different audiences.  However, just to make sure we talked with Brad, and are happy to report that he is in agreement and will be offering prayer support for us from Oklahoma City – just as we will be offering prayer support for him and those with him from Denton!

That is all we have to tell at the moment.  Please keep this process in prayer.  All indications so far are that this is something very much on the Father’s heart as part of a much bigger process He has initiated to awaken and regather His people.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2015-2016.  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.

About That Second Stick: Positive Harbingers

IsraelAre we really about to see the restoration of all Israel?  And what exactly does that mean?  If the Bible says that it means all twelve tribes descended from the sons of Jacob constituting a national entity in the Land YHVH promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, then perhaps we should be looking for that very thing.  That is what the apostles meant when they asked Yeshua when He would restore the kingdom to Israel.

The restoration means both Houses of Israel – the House of Judah, whom we know today as the Jewish people, and the House of Ephraim, also known as the House of Israel or House of Joseph.  Ephraim consists of the Ten Tribes of Israel’s northern kingdom which never returned from exile.  Most of the Bible is incomprehensible if not viewed in the context of the Two Houses.  Who they were in ancient times, how they separated, and the promise of their restoration form the framework of the Gospel of the Kingdom which is supposed to be preached to the whole world before Messiah comes.

Would it be a surprise to realize that the end of the world as we know it means the beginning of the reign of Messiah over His reestablished Kingdom of Israel?  Christians have anticipated the Great Tribulation and the end of this age, but have seldom considered what is on the other side of that Tribulation.  Jews have considered what is on the other side, but have seldom considered that much of the nation of Israel would be coming from Christendom.  And yet that is just what we are seeing today:  the beginning of the reconstitution of Ephraim, largely through the awakening of Christians to their identity as Israelites based on the covenantal promises of YHVH and the redemptive work of Messiah Yeshua.  The “Torah Awakening” is a major component of this process as Christians are beginning to realize that the entire Bible, including the Feasts of the Lord and the Sabbath (Shabbat), are still applicable to all of God’s people.

Remnant Road 01If this is so, then how far along is this restoration?  Well, within the past year we have seen the Torah Awakening accelerate around the world, and we have seen people begin to identify themselves as Ephraimites in a very public way.  That was the purpose of the First B’ney Yosef National Congress held in Israel in May 2015.  The process has continued throughout the summer, and it promises to continue and expand in the coming months.  That was the subject of a conversation on The Remnant Road, the Monday edition of the Hebrew Nation Morning Show.  In a broadcast that aired on September 7, David Altman from the Alliance of Redeemed Israel (ARI) talked about the awakening of Believers to their identity as returning Israelites according to the promises of Scripture.  The conversation started with developments since the Congress, and then covered ideas on how to strengthen the ties among individuals, congregations, and communities now identifying as Ephraimites.  David also discussed the upcoming North American Ephraimite Summit, planned for March 4-6, 2016, in Orlando, FL.  To listen to the broadcast and learn how you can get involved please click here.

Another perspective on this process comes from Ephraim Frank, a key organizer of the B’ney Yosef Congress.  In a recent post on his blog, Etz B’ney Yosef, Ephraim provided some interesting and encouraging observations about what we are seeing even now.


BFB150909 Etz Bney Yosef

Positive Harbingers

Ephraim Frank

Posted on Etz B’ney Yosef September 6, 2015

Shalom Fellow Israelite,

On 12th of May 1948 a decision on the name the newly formed State of Israel had to be voted on by ten council members.  The choices were Yehuda, Tsyion, Tsabar, and Erets Yisrael.  Most assumed that it would be Yehuda, but a divine harbinger manifested in a last minute suggestion by David Ben Gurion, and that was the name “Yisrael”.  Seven of the council members voted for that name, which was a prophetic sign of the future return of all the tribes of Israel. The order of the restoration and return in Ezekiel 37 places Yehuda/Israel first, and thusly Yehuda’s dry stick became at that time a nation once again.

Perhaps you are not aware that also in 1948 a contest was held by the temporary government for a national emblem.  One hundred and sixty-four individuals submitted 450 ideas.  The one chosen, which the State of Israel adopted, on February 10th 1949, was designed by two brothers, Gabriel and Maxim Shamir.  Their suggestion included the seven candle branch Menorah with two olive branches on each side.  The final draft, however, did not totally resemble the brothers’ original design, as the committee decided to incorporate a few other features into it and changed the shape of the Menorah to the one depicted in the Arch of Titus (in Rome).  The two olive branches which flank the Menorah, were meant as peace symbols, and only later were associated with Zechariah 4:11.  I believe that this design was another harbinger of the restoration of the two sticks of Ezekiel 37:16.

BFB150909 Emblem of Israel

In his book The Harbinger, Jonathan Cahn makes mention of the significance of trees in the Bible.  He specifically notes the two cited in Isaiah 9:10 – the sycamore and the cedar, both in relationship to the 9/11 terror attack in New York, as being symbolic of judgments upon the United States.  In an interview about his latest book, The Mystery of the Shemitah Unlocked, he noted how Shemitah years are associated with judgments and changes, both positive and negative.  The rise and fall of nations in connection to Shemitah is one example he brings up in this book.  Hence, if the USA is indeed spiraling down, and if that began in a Shemitah year (2001), what about the rise of the nation of Yehuda in 1917 (another Shemitah), or the reconstitution of the second stick/nation of Yosef/Ephraim in the current Shemitah?  Is the latter also a harbinger of this eventuality, with the first Yehuda-Yosef “United 2 Restore” group marching in the Jerusalem Succot parade last year and then with the convening of the first B’ney Yosef National Congress on Shavuot?  Is this the Shemitah year in which the second stick/nation of Joseph/Ephraim is beginning to bud?  By the same token, should many of the harbingers of judgment be also interpreted positively, in that YHVH is going to bring back and restore the whole House of Israel?  The branch of Yehuda in the national emblem is fully leafed, but what about the second branch in that national emblem, what should it look like at this time?  Here is my rendition:

Yehuda’s stick has become a nation.  Yosef’s is just beginning to bud.

Yehuda’s stick has become a nation. Yosef’s is just beginning to bud.


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2014-2015.  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.

Church as we know it is over…

San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas, is the oldest cathedral in the United States.  It is a fitting symbol of institutional Christianity in America, which is being shaken to its foundations by the radical changes sweeping America.

San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas, the oldest cathedral in the United States, is a symbol of institutional Christianity in America, which is being shaken to its foundations by the radical changes sweeping America.

Once again Pete Rambo has raised some interesting questions and opened the way for serious discussion on what the people of God should be doing in these very strange times.  His post, “Church as we know it is over. . .”, is a follow-up to “…the land thou abhorrest shall be forsaken…”, which The Barking Fox reposted last week.  The catalyst, of course, is the June 26 announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges which made same-sex marriage the law of the land.  This is but the latest, and perhaps greatest, in a series of developments considered disturbing by those who hold to the Bible as the standard of conduct for humanity.  Consequently, Americans of faith are asking serious questions about what to do now, with an expectation of increasing persecution of those who cannot compromise on God’s established order.

One of the first comments on this in a national forum comes from Rod Dreher, whose article, “Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn to Live as Exiles in Our Own Country”, appeared on Time.com on the day the Supreme Court’s decision was announced.  Another is Kevin DeYoung, who wrote “40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags”, published July 1 on The Gospel Coalition.  Still another is from Michael Payne, a good friend and fellow blogger who has posted several bold observations on the spiritual state of our nation and the church at his new blog, A Call to Order.  And yet another is from Rabbi Jonathan Cahn.  On July 5, Leo Hohmann of World Net Daily reviewed Cahn’s Independence Day address at Messiah College in Pennsylvania in which he declared that the end of Christian America is here.  These commentaries address the condition of the American church, and all point out to some extent that this building crisis of faith is largely a result of God’s people failing to live like God’s people. 

One might consider this commentary an indictment of Christianity, particularly American Christianity.  In part it is, but there is much more to it than that.  Everyone who claims to be a follower of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob shares the blame.  All of us have fallen down on the job, whether we identify ourselves as Christian, Jewish, Messianic, Hebrew Roots/Ephraimite, or any other tradition claiming to uphold the standards of righteousness established by YHVH.  Mostly the problem comes from our stated willingness to defend and even die for a Bible which we do not bother to read.  If we would do as our God commanded, and as Yeshua reminded us, we would make His commandments the focus of our daily lives and ensure our families live by them (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28).  That, however, is a very hard thing.  It requires effort to read, study, internalize, and live out the principles of Scripture, and for that reason we have tended to out-source this aspect of human existence to spiritual professionals – rabbis, priests, and ministers whose job is to study the Bible and tell people what it says.  The result is what we see today:  an increasingly irrelevant professional clergy, and an increasingly worldly people of God.  Clearly we cannot continue this way, which is why Pete ponders whether church as we know it is over.


Church as we know it is over….

Pete Rambo

Posted on natsab, July 5, 2015

“Church as we know it is over.  And, maybe for the best…. “

In a recent post, I wrote the above quote as part of my thoughts concerning the recent Supreme Court ruling.  I have been pondering a number of aspects and this weekend, one of them came into sharp focus.

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Fox Byte 5775 #40: Balak

בָּלָק

General George S. Patton, Jr., one of America's greatest - and most flawed - military leaders.  (Photo:  US National Archives, via Wikimedia Commons)

General George S. Patton, Jr., one of America’s greatest – and most flawed – military leaders. (Photo: US National Archives, via Wikimedia Commons)

The great military leaders of World War II include nine who attained the highest rank awarded by the United States of America.  Those five-star leaders are Generals of the Army George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Omar Bradley; Fleet Admirals William D. Leahy, Ernest King, Chester W. Nimitz, and William Halsey, Jr.; and General of the Air Force Henry H. Arnold.  Each man accomplished great things for his nation, and all deserved the honors bestowed on them, yet some students of history would say there is a name missing from the list.  Where is George S. Patton, Jr.?

Patton died too soon, losing his life as the result of an automobile accident in December 1945.  Had he lived he might eventually have become a five-star general.  Might, that is, had he been able to refrain from the controversy that followed him throughout his very public military career.  By the time World War II erupted he had proven his worth at home and abroad, including combat operations in Mexico and France.  Less than a year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Patton commanded the only all-American force in Operation Torch, the Allied landings on North Africa in November 1942.  His Western Task Force conducted the longest amphibious operation in history, sailing from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to the shores of French Morocco.  From there he went on to a stunning series of battlefield successes in Tunisia, Sicily, France, and Germany.

Along with Patton’s skilled leadership came his shortcomings:  a volatile temper, and a tendency to speak indiscreetly.  Twice in Sicily he encountered soldiers suffering from battle fatigue; both times he slapped them and accused them of cowardice.  For that he was reprimanded and kept from a field command for nearly a year.  When he returned to combat in command of the Third Army, he engineered the breakout from the Normandy beachhead and raced across France at astonishing speed.  December 1944 witnessed his greatest battlefield accomplishment:  the relief of Bastogne at the height of the Battle of the Bulge.  Patton’s troops remained on the offensive thereafter, advancing across Germany and into Czechoslovakia.  After the war, as an occupation commander, he continued to generate controversy by retaining former Nazi Party members in positions of authority in the belief that they were best qualified to restore and run Germany’s shattered infrastructure.  While he had good reason, Patton chose to defend his decision by saying that membership in the Nazi Party in Germany was no different than membership in the Democratic or Republican parties in the United States.  His remarks came at the time when the heinous crimes of the Third Reich were becoming public knowledge.  As a result, he was relieved of command of Third Army and assigned to the less prestigious post he occupied at the time of his death.

As with all people it is impossible to separate Patton’s strengths from his weaknesses.  Patton could “read” an enemy, understanding not only his opponent’s capabilities, but also his state of mind.  That ability made him one of the greatest battlefield commanders of modern warfare.  What kept him from true greatness was his inability to control himself – or, more accurately, what came out of his mouth.  In that sense George Patton was very much like Balaam, a man who aspired to greatness, but whose inability to match his words with his deeds ensured that he would never attain it.

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Fox Byte 5775 #35: Nasso (Elevate)

נָשֹׂא

Although visually stunning, Peter Jackson's depiction of the army of the dead oathbreakers in his film version of The Return of the King did not reach the depth of Tolkien's account regarding the sacredness of oaths or vows and the dire consequences of breaking them.  (Photo:  "Army of the dead", via Wikipedia)

Although visually stunning, Peter Jackson’s depiction of the army of the dead oathbreakers in his film version of The Return of the King did not reach the depth of Tolkien’s account regarding the sacredness of oaths or vows and the dire consequences of breaking them. (Photo: “Army of the dead”, via Wikipedia)

This post-modern generation of the industrialized West has lost sight of the power of the Oath.  That is why there is so little understanding of the covenant terminology which establishes the context of humanity’s relationship with our Creator.  An oath sworn in good faith is something far more powerful than a legal procedure.  It is a spiritual transaction which makes an indelible mark on the parties who take part in it.  That is why one’s conscience is troubled when even the least significant promises are broken.  Something as simple as committing to be at a certain place at a specified time is a type of oath or covenant.  Failing to keep that promise fosters disappointment, anger, and bitterness in the heart of the one who is expecting the appointment to be kept.  Hopefully the one who broke the promise will make amends and resolve to keep such commitments in the future.  However, if the promise-breaker develops a habit of showing up late, or not showing up at all, then eventually his or her conscience will no longer serve as a reminder about the transgression.  And then the promise-breaker becomes something worse:  an untrustworthy person.

If this is the case with something as simple as a promise to be on time, what can we say about more serious promises?  There is an illustration which may help.  J.R.R. Tolkien delved deeply into the subject of oaths and covenants in his epic works about Middle Earth.  Perhaps his most memorable account is the oath made by the Men of the Mountains to fight against Sauron, an oath they did not keep.  In The Return of the King, Aragorn explains the circumstances of this broken oath:

But the oath that they broke was to fight against Sauron, and they must fight therefore, if they are to fulfill it.  For at Erech there stands yet a black stone that was brought, it was said, from Nümenor by Isildur; and it was set upon a hill, and upon it the King of the Mountains swore allegiance to him in the beginning of the realm of Gondor.  But when Sauron returned and grew in might again, Isildur summoned the Men of the Mountains to fulfil their oath, and they would not:  for they had worshipped Sauron in the Dark Years.

Then Isildur said to their king, “Thou shalt be the last king.  And if the West prove mightier than thy Black Master, this curse I lay upon thee and thy folk:  to rest never until your oath is fulfilled.  For this war will last through years uncounted, and you shall be summoned once again ere the end.”

In Tolkien’s novel, Aragorn leads his companions to the realm of these dead oathbreakers, and as Isildur’s heir calls them to fulfil their oath by following him into battle against Sauron’s armies.  They answer the call, and upon winning the victory are released at last to depart in the peaceful sleep of death.

In Tolkien’s story the oathbreakers are redeemed by the descendant of the king whom they had betrayed.  Their answer to his call brings an end to the curse and the blessed peace they have sought through the ages.  As is so often the case with Tolkien, he illustrates a profound principle first explained in the Scripture.  Yet what we learn from Moses differs from Tolkien in one critical point:  redemption from the curse of broken oaths, or vows, results not the peace of death, but in the promise of life.

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