Who Is “the Israel of Elohim” or “The One New Man”?

In Galatians 6:16, Paul makes an interesting statement that most people blithely pass over. In his final salutations to the saints of Galatia, he refers to them as “the Israel of Elohim/God.” Likely this church was comprised of some Jews, but mostly Greeks of non-Jewish ethnic origination, so why is he referring to all as “the Israel of Elohim”? What is Paul thinking here and what important biblical truth is he trying to convey? We will discuss the ramifications of this statement below.

Let’s begin to answer the question, “Who is Israel by Israel? by asking another question:
With whom does the Bible say that the Creator of the Universe (YHVH/Yehovah Elohim) want to have an eternal relationship? We know that YHVH Elohim (God) loves everyone and sent his Son to the earth that the whole world might be saved (John 3:16). We also know that he desires that no men should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9). But there’s a problem. The Bible—the Word of Elohim — also teaches that one can only enter into relationship with the Creator—YHVH Elohim—(resulting in salvation and immortality) by coming through Yeshua (Jesus) the Jewish Messiah via a personal and covenantal relationship with him.

This begs the next question. With whom does the Creator make covenants? Anyone and everyone? No. 

In the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament), YHVH Elohim declares that in the end times, he will make a new covenant with the two houses of Israel (not the Gentiles or non-Israelites)—that is, the house of Judah and the house of Israel (Heb 8:8). We know who Judah is (i.e., the Jews), but who is the house of Israel?

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Is modern Israel the fig Tree of Matthew 24?

Matthew 24:32, Parable from the fig tree. The fig tree can be a biblical metaphor for Israel (see Hos 9:10). The modern nation of Israel, like the fig tree in the parable, re-sprouted in 1948. Is Yeshua saying here that the end times leading up to the second coming started with the rebirth of Israel in 1948, and that the generation alive at that time will not pass until the prophecies of the Olivet Discourse are fulfilled? This is a debated subject. Below, I present one possible interpretation of this prophetic parable.

While the Hosea 9 reference is not a direct reference to the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948, the fig tree analogy is applicable to Yeshua’s fig tree parable. And even though Hosea is primarily a discourse against the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Ephraim), his prophecies still contain many references to Judah (Hos 1:7, 11; 5:10, 12, 13, 14; 6:4, 11; 8:14; 11:12; 12:2). Therefore, we can conclude that though the book is primarily addressed to Ephraim, its many directives to Ephraim, to one degree or another, can also apply to Judah, since the Jews were guilty of the same sins as their northern brethren.

Yeshua chose his words carefully when describing the fig tree in his parable. (It helps to know something about fig trees, which as an horticulturalist I have cared for.) He mentions the branches being tender and beginning to put forth its leaves. Like all fruit trees, the fig tree begins to come alive in the spring after winter dormancy. First the buds swell and begin to pop with leaves, and then the fruit begins to form (the flower is actually inside the fruit). As the summer progresses, the leaves and fruit enlarge and the branches harden until harvest time in the fall. Yeshua seems to be describing a fig tree in the early spring. If the weather conditions are conducive and there is a long growing season, a fig tree will produce two crops of figs: one in the mid-summer and another one in the early fall.

To carry this metaphor over with regard to the reunification of the two houses, sticks, trees of Israel (i.e. Ephraim and Judah, as per Ezek 37), could we not say that the Jews (or Judah) returning to the land of Israel in 1948 is like the fig tree in early spring—young and tender, and preparing to bear its first crop of figs. By the time it produces its second crop of fruit in the fall, Ephraim (the Christians) will have been rejoined to the fig tree and the two (Ephraim and Judah) will be like a fig tree ready for harvest. This timing also corresponds with the biblical fall festivals which predict the second coming, which is also when the two houses of Israel will be regathered en masse.


 

Genesis 42–46 Two Brothers and the Two Houses of Israel in End-Time Prophecy (Pt 2)

To read part one of this post, go to https://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2017/12/12/genesis-42-46/

Judah Approaches Joseph (Gen 44:18)

Judah came near to Joseph was willing to lay down his life for his younger brother (Gen 44:18–34). This is another prophetic picture of the future Messiah who would come to this earth in willingness to give his life as a ransom to save his brothers. The Scriptures call Yeshua the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev 5:5) who initiated the process in seeking to save his brothers who were spiritually lost (Rom 5:8; Luke 19:10; Matt 18:11; ), and who Yeshua referred to as the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 10:6; 15:24).

Joseph Had to Reveal Himself (Gen 45)

The brothers didn’t recognize Joseph because he resembled an Egyptian; he had to reveal himself to them. Today, Christians (the descendants of Joseph according to Gen 48:16, 18 and Rom 9:24–27 and the descendants of Abraham according Eph 2:11–19; Gal 3:7, 14, 28, 29), are revealing themselves to their brother Judah through several ways:

  • Through donating money to Jewish relief agencies.
  • Through Christian tourism of Israel.
  • Through Christian interfaith organizations (Bridges for Peace, Christians United for Israel, Christian Friends of Israel, etc.).
  • Through the Messianic Jewish Movement
  • Through the Messianic Israel Movement.
  • Through America’s (and Britain’s) military, political and economic support of the nation of Israel.

Two Messiahs in One Story

Judah and his brothers didn’t recognize Joseph; he had to reveal himself to them (Gen 45:1–4). They were “blinded” to Joseph’s identity. Most of Judah has spiritual blindness to this day (Rom 11:25). They are largely blind to Yeshua the Messiah, son of Joseph, and to the fact that Christians (many of whom are the descendants of Abraham through Joseph) are their long lost brothers. So in our story, Judah plays a dual role: that of spiritually blind Judah and that of the Messiah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. His former role is prophetically emblematic of the Jewish nation including the modern Jews who have been largely blind to their Messiah (the Son of Joseph), and in the latter role as Yeshua the Messiah who was willing to lay down his life to save his brothers.

Even as Judah was a prophetic antetype of the Jewish people and the Jewish Messiah, likewise Joseph also fulfilled an antetypical role of the Messiah. He too was the spiritual father of his people—Ephraim and Manasseh—the dominate tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who went into apostasy and become as “lost sheep” among the nations of the world (Hos 7:8; 8:8; Ezek 34:16 and numerous other scriptures). Therefore, Joseph prophetically represents the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and the Messiah who would come and seek out those sheep.

The Jewish sages have seen a prophetic picture of the coming Messiah Son of Joseph (Mashiach ben Yosef), the Suffering Servant in the story of Joseph. They have written about the Suffering Servant Messiah figure, who they felt would be a descendant of Ephraim and who would come to redeem the lost sheep or exiles of the house of Israel in preparation for a second Messiah to come. They refer to him as the Conquering King or the Messiah the Son of David (Mashiach ben David). Although I have found no instances where they also identify Judah with the coming Messiah, it is not hard to see some allusions to this in the interplay between Joseph and Judah. Let’s note what the sages write about Joseph as well as the descendants of his grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Notice the striking similarities between modern Christians and those the Jewish sages viewed would be the followers of Messiah Son of Joseph?

What kind of blessing was this prediction that one day [Jacob’s] descendants—the Ten Tribes—would be scattered among the nations? R. Munk explains: while it is true that the dispersion was caused by the unfaithfulness and sinfulness of Ephraim’s descendants (Hos 7:8ff), Jacob’s blessing was not in vain for “they will return to God” and will have their share in the world to come ([Talmud] Sanhedrin 110b). And R. Eliezer adds: ‘Even the darkness in which the Ten Tribes were lost will one day become as radiant as the day’ (according to the version of Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 36). And in the perspective of history, did not these exiled children of the Patriarchs enlighten the nations among whom they were scattered? They did so by teaching their conquerors the fundamental ideas of the knowledge and love of God, ideals they had never forsaken. Hence they too have a messianic vocation and their Messiah the … Messiah son of Joseph (Succah 52a), also called Messiah son of Ephraim (Targum Yonasan on Exodus 40:11), will play an essential role in humanity’s redemption, for he will be the precursor of the … Messiah Son of David…. (emphasis added, note bolded part).

The Family of Israel Is Finally Reunited/Regathered (Gen 46:1–7)

These verses recount the move of Jacob and his family to Egypt where they were reunited with Joseph and his family. This event prophetically foreshadows a time in the future that the Jewish sages call the final redemption, which is to occur at the coming of Messiah Son of David as he comes to establish the Messianic Era (Millennium). The sages teach that an aspect of that final redemption includes the reunification of the two houses of Israel into one kingdom under Messiah Son of David, which is prophesied in Ezekiel 37:15–28. Interestingly, from antiquity, the Jewish sages have chosen Ezekiel’s prophecy as the corresponding scripture passage from the biblical prophets (called the Haftorah) which, in their understanding, best correlates to the Torah portion (parashah) that includes Genesis 46. These sages understood that the events recorded here in the lives of the patriarchs are indications of future events that would occur in the lives of their descendants.

The final redemption or regathering and then the reuniting of Judah and Ephraim at Messiah’s return is mentioned numerous times in the Scriptures (e.g., Hos 5:15–6:4; 1:11; Acts 3:21; Ezek 37:25). This will be a supernatural work of the Spirit of Elohim (Ezek 36:19–32).

Life in the Land of Goshen (Gen 46:34)

After the reunification of the divided family, the Israelites settled in Goshen, which was in the Nile River delta area and was, and to this day is, the prime farm land of Egypt. It was a veritable promised land compared to the arid regions of Canaan.

Prophetically, could Israel’s settling in Goshen after being reconciled and reunited be a spiritual shadow picture of the Millennium? I believe so.

The Jewish sages have long taught that history for the people of Israel is continually repeating itself in cyclical patterns as YHVH accomplishes his purposes among his people over and over again. He is continually endeavoring to reveal his plan of redemption and reconciliation to those who have eyes to see. He is continually reaching out the loving hand of redemption to the next generations of Israelites. This cycle, like a wheel that keeps turning around and around, will turn one more time in the last days in what the sages refer to as the final regathering of the exiles or the final redemption of Israel. This will involve not only the resurrection of the dead, but the reuniting of the divided kingdom of Israel, the regathering of the Israelite scattered exiles back to the land of Israel, and the coming of the Messiah who will set up his reign over this earth called the Messianic Era. This is even better known in Christians circles as the Millennium. The Jewish sages have taught this for thousands of years—and still teach it—because they had read and believed what the biblical prophets have written in this regard.

Conclusion

I believe that the story of the reuniting of Joseph with his brothers a prophetic antetype speaking to the future reunification and redemption of the two houses of Israel with the Messiah as the initiator and focal point of this redemptive process. This process began to occur at the first coming of Yeshua and will culminate at his second coming and it involves the regathering of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. This process will climax at the end of the age where the children of Israel will be regathered and reunited to worship YHVH in spirit and in truth (John 4:23) under the rulership of King Yeshua the Messiah, Son of Joseph/David (Ezek 37:15–28) during the one-thousand-year-long Millennium.

 

Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin in End Times Prophecy

Here are a few of my thoughts on who Joseph, Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin represent in end times Bible prophecy.

In studying the Jewish sages of old, I am amazed at how prescient they were about end time events. They gained this understanding often as they studied the lives of notable biblical characters.The sages had the strong sense that history would repeat itself— often again and again for the people of Elohim. This they observed in the cyclical patterns of Israel’s own history where YHVH gave them the truth, they remained faithful to it for a while, and turned from it, were punished and then returned to Elohim only to have the cycle repeat itself again and again.

As I have studied their method of predicting the future based on past events in Israel’s history, this has led me to some of my own speculations, which I present to you below.

Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh Antetypical of Christianity

Joseph’s wife was the daughter of an Egyptian priest. Jospeh married into the religious system of Egypt. He is a picture of Christian church, which has married itself to Babylon by syncretizing itself with certain pagan traditions and belief systems. Joseph is a picture of the end time lukewarm church. Ephraim and Manasseh were products of the union of Joseph (an Israelite) and Potifera (an Egyptian). Though they were Israelite, they were genetically a mixture of both Israelite and Egyptian blood. In fact, they resembled Egypt so much that Jacob, when blessing them, didn’t even recognize who they were. They were strangers to him. Though they were spiritual mulattos, their spiritual destiny was to identify wholly with their Israelite heritage, which would necessitate their renunciation of their Egyptian ties. In the end times, YHVH is calling Christians to renounce the pagan ties they have through their association with the harlot church system and to come completely out of spiritual system of Babylon, which is a mixture of biblical truth with pagan traditions and traditions of men the make of non-effect the word of Elohim.

Benjamin Is Antetypical of the End-Time Bride of Yeshua

Benjamin was the “son of my [Jacob’s] right hand.” He was Jacob’s youngest and most beloved son (after Joseph’s departure). Judah was willing to lay down his life for his youngest brother. Because of the love Judah had for Benjamin, the descendants of both tribes never separated, and the tribe of Benjamin stayed permanently identified with the tribe of Judah. Even Paul, the Jew and an apostle to the Gentiles, was from the tribe of Benjamin.

In the end times, Christians are like Joseph and his two sons. Most Christians take after Manasseh, which means “forgetful” in that they have forgotten the Torah. Those Christians who love Yeshua and keep his (Torah) commandments take after Ephraim, which means “doubly fruitful” in that they have both Yeshua and the Torah. Judah is both a picture of the Jews and of Messiah Yeshua, while Benjamin could also be a picture of the remnant of Torah-keeping believers who have permanently attached themselves to their Hebrew roots, to the Torah, to Yeshua and who have no involvement with the spiritual Babylon.

Joseph Is a Type of the American Government

Joseph became ruler of Egypt. In the end times, America, which is the largest Christian nation and hence contains the largest number of Joseph’s descendants (through Ephraim), is the leader of spiritual Babylon. In Egypt there were seven years of plenty, then seven years of famine. Egypt was the greatest nation of the world at the time. When the world (and Egypt) fell on hard times economically due to famine, Joseph turned Egypt into a socialistic state. This he accomplished through the Egyptian government’s purchase of all the means of production, the land and by indebting the world to it and by turning its own people into serfs working for the government. Is this same scenario happening in America? We have had our years of prosperity, and now we are entering into seven lean years where the government’s answer to these problems is to socialize this nation at a rapidly expanding rate including the nationalizing, in part, of more and more of the private business sector.


 

What Is Jacob’s Trouble and What Are the End-Times Prophetic Implications?

Genesis 32:1–32, Jacob’s trouble explained.

Genesis 32 is the story of Jacob’s return to Canaan after having been exiled from his homeland for 20 years. His exile occurred after he obtained his divinely promised birthright through shrewd if not unscrupulous means from his brother Esau resulting in his having to flee Canaan for fear of his life due to Esau’s vengeance. Jacob found refuge in the region of Babylonia at his Uncle Laban’s home where he married Laban’s two daughters, Leah and Rachel. Eventually, Jacob had to flee Babylon with Laban in angry pursuit. As Jacob and his family are returning to Canann, they encounter Jacob’s brother Esau who, along with his small army, physically stood in Jacob’s way from entering the land of his promised inheritance and wanted to kill Jacob.

This account is not only the story of Jacob’s personal, spiritual struggles, but it also has end times prophetic implications relating to the regathering out of exile of the twelve tribes of Israel (the Jews and the Christians) and their return to their Promised Land in Israel under Yeshua their Messiah at his second coming.  The Scriptures refer to this as Jacob’s Trouble (see Jer 30:7).

The Jewish sages believe that the encounter between Jacob and Esau (no doubt informed by Jeremiah’s prophecy) is prophetic in nature and will happen again in the end times, but this time on a much larger scale and this time involving the numerous descendants of Israel and Esau. The end-times Israelites will be attempting to return to their ancestral homeland, while the descendants of Esau will be blocking their way. As we proceed in this study, we will see whether this prophecy is beginning to come to pass in these last days.

Not only this, the Jewish sages speak of two major redemptions in Israel’s long history. The first redemption occurred when YHVH delivered the oppressed and enslaved children of Israel out of Egypt at the exodus. The second or final redemption will occur at the end of this present era when the Messiah will regather and lead his exiled and scattered Israelite people back to the Promised Land in fulfillment of numerous biblical prophecies.

Rolling the film backwards a little in the present story of Jacob, Laban had chased Continue reading


 

Gen 41–44:17 Parashat Miketz pt 1

This is a gospel-oriented Torah study. Our goal is to connect the good news of Yeshua the Messiah (the gospel message) to its Hebraic, pro-Torah roots or foundations. The information given here is more than head knowledge. Understanding and wisdom (the right application of knowledge that is based on truth) is taught thus making biblical truth practical, relevant and applicable to your daily life. The truths of the Bible not only have the power to transform your life here and now for the better, but eventually to take you past the veil of death and into eternity.

This Torah study is subdivided in sections by topic in a magazine format thus making it easy to watch at several sittings.

May you be blessed as you watch this video.

For a free, printable adult and youth Torah study guide on this Torah portion (parashah), please go to http://www.hoshanarabbah.org/parshiot.html


 

The Gospel Message in the Names of the 12 Tribes

mosaics in cardo blvd, jerusalem, israel

Genesis 29:32–35:18, The birth of the Jacob’s twelve sons and the meaning of their names. The Scriptures record that the gospel message was preached not only to the first century believers, but to ancient Israel (Heb 4:2), and to the Patriarchs (Gal 3:8) as well. Here is another example of this in the meanings of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob. His twelve sons were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin (who was not born until Gen 35:18). The meanings of their names and the statements the Bible attaches to those meanings reveal YHVH’s glorious plan of salvation for mankind. The Scriptures call this message the good news or gospel.

Reuben, Jacob’s first son, means “see or behold a son” (Heb. combination of two words: ra’ah meaning “to see” and ben meaning “son”). At the birth of her first son, Leah proclaimed “surely YHVH has looked upon my affliction” (Gen 29:32). The gospel message here is that YHVH Elohim saw the affliction of sinful man and gave us Yeshua, his Son.

Simeon means “hearing” (Heb. from shama meaning “to hear”). Leah named her second son thusly because “YHVH has heard that I was unloved” and she was hoping to receive her husband’s affection (Gen 29:33). The gospel message in this is that as a sinner, one comes to Yeshua in a lost and unloved state and separated from Elohim, and that when one hears about the Son (Yeshua the Messiah) in the gospel message, it’s at this point they receive the Father’s love.

Levi means “joined” (Heb. from lavah meaning “to join”). Leah named her next son this in the hopes that “now this time will my husband be joined to me” (Gen 29:34). With regard to the gospel, this can infer the union between a redeemed believer and the Father and Son that occurs at the time of one’s salvation. The good news message is the reconciliation and union of man and Elohim through Continue reading


 

Insights from Matthew 24—the Olivette Prophecy

The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem

The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem

Matthew 24:29, 31, Immediately after the tribulation…gather the elect. If no other verse disproves the pre-trib rapture theory, this one does. Here Yeshua clearly states that the gathering of the saints to meet Yeshua as he is coming in the clouds occurs not only after the tribulation, but after the great tribulation (v. 21). The tribulation and great tribulation are separate events from the wrath of Elohim, which John describes as being part of the seven trumpet and seven bowl judgments (Rev 6:17; 11:18; 15:1; 16:1).

Matthew 24:29, 30, Sun will be darkened…sign of the Son of Man. Here Yeshua tells us that certain harbingers of his second coming will occur first. These include phenomenon occurring in the heavens involving the sun, moon and the stars. After this, a miraculous sign in the heavens will occur, and then Yeshua will come. Between the signs of the sun, moon and stars and the final miraculous sign of his coming there’s a gap in time. Yeshua later revealed to John the cosmic disturbances involving the sun, moon and stars would correspond with the sixth seal (as part of the of the great tribulation that occurs before Elohim pours out his wrath on the earth) of Revelation 6:12–17. After this, Elohim pours out his wrath upon the earth (Rev 6:17; 11:18; 15:1; 16:1), and then the second advent of Yeshua occurs.

Does the sign of the Son of Man coming (Matt 24:30lp) occur before or after the wrath of Elohim? That’s hard to say, but since Yeshua states that between the two events that all men will mourn, perhaps this is a veiled reference to the wrath of Elohim that is to be poured out on unregenerate men during the seven trumpets, seven thunders and seven bowl judgments described in the Book of Revelation. Why else would men be mourning? The intervening time between the Continue reading