This is the quote that flicked my ear and started my heart on a journey to draw nearer to my sovereign Creator, Elohim.
Rev. Sam Pascoe put it like this: "Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise."
I had had enough of the enterprise of the American church. Having lived the first 12 years of my adult life outside of America, I was going to church but I knew I was starving. I was getting fed a genetically modified gospel. I knew there was real food out there but I needed to get back to the source. Like Elijah's journey in the wilderness to the mountain of God, I had to make that journey as well. I say "I" but Friend Hubby began his journey even before I did. He was ahead of me so I had to run to try to catch up. Along the way, we have picked up others who are hungry as well.
A sweet older sister in the Lord brought this to our fellowship. It is from a ministry called One Stick...Etz Echad. It pretty much sums up what we have studied and come to believe. You may have to do some research if you are unfamiliar with some of the terms.
YHWH, the Elohim of Yisrael, is the Creator of all the universe and all things. He is the Most High… and is above all things. He is Light… He is Love… He is Life. He is echad… a perfect unity. He is the Father who spoke forth the material world and universe through His word… His Memra… His living word.
Yehoshua is YHWH the Son, the Memra of Yah, the arms of YHWH reaching into the material world… the living Word. He was before all things and all things were created through Him. He was with Yisrael in the wilderness and is with us still. He is the Shepherd King, the Suffering Messiah: ‘Mashiach ben Yosef’ and the soon to be reigning Messiah/King: ‘Mashiach ben David’. He is one Mashiach coming two times. He came the first time to suffer for all Yisrael, to forgive us all – both Yehudah and Ephrayim and any gentile who believes in Him - of our sins, and to bring Ephrayim back from divorce and being cut off from the covenant. He is the High Priest of heaven and carries all Yisrael on His heart, even as the breastplate. He carries all Yisrael on His shoulders, even as the two remembrance stones. He intercedes before the throne of YHWH, the Mercy Seat, by His own blood. He will come to rule and reign as King. He is in the order of Melchizedek, both Priest and King. This is why those who believe in Him are called a royal priesthood, because our Head is in the order of Melchizedek. We are royal as in kings and a priesthood as in priests, because our Mashiach is both THE King and THE High Priest.
His Ruach haKodesh has come to indwell those who believe in Mashiach Yehoshua and are ‘born again’. His Ruach haKodesh opens His word to us so that we understand Him, His ways, His purposes in and through Mashiach. His Ruach haKodesh is sent to convict us, comfort us, show us what is to come, to help us to pray and to come beside us to instruct and teach us all things as His great menorah shining upon the showbread of His Spirit-breathed Word.
Believers in Yehoshua the Mashiach are part of all Yisrael. This is not ‘replacement theology’ but ‘embracement theology’, for Yehudah, the Jewish people, are ‘the other half’ of His people. All Yisrael will be redeemed. We are part of His called out assembly, His kehillah, His ekklesia, not a gentile creation built on a Roman foundation that mixes paganism with His true set-apart ways, but an assembly built on Messiah and His Torah, which are one. All Yisrael supped with Him at Sinai, and this was a foretaste of the coming Wedding Supper.
The Torah, beautifully surmised in the spoken and written Ten Words, is eternal. His Ten Words are the Two Tables of the Two Great Commandments that Yehoshua rightly spoke of: ‘Sh’ma Yisrael! YHWH your Elohim, YHWH is one. Love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. This is the first and greatest command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The Messianic summation of His Torah does in no way remove the fullness of His good instruction, but helps us prioritize our LOVES… and love of HIM comes FIRST. Only by putting ‘first things first’ and loving Him above all, can we truly love our neighbor. LOVE is the motivation of a heart that wants to obey. He showed us His love by sending His Son for us, and we show Him our love through obedience to Him and His set-apart word.
Shabbat, His set-apart day, is still the Seventh Day. This is the fourth of His Ten Words. Yehoshua did not change this as He clearly said that Shabbat was made for man. This was never changed. His Moedim, His appointed times are Shabbat, Pesach/Passover, Shavuot/Pentecost, Yom Teruah/Day of Trumpets, Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles. Every important event will happen on His Moedim. Easter and Christ Mass are pagan mixtures, and He is now calling us out of all Babylonian/Roman practices and returning us to Tsiyon living, in preparation of the coming King! We are ‘following the Lamb wherever He leads us on’!
Yehoshua came to put the Ten Words in our minds and to write them on our hearts… to be loved, embraced and obeyed out of a grateful heart. Obedience to His loving instruction does not save us, but is a response to His salvation. Yehoshua came to save us, deliver us, and His Torah by His Ruach haKodesh is to sanctify us… prepare us to be His Bride without wrinkle, spot or any blemish… blameless. His Torah is the Bridal Mikveh. This is the ‘washing of the water of the word’ that the Bride must partake of to be ready for the Bridegroom.
The Messiah Yehoshua came as the Living Torah, to show us how to live out His Torah and brought us the ability to do so. This is why Yohanan wrote that He came full of truth and grace… full of the Truth of His instruction/His word, and the Grace, ability, to live it. He never intended or came to ‘abolish the Torah’ and, in fact, says, ‘Don’t think that’ in Mattithyahu 5:17-19. Therefore, He is renewing our minds to this truth, and we no longer ‘think that’, as He instructs.
The Hebrew culture and ways that emerge from Scripture exist because these are His ways. Abram was from Chaldea and was called to ‘cross over’ (‘Eber… Hebrew’) out of Babylon and into Tsiyon, and to learn of Him. We are still being called to do so. We must ‘leave’ to ‘cleave’.
Messiah came and gave His life for this twofold purpose: to save and to prepare. The Blood leads to the Commands… even as the Tabernacle and Temple so clearly portrays. From the brazen altar to the altar of incense to the blood sprinkled on the Ark of the Covenant, there is a trail of blood that leads to the Mercy Seat wherein rests His Ten Words. This is a picture of the Bridal Heart that contains His Ten Words, His Ketubah, the marriage covenant, which contains what He expects in a Bride. If we love Him, we will obey Him, and this shows Him our love. The heart that says ‘I do’ is the heart that ‘does’.
His Word is inspired by His Ruach haKodesh and is from Bereshith to Revelation. His Torah, His prophets, and His writings comprise the TaNaK, (Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim), and are applicable today. His Messianic writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and Yohanan reveal Yehoshua to be the Mashiach of all Yisrael, who came in perfect fulfillment of Scripture as the Suffering Messiah, ‘Mashiach ben Yosef’, and is coming again as the reigning King, the root and the offspring of David, ‘Mashiach ben David’. The apostolic writings further reveal Him in fullness and are to instruct Yehudah, returning Ephrayim, and ‘former gentiles’ in how to now be part of Yisrael in and through the Messiah. Even as Yehoshua explained in Luke 24, He comes to open our minds to understand His Scriptures, and we are to study them in His good order: Torah, Prophets, Writings and the rest of Scripture. There is no ‘Old Testament’ and ‘New Testament’. This is a wall of separation of Scripture that was imposed by man. He has one, beautiful, Spirit-breathed word. This false separation has served only to keep the torn tabernacle of David separated, but now He is restoring His Word, His Name, His People, His land, His City.
There are Two Houses of all Yisrael, both Yehudah and Ephrayim, that were separated and are the ‘torn tabernacle of David’ that He is, right now, repairing. His new or renewed covenant is with His two houses, and all who believe in Messiah Yehoshua become part of His Yisrael. Yehudah, for the most part, has kept their identity through the embracing of Torah and His set-apart Shabbat and Moedim. They were charged with keeping His Word and although they have added much through traditions of men, they have kept the Torah and TaNaK intact. Many a rabbi shed his blood to keep the Torah scrolls from being lost. Yehudah has been persecuted for centuries for being the bearer of Torah, as the enemy has sought to snuff out the light of His word. Ephrayim owes Yehudah a debt of gratitude for this. They have kept the Torah burning for this time of restoration. Ephrayim was swallowed up by the nations and became as gentiles through divorce and assimilation. Even as Yonah was swallowed by a ‘great fish’, so Ephrayim was swallowed up and was brought to Assyria, whose capital is Nineveh . The ‘great fish’ also represents gentilized, Romanized Christianity in which Ephrayim has been. On the third day, Ephrayim is now being awakened to our Hebrew roots, but we have a job to do… to cry out to ‘ Nineveh ’, ‘REPENT’ and ‘COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE’ and ‘INTO TSIYON’! This is a great task that Ephrayim has been sent forth to do through all the nations, proclaiming the good news of Messiah Yehoshua and the kingdom come. The Kingdom restored to Yisrael. Although Ephrayim has added traditions of men and removed obedience to His Torah, for the most part Ephrayim has kept the Light of the World, Messiah, burning. Yehudah owes a debt of gratitude to Ephrayim for keeping the witness of Messiah for this time of restoration. Many a believer has lost their life through preserving His witness… faithfully. Yehoshua fulfilled the ‘Yonah prophecy’, so that this might come to pass, as He spent three days and nights in the belly of the earth for all Yisrael, but was resurrected on the third day. The two witnesses of both Yehudah and Ephrayim will come together at the end of the age, on the third day… the two olive trees of Zekaryah 4. This company of witnesses will culminate in two persons who will powerfully prophesy at the end of the age, according to Revelation 11.
But His order is clear in Ezekiel 37, that first, He is grabbing Ephrayim and straightening us out to be joined with Yehudah, whom He will also straighten out. This ‘straightening out’ includes the removing of things added and the restoring of things removed from His true and good instruction and His Messiah… His two lights which are one. Messiah has been presented as Greek, even as Yosef looked like an Egyptian, who is a type of the Suffering Servant, known as the ‘Mashiach ben Yosef’. But in this time of ‘the restoration of all things’, He is taking off the ‘Egyptian garb’, and we, His brethren, are recognizing Him for the Hebrew He truly is… the Lion of the Tribe of YEHUDAH! THE KING OF THE JEWS! He will further ask all the Egyptians to leave the room, as He Himself will reveal Himself to His brethren. He will receive all the glory due Him. He will say, ‘Come near to Me… I am your Brother.’
All Yisrael will look on Him whom we have all pierced, because of our sin. No one took His life, He laid it down. And this was done exactly the way it was supposed to be done. When the Roman cohort, numbering between 400-600, came to take Yehoshua in Gat Shemen, the Garden of Gethsemane , they asked Him if He was Yehoshua. He answered, ‘I AM He!’ and the most hardened troops that have ever thundered across the earth fell back, because Yehoshua released His heavenly AUTHORITY! Once great Rome had regrouped, He answered again, veiling His divine power and gave Himself to them. He then gave His life on an Olive Tree, the ‘tree of suffering’, for all the Olive Tree to be one forgiven, redeemed people… Am Yisrael.
Ultimately, all Yisrael will be reconciled, redeemed, restored, reunited, resurrected and live together as one nation, with one King, in Yisrael, with Messiah ruling and reigning from Yerushalayim. This is the One Etz… the one stick… the One Tree… the Olive Tree… restored of Yirmeyahu 11 and Romans 11… the One New Man. Yehudah and Ephrayim will be one stick… one etz… one tree… in His hand. Yehoshua ha Mashiach died on the Olive Tree for the Olive Tree… to bring us together as one. Only YHWH can find His assimilated people in and through the good Shepherd King Yehoshua, and this brings Him great glory. He is gathering all Yisrael as the Shepherd of all Yisrael. He called to me by His loud, audible voice in 1996, calling ‘Ephraim!’ From that day forward, everything changed. He is supernaturally drawing and regathering all Yisrael. This return to Hebrew roots is not through reading some person’s book or through some person’s efforts… it is not a ‘movement’ of men! It is the time of RESTORATION of all things spoken of by the prophets! (Acts 3:19-21) Because heaven is readying to release the Messiah to RETURN… but the RESTORATION comes first. We must cooperate with Him in this. He is also going to restore all the land of Yisrael , Eretz Yisrael, and the return of His Jewish people is according to Scripture which says that the tents of Yehudah will be established first. Yerushalayim belongs in Jewish hands. And Ephrayim is called to be His watchmen. HalleluYAH!
Again, we are in the time of ‘the restoration of all things’ spoken of by the written prophets as Kepha declared in Acts 3:19-21, in preparation of the release of the King from heaven, who will return to rescue His Bride, to mete out judgment to the nations, and to rule and reign the earth for a 1,000 years from Yerushalayim. He will then enforce His Torah, with a rod of iron. The true Bride is not forced, but is that company who is now obeying out of love of the Bridegroom.
YHWH has one covenant nation… Yisrael.
YHWH says His eyes and His heart will always be in one city… Yerushalayim. He sees everything from this perspective, hovering over His City.
All Yisrael will know their Mashiach Yehoshua.
All Yisrael will walk in obedience to His Torah, His loving instructions.
All Yisrael will be saved and sanctified as His Bride.
The Bride has a part to play… she must make herself READY.
And that time is upon us…
…it is NOW.