A Word From the LORD

A message to Israel:

Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel,

You who have been borne by Me from birth and have been carried from the womb;

Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying years I will bear you!

I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you.

Isaiah 46:3-4

Who Is Israel?

Have you been asking yourself, “Who is Israel?” It seems to be a pretty hot topic, these days. Of course, there are countless verses within Scripture that tell us who Israel is. Sometimes, though, YHWH will emphasize to me just a select few verses on any given subject so that my brain can wrap itself around what He is trying to teach me.

Just the other day, He made it clear to me just how simple it can be to figure out who He defines Israel as being. There are only two verses that He brought to my mind. One verse is from the Prophets, and one verse is from the Apostles. Let’s begin with the first verse I was reading…

Isaiah 41:8
But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

In Isaiah 41, YHWH defines Israel as “the seed of Abraham”. Other versions render this “descendent of Abraham”, or “offspring of Abraham”. You get the idea. Basically, according to this verse, Israel consists of the children of Abraham.

Israel = Seed of Abraham

Well, you may be thinking “this seems obvious”. Anyone descended from Abraham, by blood, would be considered Israel, right? Let’s look a little deeper. Before we make that assumption, we must look at the Apostolic verse in order to further define who the children of Abraham really are.

Galatians 3:7
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Ahh. Here we see that being a descendant, or child of Abraham involves this thing called Faith. In other words, Abraham’s seed consists of those who are of Faith.

Seed of Abraham = They which are of Faith

Therefore, using the law of syllogism, we can see, 1) If Israel is the seed of Abraham, and 2) the seed of Abraham are those which are of faith, then 3) Israel consists of those which are of faith. So, who is Israel? Israel is the faithful.

Israel = They which are of Faith

Can we then safely deduce from this that anyone who is NOT of Faith is, therefore, NOT considered Israel? This is a very interesting question to ponder! It would be imperative to understand what exactly Faith is, according to the Scriptures, in order to not get into trouble on this one. 😉

Who Is Israel

There are always two sides to any issue. Many people, on both sides of this issue, do not like the simple truth that Israel are those which are of Faith. They, therefore, try to twist the Scriptures to mean something else. I believe that heretical doctrines, such as, Replacement Theology and many other doctrines of exclusivity, have come out of this misunderstanding of who Israel really is.

We know that Paul was trying to right the wrong views of his day when he wrote in the book of Romans “they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel, nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s seed”.

Apparently, there were people in his day who believed that just because they were from Abraham’s blood line that they were considered Israel. I think this same view is alive and well within many Messianic and Jewish circles today, unfortunately. In my opinion, this is just as divisive as the supersessionists’ idea that the Church has replaced Israel. Both opinions create only division among the body of Messiah.

It’s about time we read the Scriptures just as they are written, without trying to make them fit into our finite understanding. G-d is smarter than we are. We can only humble ourselves and ask for the spirit of YHWH to provide the understanding we so desperately need, if we ever expect to be restored with our brother, Judah.

May YHWH lead you by His outstretched hand as you seek His will in all things. Amen.

Recommittment

Confession: I have not blogged in quite awhile. Too long, in fact. I know.

Originally, I began blogging as a simple way of sharing my journey of finding true love and growing in faith, but over time I pulled away from writing about these very intimate subjects. Often, I would post simply some beautiful quote or picture, and avoid writing what was on my heart. To be honest, I haven’t really felt like sharing my life with a lot of people I do not know. Yet, something in me keeps nudging me to document my life-discoveries so that someone out there may be encouraged, or better yet inspired by what comes through my keyboard.

I regret that I have been absent for so long. With the beginning of the new Roman year, I am recommitting myself to this space with the desire to share what I am learning along my pilgrimage through life. With that said, I have decided to add a new subject category to my blog site. I will now be journaling, and I hope that you will join me, on my adventures in SEWING! You can learn about how I got started sewing here. But before you go, let me share with you how I was inspired to start blogging about sewing.

When I began to learn to sew last year, I started doing A LOT of online research, looking for tutorials that I could use to teach myself basic sewing techniques. What I discovered is the abundantly fruitful world of Sewing Blogs! To my surprise, I found more information than I could have imagined existed on the subject of sewing. At first, it was all eye candy – beautiful blogs with pictures of vibrant fabrics sewn into items that I can only dream of creating at this point. I signed up for almost every newsletter that I could join, and soon my Inbox was overflowing with information each day. I soon found myself spending more time surfing the web than sewing, and that is not right! Since then, I have culled my blog reading and newsletter memberships down to a very select few.

Each time I read these inspiring sewists’ posts, a desire rises in me to start documenting my own journey in this wonderful world of stitchery. To my surprise, when I opened my email this morning, one such blogger‘s post brought me to the point of no return. After I read about Sarai’s project, Wardrobe Architect, for the sewing blog community, I jumped in with both feet.

So, here I am. A blogger. I hope you will join me on my adventures in Faith, Love, and Sewing!

Repentance and the Biblical Month of Elul

I hope you enjoy another powerful teaching by Jim Staley.  This one is about repentance and the Biblical month of Elul, which most of the planet is now twelve days into.  (In case you’re unfamiliar with Biblical months, each new moon begins a new month.  Elul is the sixth month of the Hebrew calendar.)

I pray you are blessed by this teaching!

faith

”‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’  Often the follower of Christ is brought where he cannot serve God and carry forward his worldly enterprises.  Perhaps it appears that obedience to some plain requirement of God will cut off his means of support.  Satan would make him believe that he must sacrifice his conscientious convictions.  But the only thing in our world upon which we can rely is the word of God.  ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’  Matthew 6:33.  Even in this life it is not for our good to depart from the will of our Father in heaven.  When we learn the power of His word, we shall not follow the suggestions of Satan in order to obtain food or to save our lives.  Our only question will be, What is God’s command?  and what His promises?  Knowing these, we shall obey the one, and trust the other.

“In the last great conflict of the controversy with Satan those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law in obedience to earthly powers, they will be forbidden to buy or sell.  It will finally be decreed that they shall be put to death.  See Revelation 13:11-17.  But to the obedient is given the promise, ‘He shall dwell on high: his place of defense whall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.’  Isaiah 33:16.  By this promise the children of God will live.  When the earth shall be wasted with famine, they shall be fed.  ‘They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.’  Psalm 37:19.”  {Desire of Ages, 121-122}

the perfect role model

For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:  Who did no sin*, neither was guile** found in his mouth:  Who, when he was reviled, reviled*** not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judges righteously.  1 Peter 2:22-23

By personally accepting Christ’s love and sacrifice for us on a daily basis, we are given His power to accomplish His example and become like Him in character; that no matter what comes our way, we would be without guile, without reviling, and without threatening towards others, committing ourselves to God, who alone judges righteously.

I have not found a greater example to follow in any other human being or religion, than the example given to us in Jesus Christ.  I want to be more like Christ!

 

 

 

*sin – transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4)

**guile – (noun) insidious cunning in attaining a goal; crafty or artful deception; duplicity.

***revile – (verb) to assail with contemptuous or opprobrious language; address or speak of abusively.

witness

I have been working on writing my personal testimony – how God has moved in my life – how I got to where I am today.  My repugnance grows as I look back on past seasons of my selfish life.  I am utterly  disgusted with who I used to be.  I do not want to glorify my past.

Photographs tend to glorify whatever it is they are of.  I want so badly to erase the photographs taken during those dark years of my life.  But as I look at the images and ponder the action of deleting them, I realize that they are a witness of where God has rescued me from.  If I erase those images then I am silencing the witness.

By the power and grace of God, my life is a living testimony of Ezekiel 11:19,20; 36:24-27

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