Weekly Sabbath Survey
Tale of Two Tribes–Part 2 — 1-23-2016
So, in time, the Jews who had accepted Jesus were thrust out of the Congregation of Believers for keeping God’s feast days, the 4th of the Ten Commandments, and generally refusing to go pagan with everybody else! Some Jewish Believers protested meeting on Sun Day, the pagan day for worshipping the sun god, but they were shouted down and kicked out. Others left quietly. All disappeared into history. Even though Jesus and His first followers were all Jewish, His “church” was now all of the tribe called “Gentile” and it was (is) a pagan caricature of what The Congregation of Believers in the Way was in the beginning. Following in the path of the Jewish leaders a couple of centuries prior, The Gentile church leaders steered to the Roman cross, the Believers who were the blood kin of Jesus, as Constantine’s program of terror roared against the Jews all over the Empire. How this must have grieved the very Jewish Messiah!
God has used Israel to preserve, protect and share His Words: the very same words we read in our Bibles today! For two thousand plus years He has used the Gentile church to preserve, protect and share the truth of Jesus. We are in a time now (End Times) in which these two tribes must reconcile and become ONE again. It begs the question, Which One? Do Christians become Jews? Or, do Jews become Christians? Some of each group have already made the switch to the other. Jews in The Church and Gentiles in The Synagogue. In my own lifetime, I think more Jews have embraced Jesus than any other time since He was on Earth. Today, rather than them being forced to give up being Jews and go into the Gentile congregation, they are forming their own Messianic synagogues. Jesus never demanded anyone STOP being Jewish to follow Him! And at the same time, He never hinted that any of us should throw away ANY of the commandments He obeyed and kept faithfully.
As Jews are coming to know their king, the Spirit of the Lord is speaking to Gentile Believers to pursue their Jewish roots. Some of us are adopting God-given practices from the Bible that the Jewish people still do. Many of us have read God’s word and seen a challenge to DO what it says. Some say, “But what about those things we don’t understand?” My answer is simple: read God’s Word prayerfully with an open heart and whatever He is speaks to you, do that. As He adds more things, do all He says. Be aware that there are excesses and some crazy stuff going on as the devil tries to confuse us. Stay as close to Jesus as you can and DO NOT become a groupie of any man. Leaders are OK, but just to a point.
This seeking is being done by both groups of God’s people, Jew and Gentile, obeying the Voice they are hearing. We are drawn closer as each individual must “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” Gentiles have NOT replaced the Jewish people! We are the wild olive branch. The Jewish people are STILL very much on God’s radar and in His plan. The more we read the Word, the more we will see this connection. We will come to understand we are very, very kin to the Jewish people—-by nothing less than the blood of Jesus! We will pray for stubborn Believers to get their eyes opened to see this! We will pray for Jews, that they come to know Yeshua their Messiah. And, we will pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
The Spirit of God is moving on the hearts of both “tribes” to look at each other as KIN, our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Each tribe has many answers for ways of living according to God’s word. The Jews have a deeper understanding of our Father God. And, we Gentiles have their King. We need to share!! I am persuaded it is the grafted in wild branch (us) that must insert itself into the cultivated tree (them). Not the other way around. Even if only in our hearts and minds, we are a part of them.
There’s a story that speaks to places difficult to access. It shows the way Gentiles may get into a relationship with and be accepted by Jewish people. To this day, in Old City Jerusalem there are wealthy old homes with big courtyards, similar to a Spanish Hacienda. There’s a big wide gate, for bringing in people on horseback or with wagons. It also has a small gate cut into the large one. Camels or a few people would be admitted there. The camels are rowdy, harder to control than horses. The small gate prevented them from running amok and maybe injuring people inside. They were made to kneel down so their burdens could be removed by The Master. Only then could they could crawl through that small (narrow) gate on their knees. That little gate to this day is called The Eye of the Needle. We must humble ourselves (kneel) at the Jewish gate (heart), let Jesus remove our Gentile burdens (prideful ignorance), so we can go in.
Remember, once you were without Messiah, aliens from citizenship in Israel, strangers to the covenants of promise; you had no hope and were in the world without God. In Yeshua Messiah, you who were far off are bought near by the blood of Messiah. Ephesians 2:12-13
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Copyright July 2015
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