Part 8 Do we dare try to understand the Word of God?

Ephesians 2:11-16 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men) 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Their hostility? What hostility? And where did it originate?

Leviticus 26:21 21 If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve.

Christ removed their hostility and rebellion towards the Father, and one another, through the cross, enabling the two to become one again.

 This happens to be the same law Paul refers to in the book of Colossians…

Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

As we noted earlier, God’s law says…

Deuteronomy 12:32 See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

The southern kingdom added to it and the northern kingdom took away from it. Either way, it’s rebellion against God’s law.

This is why Isaiah said to the southern kingdom… Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and (Yahweh) the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The southern kingdom added to it and the northern kingdom took away from it. Either way, it’s rebellion against God’s law.

This is why Isaiah said to the southern kingdom… Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and (Yahweh) the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Incidentally, it just so happens to be the same pattern today as it was in the day of Paul’s ministry. The Jews add to the law and the gentiles take away from it, both groups violating Deuteronomy 4:2, just in their own way.

Deuteronomy 4:2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.

And today we see some of the same issues that Paul struggled with in his ministry. For there are some who still remain hostile to God’s law just as those that did in Paul’s day.

 Romans 8:6-8 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

And Romans 9:30-32 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness (they rebelled against it), have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works (not from a heart to obey but rather out of duty and that of works of man). They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.”

And again in Romans 11 he says…

Romans 11:25-27 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.” 27 “AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”

Two key phrases must be noted here. First, “the fullness of the gentiles”. This is a direct reference of the prophecy spoken over Ephraim in Genesis.

 Genesis 48:19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”

The “melo ha’ goyim,” the fullness of the nations… the fullness of the gentiles. And second, “ALL Israel will be saved”. Meaning the southern kingdom and the northern kingdom. The Jew and the gentile all coming together.

Romans 11:26 and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written…

Romans 11 is all about the two olive trees, the cultivated and the wild, representing the two kingdoms. The emphasis being that the kingdom or olive tree that was broken is now coming back together. For it was said…

Jeremiah 11:16 The LORD called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form. But with the roar of a mighty storm he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken.

But now we see as spoken in Ezekiel…

Ezekiel 37:15-24 The word of the LORD came to me: 16 “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ 17 Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. 18 “When your countrymen ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ 19 say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign (Yahweh)LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph which is in Ephraim’s hand and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ 20 Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on 21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign (Yahweh) LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 24 My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.

The focus of Christ was to bring His Kingdom back together as one. One in the faith of Abraham, obedience. Christ was not concerned with what one’s physical lineage was or the boasting that came with it. His concern was obedience.

Compare… John 8:39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did.

This is HUGE. Christ is saying here that ANYONE who does what Abraham did is considered the children of Abraham. Well, what did Abraham do?

Genesis 26:4-5 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.”

According to the words of Christ, those who obey God’s commands are those who can truly call Abraham their father. Think about what He said later to the Jews … the physical descendants of Abraham…

John 10:24-27 The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Even of those who may be actual descendants of Abraham, if they do not obey God’s commands, then they are not considered children of Abraham.

Again, the focus of Christ was to bring His kingdom back together as one. One in the Faith of Abraham. Not just together as one, but one in obedience to the Father. It truly makes no difference what tribe one may be from … or if they have any Hebrew heritage at all.

This is why Paul said … 1Timothy 1:4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work which is by faith.

The faith that produces the obedience of Abraham…

James 2:21-24 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

One’s genealogy did not guarantee salvation. For even when they left Egypt there were foreigners who came along with Israel:

Exodus 12:38 A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds—a great deal of livestock.

Numbers 11:4 Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: “Who will give us meat to eat?

This mixed multitude, is defined by God Himself, to be as Children of Israel. And, all are to follow the same law of God. Numbers 15:15-16 15 The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the LORD: 16 The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.’”

Consider also Ruth, she was a Moabite, yet in coming into the faith, she considered Israel’s God to be her God, and His ways to be her ways. What mattered then, and still today, is that we are walking in the faith of Abraham. The faith that produces the obedience of Abraham. Obedience to God’s Law.

So many of us are struggling with the question of obedience, Vs Grace. But what we have missed is they must go hand in hand, not either or. And how did we come to be convinced that Grace means there is no more Law?

Common sense dictates that we must keep the Commandments of YHWH God, Because how will we identify our sin without the Commandments?

1st John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

And what is required of those of us who have committed sin / lawlessness? Repentance of course!

And how can we repent without grace, for isn’t by grace that we are forgiven?

Shalom my friends,

Chuck Greever

Part 7 Do we dare try to understand the Word of God.

Ephesians 6:19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,

Colossians 1:25-27 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christ Yahshua was born into this world but for one purpose,Christ came to bring His people back into the relationship that was established in His covenant.

Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

He came to redeem His people so they can come back in covenant with Him, living in obedience to His Law. Christ knew the Psalm that said:

 Psalms 103:17-18 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

And The Prophet Isaiah:

 Isaiah 24:5 The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant.

During the time of Christ, the Jews were centrally located in the land of Judea, but there were still others who were living in other nations.

 John 7:35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?”

These are those who would make their pilgrimage for the feast days as we see here in Acts.

Acts 2:5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.

These are the ones to whom Peter said in the same chapter…

 Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off for all whom the Lord our God will call.

Who were those who were far off that Peter was referring to?

Ezekiel 11:15 Son of man, your brothers – your brothers who are your blood relatives and the whole house of Israel are those of whom the people of Jerusalem have said, ‘They are far away from (Yahweh) the LORD; this land was given to us as our possession.’

Christ’s focus was the regathering of the lost sheep of Israel. At the time of Christ’s ministry, though, the assimilation of the northern kingdom into the nations abroad was well in progress yet not completed. Not all of the northern kingdom had yet forgotten who they were. In fact, there were some who still recognized and acknowledged who they were.

One example could be Anna the prophetess… Luke 2:36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage,

knowing that there were these living in the surrounding areas, Christ’s focus centered on them.

Compare: Matthew 10:5-6 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.

We see several times that the New Testament addresses those sheep scattered in the nations.

Consider… 1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

 And Peter later says: 1 Peters 1:22-25 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.

He then confirms who he is talking to by these next verses:

1 Peters 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Exodus 19:6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.

1 Peters 2:10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Peter here uses the same language as found in the Scriptures regarding the lost sheep of Israel.

Isaiah 7:8 for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.

Hosea 1:9 Then the LORD said, “Call him Lo-ammi, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.

Even James says: James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.

Yet we know that the word spoken over Ephraim was indeed, again… Genesis 48:19 but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.

As mentioned earlier, Israel said that Ephraim will become a multitude of nations. Not that he would just become scattered amongst them. Though they definitely would be scattered amongst them, the fullness of the prophecy is that Ephraim would BECOME a multitude of nations (not just scattered).

 Remember, the Hebrew for “multitude of nations” is “melo ha’ goyim”, meaning “the fullness of the nations”.

From a Greek mindset, “nations” means “gentiles.” The name “gentile” simply means “of the nations”.

Though there were those who still remembered who they were and where they had come from within the northern kingdom, there were still many who had already begun assimilating into the nations. And so, to reach those who had already assimilated into the nations, God gave Paul the ministry of reconciliation to the Gentiles…

1 Timothy 2:7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle — I am telling the truth, I am not lying and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

AND: Romans 5:8-11 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

It was in this ministry of reconciliation that Paul was to bring the northern kingdom back into unity with the southern kingdom. This was no easy task as the Jews had done a pretty good job in widening the existing gap with their added laws. Again, these laws later became known as the Talmud.

Along with these laws, the Jews actually created a physical barrier in the temple court. Gentile proselytes were not allowed past this wall.

In addressing this topic of uniting the two kingdoms in the book of Ephesians, Paul refers to this wall as a metaphor in addressing the law of the Jews…

Ephesians 2:11-16 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men) 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Their hostility? What hostility? And where did it originate?

Now that we have uncovered the Hostility between Jew’s and gentiles, perhaps we can understand now how the enemy has gotten involved, He has always undermined those who sought to obey God, even from the very first in the Garden of Eden, and this is where He has come against us time and time again and is at the bottom of the Deception the we were laboring under.

Now that the source of all of our deception has been revealed, perhaps now we can return to the Way of Christ and quit arguing over such foolish things.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

We need to be following the example of Yahshua Himself, who came to restore us to the Father. Let us return to YHWH God, according to His Word.

1st John 2:6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Shalom my friends,

Chuck Greever

Thanks to 119 ministries who provided most of the scripture references.

Part 6 Do we dare to try to understand God’s Word?

It is really the “greatest love story, NEVER told”

And just as many Egyptians joined the Hebrews in leaving Egypt in the Exodus by way of the Passover lamb, Christ has opened the door that whosoever would call upon him can be saved.

He came as the Word to die in our place. The only way the covenant could be annulled was through death of either partner. This was His goal. To die as the Son of God to restore that which was lost.

He died and was resurrected so that we could return to Him.

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

What was lost? His people.

Thus, the words of Yahshua in John 15.

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

So when you die in Him, you are dead to the sins of our disobedience. If you live in Him, you can be reunited with the Father, but if you are not in Him you are still in the divorced state. Considered dead in your sins and cannot be united to God the first High Priest.

Hosea 13:1 When Ephraim spoke, men trembled; he was exalted in Israel. But he became guilty of Baal worship and died.

Notice that Ephraim was declared dead Because of Baal worship. Spiritually dead.

Declared dead before even being divorced. So, would that not be enough to annul the covenant? No! This spiritual death just left them dead in their sins and now out of covenant with the Father because of those sins.

At the point of their rebellion, they were no longer considered God’s son anymore.

Hosea 1:9 Then the LORD said, “Call him Lo-ammi, for you are not my people, and I am not your God.

Thus, in the eyes of God, they were dead because they were no longer His. And this is why we see Paul’s writings say… Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

“Dead in your sins” and “uncircumcision of your sinful nature” meaning, out of covenant. Circumcision represents covenant here.

Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,

This is what the story of the prodigal son is all about… Luke 15:24 “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So, they began to celebrate.”

The prodigal son is Ephraim. Considered dead.

It wasn’t until the perfect Son, Yahshua, came and died as the Son of God to annul the covenant to establish the new. Or as some like to refer to it as the renewed covenant.

So, He died in our place, since He came AS the Son of God…. Israel.

Remember, Israel was considered the first born of God…

Exodus 4:22-23 Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what (Yahweh) the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship me.” But you refused to let him go; so, I will kill your firstborn son.”

Israel was called the first born of God. The son of God. But as a whole they rebelled and was no longer considered the son of God. Yahshua was called the Son of God because He obeyed perfectly.

When He died on the cross, the marriage covenant was made void because He died … as the true son… Israel. So now we are enabled to be united again to Yahweh… If we are in Him.

Some have said… “How can Yahshua be the Bride groom then? Isn’t there a law saying that a man is not to marry his father’s wife?”

The verse that is often referred to here is…

Deuteronomy 22:30 A man is not to marry his father’s wife; he must not dishonor his father’s bed.

First, the problem with referring to this text is that it clearly implies the father is still married to the woman as the act would dishonor his bed. This is not the case with Ephraim. Ephraim was divorced and is no longer the Father’s wife.

Second, we must understand that we are dealing with metaphors here.

 Metaphors are all over the Scriptures.

The problem that we believe is an issue for some is that, metaphorically speaking, Yahshua had several roles to fill. Many could be trying to force one metaphorical role over another. When, in reality, He is truly filling all these roles, but one is not necessarily “over” another.

I hope that makes sense.

For example, He is mentioned as the …Good Shepherd. Yet at the same time… He’s the lamb of God. So, is He shepherding himself? Of course not. They’re just metaphors.

He’s also our Bride groom, the Son of God, the Word of God and even the Cornerstone (or capstone) and much more.

So, is one more important than another? Is one metaphor to be stressed over another? We don’t think so.

So, when one person says “He’s the good shepherd.” and another says “No. He’s the bridegroom.” and still another says “No. He’s the first-born son.”

We simply respond with……. “Yes.” Psalms 91:4 says that He will protect us with His feathers and wings.

Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

And Yeshua said in Matthew… Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”

Does this make Him a big chicken? Of course not! It’s a metaphor.

Even though Israel is the son of God, Yahweh sometimes refers to Israel with a feminine article added. Other times it is very definitive that He is referring to Israel as a female.

 For example… Jeremiah 3:8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.

The word in Hebrew for sister is very clear that she would be considered a sister, thus, a feminine gender.

Amos 5:2 Fallen is Virgin Israel, never to rise again, deserted in her own land, with no one to lift her up.

Jeremiah 3:20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel,” declares (Yahweh) the LORD.

So with Israel, the son of God, being referred to as such, we see how Yeshua, the son of God, can easily fulfill the sacrifice of the female lamb for the unintentional sin in Numbers 15:27-35 as well.

The thing is this, forcing one metaphor over another can truly be counter-productive.

The bottom line is that they are all right in there given perspectives. And in this case, we see how He came as the son of God for those who were lost. He died as the son of God and nullified the covenant to make way for the new.

Let us recall the words of Christ when He said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)

Redeeming the divorced northern kingdom was the mystery that the prophets could not understand.

Matthew 13:17 “For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

The mystery was revealed in the Word of God coming to die in order to rise from the dead to bring us back to him – and His eternal law.

Romans 16:25-27 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

And … Ephesians 3:1-9 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles 2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. 7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

Christ came to bring His people back into the relationship that was established in His covenant.

The question that remains is this, will we be redeemed, or will we continue to refuse the truth and live according to the doctrine of men?

We have been listening to those who are unable to understand that God is and always will be our redeemer.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18 Therefore,

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”

Shalom my friends,

Chuck Greever

P. S.

I have borrowed heavily from the work of 119 Ministries in order to bring this message to you.

Part 5 Do we dare to try to understand the Word of God?

So, where did these tribes go? No one really knows. There is no doubt that fragments did return to the area, but as a whole, they became truly lost, at least in the eyes of man.

Though in the New Testament, not all of those in the northern ten tribes had fully been lost just yet. Eventually they became scattered and fully assimilated amongst the nations. They were truly lost in the eyes of man. The Scriptures even prophetically referring to them with a new name…

Jeremiah 50:6 My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.

Ezekiel 34:6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.

Ezekiel 34:11-12 For this is what the Sovereign (Yahweh) LORD says: “I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so I will look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.”

So now we can begin to unravel the mystery of where the Lost Sheep wandered. YHWH God said in Jeremiah that He divorced Israel. The northern kingdom.

Jeremiah 3:8 “I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries.”

This may seem like a non-issue to many, but let’s consider what God’s own law says about one who divorces a woman and the command given regarding remarrying her.

Deuteronomy 24:4 then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of (Yahweh) the LORD.

The mere fact that they did not return to Yahweh right away shows that they continued in their rebellious ways of fornication with other gods.

Hosea 4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone!

Hosea 5:11 Ephraim is oppressed, trampled in judgment, intent on pursuing idols. (Ephraim had no heart of returning but continuing after the idols)

Hosea 6:10 I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel. There Ephraim is given to prostitution and Israel is defiled.

This verse alone shows that Ephraim is defiled and thus cannot return according to Deuteronomy 24. Remember, Deuteronomy 24:4 says “is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled”

Hosea 8:9 9 For they have gone up to Assyria like a wild donkey wandering alone. Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.

Here we see that Ephraim clearly became a prostitute in the eyes of Yahweh.

There is little doubt that this was Ephraim’s intent. And it obviously continued as such even after the years of banishment to Assyria…

Isaiah 7:8 for the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.

Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people. There was no repentance to return and they continued in their ways. Another point to consider, why God could not re-marry Ephraim after they were divorced, is this…. We know that a priest could only be a priest if he was a descendant of Aaron. Speaking of those priests, in Leviticus 21:14, Yahweh says…

Leviticus 21:14 He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people,

If this is the case for the priests, how much more is this to be the case for Yahweh Himself.

It is very easy to see how Yahweh is truly the first High Priest as he was the first to offer a blood sacrifice for Adam and Eve to atone for their sin. To further illustrate this point as God being Priest, consider this…

Hebrews 5:4-5 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

Meaning what? He was a priest because He was God’s son. Just as the priests, through the Levitical priesthood, had to be descendants of Aaron, here we see in verse 5 that Yahshua is established as a priest first… by being the son of God.

 Again, verse 5… Hebrews 5:5 So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” Because he was His son,

he was a priest; just as the descendants of Aaron were, in the earthly priesthood. Declaring God Himself a priest.

And what is said of us in regards to being priests?

1 Peter 2:4 As you come to him, the living Stone rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yahshua /Jesus Christ.

And Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

So why are we going to be considered as priests? Because we will be adopted as sons by God, the first High Priest…

Romans 8:23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Romans 9:4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.

Ephesians 1:5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will and those who are adopted as sons will truly be a priesthood in Yahweh.

And those who are adopted as sons will truly be a priesthood in Yahweh. So, it is in this that we see God cannot bring Ephraim back. Yahweh Himself, a priest, will not break His own law that he gave regarding the priests. Again…

Leviticus 21:14 He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his own people,

However, we see elsewhere that bringing Ephraim back is definitely His intent…

Ezekiel 34:15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Micah 2:12 I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people.

This was a great mystery to all the prophets and rabbis. They wondered how He could remarry the very one he divorced and declared to have given herself over to prostitution.

God can not break the very righteous laws that define His own righteousness. Breaking the law of God is sin, the law defines sin according to God’s own words! God CANNOT sin! How, then, can God remarry the lost sheep of Israel without breaking His own law, without sinning?

You are now understanding the GREAT MYSTERY OF THE GOSPEL that Paul wrote about. The way God was going to accomplish this was hidden from His people for so long. So many do not even understand Paul’s teachings on this matter today. How could God remarry those whom He divorced, when God says it was a sin to do so?

For there was only one way He could be released from that particular commandment of the law… Death.

Paul himself expounds on this, in solving this mystery of the gospel.

Romans 7:2…for example, by law a married, woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him…

Likewise, Paul goes on to say, that we die in Christ when we come into the faith, releasing both us, and God, from the requirement of the law, as it relates to divorce and remarriage. So, Christ, came down and died for the lost sheep in order to bring them back into the fold.

Matthew 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Are we beginning to understand now?

Here is why I will spend my last days on this earth crying out to those who do not yet understand why Christ had to die for us, and why He had to shoulder our burden of sin!

Truly it is the “greatest love story, NEVER told”

Shalom my friends,

Chuck Greever

Part 4 of Do we dare to try and understand God’s Word?

Let’s remember that the reason God divorced the ten tribes of the northern kingdom was because they hardened their hearts and rejected Gods’ law in pursuing other gods. As a result of this divorce, they were truly no longer Israel – His people.

It is because they are no longer his people that we see in the New Testament, and modern day as well, that Israel, as a whole, is only known by the southern kingdom of Judah. The northern Kingdom was no longer Israel. Only the southern kingdom of Judah could truly go by that name anymore. And in all of this, we see the unfolding of that which was spoken over 1,100 years earlier to Joseph’s son Ephraim by Jacob himself.

But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” (Genesis 48:19)

In the midst of the northern kingdom’s turmoil, you would think that Judah would make it a lesson learned for themselves. But they didn’t. As the last half of Jeremiah 3:8 says..

I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. (Jeremiah 3:8)

So (Yahweh) the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, and even Judah did not keep the commands of (Yahweh) the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. (2 Kings 17:18-19)

Since the kingdom of Judah did not learn their lesson from the northern kingdom, it wasn’t much longer that they were taken captives as well. Yet they were taken to Babylon…

The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says (Yahweh) the LORD (2 Kings 20:17)

It was because of (Yahweh’s) the LORD’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence…(2 Kings 24:20)

So, Jerusalem and the first temple is destroyed and the people of Judah are taken captive to Babylon in approximately 586 BC.

The Scriptures tell us it would be for 70 years: in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of (Yahweh) the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. (Daniel 9:2)

This is what (Yahweh) the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.” (Jeremiah 29:10)

We find 70 years later that the return is recorded in the book of Nehemiah and Ezra. It is at this time we actually see some of those whom the King of Assyria sent to live in Samaria.

1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for (Yahweh) the LORD, the God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.” 3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for (Yahweh) the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.” (Ezra 4:1-3)

These were the ancestors of the Samaritans of Yeshua’s day. This should shed some light on why the Jews were so at odds with those of Samaria during the time of Yeshua.

It is only because of this return of the southern kingdom to the land, that we see the Jews in the land of Israel today. The very name “Jew” became slang for those who were of the house of Judah and lived in the land of Judah, which later became known as Judea. Thus, those who lived in Judea were considered “Jews.”

Judah had every intent of returning to God’s ways found in His law when they returned to the land of Judah. However, Judah ended up adding “barriers” or “fences” around the law of God in order to keep from breaking it. They did this because they were so concerned about breaking the law of God, that they made extra commandments around God’s commandments to try and make sure they never even came close to breaking God’s law.

In fact, we see this mentality beginning during the return of Judah in the book of Nehemiah.

In those days I saw men in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore, I warned them against selling food on that day. 16 Men from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. 17 I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing — desecrating the Sabbath day? 18 Didn’t your forefathers do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity upon us and upon this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.” 19 When evening shadows fell on the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I ordered the doors to be shut and not opened until the Sabbath was over. I stationed some of my own men at the gates so that no load could be brought in on the Sabbath day. (Nehemiah 13:15-19)

Here we see Nehemiah commanding the gates to be shut so no one could sell at the market place in the city. Was this a bad thing. Of course not. But they should have just obeyed. There should have been no need to do something to prevent disobedience. However, this mentality eventually grew, not only in adding more fences to keep from breaking God’s law, but the fences themselves became equated TO God’s law. Thus elevating man’s law equal to or even higher than God’s. We can witness some of the rabbis elevating their decrees higher than God’s commandments in the Talmud, which originated from the “oral law” of the Jews.

Consider… “My son! Be careful concerning rabbinical decrees even more than the Torah…the Torah contains prohibitions…But anyone who violates a rabbinic decree is worthy of death” (Babylonian Talmud, Eruvin, 21b)

“if there are 1000 prophets, all of them the stature of Eliyah and Elisha, giving a certain interpretation, and 1001 rabbis, not according to the 1000 prophets, Elohim did not permit us to learn from the prophets, only from the rabbis who are men of logic and reason.” – Rambam’s Introductions to the Mishnah

So that which started out with a good motive and intent to keep from breaking God’s law, developed into disobedience to God’s law.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the (Yahweh) LORD your God that I give you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)

See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)

Is it any wonder that Yahshua took issue with these Temple Priests in Mark Chapter 7?

Saying to them, “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! (Mark 7:8-9)

Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” (Mark 7:13)

So, although Judah returned, they soon started adding their own laws to follow, which as we mentioned earlier, would later become known as the “Talmud.” The northern kingdom, on the other hand, never returned. Esar Haddon, king of Assyria, finished what his predecessor had started in taking the northern kingdom into captivity. After this, the northern kingdom is rarely, if ever, acknowledged as a unified entity in Scripture again. This is because they were eventually dispersed and never returned to Samaria – like the Southern kingdom returned to the land of Judah. So where did these tribes go?

No one really knows. There is no doubt that fragments did return to the area, but as a whole, they became truly lost, at least in the eyes of man.

When we return tomorrow, we will begin to unravel the mystery of where they went and what happened to the lost tribes.

But clearly, we see that Yahweh God, will not tolerate Lawlessness among His people. And He has not changed in that respect.

For He has said, “For I am the Lord, I do not change;” (Malachi 3:6)

Shalom my friends,

Chuck Greever