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The Gospel of the Kingdom of God

A study guide for Hebraic enquirers by Tessa Beswick

The purpose of this study guide is to give a broad introduction to the topic of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. It is hoped that it will encourage readers to undergo their own research and study. Note: references to non-Bible sources generally have not been included in this pamphlet.

© 2009 Tessa Beswick [email protected]

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The Hebraic Foundations of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God

What is the gospel of the Kingdom of God? Is it the same as the gospel of salvation? This study guide grew out of a desire to know the foundations of faith in YHVH -- the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- which were taught by Y`shua (Jesus) of Nazareth to his disciples. Y`shua`s disciples knew their identity in the family of God, the history of their nation and the theological tenets of their faith. They understood that they were the co-inheritors of the Abrahamic Covenant -- the Bride of Messiah -- the Household of Jacob -- the olive tree of Israel. Y`shua taught the gospel of the Kingdom of God throughout his ministry. Two thousand years later, the gospel of salvation is clearly understood by Christians, but the gospel of the Kingdom of God is largely unexplored. The purpose of the gospel of salvation is to restore relationship between God and man, who sent His Son to seek and save the lost. But what precisely had been lost that needed to be found? It is the contention of this work that what was lost, and was still missing during Y`shua`s time on earth, was a large proportion of the family of God that had been scattered throughout the world -- a missing part of his Bride. The gospel of salvation is primarily concerned with finding the Bride. The gospel of the Kingdom of God includes the gospel of salvation but its greater purpose is the Messianic fulfilment of all of the prophetic promises of YHVH embodied in the Abrahamic Covenant. These are to perfect the Bride and bring her to the Messiah in Jerusalem, to destroy all the enemies of Messiah and to raise up the fallen tabernacle of David in a Kingdom of peace on the earth. To understand the gospel of the Kingdom of God requires knowledge of His Covenant promises and to whom they belong. This in turn requires some knowledge of the physical line of inheritance. Traditional orthodox Christian teaching has tended not to teach systematically the history and original faith that has underpinned Christianity. Few realise how Hebraic the early assembly was or know the actual theology of converts to Y`shua. It may surprise many Christians to learn that the theological position of the early assembly was substantially altered by the Church Fathers` over the succeeding centuries. The first converts might not find much similarity between what they believed in the 1st century and what is taught in many churches today. This study guide seeks to give Hebraic enquirers a basic knowledge of the history and theology that underpins Messianic faith in YHVH. It assumes that no work or idea of man supersedes the Word of YHVH and that everything must be in submission to it. Some theological pillars of both Judaism and Christianity are examined for their faithfulness to the Word of YHVH. No apology is made in this regard, since Biblical truth is paramount -- no sacred cows` are allowed. The reader should understand that some deeply held convictions may not be entirely based in truth, and therefore may need to be prayerfully reconsidered! This is not an easy task when traditions have been taught as truth by sincere and well-intentioned teachers. It is not easy to renew a mind! Yet renewed minds are exactly what are needed to transform carnal people into spiritual people who have one mind with the Father and Creator of all. May this study guide be a journey of discovery and blessing to any who sincerely desire to worship YHVH through His Son Y`shua in spirit and truth. May readers find their true identity within the Bride of Messiah so they may be fully prepared for life in the Kingdom of God, which will come to the earth. Do your best to present yourself to YHVH as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)

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Table of Contents

A. The Seven Covenants of the Seamless Bible .................................................................................... 5 1. Adamic Covenant -- symbolised by the Ground of the Earth ..................................................... 5 2. Noahic Covenant -- symbolised by the Rainbow ........................................................................ 5 3. Abrahamic Covenant -- symbolised by the Stars of Heaven ....................................................... 5 4. Mosaic Covenant -- symbolised by Stone Tablets of Torah, given 1446BCE ............................ 5 5. Davidic Covenant -- symbolised by Jerusalem, began 1010 BCE .............................................. 6 6. Renewed Covenant -- symbolised by Messiah`s Blood/Cup & Body/Bread, given 30 CE at the death and resurrection of Y`shua ...................................................................................................... 6 7. Peace Covenant -- Shalom` anticipated in the Messianic Kingdom. ......................................... 6 B. The History of Israel after King David ............................................................................................ 7 The Kingdom of Israel was divided into two Kingdoms -- 930 BCE ............................................. 7 Ephraim was captured by Assyria -- 734 BCE ................................................................................ 7 Judah was captured by Babylon -- 596 BCE ................................................................................... 7 Time of punishment for each house of Israel .................................................................................... 7 Medo­Persians captured Assyria -- 538 BCE ................................................................................. 8 Alexander the Greek captured Medo-Persia -- 325 BCE ................................................................ 8 Roman Control of Judea -- 53 BCE ................................................................................................. 8 Y`shua of Nazareth -- born 4 BCE .................................................................................................. 8 Destruction of the Temple and the Dispersion of Judah ................................................................... 9 The Diaspora of all Israelites -- 734 BCE to 1900s CE ................................................................... 9 C. The Early Assembly ......................................................................................................................... 10 People .............................................................................................................................................. 10 Character and Doctrine ................................................................................................................... 10 Torah of Moses ............................................................................................................................... 10 Brit Chadashah -- Renewed Covenant of Y`shua .......................................................................... 11 Appointed Times ............................................................................................................................. 11 Doctrinal Pressures ......................................................................................................................... 11 Persecution ...................................................................................................................................... 11 A Flourishing Assembly ................................................................................................................. 12 Heresies ........................................................................................................................................... 12 Free from the Law ........................................................................................................................... 12 D. The Church -- after 100 AD ........................................................................................................... 13 De-Judaising the Church ................................................................................................................. 13 Replacement Theology ................................................................................................................... 13 Religious Rome ............................................................................................................................... 13 Mithraism ........................................................................................................................................ 14 Salvation.......................................................................................................................................... 14 Identity of Messiah.......................................................................................................................... 14 Sacraments ...................................................................................................................................... 14 Priesthood........................................................................................................................................ 15 Pope/Papa/Father ............................................................................................................................ 15 Dispensationalism ........................................................................................................................... 15 Scripture .......................................................................................................................................... 15

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Sabbath ............................................................................................................................................ 15 Holy Days ....................................................................................................................................... 16 Communion..................................................................................................................................... 16 Trinity.............................................................................................................................................. 16 Marionism ....................................................................................................................................... 16 Baptism ........................................................................................................................................... 17 Tithing ............................................................................................................................................. 17 Saints ............................................................................................................................................... 17 Circumcision ................................................................................................................................... 17 Disposing of the dead ...................................................................................................................... 17 The Pagan Church ........................................................................................................................... 17 Dark Ages -- Replacement Theology entrenched in the Church ................................................... 18 The Unbiblical Results of Replacement Theology ......................................................................... 19 The Reformation -- not yet a Biblical Restoration ........................................................................ 19 Art in the Middle Ages.................................................................................................................... 20 E. Messiah's Bride................................................................................................................................. 21 Who are the chosen People/Nation? ............................................................................................... 21 Chosen for Eternity? ....................................................................................................................... 21 Who is the Bride of Messiah? ......................................................................................................... 21 God intends to court Israel (Ephraim) again and restore her virginity ........................................... 22 Where is the Bride today? ............................................................................................................... 22 Promise to regather Israel from the nations .................................................................................... 22 Plan for Israel's redemption ............................................................................................................ 23 The return of Judah to the Holy Land ............................................................................................. 23 Arabs in the Land of Israel .............................................................................................................. 23 Christians Awakening To Their Heritage ....................................................................................... 24 Rapture or Tribulation? ................................................................................................................... 24 Theology of the End-Time .............................................................................................................. 24 Spiritual Return of Israel ................................................................................................................. 24 Physical Return of Israel ................................................................................................................. 25 Wise or foolish virgins .................................................................................................................... 25 The Day of the Lord` ..................................................................................................................... 25 F. Restoration ........................................................................................................................................ 26 After the Millennial Reign .............................................................................................................. 27 Covenant of Peace/Shalom and the New Bride .............................................................................. 27 Abraham`s legitimate descendents.................................................................................................. 28 Pictorial IsraelRestored Kingdom ................................................................................................... 29 Restored Kingdom .......................................................................................................................... 30

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A. The Seven Covenants of the Seamless Bible

Covenants are either unconditional (irrevocable, permanent) OR conditional (dependent on obedience). Covenants are cut` by God with the addition of salt`. (Leviticus 2:13; Numbers 18:19)

1. Adamic Covenant -- symbolised by the Ground of the Earth

o Unconditional covenant cut by sacrifice of animal to provide covering for Adam and Eve. o Promises eternal life for obedience; spiritual death for disobedience. (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:22-24) o Covenant is still in operation -- women labour, men toil, earth governs life.

2. Noahic Covenant -- symbolised by the Rainbow

o Covenant to preserve Noah and family cut by the death of all corrupted flesh. (Genesis 6:18) o Unconditional promise never again to destroy all earthly life. (Genesis 9:8-17) o Covenant still operates (added to Adamic) and marked by the sign/covering of the rainbow.

3. Abrahamic Covenant -- symbolised by the Stars of Heaven, given 1876 BCE

o Three-part unconditional covenant of friendship: o Promise to bless Abram with descendants, land and kingship. (Genesis 12:1-3; 17:4-8) o Covenant cut by God walking through sacrifice of 5 animals. (Genesis 15:1-18) o Abram`s name changed to Abraham. (Genesis 17:5) o Covenant Seal -- circumcision (cutting the covenant). (Genesis 17:9-14) o Covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Gen 17:21; Psalm 105:8-10; Deut 7:9) o Inclusion in Abraham`s family is conditional on circumcision. o Abrahamic Covenant is added to the Adamic and Noahic Covenants. Abrahamic Covenant includes future Gentiles or Nations. (Genesis 15:18-21, 22:18; Galatians 3:8, 9) God required Abraham to sacrifice his only (legitimate) son. A last minute reprieve saved Isaac but, 2000 years later, God kept His part of the Covenant by offering His only Son for the redemption of Abraham`s progeny. (Genesis 22:1-18) Jacob's family comprises 12 tribes who together constitute the Nation of Israel. The blessing of Many Nations` was inherited by Joseph, then his younger son Ephraim. (Gen 48:16) The blessing of Headship and Kingly rule` was given to Judah (even though he was not the firstborn). Judah, ancestor of Y`shua, is 'Head of the Household' until Shiloh (Messiah) comes. (Genesis 49:10) This Covenant is still in process in terms of the Land and numerous descendents.

4. Mosaic Covenant -- symbolised by Stone Tablets of Torah, given 1446 BCE

o o o o o o o Israel alone, of all the families of the earth, is chosen by God. (Amos 3:1-2) God reaffirmed the Abrahamic Covenant to Moses. (Exodus 6:4) God led the Nation of Israel (Jacob) out of slavery in Egypt. (Exodus 2:24) Israel at Mt Sinai comprised Jacob`s descendents plus Egyptian converts. (Exodus 12:37-38) Israel includes all who stand at Mount Sinai`. (Deut 29:14; Isaiah 56:3-8; Ephesians 2:12-19) The Ten Commandments are a summary of the whole Torah. (Matthew 22:40) The Torah is not a means of salvation -- rather it is a lifestyle pleasing to YHVH.

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o o o o o o

Choose: Blessings/Obedience/Life OR Curses/Disobedience/Death. (Lev 26; Deut 4-14) Sabbath is the mark of identity of Israelites. (Exodus 31:16; Leviticus 24:8) Israel should observe YHVH's Appointed Times`; (they are not Jewish Feasts`). Appointed Times are permanent and unchangeable. (Exodus 23:14, Leviticus 23:4, 14, 44) Mosaic Covenant is unconditional promise to bring Israel to her rest. (Hebrews 4:6-11) This Covenant still stands, added to the Adamic, Noahic and Abrahamic Covenants. (Leviticus 26:9, 42, 44-45; Judges 2:1,2; Jeremiah 31:35-37; Ezekiel 16:60)

5. Davidic Covenant -- symbolised by Jerusalem, began 1010 BCE

o Unconditional promise to establish Davidic dynasty on throne of Israel forever. (2 Sam 7:16) o Pointed to a greater David and an everlasting Covenant. o Messiah Son of YHVH is physically descended from King David through his son, Nathan. (Is11:1; 1 Sam 16:13; 2 Sam 5:3; 7:12-16; 23:5; 1 Chron17:11-14; 2 Chron 13:5; Ps 132:12) o Covenant cut by David`s sacrifices on the altar on Mt. Moriah. (1 Chronicles 21:26; 22:1) o Davidic Covenant still operates, added to the Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic Covenants.

6. Renewed Covenant -- symbolised by Messiah's Blood/Cup & Body/Bread, given 30 CE at the death and resurrection of Y'shua

o Covenant cut by the sacrifice of Y`shua according to Torah re: timing, location and method. o Offer of salvation to Gentiles by faith in Y`shua, Son of YHVH. (Psalm 111:9; Galatians 3:6-9) o Unconditional Covenant sealed with Passover bread/wine memorial -- 3rd Cup symbolising redemption. (Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25) o Renewed Covenant is the perfect fulfilment (Gk: pleroma) of the former Covenants. Note: pleroma` means fullness of meaning`, not end` or abolish`. (Jeremiah 31:31-34; 32:40) o Renewed Covenant ratifies the preceding Covenants for the lost sheep of the house of Israel`.

7. Peace Covenant -- `Shalom' anticipated in the Messianic Kingdom

o o o o A new Covenant to be added to the six preceding Covenants to form the Everlasting Covenant. Unconditional Shalom` of total peace and wholeness. (Isaiah 54:10; Ezekiel 34:25-26) Characterised by restoration of life to that which existed in the Garden of Eden. Covenant to be fulfilled in the Land of Israel according to the borders promised to Abraham. (Isaiah 11:6-9; 14:24; 51:3; Ezekiel 36:8-12, 34-35)

The Bible is one book, not two separate Testaments with the latter replacing the former. It is founded upon Covenants, each enlarging upon the former ones by including more people and greater promises. Each Covenant is still operational today and will not cease until the end of time. YHVH first cut a Covenant with Adam. Then He overlaid additional Covenants and will sustain them through to their culmination in Messiah Y`shua, King of kings. It was always His plan to restore his Covenant people -- Israel -- to Himself.

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B. The History of Israel after King David

The Kingdom of Israel was divided into two Kingdoms -- 930 BCE

David's son Solomon sinned against YHVH by marrying many women and taking foreign concubines. This was expressly forbidden in Torah. His wives led him to disobey Torah by worshipping idols as Torah had predicted they would. (Deuteronomy 7:1-4; 11:13-17; 1 Kings 11:1-10) Solomon`s sin led to the loss of most of the United Kingdom of Israel, the ten northern tribes, which seceded from the rule of the tribe of Judah during the reign of Rehoboam. (1 Kings 3:1; 11:11-13) The Southern Kingdom (Judah and Benjamin) was called Judah; the Northern Kingdom (remaining ten tribes) was called Ephraim/Israel. (1 Kings11:26-32; 2 Chronicles10:16-19) The Northern Kingdom was led by Jeroboam who created his own feast days, an alternative priesthood and set up pagan worship sites with golden calf idols, thus introducing a Replaced Theology. YHVH promised to remove Ephraim/Israel from the land. (1 Kings 12:28-33; 13:33, 34; 14:15-16)

Ephraim was captured by Assyria -- 734 BCE

Because of idolatry the Northern Kingdom/Israel was divorced from the presence of YHVH, lost its inheritance, was captured by Assyria and assimilated into the nations. (Isaiah 50:1, 2 Kings 17:7-23) It became the broken branches of the Olive Tree of Israel. The people lost their identity, became nameless` and not a people`. (Jeremiah 11:16-17; Hosea 1:4-6-9)

Judah was captured by Babylon -- 596 BCE

Because of injustice, YHVH allowed Judah to be captured by Nebuchadnezzar and taken to Babylon. Because of YHVH's love for David, the Southern Kingdom was not divorced but was punished for 70 years; a remnant of Judah returned to Israel in 536BC. (Jeremiah 25:11, Ezra 1:3) However, most of Judah remained in Babylon after the 70 year exile, failing to fully repent. Judah brought back some Babylonian customs and incorporated them into their religious practice. They adopted the Babylonian calendar, complete with its pagan names of months. They adopted the ineffable name` doctrine (fear that pronouncing His real name is sinful), which led to the disuse of the name YHVH in favour of Adonai or Ha- Shem. The remnant who returned to Judea built the Second Temple, which was never as grand as Solomon`s Temple and did not contain the Shekinah/Glory of God.

Time of punishment for each house of Israel

Ephraim`s punishment was 390 years separation from the land but, because they did not repent, the punishment was multiplied by 7 and amounted to 2,730 years which ended in 1997 CE. Judah`s punishment was 360 years (390+40­70) and was also multiplied by 7, amounting to 2,520 years, which was completed in 1994 CE. (Leviticus 26:18; Ezekiel 4:4-6) Daniel`s visions span the Jewish Exile in Babylon through to the return of Messiah. Currently the world lives in the time of the feet` of the statue of Daniel 2 and the final verses of Daniel 12.

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Medo­Persians captured Assyria -- 538 BCE

The Medo­Persians tolerated Judaism. Queen Esther foiled a plot by Haman the Agagite (Amalekite) to completely destroy all Jews during the reign of a Persian king. Ezra and Nehemiah were permitted to take a remnant of Jews to rebuild Jerusalem and restore daily Jewish life. Jewish scribes (Sopherim) restored the authority of the Torah of Moses to Judah for about 100 years before they were undermined by the supposed sophistication of Hellenism.

Alexander the Greek captured Medo-Persia -- 325 BCE

Hellenism began to pervade Jewish life and was readily accepted by Levites as a more sophisticated ethic. In time, the Torah of Moses was interpreted by Rabbis and Pharisees instead of the Hellenistic Levitical priests, and the oral torah began to be developed as the guiding authority of Judaism. Judah endured the rule of Antiochus Epiphanes, who banned Jews from practicing their religion, under penalty of death. He installed a pig on the altar in the Temple in 167 BCE and forced Jews to bow down to his effigy in the Temple. The revolt by the family of Judas Maccabeus in 164 BCE finally destroyed this antichrist figure and the Temple was liberated. A miraculous restoration of light to the Menorah in the Temple resulted in the Festival of Dedication (Hannukah), which was observed by Y`shua, although it is not an Appointed Time according to Torah. (Leviticus 23; John 10:22)

Roman control of Judea -- 53 BCE

Rome captured the Greek Empire but Judea was Rome`s most troublesome province to administer. The people were expecting their Messiah and would not bow to a Roman emperor. The Temple was the centre of religious, civil and judicial life and was ruled by the Sanhedrin. Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees controlled the people through a complex set of oral traditions said to have come from Moses and which define Judaism to this day. The ruling High Priest was no longer a Levite -- the position was a Roman appointment and could be purchased. Rome also appointed proxy Kings who were loyal to Rome not Judea -- Herod was a descendent of Esau/Edom, not a Jew.

Y'shua of Nazareth -- born 4 BCE

In 27 CE, Y`shua of Nazareth entered public life in Israel. He challenged the authority of the Sanhedrin, accusing them of hypocrisy, disobedience to Moses` written Torah and burdening the people with their own traditions in the oral laws. (Matthew 15:3-6) Y`shua claimed to have come for the lost sheep of the house of Israel`. (Matthew 15:24) The Sabbath before Passover in 30 AD, Y`shua entered Jerusalem as the Passover Lamb. On Wednesday afternoon, he was crucified and died as the Temple lamb for the nation. (John 11:50) On Saturday evening -- three days and three nights later -- he was raised to life. On Sunday morning, he was seen by his followers and for 40 days after until he rose to his Father. For 30 years Y`shua`s Nazarene sect of Judaism grew at a considerable rate, teaching the Word of YHVH to Jews and Gentiles via the apostles. All the apostles except for John were martyred, as were a great many of the converts. Martyrdom came at the hands of rabbinical Jews and the Romans, both of whom saw the Nazarene sect as a threat to their power and control over the people in their jurisdiction.

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Destruction of the Temple and the Dispersion of Judah -- 70 CE

In 67 CE, Rome had reached the end of her patience with Judea and, under the command of Titus, laid siege to Jerusalem, which was rased in 70 CE with massive loss of life from famine, cannibalism and the sword. Survivors were taken into slavery or killed. Some 1000 people escaped to Masada (Dead Sea) and resisted Titus` troops for three years, then committed suicide rather than capitulate to Rome. The Temple was burned to the ground and every stone was dug up in a hunt for the gold that had lined the walls and melted into the cracks in the floor during the fire. Many Messianic believers had already escaped to Petra (in modern Jordan) two years previously. Jews would still not submit to Rome, so in 135 CE, after the Bar Kochba rebellion, Hadrian banished all remaining Jewish inhabitants from Jerusalem. Israel was renamed Syria Palaestina, from which the name Palestine originates. Jerusalem was renamed Aolia Capitolina, ploughed under and salted. At the fall of the Roman Empire in the 4th century, the city was ruled by a succession of mandates stretching from Mongolia to Britain. Jerusalem has not been a capital city of any other state since the 6th century BCE, until the Nation of Israel was re-established in 1948 CE. Jews began to move back to Israel in the 2nd century and there has been a Jewish population in the Land ever since. No nation ever attempted to own` Israel since Rome`s occupation until Jews desired to re-establish the Nation of Israel. At that point, Arab nations asserted their ownership` of the Land, although they have no legitimate prior claim.

The Diaspora of all Israelites -- 734 BCE to 1900s CE

The Northern tribes (Ephraim) and the Southern tribes (Judah) were dispersed throughout the world as prophesied by Moses and the Prophets. (Deuteronomy 28:64-68; 30:1; Hosea 3:4) Judah`s descendants retained their identity as Jews and, though completely dispersed through the world, largely kept their identity, faith and their unique witness to the faithfulness of YHVH not to utterly destroy them. They faithfully preserved the Scriptures and honoured the Torah of Moses, although their oral traditions have masked and often distorted the written Commandments of YHVH. One illustration of this is the loss of the agrarian based calendar. Establishing the timing of a new year and celebration of the Appointed Times of YHVH, the festivals, should be calculated by observation of the first new moon after the barley ripens in spring. However, Jews have formulated a complex set of rules governing the calendar so that it is mathematically calculated and manipulated to suit their traditions. This has the potential to completely miss the correct timing of appointments with YHVH. Abraham's seed through Ephraim (who carried Jacob`s blessing of the multiplicity of nations`) became completely integrated throughout the peoples of the world. Effectively, Ephraim became utterly lost among the nations to which he was driven. His identity was incorporated into the nations thereby fulfilling the blessings of Jacob and Moses. (Genesis 48:16; Deuteronomy 33:17) Ephraim lost his identity, his traditions and his faith. He took on the religions of the nations, becoming indistinguishable from them -- truly the Prodigal Son in the pig-pen of the world! The scattered Ephraimite seed contained the hidden potential of Messianic faith through the gospel that would come to them in due time. (Hosea 1:10-2:1, 14:4-9; 1 Peter 2:5-6, 9-10)

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C. The Early Assembly

The term assembly` is appropriate for groups of Messianic believers. This is the English word for the Hebrew word kehilah`, used to describe the Nation of Israel, which gathered at Sinai to hear the Torah. Later, when Rome was the major power within Christendom, these groups began to be called a church` even though the term was already in use for pagan worshippers. Y`shua`s first followers were called Nazarenes, not Christians (a term first used as a derogatory label at Antioch). (Acts 11:26)

People

o o o o o o o o o o Y`shua said to Peter ...on this rock I will build my assembly. (Matthew 16:18) The rock is the Messiah Himself -- a rock uncut by human hand. (Daniel 2) This is also a reference to the Tablets of Stone (uncut rocks) of Torah. The apostles/prophets are living stones. (Ephesians 2:20; Revelation 21:14) Y`shua and His disciples were Jewish by birth and religion. Pentecost occurred in the Temple where God-fearing Jews from around the world met for the Festival of Shavuot. The Holy Spirit filled them as the promised former rain. (Acts 2:1, 9-31) The early assembly was entirely Jewish and all its leaders were Jews. Perhaps 20% of Jews adopted faith in Y`shua in the early months. (Acts 2:41, 4:4, 6:7) 25 years after Y`shua`s death and resurrection, tens of thousands of Jews were Nazarenes. The Nazarenes met in the synagogues as a sect of Judaism. (Acts 24:5)

Character and Doctrine

o o o o o The Scriptures comprise: five Books of Moses (Torah), Prophets (Neviim), Writings (Ketuvim). Genesis to Malachi is called Ta-na-kh (Torah ­ Neviim - Ketuvim). The New Testament` or Brit Chadashah was not compiled for at least 100 years. Y`shua is the correct name, not Jesus, which is a corrupted translation. Y`shua restored his Father`s name, YHVH, fulfilling the third Commandment. (John 17:6, 12, 26) o Y`shua obeyed the Scriptures, upheld Torah and counselled others to do the same. (Matthew 5:19; 15:3, 8-10; Luke 2:41, 4:16; 16:16-17) o Y`shua kept YHVH's festivals, as did the early assembly until they were outlawed by the Roman Catholic Church in later centuries. (John 2:13) o Saul (Paul) obeyed the written Torah of Moses. Paul vigorously refuted charges of disobeying the Law of Moses at his trials and defence. (Acts 24:14)

Torah of Moses

Teaching Torah to new converts to Y`shua was of paramount importance to the assembly. For the Jews, it was a return to the supremacy of the written Torah without the overriding influence of the oral torah. As new converts from pagan backgrounds began to enter the assemblies, it was crucial to teach them the Torah of Moses. The first recorded crisis precipitated the first Jerusalem Council. (Acts 15) Judaisers were insisting that pagan converts undergo halachic (rabbinical) circumcision according to the oral torah. The Council agreed a formula for new converts (Acts 15:19-21). They were to cease immediately from idolatry and sexual immorality, only consume clean` meats and take care to observe the laws pertaining to blood. Verse 21 is pivotally important: "For, from the earliest times, Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, with his words being read in the synagogues every Sabbath." As new believers attended synagogue each Sabbath, they would hear a Torah portion read and learn its teachings gradually. In the course of one year they would hear the entire Torah and begin to walk in it.

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Brit Chadashah -- Renewed Covenant of Y'shua

Generally but erroneously termed the New Testament, the gospels and letters were written from 50 CE through to 90 CE (date/author of Hebrews unknown). They were likely written in Hebrew and translated into Greek, but none have survived except for fragments of Matthew`s gospel. Translations were made from copies of copies, complete with scribal marginal notations inserted into the body of the text plus textual changes made for the sake of promoting particular doctrinal positions. The resultant canon of books therefore contains many corruptions. However, it remains substantially the work of its authors and there is sufficient agreement among them to authenticate the canon. The epistles contain commentary to shed light on Torah as it pertains to the New Covenant believer. Note: The term scriptures` may only technically be applied to the Tanakh, since that body of the Word was literally authenticated by Messiah Y`shua. A person is converted to faith in YHVH, through His Son Y`shua, by a work of grace. Thereafter he is to live a life of obedience to the commandments of YHVH found in Torah and in the teachings of Y`shua through the enabling grace and power of the set-apart Spirit of YHVH, the Ruach HaKodesh. o Grace and Law co-exist in Messiah Y`shua. (Psalm 85:4-10; Matthew 5:17) o Peter`s vision relates to acceptance of Gentiles into fellowship and is not a reversal of Torah diet laws -- it does not grant permission to eat unclean meats as many suppose. (Acts 10, 11) o Ceremonial washings of the Pharisees are not to be confused with Moses` statutes. (Mark 7:1-8) o Physical circumcision according to rabbinical traditions is not mandatory for new believers. (1 Corinthians 7:18; Colossians 2:11)

Appointed Times

The Sabbaths and Biblical Festivals continued to be observed by the early assembly for 200 years as YHVH`s Appointed Times when He would meet with His people. (Leviticus 23)

Doctrinal Pressures

The letters to the seven assemblies in the Book of Revelation reveal a complex and growing mix of doctrines, incorporating paganism. While holding fast to the faith`, they were undermined by: o Idolatry -- the ancient doctrine of Balaam; o Witchcraft -- manipulation by Jezebel; o Nicolatianism -- (Nico/ruler, laity/people) -- power and control by bishops. There were arguments over the deity or otherwise of Messiah, status of Gentile converts, Asceticism, Gnosticism, Stoicism, Arianism, etc. Perseverance was crucial but difficult. (Revelation 14:12; 20:4) Though the early assembly was itself a sect of Judaism, it was severely persecuted by rabbinical Judaism and there were many Messianic martyrs beginning with Stephen.

Persecution

Whilst all Jews were considered by Rome to be expendable, particular attention was paid to the followers of Messiah, either Jewish or Gentile converts. These refused to commit idolatry and worship Caesar as God, so they became targets for blood sports in the arenas of the Roman Empire. Orthodox Jews were also not safe from Roman persecution. The destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem occurred in 70 CE as a result of the rebellion against Rome by Jews. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed by the Romans and many thousands were brought to Rome as slaves. The Messianic Nazarenes had fled Jerusalem in 65 CE and avoided Roman persecution. Further civil unrest by Jews led to the Bar Kochba rebellion in 135 CE resulting in a final solution` for the Jews and their homeland. Jews were expelled from Judea. Jerusalem was ploughed over with salt.

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Such was the rejoicing in Rome over the destruction of Judea that a new party toast was invented. At dinner parties, the host would call out Horoshalayim Est Perdita! (Jerusalem Is Destroyed), and his guests would shout Hurrah. This eventually became shortened to H.E.P. or H.I.P`. Thus we have the toast today -- Hip, Hip, hooray. It is sobering to think that the celebration of the destruction of Jerusalem is commemorated in ignorance today at weddings, 21st birthdays and nearly every children`s sporting fixture in the western world. Such is the long reach of the Roman Empire and anti-Semitism down through the centuries.

A Flourishing Assembly

Despite appalling, widespread torture and abuse, the assembly of the faithful grew exponentially. Believers were hungry for the Word of God and stood in the strength of their faith. At the same time, there was an increasing assault on the Word from many quarters as Paul had prophesied would happen. The true faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, through the redemption of God`s Son, Y`shua, became subjected to mounting pressure by false shepherds. A largely illiterate population with limited access to the Scriptures was a prime target for clever sounding doctrines by smooth talkers.

Heresies

o o o o o Nicolaitans -- liberals masquerading as God-fearers. Marcionites -- God of the Old Testament` was evil; Jesus of the New Testament was good. Gnosticism -- secret knowledge incorporating eastern mysticism. Docetism -- Y`shua wasn`t really human. Aryanism -- Y`shua wasn`t really God.

The list of heretical movements is very extensive and posed continual challenges to the assemblies, many of which became undermined and moved away from the faith first given`. Even the name of the assemblies became changed to churches` as the influence of Gentiles grew and numerically displaced the Jewish component. Many of the Gentiles failed to abandon completely their former pagan customs, either preferring to amalgamate them with their new faith or afraid to stand out as different. Syncretistic mixtures crept in. But the greatest heresies -- the ones that severed the faithful from their Hebraic roots -- came with the establishment of the institutional Church. Ironically, this was at a time when the followers of Y`shua came in from the cold and were accepted by the ruling powers as having the only true religion. Out of this concession came the establishment of a supreme authority to which all people must give spiritual allegiance -- the Church. Faith became less a matter of individual personal conviction and more a matter of corporate obedience to dogma.

Free from the Law

This is often the catchphrase of Christianity -- the mantra that divorces Christians from their obligation to obey YHVH in the manner that he has chosen. Y`shua did not come to annul the Torah of Moses but to fill it with meaning. He came to rescue the lost sheep of the House of Israel; to free mankind from slavery in hasatan`s kingdom; to defeat death itself by spearheading the way of resurrection. (Deuteronomy 6:24-25; Matthew 5:17-20; Acts 13:32-41) Once a person has accepted salvation in Y`shua`s name, he must go on to live according to YHVH`s statutes and commandments in the strength and enabling of His Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2) Keeping man's laws is `legalism' -- keeping God's laws is `obedience'. Righteousness is obedience to the Father's commandments -- sin is lawlessness (Torah-lessness).

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D. The Church -- after 100 AD

De-Judaising the Church

The sacking of Jerusalem provoked a Roman abhorrence for anything Jewish, whether it be their religion, customs or their very existence. Rome sought to remove every vestige of Jewish influence from the Empire and this had a huge impact on the fledgling Assembly, which was founded upon a Jewish Bible, a Jewish Saviour and YHVH, who had chosen Israel as His Holy people. The 2nd century Church faced an identity crisis -- separation from Israel and anti-Jewish attitudes raised the question: what is the Biblical foundation for the Church's existence? A theology of replacement began to supplant the theology given by YHVH with man-made tradition. As the Jews had overlaid Scripture with their traditions, so the Church overlaid Scripture with dogma.

Replacement Theology

The Church declared itself to be true` Israel, replacing the Jews in the promises of God. The Church developed adversus Judeos (against the Jews), or anti-Semitism. Jews were totally disinherited from the Covenant of Abraham. It was forbidden to suggest that Jeremiah 31 included Israel. The Church systematically usurped the spiritual heritage of the chosen people Israel -- the Word, Patriarchs, Saints, Prophets and all of Israel's Promises from God. The Church claimed that God no longer had any special purpose for the Jewish people. All the promises made to national Israel in the Scriptures were now fulfilled exclusively in the Church at the expense of the Jews. Y`shua lost His name and identity in the process. His name was changed to Iesous (Greek), then to Jesus (Latin). In English the soft Latin Y` sound became a hard J` sound, for which there is no equivalent sound in Hebrew. He was portrayed in literature and art as a Roman rather than a Jew. In 325 CE, the Emperor of Rome, Constantine I, presided over the Council of Nicea and the state Church was born. By the late 4th Century, the Church regarded Jews as sub-human monsters and this led to the practice of anti-semitism, resulting in the Blood Libel, Crusades, Inquisition, pogroms and Holocaust, where Jews were labelled 'untermenschen' (sub-humans). Replacement Theology hides the complete truth of scripture from the very people it is intended for. Believers, Jews and Gentiles were denied the fullness of Messiah's gospel by the replacement theology imposed on them through the institutional Church authorities, which controlled all civil, political and religious life. Without direct access to the Word, the people could not check Scripture for themselves.

Religious Rome

Rome in the 2nd century was an amalgam of culture and religion. Even the fledgling assembly struggled to remain faithful to its calling under relentless pressure from paganism. Just as today when people refuse to leave cultural practices that conflict with Biblical faith, so too the people of the Roman Empire often refused to lay aside their gods and customs, preferring instead to amalgamate them with their new faith. The result is that, even today, many of the customs and practices in churches have a pagan origin rather than a Biblical basis and mandate. Some examples of paganism in the Church are: the cross (variations in most religions); steeples (Egyptian phallic symbol); icon worship; churches facing east; rosary (from Hinduism); mother and child images; celibate priesthood; ritualistic clothing; repetitious praying; unholy relationships with civil authorities; syncretism; unity without Truth; militant evangelism; rapture doctrine.

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Mithraism

The predominant religion practised in Rome had its origins in Babylon (2000 years earlier) with Nimrod -- a grandson of Noah. Nimrod`s wife Semiramis was worshipped as Astarte, Ashtorah, Eostre (Easter), Diana, Artemis, Magna-Mater, Queen of Heaven, etc. After Nimrod`s death, Semiramis gave birth (as a virgin!) to a son called Tammuz (mentioned in Ezekiel), otherwise known as Mithra and thought to be the reincarnation of the sun god. The tenets of Mithraism are: o A celestial heaven and an infernal hell. o A resurrection and a final judgment. o Mithra (Light of the World`) descended from heaven; symbolised by setting/rising of the sun. o Mithra has redeemed mankind from sin by shedding his blood. o Purification through a ritualistic baptism in bull`s blood, becoming born again` into eternal life. o A communion of bread (a round wafer representing the sun) and wine is taken. o The bread and wine are thought to turn into the actual body and blood of the bull. o Sunday is sacred and dedicated to the sun. Services are held with bells, candles and praises. o Holy people are depicted with haloes signifying the blessing of the sun. o The birthday of Mithra is celebrated on 25th December. o Easter is a high holy day of devotion to Mithra`s mother, the Queen of Heaven. o At the end of his earthly mission, Mithra had a last supper` with 12 disciples`. o Bishops/priests wear mitres, are called father` and are a brotherhood of eunuchs. o The Mithraic Holy Father` wears a red cap and garment, a ring and carries a shepherd`s staff. o An effigy on a cross is a symbol of Mithraism. o Men worship Mithra; women worship his goddess mother the Queen of Heaven, Madonna, Our Lady, as well as a host of other names. The similarities between Mithraism and Roman Catholicism are striking and disturbing. The following topics contrast Biblical teaching with Roman Catholic practice:

Salvation

Scripture states salvation comes from the Jews`. (Zechariah 10:4, John 4:22, Revelation 5:5, 22:16) The Catholic Church claims there is no salvation outside of the One True Church, meaning the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, the Church has appropriated the salvation function of Messiah.

Identity of Messiah

The Bible identifies Y`shua as a Torah observant Jew (of the tribe of Judah) in name, appearance, clothing, customs, religion and in every other possible respect. The Roman Church repackaged` Y`shua. He lost his Jewish identity, including his name. Some children are still taught that Jesus was a good Christian boy who went to Church every Sunday!

Sacraments

The Bible does not mention sacraments. As a priesthood of believers, no person has spiritual authority over another. The Reformation was fought over the validity of sacraments`. Early Protestant churches retained only two (baptism & communion). Later denominations have none. Roman Catholicism practices seven sacraments` which must be dispensed by a Roman Catholic priest: Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick.

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Priesthood

The assembly is a priesthood of believers` that is self-administered. (1 Timothy 2:5) A set-apart priesthood is Nicolaitianism (Nicos/lording over + laity/congregation). A celibate and unemployed` priesthood is an unbiblical concept. In Israelite society a man was not considered whole unless he was married and had a career. Under the New Covenant, Paul (although unmarried by choice) set the example of working to support himself whilst carrying out ministry.

Pope/Papa/Father

The Bible teaches us to call no one Father except our Father in heaven. (Matthew 23:8, 9) The Pope is called the Vicar (substitute) of Christ` and Holy Father`. He dresses in exactly the same clothing as a Mithraic Holy Father`, infallibly defines dogma`, and alone confers sainthood.

Dispensationalism

This is a doctrine of the Roman church whereby the Old Testament` was for those living in the age of the Law`, and the New Testament` is for those living in the age of Grace`. o The early assembly did not recognise dispensationalism. The Bible does not teach it. o The New or Renewed Covenant adds to the former collective Covenant but does not replace it. o Grace and mercy abounded both before and after Messiah arrived. o The Law is still valid -- Messiah stated that He had not come to abolish it. (Matthew 5:17-20) o Paul too said that the Law was not done away with. o Roman Catholicism needed to replace the Law of Moses with its own rules to gain control of the population. They engineered a man-made, syncretistic theology. o Rome changed the word Covenant` to Testament` to connote death` rather than life`. Thus the Tanakh (Law, Prophets and Writings) was termed the Old Testament and the Renewed Covenant was termed the New Testament. o The death of Messiah became viewed as the hinge of history`, the advent of a completely new provision by God for man rather than the better vehicle that God had permanently provided for the problem of man`s sin -- a once and for all time sacrifice to replace the annual one.

Scripture

The Bible itself defines scripture as the books between and including Genesis and Malachi, since these are the scrolls that were available to Y`shua and the early assembly. (2 Timothy 3:16) Matthew through to Revelation was an added canon after the first century. (Mark 7:6-9) The Roman Church claims that it created the Bible and has the sole right to interpret it, stating: ,,Scripture and Church Tradition should both be accepted and honoured equally. Note: While the Tanakh (OT) can be relied upon to have been meticulously preserved in its original language for millennia by Judah, the same cannot be said for the Renewed Covenant / Brit Hadashah. Liberal transcribing, incorporation of scribal notations into the body of the text, tweaking` to produce a desired doctrinal outcome and inaccurate translating have all resulted in a text that is generally reliable but contains enough error to provoke a degree of caution. The safest course is to ensure that any understanding or interpretation of the Renewed Covenant does not conflict with the Tanakh.

Sabbath

Sabbath is a Hebrew word meaning seventh day` and always occurs on Saturday -- the day matters! It was instated at creation and it will be globally reinstated in the Millennial Reign. (Isaiah 66:23) It was not changed when the Messiah was resurrected. He is literally Lord of the Saturday`. The early assembly kept the Sabbath on Saturday not Sunday. (Acts 15:21) Sabbath-keeping was banned by the Roman Church in 365 AD, upon pain of death.

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Holy Days

Biblical Holy Days are described in Leviticus 23. They are not Jewish Feasts` but for all God`s people. There are seven obligatory festivals: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Shavuot (Pentecost), Yom Teruah (Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Atonement), Sukkot (Tabernacles). They are permanent, for all generations of believers, wherever they live. Y`shua and the early church all kept the festivals for many years after the resurrection. In the 2nd century, debate arose between the Roman Church and the Eastern Church, particularly over the practice of Passover (Quartodeciman dispute). The Eastern Church was excommunicated by Rome for retaining Passover and failing to convert to Easter (dedicated to the sex goddess, Ishtar). Christmas and Easter are undeniably pagan festivals and, even if they are sanitised` by christianising` them, they are still not prescribed by God nor mentioned in the Bible. In fact, it is not possible to cleanse` pagan rituals -- they will always be an unclean mix of worship devoted to idols. The concept of redeeming culture` is still popular today but Scripture clearly shows that it is an abomination to God. Culture is man-made traditions and too often it conflicts with pure worship.

Communion

Roman Catholic doctrine says believers must ,,eat the flesh of Jesus and drink his blood in the sacrament to be saved from their sins. The Mass is truly, really and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Messiah taught the disciples to take the unleavened bread and wine of the Passover meal as a memorial to Himself -- the Passover Lamb. He became the final Passover Lamb for the Nation of Israel. The consumption of blood was forbidden in the early assembly as in Torah. (Acts 15:20; 21:25) Therefore, to teach that the body and blood of Christ must be actually consumed is utterly unbiblical. Furthermore, the memorial was instituted at a Passover meal. The intention was and is that, at subsequent Passovers, this memorial is repeated annually.

Trinity

This doctrine of a three in one trinity of God(s) was developed by the Roman Church -- the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were deemed to be of the same substance and equal stature relating triunally. The nature of God as One is defined in Deuteronomy 6:4. "Hear O Israel: YHVH our God is One." The Bible teaches that Y`shua was in submission to His Father and the Father sent His Holy Spirit. There is a relationship of unity but not equality. This is why Y`shua taught the disciples to pray to the Father (YHVH) under the authority of the name of the Son (Y`shua) as mediator. The trinity doctrine causes the principal objection to Y`shua by Jews because they know that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is One, not three in one. Until Christians labour in the Word and understand the nature of Messiah (the living Word of God) and the Holy Spirit (the Breath of God), this issue will remain a source of division.

Marionism

The mother of Y`shua was called Miriam, not Mary, and she was not divine or immaculate -- she went on to have several more sons and daughters. Mary is venerated as the Perpetual Virgin, Mother of God, Madonna, Our Lady, Queen of Heaven. These are all ancient pagan goddess titles. The Madonna and Child image is found from Egypt to India within pagan religions. Because Jesus was considered by Catholics to be stern and inaccessible, Mary was considered to be a more merciful intermediary to God. Mary is now worshipped by many Roman Catholics in her own capacity as a co-redemptrix with Christ -- equal to Christ as a mediator between God and man. This is blatant idolatry. (1 Timothy 2:5)

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Baptism

Believers should undergo a baptism of repentance through water. Infant baptism is not Biblical. Parents should present their children for dedication as Y`shua was presented in the Temple. (Luke 2:22-24) Roman Catholicism practises infant baptism -- failure to perform this ritual condemns the child to hell. Early Protestant churches still practise this even though babies cannot repent!

Tithing

Tithing is one of the most manipulated teachings of the Bible. The Bible teaches that 1/10th of an annual income is to be used at the Temple to rejoice before YHVH. Every three years another 1/10th is to be given to the Levites for widows, orphans and aliens. Thus in a seven year agrarian cycle, two tithes will be given to the Levites. (Deuteronomy 12) With no Temple or Levitical priesthood, the Church teaches that the tithe now belongs to the Church. Tithing has become an issue of taking` when it was designed to be giving`. In addition is the unbiblical sale of indulgences` to earn merit for oneself or departed loved ones.

Saints

There is no Biblical mandate for conferring sainthood. This practice arose because there were numbers of deities within Roman polytheism, which the people were unwilling to abandon. It was expedient to assign them the names of Christian martyrs and miracle workers rather than to attempt to discredit them and incur the wrath of those who worshipped them. For example, the Roman god of love Eros, whose feast day was February 16th, was renamed Valentine after one of the early martyrs.

Circumcision

The early assembly continued to practise circumcision because the Abrahamic Covenant is the inheritance of those who bear the mark as a sign of their identity. (Genesis 17:9-14) Gentile converts were circumcised as and when they were ready and not as an obligation. Trouble arose among Judaisers (Gentile converts to Judaism) who made the issue of circumcision a matter of legalistic observance according to rabbinic custom, thus taking a new believer`s focus off worshipping in spirit and in truth and onto the ritualistic rabbinical oral torah. The matter was resolved by the Jerusalem Council, which determined that only four conditions were necessary for new converts; circumcision was not one of these conditions.

Disposing of the dead

This issue was not a concern until recent times. Pagans usually cremate their dead because this process speeds the cycle of life` or reincarnation. But the Jews always buried their dead and so too did the followers of Y`shua for the greater part of 2000 years. After World War II, western nations began to routinely cremate their dead, abandoning the traditional decent Christian burial`. This is a clear signal of the influence of paganism upon Christianity that Christians no longer understand that to burn a human is an abomination. It is customary nowadays in the committal service for the minister to utter the words ashes to ashes, dust to dust` as if this was an ancient Biblical practice. However, the Bible makes it clear that while man was created from dust, he was not created from ashes.

The Pagan Church

In uprooting herself from her Jewish origins and in replacing God-given theology, the Church had planted her roots firmly into paganism. The Church fell into intellectual and spiritual darkness, without truth or love commanded by Y`shua. A reign of terror and church militancy began, lasting until the 17th century, and tormented any who would not submit to the church`s edicts. True evangelism gave way to triumphalism and conquest.

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Dark Ages -- Replacement Theology entrenched in the Church

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o Origen, an early Church father, spiritualised the scriptures as allegorical not literal. Christians were New Israel`; Jews were no longer loved by God and in perpetual opposition`. 321 CE -- Constantine forbade work on the day of the sun. 325 CE Council of Nicea -- Easter must never coincide with the Jewish Passover. Constantine: "We ought not then to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way... we desire to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews". 365 CE Council of Laodicea -- banned keeping Jewish Sabbaths with the result of martyrdoms. 380? CE -- Jerome: "God gave the Jews the Law with the deliberate intention of deceiving them and leading them to destruction", "they worship in the Synagogue of Satan". 390? CE -- Ambrose: synagogue is "home of unbelief, house of impiety, receptacle of folly". Augustine believed that Jews were to blame for their plight. Augustine and Jerome forbade Christians observing the Law and Jewish Festivals. Chrysotom: "it is clear that God hates them [Jews] -- duty of Christians to hate them too". Church of Constantinople decree -- Jewish Christians must denounce all Hebrews. No clergyman could enter a synagogue without being excommunicated. Martin Luther, whose 95 theses led to the formation of the Protestant movement, said of the Jews: "Their Synagogues should be set on fire... for the honour of God and Christianity. Their homes should be destroyed, no travel/business/money/education." Antioch 341 -- Christians may not eat Passover with Jews. Antioch 341 -- Christians may not enter a synagogue. 350 CE Council of Laodicea -- No Christians may share feasts or gifts from Jews at Christian feasts. 451 CE Council of Chalcedon -- No member of the clergy may marry a Jew. 465 CE Council of Vannes -- Christian clergy must avoid Jewish feasts. 506 CE Council of Agde -- During Lent, Christians must fast on the Sabbath (Saturday). 538 CE Council of Orleans III -- Jews may not appear in public during Holy Week. 581 CE Council of Macon -- Jews may not converse with nuns. 589 CE Council of Narbonne -- Jews cannot be judges, tax collectors or work on Sunday. 614 CE Council of Paris -- Any Jew seeking public office must be baptised. 633 CE Council of Toledo IV -- Jews and Jewish Christians cannot hold public office. 633 CE Council of Toledo IV -- Jews cannot own Christian slaves. 633 CE Council of Toledo IV -- Jewish children are to be brought up by Christians. 638/653 CE Councils of Toledo IV and VIII -- Jews in Spain must be baptised. 655 CE Council of Toledo IX -- Jews must spend Christian festivals with ecclesiastical authorities. 692 CE Trulanic Synod -- Christians may not patronise Jewish doctors. 1078 CE Council of Gerona -- Christians may not live in Jewish homes. 1078 CE Council of Gerona -- Jews must pay tithes to support the Church. 1179 CE Third Lateran Council -- No Jew plaintiffs or witnesses against Christians in court. 1222 CE Council of Oxford -- New synagogues may not be built. 1267 CE Synod of Breslau -- Ghettos are compulsory for Jews. 1434 CE Council of Basel -- Jews may not obtain academic degrees. 1870 CE -- Papal Infallibility` was declared and the Church`s edicts became inviolable.

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The Unbiblical Results of Replacement Theology

o o o o o o o o o o o o o Anti-semitism became a foundation stone for the institutional Church that exists today. Art portrayed Jesus as a Gentile, the Church as the Bride of Christ, the Jews as Satan`s demons. Jews were blamed and martyred for countless misfortunes unrelated to them. The Church was said to be born on the Day of Pentecost. However, there was already a huge body of believers prior to Pentecost. The land of Israel was spiritualised as the whole world to be evangelised via the Church. Jerusalem became the heavenly Jerusalem and was equated with the Church as spiritual Zion. The actions of Y`shua in Isaiah 43:5-7 became the gathering of believers in Jesus into the Church from all tribes and nations, not the regathering of the Household of Israel. The resurrection of Israel in Hosea 6:1-2 became the resurrection of Jesus. Millennial Reign of Messiah in Jerusalem became Jesus reigning spiritually over the Church. The Church became Israel. God had withdrawn His covenant from the Jews for their sin. Education was denied to the general masses, who were unable to search the Scriptures for themselves. Only the priests (many illiterate) communicated selective biblical truth (or not). People were bound to Church doctrine/Liturgy (mostly man-made) out of ignorance. For 18 centuries, the Church has been unable to demonstrate the unity, self-sacrifice and adherence to truth that was a hallmark of the early Assembly.

For 18 centuries the Church has been dressed in Gentile clothing and its treasure of salvation through Y`shua has been hidden from the Jews (and true believers), just as Joseph was dressed in heathen clothing and unrecognisable by his brothers. But, just as Joseph revealed his true identity to his brothers, so Y`shua will reveal himself to His Jewish brethren. They were blinded for our sakes. He is also revealing himself to his Messianic brethren as the Word of God, the Torah bearer for believers.

The Reformation -- not yet a Biblical Restoration

The Protestant Reformation began in the early 16th century and marked a beginning of the return to the theology of the early assembly. At stake was the validity (or not) of the Roman Catholic sacraments. Anglicans, Presbyterians and other older reformed churches kept Baptism and Communion as rites to be administered by priests alone. The 1646 Westminster Confession attempted to break the doctrinal grip of Romanism but was only partially successful. More modern Protestant churches dispensed with all the sacraments. But these reforms only brought a partial restoration of Biblical truth because they failed to restore the Torah of Moses as the foundation upon which Y`shua preached and lived. o o o o o o o o The core doctrine that would have severed Protestantism from Rome forever is Sabbath. The Roman Church changed the day of rest to Sunday without any heavenly directive to do so. Protestantism (except SDA) did not reinstate the Sabbath but retained the Roman Sunday. Rome`s daughters are the apples that have not fallen far from the tree` and their reunification with Rome as prophesied in Revelation is an easy matter and is currently underway. There are 3 different versions of the Ten Commandments -- Biblical, Protestant and Roman Catholic. The Biblical Ten Commandments correspond to the Jewish version. (Exodus 20:1-17) The reformers did not restore the names of the Father and the Son (Third Commandment). The reformers did not restore the Sabbath (Fourth Commandment) or the Biblical Festivals. Moses` Torah and the Hebraic basis of Scripture remains unacceptable to Christianity.

This lamentable situation denies most Christians the opportunity to worship YHVH in truth.

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Art in the Middle Ages

Synagoga (Jews) depicted as: Blind Bare-headed Downcast In darkness Authority broken Torah annulled Ecclesia (Christians) depicted as: Sighted Crowned Confident Blessed by light of the sun (halo) Holding staff of authority Upheld by the Church

Stained glass window at Bourges Cathedral: Iesus Hominem Salvator Nazarene Jesus of Nazareth Saviour of Men Non-Jewish Jesus with halo Jews turned away from Jesus Jesus turned away from Jews Broken staff of Jewish authority Jews have lost royal crown Jews downcast and blind Jews governed by the moon Church receiving lifeblood of Jesus Jesus facing Church Church facing Jesus Church sighted and confident Church with royal crowned Church governed by the sun

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E. Messiah's Bride

Who are the chosen People/Nation?

Psalm 135:4 Deuteronomy 14:2 Deuteronomy 32:9 1 Chronicles 16:13 Isaiah 44:1 Ezekiel 20:5 Acts 13:17 Romans 9:4 Galatians 3:29 Ephesians 2:12 Ephesians 2:19 1 Peter 2:9 "the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel for his peculiar treasure." "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God and He has chosen you to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." "For the Lords portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance." "O you seed of Israel his servant, you children of Jacob, his chosen ones." "Yet now hear O Jacob my servant; and Israel whom I have chosen" "In the day when I chose Israel" "The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers" "who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption,... glory,... covenants,... giving of the law,... service of God,... promises" "And if you are Christs, then are you are Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise." "you were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel." "Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God." "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; who in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy."

Chosen for Eternity?

Isaiah 14:1 Isaiah 41:8-9 Luke 1:33 "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob and will yet choose Israel." "But you Israel are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.... I have chosen you and not cast you away." "he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever"

Who is the Bride of Messiah?

Messiah was married to the nation of Israel (Household of Jacob) at Sinai. Isaiah 54:5 "Your maker is your husband." Jeremiah 2:1 "I remember how faithful you (Israel) were when you were young, how you loved me when we were first married; you followed me through the desert, through a land that had not been sown." Jeremiah 31:32 "I was a husband to them (Israel)." Messiah divorced the Northern Kingdom (Ephraim/Israel ­ 10 tribes) for adultery. Hosea 1 Isaiah 50:1 "Where is the bill of your mothers divorcement, whom I have put away." Jeremiah 3:8 "for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel (Ephraim) committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce". The Marriage Covenant at Sinai between the Messiah (Groom) and Israel (Bride) was binding and could only be dissolved through the death of one of the parties according to the laws regarding marriage in Torah.

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The Covenant made with Abraham, and ratified with Isaac and Jacob, could not be broken since God is not a man and does not lie. God would not allow the divorced Northern Kingdom to be annihilated and cut off most of Jacob`s family. But, according to His Word, a woman who was divorced for marital unfaithfulness, could not remarry. So God provided another way for the divorced woman, Ephraim. God chose instead to send the Messiah (Groom) to die in the place of the Bride. Only then, as a widow, would she be free to (re)marry the Messiah under the terms of the New Covenant.

God intends to court Israel (Ephraim) again and restore her virginity

There can be no doubt that the God of Israel loves His people and will never abandon them. Rather, He will purify them and restore them to their rightful place as the Bride of His Son, Messiah Y`shua. Hosea 2:14-20 "I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness... I will betroth you to me forever... I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy... in faithfulness, and you shall know YHVH" "For YHVH has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth, when she is cast off, says your God. For a small moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you," says YHVH your Redeemer. "Again I will build thee and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel."

Isaiah 54:6, 7

Jeremiah 31:4

Where is the Bride today?

Jeremiah 50:6 Matthew 15:24 Isaiah 54:3 Hosea 7:8 Jeremiah 31:31 My people hath been lost sheep" Messiah came for the ,,lost sheep of the House of Israel. "And thy seed (Ephraim) shall inherit the Gentiles." "Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people." "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and... Judah."

Promise to regather Israel from the nations

Ezekiel 37:21 Jeremiah 31:10 Romans 11:26 Ezekiel 37:15-28 Isaiah 11:10-16 "I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land." "He that scattered Israel (Ephraim) will gather him." "And so all Israel shall be saved... the deliverer shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." A picture of the reunification/restoration of the 12 tribes of Israel to their covenant land under the leadership of the Messiah as King. Under Messiah`s banner, outcasts of Ephraim and dispersed of Judah will be gathered from the 4 corners of the earth and brought back to Israel.

God`s chosen people were and are the nation of Israel, offspring of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. Though Judah and Ephraim were separated, Judah retained her identity by clinging to Torah. Ephraim became scattered among the nations and re-emerged among the followers of Messiah Y`shua. Faith in Y`shua as the Son of God confers citizenship in the Household of Israel, grafting into the olive tree of Israel, joining the natural branches of Judah. (Ephesians 2)

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Together they constitute one new man` under the rule of the Holy One of Israel. They will be reunited in the last days as one nation -- the Household of Jacob -- in the land promised to Abraham forever. Therefore, the Bride of Messiah is the restored Household of Jacob, the redeemed from every nation, who bear the name of Messiah and attach themselves to the Holy One of Israel. She is the reunited House of Judah (Jews) and House of Ephraim -- Israel -- one new man`.

Plan for Israel's redemption

o Israel's rejection was temporary to bring repentance. (Jeremiah 31:37; Romans 11:19-30) o God would not permanently divorce Himself from His people. (Isaiah 49:8-12) o Despite Israel`s past and present failings as a nation, she will be delivered and restored as a testimony to God`s faithfulness and not on her own merits. (Jeremiah 31; Amos 9:8-15) o Through the mercy shown to us so too the Jews will obtain mercy. (Romans 11:30-31) o Torah allows that if a person sold/lost his inheritance, a kinsman could redeem it (Ruth/Boaz). Y`shua is the perfect fulfilment of the Kinsman Redeemer, whose sacrifice purchased the inheritance of the 12 tribes of Israel. (Leviticus 25:25)

The return of Judah to the Holy Land

Since the time of the Kings of Judah, no nation has established sovereignty over the Holy Land. It has only ever been a provincial backwater for an assortment of consecutive empires. Jerusalem was never the capital of any nation since it was the capital of ancient Israel. Judah was expelled from Palestine (so named by the Romans) in 135 CE, but within 200 years, Jews had begun to return and there has been a remnant of Judah in Palestine ever since. During the late 19th century, because of the pogroms in Europe, many Jews began to return to the desolate, virtually uninhabited wasteland that was once Israel. They reclaimed swamps, planted, irrigated and built cities. The work required more manpower than the Jews could supply and many foreign workers came from the surrounding Arab nations with the lure of secure jobs and a better life. Survivors of the Nazi Holocaust left Europe to return to their national home and for the rest of the 20th century, many from the House of Judah made aliyah` (returned to Israel) from all points of the globe. Around 850,000 Jews were immediately expelled from Arab states in 1948 when the State of Israel was legally established by the United Nations, after more than 2500 years of foreign control. In the 1980s, many thousands of Jews arrived from the USSR, Ethiopia and other lands. Aliyah continues to this day. The physical boundaries for the State of Israel were reduced to 12% of the original allocation because of political pressure from Arab states, which vehemently oppose Israel`s existence. Both Jews and Arabs were termed Palestinians until 1948. Palestine became Israel in 1948.

Arabs in the Land of Israel

Arabs in Israel, Judea and Samaria are ethnic Arabians or North Africans. Very few of their ancestors have lived in the area for centuries as they claim. (See Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial) Palestinian` is the title resurrected by Yasser Arafat after 1967 to bolster Arab claims to the Land. (Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran; Muslims pray towards Mecca not Jerusalem.) The Arabs who live in the Judea and Samaria (erroneously termed the West Bank) are not refugees in the normal sense of the word. They live in modern apartments and houses, not tents! Regardless of politics, the central issue remains that the whole Land in question belongs to YHVH and He chose to allot it to the descendents of Jacob in perpetuity. No one else may covet it.

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Christians Awakening To Their Heritage

o The 12 tribes hold joint ministries of the Covenant. (Genesis 49:10; 48:19) o Judah holds the sceptre denoting kingly rule: "Salvation comes through the Jews". (Zechariah 10:4, John 4:22, Revelation 5:5, 22:16) o Ephraim holds the blessing of many nations (Y`shua`s redeemed people of the world). o Y`shua did not abolish the Law or the Prophets. He fulfilled them (filled them with meaning) and taught people how to obey them. (Matthew 5:17-19, Psalm 85:10) o Y`shua challenged particular hypocritical oral torah traditions that effectively nullified the written Torah, causing a burden to the Jews. (Matthew 5) o Y`shua`s death bought God's redemption for all mankind. The blindness of the Jews (Judah) and Pilate`s corruption was necessary to complete the transaction. (1 Corinthians 2:8) o God`s faithfulness to us hinges on His faithfulness to Israel. (Romans 11:19-21;3:3-4) o The assembly`s foundation is apostles and prophets through the Covenants. (Ephesians 2:20) o The Body is a mixed multitude of people -- those who have left Egypt` = House of Jacob plus strangers` who worship YHVH. (Ezekiel 37) o A true Israelite obeys God`s Law with a circumcised heart. He does not obey it for salvation, which is a free gift, but as a lifestyle pleasing to YHVH. (Jeremiah 7:23; Romans 2:26-29) References: Deuteronomy 18:16; Matthew 16:18; Acts 7:38, 11:26, 14:27; 1Corinthians 10:32; Ephesians1:22, 5:23, 27, 32; Colossians 1:18, 24; Hebrews 2:12, 12:22; 1 Timothy 3:5, 15.

Rapture or Tribulation?

The doctrine of Rapture was invented by Roman Catholicism and resurrected by Darby. It is attractive to orthodox Christians because there appears to be no mention of the Church after Revelation 3. From a Hebraic perspective this is so because the redeemed of Messiah belong in the Nation of Israel, not the Church, which will be apostate Babylon. All Israel will live through the time of the Tribulation though there is ample evidence that she will be protected during it in the wilderness (as in Egypt). The apostate Church, however, will suffer through the Tribulation in the identity of the whore of Babylon

Theology of the End-Time

Theories abound but much can be gleaned from the Books of the Prophets and Revelation. What is certain is that the Messiah will return seven years after a peace treaty has been signed by Israel that allows the Jews access to Temple Mount. He will gather those of His people who obey the Word of God (Torah) and testify about His Son the Messiah. Note: When Jews begin again to make sacrifices (with prayer and/or animals) on Temple Mount, the Church will be appalled and criticise them on the basis that Jesus is the once and for all time sacrifice. However, this event is the vehicle that God has chosen to reveal the antichrist. A true believer in Messiah Y`shua will not criticise Jews for fulfilling this scripture and so bringing about the very event that Christianity claims to be waiting for.

Spiritual Return of Israel

o Abrahamic Covenant (unconditional/everlasting) is not yet fulfilled. (Genesis 17:7-8) o Great Commission is not complete if all Israel is not saved. (Isaiah 66:19-20; Romans 11:26) o Y`shua`s function is to bring salvation to the gentiles and gather both houses of Israel back to the land of Israel. (Isaiah 49:5-6; Zechariah 10:6; Hosea 1:11; Romans 11:25-26) o The mystery` of Christ of family membership revealed. (Ephesians 3:4-6, Revelation 10:7)

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o There is no other branch` of the family tree` beside Judah and Ephraim. YHVH has only one family: the promised seed of Abraham, the trunk of Isaac and Jacob; the natural branches from Judah and the grafted-in branches from Ephraim. Together they comprise Messianic Israel. o There is only one Commonwealth of Israel comprising one Shepherd with one flock -- righteous Jews and lost sheep from the fold of Ephraim. (John 10:16, Acts 15:13-18) o Judah and Ephraim are co-heirs, partakers together in Messiah`s promise. (Ephesians 3:6) o Jew and Gentile must be reconciled becoming one new man`. (Ephesians 2:14-16) o Both houses of Israel need to recognise each other as brethren off the same olive tree. o The House of Judah needs to recognise Messiah and those He has saved. (Romans 11:12, 25) o The House of Israel needs to recognise that it has not replaced the natural branches and that Torah obedience is necessary for righteousness. (1 John 5:1-5) o Ephraim is not to embrace Judaism as Judah also stumbled in adding the oral torah. o Judah will become jealous of Ephraim. Then he will understand that the God who works among Gentiles is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Deuteronomy 32:21; Romans 10:13-21) o Each house will recognise its offence after 2 days -- 2000 years. (Hosea 5:15; 6:1-2) o God is calling for Ephraim's return in repentance. (Jeremiah 31:18-21; Hosea 11:8-10) o God determines who is included in Judah and Ephraim. (Romans 9:6-27; 11:5, 25-26)

Physical Return of Israel

o o o o o o o o o o The Father will whistle for Ephraim (10 lost tribes). (Zechariah 10:7-9) Ephraim will be redeemed, regathered and grafted into Israel. (Zechariah 10:7-12) Ephraim will return bringing Judah. (Isaiah 49:22; Jeremiah 33:24-26; Zechariah 8:23) All Israel will be saved and return to the Land. (Zechariah 8:3, 7, Romans 11:26) Judah will accept Messiah Y`shua. Apostles will rule 12 tribes. (Matthew 19:28, Luke 22:30) Two sticks (Ephraim and Judah) will become one (Israel). (Ezekiel 37:15-28) Israel/Ephraim and Judah reunite. (Jeremiah 3:18; Hosea 1:11; Isaiah 11:12-13; Ephesians 1:10) When the two houses are reunited, they will return to Israel. (Ezekiel 34:11-13) Ephraim will latch on to Judah for instruction. (Zechariah 9:23) The Philistines` will be removed from the Land by both Houses. (Isaiah 11:14; Jeremiah 47:4; Ezekiel 25; Amos 1:8; Zephaniah 2:5;Zechariah 9:6, 11-13, 16-17)

Wise or foolish virgins

o o o o All those who are waiting for the Bridegroom are virgins. But not all will be ready. Virgins must have testimony of Y`shua and keep his Father`s Commandments. (Rev 12:17) The oil required in the lamp is Torah. Without it there is no light. (Psalm 119:105; Pr 6:23) There will be an interval of time for the wise virgins to respond when Y`shua calls, a door that will shut behind them and separate them from the foolish virgins. (Rev 3:7-8) o The foolish virgins will likely endure the time of tribulation out in the nations and either perfect their faith in death or abandon it. (Revelation 2:9-10, 6:9-11, 12:17, 20:4)

The `Day of the Lord'

'As it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be in the day of the Lord'. (Isaiah 54:9; Luke 17:26) o All nations will gather against Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:2, Joel 3:1-3) o Y`shua will come to Mount of Olives as Lion of Judah and conquering King. (Zechariah 14:4) o Babylon will be destroyed. (Jeremiah 23:5-8, Zechariah 14:4; Revelation 18) o Together, the reunited Nation of Israel will become an invincible army -- Judah the bow, Ephraim the arrow. (Isaiah 11:14, Zechariah 9:13) o Y`shua has destroyed and will destroy disobedient unbelieving people of his family. (Jude 5)

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F. Restoration

o The triumph of Messiah heralds the 1000 year Messianic Reign of restoration. (Ezekiel 37:2428; Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10) o All God`s promises will be honoured. (Isaiah 14:24, 46:11; Lamentations 2:17) o Messiah will live on Mount Zion, which will be raised above all other mountains. (Zechariah 2:4-12; Ezekiel 48:35; Joel 3:17-18; Obadiah 17, 21) o His Land will be restored to its promised boundaries and fruitfulness. (Genesis15:18; Deuteronomy11:24; Joshua 1:3; Ezekiel 36:8, 34-35; Isaiah 51:3) o His People will be restored to His Land. (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 16:14-15; 31: 8-10; Ezekiel 36:8-10; 39:39: 23-29; Zephaniah 3:19-20) o His Name (Ha Shem) will be restored to His People and to His City, Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 6:6; Ezekiel 36:22-23, 48:35; Zechariah 14:9) o His Language will be restored. (Zephaniah 3:9) o His Sabbath will be restored. (Isaiah 66:23) o His Holy Days of intimate fellowship with man will be restored -- Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles. (Colossians 2:16-17; Zephaniah 3:18; Zechariah 14:16) o Messiah will teach God`s people His Torah. (Isaiah 2:2-4; Ezekiel 36:27; Micah 4:1-3) o Messiah our Righteousness will reign over the House of Jacob forever. (Jeremiah 23:6; Luke 1:31-33) When YHVH`s redemption plan is completed, all those citizens of the world who belong to the Commonwealth of Israel will come to unity in the faith`. (John 17:23; Ephesians 4:13) There is one God, one faith, one hope. Since this oneness does not yet visibly exist across the faith spectrum, YHVH will bring it to pass in His time as the faithful submit to His Truth. "Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel." (Malachi 4:4) The necessary process may be anticipated: Orthodox Messianic Nation of Hebraic Roots Orthodox Judaism Judah Zion Nazarenes Christianity (legalism) (Written Torah) (Written Torah) (Written Torah) (lawlessness) (oral torah) (YHVH) (& Messiah) (& Y`shua) (Torahlessness) o o o o o Orthodox Jews do not accept the validity of non-Jewish faith in YHVH. Orthodox Christians do not accept that faithful Jews remain part of the family tree of God. Messianic Judah waits for Massiach ben David and lives by the Written Torah of Moses. Nazarenes accept the Written Torah of Moses as the foundation of faith in Y`shua. The Nation of Zion is Judah and Ephraim -- YHVH`s faithful through Y`shua and Torah.

The Nation of Zion will be regathered from the four corners of the earth and restored as `one new man', under the authority of Messiah ben David, Lion of Judah, living Torah, Yah Tzidkenu (our righteousness). Together they will worship and serve YHVH through His Son.

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After the Millennial Reign

At the end of 1000 years, Satan will be set free from the Abyss to deceive the nations culminating in the Battle of Gog and Magog against the seat of the Messiah in Jerusalem. These nations will be destroyed by fire from Heaven. Then will come the Second Resurrection and the Great Judgment of all people who were not raised to eternal life in the First Resurrection -- all who have ever lived and died. YHVH will judge the nations for ill-treating Israel and individuals for their life works. (Psalm 110:6; Isaiah 41:11; Ezekiel 36:6-36; Jeremiah 46:28; Matthew 25:32; Revelation 20-21) The old earth and heaven will pass away and a New Heaven and New Earth will be created.

Covenant of Peace/Shalom and the New Bride

The marriage supper of the Lamb is for the saints who are clothed in righteousness. Revelation 19:7 "the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." The Bride is Jerusalem (complete with her inhabitants). Revelation 21:2 "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Revelation 21:9 "I will show thee the bride, the Lambs wife." The inhabitants of Jerusalem are the 12 tribes of Israel (Jacob`s sons) -- they alone may enter the city. Revelation 21:12 "and had twelve gates...and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel." The foundation of the city is the 12 Apostles who will rule over the 12 tribes of Israel with Messiah. The four walls with three gates in each are named for each of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The believers out of the nations will enter through the gate of their chosen tribe. (Ezekiel 47:23) There is no Church Gate! (Rev 21:1, 9-14) The Bride is made up of all those believers in YHVH who acknowledge Y`shua as Messiah and who proclaim and keep His commandments. They will make up the Commonwealth (Household) of Israel (Jacob) with the right to reside in Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 47:21-23; Revelation 6:9; 12:17; 14:12; 20:4)

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Abraham's legitimate descendents

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Pictorial Israel

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Restored Kingdom

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