Why are we arguing over who God's chosen people are? There is way too much disagreement over God's own words. And why? Because there are too many jealous factions. Children fighting over which one is loved more by their father. The 'church' is the chosen of God. The 'Jews' are the chosen of God. Its sad and disappointing. Stop arguing, go back and reread what He wrote down for His children!
Romans 8:15-17 (ESV) For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:22-24 (ESV) For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
1 Timothy 1:4 (YLT) …nor to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, that cause questions rather than the building up of God that is in faith…
We are one stick in the hand of the Master!
Ezekiel 37:16-23 (NIV) 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, ‘Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.’ Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign 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. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign 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. 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. 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.
Israel has always been defined as native born and sojourners (i.e. foreigners, not native born, companions). And yet, they were all Israel. Does this mean that those who follow YHWH and His Son, Yeshua are to become Jews? No! Does it mean that Jews who believe on Yeshua are to stop being Jews? No!
Here is part of the trouble, part of the reason so many are arguing and fighting… Jews were not the only ones at the base of Mt. Sinai. It was all 12 tribes. Many of the things Jews do, in following Torah (as its written in the Bible) are things that all Israel (including companions) should be doing, because these are God's commandments. However, Jews have a long history of additional rules and traditions (aka Oral Law, Rabbinacal Law) which are not necessary to follow. This is what Yeshua disputed over and over again while He was here. And Paul also spends a considerable amount of time disputing these Pharisaical additions. Who better than a Pharisee turned follower of Yeshua, right?
Another part of the arguing is that those who have come to understand they are part of Israel and begin to observe the feasts, Sabbath and the other Torah instructions are scoffed at by often well-meaning, but completely mistaken others who attempt to disuade these believers to not follow Torah, either in part or whole. Attempting to take their blessings (intentionally or unintentionally).
Still more arguing crops up because many don't understand what the Torah's purpose is. We are saved through GRACE by FAITH alone in Yeshua. But… faith is DEAD without works. We cannot have one without the other!
Ephesians 2:8 (ABPE) For it is by his grace that we have been saved through faith, and this faith was not from you, but it is the gift of God.
James 2:14-17 (NKJV) What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
What are these works? Yeshua said that the Law and Prophets hang on "these two commandments". Which commandments?
Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT) Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (see Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18)
Our works, through our faith and love for Yah and our neighbor, is our walk in the Torah. This is our walk in righteousness.
Psalm 1:1-2, 6 (NIV) Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalm 119:1-3 (NIV) Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— they do no wrong but follow his ways.
Every kind act, every demonstration of love toward another is born out of the two commandments that are the very crux, the foundation, of all other commandments in Torah.
If we claim we are a follower/believer/disciple of Yeshua Ha'Mashiach (Jesus Christ), we MUST lay down our own agenda, our ingrained belief systems, the history of blindness, the lies we ate unknowingly and go to Yah's Word. Research the language. The Hebrew language is an amazing language. It tells the end from the beginning if we will just look. The truth of who we are, where we come from, how we are saved, is all there! And then, its layered and layered and layered, just like the covenants in scripture.
We MUST stop shunning the Jews and saying they have a different future than the church. We MUST stop ignoring the 'church', be they from whatever geneaology (Jew/Ephraim/Companion) and saying they don't know what they're talking about and they're not part of Israel. We MUST stop holding on to the factions and divisions.
And rather… Love Yah with our whole heart, mind and body and love one another. Trust our Heavenly Father to work out the rest! Shalom! Selah!
**Groups who are recognizing the need to focus on the things we have in common include United2Restore and Bney Yosef. There are many, many others, some of which you can find through links on these websites. Check them out!