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The Month of Elul and the Gentile Christian

Elul, the last month of the Jewish year, is a time to review the past and look at where you’ve come in life. It’s a preparation for the upcoming “Days of Awe”—Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur—when we resolve to do better this year than last.

The theme of Elul is return to your essential self—a.k.a. teshuvah—helped along by prayer and charity. “The King is in the field,” they say, meaning that the G‑dly spark within you is much more accessible, as long as you search for it.

-from “The Month of Elul”
Chabad.org

Elul and ShofarThe month of Elul on the Jewish calendar begins this coming Sunday, September 4th. As the quote above testifies, it’s a month of preparation and personal reflection as the High Holy Days rapidly approach.

Two years ago, I wrote a rather lengthy blog post regarding the impact of Elul on both Judaism and (potentially) Christianity. Since then, things have changed a great deal.

I suppose if Christians have a “month of preparation” it occurs in the spring at the approach of Easter.

But I’ve always appreciated the formality of Judaism in endeavors of self-examination, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, and redemption.

I suppose Catholicism has its rituals and ceremonies as well, but I’ve never found them particularly Biblical or attractive (though I know some will disagree with me on this).

As non-Jews, whether we call ourselves disciples of Yeshua or Christians, we don’t really have a lot of access to the Days of Awe unless we make that access for ourselves. That requires more from us as individuals, a greater personal dedication to approaching the Throne of God, abasing ourselves, praying for the strength to turn around, to turn back toward Him.

We don’t have a community (most of us, anyway) that embraces a specific praxis focusing on the path of returning to God or trying to find Him in the first place.

A few days ago, I wrote a fictional short story about a man struggling between discovering God and hiding from life. Ultimately, it’s God who finds him, and in a rather unusual venue, certainly not in a church.

Going to GodI think that’s where many of us are much of the time. If we really make the effort to connect to God what will it say about who we are? Will we even like what we discover?

In observant Judaism, every day during the month of Elul, except for Shabbat, the shofar is sounded after morning services as a sort of “wake up call” to prepare for Rosh Hashanah or the New Year. Usually when writing a message such as an email or blog post, Jews will finish with the phrase “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”.

Psalm 27 is added to the morning and afternoon daily prayers.

There are other customs and the link I provided above to Chabad will render that information if you’re interested.

For a Jew, a relationship with God is personal, but it’s most often expressed in community. Christianity has community as well, but technically, it is represented by many people, by the nations, whereas Jews are a single people, a specific nation called out by God.

The Jewish religious calendar maps out the practice of a Jew and I suppose, depending on your denomination, your church has its own traditions and rituals as well. I’ve never found Christian traditions satisfying, though.

We don’t have the shofar blowing and it would probably seem strange to our friends and family if we started ending our missives to them with “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”.

If any of us choose to follow the prayers, we can acquire the siddur of our choice through any online Judaica store. There are probably some Messianic siddurim available. I imagine a Google search would yield appropriate results.

siddur
Photo: bcc-la.org

Thus we could follow the tradition of adding Psalm 27 to our personal prayer time. Just be mindful of context. After all, we are not Jews and we are not Israel.

According to the Chabad, selichot are prayers asking God for forgiveness. Christians believe that once forgiven, always forgiven, so this isn’t always a common practice in many churches.

My wife, who is Jewish, says that rather than being depressing because of the emphasis on sins and judgment, the High Holidays are exhilarating. God is offering to hit the “reset button,” so to speak, to lay out a brand new, squeaky clean year for His people Israel. Jews have a unique opportunity annually, to live the next year better than they did the last.

But according to the Bible, forgiveness and redemption are available for the non-Jew as well, and from a Christian perspective, it’s our devotion to Yeshua (Jesus) that allows us to access those blessings. However for people like me, who are non-traditional and Hebraically oriented in our theology, if we choose to use the month of Elul in a manner similar to the Jews, we have to create the context and practices for ourselves.

Both Christians and Jews know they can ask for forgiveness at any time of year, however, for Jews, the month of Elul is a time to concentrate on what they’ve done for the past year, to right wrongs, ask for forgiveness from those people they have offended, and to ask for forgiveness from God.

We may not belong to Jewish community, but as private individuals, we could choose to adopt some of what the Jews do during Elul anyway, though more spiritually rather than too closely mimicking Jewish praxis.

In the past, I’ve written about community for the “Messianic Gentile,” but my experiences over the past few years have taught me it’s not really available for the vast majority of us either physically or emotionally. Sure, we can create our own groups, but anyone who’s tried to run a small congregation or even a regular home Bible fellowship can tell you how difficult it is to maintain over the long haul.

Besides, trying to figure out how to have a “Hebraic” praxis for non-Jews while avoiding treading too heavily on Jewish identity and particularity isn’t easy. I’ve fought in those wars in the past and have concluded for personal reasons that since I’m not Jewish, I shouldn’t walk that path. It’s too much like stealing another person’s clothes and then wearing them as your own.

And trying to do any of this in a traditional Christian setting in most cases won’t be practical, since the “Hebraic” praxis will be alien in that context. In fact, it might be received by Christian peers adversarially.

standing aloneSo more and more, this is a blogspot about the individual non-Jew who is neither fish nor fowl, who doesn’t fit in either world, and yet can’t adjust his or her perspectives on the Bible to “get along” with a more traditional congregation, whether Christian or Jewish.

From that perspective, while the month of Elul and all that it holds is communal for the religious Jews, for the rest of us, well, those few who are like us, it remains individual, at least until the Messiah returns.

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104 thoughts on “The Month of Elul and the Gentile Christian”

  1. “I’ve never found Christian traditions satisfying, though.”

    Because that which stems from innovation in lieu of revelation fails to connect with the votary. I guess that would apply to the made-up Messianic Gentile; G-d does not care what his communal/religious life looks like so long has he believes and is kind. That’s it.

    E.g. would G-d even care if one people decided to meet once a week, and another decided to meet once a year?

    Yet one does not begin religion and pursue G-d only to be rebuffed and told to look to human innovations. That’s probably the issue.

  2. Thanks for the post today. I can relate immensely with your words. We are a community in New Orleans that is very much like you. A community of people who don’t fit in either world. We do our best to follow Yeshua through Torah and the rest of TNK. But we are all Gentiles, none of us are Jewish, although we are asked that regularly. We don’t dress in any manner Jewish but we do our best to be kosher. We meet for service Saturday nights, we follow the biblical holidays, etc. It is hard because, for myself who does most of the teaching, i have been called many horrible things because of our teaching and beliefs. So i appreciate hearing your words and struggles. We are a community of gentiles trying to find our way following a Jewish Messiah. There doesn’t seem to be a model for us to follow so we do our best with what we learn and apply it as best we can. It is a journey and we enjoy what God continues to teach us daily. Thank you for your nuggets of wisdom and life experience.

  3. @Drake: I suppose once a year might be pushing it, but who am I to talk? And yes, may Messiah come soon and in our day.

    @matt: Greetings. People can be very cruel in defending their beliefs and traditions so I don’t doubt you have been mistreated.

    As far as following the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings, I hope that includes the Apostolic Scriptures which, to my mind, makes up a complete Bible. For me it is a single document with one overarching message. We can study it all our lives and still only scratch the surface.

    It is true that there isn’t much of a model for how a Gentile-only Messianic Congregation is to worship and live day-to-day in honor of the Messiah. I suppose you could contact one of the Messianic Jewish umbrella organizations and see if they have any materials that might help. You could try “Googling” something like “messianic gentiles” or “messianic gentile resources” and see what comes up, but use discernment. As I’m sure you know, there’s a lot of bad info on the internet.

    As Drake said above, your practice can be variable and that probably doesn’t matter as much as loving God and loving your fellow with your heart and your actions.

  4. I’m sorry I couldn’t submit this clarification prior to the onset of Shabbat, here, as I did not see this post in time. Nonetheless, FYI, Rosh Hodesh Elul fell this year on the cusp of Shabbat and Yom Rishon (Sun), rather than merely on Sunday as reported above. Consequently, it was celebrated today (Shabbat) with additional prayers in the Amidah, the reading of the Hallel, a special maftir and a special haftarah (in place of the standard one for this the third of the seven Sabbaths of Consolation following Tish’a b-Av). Tomorrow morning’s shaharit will also celebrate Rosh Hodesh, but in a weekday manner rather than as on Shabbat.

    However, such details are moot for non-Jewish disciples unless they are fully integrated into traditionally-observant Jewish space in a synagogue community environment — hence, for them, it is sufficient to focus on the spiritual implications that you cited, emphasizing repentance and anticipation of the upcoming festival of Sukkot that includes reference to the atonement and redemption of the non-Jewish world. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if Rav Yeshua’s non-Jewish disciples stepped-up the intensity of their prayers on behalf of their Jewish brethren as we anticipate the Day of Judgment (Yom ha-Din; Rosh HaShanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom ha-Kippurim), that precede Sukkot with prayers of confession (vidui), penitence (slichot), and repentance (t’shuvah).

    Shavua Tov

  5. You make some good points PL, and thank you for the correction. I’m dependent upon Google to provide such information. You are correct in that the information you provided in your first paragraph doesn’t really impact the non-Jewish disciples since traditionally-observant Jewish and particularly Messianic Jewish space is somewhat rare, at least in the western nations. That was the whole point of my blog post. Unless we happen to live fairly near one of those spaces, we have to seek out other options and do our best to define our own praxis.

  6. “As Drake said above, your practice can be variable and that probably doesn’t matter as much as loving God and loving your fellow with your heart and your actions.”

    Well if the practice does not matter for gentiles, why should there even be practice? Just be good to others and believe in Messiah. Shutter the buildings, and down with trying to invent religions for gentiles altogether. Any religion that man alone creates cannot be worth following unless it’s propped up by a legitimizing Founding Lie.

    Skip the religion. Seek G-d. Like the GenYers all say.

  7. I think you missed James’ point, Drake. It’s not that gentile praxis doesn’t matter; it is that gentiles are not responsible for specifically Jewish praxis. It is the *quality* of gentile behavior vis-à-vis Torah principles that is important. As the Jewish prophet is cited in
    Micah 6:8 —
    He has told you, O man, what is good;
    And what does the Lord require of you
    But to do justice, to love kindness,
    And to walk humbly with your God?

    Jewish commentators have emphasized the generic term “man” in this verse, as a reference to humans in general and not merely to Jews. There are plenty of other verses in Tenakh that *are* specific to Jews, and from which specific Jewish practices are developed , but from *this* one a broader range of behaviors may be developed that are not so constrained. Such behaviors contribute to what James the Apostle called “true religion” or “pure religion” (Jam.1:27 — “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

    “Religion”, as a concept, is similar in its nature to “halakhah”, because both are human responses to the conversation that begins with HaShem’s “revelation”. There is nothing wrong with religion as a concept. It is its content and the philosophical implications thereof that either give it positive value or make of it a hypocritical sham. Seeking after a god cannot help but result in some sort of religious response (whether or not it is based upon a foundational lie). Seeking after the One G-d, HaShem, per Micah’s exhortation, involves the “religious” actions that correspond with “walking”, as well as a requirement for humility and an implicit constraint within HaShem’s values of pursuing justice and loving kindness (mercy in some translations). Such attitudes constitute the qualifying attributes of “spirit” and “truth”, I might add.

  8. If you have to invent it yourself, it’s probably not worth following. Maybe the outlook illustrated on this magazine cover could be applied to MGs as well. Ditch religion. The Bible never gives you one anyway.

  9. “Seeking after a god cannot help but result in some sort of religious response (whether or not it is based upon a foundational lie).”

    “Some sort of.”

  10. From the cover: “FORGET THE CHURCH…”

    At first, I was going to supplement
    church for “religion” in the quote.
    But then I saw it *is* the quote.

    I agree (except we say *never*
    to forget, so drop\”ditch” is better).

    Then again, someone like “Mother” Theresa
    (now to be called “Saint” Theresa) wasn’t so bad.

    Of course, Churchianity wouldn’t be the only thing to drop.
    {I haven’t read the article, so I’m not making a comment on it.}

    I don’t mean to be actively against all churches, but not actively for.

  11. @Drake — It seems to me to be awfully pessimistic to dismiss the entirety of human religious response with a statement like: “If you have to invent it yourself, it’s probably not worth following.” HaShem was not so pessimistic about His human creatures, providing the revelation in Torah of instructions and principles to guide the behavior of all humanity as well specific instructions for a chosen exemplary subset of them. He continued to offer revelation and correction of errors via the Jewish prophets. Clearly, He thinks we’re redeemable. We would do well to uphold that sort of optimism, and try to live up to its implicit standards as we seek to follow and implement the revealed principles. But *we* have to do that — no one else can do it for us. And whatever we do will be, by definition, “religious”. Whatever procedures we develop to show our respect and honor for HaShem will be deemed “worship”. Whatever actions we adopt to live our lives in accordance with His revealed values and principles and attitudes will constitute our “religion”. The Jewish people have developed this in a characteristic manner during the past few millennia in order to conform with the notion of a covenant defined by the revelation at Sinai. While non-Jews are not expected or even permitted merely to jump onto the same bandwagon, metaphorically speaking, they are certainly permitted to do their best to conform with HaShem’s revealed principles; and they are to be commended when they do so. They may also be criticized if they fail to do so or if the quality of their attempt is lacking. So also may Jews — and, in fact, self-examination and -criticism has been standardized within traditional Jewish religious praxis, as illustrated by the seasonal observances currently beginning with the month of Elul.

    I doubt that the Newsweek article offered much guidance to interpret the notion of “follow[ing] Jesus”. While there is certainly much to criticize about whatever Christian religious organization the article’s author might identify as “the Church” which he recommends forgetting, such a recommendation is far too broad and facile. It neglects that there is a very wide range of religious expressions included under that rubric “the Church”. Some may be deemed better than others at trying to instruct their congregants to implement the teachings of ha-Rav Yeshua ben-Yosef or of any of his apostolic disciples.

    Given the implications of the Newsweek cover, I don’t suppose the article addressed the question of what to do about “the Synagogue”, or any other religious expression such as “the Mosque” or “the Ashram” or “the Shinto shrine” or “the Wiccan coven”. Of course each of these represents a different set of values and attitudes, and some rather detailed analysis is warranted to compare them with the values that characterize HaShem the Creator of all things as represented in Torah specifically and elaborated in the whole of Tenakh and the Jewish apostolic writings. While a great deal of human religious (and non-religious) behavior may be rightly criticized as falling short of HaShem’s hopes and expectations for the behavior of His human creatures, we should not be dismissive of any human religious behavior that *does* align with them.

  12. “The Jewish people have developed this in a characteristic manner during the past few millennia in order to conform with the notion of a covenant defined by the revelation at Sinai.”

    Of course. The Jewish people had 1. a revelation of what and how and 2. a covenant that affirms that G-d actually cares that one performs it all.

    Again, religion is rife with notions of seeking “G-d’s wisdom,” “to not fall back on my own.” The Lacedaemonians did not consult the Oracle seeking a human predication. Ummim and Thummim were not cast with a sense of fortuity. Heschel says that there is no innovative substitute for revelation.

    In philosophy, there are two primary schools.

    1. Essentialist: Purpose and meaning precede existence, and that the existence of all things is derived from meaning and purpose. A knife is a knife because of a blade more so than its handle. Five oranges exist as they do because of the form of “fiveness.” You can find these notions developed in Platonic Idealism. All trees participate crudely in the form of “Treeness.” Purpose and meaning is the backdrop from which existence springs. Many Jewish philosophers have described the Torah in those terms; that its giving to one nation lends purpose and everlasting identity to that one nation.

    Conclusion: Judaism arrives in the backdrop of Essentialism.
    E.g. “In the beginning, the Logos with with G-d and was G-d.”

    2. Existentialist: Nothing has any inherent meaning unto itself, and that existence precedes any meaning or purpose. And it is for humans to “make up” or “assign” meaning. Gentiles could be said to fall closer to this territory. The Bible defines them by what they are not, assigns to both Jews and Gentiles a universal status of Imago Dei. This seems to me to leave Gentiles in the land of Friedrich Nietzsche and Kierkegaard. G-d gave you this life; go invent new meanings yourself. FFOZ dissuades gentiles from conversion on the basis of Paul not wanting to wipe out all nations; wanting to preserve all nations. This directly positions G-d as a steward of gentile identity. Yet while the activity of naming the animals seems indeed to assign meaning and purpose to the world, it is not necessarily an everlasting identity in G-d; to wit, pagans can ascribe meaning and purpose and have no identity in G-d. Aristotle’s taxonomy would rival Adam’s. It’s not a uniquely monotheistic way. (Do not even the pagans do that?) And yet this seems to be where Paul leaves Gentiles. Build a way of life by assigning meaning in absence of revelation. And yet somehow that speculative activity universal to Heathen and Hebrew alike will afford Gentiles an everlasting identity in G-d. Has it yet?

    Essentialism seems to be very optimistic, as Socrates was happy as he drank the hemlock. Existentialism on the other hand lends itself to dire pessimism. Now just for kicks, there is abundant Midrashic speculation that Avraham had to go on a sort of “existential quest” before G-d gifted him an everlasting identity though covenant and revelation…but that is speculation.

    I can definitively say what makes a Jew a Jew.

    I can definitively say what makes a Jew or Gentile human (Micah 6:8).

    But what makes a Gentile a Gentile?

    What makes a Roman a Roman before G-d?

    Clouds of uncertainty, radical freedom, and skepticism that one “can ever truly know his own decisions” exhaust one toward pessimism. And such an angst is not what one seeks when he looks to the skies. I’d hope you can understand.

  13. Why all the angst and pessimism, Drake? Consider HaShem’s response to Cain after his innovative attempt at a vegetarian sacrifice went unappreciated (Gen.4:5b-7): “And Cain was very angry, and his expression fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain: ‘Why are you angry? and why is your expression fallen? 7 If you do what is good, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou do not do what is good, sin crouches at the door; and for you is its desire, but you may rule over it.’ “. Cain subsequently failed that test and suffered accordingly. Not all human religious responses are acceptable to HaShem, but the situation is not hopeless. There are implications between the lines that Cain should have known better, because HaShem had already provided indications or even outright instructions about what could constitute an acceptable sacrifice. Certainly He had provided a suitable hint in Gen.3:1, when He killed animals, as needed to produce the leather garments in which He clothed His fallen human creatures, replacing the fig-leaves that they had tried to use previously.

    The characterization of a gentile is simple, once you understand that the Jewish literature which is focused on defining what characterizes a Jew as distinct from the rest of the human family of which he is part. The math is simple: Humanity=gentiles+Jews. Humanity-Jews=gentiles. A gentile is a human who is not a Jew. What characterizes HaShem’s expectations of humanity, including gentiles as well as Jews? Principles like those stated in Micah 6:8 are only a part of the available revelation. These are not diminished by the fact that there are additional constraints presented to distinguish Jews from the rest. What makes a Roman? One could identify a number of characteristics to do so that are not arbitrary, even though not defined in the Jewish revelation. One may even use aspects of that revelation to evaluate Roman-defining characteristics — or those that define any other invented label — much as HaShem’s initial exemplary animal sacrifice should have informed Cain. Such an evaluation may contribute to the meaningfulness or spiritual value of any given label.

    The Genesis revelation informs all humanity, gentile as well as Jewish, that all humans are made in HaShem’s image. As such, they have intrinsic value as well as intrinsic responsibility. Thus it is their essence that provides meaning, though their existential behavior may detract from their potential to acquire additional value. Some might opine that some kinds of existential behavior could even detract from an individual’s intrinsic value (i.e., making them sub-human by means of their evil deeds). Both of the philosophical schools you described are in play.

  14. James, thanks for this…had to read it thrice. Still have to go through the comments again because they also shed light on some things I didn’t know.
    I never believed I would have landed in the same position you are in today – neither fish nor fowl…in my case unable to fit into the traditional churches we have around us here in the third world. My reading of the texts through a Jewish lens has made sure I cannot unbend my current perspectives to fit back in again…
    But what encourages me is that the Son of Man did send Paul out to the Gentile world…more than our belief in G-d, He does believe in us – and that is a compliment in itself. Cornelius is a case in point, where at least he made some headway, with his household and we all know where the story ended. There was a lot more in store for him when Peter told him what G-d had recently done in Yeshua, our Messiah.
    With all things as they are now, and most traditional churches failing and falling am sure the question is more urgent than ever. Where does the Messianic Gentile stand?
    I don’t think Paul would have wanted us stranded – there was that cryptic remark in Acts 15/21. We were to have access to life-giving words from Moses’ seat in Jewish synagogues as Gentiles who pledged allegiance to Israel’s G-d and Messiah after turning away from idols.
    It involves being elevated to a higher purposes of existence…hence the constant insistence on our walk and talk exemplifying Who is our current Master and King, wherever we are.
    The problem is for us out here, a Jewish synagogue is a novelty…and such a rarity…- and would be looked at as so foreign…but at least FFOZ exists on line for me to access…

  15. Thank you, everyone posting: good conversation.

    I came across something today that troubles me (and isn’t a rarity but rather quite common amongst pop philosophers of current events). This was posted in a comments section under a WSJ article: I often laughed and even mocked Christians when they always goes with doomsday prophesy like your country is going to be invaded by foreigners and destroy. I always replied, intelligence and science will overtake all religious superstition. But it seems we should not have messed with biblical God, [the Name*]. {*I, Marleen, am rendering this way (rather than HaShem or what he chose) because I feel HaShem, which is not what the author (who called himself “basil” something or other) chose either, is specific.}

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/merkel-stands-by-refugee-policy-after-election-loss-1473078641. The comments have to do not only with Germany. You can imagine there are also statements about Mexicans and so forth. [Funny the outrage as the readership gets worked up as to democracy/populism, when elites making decisions for the people is conservative (for instance, in that our U.S. senators used to be selected by our state legislatures rather than directly by the people ).]

    I’m not trying to make a statement about immigration. I’m concerned about religious or seemingly religious assertions.

    To some extent, I’m touching back to Drake’s mention of gentiles being a made up category. In original context, gentiles means nations. We usually use it now to mean individuals who aren’t Jews (or, at times, the broad collection of all such individuals). And other nations aren’t saved or chosen like Israel was, and is, chosen. Maybe households are, like that of Cornelius, but not always (an individual can seek G-d regardless of his/her family elders).

  16. Hi, Marleen — I’m sorry, but I couldn’t follow your line of thought. What was it that troubles you? I could not read the WSJ article you linked, because the WSJ website requires one to subscribe in order to read more than the first few lines of the article. Could you elaborate?

  17. What I know as to how a Gentile is defined corresponds to your answer – from what I read and understand, ProclaimLiberty.
    True, Marleen, individuals may/do seek Israel’s G-d today regardless of the conformity imposed by the community around them…but what they discover is so wonderful, and life changing that they end up creating tiny communities that share this good news – a case in point is this self sacrificing guy – Salah Abdo Farah. To him this finding was worth it all…his end is a case in point of Kiddush HaShem. G-d does reach out to people. In all manner of “untidy” ways. But that they do catch a glimpse of Him seems to be enough.
    We only got one version of the story…this first bit from PJ media’s page will give you the gist.
    https://pjmedia.com/trending/2016/01/21/muslim-who-shielded-christian-bus-passengers-from-al-shabaab-terrorists-dies/
    The media didn’t follow up on clues and ended up burying something that was of far greater importance in the interests of the Kingdom of G-d for us. Why he acted as he did. After having treated Somalis I know this really went against their whole worldview. Why did he save others when he had the chance to avoid a conflict and go home safely?
    Had to hunt for this for over an hour for this – Google appears to have buried this story – far, far away. There is more access to one kind of narrative – if you can connect the dots with what happens daily. You can try it yourselves.
    The initial story didn’t make sense. Something was missing. This follow up piece put all the fragments together.
    What he did makes sense in the light of the whole picture. He met the Son of G-d – and that made all the difference in his life.
    New things are happening. G-d is at work with those who love Him to achieve the “fullness of the Gentiles.” It is dangerous work. But He has never stopped working.
    This is the actual story – http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/clarke/salah_martyr.html

  18. PL, I don’t subscribe but am able to read the articles and comments. I thought anyone would have been able. Sorry about that. But you get the gist of the article from the title (which you can read without linking by looking at the words of the link address); one missing item is that the article calls the chancellor conservative [that isn’t the point of my concern, just an interesting tidbit including the fact the complaining conservative readers don’t seem to know what conservative is].

    My concern is what I said in that post to which you’re responding: seemingly religious statements that fly as wisdom in pop philosophy. I shared the quote in full (from the comments). I do still wish people could look at the comments. But it’s not necessary. This person says something about Yahweh (what he/she had in the comment) as if it is known what people should have been doing in the context of Mexicans and Germans and so on. But the vibe I get overall smacks of what the Germans were so confident of mid-20th century.

    I know it’s uncomfortable to have a discussion with a guy who seems so morose (Drake), but there are points he makes that shouldn’t be discounted (and I think he’s been more clear this time taken together with things he’s said before). It is one thing for a secular country to make decisions about safety. It is another (and false) to say Germans should know God wants them to remain (more) purely German. But I’m not saying there is no “answering” him. For instance, it was a good point that you brought up about ashrams, etc. — because some people, not seldomly, use the name of Jesus to say (as if it could be) he is like another awesome guru. Here, I/we have veered back into what is religious truth as opposed to what a country knows or does not know as a command from the Lord to do in obedience.

  19. Certainly, I don’t know that what I’m saying is something with which Drake agrees. I’m taking part in the conversation.

  20. Margareth Rose, I absolutely agree that individuals can form a small community. I also think someone like James (blog owner) can develop his own personal traditions. The traditions are formed or chosen in freedom and should not be imposed on anyone else.

    I haven’t read at your links yet. Thank you.

  21. Hi, Marleen — I do think it is instructive to remind folks that the term “conservative” as used in Germany is not identical to the same term used in the USA. A different set of values is addressed, that is intended to be conserved. I’m afraid that in Germany, there exists a danger that the values addressed might too well accord with fascism. Some folks accuse American conservatives of the same, but conserving the freedoms that are foundational values in the USA is quite different from conserving old European or Teutonic values that far predate the Enlightenment. However, at the present time there is a different “kulturkampf” underway that interacts with Germany’s 20th-century history, as well as the history of Europe all the way back to the famous battle of Tours in 732 CE, between Islam and Western culture, and reflected also in the Reconquista of Spain in the 15th century. Regrettably, as Germans react against a modern Islamic invasion of Europe, they are too likely to express themselves in language similar to that of the “purity” that was Adolf Hitler’s horrific vision. This confuses the issues terribly, and conflates the notions of national identity with spiritual/moral revelation. Re-clarifying and separating out all of the intermingled values requires an analysis not unlike the one I invoked when I wrote in my post above about various kinds of non-biblical religious behavior (Ashrams, et al).

  22. PL,

    I appreciated your first post in this topic too, concerning Sukkot and that “it wouldn’t hurt if Rav Yeshua’s non-Jewish disciples stepped-up the intensity of their prayers on behalf of their Jewish brethren as we anticipate the Day of Judgment (Yom ha-Din; Rosh HaShanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom ha-Kippurim), that precede Sukkot with prayers of confession (vidui), penitence (slichot), and repentance (t’shuvah).” (And the details on the head of the month of this Elul.)

  23. Alrighty then.

    Let’s go on a thought experiment.

    1. We see that Paul did not want Gentiles to assimilate into Judaism and lose their “identity in G-d,” (whatever that is).

    2. We see that the Nations are plural in the messianic passages of the gilded age we hope for. They are specifically not one big glob, but are plural and distinct from each other.

    3. In turn, G-d dissuaded Jewish intermarriage and covenants with the surrounding peoples under his desire to also preserve the Nation of Israel and their “identity in G-d” (which we actually do know what that identity is vis-a-vis the covenants and Torah)

    4. G-d therefore positions Himself in these prophecies as the ward of identity to both Israel and the nations.

    I think that is fair to assume.

    Now the UMJC, and more mainstream Jewish authorities even more so tend to dissuade intermarriage for the sake of assimilation. And if it looks like the marriage is a done deal, then they encourage conversion of the spouse to keep the yiddishkeit all in the tribe. And we look upon this as a necessary sacrifice to ensure the continuity of Israel. We all nod in agreement that it is for the best. Which I actually agree with.

    But then let us say French parents refuse to give blessing for his son to marry off to a Greek woman. Both families are Christian. When pressed, the French mother would respond that he rejects the marriage because of the Gospel itself, that Paul wanted to preserve Gentile Identity (whatever that is), that the nations are to remain plural in the Messianic Era, and that G-d is the shepherd and preserver of all peoples from assimilation.

    Now all of you hearing that would wince at how monstrously nationalist that all sounds. Nevertheless, it carries the implications of “G-d to preserve a plurality of nations” to its logical conclusion. Nobody wants to ever go there.

    To someone like a hypothetical Dr. Bichael Mrown, his jewishness is not something to guard because G-d will “just sort it all out in the end.” He is under the paradigm of individual redemption, I guess. But most Jews I think know better than that. Yet in turn, even Messianic Gentiles tend to fall in the camp of the Good Doctor regarding themselves and their nations (if I can hazard that word), viewing themselves and their marriage choices under the individual model of salvation while simultaneously beholding the Jewish people as a case of collective redemption requiring hard lines drawn. In short, if my four listed points are indeed true along with its attendant conclusion, then the Gospel does not seek to simply preserve the Gentiles from becoming Jews and Jews from becoming Gentiles, but Gentiles from becoming other Gentiles to boot. For a movement that is abandoning the myopic hill of individual fire insurance for a broader ethos of collective redemption, it seems we lack consistency between Jews and Gentiles for all the ink we spill claiming no identities should be erased.

    Scandalized? If you are going to discuss what the future age should look like, then you should have the fortitude to broach the touchy subject of how these considerations would apply outside of Israel and between nations of the Messianic world order. I for one am astounded that everyone on this thread could spend a lifetime in a book that dices the world into nations, calls for the preservation of one in particular, hints at a vague future preservation for a plurality of nations, admonishes nations not to assimilate into Israel, and yet at the same time this crowd is shocked into outrage that the boundaries of nationalism could enter the debate for Gentiles-to-Gentile relations as well.

    Sadly, I don’t think any of these questions have answer outside revelation. While I would never defend One Law, Bilateralism seems to ignore deep and massive sociological fissures that appear when we carry the gospel’s world order to its logical conclusion.

  24. Logical conclusion, Drake? Your primary mistake is to extend the exceptionalism of Israel to other individual nations. If members of the one-and-only Jewish nation marry into other nations, the Jewish nation is diminished in its capacity to fulfill its God-given destiny and covenant. That is not so for your case of a French citizen and a Greek one. There is no French or Greek covenant with stipulations that will not be met. There is no danger of eliminating either nation. Entire populations of individuals could be swapped or mixed and matched between various nations, and those nations would continue to exist, because they are defined primarily by their geography. Their culture is fungible; and, in fact, it will change radically when the Messianic kingdom is established under its Jewish king. That does not mean that these nations will cease to exist, nor will they become like Jews in the One-Law sense.

    Just because Rav Shaul exhorted his charges to remain gentiles, in order to demonstrate that HaShem could and did cleanse and redeem gentiles (not only Jews), does not mean that he would insist that Romans could not move to Greece, or Asia or India or even to the “islands of the sea” (as what came to be known as the “new world” is sometimes referenced in biblical parlance). Gentile identity, as you term it, is not like Jewish identity, and it is much more fungible. Indeed, a great deal of mixing and matching and wholesale population swapping had already been performed across the known world, that we call the middle east or Asia Minor, by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, and the Macedonians. (The Romans didn’t move folks around so much as they conquered and imposed their rule upon them wherever they were already.) Consequently, gentile identity was already a mixed and general notion in Rav Shaul’s time, given distinctive structure by political operations rather than by genetic, cultural, or even linguistic ones.

    Thus, most national or ethnic boundaries are somewhat artificial, and a bit porous, and not subject to specific preservation. Nonetheless, we know from various prophetic passages that individuals will visit Jerusalem to worship the G-d of Israel, coming from nations with specific historical names that still will exist in the messianic era, and representing those nations. What we do *not* know from those passages is the ethnic or cultural composition of those nations; nor does it matter to the accomplishment of the prophetic scenarios. Of course, to the individuals in those nations, their quality of life will depend on the degree of redemption has been already accomplished in any given nation by followers of Rav Yeshua; hence to them their national identity and culture will matter greatly when compared to nations which are less accomplished in societal redemption. Nonetheless, given comparable degrees of redemption, it certainly should not matter if a Frenchman becomes a Chinese citizen, or an ethnic Chinese moves to San Francisco and becomes an American citizen. Similarly, a child of an African who becomes an American citizen might even grow up to become the President of that nation, and thus its primary representative. Such an occurrence does not in itself diminish the American national identity — though the behavior of that President and the policies he or she implements might have severely detrimental effects on that identity. However, we were discussing national identity rather than individual behavior, so let’s not get into that particular political issue. [:)]

    I don’t see that anyone responding here has expressed outrage or shock that “the boundaries of nationalism could enter the debate for Gentiles-to-Gentile relations”. I think they merely recognize that such boundaries don’t affect the topic of the essay above.

  25. Drake, the Jewish identity was/is tied to faithfulness to their Covenant with G-d, which was in turn tied up with a vocation to be a light to the Nations making the text as Israel-centric. Excursions into Gentile territory always ended up with idolatry. As Israel failed spectacularly, G-d Himself came to the rescue to accomplish the task.

    To worry about what happens to the Gentiles as a matter of balance prevails upon us as 21st century people being “fair-minded”, but I think G-d was already into worrying about that long before as the Creator of all from the onset of the trouble in Eden.
    The table of the seventy Nations, was narrower in scope in Genesis than what we understand exists nowadays. And there are still pockets of peoples even we 21st century people have never even heard of.
    G-d in His wisdom if He is consistent with His vision as promised to Abraham for the salvation of the Gentiles should be trusted to conclude matters well – if we agree He has preserved a remnant of His own people against all odds until now. Rev 7/4-8.

    So many of us today wouldn’t know what our tribes are or where we come from (only a few here in my country would know, but as a patriarchal society by consensus, we all agree the father’s tribe is the tribe of the kids!) But we don’t take it as a scandalous thing and I know Africa has problems that have to do with tribalism more than colonialism. I don’t know what you do in the West. Tribe still figures in some of our IDs.
    Tribal purity/national purity is eroding with each passing century in keeping with the metaphor of the Nations as the “sea!”
    Of all times, there is the rise of a global destructive and murderous ideology that aims to create Utopia by erasing the differences between the peoples – evoking the Babel saga – and it is not interested in our theological/doctrinal leanings even as it agrees on one thing – that we are enemies inasmuch as our allegiance is to the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We have always been in a dangerous spiritual war. I think I am not the only one on this blog to sense this – but the heat seems to have been turned on quite suddenly. Martyrs are piling up.
    Our thinking has to get much clearer to be able to persevere as our harmony.
    Which brings us back to Elul. We need to elucidate practices which we will have to start now but continue beyond it individually or communally, to keep the Light of Messiah shining even as the world becomes darker.
    ProclaimLiberty has given us one to start with – ramping up on regular prayer for our Jewish brethren and especially for Israel. Reading the news makes us realise the danger they now face globally has just exponentially increased. Again.
    We will have to concentrate on essential areas that are important hills to “die on”. On what we are not sure about let us agree to disagree in charity and liberty.
    Despite this confusion/chaos generated by the gods/powers of this world, the further spread of the Good News into dark corners goes on, turning Gentiles mired in idolatry to their gods to allegiance under One Lord, and the Creator G-d. The thing at stake is the matter of allegiance.
    G-d does aim to preserve remnants from the Gentiles from each Nation/ tribe and people, individuals from various people groups who are ready to follow Him against all odds. You see this in Rev 7/9-10.
    We were under hostile “powers” – but Messiah as the stronger man snatched us out as captives from the Adversary’s clutches to be his own (see Luke 11/21 – I know this text is about driving out demons – but the essence of what happens is the same case in point)

    So Drake, you do have a point, as a delight-er in diversity, our Creator G-d does want it preserved…and celebrates it in the Messianic Era with the gathered remnants from every people – including Israel. We become co-heirs with Israel of G-d’s Kingdom on a restored Earth.
    It is not about uniformity – but about unity in harmony under G-d’s rule. What it will be like? Only G-d knows. But am sure it will be beautiful.

    In this fallen world, we tend to fall off into extremes with each angle we try in trying to recreate Eden- now.
    Nationalism, or tribalism ends up in the stronger societies swallowing up the weaker or fascism. Multiculturalism also hasn’t worked too well, either.
    Let us pray we are where we are supposed to be even as the battle heats up. And that we have enough oil for whatever emergency that shall arise.
    Sorry James…this is a whole blog in itself. Back to you.

  26. “Their culture [the gentiles] is fungible; and, in fact, it will change radically when the Messianic kingdom is established under its Jewish king.” – Proclaim Liberty

    Fair enough. But ultimately then, what is gentile identity worth? What eternal value does it then have? I hear Jewish rabbis incessantly prate on about how each nation’s identity comes from G-d and are a blessing to the world, yet if they are indeed fungible, then it is more like the product of random chance. It would be like learning that your mother went to a sperm bank to anonymously conceive your entire people. You come from chance.

    For humans who look at a world in flux and search for what stands, and who build an identity and nation on what they believe stands, it would be devastating to be told that your peoplehood is based on either a useful lie, or that little or none of it will remain and G-d couldn’t care less. We see today in Europe and Japan how that very postmodern suspicion that the Universe is chance and that the founding myth is a lie demoralizes a people and unplugs entirely their willingness to go on.

    Nimrod wanted to smash all gentiles together into a self-nullifying oneness, G-d seemed to want them distinct by scattering them. Sociologically, the gospel seems to behave more like Nimrod’s ambition if what you say is true. Of gentiles, all the colors on the canvas bleed into a puke brown.

    “Your primary mistake is to extend the exceptionalism of Israel to other individual nations.” – PL

    How would a hypothetical like that in which gentiles have eternal identities in G-d in any way undercut your covenants, your chosenness as the first standard-bearer of HaShem, or your claim to Land and Temple?

  27. ….Paul wanted to preserve Gentile Identity (whatever that is), that the nations are to remain plural in the Messianic Era, and that G-d is the shepherd and preserver of all peoples from assimilation.

    Now all of you hearing that would wince at how monstrously nationalist that all sounds. Nevertheless, it carries the implications of “G-d to preserve a plurality of nations” to its logical conclusion. Nobody wants to ever go there.

    To someone like a hypothetical Dr. Bichael Mrown, his jewishness is not something to guard because G-d will “just sort it all out in the end.” He is under the paradigm of individual redemption, I guess. But most Jews I think know better than that. Yet in turn, even Messianic Gentiles tend to fall in the camp of the Good Doctor regarding themselves and their nations (if I can hazard that word), viewing themselves and their marriage choices under the individual model of salvation while simultaneously beholding the Jewish people as a case of collective redemption requiring hard lines drawn. In short, if my four listed points are indeed true along with its attendant conclusion, then the Gospel does not seek to simply preserve the Gentiles from becoming Jews and Jews from becoming Gentiles, but Gentiles from becoming other Gentiles to boot. For a movement that is abandoning the myopic hill of individual fire insurance for a broader ethos of collective redemption, it seems we lack consistency between Jews and Gentiles for all the ink we spill claiming no identities should be erased.

    Scandalized? If you are going to discuss what the future age should look like, then you should have the fortitude to broach the touchy subject of how these considerations would apply outside of Israel and between nations…. — Drake

    Drake again: “Their culture [the gentiles] is fungible; and, in fact, it will change radically when the Messianic kingdom is established under its Jewish king.” – Proclaim Liberty

    Fair enough. But ultimately then, what is gentile identity worth? What eternal value does it then have? I hear Jewish rabbis incessantly prate on about how each nation’s identity comes from G-d and are a blessing….

    I have a few main responses at the moment. Whoever you are referring to (plural leaders) with regard to prating on might be making a mistake. I remember one person (a man called messianic and a Jew) in particular (I won’t name him… and sort of an entourage or his sort) who spoke that way at a convention or summer fair kind of thing I went to years ago. (I don’t remember for sure if it was summer time, but it was warm.) I would agree with you that he wasn’t thinking things through to conclusion. I think his goal was to make gentile individuals and organizations feel better about not being Jews even if they had learned to have hearts for Jewish people; he didn’t want them to feel lesser, and didn’t want them to inundate Jewish space. This occurred at an IHOP (international house of prayer) event (which I was never a member or regular of but did visit a few times and learn about). Sadly, these people had been influenced by Toronto (et al. — and had twitches and so forth that they attributed to the Holy Spirit).

    Secondly, it is incorrect to say “[n]obody ever wants to go there” about everyone in this thread (except you). When I brought up (months or a year or more ago) my children who are native American from their father (who is not a hundred percent), you didn’t want to talk about that (or said you hadn’t been talking about my kids, which I already knew, though the French and Japanese and so forth are worthy of mention now). I think what I mentioned was a concept that they might pick if they want to be based in America or someplace else (concerning their other ancestors). I’ll now add, even I might (pick). As all my sons (or children, but I have no daughters) could be seen as spiritually inheriting (even if they or some of them don’t — while some do — own land by current law), maybe I stay or have some kind of base(s) with them in the Millenium. [Then again, I could have my own base or land (instead, or too).]

    Third, we don’t know a lot of things. As you’ve indicated, we don’t have revelation to clarify or define or set things a certain way now (not to mention the ability). So, that’s how it is. No hand wringing will change that; as no amount of seeing that gentile distinction doesn’t (or wouldn’t) undermine Jewish distinction would change it either. But I’m not against imagining and brainstorming. And I think it’s nice that some people want to stay in cultures they know when they get married (interesting the surprise also at the end of the latest Greek Wedding movie — my experience with the [various] Orthodox is that they raise their children the way they do things themselves, and know that their children can decide otherwise when they grow into the teen years).

    Fourth, I could be wrong (obviously), but how about an idea that nations and jewishness are watched over by God. And there are some people who have really stuck it out (whether sort of by chance or whether by very conscious decision) and others who get to opt back in? But as to Jews, those who are clearly* Jews (this is my belief as to prophecy) are the collective that will all be of one accord believing in Yeshua as a mark in time and the go-ahead for the future.
    * HaShem being the arbiter of the “hard lines” if any.

    Fourth, is it possible that “nations” in plural form, other than Israel, does in fact become euphemistic for all the peoples who anthropologically used to be numbered seventy? I think so (that it’s possible, not that it’s a sure thing). Also, I’m not sure I agree with your reason for the nations being scattered way back when. What you said is possible, but it’s also possible that God didn’t like what the people were doing at the Tower of Babel and scattered them (and language) for that reason alone, or also or even mainly because he wanted them to spread across the earth (which is my primary point of view).

    Finally (for now, as this is getting long), you may note that my notion of having bases with my sons is loosely biblical. I don’t know if anything like that will apply out here in America. Similarly, I will share something obscure to most people. According to Bible law, I cannot be married to my sons’ father (because of mitigating circumstances that I was not informed of as certain people were not as upstanding and honest as I would expect [thus I did marry him]). But, it is fine according to certain “Indian” practices (minus the trickery part, I’d assume).

    P.S. I don’t remember for sure if you included French in your choices, and I’m not looking back right now. If not, then, you can write this off as not what you’re talking about. But “fortitude” is not missing.

  28. I should clarify for anyone reading (partly because it’s a well-worn path for people to look down on particular minorities, as easy game whether in attitude or action, in other words, bigotry and racism, and partly just because I didn’t clarify or share the history) that my part-native American husband was never raised in native culture. He was assimilated, third generation. The process (before his generation, as he was fully assimilated and knew nothing else but white Christian culture which is what he functioned as) involved those schools for the Indian children, run by white Christian people with superiority complexes and a significant amount of hate. I only know some about native culture or laws (from before white people time) because I’ve done some reading, not because my husband knew anything about it or lived by any of it (I doubt he’s even read one book about it either). [The other person in on (and hatching) the plot I alluded to was in no way not white… a proud, cutting-edge woman with a degree, earning money, attending church and espousing the right politics (right wing conservatism, yet before it had taken hold of Republicans and metasticised).]

  29. Shavua Tov, Drake — You asked: “How would a hypothetical like that in which gentiles have eternal identities in G-d in any way undercut your covenants, your chosen-ness as the first standard-bearer of HaShem, or your claim to Land and Temple?”

    The answer is that if Israel is not the only exception, separate from the other families of earth, then it is not “chosen”. If it is not chosen, as indicated so fundamentally in the biblical revelation, then the entire biblical revelation is meaningless and unreliable. And that, my dear Drake, means that there is no gospel, no good news of redemption, no promise-keeping and self-revealing G-d, no future resurrection, so that you have no hope in the world (cif: Eph.2:12; 1Cor.15:13-19). That’s a pretty bleak set of consequences.

    You invoked a notion of eternal value for gentile identity. What makes you think that any particular gentile national identity should have eternal value? You certainly can’t derive such a notion from the Jewish scriptures. What you *can* derive from them is that individual humans have eternal worth. It is not their identity as gentiles that gives them worth; it is their identity as humans made in HaShem’s image.

    The only reason why even Jewish national identity has any value is because of HaShem’s choice and His personal investment in demonstrating redemption through us. It is not because we can claim any special merit of our own (viz: Deut.9:4-7). The value that HaShem has assigned to us will exist as long as the present heavens and earth endure, because the Torah will remain valid for that duration (viz: Mt.5:18), but in the new heavens and earth we may experience some different arrangements. Thus, one would be hard-pressed to claim “eternal value” even for Jewish national identity or the spiritually-rich culture that it represents.

    Are you looking to invent a gentile heritage that rivals the God-driven Jewish one? Is it so hard on you to acknowledge that HaShem chose someone other than you to place upon them His Name (i.e., His purposes of accomplishing redemption)? I must warn you — that kind of attention from the Creator of all things has its disadvantages as well as its benefits (viewed from a self-centered human perspective, that is). As Tevye complained in “Fiddler on the Roof”, while musing upon the persecutions suffered by Jews as the “Chosen People”: “Couldn’t You choose somebody else for a change?”. Nonetheless, given that HaShem made His choice long ago, with all its concomitant expectations and responsibilities, failing to accept that choice opens the door to the unpleasant consequences I listed above in my answer to your hypothetical question.

    If, on the other hand, a body of gentiles builds a culture on godly principles that they have embraced from the Jewish Torah revelation, then they become like the “b’nei nechar” cited in Is.56 who will not be dismissed or turned away or forgotten by HaShem. Rather, they will have an everlasting memorial, their sacrifices will be accepted on HaShem’s altar, and they shall rejoice in His house of prayer. Now, I suspect that such a culture among gentile nations will be supra-national rather than merely national. Their acceptance is not *because* of their “gentile identity” in general, nor because of any specific particular national identity, but rather because of their behavior — and they are so highly commended because such behavior is not a covenant obligation for them as it is for Jews. For them it is entirely volitional: above and beyond any legal requirements (though I’m sure HaShem has been hoping they would rise to the challenge).

    Similarly, Is.56 refers to “eunuchs”, which can be read metaphorically to identify individuals who embrace HaShem individually rather than as a collective culture. It has been noted that, in the gentile world at least, HaShem has no grandchildren. Individuals who embrace His salvation do so for their own benefit; and any physical children they produce must also embrace Him thusly. They cannot inherit their salvation automatically from their parents, even if they are trained from their earliest age. The best possible result of such training is that the children will mimic their parents to embrace HaShem directly as children rather than to benefit indirectly as grandchildren. The parents cannot produce saved children, but only candidates to become so — thus they may be compared to eunuchs who by definition cannot produce children. The best of gentile cultures, then, regardless of nationality, foster an environment in which the teaching of HaShem’s ways is common and familiar — so as to maximize the opportunities for individual members of those societies to choose personal dedication to HaShem via Rav Yeshua.

    In a previous post here, I discussed already that while gentile nations may distinguish themselves from one another, and even may vie with one another to become the best example of a redeemed society in relationship with HaShem, ultimately they will still be part of the collective concept “the nations”, while the Jewish people or nation remains distinct in its purpose and calling and destiny. This may not quite fulfill your desire for an eternal significance for “gentile identity”, but an Is.56 position is not something to be disdained.

  30. What I’m doing this month is reading a commentary on Amos. I didn’t start reading at the beginning of Elul; at the beginning of Elul, I was trying to choose a book with such a devoted commentary. As it turns out, I found one on both Jonah and Amos. It is the most Jewish one I could find on amazon. I, in fact, couldn’t at all find one that was Jewish and only addressing Amos there. I’m starting halfway through the book (since Amos is what I felt particularly drawn to for now). It is “Unusual Bible Interpretations” JONAH AND AMOS, by Israel Drazin. I was a little concerned when the return address on the package had to do with a “… Church Road” in the south, but looked up the publisher online — and it seems (without a great deal of research) to be okay.

  31. Drake,
    I’m looking back at what you wrote right before the part I quoted from you. I think it would be wrong of such a mother to refuse to bless a marriage between two Christians (when meaning that — Christian — in the best possible way rather than in the disappointed way I’ve pointed to as possible far too often). I know of a mother who didn’t want her Catholic daughter (in her thirties) to marry a Catholic man (in his thirties or forties) because one was from one area of Europe (before the family moved to the U.S.) while the family of the other was from Italy. They got married anyway, and had a fine daughter. [No, I’m not saying Catholicism is “the” best; I’m being theoretical.]

    Didn’t Paul say to marry someone of the faith (if possible… as in, if not already married to or responsible to someone not of faith)? That is, he said it when he wasn’t saying not to get married at all. (I don’t think he actually had things all figured out.)

    If we take identity too far, a Corinthian might have been prohibited from marrying an Ephesian based on nothing but location of birth (for imagined spiritual reasons — rather than some kind of logistics or practicality that could’ve been an obstacle or problem).

    I am seeing two main issues. One is words. If a leader says every nationality is a specific gift from God and that those many nationalities should remain something each to themselves (and that this should be actively obeyed by every person), then you want definitions in order to comply (when the leader may not have chosen his words well enough or even sorted out his thoughts sufficiently). Turns out all he meant was God likes diversity or even only I like variety. And that can lead to frustration that the leader isn’t being careful or concerned enough about those who are listening to him. (Isn’t uncommon, and not only in this subject area. Some people want to comply even though the teachers aren’t taking things as seriously for others.)

    Second is the human desire to know how one proceeds to walk in life anyway, even if there isn’t an array of requirements and rituals. [This can seem like something is missing. It can feel sad.] Especially if one has had a lot of tradition, what does one do if he finds out none of it is as necessary (if at all) as maybe some doctrinaire parents or teachers or priests insisted it was or bossy people wanted it to be? The necessity may itself be a “lie” (if it was said to be necessary), or there may be other lies that were tied in. I think the most basic thing is to decide not to lie (leaving “useful” lies behind). For instance, if you grew up being told Jesus was born at Christmas (and maybe that people who don’t say Merry Christmas are godless), you don’t say that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. Yet, it’s not inescapably bad to enjoy some songs or put up lights during the dark months of the year. I’ve randomly chosen an illustration, not meant to be most important or an important detail. Of course, too, it’s not inescapably bad to cease putting up a tree or singing “Silent Night” or buying a ham.

  32. Shavua Tov, PL. I might be unmarried, but I’m hardly a eunuch.

    It seems I have forced some admissions out of you, albeit at great effort. 1. Gentile culture is described in the Bible as fungible. 2. Gentiles must be furthest group from G-d by their very category; even believers. 3. Gentiles are inherently less holy to G-d. E.g. The Cohen Gadol is holier than a regular Levi, Levi is holier than a regular Israelite, Gentiles furthest out, saved or unsaved. Got it. 4. Closeness to G-d brings deeper reward and punishment. “To whom much is given…” 5. “G-d is saving Gentiles to vindicate Israel and keep Gentiles from the fire, not to preserve identity.”

    As I said before, many of the palliative statements made by MJ leaders in years past have really ground my gears because they seem to try vainly at cooling the sinking feeling of living in the shadow of someone else’s relationship. “Gentiles are equal heirs!” some I hear say. Other more traditional Jews I hear say things like “gentile identity is also from G-d and is precious to Him.” Or one of my favorites: “Paul wanted to preserve Gentile identity from assimilation into Judaism,” which is ludicrous. Paul wanted to spare the gentiles from Hell, not to preserve some identity as so many MJ rabbis prattle on. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how much of that is bandied about.

    However, in my reading of the Bible, I actually hold most the same conclusions that you do, PL. Those aforementioned 5 points we can both agree on. I’m not actually disputing it, as much as you keep wanting to cast this through the lens of jealousy (I would not want to live Jewish history anymore than you would). Instead, my beef is with MJ leaders not being honest with the terms. They should address gentiles in their crowd plainly and with no sugarcoating:

    “1. Your culture is of no lasting worth to G-d.
    2. Saved or unsaved, you will always be the furthest from G-d.
    3. You are the least holy of the Biblical categories, saved or unsaved.
    4. Your kind is held to lower spiritual expectations.
    5. Make up your faith.”

    “Now,” the Rabbi should say, “To all you gentiles: If you can wiggle your pride through that needle’s eye, then you have a share in the world to come.”

    People should be upfront about the Gospel terms. Being a gentile in this kingdom means abandoning your own feast and taking the furthest seat at someone else’s table. They should be apprised that this is the hard-scrabble life of “lugging the cross,” as it were. No varnish.

    “Are you looking to invent a gentile heritage that rivals the God-driven Jewish one?” -PL

    Not to “rival” anyone, but what other option are we left with than invention?

    “The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” – Isaiah

    The above verse speaks to another point of inconsistency I have to call out on this issue. People in this argument often oscillate between two opinions. 1. One opinion is that G-d “sees” nations as nations as the text often plainly says he does. This opinion is bolstered by modern NT theologians nudging gentiles toward collective salvation paradigms, plus all the verses mentioning the nations in the Messianic Age. 2. The other opinion is that G-d only “sees” gentiles as individuals. This is backed by G-d’s relative silence to the nations. When backed into a corner on this issue, many of the same people like to dip into both takes freely, hopping back and forth. Pick one or the other.

    I’m not asking whether or not it’s possible to usurp Israel. Perish the thought. I’m asking whether or not Gentiles in some future might be defined in G-d by something other than negation, or being “non-Jews.” You can’t be a non-people for ever in a kingdom, can you? If Egypt and Assyria made it, did they do it by dint of keeping pious and shielding their identities from erosion? Or did they just let it play out? Did G-d “care” that Egypt was preserved? And if he cared, than should Egyptians not intermarry?

    That, my friend, is why I believe Replacement Theology will not go as silently as MJ would hope. No race on the planet would like to tell their children that they are the product of chance, or that their culture is…fungible and passing. Or that they have to make up their faith. It’s woefully inconsistent, but it does not chase anyone with swarms of identity questions. And the answers you can tell your kids are clean, open and shut. “G-d loves you, G-d gave you Rome, Magisterium, and Sacrament through direct revelation, defining life for your people.”

  33. Hi, Drake — It seems to me that you are too much concerned with comparisons, such as who is holier-than-thou, and not sufficiently appreciative of the blessings available to “even the least of these my brethren”. What HaShem said to Rav Shaul (viz: 2Cor.12:9) can be applied to you as well: “My grace is sufficient for thee”. You might also do well to brush up your sense of metaphor, regarding the simile of a eunuch which I elaborated from Isaiah 56. Your item 5 about gentile salvation as fire insurance is certainly a misapprehension, but you are right that identity preservation was not an issue, nor a goal. Human behavioral and attitudinal redemption, both gentile and Jewish, has always been the issue and goal. Consequently you err if you think that I might ratify your 5 points. Likewise distorted is your 5-point summary of what you think MJ leaders should tell gentiles in their congregations. Your point 4 might be true enough, but point 5 about faith is outright wrong. Faith is the trust that should be a common denominator among all humans who turn to HaShem in repentance. Religious behavior, on the other hand, is somewhat variable. Point 1 might have some merit, only because it is so unspecific. It is not the existence or form of any culture that has lasting significance; but only specific elements of its content may be evaluated by HaShem’s standards. Points 2 and 3 are again foolish statements of comparison that obscure the notion of trust in HaShem’s care for all His creatures. The rabbis have already said that the righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come. If attaining that righteousness must include eliminating the puffiness of pride that makes it hard to wriggle through the eye of the proverbial needle that Rav Yeshua cited in Mt.19:4, Mk.10:25, and Lk.18:25, so be it. That’s a generic human issue, not an ethnic one. The reward, nonetheless, is certainly worthwhile.

    You offered a false dichotomy between the perspectives of how HaShem views individuals and how He views their national collectives, particularly in the cases of Egypt and Assyria. They are not inseparable — consequently an individual Egyptian is not required to remain an Egyptian, nor is he or she prohibited from intermarrying with any other nationality. The Egyptian-ness of Egypt in the prophecy you cited is not dependent on any sort of national, genetic, or cultural purity or consistency, but only on its geography and its politics as a neighboring state to Israel. Ditto for Assyria (or its modern counterpart Syria). The individual citizens are free to remain, or to depart to become citizens of some other locale. If they depart, of course, they (or, rather, their descendants) will no longer participate in the prophetic scenario described — but nowhere is it suggested or required that any individual should do either. Individual decisions to stay or go will not affect the ultimate existence of these two prophetic entities.

    You further misrepresent gentiles as “non-people” by exaggerating the term “non-Jew” as if it meant non-human or sub-human or second-class. That’s a very subtle, but not uncommon, slur against Jews that accuses us of denigrating the majority of humanity, of misanthropy, simply because we insist on being distinct from others as HaShem called us and chose us and appointed us to be. Nor does this insistence depict other peoples or their cultures as products of chance or accident. But you may have presented a valid point by suggesting that such misrepresentations play a part in trying to justify “Replacement Theology”, as a resistance against feelings of inadequacy and against the humility that really is necessary if one wishes to approach HaShem. If you wish to tell me that there is something wrong or insufficient about being merely human, I wish to tell you that you fail to understand the *glory* of being merely human, failing to understand that HaShem does not care any less for mere humans than He cares for the selected subset of them who are Jews. It is a mistake driven by pride and insecurity for gentiles to prop themselves up by claiming a direct alternative revelation of values such as: “Rome, Magisterium, and Sacrament”, for example. However, these are not the only false gods upon which various humans mistakenly place value in order to feel more important in the cosmological order.

  34. I really don’t know how replacement theology doesn’t “chase anyone with swarms of identity questions.” But I think (or hope) most of us know “Replacement Theology will not go as silently as MJ would hope.” We are not yet in the Millennium. Much error continues.

    {It might not even go silently during the Millenium. But we will have clear authority in place at that time to deal with it PROPERLY.}

    Drake (from earlier): …. [we read a Bible that shows] vague future preservation for a plurality of nations, admonishes nations not to assimilate into Israel, and yet at the same time this crowd is shocked into outrage that the boundaries of nationalism could enter the debate for Gentiles-to-Gentile relations as well.

    Sadly, I don’t think any of these questions have answer outside revelation. While I would never defend One Law, Bilateralism seems to ignore deep and massive sociological fissures that appear when we carry the gospel’s world order to its logical conclusion.

    I don’t know that it has to ignore (while it can be shown that some people do try to ignore) so much as overcome when possible. Now how do we overcome? Does it mean defeat or exterminate those who are different from us, or recognise and yet love and respect and allow? This is what I see, for instance, as the goal (and increasingly) of the United States (at its best, although we/it/she has at times, sometimes at long extents, failed). We go beyond allowing different expressions of faith in Christ (a term which obviously already as seen in history incudes a bias even amongst those with allegiance to the One authority for the coming Millenium [which time span or kingdom, additionally, not all who supposedly concede to his authority even recognise] which Millenium is generally repudiated in Christianity). We also allow different expressions of faith in God and even no conviction of faith (as well as no faith in any god/s). Yes, there are deep and massive sociological fissures in reality, including with “Bilateralism.”

  35. Shavua Tov, Marleen — It occurs to me that “sociological fissures” are not limited to any particular view of “world order”. Why, we have sociological fissures even within the nation of Israel, and within the larger Jewish world — and we are not all that numerous, even as a supposedly unified people still recovering from a massive genocidal assault. If we figure out a solution to the problem, we’ll be sure to let the rest of the world know about it, in the hope that they, too might apply it to their own many fissures. So far, though, it is the opinion of prior rabbis that at least part of the solution is to be found in general widespread recognition that humanity is at its base all descended from the same family of Adam. In fact, even beyond that, everyone now alive is descended from the single family that survived the great flood. This is why the general moral principles for humanity as a whole are called Noahide laws, after the name of Noah the ark-builder.

    Nonetheless, it seems that a lot of folks misunderstand the notion of one-ness or unity as if it meant uniformity, as if it meant that everyone had to be the same. When they find out that people are not all the same, they then over-react — either to try to enforce sameness in a totalitarian manner, or in the opposite direction of forming cliques where everyone within the clique tries to be the same while excluding anyone who tries to be different. Entire nations may succumb likewise to a version of the same sort of madness relative to other nations.

    Consequently, I might suggest that sociological fissures are the result of a general human behavioral disorder rather than a philosophical view such as the notion of Jewish chosen-ness or of ecclesial bilateralism. In my last post I suggested that insecurity might play a significant role, resulting in national pride as an over-compensation to provide a sense of justification for isolation from other nations that might challenge or compete for the presumed prize of superiority. I pointed out HaShem’s biblical warning to Jews not to think that their chosen-ness or success was due to their own power or merit. Holiness in the sense of separateness or distinction is not to be confused with superiority — though the pursuit of righteousness that was intended to accompany it can result in a true rising above the base conditions into which humanity has tended to drive itself in its departure from HaShem’s highest aspirations for it. That is not, however, intended to generate competition or division between nations. It is intended to provide to humanity an example that guides everyone toward betterment.

  36. Good day, PL.
    Yes, that would be my point. I appreciate your elaboration. I sometimes think a conclusion is obviously drawn from the pieces I’ve stated. I may be mistaken. But “error” has a clear meaning.

    It can be difficult to grasp a main point (or an array of solid points) from Drake, as he vascilates on what he seems to be saying (as much as he says others do so). [I can wonder why. Is he in confused pain but truly meaning well? A real possibility (and I lean that way). Or is he, as you’re leaning, trying to find a way to feel superior?] If I just take him at the surface of a latter statement, it surely is true that Replacement Theology won’t be going away soon.

    But it also looks like he finds that acceptable in an ostensibly positive sense. Yet I don’t find “useful” lies useful. Depends on what your priorities are, I guess — or values, bottom line. We have to drop the lies. It’s not enough to say the name Jesus. Jesus did what was uncomfortable. He’s not all about “w-i-n-n-i-n-g!” And it’s wrong to be all about Jesus and my politicians or army [or maybe my outstanding wisdom and a take-over of my country or… who knows… just look at the history of the Church]. Drop that mess.

    I really don’t know how a conclusion of replacement theology solving a problem of perceived chaos or lack over identity of nations is reached after the other things Drake himself and others have said. I just don’t see it. And it’s not there to see, or maybe he could explain what he’s getting at — or maybe acknowledgments that leaders can be confusing and that fissures are here to stay are it. Okay.

    It is true that leaders too often don’t say things in clear ways and can send people in various or joint wrong directions and then wonder what’s wrong with those people (for listening to what was said). This happens within worship environments as well as other settings (including ideological ventures and even homes).

    I should add that it may seem at times that what I say doesn’t fit together. Life is complicated. But I hope we all want to acknowledge our own such instances. (Some people are more willing and self-aware, while others just really aren’t.)

    Finally, it might help for me to say my last two posts — at least — were written and posted before seeing you had posted and what you posted. I wholeheartedly agree with your statement about the glory of being human. I also like that you referenced the nations near, geographically, to Israel. As it turns out, the commentator (and translator) for the book Amos that I’m reading talks about that too.

    It might feel like God paying so much attention to Israel and the nation’s surrounding Israel means those living elsewhere aren’t so important. But that’s not true. I don’t know, yet, how we explain that. But I do think we ALL can tell our children “God loves you.”

  37. P. 79
    Amos’ critique of the northern nation of Israel is, in essence, that the nation misunderstands God’s will. ….

    In chapters 1 through 2:5, Amos tells the inhabitants of the northern kingdom of Israel that all seven of their neighbors did wrong and God will destroy them. Israel is no different. It will also be destroyed because of their behavior, which will be detailed beginning from 2:6.

    P. 83
    Amos begins his accusations against Damascus because Damascus was Israel’s greatest enemy during his day, and does not begin his reproaches with Israel for had he done so, Israel would have closed their ears (Ehrlich).

    P. 76
    Students of Amos differ concerning his message. 8
    [On to P. 77] 8. Commenting on the obscurity of most of Amos’s sayings, Henry McKeating writes, “Amos seems to specialize in these fragmentary pictures, whose lack of clarity makes them all the more menacing” (Amos, Hosea, Micah, Cambridge Bible Commentary [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971], 60).
    There are two major views. One is that he berated his people for idol worship. The other is that Amos, as Jonah, was insisting that God is not the deity of Israel alone, but of the entire universe, and people need to act properly…. While I believe the second is correct, I will present both views and will show why the text can support….

    I, and many others, feel that Amos…. insisted that the Israelites had ignored the fact that privilege requires responsibility.

    Significantly, neither he nor any of the prophets who prophesied in Israel denounced the king and the people for worshiping at a temple [not the Temple in Jerusalem] where calves may have been worshiped. And many scholars are convinced that he did not ever criticize the king and population for not observing Torah.9
    [On P. 78] 9. See commentary to 2:4.

    P. 86
    Five neighboring nations are criticized in chapter 1 and promised punishment. Two more are mentioned in [chapter 2], including the brother nation Judea — seven in all, a number chosen because it is used often in scripture and represents completeness, just as the world was completed in seven days.

    …. After mentioning the seven, Amos castigates the nation of Israel using the same phraseology….

    Amos’s critiques throughout this book center on improper behaviors: violations of social justice and disrespect for other humans. Here, Amos ignored the many times that Moab devastated Israel by their constant incursions and said instead that God was displeased with how the Moabites treated the corpse of the king of Edom.

    P. 88
    …. So said the Lord: “For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not reverse it; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, as their fathers walked.
    [Judah includes Jerusalem, and,
    at that time, an actual Temple.]

    [Earlier on P. 88] Arguably… chapter 1 of Amos should end with 2:5 so that chapter 1 would deal with Israel’s seven neighbors and chapter 2 would start with 2:6, which deals with Israel itself.

    {I have been quoting from the book I said
    I’m reading, by Israel Drazin.}

  38. Marleen, Margareth, Drake and PL
    Peace be to all and a good health.
    The quotation on Romans by Paul does not apply in literal meaning, because there is a right application which Paul base it according to the Will Plan of God. Because the message of Paul was referring to the Covenanted Messianic Israelites only. That’s why, this was accomplishly reported by John in Rev. 7:1-8 & 14:1-5, that these were all the accounted for Recipients of that message. So, these Messianic Call Out have RECIEVED THE COMPLETE BAPTISM of KNOWING THE SON’S NAME and the FATHER’S NAME. So, there is No problem with the Israeli people because what we all have read in the Bible were all God’s Testament and Covenantal Word address to the Covenanted People of Israel, so i see no problem with that. Because Paul has TWO MEANING of the gentile term in his letter in SUPPORT TO THE EXCLUSIVITY OF THE COVENANT TO ISRAEL: One, Paul refer it to the 10 North Kingdom of Israel (that was separated in the House of Judah at that time) and this is a form of calling them that can be also redeemed and be saved because they are part of the Promise Covenant of God to their forefathers. And this is the so called the Fullness of the gentiles to be accounted for in the whole 2000 years of the Messianic Period, Rev. 7:1-8 & Rev. 14:1-5. And the 2nd meaning is of the still Two accursed tribes of Dan & Efraim, that was also excluded but was not cut off in the Messianic Sealing made by Yeshua Messiah alone, which Paul called them as “wild branches”, that can be grafted to the natural olive tree or Israel, because they were also the Left Seeds of God’s Last Ultimate Covenant or Parousia Period for the completion of the Whole New Covenant Plan of God to their forefathers. But there is also hope of being redeem and be save for the literal gentile people as explain by A. Paul and A. John in their concluding revelation in the Plan of God, read Rom. 9:1-33, 11:1-36, 1Cor. 15:50-55, 1Tes. 4:1-8 & Rev. 7:1-18.
    LOVE: New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  39. PL:

    “If you wish to tell me that there is something wrong or insufficient about being merely human, I wish to tell you that you fail to understand the *glory* of being merely human…”

    Jared from Subway is human. Lindsay Lohan is human. Charles Manson is made in the image. It’s a statement about all of us that is so ubiquitous it seems meaningless in practice. Everyone gets a trophy means nobody does. It’s more of a statement of biological fact or civil rights than it is an answer for life moving ahead.

    “That’s a very subtle, but not uncommon, slur against Jews that accuses us of denigrating the majority of humanity, of misanthropy, simply because we insist on being distinct from others as HaShem called us and chose us and appointed us to be. Nor does this insistence depict other peoples or their cultures as products of chance or accident.”

    I did not denigrate anyone, PL. Don’t put that in my mouth. Far be it from me. I’m very happy that you can lay tefillin and daven. I’m rooting for you to win your gilded city. But to describe gentiles as fungible before the Throne (the one place it counts) seems to render them a non-people; an incoherent and unestablished scattering of loosely affiliated individuals. I did not say “subhuman.” A worldview that says that all nations are spiritually interchangeable with other nations before the Throne flatly undermines peoplehood. Hence my choice in terminology. Furthermore, holiness is stratified in the Bible. There is no way around that fact.

    But the strata are not really what haunt me about the whole Master Plan. What nettles me is that 7 billion humans have to essentially “make up” their own faith. Random forces. How can any of it be legitimate? And all along, Rabbis keep insisting carelessly that G-d holds Gentile identity as “precious” when I see no clear indication that he does. This sends terribly mixed messages.

    For all its literature, art, and pageantry, I could never return to church, because American Christianity is a political sideshow and High Church is a made-up core of practices. It seems alien now, and by its very design disjunct from its own holy book no matter how it’s reformed.

    Alternatively, my orthodox friends admonished me to abandon Yeshua and convert (one even tried to set me up with a frum gal from out of state). That would be an easy route, but renouncing would incur more wrath than I already have coming.

    In MJ, we essentially sit in the risers and watch other people practice their revealed faith, knowing full well that G-d doesn’t even care if our kids attend. There’s nothing to pass on. In Lamentations, Exodus, and the Creation, there seems to be a theme of “there was no space for us.”

    PL: In all of our discussions I’ve never impugned your motives. You seem to think that folks who raise these questions are stubborn, insecure, or overweening. Have I ever spoken of you this way?

    But since we’re getting personal, I confess my faith is running on fumes right now. Terms like “random” and “fungible” have come to replace the sturdy pillars that once undergirt the wider world in my mind. Amid a book of covenants and promises, I see the only thing linking me to the World to Come is my own perseverance to believe. All of this leaves me feeling very far from G-d, and far in a way very fundamental and integral to my being. Yet I also know that I’m incredibly distant from Him through any cocktail of pride, slowness to understand, unreal expectations, and overwrought anxieties. To balance this, I’ve made a Mussar practice of trying to develop bitachon. I utter “G-d is good” seven times during prayer. I am truly hoping that this Elul G-d will lead me to truly, truly integrate that truth (assuming, of course, that He has Elul-thoughts for Gentiles).

    Maybe my expectations were too soaring. Maybe I was an idealist. Maybe I was enamored with Torah and watched it flutter away on golden wings. Maybe I’m dull and can’t think around corners. Maybe I’m the wicked and lazy servant who buried the pittance with which he was entrusted. Maybe I’m ungrateful Barabbas. Maybe this Yom Kippur I will play Azazel. Maybe everything you surmise about me as you type your measured rebuttals is true.

    Have a blessed Elul, PL. Although prickly, you seem like a stand-up guy.

    L’Shanah Tova, in case we don’t chat between now and then.

  40. Hi, Drake — I would challenge your statement that “7 billion humans have to essentially “make up” their own faith.”. You see, it is not faith or trust in HaShem that is up for grabs. That’s the fundamental universal requirement that is a given. It is their religious response to such faith that requires careful formulation, because it is this response that will affect their behavior and outlook, for better or worse. It is variations of such responses that will tend to form the boundaries of culture and peoplehood. The qualities of the resulting culture are what give meaning to such peoplehood. It is not worthless merely because it wasn’t handed down ready-made from heaven. I seem to remember offering a previous response about the negative effects of human misbehavior on what I invoked as an intrinsic glory in mere humanity, so you needn’t lump together “Jared from Subway [whom I presume seems fairly ordinary]…Lindsay Lohan…[and] Charles Manson”. I don’t know that any of these examples actually ever began to act upon a decision of faith in HaShem that could serve as a foundation for the above discussion about developing a suitable religious response and a corresponding sense of meaningful peoplehood — assuming that there might be some benefit to dividing the gentile majority segment of humanity into sub-segments. Of course, these examples of yours already imply a subdivision between those gentiles who attempt to pursue righteousness and those who don’t. [Hmmm… that sounds to me like the beginning of one of those jokes about “There are only two kinds of people in the world…”, of which I think my favorite is the one that says: “There are only two kinds of people in the world…those who try to divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t”.]
    [:)]
    Now, it might be suggested that the nature of faith favors optimism over pessimism, a view that the glass is half-full rather than half-empty. Consequently, notions like “no space for us” or “nothing to pass on” seem unjustified, especially if one tries to extend that in any degree to conclude that HaShem doesn’t care about what events are attended by one’s children. However, not too long ago Dr.Stuart Dauermann wrote an “Interfaithfullness” blog essay inveighing against the practice of “audience spirituality”, whereby people “sit in the risers and watch other people practice their revealed faith” and thus fail to exercise their own personal interaction with HaShem. One MJ organization of which I am aware, FFOZ, has actually published liturgy materials that incorporate alternative versions of traditional Jewish prayers alongside the traditional version, but re-phrased to reflect the perspective of a non-Jewish participant in a Jewish venue. Of course, this technique addresses only a small portion of the need for a wider cultural development that actualizes gentile expressions of faith that are informed by Torah perspectives (as one should expect if the expectation implicit in Acts 15:21 were heeded).

    May you also be inscribed for a good year, as one of the gentiles in the Lamb’s book of life (extrapolating from Yohanan’s vision that those registered there also undergo periodic review).

  41. http://forward.com/news/348988/in-nigeria-messianic-jews-join-contest-for-souls-of-lost-tribe/?utm_content=daily_Newsletter_MainList_Title_Position-1&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Daily%202016-09-25&utm_term=The%20Forward%20Today%20Monday-Friday

    Messianic Jews don’t generally believe in a lost tribes theory, and aiming for such folks on that basis. But I guess the competition on both sides isn’t a bad thing (no matter which way people go). At east as long as the two “sides” don’t get ugly.

  42. Sorry, forgot to mention… I think that’s what Mark Santos is working with (some perception of ten tribes).

  43. I am just bone-weary of being jacked around by religious thinking. It’s all completely subjective and based on the presumption of scriptural authority. There is no way to ‘prove’ a spiritual assertion since it can’t be falsified.

    I think I will just toddle off and be an average Joe.

    We will see how God deals with average Joes on Judgement Day I guess.

  44. Marleen
    We understand your part presently, but what we have already shared in this blog is the proper observance needed to know that tbe New Covenant Plan of God and its DISPENSATIONAL Covenant Application were applied to those Promise Covenantal People of Israel by God (note: the Exclusivity). So, we can not change this New Covenant Plan of God in any other way.
    May our living lord God Bless us all
    LOVE: New Jeruzalem-Holy City

  45. While it’s true, Steve, that it is difficult to falsify a “spiritual assertion”, because cause and effect are neither unambiguous nor immediate, it is possible to validate a spiritual effect resulting from a spiritual assertion. Of course, I have no idea to what “spiritual assertions” or “religious thinking” you refer, so it’s rather hard to say what effects you could be considering or trying to observe.

    As for being “jacked around”, have you been suffering from exposure to too many contradictory opinions? Sometimes the remedy for that is to obtain additional information by which to evaluate the quality of the opinions in question. However, with sufficient information, you may no longer be able merely to “toddle off” and remain just “an average Joe” — but your chances for a positive outcome on Judgment Day might be significantly increased.

  46. I suppose there’s something of a language or “translation” barrier, Mark, but I’m not sure how your earlier post and my post and your latest post dialogue with each other. But I do have one specific question: Do you consider yourself Messianic while DISPENSATIONAL? (Also, are we to understand you’re living in Jerusalem?)

  47. Correction to my Sep. 25, 2:16pm
    “…at least as long…”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Steve,
    I think “average Joes” will do okay.
    Maybe even well, if they maintain integrity.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PL (and others),

    Jared (of Subway notoriety) is not average or unremarkable.

    He maybe seemed like he was, but then he secretly-not-so-secretly stepped out of that claim to fame. (I’m sure you’re simply less aware of current pop culture/news, not living here, PL, in the U.S.)

  48. Honestly speaking marleen, you are right that we have a barrier and opposite in our scriptural understanding, due to the facts that many did not acknowledge the meaning and its application of God’s Testamented /Covenantal Word addressed only to the Covenantal people of Israel. And the right way to recognize God Covenant is through time table setting or dispensation period alloted to every covenant of God to the Israeli people only.

    And about the Time Table Setting in the Plan of God, which is explained by John in Rev. 20:5-6, this mentioned 1st Resurrected people are the House of Judah in the first 1000 years and the another 1000 years to the House of Israel or the 10 North Kingdom for the completion of the 2000 years of finished Messianic Sealing by Yeshua Messiah alone without any help support of any religion, which already took end since last 1993, representing as the “Last Day Covenant” was fulfilled. And After this comes follow the Transition of the “Night Covenant” or the “Hour Judgment of God” which already happening in this our present “Parousia Period” or the “2nd advent of the Son of Man,” that begins in 1994 to date, which is set in “ONE HOUR in God Count”, and this period of the Parousia is reserved for the “gathering (by caught in the cloud procedure) of the EXCLUDED or LEFT SEEDS,” which were the accursed two tribes of Dan and Ephraim according to A. Paul and A. John. Because of being also a Covenantal people. And to this will complete the Promise Covenant of God to Avraham, which have been accomplished by God to all Jacob’s righteous seeds or Israelites.

    About asking us, if we are a Messianic, note the Covenant Plan of God. That the Messianic Covenant was applied only to the Chosen Call Out Israelites. So, we are in this Parousia or the 2nd Advent of the Son of Man believer, in updating compliance to the Will Plan of God. So, there is no more another day or a 1000 years that will follow after the Messianic Period, what for its being called Last Day Covenant of the Messianic, if there is a 1000 years or a Day to follow, as believe by other religions!

    May our living lord God Bless us all. 

    LOVE : New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  49. Thank you, Marleen, for your update on US pop culture of which I was unaware. Now that you mention it, I think I did once see a commercial for Subway (more than five years ago), featuring an attendant whose name might have been Jared, though I don’t remember for certain. You are correct that when I responded to Drake, I did not remember or think of this fictional character Jared, and so I guessed that his was a name simply picked at random to represent an ordinary or average individual.

  50. I’m sorry to have ignored this conversation for so long. I have peeked in from time to time, but didn’t feel I had anything to add. The conversation effectively ended on the 13th but was revived on the 23rd, and I decided I’d better review it again.

    I’ve only skimmed all of the comments, but found three things that caught my attention:

    Drake: Fair enough. But ultimately then, what is gentile identity worth? What eternal value does it then have?

    PL: What makes you think that any particular gentile national identity should have eternal value?

    Drake: Saved or unsaved, you will always be the furthest from G-d.

    The theme of “what are Gentiles worth to God” comes up from time to time in the Messianic and Hebrew Roots realms. The idea that God specifically called Israel out from the nations of the world, gave them the Torah, gave them Israel, and dwelt among them is bound to create an inferiority complex among at least some people who aren’t Jewish.

    Christianity has solved this problem (I’m generalizing to the extreme here) by inventing replacement theology, basically taking Israel’s place in all of the covenant promises and throwing the Jewish people out of their own party.

    Those of us, we Gentiles, who are disciples of Yeshua and have a specific Messianic/Hebrew Roots perspective, one that rejects replacement theology and all its variants, sometimes encounter the very human concern of not being among those called out, as Israel has been and is. Where is our “specialness?” Don’t we count? Are we just the riff raff in God’s Kingdom?

    In fact, we are indeed called out, not from the nations as such, since I’m still a citizen of America and have no rights to make aliyah to Israel, but from the “ways” of the nations. We Gentiles have been called out to accept the reality of the God of Israel, that we are created beings, just like the Jewish people, and that we each have a mission in life.

    Aish.com published an article called Knowing Your Life Matters which I think is relevant. Sure, it’s written by and for Jews, but if you believe that your conception and birth wasn’t a random occurence, and that God specifically created you as you, then you matter as a Gentile.

    Yeshua ordered his Jewish disciples to make disciples of every nation (Matthew 28:16-20). Why would he do that if he didn’t consider Gentile discipleship important.

    Yeshua specifically commissioned Paul (Rav Shaul) to be his emissary to the Gentiles (Acts 9), and Paul suffered immensely throughout the rest of his life on Earth to carry out his mission to us. Why would Yeshua and Paul do that if we Gentiles weren’t important to God.

    It is important to God that as many Gentiles as possible listen to the Good News of Messiah and respond by coming to devotion to our Master and worshipers of Israel’s God. Since we have no covenant standing before the Almighty as Israel does, this is the only mechanism by which we can be redeemed. This is a function of God’s grace and mercy that stands outside the covenants and yet allows we Gentiles who come to faith and obedience to share in the blessings of the vast majority of the covenant promises.

    We too have a share in the Holy Spirit, a place in the world to come, a seat at the great banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matthew 8:11).

    Our praxis may not be as well defined as that of the Jewish people, but as PL said, there are materials available that allow us to participate in a Hebraic style of worship that does not intrude into Jewish community space.

    Beyond the praxis is the relationship with God. Particularly for those of us who do not have a faith community, we still are valued and accepted by God. Yes, only Israel has a covenant relationship with God, but God also values non-Jewish human beings. He’s certainly developed a plan that includes us, so why do we feel the need to complain?

  51. We are not in the religion group, for Yeshua always advices in Jn.5:20-30 & Rev. 18:4-16, calling all the people to “come out from their religion” which he called them “graveyard or cemetary and merchandize religion!” Because they were teaching in the wrong faith or not in conformity to the Will Plan of God.

    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem-Holy City

  52. Well, Revelation 18 does talk about coming out of idolatry but that’s not the same as religion. Since we live on the edge of both Christianity and Judaism, we too participate in one way or another in a religious form. Religion is the interpretation and practice of how we understand the Word of God.

  53. Peace be to you and a good health.
    James, here are our response on your comment in Sept. 27, 2016
    The value of gentiles in this present period or to date is to conform accordingly and in conformity to the Will Plan of God. But this task is not so simple way to do it? It takes a lot of deep understanding and analization by accepting first to what, to whom, to where and especially when (faith observance according to dispensation period) God addresses all his Testamented/Covenantal Word applied in the scriptures and must know all the commandments and prohibitions accordingly to its scriptural context base on the New Covenant Plan of God. Without these formulation, the readers, researchers, followers, supporters and even the believers will end up in generalizing all the scriptural writings of the Bible, especially the NT Gospels, as what we have shared previously.

    The purpose of the driven life when it comes to observance of faith of the literal gentiles is TO UPDATE PERSONALLY and accordingly to what specific mandate of God was given (although it was concealed before (Mt. 24:36), and now we are sharing it in this present Parousia Period). And again, we already have shared the Will Plan of God in this Blog for the PURPOSE OF KNOWING that there is a right way in acknowledging and recognizing first the Original Application of the Plan of God to the Chosen Israeli People. And we must understand what A. Paul meaning of gentile term, is the 10 North Kingdom of Israel that were still separated at the time of the Messianic Period, and the “Left Seeds” mention by Paul are referring to the Accursed Two Tribes of Dan & Efraim that was excluded to the Messianic Sealing (Rev. 7:1-8) but was not cut off but becomes wild branches that can be GRAFTED AGAIN, to complete the New Covenant Plan of God as Promised Covenant to their forefathers. Because they were also a Covenantal People of Israel and these are the people TO BE RE-GATHER IN THIS PERIOD OF THE PAROUSIA or the 2ND ADVENT OF THE SON OF MAN.

    There is also many values of important use of the literal gentile people in the creation of the New Covenant Plan of God, that many people do not know. For God have already prepared many ways and means to any person (Israelites and gentiles), although we dont know what God have it prepared for everyone (for not seriously reading the Word of God). But the Plan is very clear ot its application of faith in its Covenants, as a mandatory requirement they must comply and be observe to the believers, that will prove to God their True Allegiance of their faith is really being followed! Thou can check this simple information in the concluding revelation letter made by A. Paul and A. John about the New Covenant Plan of God, that will happen in the Night Covenant Period or the 2nd Advent of the Son of Man which is now our present period in Rom. 9:1-33, 11:1-36, 1Cor. 15:50-53, 1Tes. 4:1-18 & Rev. 7:1-18, and in here thou will know the Redemption unto Salvation of the literal gentiles in “Great Multitude” and who do you think are these people they are referring nowadays???

    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem-Holy city

  54. What for is the comment of Yeshua Messiah on the religion as a cemetary and calling the believers dead in faith, if the religion is really true or legal to Yeshua Messiah? Because especially in the Messianic Period of Yeshua, it is mandatorily imposed that there is “no mediator between man and God except Yeshua Messiah, read Jn. 14:6 & 1 Tim. 2:5. Don’t you know or see that every religion have priest, pastor, minister, rabi, imam and others. Is this not a transgression to God’s New Covenant Plan that any person can mediate to God? And this is now the problem of many believers in those many religion, for not reading and not knowing the Plan of God especially in the NT books.

    This is not to discriminate and criticize them but we only giving this true information, so that they may update in accordance to the Will Plan of God. For God is observing to every believers of their full allegiance to his Will Plan.
    LOVE: New Jeruzalem-Holy City

  55. Drake, I was looking back over some of the comments and want to reply on these words: Do not even pagans do that?

    http://www.thechurchofnopeople.com/2011/12/even-the-pagans-do-that/
    I am giving this link to illustrate how people get hung up on odd specifics.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A46-47&version=NIV
    If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? …. 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? ….
    This is how Yeshua said it.

  56. Hi, Marleen — Your link about “pagans” was interesting, though it failed to address the mores of the real pagans to whom Rav Yeshua referred. The context of this essay was post-modern, post-Christian American mores and customs, and it failed to identify which aspects of Christian tradition still reflect ancient pagan attitudes or practices that have carried forward from the days of the Roman Empire via its legacy of Roman Imperial Christianity.

    The essay’s exhortation for Christians to be distinctively different from their surrounding culture, by being somehow more obviously moral, generous, compassionate, wise, or what-have-you, is commendable. But in a society that has previously been significantly redeemed and built upon biblical principles, even if it is now in a state of decline, being “different” may not be the best means of communicating how one should pursue godliness.

    I had a conversation just a few hours ago with someone who felt that Jewish messianists in Israel needed to keep themselves deliberately different from other Jews, especially orthodox ones, lest by blending-in or integrating themselves “too much” into Israeli religious society they or their children would lose any motivation to uphold Rav Yeshua’s distinctive value — especially in the face of potential persecution by those friends and neighbors whose view of Rav Yeshua is uninformed and mistaken. It seems to me that the problem is virtually the same. Rav Yeshua’s disciples need to evaluate just what it is that they can contribute to the society around them, and how to communicate it. I suggest that trying deliberately to be different is the wrong way to go about it. It is placing a symptom or effect before the event that might cause it.

    Rav Yeshua’s disciples probably *will* seem different, though sometimes that difference may seem quite subtle — especially to those who don’t really understand what they’re looking at — but it should not be a primary goal in itself. What his disciples *should* aim for is to become spiritually wise and mature in HaShem’s attitudes and outlook, to “seek first the kingdom of heaven”. Armed with a perennial consciousness of HaShem as an ever-present Father and King and Redeemer, Rav Yeshua’s disciples may well seem different, and their behavior and outlook will be biblically informed and guided. Their advice to some may be to change significantly; to others, perhaps, only minor education may need to be offered. Consider Rav Yeshua’s compliment to one young “scribe” (probably also a Pharisee), in Mk.12:34, that he was “not far from the kingdom of G-d”. I perceive many in Israel as having that much understanding and being close to HaShem’s heavenly kingdom, thus needing only adjustments to their understanding of the advantages that Rav Yeshua can bring to their outlook. Those with whom I was conversing, regrettably, were thinking of rather worse examples that also can be found in Israeli religious circles. Rav Yeshua had some unpleasant conversations with folks of their ilk as well; but that did not stop him from instructing his disciples to obey the authoritative teachings of the scribes and Pharisees as a general rule, and that his disciples should be even more diligent than them if they were intending to be entering into the kingdom of heaven. Consequently it seems to me that Jewish disciples following Rav Yeshua’s instructions would likely appear at least as “orthodox” as the scribes and Pharisees of his day, not unlike Rav Shaul the “Pharisee of Pharisees”. Their difference, if any, would be in less visible matters of the heart. I suspect that something similar might hold true for American Christians who wish to live as Rav Yeshua’s gentile disciples. Their pursuit of righteous behavior might not seem much different from any others whose behavior is commendable. It may be hoped that righteousness in their hearts will touch others also to embrace Rav Yeshua and to learn why this is beneficial.

  57. I agree with you, PL. That’s why I said people can get hung up on odd specifics. I like that, in the comments section at that link, the person who wrote the opening article was receptive to not being so hung up in the particular matter he’d boiled things down to.

    Then I shared the Bible passage and link to show how different the instructive focus really is if we see when Yeshua said the thing about being better than pagans [if in fact that is the right translation for the word — but the translation is not my point].

    We could also plug in the word Samaritans
    or any number of things,
    if appropriate and not just bigoted.

    I had considered posting this earlier,
    but I had to go do something else.

    This is another angle on considering it.

    Ezekiel 16

    “As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “Sodom, your sister and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done.
    49”Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.
    50″Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.
    51″Furthermore, Samaria did not commit half of your sins, for you have multiplied your abominations more than they. Thus you have made your sisters appear righteous by all your abominations which you have committed.
    52″Also bear your disgrace in that you have made judgment favorable for your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. Yes, be also ashamed and bear your disgrace, in that you made your sisters appear righteous.…

  58. This terminology of being “more in the right” than another is said (in humility) by Judah after he has gone and taken advantage of a prostitute (that is, availed himself of desired service) who turns out (as learned later when she’s clearly pregnant) to be his daughter-in-law that he should have allowed to be with his third son.

    — Gen. 38

  59. In America, Christians are teaching not to do what Jesus said (or what HaShem made clear matters greatly). This is partly because they don’t understand what Jesus said [but they don’t get off the hook that easily]. In a recent conversation, someone who is actually generally a nice and considerate person (with observed exceptions) was saying that if we did what Jesus said we would all give away everything we have. Therefore, it was supposed to be obvious that the alternative is to be a hard-line so-called conservative — no minimum wage considerations, no understanding that people need to eat and live; nothing. If you can’t shut up and accept a wage that doesn’t feed your family, then you certainly won’t get anything at all. Get over it. But is that how God sees nations (wherever nations may exist)?

  60. Hello guys, Peace be to all and a good health.
    Drake, thou got the highest point of interest to know the true fate of the literal gentile people, for assuming that God have also value to non Jewish human being. And God have certainly develop a Plan that include us gentiles (and who do you think can complain?). Its very true Drake, God have really did develop a Plan (but only unknown to all Bible scholars). So, the literal gentiles have this share to the Promise Covenant of God to Avraham thru the righteous seeds of Jacob. And this was elaborated in the very parable style interpolation in the concluding revelation letters of A. Paul and A. John about the Ultimate Night Covenant or the Parousia Period in the Plan of God, Rom 9:1-33, 11:1-36, 1Cor. 15:50-53, 1Tes. 4:1-18 & Rev. 7: 1-18..

    And on Rom. 9:3, about the “accursed” mention by A. Paul and those that were “put into the spirit of slumber” in Rom. 11:8, the revelation was referring it to the two accursed tribes of Dan and Efraim, for being still excluded (but was not totally cut-off) in the “Day of the Messianic Sealing” that WORK OUT ALONE by Yeshua Messiah without any help contribution by any religion, read Rev. 7:1-8.. But unknown to many scholars, when Jacob give his prophetical blessing to Efraim in Gen. 48:19, for God have already prepared this New Developing Plan on the improvement of the character of the heathen or the gentile people using those Two accursed tribes of Dan and Efraim, by intermarriage or crossbreeding with the gentile people. In spite of even punishing them in to captivity/exiles and punishing them further by God in to their dispersion in different gentile nations since OT Period unto this present Parousia Period or the 2nd Advent, which really took a very long generation period of their intermingling unto their intermarriage with SOME literal gentile people, either Arab nations, Americans, Canadians, European nations, Asian nations and others! And this were now are SOME of the Results of their intermarriage. The original figures of these Dan and Efraim people WERE NOW ALL CHANGED INTO A “CROSSBREED PEOPLE!” And this is now their present natural and physical appearance, which were now representing SOME of their figures as a Arab nations, Americans, Canadians, European nations, Asian nations and others. And this is the results that will happen to the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophetical blessings given to Efraim in Gen. 48:19 (and to Paul on Rom. 9:29, appreciate this God Plan on Dan and Efraim).

    And this was also supported by the concluding revelation of A. John in Rev. 7:9, that after the Messianic Sealing FOLLOWS THE TRANSITION of the Parousia or the 2nd Advent, and the PRIORITY PEOPLE TO BE GATHER here were from the great multitude of nations that originate from the crossbreeds of Dan and Efraim to the literal gentiles. And they were now representing in great multitude of nations that were AFFILIATED TO NON BIBLICAL AND BIBLICAL RELIGIONS!!!

    So Drake, thou may be one of the Americans with a DNA of either Dan and Efraim tribes, that could acquire Eternal Salvation. But please research more of Yeshua Messiah as your soul mediator to God and NO TO OTHER ELSE! And about the “great commission” in Mt. 28:19, the truth of this message is of “a great long task work of sealing by Yeshua Messiah in his 2000 years of his Glory’s Reign.”

    PL, this is what you were asking before!

    NOTE: The God Will Plan have a DISPENSATIONAL PERIOD of Class of people, to be redeem and save, and were ALL in ORDER to the Holy Spirit to know them all but not on us. And about the end time scenario it will be in the “Caught in the Cloud Procedure” of these gathered people and together with the still living Original Messianic Call Out Israeli people to meet the Lord in heaven.

    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem-Holy City

  61. Mark said: God addresses all his Testamented/Covenantal Word applied in the scriptures and must know all the commandments and prohibitions accordingly to its scriptural context base on the New Covenant Plan of God. Without these formulation, the readers, researchers, followers, supporters and even the believers will end up in generalizing all the scriptural writings of the Bible, especially the NT Gospels, as what we have shared previously.

    I’m going to suggest that no one completely understands all of the scriptures, so no one’s obedience is going to be perfect. Also, even if miraculously, we could understand God’s intent completely, being human, we still wouldn’t be perfectly obedience. In fact, if we had that perfect understanding, we’d be even more accountable for our mistakes.

    That said, I think we know enough to give it a fair shot. I’ve seen Christians in traditional churches who indeed were obedient to the weightier matters of the Torah, they just didn’t call it that.

    I still don’t believe that Gentile praxis is identical to Jewish praxis although there is some overlap.

    PL said: Rav Yeshua’s disciples probably *will* seem different, though sometimes that difference may seem quite subtle — especially to those who don’t really understand what they’re looking at — but it should not be a primary goal in itself.

    Interesting. My take on Messianic Judaism is that it’s the next extension of God’s plan for Israel’s redemption and through Israel, the world’s, so it’s not like Jewish Messianists need to change horses in midstream, so to speak, in order to become disciples of Rav Yeshua. In other words, they should still look and act like religious Jews but with the rather subtle distinctions you mention.

    To everyone: This blogpost really “went the distance” in terms of comments, so I’m really pleased it resonated with you all. Keep ’em coming.

  62. Mark, why are you singling out Ephraim and Dan instead of the tribes (more than two or three or seven) other than Judah, Benjamin, and the priestly tribe (all known together as Judah)? The northern kingdom of Israel (many tribes) was known by the name Ephraim.

    James, PL was saying both that the Jewish believers didn’t need to “change horses” as you put it and that gentiles didn’t need to figure out how to be either weirdos or holier-than-thou pridesters (my wording; as PL’s longer, more patient wording is more eloquent).

  63. And we don’t have to make the national behavior and attitude or political, religiously-tilted (religious fever not always being a good thing), rhetorically self-righteous pushing of policy and lack thereof increasingly debased (as has been happening for decades) so that we can pluck our suspenders when we dane to give to someone (while no one will hold us to it, just how we like it). Do we recognise or value our nation as a nation? Do we desire it’s dissolution?

    I should’ve been more clear in my Oct. 2, 11:18am… that the “person” or “someone” who thought it should be obvious — said alternative (to selling everything and giving to the poor) — was in fact saying we obviously shouldn’t do what Jesus said at all. I happen to think he was wrong as to what Jesus was saying. But my point is that the individual concluded (knowing that he has many on his side): since there’s no way he himself was going to do that, that instead we should be harsh with people as a general rule and teach this. (Of course, said harshness is primarily for poor, needy or marginal folks).

    https://bible.org/seriespage/29-workers-vineyard-matthew-201-16
    Consider also this story of people in need of work. [I’m not promoting the individual’s site; I don’t know anything about him; it’s just a link to the story.] Certainly, you can scoff (as we have often seen) at them for being in need of work in the first place.

    The moral of the story is not that a degree of wealth entitles one to jack people around or that nobody has to consider anybody else (probably the culture). In contrast, the person hiring pays everyone a day’s wage, which is what each of them would likely need.
    Notice, also, that there is an understanding of what is standard. Some agreed to that. Each could work or not.

    To take “the New Testament” (or pieces) to stand alone as Christians usually do, we could just say this is all and only about “salvation” (like “are you going to hell” for not agreeing to Jesus’ terms or not agreeing to be at his mercy). But if we look at the larger body of Scripture….

    We’re talking about repenting because of the month of Elul.
    And we’re thinking about nations and persons in them.
    Or maybe we’re saying there are no nations; a dispensation instead.

  64. Many experiences in the past year are spurring me to all the graffiti I leave in your comments. Some of my gentile friends are leaving the faith entirely. Not sacred namers. Not Hebrew Roots people. Halachically respectful, generous, and studious friends who read FFOZ. They cannot brook the ambivalence and guesswork given to Gentiles, it cleaves them to the quick with pity to watch a “Bar Avraham” for the gentile kid, and so they hang it up. They don’t go back to church; they never will be able to. In fact, it would probably be an insult. They seem to just fade into the 9-5 entirely and forget faith.

    I was with a group of Jewish believers at a dinner party a year back who talked about how they would arrive to different MJ communities and deliver the “hard medicine” to the gentile attendees, and then kick back and watch a gushing exodus. They laughed like it was funny. Backslaps and chuckles all around. Quaff the emetic, watch the chunder heave out.

    Har har har…

    Maybe my own experiences do not speak for everyone’s, and I can certainly see how many find hope and fulfillment in the present order. I do when I distract myself from pondering too much.

    I guess the answer is to keep rolling the dice of life, be kind to people, and then grow old and die. I’m tapped out.

    My Elul devotionals are rolling along. I try to make 7 affirmations of the goodness of G-d in order to foster gratitude. In truth, I have lots for which to be grateful. The trick is to bring that knowledge to the heart.

    May all of you have peace in the Messiah and be written for life.

  65. I think that when Jesus was saying to sell all and give to the poor, he was talking to a particular person. This is, as we can see, a fact of that narration; an individual came and asked him a question. And the disciples wonder what they’re gonna get (like the rich young man was, it seemed, going to get praise or a level of recognition for doing what Jesus answered). Interesting to notice they’d picked up and followed him, while the rich young man would not even agree to a specific payout he wanted — or had talked like he wanted. He was young, so he may have inherited ill-gotten gain while he could have personally kept the commandments as his parents (or a parent) did wrong to others. It was time for a change. But he didn’t want to part with it. For whatever reason, this was the answer Yeshua gave to him.

  66. Hi, Drake. I checked to see if anyone had posted before I posted just now. Somehow it wasn’t there when I checked. Just want to let you know I wasn’t ignoring what you said, and wasn’t “responding” obtusely either. Now, I’ll read what you said. God bless.

  67. That (the dinner party conversation and people you see leaving) would be and is sad and upsetting, Drake. (I see, I think, that you were addressing your comment, initially anyway, to James and his comments section, but I want to reply.) I’m not satisfied with the present order, am not fulfilled. I do, though, find hope in my appreciation that God has been answering my quest for truth and understanding for decades (and partially through some great frustrations of this present order, but I think those don’t have to be perpetual… maybe).

    Thank you for the greeting to all of us.

    May you be encouraged and receive refreshing and life.

  68. Hello guys, peace be to all and a good health
    Sorry to the partial information hint on the spiritual revelation on the improving of the character of the literal gentiles, using the Two accursed Tribes of Dan and Efraim and later the “cut out” or the unqualified 12 Tribes of Israel to the Messianic Covenant, which we have not fully shared.

    And to begin, what A. Paul terminology to the Left Seeds have Two different Spiritual Meaning of Application to understand the whole context of the New Covenant Plan of God, which have Two Major Division Period of Covenant:

    The 1st Division Period is called the Last Day Covenant or Days of the Lord Judgment or the Messianic Covenant. And the First Application meaning of the Left Seeds in this Messianic Period was referring by A. Paul to the Two accursed Tribes of Dan and Efraim, for their being idolatrous since OT Period, thus they were excluded in the Messianic Sealing of Yeshua Messiah, Rev. 7:1-8, which took end since 1993.

    Then comes follow the Transition of the 2nd Division Period, which were called as the Night Covenant or the 2nd Advent Period or the Parousia Period which begun since 1994 to date after the fulfilled Messianic Period. And the 2nd Application of these Left Seeds now is meant to the Two accursed Tribes of Dan and Efraim and with those all Cut Out or unqualified 12 Tribes of Israel to the fulfilled Messianic Covenant of Yeshua Messiah (and in this Period of the Parousia is their LAST CHANCE BY THOSE LEFT SEEDS, to be redeem and to be save). And these were now all the representation of the Left Seeds class of people, that from their scattering and dispersion in a very long generation period of intermingling unto intermarriage WITH OTHER TRIBES and EVEN TO SOME LITERAL GENTILE NATIONS, the results of their natural figures were now all changed into their new crossbreed figures, into what ever nation they intermarriage (That’s why many Israelites could not now determine of which tribes they belong but there were few of them still know their tribes). And they were now termed in the scriptures as a “great multitude of nations, which no man could number, of all the nations, and kindred, and people, and tongue,” Rev 7:9-18. As also the fulfill prophetical blessing of Jacob to Efraim, Gen. 48:19.

    So, the whole scenario were all worked by the Holy Spirit, to choose those to be caught in the cloud. That’s why, we always insist this mandatory last call of Yeshua Messiah since 1st Century to date, “calling all the people to come out from their religion,” Jn. 5:20-30. Because God is looking for in his believer to those who have a full allegiance to his Will Plan.

    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE : New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  69. @Marleen & @Drake — Back in the USA of the late 1960s, before the Messianic Jewish movement began to be formulated (though Hebrew Christianity had been around in a very few places for more than half a century), I had a few years of experience with some non-traditional, truly radical Christians, who did not need to base their sense of identity on Jewish tradition. Instead, they devoted themselves to learning and applying to themselves the lessons of the Bible. Now, there were a number of things they could not yet understand properly, precisely because they were starting their studies from English translations, But they were enthusiastic about learning how the original Greek or Hebrew phrasing affected the meaning of what they read; and they were beginning to understand the impact of Jewish culture on interpreting its context properly. Taking their cue from the book of Acts, they met in homes rather than in churches, and they were enriched by that communal atmosphere. Many of them, of course, became involved with the beginnings of the Messianic Jewish movement, because they recognized its natural connection with the sources of the biblical material that they were so interested to learn accurately. They did not, however, feel any need to become Jews or become like Jews, because no one had ever suggested to them that there was any lack in their own state as followers of the Master, even when they realized that he was in actuality an Israeli rabbi. Of course, they also, as yet, had no appreciation for the distinctive covenantal responsibilities that only Jewish disciples would need to step into. But then, even today, more than four decades later, even many of the Jewish disciples in the messianic movement have yet to recognize and step into those Torah responsibilities.

    My point, however, is that gentile disciples today have no need to feel disenfranchised or diminished just because they are finally being disabused of a faulty notion that they were to become like Jews in all things. They ought rather to rejoice in their embrace of a more accurate picture of the “household” that HaShem has structured. Indeed, any exposure they have had to deeper Jewish understanding merely places them ahead of those “believers” from the ’60s who were just beginning to investigate and develop a truly biblical lifestyle directly from the scriptures rather than from centuries of distorted Christian tradition.

    What Drake described was clearly unkindness, not characteristic of traditional Jewish attitudes. The discouraged reaction to such unkindness is understandable; but it is certainly not a response of faith — which is certainly more robust than the response that he described. I also can’t be certain that Drake’s description of events and attitudes is, in fact, accurate; and that it is not colored by the pessimism that he has expressed in other of his responses. Regardless of the quality of his report, I can still recommend a positive outlook similar to what I described above in an earlier generation of Rav Yeshua’s gentile followers.

  70. Sitting in a hospital room with my son ‘catching up’ on comments. Drake82 comments jumped at me. We seem to be on the same wave length. Perhaps it is because in my zeal to know HaShem I visit Orthodox blogs. Some are very anti-gentile. And yes, I know too much to fit comfortably in the church. As it was said ‘neither fish nor fowl’. I feel I can identify with the Roman soldier in the movie, “Risen”. He can’t join the Apostles, but can no longer serve Rome. There is an assembly in Macon, GA, I wish I could visit. Beth Yeshua International. Oops, I am popping out random thoughts. Thank you, James, and to all that participate. Shana Tova (I hope I said that right)

  71. Mark,
    Again, Ephraim can be referred to as Joseph because of the blessing from Jacob. The blessing of Ephraim was on behalf of Joseph, firstborn of Rachel (after the eldest of Leah disqualified himself). Biblically, Ephraim (or Joseph) refers in prophecy to many tribes. Judah received the other promise and later was a term for a few tribes.

    I can’t tell you why Dan isn’t on that list you refer to. I am sure, though, that nothing portending earth shattering events, as if the second coming happened then, occurred in 1993/94. If you think it did, you are part of a religion (I will guess you call it New Jeruzalem). However, I didn’t ask you what religion you are in; I asked who “we” is to you (as Mark Santos is one singular person, unless Mark is one person and Santos another), for whom you see yourself speaking.

    Be well.

  72. I should clarify that by “this present order” in my responding to Drake, PL, I was encompassing all the frustrating things that go on in this life as it currently is (we all have various specifics in general, not only in congregating for learning and worship and comaradery, as we also have some shared observations — such as of church history and current political climate and so on). I wasn’t seconding a general rudeness or unkindness among Jews (which I’m not sure Drake was generalizing either, although it’s easy to think he was based on his deep struggling — I think he’s been more generalizing of a lack of clarity in teachings). I appreciate your sharing of your experience, PL. And I, again, pray for Drake to be encouraged and refreshed.

  73. “…I also can’t be certain that Drake’s description of events and attitudes is, in fact, accurate…”

    Suit yourself.

  74. Perhaps, Drake, I should have said “objective” rather than “accurate”, when I expressed my uncertainty about your report. I wasn’t present to hear anything about the attitudes or actual phrasing that you reported; and if I am at all doubtful of it I can only regret that I cannot evaluate the situation adequately nor could I myself challenge any wrongful speech that may have distressed you. It distresses me that I truly cannot “Suit [my]self” in this matter, because the only things that would suit me well would be the pursuit of justice and a merciful kindness that might enable both of us to let our minds dwell on what is true, or honorable, or right, or pure, or lovely, or of good repute, or excellent or worthy of praise (cif: Phil.4:8).

  75. I seem to recall, Drake, that one aspect of your concern is how you would raise children. Maybe we can pray for each other in this regard. I have already raised my children. By grace I was able to do well (as they are all considerate and responsible young men) despite their having a father who, although he earned money, was not very considerate (and was often like a hill I had to keep overcoming for my children to learn good values). Part of why I had married him was that he talked like he had faith (but he had only learned to talk that way to fit in and tell himself he wasn’t going to hell). My oldest daughter-in-law seems right now to be very frustrated as she sort of wants to have children and sort of doesn’t. There were great difficulties in her upbringing (for instance, her memory is of a dad who couldn’t be around without being high on marijuana), and she is afraid as to how to avoid all of that (the emotional disconnect) for her children. She is very happy with her husband but not confident about her extended family. Her mother (who divorced and remarried and had additional children) is not behaving properly (she used to be very religious but now spends a lot of time going to dance bars with friends).* And the newer husband isn’t outstanding either. I think she senses something off about the father of my children, too. We were at her (and my son’s) house the other day, and he (my sons’ father) said something I didn’t hear which sent her outside crying (but she doesn’t want to complain). I’m not sure how to proceed. [I don’t even know that I can say Dont worry, I will be here for you. Because I have a son who moved to New Zealand a few years ago and wants me to come there when he has his first child.]

    * But her mother is pushing her to have children.

    This may sound completely random to share. And maybe I’m mistaken that having children has been in your mind.

  76. BTW, Marleen — Drake’s “will never” was an attempt to rephrase his earlier statement that these discouraged gentile disciples “don’t go back to church; they never will be able to”. I’m not sure why he submitted the afterthought that splits his infinitive, when his initial statement was grammatically correct, but perhaps it sounded strange to his innermost ear.

    One of my purposes in sharing my ’60s experience was to point out that these radical believers did not attend churches, but rather pursued fellowship as did those in the first century, in private homes. Thus did their faith prosper along with their ability to encourage one another.

  77. Correct.

    Keeping to split infinitives makes for torpid prose. If I can say “they’ll never be” in a contraction, I should be able to say it expanded. People burn endless pixels attacking the Oxford comma… for me it’s the hedging the infinitive.

  78. “Will be” is not technically infinitive, though. It needs a “to.” It’s an auxiliary verb. I think you are allowed to split those.

    “I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States…

  79. American usage tends to accept the split infinitive, regardless of auxiliary conjunctions that obscure the “to” of the infinitive.

  80. Very nice discussion on grammar. I’m impressed.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I, btw, need to say I’m not against dances or dancing [not against being in a bar or having alcohol either]. (I didn’t want to elucidate clearly what the person is doing (beyond dancing or drinking). My hesitancy may be in tune with the statement about shame by the writer of Ephesians in even saying some things. But there is the risk of contributing to “fundamentalist” ideas that way, in saying something that kinda gives clues and is often associated but isn’t the thing itself.)

  81. I do think, Mark Santos, Joseph/Ephraim/Manesseh/the northern Kingdom of Israel (including Dan as far as I know and all the tribes per se not in Judah, the southern kingdom) spread out into the world. But a person doesn’t need that DNA to be saved.

  82. Hello guys, peace be to all and a good health
    Marleen,
    An additional information in regards to A. Paul’s Left Seeds, that those be gather (Dan & Edraim and the unqualified 12 tribes to Yeshua’s Messianic Covenant) were the so called the “lower spiritual knowledge” in the literal application meaning and the “higher spiritual knowledge application” were to those still remaining alive Chosen Messianic or the Original Saved Remnant, Rm. 9:29.

    And on about “we,” is very clear I and the Word of God or the scriptures.

    And in regard to your question about Dan & Efraim, its very clear in OT Period of their idolatry, thats why they were excluded in the Messianic Sealing, Rev. 7:1-8. Is this not God’s Order? Thats why it was written in the Bible, and who can complain to it? Thats why we follow in conformity to the Will Plan of God, because they were also Covenantal people that can be grafted again.

    And about the DNA, we only use it as an example as of their being Covenantal CROSSBREED people, having a blood strain of the Israeli tribes.

    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  83. Hi, Marleen — Did I miss something? Where did dancing enter into this discussion? Was there some mention that I missed about dancing, drinking, and/or general carousing which I may suppose might fit within the framework of things to repent of during Elul?

  84. No… sorry, PL; it was just sort of a dotting of 👀👀👀 (not sure how to clearly spell Is, maybe crossing of Ts/tees is better). I didn’t want to leave an implication from my earlier post — almost a picture of a “fundamentalist” leaning on my part, except I didn’t mention playing cards or pool. But what I had actually (that is, minus the possible distraction) been concerned about in the prior related post was two things primarily. One was my re-emerging look at how to parent (or grandparent)* and the considerations of my sons and daughters-in-law (as they ponder having children).

    And, second, it seems to me that how to parent (or how one could) is something that has been a concern of Drake’s. Sometimes, there’s not something that can be said as the answer to worries or wishes. So, I had offered and asked for prayer. It’s very important what we do about our children (if we have them) and posterity. (Like I said, I seem to recall this being one of the driving forces behind Drake being frustrated that there don’t seem to places to call home for worship and to offer community for included children). [He might not be at a point where he’s even married, but some people think ahead.]

    [*After enough time has gone by and someone’s told you to get rid of favorite children’s books and so forth (which he never valued in the first place), the time may come again. This, giving background, probably qualifies as another distraction from the point.]

  85. In fact, I often feel in a way that could be described by Drake’s words “tapped out” — although I don’t know really what he is feeling when he says that or what his main foci are underneath.

    I was part of a congregation that went through a split. I could hardly believe what it was over (it seemed relatively minor to me, the issue, but I won’t get into it). It was very unsettling (and this was before the actual split), and during this time we went to a convention. Someone there prayed for me (who I won’t name as it could be distracting, but I was very thankful this was who I ran into up at the front, not looking for anyone specific). He knew about the unrest just from my countenance when I went forward (and discussions going on in the larger leadership). I actually didn’t say anything specific; I think I only lifted my shoulders. Except he then asked me where I was from. So, he pretty well told me to focus on my family (which I largely already did, but a congregation is part of that I thought). It turned out to be a needed word though, as I had to eventually do what my family needed no matter that their father had little to no motivation to protect the family, to stand for the family, or any of those kinds of things.

  86. Have to clarify. There was no need to stand up against or defend against anyone in the congregation. That’s not what I meant. We had no problems with anyone (not anyone on on either side — it was heartbreaking that there were sides).

  87. To pick up on a total tangent (playing pool), yet expand the main train of thought, one friend we kept in contact with on a regular basis (while we also have other friends from there, from either side, but who we see less frequently) has a business establishment with pool tables, and my sons spent a lot of happy days there, even as kids. So, while I said I was able to do well, I actually believe I wouldn’t have done quite as well (a degree of qualitative subtlety) without this (fellow Messianic) friend in our lives. Children need more than their parents generally [not to mention if one of the parents isn’t fully engaged], at least in a non-agrarian society (wherein the parents, nonetheless, would probably need support at times, such as with building a barn or putting out a fire). Our society is very extensively social by comparison (which is not to say a family isn’t a social structure itself; indeed, neglecting the family structure is anti-social — and the Bible says not attending to responsibility is worse than being an infidel). We populated most of our extended time with the general public (youth sports and the coaches, a secular homeschooling club, a Christian-based but not pushy home education club, music lessons, a community non-governmental open metropolitan citywide education system [open to adults and adolescents] often for quirky topics like blacksmithing or jewelry making or stained glass art or salsa, a statewide (but private) home schoolers association after we moved, and, later, public schools). We ended up with atheist/agnostic friends too from this array of contacts. Of course, there were also neighborhood friends. [At one stage, this included airsoft gun fights in a local park. Good thing we didn’t live in “certain” neighborhoods (as a certain candidate puts it), or any number of these kids might be dead from someone calling in and law enforcement showing up.] And, honestly, my boys socialized to an extent through online gaming.

    So if you’re evaluating what would be your support group or community if you were to have children, and you don’t intend to be a home educator (which avails you of some really good people to associate with, at least if you’re “association” is not backwoods “LDS” in petticoats), what do you look for? You likely don’t want to completely count on the neighborhood or public schools or online gaming. Although you could, really. But if you were going to try and have a home Bible study or something, actually I have a hard time seeing that being very fruitful. I have a couple reasons for saying that, or three. One, sometimes that stays limited to coming for the study and skidaddling. Then, the first two reasons I thought of: 1) the people I ran into in other activities either already had a congregation (or had no interest in Bible or faith at all) or (and sometimes and) 2) they were not people who would be on my wavelength [they were Christian but deeply engrossed in reading vampire novels, or they were bragging about having a pig roast and driving around a van with an aborted fetus painted on the side as proof of being Christian — for examples].

  88. Peace be to all and a good health
    An additional information about the Truth of Yeshua Messiah! Why will the scriptures will teach the readers that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and there is no mediator between man and God except Yeshua Messiah. Because Yeshua Messiah is  the only one who can intervene to the problem of the people as the Savior (1st to the Israeli people because of his Covenant exclusIvity to the israelites.)

    And also we would like to share the purpose of knowing Yeshua Messiah in his “Universal Final Judgment”, but because of the hardship to expound the meaning of some still hidden truth in within the judgment, which is very hard to understand although its been already applied in Mt. 25:41, but first to Yeshua’s Messianic Covenant Period and TO BE CONTINUE TO OUR 2ND ADVENT PERIOD! But if you will analyze it, it contain Two Major Kind of Judgment application in simultaneous effect in within the condemn individual, if they can avoid or control it. But if not, it will result to them to increase their making more sin even unto gravest sin they will commit! So, we will only explain it in the very simplest example, just to be understood easily by so many deceived people!
    The First major kind of judgment (or pre-final) is a “curse” and the reaction is automatically or instant effect to every people once rejected to follow the teaching of the gospel either in literal ways or in spiritual ways. And also to those people that ignore the Holy Bible and etc… And what the people do not know about this “curse judgment” is of its mystical power to increase in making sins or may repeat it in much more worst sin! And this is what A. Paul also experienced in Rom. 7:14-25 (please read it). And A. James also explain the sin as “like to a giving birth” in James 1:12-16! And this kind of curse judgment can be forgiven by the “Blood of Yeshua Messiah” in 1 Jn. 1:7! And this judgment is supported by many good works to have salvation. 
    And the Second kind of judgment is the final judgment and it is applied to those people aside of being already condemn curse (but if they have the knowledge to control it- it’s okay). But if not, they will be induce to increase their desire to make (he or she) more sin in literal ways, which is very condemnable to God. And the worst thing to do is in the spiritual ways,  because of their attraction or more interest desire to preach the Word of God, and establish a religion and form a group of worker as if in their belief is they were serving to God or might else join to other groups and do service with them. And to this, the condemnation judgment is to the eternal fire or hell, which is prepared to the devil and his angel host (from this fact, the deception of all false religion originate their interest of establishing their religion) is also for them. And to this kind of judgment, no mortal being can forgive their sins but ONLY God could and can help them, (Judas 1:25). To this judgment fact, thou will know that the whole Final Judgment have already been executed by Yeshua Messiah. Especially when he shouted his last word in the cross, “its finished” (Jn. 19:30), which means his LIFE and his COMPLETED WORKS have been proclaimed! 

    And this is why Yeshua Messiah condemn those people that they dare to preach the Word of God, for it is a direct transgression and competition to the Will Plan of God! For they will make sin more and more, for not knowing this facts; first, that before they establish their religion they have been condemn by Yeshua Messiah in Mt. 25:31-46! Secondly, for being already been condemn, they will teach a false teaching which is very unforgiveable sin to the Holy Spirit, Mt. 12:31-32! And Thirdly, to those religion that promote idolatrous faith to demigod, hewn images or pictures which God already condemn them in 3rd and 4th generation, read Exo. 20:1-5! Now with the above, HOW COULD THEY BE SAVE? Can anyone can not see the very big problem of many people that were been deceived by affiliating to those false religion!  When the truth of the NT book is very complete in its all advices, like in 1 Tim. 2:5 “that there is no mediator between man and God except Yeshua Messiah”, but they pass by this message and instead to believe in their false shepherd. But this big problem was already foresighted by Yeshua Messiah, that he gave an advise to those people (present unto the future) to come out in their religion! Because he already knew them and Yeshua called their religion “graveyard or cemetery”, because the believer that enter to it were dead in faith (read Jn. 5 :20-30). And to A. John, he advices the people also to come out from their merchandize religion (read Rev. 18:4-18). They did this advices, that thou might also know the truth and get the complete baptism of the Holy Spirit, to know his name and his Father’s name! So read the whole Bible and ask for forgiveness  to all your transgression which thou have done (spiritually) and for without knowing it only!
    Why did many scholars of the Bible did not know or understand that this Universal Final Judgment have been executed ever since 1st Century as his glory???

    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE : New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  89. (ESV)

    1 James, a servant[a] of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

    To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

    Greetings.

    2 Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

    5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

    9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass[c] he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

    12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

    16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[d] 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

    19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the [quick] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

    22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

    Footnotes:

    James 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
    James 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19
    James 1:10 Or a wild flower
    James 1:17 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning

    I will tell her that, Mark Santos. That’s what I did.

  90. Peace be to you and a good health
    Marleen, what thou have quoted were really part of the required faith in the scope of the Messianic faith, that must be observed by the Covenantal Israelites. But what we are now informing is to update their faith knowledge nowadays in conformity to the God Will Covenant Plan, for the world really do not know that the New Covenant Plan of God have Two Major Covenant Division Period. The 1st Division is the Messianic Period which took end already since last 1993. And we are now in the 2nd Division Period which is the Parousia Period or the 2nd Advent Covenant Period. And there were also a required faith knowledge to know and must be observe by the believer in this Ultimate Covenant Period.
    LOVE : New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  91. It may well be that the reference to “a kind of firstfruits” concerns that century of Jews (and not now); maybe I shouldn’t have boldfaced that part. But like I said before, nothing about 1993.

  92. Peace be to all and a good health.
    Hello guys, 
    Marleen, dont you analyze the revelation of A. John  about the Time Table Setting in the Plan of God, which is explained by John in Rev. 20:5-6, this mentioned 1st Resurrected people are the House of Judah in the first 1000 years and the another 1000 years to the House of Israel or the 10 North Kingdom for the completion of the 2000 years of finished Messianic Sealing by Yeshua Messiah alone without any help support of any religion, which already took end since last 1993, representing as the “Last Day Covenant” was fulfilled. Why not compute it in your Israeli calendar to compare the Year 1993 is equivalent to the 2000 years of your Israeli calendar? This will prove to all that this Messianic Period was been fulfilled by Yeshua Messiah. And to prove this fulfillment, read Rev. 7:1-8 & 14:1-5. For the computation of  this Messianic Sealing made by Yeshua Messiah at 72 Disciples per year for 2000 years and the total sum was 144,000 Messianic Kingdom of Priesthood. Is this not a special event that happen in our time which even the world scholars do not know this concealed Plan of God made by and executed by Yeshua Messiah in Mt. 24:36!

    An additional information on spiritual revelation  on the formulation use in writing of the synoptic gospel about the virgin birth, which is only use as the basis to the writing in the parable style fiction story of the gospel, to explain fully how God will did send his promise Savior which is the “Word of God” or the “Knowledge Wisdom of God” for the salvation promise covenant of God to Abraham seeds which is the Chosen Israelite and no to gentile. (Note: the promise Savior of God is the Word of God and NOT the literal messiah or the prophet, for the prophet is the one saved by the Word of God)
                    So to this, the evangelist adapted the God formulation in the creation of the first Man as TWO in ONE formula which means that a man and a woman is in the body of a Man read Gen. 1:27. And to this formula of God, the evangelist uses it to explain on how God will did send his promise savior  to his Chosen Call Out Israelite! Through this holy family  style formulation which the evangelist really knew what to happen spiritually to the Call Out to be  prophet which is possessing sacredly the God creation formula within theirself, that’s why the evangelist used analogically portraying them as “Spiritually Marriage of the man and a woman in theirself”  which means VIRGIN from any sin or Holy as a primary criteria to be a Call Out or Chosen by God and without sexual intercourse according to John 1:13 and gave birth to a “Son”!  Note: this Son is not a sto. Nino or a baby boy messiah or prophet! But this Son is Spiritually symbolizes as the lower knowledge wisdom of God which is the given child reward of God to the to be prophet as prophesied in Isa. 9:6. So, the holy family symbolizes only as the Prophet which is the total story formulation written only to explain how God did send his promise Savior or the Word of God only to save his Call Out Chosen Israelite by giving them or rewarding them to a qualified Israelite the knowledge understanding of the Word of God as mark and sign of their being saved! And this really happen to all Israelite tribe Chosen Call Out in Rev. 7:1-8 and Rev. 14:1-5 and no to the gentile! So, there is no really a virgin woman that give  virgin birth to a prophet or a messiah but what the gospel teaches is that a Virgin Chosen Call Out Israelite give a virgin birth to the” Word of God” or” Son”, as the prophet spoke it out from his mouth, the proclaim messages Word of God which symbolizes the “Son.” So,  No really to a virgin woman but only to a virgin prophet it happen symbolically. With this whole truth revelation about the virgin birth proudly promoting this kind of a very grave idolatrous conviction which contradict very much the laws of God. 

    May the living lord God bless us all.

    LOVE ; New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  93. Peace be to you and a good health.

    Hello James, why would you term it “gnostic?”(the true christians are the SEALED 144,000 Chosen Call Out Messianic Kingdom of Priesthood). Inspite of the facts that the letter is INFORMING YOU and others TO KNOW the PROPER and CORRECT WAY in knowing Yeshua Messiah. Because in knowing Yeshua Messiah there is a prohibition and also a condition that would not contradict to the TRUTH, like such a prohibition of demigod or idolatrous things and ideas with a condition of no mediator and come out from religion establishment, as what we have shared in this blog! And we already have shared that the Messianic Period is already past and fulfilled since 1993. May I ask you, what observance of faith will everybody will observe in this Parousia Period or the 2nd Advent as required in this plan? Do anyone know the condition and prohibition for proper observance of faith in this nowadays Parousia Period?

    So, all the faith belief of the gentiles and some Israelites were all in fantasy. And how much more to understand the higher knowledge in the adulthood life of Yeshua Messiah with the used of the scientific knowledge of Anatomy, Morphology and the Physiological composition part of Yeshua’s Messiah Body, which contains the MOST IMPORTANT MESSAGES of God applied to understand the real effect of the working hand of God to the Chosen Call Out unto his achievement of the promise salvation is very well feel that God work it for him and not of one’s ability. So, we will just site an example for all to check, what is the meaning of the Blood of Yeshua Messiah? What is the Body of Yeshua Messiah? Where is the temple of Yeshua Messiah? And many other little part of the Body of Yeshua that comprises to complete your knowledge of Yeshua Messiah, which is very well intact in his Body which is the N.T. Book. How can you explain this and how come to be like that? 

    See, what the world religion were all idolizing to worship were only from the FICTIONIZE CHARACTER of the parable story of the gospel! That’s why who is your mother mary? Which is in the MAGNIFICAT of Luke gospel is “gentleman mary?” And who is your child christ or to the gentile is sto. Nino which you thought as a boy? These were all your psuedo christian believer in the world religion were feasting which is non sense!

    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem – Holy City

  94. Good day!
    Sorry, the letter is for marleen but anyway it can be for everyone (fyi).

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem-Holy City

  95. Hello guys, peace be to all and a good health.

    This is the concluding revelation of A. Paul and A. John in regards to the Class of people that will rise up only to go to heaven. As we have said, that God have made a very Secret or concealed Plan on the improving of the character of the gentiles, so they may also acquire salvation, which many of the scholars of the Bible really do not know. And thou could understand it in the concluding revelation series by A. Paul and A. John in Rom. 9:1-33, 11:1-36, 1Cor 15:1-57, 1Tes. 4:1-18 & Rev. 7:1-18.. And let us begin in Rom. 9:, which Paul elaborate the making of the New Covenant Plan for the Israeli people. And about the “Left Seeds” which he refer it first to the Accursed Two Tribes of Dan and Efraim, and on the later period, the adding of the 12 Tribes of Israel that were not sealed, Rev. 7:1-8 & 14:1-5. But they were given hope by Paul because they were also among the Covenantal people in the Plan, to be gathered unto salvation in the Period of the 2nd Advent, for the fulfillment of the Promise of God. And what for, that these Left Seeds, God will use to improve the character of the gentiles, so they may also acquire salvation!
    And this Exclusive Messianic Covenant to the Israeli which took end since last 1993, then comes follow the transition of the “Night Covenant” or the “2nd Advent” or the “Hour Judgment of God” which begun since 1994 up to date, and the world religion also do not know this! And those Left Seeds were only to be gather redeem by Christ 2nd Advent and the problem of these Left Seeds people were all affiliated in some biblical and non biblical religion in different gentile nations nowadays.

    And this were the history record of these Left Seeds or the 14 Tribes of Israel, which at first were referring to the Two Accursed Tribes of Dan and Efraim for their idolatry and at the later period the 12 Tribes of Israel which were not sealed by Yeshua was also added in the Left Seeds terminology. But before this, this whole 14 tribes of Israel were captured and were exiled to other gentile nation, which in the later period were all released and sent back to Israel, but God punished them again to dispersion to different gentile nations, but some Israeli tribes have returned to Israel and other tribes were disperse/scattered in different gentile nations. And these happened  in a very long generation period of their many thorny lives by intermingling and inter marriages (which to Paul’s version this is grafting, Rom. 11:17-24) with those gentile nations, like those Arabs, Europeans, American, Canadian, Russian, some Asian and others (remember the 6 million Jews (Israelites) killed by the Germans in Europe only). And this is now the results of their “CROSSBREEDING” with those gentile nations. Their Original figures as Israelites were changed into the figures similar of those gentile nations they “crossbreeding,” which thou could see as a “CROSSBREED PEOPLE!” This is to prove that the Plan of God was fulfilled, so the Covenantal gentiles may be also saved!
     
    And this can be very well understand in other Paul’s revelation in 1Cor. 15:1-57, read it seriously, for it will help you to understand more on 1 Tes. 4:1-18. And to begin with 1Tes. 4:1-12, these were only Paul’s advices. And on v-13-14, the term “ASLEEP” is also referring to those LEFT SEEDS which were the priority people possible to live again with the condition they must believe that Yeshua died and live again. And on V-15,  Paul is reminding fellow brethren, not to prevent those asleep for they will rise first. And in v-16, God is giving a message of instruction to those LEFT SEEDS or to those dead in Christ: ordering to comply to this LAST CALL of God. And in v-17, that these LEFT SEEDS is the Covenantal CROOSBREED NOWADAYS (and to A. John version in Rev. 7:9, he term it as the “Great multitude of all nations”)that will be CAUGHT UP IN THE CLOUDS, together with the STILL REMAINING ALIVE ORIGINAL MESSIANIC, to meet the Lord in heaven.

    Now, this will prove to all, that there is no religion what so ever that will go to heaven. And Yeshua is not mistaken in calling the people of the world to come out from their religion, which he only analogically called them as “graveyard or cemetery,” Jn. 5:20-30 and Rev. 18:4-18. So, this is already the LAST CALL of Yeshua Messiah, for God is really observing the full allegiance faith to all his believers and so be it! May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE: New Jeruzalem – Holy City

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