78) Ephraim Have I Loved

I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus;

  • Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke:
  • turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. 
  • after that I was turned, I repented;
  • and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.

Is Ephraim my dear son?…I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 30-31)

Who, exactly, is Ephraim? Back up to the beginning of the trail of evidence.

“And Joseph called the name of…[his younger son] Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Genesis 41:52)

“Jeroboam…an Ephrathite…was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph…the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way…And he said to Jeroboam…thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:” (I Kings 11:26-31)

So “Ephraim”, as the leader gives his name like “Judah” to his people, the northern ten tribes of Israel.

Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people...they call to Egypt, they go to Assyriathough I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me…they rebel against me…They return, but not to the most High…” (Hosea 7)

As detailed in the posts a Kingdom Divided Against Itself and The Jews, individuals from all twelve tribes who identified themselves with YHVH and worshipped him in Jerusalem before and after the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles were absorbed into the people of Judah / Judea, AKA the Jews when invited to do so by a series of messengers from God’s anointed Melchizedeks like Hezekiah and Joash.

For the rest who rejected these invitations to return to the worship of YHVH, a punishment that fits the crime.

Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things [i.e. practice idolatry] in Assyria…My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.” (Hosea 9)

Remember, Egypt and Assyria were empires embracing all the nations through world-wide trade routes. There is even evidence of trans-Atlantic trade between the Americas and Egypt and Africa at this time.

So what this is prophesying is that the unique identity of the northern ten tribes known as the nation of Israel will be lost as the individual members are dispersed and amalgamated among the heathen nations of the world.

I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel…I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah…ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.” (Hosea 1:4-9)

In 1947 the Jews called themselves the entirety of the descendants of Jacob / “Israel” but biblically this doesn’t count. God is well aware of the descendants of Joseph and the rest of the ten tribes who lost all identification with YHVH as they were absorbed into the nations of world, and has a plan for them.

YET! the number of [all] the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah AND the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” (Hosea 1)

The Apostle Paul quotes Hosea’s prophecy as happening in his day. He packs a lot of concepts in his paragraphs, so when I leave out certain phrases I’m not trying to hide his true meaning but rather pulling one thread out of multiple trains of thought.

  • God is my witness…that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers…
  • I…witness in the Holy Ghost…that I have…continual sorrow in my heart. For…my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh
  • Who are IsraelitesEven us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles…
  • As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 
  • And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto THEM, YE are not my people; there shall THEY be called the children of the living God.” (Romans 1, 9) 

The place and time was Judea in Paul’s day.

“Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them…being brought on their way by the church / congregation of believers…passed through Phenice and Samaria [territory of Israel allied with the Zidians], declaring the conversion of 1) the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the 2)[already converted Jewish] brethren. And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church / congregation of believers, [all of whom are obviously Jewish at this time and place], and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them…James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 

Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written…the residue [of Israel]…might seek after the LORD, AND all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”

What prophecy is James quoting?

  • “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting [YHVH’s Savior] 
  • Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth:
  • then the remnant of his brethren [Jews] shall return unto the [entirety of the] children of Israel.
  • and they shall abide [stay forever, never be forsaken]: for now shall he [the ruler in Israel] be great unto the ends of the earth.
  • And this man [Jesus the Christ] shall be the peace, 
  • And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew [blessing] from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.
  • And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people
  • And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers
  • Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.” (Micah 5)

Paul nails down this thesis.

  • Hath God cast away his people? God forbid
  • at this present time also there is a remnant according to grace
  • I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits…
  • that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in
  • and then all Israel shall be saved:
  • as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Israel. (Romans 11)

Dispensational Christianity – the belief that Israel was saved by a different methodology than Christians who have it really easy – treats this statement that as meaning that God has struck Israel with blindness, ergo condemned them to hell, to allow the non-Jews to come to salvation “through Christ alone”, rapture them out because they are condemned to experience The Great Tribulation on Israel which beats enough of them into accepting Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sin by returning to Old Covenant animal sacrifices for sin…

This is utterly inconsistent with the totality of God’s word. The consistent and reliable message is that 1) mankind has free will, and 2) our destiny is determined by our choices.

If you can seriously claim to believe the Bible and stubbornly insist that God arbitrarily turned his back on Israel to temporarily favor Gentiles then you have no basis for faith in your own eternal salvation by a God who can’t be trusted to stay true to his Word.

In fact, what God has done to Israel is to follow through on the punishments allocated to crimes against their ruler YHVH, agreed to by Israel at the constitution of its government under Moses.

“if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee…

And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day…to go after other gods to serve them.

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee…The LORD shall smite thee with…blindness, and astonishment of heart…” (Deuteronomy 28:1-28)

Overlay this template onto the following statements from Paul in Romans 11 quoting Isaiah 43-44 and Psalm 69 and drawing prophecy from Numbers 24.

  • Paul: Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for [blessings and power]
    • Isaiah: he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.
  • but the election hath obtained it,
    • This people have I formed for myself; THEY shall shew forth my praiseBut thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel…Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen…which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun / Upright One, whom I have chosenbeside me there is no God. And who…shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming…have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; 
  • and the rest were blinded. 
    • and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed…
  • (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. [In accordance with the trustworthiness of his word – he does what he says he will do for both blessings and curses.]
    • They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand…and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.
  • And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway [as slaves in justice for bowing their backs to idols]
    • Let not them that wait on thee, O LORD God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. 
      • Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face…
      • For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me…
      • let me be delivered from them that hate me…for am in trouble: hear me speedily. 
      • Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it:
      • deliver me because of mine enemies…Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness:
      • I looked for some to take pity, but there was none…[So let justice be serve] Let THEIR eyes be darkened, that they see not
      • For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
  • until THE FULNESS of the Gentiles be come in [back to the congregation of the LORD and SO ALL ISRAEL [which were amalgamated within the Gentiles] shall be saved…
    • for thou art my servant: I have formed thee…O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.
  • as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 
    •  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me…for the LORD hath 1) redeemed Jacob, and 2) [by so doing] glorified himself in Israel [by doing the impossible – keeping his covenant in both separating and remaining unified forever, exactly as he did with the Adams.]
  • For THIS is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
    • That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers;
  • as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
    • Balak…king of the Moabites…sent messengers…unto Balaam…saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt…I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me…for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed…And the LORD met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus.
      1. lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nationsWho can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his
      2. God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?…he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them…according to THIS time [prophecy covers a lot of iterations] it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!
      3. How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! [Everything from this point on is a battle cry – Not the Seed of the Serpent but MY Seed of the Woman! –using the idioms of the nations who have with forethought and malice seized the land of the Garden East of Eden allocated to his sons / nationthey spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side…[Tigris, Euphrates, Nile]34856e8bf53a95e0ab3ec4e32fce4e8e
        1. HE shall pour the water out of HIS buckets, and HIS seed shall be in many waters,6845a56d9cbe5968171d2084c5b1737d
        2. and HIS king shall be higher than Agag, and HIS kingdom shall be exalted…
        3. HE he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: HE shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. 
        4. He couched, He lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir Him up?
        5. Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee. [standard proclamation of a king granting life to those who accept his rule and wreaking utter destruction on those who defy / curse him.]
      4. I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh:
          1. there shall come a Star / Divinity Out of [the nation of Jacob [the stars, even all the host of heaven…to worship them, and serve them…the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven]
          2. and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite… Moab… Sheth…. Edom… Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies…
          3. Amalek was the first of [held primacy like the “first” lady] the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever…
          4. the Kenites…Asshur shall carry thee away captive…
          5. Alas, who shall live when God doeth this! 
          6. And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim [settled Mediterranean lands so over time includes Rome], and shall afflict Asshur / Persian Empire, and shall afflict Eber / Hebrews, and he [Chittim, Rome, the fourth empire] also [like the other three from Babylon to Persia to Greece] shall perish for ever.
  • For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify [increase in importance] mine office:

Paul is using some clever parallels and tightly knit logic here. It is only when we patiently unravel and line up everything according to the instructional manual that he was following that the lightbulb over our heads blazed on.

Paul is encouraging us Gentile believers to have mercy on the unbelieving Jews in the same manner Jesus Christ did.

“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy…(Ephesians 2:2-4) died for us, that…we should live together with him.” (I Thessalonians 5:10)

And in the same manner that Paul had mercy.

the Jews which were of Asia [who knew Paul on sight], when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this placeAnd all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and…went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them, and…took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done. And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him.” (Acts 19:1-10)

You don’t think Paul was terrified? Like Peter whose confidence collapsed under those same circumstances? Of course he was.

This is why, when Paul expands the application of the mercy of Jesus Christ to those who merge their identities with him, adds “faint not” and ‘be strong” to the straight-up exhortation to “be willing to die for them.”

“we all…are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;” (II Corinthians 3:18-4:1)

“Thou therefore, my son [in the sense of the sons of the prophets of old], be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 

  • Commit thou to faithful men the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same  who shall be able to teach others also…
  • Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ…for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory….
  • For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: IF we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us…
  • Study…rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2)

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

  • Now if the… diminishing of them [the Jews through the loss of 10 brother tribes] be the riches of the Gentiles;
    • how much more their fulness?…
  • if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world,
    • what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead / RESURRECTION DAY!?” 

“the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15)

This is the complete opposite of Christianity’s Replacement Theology or Dispensationalism, not to mention antisemitism.

  • We believe that the international Church has superseded for all times national Israel as the institution for the administration of divine blessing to the world.
  • We dispensationalists believe that the church is the current instrument through which God is working in this age, but God has a future time in which He will restore national Israel as the institution for the administration of divine blessing to the world.
  • we believe that the Church becomes “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16), the “seed of Abraham” (Gal. 3:29), “the circumcision” (Phil. 3:3), the “temple of God” (Eph. 2:19-22), and so forth.
  • We believe that Jew and Gentile are eternally merged into a “new man” in the Church of Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:12–18).

Further…“the bulk of Israel’s Scriptures [are] indecisive for the formation of Christian doctrine…“In addition to narrowing the thematic focus of the Hebrew Scriptures to the problem of sin and redemption…the Hebrew Scriptures do not relate a story that extends indefinitely into the future…

The details about Israel’s future, especially in the Old Testament, are simply missing as a part of the development of Christian theology…the primary reason for the disinheriting of the Jews within the early Christian church.

Wow. Can we see the problem? Israel’s Scriptures are anything but ” indecisive” for the formation of Christian doctrine. As detailed above, Paul’s writings are nothing but a commentary and revelation on the Hebrew Scriptures.

“The doctrine of replacement theology reflects a wide range of Christian thinking,” notes Menachem Benhayim. “From utterly malignant anti-Jewish hatred to simple misunderstanding and misapplication of biblical texts.”

Well, now we know why it’s taking so long for John’s appeal – the last words in the Bible – to be answered: “Come, Lord Jesus.” 

“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from…from one end of heaven to the otherwith great mercies will I gather thee.” ((Matthew 24:31, Isaiah 54:7)

Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down…For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” (Isaiah 64:1,4; I Corinthians 2:9)

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