THE PROMISED FULLNESS OF ISRAEL
THE PROMISES Abraham appears on the scene of the Biblical narrative as a man who is prepared to forsake all and follow the Master. He was called to be the progenitor of Yahweh’s purposes in establishing the kingdom on earth. “Now YHWH had said to Avram, get out of your country, and from your family, and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. And I will make you a great nation (Israel), and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you: and in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed” Genesis 12:1-2
That was the calling and the conditions of the calling, and in accordance with that, he was given many promises:
“I have made you a father of many nations”
”I will make you exceedingly fruitful”
“I will make nations of you”
“Kings shall come from you” ..... as well as being given the promise of the land of Canaan. Genesis 17:4-6
Note that it is to be nations (plural) that are to come forth from him and those nations will be ruled by kings.
This was repeated again and expanded when he passed the final test of commitment and faith: “Because you have done this thing .... (offering up his only son, Yitzak (Issac) ..... “ ... that in blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand upon the sea shore” Genesis 22:17
Genesis 35 11, a part of the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant. Here God says that Israel will become "nations and gatherings of nations." The Greek word translated "gatherings" is "sunagogai," from which we get the word, "Synagogue." A Synagogue is a place where Hebrews gather, and Israel was to become a cluster, or a gathering of Hebrew nations.
Here is the essence of the prophetic plan of YHWH – that Abraham's seed would be mixed in amongst the nations of the world and thereby become a blessing to them. Abraham's faith was in the promise of his seed being as the stars of heaven when there was no evidence or basis in the natural order of things for him to even have one child, let alone a multitude. As Abraham goes on deeper in his spiritual walk, he is called to “walk before Me and be perfect”. He is called into complete holiness with the revelation that YHWH is “El Shaddai” (the Strong-Breasted One) upon whose bosom he could rest in complete trust in the surrender of his life. It was on that basis that the covenant of circumcision was made. It was a sacrifice of his own life as a blood covenant in his own flesh.
And again it was passed” down to Ya’acov to inherit the same promise, quoting YHWH, “surely I will do you good, and make your seed as the sand of the sea which cannot be numbered for multitude.” Genesis 32:12
THE BLESSING OF GREAT INCREASE
In the next generation, Ya’acov passed it down bypassing his son Yoseph and conferring it upon Yoseph’s second-born son Ephraim. “The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; Let my name (Israel) be named upon them, and the name of my fathers, Avraham and Yitzak. And let them grow like a multitude in the midst of the earth"
The Interlinear of the Hebrew text says, “And the Angel that redeemed me from all evil, He may bless the youths and may be called on them my name and the name of my fathers, Avraham, and Isaac, and as fishes, grow into a host in the midst of the earth" Genesis 48:17
The Jewish Artscoll Stone edition of the Chumash renders the last phrase, “May they proliferate abundantly like fish ...” Ephraim to grow like a multitude of fish in the midst of the earth???
Yeshua said to His disciples, “I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19); and He was sending them to the lost sheep of the House of Israel - i.e to Ephraim (Matthew 10:5-6)
“I will send for many fishers .... says YHWH, and they shall fish for them;” Jeremiah 16:16
The “fishers” were to go out with the gospel to catch fish. The twelve went out to the circumcised who had retained their identity, Paul was specially commissioned to go to the uncircumcised who had broken covenant and lost their identity completely. He only went to those places. The net was cast to draw in “fishes”; of all kinds into the kingdom and then remove the wicked. Matt.13:47-50
The Christians have used the symbol of the fish since early times. They have been found etched in the catacombs of Rome and are still used today as an identifying mark.
Of Ephraim, Ya’acov said, “his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” Genesis 39:19 The Interlinear gives it as: “and his seed shall be as the fullness of the nations” (Heb. m’lo ha goyim) The Septuagint gives it as: “let them be increased to a great multitude in the earth” (Gr. plethos ethnon)
Paul quotes this prophecy of Ephraim (Gen.39:19) becoming the “fullness of the nations“, or a multitude in the midst of the nations (Romans 11:25-26), that needs to come in for all of Israel (both Houses) to be saved. He calls it a ‘mystery’ (Matt.11:25-27), i.e. something that has not been openly disclosed
The Greek of Romans 11:25 matches that of the Septuagint in Gen.49:19, using - (Gr. pleroma ton ethnon) “Blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the nations has come in” Romans 11:25 The “multitude”, the “fullness of the nations”, are identified as the descendants of Ephraim/Israel.
“And so all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:27) Both Houses, “all Israel” will be saved when those that have been filling the nations come into the flock again. Yeshua will come to reign over the united Houses of Israel – Ezekiel 37:15; Luke 1:32-33
RESTORATION TO SONSHIP
The House of Israel broke their covenant relationship with Yahweh through idolatry and He divorced them and they were put out of the land of Israel. Hosea prophesied, ”Then said Elohim, call his name Lo- Ami; for you are not My people, and I will not be your Elohim. yet the full number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea that cannot be measured nor numbered; (Gen.22:17) and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people’ - Lo Ami’; there it shall be said to them, 'you are the sons of the living God.” Hosea 1:9-10
“Then shall the children of Yehudah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head (Ez.37:22, 24) and they shall come up out of the land (earth): for great shall be the Day of Jezreel (Yisrael) i.e. the day of the regathering of the two Houses of Israel.;” Hosea 1:11
Peter quotes this prophecy when speaking to the ”pilgrims of the dispersion” (1 Peter 1:1)- i.e. the sojourners who were dispersed into foreign lands by Assyria and Babylon. “Who in times past were not a people, but now are the people of God: who were Lo Ruhama (no mercy), but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:10 - a quote of Hosea 1:10
They were not a people of God, but now have obtained mercy and are called sons of the living God. (Gal.4:6) They had lost their identity in the ocean of humanity, according to the prophecy of Hosea. Now, through the net of the gospel that had been cast out into the world, they were brought back into relationship with their God.
“And that He might make known the riches of His mercy flow forth on the vessels prepared by Elohim for glory ; namely upon us who are called, not the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. As He also said in Hosea “I will call them My people who were not My people” Romans 9:23-25 (a quote from Hosea 1:10)
“and proclaimed concerning the children of Israel, “though the number of them be as the sand of the sea, a remnant of them will live” (i.e. gain eternal life in this age) Romans 9:27-28 This is a quote from Isaiah 1:9
Paul is quoting two scriptures related to the dispersed Israelites in relation to the “Gentiles” who were coming into the faith of Messiah and the new covenant relationship. In other words he is identifying the “Gentiles” as being dispersed Israelites.
RESTORATION TO COVENANT RELATIONSHIP
“So at the present time a remnant is preserved by the election of grace” Romans 11:5 “If the rejection of them was a reconciliation of the world, what will the conversion of them be but life from the dead” Romans 11:15
“And if some of the branches were plucked off, and you, an olive from the desert (wilderness) were grafted in their place and have become an heir of the fatness of the olive tree, do not boast over the branches.” Rom.11:17
“For if you were plucked from the wild olive tree which was natural to you, and were grafted, contrary to your nature, into a good olive tree; how much more shall they be grafted into their natural olive tree?” Rom.11:24
The symbology Paul uses for these “Gentiles” is that of an olive tree, even though of a wild one from the desert. He does not refer to them as a different type of tree. When Yeshua speaks of other nations He uses the same type of symbology of referring to other nations as “trees” i.e. in, “all the trees of the field” (Luke 21:24)
When Ya’acov prophesied over Ephraim for him to have the Firstborn blessing as well as Yehudah, that made two heads which carried the king/priest anointing for the House of God. By so doing, Yahweh established two witnesses for Himself. As He said, “You are My witnesses whom I have chosen, says YHWH, and My servant whom I have chosen“ Isaiah 43:10 These two Heads became two Houses which were represented by two olive trees.
Zechariah asks the question; “What are these two olive trees ....” Zechariah 4:12 And he is told; “These are the two anointed ones who stand before the God of the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:14
And we see the prophetic fulfillment is Revelation: “And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they will prophesy .........” “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands (menorahs - anointed ones) standing before the God of the earth” Rev.11:3-4
TWO WITNESSES > TWO NATIONS (Yehudah & Ephraim)- > TWO OLIVE TREES
Two anointed ones who complement each other as His witnesses in the earth. “Behold the days are coming, says YHWH, that I will sow the House of Israel and the House of Yehudah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says YHWH.” Jeremiah 31:27-28
“Behold the days are coming, says YHWH, when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Yehudah ......” Jeremiah 31:31a “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jeremiah 31:33b
Paul quotes this in Hebrews 8:8-12, again repeating that it is to the House of Yehudah and to the House of Israel
Ezekiel, the prophet to the House of Israel, says: “I will take you out from among the nations, and gather you out of the countries and I will bring you back into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put inside you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Holy Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and you shall guard My laws to do them, and you shall dwell in the land.” Ezekiel 36:26-29 Note the difference in what is specifically said to the House of Israel;
1. “a new heart and a new spirit“
2. “put My Holy Spirit within you“
3. “cause you to walk in My statutes/principles and guard My laws to do them“,
4. and lastly, a return to the land. It is a process in restoration back into covenant relationship. The land is holy - it is His land. So it is a people who have been sanctified that are returned to the land to live in it.
The promised “new” covenant that He says He will make with them is not entirely “new” in the sense that it is of an entirely different kind, but is actually a renewing of His first attempt to covenant with them according to the king/priest model at Sinai, which covenant they broke due to the hardness of their hearts. The new covenant is according to the priesthood under which Abraham functioned, of the Melchizedek, and not the Levitical order.
In Hebrews 8:8, the word used for ‘new’ in Greek is KAINOS (Strongs 2537) and means “new in freshness” Vine’s Expository dictionary says: “denotes new, of that which is unaccustomed or unused, not new in the time or recent, but new as to its form or quality, of a different nature from what is contrasted as ‘old’” This is the same word which is used in the Septuagint Greek version of the old covenant scriptures showing that what was intended was a refreshing, renewing of that first covenant which was presented at Sinai of them being a “kingdom of priests” and Peter’s reference to this in 1 Peter 2:5-9 confirms this. [“The word in Greek which means something entirely ‘new’ in respect to time, i.e. that which is recent, is NEOS, and this word for example, was used for ‘new tongues’, in Mark 16:17]
So it is not an entirely new covenant but the same one presented at Sinai with the statutes and laws as given on the Mount and recorded in Exodus 20-24:8. Yahweh is once again presenting the same covenant to them but established on better promises, with a better Sacrifice and therefore, a better priesthood.
And so, Yahweh has purposed to bring both Houses into the new covenant. For The House of Israel there has to be a change of heart (conversion to faith), infilling with the Spirit and a return to walking in His Ways, His torah.
Reading the prophecy quoted by Paul of Gen.48: 19 from the Aramaic Peshitta text: “For I want you to know this mystery, that blindness in part has in some measure befallen Israel until the fullness of Gentiles will come in. And then ALL Israel will live; As it is written, ‘a deliverer will come from Zion and will turn away iniquity from Ya‘acov“ (The terminology, Ya’acov/Jacob is used for unsanctified Israel)
“And then they will have the covenant that proceeds from me when I will have forgiven their sins." Romans 11:25-27
It is a mystery that Paul is revealing here that ALL Israel, that is both Houses, will come into eternal life when the fullness of the “Gentiles”, comes in out of their apostasy. It is not just a matter of getting saved, but coming out of iniquity and out of their unsanctified state.
What Paul is saying here is also prophesied in Ezekiel 37:15-28. Yeshua will come to reign over the whole house of Israel (Luke 1:32-33)- i.e. both houses restored, reconciled and empowered in resurrection life, back in the land to fulfill their role as a kingdom of priests.