We Declare These Truths
The Alliance of Redeemed Israel believes that salvation is a free gift that is available to whomsoever will respond to the call of the Holy One of Israel. We believe that He is gathering people from every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue. When the Redeemed of Israel are fully regathered, they will shine with every skin tone known to man. We believe that the shed blood of Messiah Yeshua is the source of eternal life for every human being, including the twelve tribes of Israel. We believe that the doors to Israel’s commonwealth are open to whomsoever the Almighty invites to go through them, and once they come to a saving faith in Messiah Yeshua, they thereafter belong to His eternal “commonwealth of Israel” (Exodus 12:48; Isaiah 56:1-8; Hosea 8:8; Amos 9:9; Ephesians 2:11-22; Revelation 5:9; 7:9).
The Deity of Our Redeemer, Messiah Yeshua
We believe in Messiah Yeshua’s Deity and Eternal Presence. We believe that we need to repent of our sins and have faith in His finished work on the Cross, that He is our Redeemer, and therefore, He is our Elohim, our God come in the flesh. “Israel’s King and Redeemer, YHVH Almighty [says], I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”And, “I, YHVH, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6; 60:16). The Word reveals that, “No man can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him.” And that, “God [alone] will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol” (Psalm 49:7-15). As followers of Israel’s Messiah, we are “redeemed with…the precious blood of Messiah.” He was “slain, and purchased for God with His blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9). He is the First and the Last, the mysterious Alef and Tav of Scripture, the Mighty God, and our Creator (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-3; 10:33; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 21:6; 22:13).With child-like faith, we believe in the essentially unexplainable plurality of the One and Only God, in His compound unity as defined by the Hebrew word, “echad” (Matthew 18:3). We declare this to be a cardinal and immutable truth upon which our faith rests.
The Twin Sins of Replacement Theology
We do not believe in nor teach Replacement Theology, meaning that “the church has replaced the Jewish people” in YHVH’s divine plan. We instead believe that He brought the people of Judah back to the Land first, and we support the modern Nation of Israel. On the other hand, we do believe that it is a mistake to separate the true ekklesia/congregation of the Messiah from its rightful identity as part of the people of Israel – it leads to misunderstandings. Thus, we teach about “both the houses of Israel” and about their full restoration (Zechariah 12:7; Isaiah 8:14; Ezekiel37:15-28; Ephesians 2:11-22). We believe that even as those of Judah cannot be replaced, so those of his brother Joseph cannot be replaced. Neither house can be replaced by the other. We believe both houses of Israel need to be fully restored in Yeshua and learn to forgive, love, and appreciate the good in each other.
Anti-Semitic and Anti-Christian Attitudes
We believe that in different ways, “both the houses of Israel” have “stumbled” over the Sanctuary/Temple that is Messiah Yeshua (Isaiah 8:14; John 2:19-22). And that, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Collectively, “we acknowledge our wickedness and the guilt of our fathers,” we must admit to our God, “ëWe have indeed sinned against You,’O LORD” (Jeremiah 14:20; Daniel 9:11; Romans 3:23). We also declare that cleansing and forgiveness is available for those who repent of their sins (Matthew 11:28; Luke 24:47; 1 John 1:9).
Both houses, both Ephraim and Judah, have stumbled, because both were partially hardened/blinded to different truths about the Messiah. But now is the time for that blindness to come to an end. It is time for all involved to seek to comfort and uplift each other, and to give “honor those to whom honor is due.” It is time to honor each house for the different truths that they have brought forth (Romans 11:25; 13:7). We therefore honor the Jewish people for seeking to maintain the eternal truths of Torah and the Church for seeking to maintain the truth about the Only Begotten Son of God. Neither house has done a perfect job and we choose to leave behind the errors of both, to embrace the positive things that both offer, and to add to those good things, the truths from Scripture that our Father is revealing in this hour of restoration.
We believe that now is the time to, “Go through, go through the gates, clear the way for the people; build up, build up the highway, remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples” (Isaiah 62:10). Israel’s staff of “Union,” which signified the “brotherhood between Judah and Israel” was broken long ago, but now is the time for our two sticks to again be made one in our Father’s hand (Ezekiel 37:19; Zechariah 11:14). It is time for us to seek restoration, and Anti-Semitism and Anti-Christian attitudes will have no place in that restoration. Both are sins in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.
The Church/Ekklesia and the Commonwealth of Israel
The true ekklesia/church/congregation/called-out ones of the New Covenant belong to Messiah Yeshua’s Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:11-22). That Commonwealth consists of saved Jews and saved Israelites from the lost ten tribes, as well as all of their saved companions – regardless of genetic background. Collectively, we are the eternal “Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16). Our identity as a “Believer in Israel” supercedes all other identities: Jew, Greek, male, female, bond, free. However, all members of the Body of Messiah are deemed to be Israelites, whether through physical birth, or by being brought nigh to Israel’s Covenant by the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit). We believe that, in the end, when all of Scripture has been fulfilled, Israel will be one, united, holy, covenant Nation.
Spiritual Israel – Physical Israel
From the beginning YHVH called His people to worship Him in spirit and in truth, to be circumcised of heart, as was our forefather, Abraham. Biologically, Israelites are forever Israelites. During their time on earth they and their descendants can be in various stages of belief, or even unbelief, and yet they continue to be biological descendants of Israel’s Twelve Tribes. Moreover, all Believers are physical people, and to please the Father, all must worship Him in spiritóall need to be re-born from above (Romans 3:23). In Messiah, Jew and non-Jew become “one new man,” but, this truth does not negate the facts about Ephraim’s heirs nor deny his rightful place as part of Israel. Reborn Judah, Ephraim, and their companions, are both physical and spiritual people; man cannot equitably separate them based on assumed genetic background. We cannot absolutely know who is or is not, descended from Israel’s twelve tribes. However, the Almighty does know, and is fully dedicated to gathering, Israel’s lost sheep (Jeremiah 31:17-21; Ezekiel 34; Hosea 5:3; John 10:16). In addition, the Early Church was comprised of physical Israelites, and we cannot rightly exclude their physical heirs because they follow-ed Israel’s Messiah. While some things can be assumed, people cannot absolutely prove a genetic connection to the patriarchs, thus, we do not suggest pursuing “endless genealogies” (1 Timothy 1:4). Great strides have been made in the field of genetics, and physical descent can be proven to a point, but, we must not be argumentative about the issue, or try to make arrogant claims based on genealogy. More important than a body that returns to the dust from which it came, is whether or not we have become a new creation in Messiah (Romans 8:23; Colossians 3:11). Being a new, spiritual creation is more important than genetic truth, but, being born from above does not change the facts of ones genetic back-ground. Thus, we conclude that Messiah’s Commonwealth of Israel is comprised of physical human beings, with essentially unknown/unprovable physical backgrounds, who are called, while in this life, and as physical beings, to walk a spiritual walk of faith like that of Abraham, and thus, to “physically” represent the “Israel of God” in this earth (Galatians 6:16).
Use of the Titles “Ephraim and Judah”
We often refer to non-Jewish Believers as “Ephraim” and sometimes loosely apply the title to the “Church.” In the New Covenant, ekklesia is often translated church; in our day it has become a multi-faceted name or title. There is a true church, which includes all who truly seek to follow the God of Israel, and there is a “church system” that sometimes persecutes true Believers. Some, who might be said to be of questionable faith, claim to be “of the church.” However, the same is true for those of Judaism. Some Jewish people, to the best of their ability, seek to follow the Holy One of Israel, and some openly declare themselves to be atheists. Thus, use of these titles can be confusing unless we know what is meant with their use. We will use these titles with the belief that, in the end, the Holy One Himself will decide whom among both peoples He finds acceptable. In the end, it is His choice alone as to who meets His “Israel” requirements (Matthew 5:20; 7:23; John 8:44; 10:33; Acts 7:38; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:1-12; Revelation 2:9; 3:9,16). We also note that the Holy One uses the terms “Ephraim and Judah” when speaking of their last days restoration, and when He does, He includes their “companions” in His messages of restoration (Ezekiel 37:16-19; 47:23). We also know that both houses have had converts, so we, too, include these converts/ companions when using these terms and when speaking of their collective restoration (Esther 8:17). We also try to avoid calling non-Jewish Believers Gentiles, because they are “former Gentiles” who have begun to follow the Messiah of Israel, and once they do that, they are thereafter His subjects and belong to the “Israel of God” (Ephesians 2:11; Romans 11:30; Galatians 4:8; 6:16).
How Many Physical Heirs?
The patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were promised “myriads” of physical descendants (Genesis 15:1-6; 35:11; Romans 4:3-23; Hebrews 11:11-12). That promise was passed to Joseph’s son, Ephraim. Those of the Northern Kingdom (Ephraim), were destined to become a melo hagoyim, or fullness of the Gentiles/Nations (Genesis 48:19; Romans 11:25). However, only God in Heaven can know for certain how many heirs they now have. Scripture suggests that many of the non-Jewish followers of Yeshua are probably returning Ephraimites, the heirs of those who were once scattered among the nations around 722 BC. They are probably the Lo Ammi of Hosea, those who once were “Not-A-People,” but now are being restored through Israel’s Messiah, as promised by the prophets. Even so, the “former Gentiles” who are being, and have been, gathered from the nations are beginning to recognize their identity as “part” of the redeemed people of Israel, because the end of their blind-ness to the truth of their Israelite roots is at hand (Hosea 1-2; Romans 9-11).
The Olive Tree of Israel and Her Blindness
We believe that the olive tree of Roman 11 describes Israel’s two houses. The natural (cultivated) olive branches of whom Paul wrote described the house of Judah, and the wild olive branches those of scattered Ephraim – who was scattered/lost among the Gentiles. We believe that both houses of Israel, Ephraim and Judah, were hardened in different ways. Both have stumbled over the Sanctuary Who is the Stumbling Stone. We believe that the Root of the Olive Tree of Israel is Messiah Yeshua, and that we who are rooted in Him are called to walk in a way that causes others to want what we have in Him (Isaiah 8:14; 11:10,16; John 2:19-22; Revelation 22:16).
Denials, Bloodlines, Conversions, and Our Glorious Future
We teach about “biological Israel” for three important reasons:
1) Most people define Israel based on some idea of physical descent, regardless of how abstract or vague their definition. Perceived physical descent from the patriarchs, or a presumed lack thereof, is most often the deciding factor in everyone’s “Israel decision.” To understand the Bible, we have to define “Israel,” and are thus forced to address the idea of “physical Israel.” We also address this standard of interpretation because it is the underlying and misleading presumption in most conclusions in the matter. We challenge the validity of this misconceived rule, because the errant answers that have grown out of it have affected the very fund-amentals of our faith. When coming to know Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ), one naturally asks the questions, “Who are His chosen people? Who are Abraham’s heirs? Who is Israel?” And, with the rise of the Messianic Jewish movement there arose a false claim that “non-Jewish Believers were not part of Israel.”
2) This false and destructive claim has led many, many thousands of disenfranchised non-Jews to convert to Judaism; it has even led scores of thousands to deny Jesus Christ, or to hide their faith in Messiah Yeshua in order to be accepted. Believing they were not part of Israel, they con-verted in order to be part of God’s “chosen people.” Sadly, in Messianic circles, Judaism tends to be exalted and Christianity is largely viewed as a “lesser” faith. But, the truth is that Messiah’s followers are called to be a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” We receive this call so that we might “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Conversions lead us to instead hide our light (Luke 8:16; John 8:12; 12:36; 1 Peter 1:1; 2:9-10). Most Messianics know of at least one Believer who has converted to Judaism; and most have experienced, on some level, the repercussions of the anti-Church attitudes that are often found in Messianic circles. We teach the truth about both the houses of Israel in hopes of stemming this destructive tide. We also teach this truth because we believe that telling non-Jews that “they are the Church, and not of Israel,” has led many to develop an uncaring attitude and lack of interest in the modern Nation of Israel, and even to a rise in anti-Semitism.
3) We teach about Ephraim and Judah because a challenging, yet, glorious future awaits them. Great change is destined to come to Ephraim/ Israel, and that change, in turn, will prove to be a great blessing to the Jewish people. The fact is that we cannot understand the end times without first understanding about the full restoration of Ephraim and Judah. We therefore desire to aid in and focus on, this latter-day, Scripture-based, life-changing, Holy Spirit-empowered, all-important truth and restoration.
Honoring Torah and the New Covenant
We encourage all Israel to honor Torah’s truths, to live their lives by its precepts and profound wisdom (Deuteronomy 4:6-9). The Torah is the history of our people and the constitution upon which Israel bases her nationhood. It was assumed that its eternal percepts would be taught in our fellowships. The essence of the New Covenant promise is that YHVH will write the truths of Torah on our hearts – by His Holy Spirit, by the Ruach HaKodesh. Thus, Torah should not be taught in a spirit of legalism, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. True Torah nurtures us and tells of our God, Who is “Love” (Acts 15:20-21; 24:14; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Zechariah 4:6; Hebrews 8:8-12; 10:16; 1 John 4:16). Written Torah is a “teacher,” given to lead us to the Living Torah, Messiah YeshuaóWho is counted “worthy of more glory than Moses.” Yeshua’s “law of the Spirit” is more glorious because it goes deeper and deals with heart intent. When we come to faith in Him and are reborn by His Spirit, we receive “the spirit of adoption,” we become reborn Spirit-empowered “Sons of God,” and are no longer “under [the curse of] the law.” As mortals, we continually broke the law, as new creations in Messiah, we serve in the “newness of the Spirit” (Matthew 5:17,28; Luke 24:49; John 1:14; Romans 6:14-15; 7:6; 8:2; 9:4; Galatians 3:24-25; 4:5; 5:18; 6:15; Hebrews 3:3; 1 Peter 1:23). Messiah Yeshua did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it, meaning, to show us how it is to be walked out before men. He said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” We seek to honor His Command- ments, not because they are mandated, but because we love Him and want to walk as He walked. We seek to emulate and lift up Messiah Yeshua (Deuteronomy 4:13; John 12:32; 14:15). We also give full honor to the New Covenant; which inspired Words were promised to us in Torah, delivered to us by Messiah Yeshua, and then by those whom He appointed (Deuteronomy 18:18-19; John 17:17-20). Thus, the New Covenant is an extension, even a continuation of the Torah, the Writings, and the Prophets. It is the inspired Word of YHVH Elohim, and is to be honored as such. Even though all of the Books of the Bible were written by mortal men, in the end, the true Author is the Almighty Himself.
Restoring the Kingdom to Israel
Redeemed Israel believes that the full Restoration of Israel’s Kingdom has not yet occurred, and that its full restoration has hallmarks that prove it to be a future event. Ezekiel 37:15-28 describes three things that will be evident when both the houses of Israel are fully reunited and restored:
* Israel will experience a full return to all of her promised land, not a partial return as we see today. She will not be trading promised land for supposed peace when Israel is fully restored.
* Israel will be blameless and without any idols. Idolatry will no longer be found in either house. There will be no more pagan practices nor writings that oppose the truth of YHVH’s Scripture.
* One King will rule over all Israel. That will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – Messiah Yeshua.
This reunion and full restoration of Israel’s tribes is necessary for her kingdom to be restored; it is even about restoring David’s “fallen tabernacle” and will resemble his reign over both houses (1 Samuel 18:16; Acts 15:16). Yeshua presently sits on David’s throne and now rules over all of Israel who submit to Him, but His kingdom is yet to come in all of its fullness. Some believe this restoration will not happen until Messiah Yeshua returns. But, He told us to pray, every day, “Thy Kingdom come…” His kingdom was “conferred” on His disciples, it belongs to those who produce its “fruit,” it is not of this world, but is destined to be brought to this earth. Its restoration should therefore be an important, daily focus of our faith (Isaiah 27:9; 59:21; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Amos 9:11; Matthew 4:23; 6:10; 21:43; Luke 1:32; 11:2; 22:29; John 18:36; Hebrews 1:3; 8:8-12; 10:12,16; 12:2; Revelation 3:21; 13:8). The Alliance of Redeemed Israel seeks to help restore the broken brotherhood of Judah and Ephraim. We seek to minister to both the houses of Israel, so that they might become one, reunited House of Israel (Jeremiah 50:4; Zechariah 11:14). Our goal is to stand against a divided house, because it “cannot stand,” and to become one united house in Messiah (Luke 11:17).
An Understanding That Helps Us Focus on our End Goal
The Alliance of Redeemed Israel believes that when returning non-Jews realize that they are called to be citizens of Yeshua’s Commonwealth of Israel, and are accepted as equal heirs by their Jewish brothers, our divisions will fade away; we can have unique calls, yet work in harmony. Having a proper perspective on these issues helps us to be instruments of healing. It encourages us to be the royal priesthood and peculiar nation of Israel, and to keep our eye on the goal: The full restoration of Israel’s Kingdom. The above – described points of faith are foundational and help us to see our role as part of YHVH’s people. These essential truths should not be hindered, avoided, denied, nor compromised simply because we have to pay a price for teaching them. Truth comes at a price, but in the end, it sets people free. Most important, these truths need to be under-stood if we are to take the next step in Messiah Yeshua – which is to walk in His footsteps, to be like Him, to preach His Kingdom, in word and deed (Acts 1:6; Matthew 4:23; 9:35; Luke 4:18).