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Pick a Stick

 

Published by Rob Skiba May 16, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Pick a Stick – there are only two to choose from

There are only two sticks in Ezekiel 37. Which one are you on?

 

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Since Judah is blood-related and Ephraim was adopted (as a half-blood), it seems logical to me that my adoption grafts me onto Ephraim’s stick. Of course, Judah would be another good option (since Yeshua was from Judah and our faith is in Him). I just think Jacob’s prophetic blessing over Ephraim answers some of the questions. To me, the “fullness of the Gentiles” seems to go back to…

Genesis 48:

17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him; and he grasped his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.

18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn. Place your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know; he also will become a people and he also will be great. However, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” {these are the “goyim” – Gentiles}

20 He blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will pronounce blessing, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!’”

Then again, we do have an interesting picture of all of this in Joshua and Caleb (who were the only two of the original group to enter the Promised Land btw). Joshua was blood-born of the tribe of Ephraim. Caleb (whose name means “whole hearted”) was not a natural Israelite, but was adopted into the tribe of Judah. But again, either way, you still only have two sticks pictured here: Ephraim and Judah.

YHWH’s covenant was and is with ISRAEL. Now, Israel is the 12 tribes, but it is also a term often used for the Northern Kingdom (aka Ephraim). Now consider:

Hebrews 8:

8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: [here we have the “two sticks” once again]

9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel [the whole house] after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

This brings us to the issue of whether or not there is such a thing as a “Gentile Believer”. That would appear to be an oxymoron – a contradiction of terms. Consider the fact that Israel was the ONLY nation in covenant with YHWH all through the Bible. The Gentile nations were out of covenant. The word “Hebrew” means crossed over. Thus, if you have crossed over from death to life – and have gone from being out of covenant to being in covenant with YHWH, it is impossible to remain a “Gentile”. You are either grafted into the “cultivated olive tree” of Romans 11 (which is Israel) or you remain a branch of the “wild olive tree.” You can not be an out of covenant/in covenant Believer! You are either in covenant or you are out of covenant. You are either still in death or have crossed over into life. You are either grafted into the cultivated olive tree or you are not. You are either still a “stranger to the commonwealth of Israel” or you have been brought into it:

Ephesians 2

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

“Made nigh” to what? To the commonwealth of Israel (who IS the Church) and the covenants of promise (the hope of our salvation). Therefore, you can NOT be a “Gentile Believer.” So again, I ask, which stick are you on? You better be on one of them. Because those are the only two going into the Kingdom of the Promised Land. There is no third stick called “the Church.”

– Rob Skiba

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