Falling Walls

(Excerpts from his message at our 4th annual “Judah You’re Not Alone” conference.)

My friend, Ben Cohen, says that he has long felt that the 13 to 18 million Jewish people in the world today does not fulfill God’s promise to Abraham that his seed would be as the stars of the sky and the sands of the sea. That didn’t startle me per se, but what he then said did! Ben said that he believed Christians are of the lost tribes of Israel.
I’d never heard that, especially from my Jewish friends, rabbis or anyone else – but I heard it first from Ben.

Ruth (Lewerke) Newman did a fine job this morning teaching about the division of Israel into Judah and Ephraim, and how the tribes on the North were scattered and lost their identity. That was all well put, but we still have a dilemma. We might say several dilemmas that are unresolved.

We know that Judah and Ephraim both broke the covenant. Both were scattered. Judah went into captivity into Babylon during the time of Daniel and came back under Ezra and Nehemiah. Israel — the 10 northern tribes went into captivity into Assyria to the north. Jeremiah, chapter 3, says that when God scattered Israel to Assyria He handed her a “bill of divorce”. God passionately loved Israel when he married her at Sinai. How do you think He felt when He found His wife Israel unfaithful when she fell in love with other lovers? But even as He handed her the bill of divorce, I’m sure with strong feeling He said, “Only repent and return unto me and I will yet be your God and you will yet be my people.” (Read the book of Hosea.)

Yair Davidi tracked their scattering by several means: The Biblical account, history, archeology, grammar, etc. It’s a fascinating story and the end is going to be phenomenal when God keeps His promise and regathers all Israel.

The name Jew is from Judah, which means worshiper or praiser of God. But the “ten lost tribes” of Israel are yet to awaken to their true identity as Abraham’s seed. When Israel awakens and discovers his identity and realizes his destiny, he will return to Zion and reunite with his brother Judah. It’s going to be phenomenal. It literally will be one of the biggest events the universe has ever seen. When the dry bones of Ezekiel 36 and 37 wake up from the paganism and the idolatry where they have been ensnared, and begin to receive the commandments, the ordinances and the statutes of HaShem as a gift, it will shake the entire Middle East and the world.

Hindering Walls

The people of the former Soviet Union had a major obstacle when I visited Russia in ’63.Thank God, that problem no longer exists. That problem was an obstacle – a hindering wall — to the regathering of all the tribes and the reuniting the two houses. The wall, or obstacle, then  was an atheistic military dictatorship. This obstacle led me to over 80 nations and islands, lobbying for their freedom. Thankfully with the fall of the Kremlin and the Berlin Wall, over 1 million of the 3 million former Jewish refusniks of the Soviet Union are living in Israel today.

What are some of the other hindering walls or obstacles? After the Holocaust, survivors that came back to the land didn’t come back to developed cities, standing groves and fertile crops in the fields. They came back to a desert. That was an obstacle.  These who came out of the ashes of Auschwitz had to roll up their sleeves, sweat and remove the rocks and boulders. They had to prepare the soil and bring water to a dry and parched land. They had to bring in drip irrigation equipment and lines, then plant and fertilize the seed, Now today when you see the Middle East from a satellite, or a picture from a space shuttle, it’s the only green spot in the Middle East. That in itself is a fulfillment of the promise that God has made to the land and to the people of Israel. It is important to note, these survivors of the Holocaust came to Zion; they didn’t come to America. They sacrificed by paying a great price. But their efforts reclaimed a desert and turned it into a garden.

Think of This:

In 1947, there were only several hundred thousand Jews in the land, then they became 3 million and today there are over 5 million Jews there. They have been able to turn a desert into a garden in much of that area. But not all of it; there’s much yet to be reclaimed and redeemed. Now, if that few people could come and turn that barren land into a garden, what do you think is going to happen when Israel, the ten lost tribes awake to their identity and to their destiny of returning and reuniting with their brother Judah in reclaiming the rest of Judea, Samaria and all of Eretz Israel?

The Middle East is destined to be the Europe or the United States in the Messianic age. It will be literally the Garden of Eden again. We’re not there yet. We have some serious problems in front of us.

We’re confronted with tremendous threats from fanatic Islam today. It is stirring a strong hatred against the Spirit of God that is awakening the Jews and Israelites to their destiny. That destiny being to return and reclaim and redeem all of the Promised Land. Fanatic Islam does not want any Jews or Israel in the Middle East.

Sh'ma Book by John Stembridge

John Stembridge’s book, “Sh’ma” means “To hear” The artist did the cover by John’s description. It says much, showing the Tanach [Hebrew Bible] with roots from Job (who predates Abraham) to Yahshua [Jesus]. The author was inspired to write the entire first draft of this book in a single night while on a mission trip to Brazil. The Scripture triggering the writing was the story of the young scribe who asked Yahshua, “What is the first commandment?” Yahshua quoted the Sh’ma from Deut 6.
Like a trunk of a tree, the roots coming out of the Tanach teach that there is one God. The tree branches are made up of children, old and young adults reflecting all nationalities, languages and colors. Coming out of the top of the tree is an ear, emphasizing “hearing”. If we don’t have a spiritual ear to hear the voice of HaShem, we can’t get far on the road to His Kingdom. And once you understand that God has a kingdom, you learn His statutes for the Kingdom are Eternal. John says this perhaps means more to him than some theologians and writers, having been involved with government as a mayor of one of the cities of Miami and dealing with ordinances and statutes. (Available for $12.00 plus $2.00 shipping from Bible Light.)

When God showed Ezekiel the valley of dry bones, he asked the prophet, “Son of man, can these bones live again?” And Ezekiel said, ‘I don’t know. You know the answer.’ And God said to Ezekiel, ‘You prophesy the Sh’ma. You say to these dry bones to hear the Word of the Lord.’ As Ezekiel began to speak to these dry bones, there was a rattling, a shaking and a trembling as the dry bones began to awaken and come up out of the dust. The bones began to run into each other and I’m sure they made a loud noise, trying to find out “Am I a toe, an ankle, a leg? Where do I fit in to this skeleton that’s called Israel?”

When they all find where they are to be fitly joined together and Israel is finally resurrected out of the dust of the goyim [nations], then the sinew, the muscle and the skin begin to fill out the skeleton: Israel.

At that point HaShem puts His Ruach, His Breath, His Spirit, His Glory back into regathered, resurrected – and yes, REDEEMED Israel from the nations. We’re not there yet. We have a portion. But we are not at the fulfillment of His promise yet.

There is so much for everyone in this conference to do. Everyone of us have the opportunity to be a part and to have a role in seeing God’s promise fulfilled and completed in such an hour as you and I are living today.

Observing the Walls

I thank God for my father and I want to honor him today. He told me there are two ways to get an education: through reading books and through travel. He spoke a prophetic word into my life and I have had the joy of traveling into many countries. Every young person needs an adult who will believe in them and speak positive words to them. As you do this to the youth in your life, you don’t know what those words will bring forth in truth later on.

So I had studied and learned much before going to Russia, but when I went there I saw the oppression caused by persecution on these people. One thing that grabbed my heart in ’63 and again in ’75 and other times dealing with it, was not the political leaders, but just the common people. They would come up and give me that Russian bear hug, then out of the pain of their suffering and torment of the persecution they were going through, hot tears would come down their cheeks. As they put their cheek next to mine, those hot tears came onto my cheek! Do you think I could come back to beautiful sunny south Florida, sit on my rear and twiddle my thumbs and do nothing? I HAD to get involved.

I had a little saying when I ran for mayor and it is apropos for us now:

It’s true, I’m only one, but I am one.
I may not be able to do everything,
But what I can do, I WILL do by the grace of God.

Many of my Jewish and Christian friends didn’t understand my working for freedom of the refusniks and would say to me, “Why would you go?”

Number one: I knew the promise that God had made. Yes, I know, we broke the covenant. We were unfaithful; we were sleeping around with other lovers, other gods. We were given a bill of divorce. We were scattered. But that’s not the end of the story. The end of the story is we’re going to wake up! We’re going to awaken and receive the commandments, the mitzvot, just like they did around Sinai and we’re going to love the statutes, the ordinances out of the mouth of our Commander in Chief in heaven. We don’t love them today. We love our pork; we love our lobster. We love our sun god day rather than the Sabbath, the Lord’s Day.

It’s not just the Ephraimites; it’s the Judites, too. Both love the life style of the Goyim. But at some point we’re all going to wake up and say, “Hey, where did I miss it? I want to get connected again. I want to be obedient. I want to be blessed; I’m tired of the curse. I want to receive the blessing.” And it is going to come to us, as a group and as a people.

A friend of mine said he believes the 2 sticks of Ezekiel 37 are allegorical, but in my approach to our topic this weekend, I don’t see any allegory in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the 12 sons of Israel. I don’t see any allegory in what Ruth Newman so ably shared with us today — how that it was HaShem that divided the tribes and Who will reunite them.

But Ezekiel 37 tells us who these dry bones are. They are the whole house of Israel. They are going to come back and be reunited on the holy soil of Zion and then He said in verse 15 of Ezekiel 37:

“Moreover, thou son of man, take  one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and … then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim … and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in your hand” (Ezk. 37:16,17).

I love to read the prophets. They say over and again and it’s recorded, “The word of the Lord came unto me”.   It’s not a figment of their imagination. God was speaking to them and they were recording it that we may benefit from it in our day by having a road map leading back to Zion.

Hurdle the Wall

It is very interesting at this point to consider that the prophecy Jacob gave, at the time of his death, concerning Joseph was that Joseph’s branches would run over the wall (Gen. 49:21). And here in Ezekiel HaShem says, “Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with the stick of Judah and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand…Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall no more be two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all. Neither shall they defile themselves any more … I will cleanse them: so shall they be my people and I will be their God … They shall walk in my judgments and observe my statutes and do them (Ezekiel 37:19-24

Now, there was a division that God clearly foretold. He tells us here that there is going to be a healing. There’s going to be a re-uniting. This is not “replacement theology” but a reunion of both the House of Judah and the House of Joseph before the coming of our Great King Mashiach.

Let me interject here: Ben called me one day and was all excited. We met for lunch and he was telling me about the time when Moses was getting ready to die. He knew that he was not going to be allowed to go into the Promised Land. What did Moses do? He called all the heads of the tribes together. They were united. Moses said, “He was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people and the tribes of Israel were gathered together” (Deut. 33:5). Ben said, “John, we had no king in Jeshurun [poetic name for Jerusalem.]. The kings came later. This is prophecy in the Torah. John, I believe this is a prophecy that before we get the King that all the tribes will be regathered and reunited.” This is to happen before the two sticks, houses or kingdoms, become one and we finally receive our King Mashiach.

Another interesting point that Ben and I discussed when we met was that of didactic tracking. Ben believes that through DNA we are going to discover the seed of Abraham. I mentioned to him that I didn’t believe the computer has been invented that knows where the seed of Abraham is, but one thing I do believe is that the Spirit of HaShem knows where every seed of Abraham is.

In Joel God said that He is going to pour out His Ruach, His Spirit on all flesh. I believe that those of us who have the natural seed of Abraham in us will awaken like it mentions in the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. We will know our destiny and go to help Judah reclaim and redeem all of Eretz Israel, including all of Judah and Ephraim, the Temple Mount, Hebron, Bethlehem and all the Holy Places. But it’s not going to happen until this massive group awaken to who they are and say, “Yes, by the grace of God, I will go and I will be and I will do all that I can do to help fulfill Your Kingdom fulfilled in the earth in this day.”

But in the area of didactic tracking, how do we go about it? I believe that HaShem gave us the formula in the prophets when He said He would gather all who will gather. Only 5 million of the some 18 million of Jewish people in the world are willing to be gathered to Zion today.

It’s not easy to give up the comforts in the West and to be regathered to Zion today. There’s a price to pay. Survivors of the Holocaust paid a dear price to develop the land of Israel into what it is today. At the Jerusalem business conference in ’93 we learned that annual per capita income of the Palestinians was $800 a year and at that time it was over $10,000 per person in Israel. Today it is over $20,000. That’s due to the promise of HaShem.

Two Sticks in One Hand

Now, let’s go back to verse 19: He puts the two sticks together. I understand the allegory could be “the two sticks”, but in my opinion they are representing a much bigger picture than just two sticks. The “sticks” are a

parable, but there is a reality about to come forth regarding all of these tribes of the seed of Abraham. We have some 5 million Jewish people who have been regathered to the Land.

Another prophecy in Zechariah, God says for every Jew that returns there will be 10 non-Jews I choose to call them Ephraimites or Israelites. Now, let’s say that hypothetically for the 5 million Jews regathered by God today there are another 50 million Israelites or Ephraimites from the ten lost tribes who will come to join them.

But hypothetically again, let’s say that another 5 million Jews are willing to be gathered to Zion. That will make 10 million Jews in the Land: then add 10 Israelites or Ephraimites for every Jew and you will see the number increased to 110 million Jews and Israelites in Zion when God’s promise is fulfilled. In reality when it is fulfilled, I believe it could be several hundred million.

Shaking Down Massive Walls

Now, Ben believes, also, there could be several hundreds of millions if not a billion or two. I think that possibility is there from Abraham’s seed. When the awakening in Ezekiel 37 of these dry bones takes place, it’s going to be more earth shaking than the fall of the Kremlin or the Berlin Wall.  The upheaval among nations is going to be enormous. Personally, I believe that what we are experiencing today is that a Holy God is beginning to shake the heavens and the earth with His divine presence to accomplish this regathering.

I believe there are heads of government today whose thoughts are churning. They are perplexed. It’s going to get worse and many will be overturned in this hour.

Moses is a shadow and a type of that remnant that will meet with HaShem and will live with the Meshiach in the Messianic age. When God met with Moses not everybody was invited to meet God on Sinai. Only Moses.

Had Moses attempted to go into that mount with any evil intent in his heart, he would have been stricken dead. All of the tribes of Israelites around the mountain had to be warned, “Don’t come near that mountain lest you be stricken dead.” The same will happen to us. We, too, will not be allowed to meet the Messiah with evil controlling our hearts.

The word aliyah really means rapture. But the ultimate rapture, the aliyah that is yet to take place, is when HaShem invites us to join Him on the Temple Mount. That’s His throne on the earth. He is going to come to rule the earth there through the Messiah’s coming. And there is going to be a remnant that will be invited as Moses was invited to join HaShem on Sinai.

But this time, God is not coming down on a little mountain in the Middle East. When He spoke there, His Holiness shook the whole earth. This time it says He will be coming down over “all the heavens and all the earth”. There’s going to be a tremendous upheaval in the Heavens and the earth. Every wicked ruler and nation will be brought low. All rebels against God at this time will be taken out by God.

I have more fear for those nations that are setting themselves in opposition to God’s will to regather the tribes than I do for Israel or for those who are obeying the commandments of HaShem. The mistake made by Hitler, Haman, Pharaoh, Goliath and all the haters of Jews, or of Israel or the Land of Israel, is that they think there are so few Jews that they can run right over them. But they don’t see the invisible hand of an all-powerful God, and they know nothing about Judah’s brothers – Ephraim or Israel who is waking up and coming soon to join his brother Judah.

When haters dig a hole for Israel or the Jewish people, they are only digging that hole for themselves. Haman thought, “Oh, this group is a problem to the kingdom” and he had an edict of death placed on the head of every Jew from India to Ethiopia, but he didn’t know when he was preparing the gallows that it would be for his own neck instead of Mordecai’s.

And that’s what the haters do; they always fall into their own trap.-