The Fullness of the Gentiles
For I do not want you brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery,
lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened
to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all of
Israel will be saved.
In these next few chapters I will address the issue of the identity of the Church. It is a very well known fact in Psychology that people who are estranged from their real identity, or from their family roots, have many more problems in life than people who know where they belong. One of the major problems of a lack of belonging is rejection. While ministering inner healing or deliverance I always encounter the issue of rejection as a root issue and as a root cause of most of the emotional problems of Gods children. Undoubtedly many of them suffer from restlessness and a lack of inner peace. They dress it real nice with Sunday dresses and make up and a plastic smile, but deep within many are hurting and dont understand why. They have heard countless of times that Yeshua is the lover of their souls and that they are fully accepted in Him, yet rejection and alienation and some emptiness still persists. I once met a very successful minister who had often ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit to hundreds of thousands of people. He had been a vessel greatly used of God to oversee many churches and many miracles had happened under his ministry. Yet inside he was nothing but a restless child who could not find his identity in the Lord. He had not come home yet and there was an emptiness in him that nothing could fill.
The disconnection from the Jewish Roots, and through it from the Tanach, has brought us to a place of spiritual schizophrenia. It is impossible to fully reconcile the God of Grace with the God of Judgment. The New with the Old. That causes great confusion and a sense that we cant trust God fully because we do not know who He is.
Is He a God of wrath? Is He a gentleman? Is He our Judge? Is He our Father?
Is the Church something which just happened unrelated the prophecies of God to Israel? Is the Church Israel? If so, who are the Jews? Are they also Israel?
If so, then is God marrying 2 brides: The Church and Israel? Is God a bigamist?
If He is, how can I trust Him? And if He gave Israel up, how can I trust Him not to give up on me? Am I Jew by faith? Am I a Christian? Whats a Christian?
In order to start answering all these questions and bring sanity to our identity problem and health to our souls and spirits let me give you some interesting figures: The word Israel is mentioned 2601 times in the Bible.The word Christian is mentioned only 2 times!
After the word for God and Lord , Israel, is the most often mentioned word in the Bible!
In Revelation 21:10-27, The Lord presented the New Jerusalem, the Bride of the Lamb to John. It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel...And the walls of the city had 12 foundation stones, and on them were the 12 names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb.
The gates are Israeli, the foundation stones are all Jewish, because the 12 apostles of the Lamb are all Jewish. If we say that the sons of Israel means the Church, what do we do then with the rebirth of the Jewish nation in their own land-Israel-and with the Scripture that heads this chapter? It says that the fullness of the Gentiles will come in, and also that all of Israel will be saved that is the natural branches. So in order to understand the Bride we need to understand what the
fullness of the Gentiles, is and what is the difference between them and all of Israel.
The first time that this terminology, thefullness of the Gentiles, is used is in the book of Genesis, when Jacob is adopting the 2 sons of Joseph, Menasseh and Ephraim, as he lays his hands on them before his death: But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasses head, crossing his hands, Although Manasseh was the first born. When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraims head it displeased him...And Joseph said,not so my father, for this one is the first born. Place your right hand on his head.
But his father refused and said, I know my son I know; he also shall become a people and he also shall be great. However his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a fullness of Nations. Genesis 48:14-19
The term used here in the Hebrew original is meloh hagoyim, and is the same term used in Romans 11: 25 for the fullness of the Gentiles that needs to come in. In Hebrew the word Goyim means Gentiles or Nations.
The background of Ephraim is very revealing; he was the second son of Joseph and of Osnat. Osnat was an Egyptian, a Gentile, and they had borne their children in exile, outside of the Land of Israel. So Ephraim was a child of a mixed marriage and he was adopted by Jacob, (Israel) as his very own, as he said to Joseph: And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Menasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. Genesis 48:5
Ephraim became a chosen son, thoroughly grafted into Israel, though he was a son of mixed marriage, In Isaiah 56:6-8, we read a very revealing passage of Scripture:
Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord, To be His servants, every one of them who keeps from profaning the Sabbath, and holds fast my covenant; even those I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer...The Lord God who gathers the dispersed of Israel declares, Yet others I will gather to them to those already gathered.
The gathering of others to the dispersed of Israel, already starts with Ephraim, a child of a mixed marriage with a very big promise. The Lord will have a crop of children from the Nations and Ephraim is the chosen one to bring this crop in. This crop culminates in Romans 11:25 as we say that the fullness of the Gentiles will come in through the gospel and then all of Israel will be saved as it is written. So lets find out what is written? Lets follow the word Ephraim in the Scriptures and find out what he became. We know that upon the conquering of the land of Canaan by Joshua and the 12 tribes, Ephraim settled north Judah and of Jerusalem, in the hill country. That area is today between Bethel and Samaria and it even spreads up to the Jezreel valley because they were so many people. (Joshua 17:14-17). The word Ephraim in Hebrew means : The fruitful one or in other words, the one that multiplies a lot. In 1 Kings 12:25-33 we see the rise of a king by the name of Jeroboam Ben Nebath. This king was not from the tribe of Judah, he was an Ephramite.
He ruled over the 10 northern tribes of Israel after the split that took place in Israel upon the death of king Solomon. A prophet by the name of Ahia the Shilonite prophesied of this split to Jeroboam and told him that God was granting Jeroboam 10 of the tribes, although he was not of the lineage of king David, the kingly line.(See 1 kings 11:26-40).
From that very moment there was a broken brotherhood between the tribe of Judah that by then had merged with Benjamin and Levi and between the rest of the northern tribes ruled by Jeroboam. In Zecharaiah 11:14 we read of this painful divorce in Israel:
Then I cut my staff Union, in pieces, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. The House of Judah was the kingdom of the South with Jerusalem as its capital, and the House of Israel was the kingdom of the North with Samaria in the country of Ephraim as its capital. Later on the Northern kingdom was also called: Ephraim
The brotherhood was broken to pieces, which means that no human hands could put them together again.
Jeroboam, from the tribe of Ephraim started ruling over the 10 tribes and caused them to go into great idolatry. He wanted to prevent them from going to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem and to regain their identity as brothers to the tribe of Judah and children of the Lord. So he built golden calves in Bethel and in Dan and divorced Israel from having any contact with Judah. He also expelled all the Levites from their midst and raised up a false priesthood system. It was to this scene that the prophet Elijah arrives and challenges all the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel:
Elijah was calling Ephraim to go back to the Law of the Lord and that included the Temple Worship in Jerusalem. ( 1 Kings 17, 18)
Finally the Lord was very angry with the House of Israel, with Ephraim ,and He raised a prophet by the name of Hosea. The name of this prophet is very revealing as well; it means, save us, as in Hosanna. Hosea marries a prostitute and births with her 2 children;
a boy by the name of Lo Ammi, which means not My people, and a girl by the name of Lo Ruhamma, hich means, no compassion: ...For I will no longer have compassion on the house of Israel that I will ever forgive them. But I will have compassion on the House of Judah... Hosea 1:6,7
From that very moment a process started, a process of total rejection of the House of Israel or Ephraim. Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, because he was determined to follow mans command. Hosea 5:11 and When I would heal Israel, the iniquity of Ephraim is uncovered, and the evil deeds of Samaria, for they deal falsely...
Hosea 7:1 and Hosea 9:16,17: Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up, they will bear no fruit...My God will cast them away because they have not listened to Him; and they will become wanderers among the nations. Ephraim, the fruitful one is cursed to bear no more fruit and to mix with the nations. And in 2 Kings 17:18: The Lord was angry with Israel, and he removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah. The Assyrian had their special ways with the people they conquered; they used to separate them and scatter them among their empire. In that way a people that was conquered could never again rise against the Assyrian empire as their national unity was broken. At the same time they brought pagans from the Assyrian empire to settle Samaria, the capital of Ephraim or of the Northern kingdom of Israel. From that time, the 8th Century BC, Ephraim is lost along with all the 10 tribes. It sounds like a great defeat and a very sad ending to the story, but in the midst of all this distress the God of Israel was cooking His plan, He was` making sure that Ephraim would fulfill his call as the Fullness of the nations. He had said in Hosea 1:11 a cryptic thing: Great shall be the day of Jezreel, which is translated Great shall be the day of the Lords sowing.
And if the Lord has sown He shall surely reap...He sowed Ephraim into the nations and He had a plan on how to reap Ephraim as the fullness of the nations.
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