Yeshua would...

Keep the Commandments Only do his Father's will Look for the Lost Sheep of Israel Fulfill Messianic prophecies

More articles

On which day did the disciples worship? Believing is Doing, Faith is Action A Brief Historic Interview

Yeshua would… Look for the "Lost Sheep" of Israel.

He said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Isra'el."Mat 15:24

but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Isra'el.
As you go, proclaim, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is near,' Mat 10:6,7

1. Abraham's covenant

Genesis 17:1-6 tells us ~ "1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, YHwh to Abram and makes a covenant saying you shall be a father of many nations."

Also changes his name from Abram, to Abraham;

Where by :-

  1. He becomes father of many nations.
  2. He Becomes exceedingly fruitful;
  3. He makes nations of him,
  4. kings shall come from you."

Let's look at two words contained in this verse specifically.

  1. One is the word many or multitude.
    Hebrew word "ha-mon" (Strong's # 1995)

It literally means a large multitude, a tumultuous noisy group of people.

  1. The other word is the word Nations.
    Hebrew word "goyim" (Strong's # 1471)

which means nations, or more specifically Gentile nations.

To this day, Jews still refer to non-Jews as goy or goyim (plural).
Every place that the word goyim is used in scripture it is either translated pagansor it refers to pagan nations.

So the promise to Abraham was not only that he would have a son from his own loins by his wife Sarah, and not only that he would become the Father of the Jewish people who would come much latter in history, but that Father Abraham would become the father of a multitude of Gentiles!

In addition to the promise made to Abraham that he would become the father of many nations we also see in

Genesis 26: 4 ~ "4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;"

Today there are approximately 13-15 million Jews worldwide hardly as prolific as the stars of the heavens.

So perhaps there are more to the Commonwealth of Israel than just the Jews.

Genesis 28:3 May Elohim Almighty bless you, And make you fruitful and multiply you, That you may be an assembly of peoples;"

This word assembly or congregation is the Hebrew word "kawhawl" (Strong's # 6951) which also translates as "ekklesia" — the called out one of the New Testament.

Genesis 28:14 "Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth (a great multitude); you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

These descendants would spread out to the whole earth.

These blessings and promises are not just about the land, they are the promises that they would become a great nation of both Jews and Gentiles.

We know this because the promises are once again referred to in Hebrews 11:39-40.

2. THE NAME "ISRAEL" & the Blessing

The first time that the name Israel is mentioned in the Bible is in

Gen. 32:28 ~ 28 "And He said, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with Elohim and with men, and have prevailed."

We see further in Gen. 32:29 That YHWH changed Jacob's name to Israel that in that place YHWH blessed him.

Gen. 32:29 ~ "...And He blessed him there."

It's interesting that the name Jacob means conniver or deceiver, and surely Jacob was a deceiver before he had an encounter with the Holy One of Israel, YHWH Elohim.

As we look at the story of Jacob wrestling with Elohim, (Gen.32:24-31) we see that not only was his name changed but we also see the beginning of a profound change in the very nature of Jacob, from a very self centered conniving young man to someone who would eventually be a great.

As we look at the name Israel we will see that in changing Jacob's name to Israel, not only did YHWH bless Jacob, but at the same time He looked forward in history to our time and blessed us.

The Bible says that names denote a nature; therefore it benefits us to know what the name Israel means.

"Israel' (Strong's #3478) means "God Prevails"

The root words that make up the word Israel we see a much deeper meaning.

"Israel" comes from two root words,

Strong's #8208 - "saw rah" or sarah - which means to fight, to prevail, to have power as
a prince.

Strong's # 0410 — "el" — Almighty

The Hebrew Lexicon defines "Israel" as a "contender, or Soldier of Elohim"

The Strong's Exhaustive Concordance says of the word "Israel" — "one who will rule as Elohim"

3. Jacob's Blessing Manasseh and Ephraim whereby the promises is passed on...

We see in Genesis 48:1-20 that Jacob as an old man on his death bed passes on the birthright. However, instead of passing it on directly to Joseph he "adopts" Joseph's sons Manasseh and Ephraim as his own in verse 5, making them part of the 12 tribes.

He then goes on to bless Manasseh and Ephraim but in doing so he once again imparts the firstborn blessing to Ephraim the second born, rather than to Manasseh the firstborn.

Genesis 48:19-20 it says of Ephraim ~ "but truly his younger brother (Ephraim) shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations."
20 So he blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel will bless, saying, 'May Elohim make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!'" And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh."


Additionally, not only was Abraham promised that he and his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands of the sea but that they would possess the gates of their enemies.

Genesis 22:17 ~ "... blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies."

This promise to the nation of Israel was not just for them in their day, but also for us today. Scripture tells us in

1 Cor. 15:46 ~ "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual."

The Nation of Israel was told to go in and physically possess the land. Likewise we are told to go in and spiritually possess the land. We are to take authority over everything that YHWH has placed in our lives.


So who became Jacob's first born heir? The promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was passed on to whom?

Rueben should have been the first born heir, but he forfeited his birthright when he slept with his father's concubine.

Jacob then chose to pass the birthright onto Joseph.

This is the continuation of an interesting pattern. Abraham's heir was Isaac, the 2nd born, not Ishmael, the first born. Isaac's heir was Jacob, again the 2nd born rather than Esau the first born.

Then we see that Jacob passes on the birthright once again not to the firstborn, Reuben, but to the first born of his second wife, Joseph.

Over and over in Scripture we see Divine intervention. Each became the firstborn by election, by being adopted into that position.

So the promises passed on...
We see in Genesis 48:1-20 that Jacob was an old man and on his death bed he passes on the birthright. However, instead of passing it on directly to Joseph we see that instead he "adopts" Joseph's sons Manasseh and Ephraim as his own in verse 5, making them part of the 12 tribes.

He then goes on to bless Manasseh and Ephraim but in doing so he once again imparts the firstborn blessing to Ephraim the second born, rather than to Manasseh the firstborn. We see in

Genesis 48:19-20 it says of Ephraim ~ "but truly his younger brother (Ephraim) shall
be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations."
20 So he blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel will bless, saying, 'May Elohim make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!'" And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh."

Why is this important?
In blessing Ephraim, Jacob declared and prophesied that Ephraim would become a multitude of nations. This phrase "multitude of nations" is literally "Melo ha goyim"
"Melo ha goyim" literally means 'fullness of the gentiles'

As we will recall from the word that YHWH gave to Abraham, He told Abraham that he would become the father of a multitude of Gentile nations! Once again YHWH is speaking and confirming that the Commonwealth of Israel would include not only Jews but that it would also include Gentiles.

Interestingly the only other place in Scripture that the phrase "fullness of the gentiles" is used is in Romans 11:25

where it tells us ~ "For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel (the Jews) until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

Ezekiel 37:19 confirms that Ephraim is Joseph's heir ~ "...Thus says the YHWH ELOHIM: "Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim"

Possession of the stick indicates that Ephraim is considered the head of the tribe of Joseph. Numbers 17:2-3 tells us that each tribe has a stick or a staff and that possession of that staff indicates headship.


As we saw in Genesis 48, Jacob passed the patriarchal blessing on to Ephraim, the son of Joseph. But who was Ephraim? Ephraim was the second born son of Joseph who was born to him while Joseph was in Egypt.

Ephraim's mother was a Gentile. And so we see that already the Gentiles are beginning to appear in the Commonwealth of Israel and to be blessed.

Ephraim (Strong's # 669) meaning "doubly fruitful".

In naming his son Ephraim, Joseph tells us in

Genesis 41:52 "And the name of the second he called Ephraim: "For Elohim has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." In naming him Ephraim, Joseph foretold what Jacob would later prophesy about Ephraim.

  1. Ephraim would be considered as the firstborn heir and as such would receive a double portion of the land.
  2. Ephraim would become a great and mighty nation. We will see as we continue our study, Ephraim will eventually be the name for the whole Northern Kingdom and as such would encompass 10/12ths of the whole Commonwealth of Israel. Ephraim will indeed become a great and mighty nation. Eventually when the great gates of the city of Jerusalem are later built it is interesting to note that the largest gate was called the Ephraim gate. While it is not today called that, it was historically. Perhaps the largest gate was called the Ephraim gate because the largest group of people would enter through it some day.

After Genesis 50:23 Ephraim the individual is no longer mentioned in Scripture except in the context of genealogy lists.


In 1 Kings 11 we see that YHWH declares that He will divide the Nation of Israel into two Kingdoms.

  1. The Northern Kingdom consists of 10 tribes and is called Israel.
  2. The Southern Kingdom consisted of the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin and was called Judah; this is where we get the name "Jews" from. The Jews were the people of Judah, the Southern Kingdom.

The Northern Kingdom from this point forward in Scripture was known as either the house of Israelites or Ephraimites, as Ephraim became the ruling tribe of the Northern Kingdom, with Jeroboam, an Ephraimite, being their King.

We see that Jeroboam took the 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom and split from Rehoboam leaving him to govern the Southern Kingdom. Jeroboam established Samaria becomes the new capitol of the Northern Kingdom and the people of this area latter became known as the Samaritans.

And so began the division of the Commonwealth of Israel and the years of wars and conflict between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.

It is important to recognize from this point forward all Jews were Israelites, or descendants of Israel, but not all Israelites were Jews.


Since Jeroboam's split with the Southern Kingdom was for political purposes, it was important that he make sure the people did not return to Jerusalem and perhaps become loyal once again to King Rehoboam.

How did he accomplish this?

The first thing Jeroboam did was to change the Feast of Tabernacles. Since it was required for all of Israel to return to Jerusalem for the Feast he changed the date of the Feast to the 8th month instead of the 7th month as the Torah required. He also changed the priesthood, establishing the Northern Kingdom's own priesthood. Furthermore he told the people that they were no longer required to return to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast.

So began the Northern Kingdom's slide into apostasy. Once you change Scripture to facilitate your own agenda nothing good can come of it. As we will see, hundreds of years later this is exactly the same thing that Constantine did to the 1st century Believers in Yeshua, further removing us from our Hebrew roots.

In 721BC the Northern Kingdom was carried away into captivity by the Assyrians, so it was that Ephraim (Israel) became known as the "Ten Lost Tribes"

As was the practice of the Assyrians when they captured a people, the leaders of the 10 Northern tribes and their families were carried away beyond the Euphrates River and scattered in the far reaches of the Assyrian kingdom. The reason the Assyrians did this was so that the leaders could not rise up a rebellion against the Assyrians if they were separated from the people. The farmers and laborers were left in Samaria to tend the crops and be slave labor.

Ultimately the Ephraimites abandoned the practice of their faith and the keeping of the Law of Moses. Instead they adopted the Gentile pagan practices of their captors and became assimilated into the Gentile nations.

The Assyrian kingdom was huge at this time in history and this dispersing of Israel to the far corners of the known world was the beginning of what became known as the Diaspora, the dispersion.

But what about those who stayed in Samaria and became known as the Samaritans?

By the time of Yeshua there had become a great rift between the Jews and the Samaritans.

The story of the Samaritan woman recorded in John 4 gives us some insight.

Historically Jews at the time of Yeshua would not have anything to do with a Samaritan. They considered them the most apostate of all the "gentile" people that lived around them. But why were the Samaritans more detestable than other pagans?


First we see in John 4: 5 that the area that Yeshua was passing through was in the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. The Samaritan woman confirms this in vs. 12 when she states that this is the well that was given to them by their Father Jacob.

The Samaritans were therefore descendants of Jacob, and at one time part of the Commonwealth of Israel!

Yeshua not only did he ask her for a drink of water, but goes on to offer her "living water" which would give her eternal life!

Yeshua himself says in Matt. 15:24~... "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

So what did Yeshua know that we have missed? If He only came to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel, why is He offering an unclean Gentile Samaritan woman eternal life?

We begin to see the answer starting in verse 16 when Yeshua tells her to go and call her husband to come to the well and she replies that she has no husband. He then confirms to her that she is speaking truthfully when she says that the man she now considers her husband is in fact not her husband.

At this point she perceives that He is a great Prophet and by verse 39 He has revealed to her that He is the Messiah (vs.26) and we see the first gentile believers who come to receive Yeshua as their Messiah are Samaritans.

What is interesting about the interplay of the conversation between the Samaritan woman and Yeshua is what she knew that we don't. She knew that the Samaritans were a mixed multitude; that many of the lost Ephraimites where Samaritans. She also knew the prophecies that had been spoken about Ephraim, her ancestors, by the prophet Hosea.

So when He told her that she had no husband she knew he was referring to these very prophecies. SO LET'S LOOK AT WHAT HOSEA HAD TO SAY

Hosea was a prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Ephraimites, just prior to their being conquered and taken into captivity by the Assyrians. It is important to note that this prophecy was given to Israel while Jeroboam was still king and before they were taken captive. (Hosea 1:1)

This is important because they had just begun to turn from the ways of YHWH and He is warning them while there is still time for them to repent and return to Him.

Hosea is told in Chapter 1 to take for himself and adulterous wife, Gomer, as a sign to Israel of their spiritual adultery in turning to other Elohims. Three children are born of this union and their names are given by YHWH to Hosea as a prophecy to the Nation of Israel, the Ephraimites, of what is about to befall them because of their sin.

The first child was named Jezreel which comes from two root words; Strong's # 2232 "zera" which means "seed" and Strong's # 410 "el" which means Almighty.

The word zera is where we get the word sperm because it speaks of the entire birthing process, especially in the agricultural sense. Hence the name Jezreel speaks of the entire process of what would happen to Israel because of their sin.

First, they would be scattered just as seed is scattered. They would be dispersed to all the nations, carried off into captivity. They would be so scattered that they would in fact be hidden in the nations as it were. They would be so assimilated into these foreign Gentile nations that they would be as dead to their brothers, no longer able to be found. Even as seed when it is put into the ground; for a season Ephraim would appear to be dead and lost forever. But just like seed that is scattered they would come forth with new life. They would appear again in a beautiful new form. And once they again appeared there would then be a great harvest.

While the prophecy found in this first child's name would seem harsh in light of the fact that the Nation of Israel/Ephraim would be scattered and for all intents and purposes become lost, there is yet a promise of hope that they will return some day from their lost and dead state.

Hosea 1:6 tells that a second child was born and YHWH instructed Hosea to name this one, LoRuhamah. This name means "no mercy, no compassion"

In naming this second child Loruhamah, YHWH is saying that He can no longer have mercy and compassion on the Northern Kingdom. They have turned from the ways of YHWH they have become as a pagan and idolatrous nation and He can no longer tolerate their gross and continuous sin.

Verse 6 then tells us that a third child is born and this child is named LoAmmi which means "not my people". So great had the sin of the Ephraimites become that YHWH had finally declared that they would be scattered to the nations, and completely lose their identity as His people.

We see this confirmed in

Hosea 7:8 where it says ~ " Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples;" and Hosea 8:8 further tells us ~ "Israel is swallowed up; Now they are among the Gentiles, like a vessel in which is no pleasure."

The prophetic nature of Hosea naming the first child Jezreel is confirmed in

Amos 9:9 "For surely I will command, And will sift (scatter) the house of Israel (Ephraim) among all nations,... (the word nations here is goyim — gentiles)

So now we can see why when Yeshua was speaking to the Samaritan woman and told her that she had no husband, she would understand what He meant. The Samaritans were descendants of the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim. They knew the prophecies of Hosea that said they would be cut of, in essence divorced from the Elohim of Israel. She knew that as a people YHWH was no longer their husband.

This is why the Jews detested the Samaritans so much. They knew that the Samaritans had been part of the Commonwealth of Israel. They knew that the Samaritans were their brothers Ephraim. They also knew that they had fallen into great apostasy and abandoned the ways of the Elohim of Israel and as such cut off by YHWH.

Ephraim was so completely cut off and lost in the Gentile nations that Josephus, the Jewish Historian from the first century AD states in his Antiquities "the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now and are an immense multitude not to be estimated in numbers."

Almost 1800 years later, Alfred Edersheim, a 19th century Jewish Believer and theologian wrote in his respected work, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah: "The great mass of the ten tribes was in the days of Messiah, as in our own, lost to the Hebrew nation" He went on to say regarding his study of rabbinical thought... "As regards the ten tribes there is this truth underlying... that, as their persistent apostasy from the Elohim of Israel and His worship has cut them off from His people, so the fulfillment of the Divine promises to them in the latter days would imply, as it were, a second birth to make them once more Israel"


In Hosea 2:22 we see that the descendants of the Northern Kingdom, the Ephraimites would one day "...respond to Jezreel." They would respond to YHWH completely cutting them off and dispersing them to the nations. They would turn their hearts back to Elohim.

And YHWH would once again respond to them with mercy and compassion.

Hosea 1:10 tells us that the nation of Israel would once again be so immense that it could not be numbered. (vs. 10) It then goes on to tell us "... In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There it shall be said to them, 'You are sons of the living Elohim.'

This very prophecy is quoted by the Apostle Paul when speaking to Gentiles in Romans 9:22-26 where he says that YHWH will call His people "not from among the Jews only, but also from among the Gentiles"! LOOK AT ROMANS 9:22-26

So we see in Hosea 1:11 a promise that once again the Southern Kingdom of Judah (the Jews) and the Northern Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim (those lost in the Gentile nations) would be gathered together, ~ "11 Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel!"

This prophecy in Hosea 1:11 points to an even more beautiful prophecy in Ezekiel 37 which tells us what that day will be like when the whole Commonwealth of Israel is once again gathered together under one King.

We have seen so far that the Nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms, the Southern Kingdom of Judah, what became known as the Jews, and the Northern Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim which because of their turning from the ways of YHWH were carried off into captivity and eventually assimilated and lost in the Gentile nations.

Ephraim, as it is carried farther and farther away into the Gentile nations, continues to pursue the pagans ways of those Gentile nations until the remnant of the Northern Kingdom is no longer distinguishable from the Gentiles that they live amongst.

Hosea 13:15 tells us ~ "Though he (Ephraim) is fruitful among his brethren, An east wind shall come;" against Ephraim which explains why YHWH also says of Ephraim in Hosea 11:9- 10 ~ "I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am Elohim, and not man, the Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror. 10 "They shall walk after the YHWH. He will roar like a lion. When He roars, Then His sons shall come trembling from the west;"

So we see that Ephraim is scattered as seed, blown by the east wind, to all the nations. Many of the descendants of Ephraim to this day are scattered in the Gentile nations.

Today they look far more like Gentiles than like sons of Israel.

The Gathering of the House of Judah (the Jews) & house of Ephraim (Israel)

Even though YHWH has said through the Prophet Hosea that He would cut the Northern Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim off and no longer consider them His people as we saw in Hosea 1:11 a time would come when He would once again gather together the sons of Judah (the Jews) and the sons of Israel (the Ephraimites who have been lost in the Gentile nations) and they would be one people under one leader.

Hosea 1:11 ~ "Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head;..."

As Hosea 11 told us, a "lion" would roar and the sons would come trembling from the west. Who is this lion but Yeshua Messiah the great Lion of Judah!.

The Prophet Ezekiel gives us the most beautiful description of this reuniting of the two kingdoms in Ezekiel 36 and 37.

Ezekiel 36:24-28
"24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your Elohim."

What a great promise to Ephraim. The day would come when YHWH would roar like a lion, (Yeshua) and Ephraim would respond and return from their captivity. He would call them from all the nations of the world where He scattered them and they would be washed clean. He would give them a new heart and put a new spirit in them. They would once again be His people and He would be their Elohim! What a beautiful picture of the born again experience; drawn by the roar of His Spirit, washed by the Blood of the Lamb, redeemed and restored to the Commonwealth of Israel!

Ezekiel 37 then goes on to tell us that there will be a great reunion between the Northern and the Southern Kingdom.

Read Ezekiel 37: 15-28
Vs 19 ~ "Thus says the YHWH ELOHIM: "Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand."' Vs. 21 -22 ~ "...I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again." Vs. 24 ~ "David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them."

This great reunion will be marked by a few things. They will be one nation again and they will have one king/shepherd over them. When scripture refers to "David my servant shall be king over them" this is not referring to King David, but rather the Son of David, Yeshua Messiah. We know this because King David was king before the initial split of the Nation of Israel and there was no regathering historically during David's time. The only King this could refer to is King Yeshua, the Great Shepherd.

Isaiah 49:6 tells us of Yeshua ~ "... 'You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'"

Matthew 4:14-16 confirms this ~ 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 15 " The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, (part of the Northern Kingdom of Ephraim) By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: 16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned."

It important to remember that Ezekiel 37:19 says that when the reuniting of the Commonwealth of Israel happens that not only will the House of Judah, the Jews, and the House of Israel/Ephraim be reunited but so will their "companions".

The Mystery Paul talks of

Romans 11: 25-26 ~ "25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel (Judah) until the fullness of the Gentiles (Ephraim) has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;"

Paul says that this hardening or blindness of the Jews will be "until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in" — the "melo ha Goyim"

Does this mean until a certain number of Gentiles "join" Israel? No, Gentiles have always been able to become part of Israel. — See Ex. 12:48 and Isaiah 56

Is the "mystery" as Paul says in Romans 11:26 "and so all Israel will be saved", that all of the biological Israelites will be saved? No! Because Paul says in Romans 9:6 ~ "For they are not all Israel who are of Israel," YHWH tells us in Exodus 12:15 that faithless, unfruitful branches will be broken off from Israel, that even those born naturally into the Commonwealth of Israel can be broken off by disobedience and unbelief.

The "mystery" that Paul speaks of is not just the mystery of salvation. The Jews were not completely blinded to the truth of salvation for the most part. Most all of the first century Believers were Jews! The mystery is who Ephraim is, and that Ephraim (their brothers) would be used to provoke Judah to jealousy and thereby bring them to the truth of salvation (Yeshua)!!

The Jews have been blinded in part not only to the truth of Yeshua, their Messiah, but to the truth about their brother Ephraim. Yeshua said to His followers (who were primarily Jewish) in John 10:16 ~ and other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd."

He also said in Matthew 15:24 ~ "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

When YHWH Elohim cut off the Northern Kingdom of Israel/Ephraim for their apostasy and dispersed them to the Gentile nations, He knew that one day they would return from their captivity. He knew that even though they had lost all identity as Sons of Israel and had become lost as it were to the Commonwealth of Israel, that He would not have lost track of them. The "ten lost tribes" are not so lost after all. Not one Son of Israel is lost in YHWH's eyes, only in ours. Because the Sons of Israel were "lost" in the Gentile nations, as they are now being called home, as they are returning to the ancient path, They are a much larger multitude. Even as the promise to Abraham said, they are as the sands of the sea and the stars of the heavens, too numerous to be counted.

The Story of the Prodigal Son

Romans 10:19 ~ "I will provoke you to jealousy..." a direct quote from the words of Moses to Israel in Deuteronomy 32:21

So how is it that we are to provoke our brothers Judah (the Jews) to jealousy?

We see a clear picture of this when we look at the story of the Prodigal Son through the eyes of Ephraim and Judah.

Amos 8:11 tells of a time that reaches even into our time. Amos 8:11 ~ "11 "Behold, the days are coming," says the YHWH ELOHIM, "That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the YHWH."

Those who are truly Sons of Ephraim, called out ones, holy unto the YHWH, will hunger for more of the word of YHWH. Milk will no longer satisfy them. They will hunger for truth and that hunger will drive them home to the heart of the Father! It is no wonder that Ephraim is returning home even in this hour driven by a desire for more; a desire YHWH Elohim sees Ephrim in Jeremiah 31:20 as ~ "20 Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For though I spoke against him, I earnestly remember him still; therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the YHWH. their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there."

At the time of the writing of 2 Kings, the Southern Kingdom of Judah was returning to Jerusalem. Had Ephraim been returning with them, they could not still be in exile in Assyria!

Furthermore, the Prophet Ezra tell us in 1 Chronicles 5:26(NIV) ~ "...He took them (Ephraimites) to Halah, Habor, Hara and the river of Gozan, where they are to this day."

Ezra wrote this in about 440BC almost 100 years after Judah returned from captivity.

Finally, Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:17 ~ "17 And He (Yeshua) came and preached peace to you who were afar off (Ephraim) and to those who were near (Judah)." quoting the Prophet Daniel who says in Daniel 9:7 ~ "7 O YHWH, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You."

We must not forget the promise YHWH made to us through the Prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel chapter 37, that He would unite the House of Judah and the House of Ephraim into one stick, one glorious Olive tree and they would be one people with one King, Yeshua!!

THE OLIVE TREE & the grafting?

We have been taught not only that we were adopted sons of Abraham, but that we were grafted in sons. Now that we know that it is not the family of Abraham that we are adopted into, what about the graft? What exactly are we grafted into?

The first time that the Olive Tree is mentioned in Scripture is in Jeremiah 11:16 ~ "16 The YHWH called your name, Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit..."

Who did the YHWH call the Olive Tree? The answer is a few verses prior in Jeremiah 11:10.

Jeremiah tells us who he is speaking to. "10 ...the house of Israel and the house of Judah..."

Jeremiah calls both houses the Olive tree. He also says of this tree that it is a "green tree" indicating that it is a tree full of life. This tree was a living tree which comprised two branches, the House of Judah, the Jews, and the House of Ephraim/Israel, former gentile believers.

Revelations 22:16 tell us that Yeshua is 16 "... the Root and the Offspring of David"

Yeshua is the root of this tree, the very life giving source of this "living tree" and He is also a branch as an offspring of David. He was of the House of Judah.

We begin to see that the trees roots are not Judaism, but rather they are Yeshua. We will also see that the branches that are grafted in are not just "gentile believers" but both houses of Israel, Jews and former gentiles. Both houses are in need of a graft.

Since Scripture never contradicts itself and always sets the standard for Biblical interpretation, the Olive Tree in Romans 11 must be the same Olive tree that Jeremiah saw. First we must return to Jeremiah and see what YHWH said about Ephraim in Jeremiah 2:21
~ "21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?"

The word "degenerate" is Strong's # 5495 — "soor" and means "turning aside"

While the word "alien" is Strong's # 5237 — "nok-ree" which means "foreign, alien, gentile".

Ephraim was once a part of a "noble vine/tree" but he "turned away" and became as a "foreign/gentile" vine, a wild olive tree. Once Ephraim became rebellious and turned from YHWH and embraced pagan ways, YHWH cut Ephraim's branches off and scattered his seed to the nations. Just like natural trees, when their "seeds" are scattered to places other than where they were originally intended to be they become "wild trees". So we see with Ephraim, he assimilated into the gentile nations where he was scattered and became as a "wild olive tree" but originally they were part of the "Olive tree of Israel".

Now we begin to get a clearer picture of what Paul was talking about in Romans 11 when he gives us this beautiful picture of the Olive tree with its grafts and branches and also the wild olive tree that Paul talks about here.

When a tree quits producing fruit it needs a graft to re-energize it. By the time of Romans 11 the only ones left that were part of the Olive tree of Israel were Judah, the Jews, and they had become very barren.

Ephraim had already been cut off for its unbelief and now Judah was about to be cut off also. This was a dying tree, but YHWH had a plan. Because of Ephraim's new found belief in the Elohim of Israel, he is now being grafted back into the tree which he was originally a part of. Ephraim had found the very source of life, the root of the tree, Yeshua Messiah.

In looking at Romans 11:17 we see that some of the branches have been broken off while others were grafted in ~ 17 "And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them,"

We know that the wild olive branches that were grafted in were the Sons of Ephraim, who had been lost in the gentile nations and have now returned but who are the branches that were broken off? Verse 20 tells us ~ "... Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith." Clearly Judah was broken off for unbelief, and Ephraim was grafted in because of their faith;

Judah for their unbelief in Yeshua Messiah and Ephraim for believing and accepting Yeshua.

Paul goes on to warn us in Verses 20-22 ~ "...Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if Elohim did not spare the natural branches (Judah), He may not spare you (Ephraim/gentile believers) either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of Elohim: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off."

And of Judah (the Jews) Paul gives us hope in verse 23 ~ 23 And they (Judah) also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for Elohim is able to graft them in again.

Clearly we see that both Judah and Ephraim are grafted in or cut off based on belief. We also see clearly from verse 22 that even Believers if they do not continue in "His goodness", if they do not continue to believe in YHWH Elohim and Yeshua Messiah, they too can be cut off.

This seems to do away with the teaching of "once saved, always saved". While no one else can take you out of the hand of Elohim, you by your own unbelief can remove yourself from the Commonwealth of Israel, the family of YHWH.

As we now look at the Olive Tree of Israel with new eyes the words of the Prophet Ezekiel make even more sense.

EZEKIEL 37:15-29
15 "Again the word of the YHWH came to me, saying, 16 "As for you, son of man, take a stick (branch) for yourself and write on it: 'For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.' Then take another stick (branch) and write on it, 'For Joseph, the stick (stick) of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.' 17 Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, (one Olive Tree) and they will become one in your hand. 18 "And when the children of your people speak to you, saying, 'Will you not show us what you mean by these?'— 19 say to them, 'Thus says the YHWH ELOHIM: "Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand."' 20 And the sticks on which you write will be in your hand before their eyes. 21 "Then say to them, 'Thus says the YHWH ELOHIM: "Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; 22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king (Yeshua) shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. 23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their Elohim. 24 "David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. 25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. 28 The nations also will know that I, the YHWH, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore."'"

Genesis 37:3 tells us ~ "3 Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph (the father of Ephraim) more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors." The story of Joseph, the father of Ephraim, and his coat of many colors is a beautiful story of the "multitude of nations" that would come from Joseph's loins. Truly YHWH knew that this "multitude of nations" would come from every race and shade of color! Perhaps this is why Joseph in laying his hands on Ephraim's head and blessing him in

Genesis 48:19 said ~ "...truly his younger brother (Ephraim) shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations." A "multitude of nations" —

a "melo ha goyim" — the very "fullness of the gentiles" that Paul tells us in Romans 11:25 must come in before the veil is lifted and Judah (the Jews) can in fullness believe and once again be one with their brothers in the hand of YHWH.

Judaism preserved the Law of Moses and because of that, today we still have YHWH's Instructions in Righteousness. Zechariah 8:23 tells us ~ "23 "Thus says the YHWH of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that Elohim is with you."'"

Why 10 men, why not 5 men or 11 men?? Because Zechariah is telling us that in that day, the 10 "lost tribes" of Israel will return from the nations where they have been dispersed and will grab hold of the "sleeve" of their Jewish brothers and say teach us the ways of YHWH Elohim.

This "sleeve" is the very corner of our brother Judah's prayer shawl that he has been wearing every since YHWH commanded him to during the time of Moses. It represents the thousands of years that our brother Judah has been keeping Father's commandments, preserving His Covenant, waiting for us to return and say teach us His ways!!