Saturday, August 23, 2008

Excerpt from the Harvest

The Church

We believe that the church began with Moses and the call for Israel to come out from Egypt. This Israel, who came out of Egypt, was comprised of both native-born and gerim—"sojourners" whose clan identity was outside that of the tribes of Jacob (Ex.12:38). Together they stood at Sinai and entered into covenant with Yahweh. According to the Exodus account, the native-born along with the foreigner constituted the covenant people who received the Torah at Sinai (Ex. 19). Collectively they, the native born and the foreigner who accepted the covenant, are referred to as Israel. This Israel is what Stephen referred to as the "church" in the wilderness (Acts 7:38). Those who were outside of Israel's descendants could and would be brought into the covenant community (church) by doing what father Abraham (a goy from Ur of Chaldee) did to become righteous—namely, he placed his trust and faith in the promised Seed (the Messiah). Just as many foreigners became part of Israel then, so today many from the nations are being grafted into the olive tree of Israel by placing their faith in the promised Seed of Abraham, Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah of Israel. Just as the prophet Isaiah foretold (Isa. 56), Yahweh is gathering many from the nations to those whom He already gathered (Israel). Together these individuals comprise the universal church (covenant community of Yahweh). These Jews and Gentiles in Messiah collectively are called Israel throughout the Scriptures. There is no other "church" or covenant community; just one new man, one torah, one Messiah, one Spirit, one God. Some of the physical descendants of Jacob have rejected Yeshua and remain cut off from the covenant community of Yahweh, but are still a part of greater Israel and will be grafted back into the church (covenant community of Yahweh) when they turn from their unbelief and place their faith in Yeshua as the promised Seed of Abraham (Rom. 11). Ethnic status is not altered by acceptance or rejection of Yeshua, but covenant status is. Covenant status is determined by faith in Yeshua the Messiah. In the end, it is not ethnic status but rather covenant status that fulfills salvific history.

Mailing Address
PO Box 29993
Thornton, CO 80229

Phone: 303-761-9948