You don’t have to be around me very long to figure out that I have one single driving passion, one thought and prayer that is always with me, one desire at the core of my being that everything else revolves around. Simply, I desire to see the full and complete restoration of kol (all) Israel as prophesied throughout the Scriptures.
To be clear, there are many varying opinions on who kol Israel is, a topic I will not delve into here. For my perspective on who the twelve tribes are, where they come from and why God has separated them for a time, see my book, Ten Parts In The King; The Prophesied Reconciliation of God’s Two Witnesses.
The restoration of kol Israel is much more than simply having a bunch of yahoos coming together. At the macro, it involves unity in government that is truly Torah based, and at the micro it begins with the building blocks of family and clan that begin to walk out the fullness of what God’s Word says and not the interpretations and additions of men.
Towards the end of seeing kol Israel restored, I read and study. Here are two recent books that I have read, both fairly fast reads, that are directly related to the restoration, but from very different subject areas.
A few Shabbats ago, I was listening to some Hebraic/Messianic worship music prior to hosting the weekly fellowship in our home. Suddenly a 15 second video by a trusted Israeli ministry popped into the autoplay feed advertising a book that I know will challenge most of my audience. It was titled Rabbinic Judaism Debunked. Before you leave prematurely, you need to know that it was written by Jews, for Jews and in the introduction it clearly states,
The intention of the authors of this book is to present a vigorous critique of traditional-rabbinic Judaism. It should be clearly stated at the outset, however, that this critique is offered in the context of an intramural discussion between Jews who believe in Yeshua (Jesus) and those who do not yet follow Him. It should not be understood as an attack on the Jewish people, but rather a dispute between different sects within Judaism, over the true interpretation of the Tanakh and the authority thereof….Introduction to Rabbinic Judaism Debunked
As one who was steeped in Christian tradition, I do understand the angst and importance of reevaluating the core elements of one’s faith. It is painful, but necessary for both sides, Jew and non-Jew who are called to the Torah of Moshe.
This very well researched book is a short 100 pages with an extensive bibliography of both English and Hebrew sources and more than 300 footnotes. While I strongly discourage this from being used by non-Jews for conversation with Jews (please allow them the space to have their own discussion and debate without our interjection), I recognize the value of this work in helping us to understand how Phariseeism morphed into Rabbinic Judaism and how control was moved from the priests to the rabbis as the Second Temple period was drawing to a close. Further, as a work, it really helps us understand one viewpoint of the place, or non-place of the Talmud in interpreting and understanding both the written Torah and the larger body of the Tanakh. And, this book is a valuable buttress against forces that would press for conversion to rabbinic Judaism and/or the denial of Yeshua.
As most I fellowship with are aware, Christendom has some major cleaning up to do… Our house has used tradition and wrong interpretation and foundational beliefs for a long time to minimize the value of the Torah nd the Jew as well as their important place in God’s plan. Reading Rabbinic Judaism Debunked helped me to better understand just how much of Judaism needs to be cleaned up as well. Their problems are no less great than ours!! Just as we pray for ourselves, we must pray for them in like manner. May Abba restore kol Israel, both the Jewish and the non-Jewish portions, to the written Torah of Moshe and away from man-made interpretations, applications and rulings.
I strongly recommend you take the time to get and read a copy of Rabbinic Judaism Debunked.
The restoration of kol Israel is more than just identifying error, whether in our own tradition or in that of our brother. It is also about learning and growing into what it means to be a truly Biblical people. This involves many things, one of which is building Biblically sound families. This week I have read another very good book that I highly recommend to every Torah believer that wants to learn and understand how God expects the family to function as a basic building block for the whole nation. Dr. Gina Murray’s Biblical Family Structure, Book One: The Them In Him is a wonderfully wise and well articulated look at what Scripture says about how men and women are supposed to interact.
Western culture and post-modern feminism have done considerable damage to even Christian views on men, women, marriage, mate selection and the process as well as how the two are to function as one ‘unit,’ to use a term she uses often. Dr. Murray’s writing style is not overly intellectual, though she clearly is, and it is very meaty with few wasted words or illustration. My favorite parts of the book were her frequent direct questions to various groups of her reading audience: men, women, husbands, wives, daughters, sons, boys, girls, fathers, mothers, etc… Her obvious intent is to insure that what she is explaining is being processed and not simply read for information.
Here is an extended quote to give a flavor for her style and mindset.
Why do so many husbands and wives exalt the details or minutia of life above maintaining the state of unity or oneness? The only thing which supersedes maintaining the state of oneness between husband and wife as a priority is the supremacy of the Creator – God Himself. Too many people play with issues, thoughts, and feelings, which cause disunity or division between themselves and their spouse, clearly not understanding the scriptural/spiritual importance of unity. Too many single people greatly underestimate the importance of having a God centered idea of what the purpose of marriage is and who creates marriage. They instead make the mistake of trying to couple with people for worldly purposes such as simple personal satisfaction/gratification, companionship, social status… In contrast, God creates marriages for Himself as functional units each with a mission or calling to do some element of His will in a particular place within the Earth.Chapter One, The Them In Him
While the book is only four chapters long, the book contains four appendices that compose more than five eights of the 360+ page book. Still, it was so good that I raced through it in every spare moment over a three day timespan. I highlighted dozens of passages while copy/pasting out of my Kindle to my sons. Several are reading or getting ready to read the book because they were so impacted by her stance on what a man needs to do to be ready for marriage and what God has called each man to.
If kol Israel is to be restored to function as God originally designed His system to work, then the most basic building block of society will have to be restored to a true Biblical model. Dr. Murray has well articulated what that looks like in The Them In Him. I strongly recommend you add this to your reading list and process. Certainly, every married couple will benefit from reading this book.
re: book reads – we people, it seems, need more hours in a day! but then, like any good habit it’s worth cultivating hey?
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I try to read a little each day, then once in a while a book will grab me and I tear through it… Shalom