We are living in truly amazing times. In my understanding, nothing less then the beginning of the time described by the Prophet Yermiyahu (Jeremiah), “….in those days the House of Yehuda (Judah) will walk with the House of Yisrael (Israel) – Yermiyhu (Jeremiah) 3:18. Does that sound like a very bold assertion? Yes, for sure… but let me tell you what has been going on in Israel over the last number of years that causes me to feel that way.
It has only been approximately slightly more then 30 years that ‘Ephraim’ – Lost Israel among the nations, has begun to awake to their identity. Across the world, they have come to realize that they too are part (alongside their Jewish brothers and sisters) of Israel. Dispersed Israel, in the earliest stages of awakening to their identity; prior to their promised regathering and reunion.
Although, among the people involved, there is much excitement about this, they have generally been unknown to both Christians and Jews, worldwide. At least until recently…. The last few years have witnessed a surge in understanding of who these people are – not in the United States, but in Israel. This awareness has come, not from hearing about this movement, or reading about it. It hasn’t come from watching any DVD’s or a YouTube video. And, it has not come from hearing someone lecture about it. It has come, rather, from seeing and speaking to Ephraimites, in the streets, towns and cities of Israel.
Those in this movement who foolishly thought they could issue proclamations to the Government of Israel and make demands, thankfully appear to be only a small minority. Rather, actually being in Israel, participating in the Chagim (festivals), volunteering and being involved in society has made the difference, though. It has created an awareness of the very fact that Ephraim exists, and desires to come home and be reunited with their Jewish brothers and sisters. But, it has come from a position of love and mutual respect for the Reconciliation and Restoration of ALL of Israel.
It has come from Jewish people observing returning Ephraim march in Jerusalem’s Parade of All Nations. Held yearly during Sukkot, the parade has always featured a huge presence of Christian Zionists from around the world. They are sponsored by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem, an organization of Christians who love Israel. However, beginning in 2014 (for the first time ever!), and every year since, marching behind the banners of United 2 Restore have been Ephraimites from around the world! Coming from countries as diverse as Fiji, Canada, Sri Lanka, Holland, Papua, Germany, Singapore, Peru, South Africa and the United States, they have marched together; as Ephraim/Yosef (Joseph) returning. The banners they carried were of Judah & Ephraim coming together, and an illustration of the prophecy of Zechariah of the 10 men of the nations holding on to the Tzitzit of the Jewish man; with the caption from Sefer Bereshit (Book of Genesis), “It is my brothers that I am seeking…” said by Yosef (Joseph) 37:16.
It has been from ‘chance’ encounters with Israelis while standing in line at the grocery store, ordering a cup of coffee and other elements of daily interaction. But most importantly, the heart of wanting to be in Israel is what is most apparent. I keep hearing stories of seemingly, ‘divine appointments’ happening, again and again. And no, not just during Sukkot, Simchat Torah or Shabbat – but in every location, at all times. It has happened to me, numerous times – and many times with people who are personally unaware of the number of people involved in this movement. They are just there in Israel, because they feel they need to be. And when I share with them, my experiences with Ephraimites from around the world – they are stunned by the scope of this amazing movement. They often think they are among the first people who have been brought to this understanding. The movement of the return of Ephraim and the Restoration of ALL of Israel…
More and more Ephraimites are coming on volunteer programs; their college age children are applying to study for a semester or a year in Israeli universities. They are studying Hebrew in their communities around the world. They are reading legitimate Israeli news websites on a regular basis, and raising funds to support social welfare organizations in Israel. They are starting to feel and most importantly, to act as part of the nation of Israel. They and their communities, congregations and fellowships are wrestling with what exactly does it mean to be part of the Restoration of our Nation – the Nation of Israel. Not just part of a new denomination – but focusing on the national aspects, which their ancestors hadn’t even considered for more then 2,700 years…
We are on the verge of a whole new situation, an entirely new reality. One where people are laser focused on what unites us, rather then what could potentially divide us. One where we are driven by the concepts of mutual respect for the Reconcilliation and Restoration of ALL of Israel. One where we are truly United 2 Restore…. Yeah, as those song lyrics said, so long ago – “For the times, they are a changin’…”
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