Judah and Joseph: Part 5
Jul 26, 2006
I showed last time that the Church was and is actually a continuation of the tribe of Judah. The Church originally was formed under Moses (Acts 7:38), but on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, God cut off many people from being citizens of the tribe of Judah. This was done for reasons stated in the law, as I showed.
The earliest days of the New Testament Church consisted primarily of Judeans--that is, people of the nation of Judea. Tribally, most of the disciples were of Benjamin, because that tribe settled north of Jerusalem in the days of Ezra (Neh. 11:25-36). Thus, Galilee became the inheritance of Benjamin, and this is where most of Jesus' disciples lived.
But yet they had cast their lot with the rightful Heir of the scepter, the King of Judah, and so were nationally the citizens of the House of Judah. This is how they were able to retain their citizenship in the Kingdom. The rest--those who rejected Jesus or supported His opposition--were cut off from being citizens of the Kingdom.
And so, the early Church was the Tribe of Judah and the Kingdom of God itself, while those who were known by men as "Jews" were not so in the eyes of God. To this small Kingdom were then added many others from various nations as they came to believe in Him. In becoming citizens of Christ's Kingdom, they essentially joined the Tribe of Judah as proselytes. They were not second-class citizens, but enjoyed full citizenship rights.
When Paul asked "Who is a Jew?" in Romans 2:28, he was dealing with the question of citizenship in the Kingdom. But we may extend this further by asking, "Who is an Israelite?" This goes beyond citizenship and deals with authority and rulership in the Kingdom.
Once a person has become a citizen ("Judah"), he may then grow spiritually to the place where he may also be a ruler ("Israel").
Jacob was the first to receive the name "Israel." He was not born an Israelite, but received that name after learning the sovereignty of God. "Israel" literally means God Commands. No man will rule in God's Kingdom unless he understands this idea fully and lives it daily. For Jacob it meant that he now had the ability to see the face of God in his most bitter foe--Esau. Thus, when Jacob met Esau the next day, he was able to say in Gen. 33:10, "Therefore have I seen thy face as though I had seen the face of God."
The ability to rule and judge the earth, all men, and even angels, comes with the ability to see purpose in all things. Such understanding gives a person a divine perspective that stands above the normal passions and biases of men. They can judge with dispassionate authority and love according to the law's instructions for judges and kings.
Even as being of Judah requires the acceptance of Jesus in His role as the Inheritor of the scepter of Judah, so also being of Israel requires accepting Jesus in His second-coming role as the Inheritor of the birthright of Joseph-Israel.
This is why Rev. 19:13 says that He comes with his robe dipped in blood. Joseph's robe was dipped in blood (Gen. 37:31). Likewise, the second dove was dipped in blood (Lev. 14:6), because the two doves signified Christ in His two appearances. The first was killed, even as Jesus was killed; the second was dipped in the blood and let loose (alive) in the field (the world).
These two comings of Christ are thus prophesied in the law, as I wrote in more detail in my book, The Laws of the Second Coming. The two doves are identified as with Judah and Joseph. Joseph was given the birthright (1 Chron. 5:1, 2), and his sons were made custodians of the name of Israel(Gen. 48:16). Hence, to become an Israelite today, one must accept Christ in His Joseph identity and calling.
First of all, the requirement is to support Jesus as the Inheritor of the birthright, rather than supporting the unbelieving Jews who oppose Him. One must also put the New Jerusalem ("Sarah") as the center of the Kingdom, as opposed to the old Jerusalem ("Hagar"). See Galatians 4:24, 25. Those who claim that Jesus is going to rule from the old Jerusalem are fighting for the wrong city and the wrong leaders, and are actually opposing Jesus. Like Judas, they are betraying Him.
Those who think that the Messiah is going to return to end the Age of Grace and begin another Old Testament Age of Law--in which the old sacrificial system and Levitical priesthood will be re-established--are not qualified to rule in the Kingdom of God. Such teaching again tramples on the blood of Jesus and seeks to disinherit the Melchizedek priesthood, which is called to rule.
Most importantly, only the "Sons of God" will rule God's Kingdom. This is the core of Joseph's calling and the essence of the birthright. Jacob-Israel blessed Joseph, saying in Gen. 49:22, "Joseph is a fruitful bough." The Hebrew word for "bough" is ben, or Son. "Joseph is a fruitful Son." To join with Joseph is to come into Sonship. To accept Jesus Christ as the Inheritor of the birthright of Joseph is the first step toward true Sonship. No, people do not necessarily have to understand the precise Scriptural basis for Sonship, but they do have to make Jesus the Inheritor and not make the Jews the inheritors of Joseph's birthright.
To make the Jews "chosen" inheritors who supposedly will rule the world in the Kingdom is the primary doctrine that disqualifies Christians from Sonship. Such thinking betrays Jesus Himself and makes Sonship a mere matter of genealogy.
When I was young, I was taught that any day now the Jews are going to add Jesus to their Judaism, and that this will immediately qualify them to rule the world. No, that is not how it works. If nothing else, rulership is a matter of long training. If any Jew comes to accept Jesus as the Messiah who came as the King of Judah, this may make him a citizen of the Kingdom, but it will not qualify him for rulership. Nor will God put him on a fast-track and give him an unfair advantage over non-Jews on the basis of his genealogy.
See how God trained Joseph for rulership. It took years in the dungeon before the immaturity was worked out of him. As a young man, he thought he was qualified to rule just because his father loved him more than his brothers. And then God began to train him by hard experience until he learned to stop his pursuit of unfair advantage and privileges.
As I showed earlier, many of the Caucasian people are ex-Israelites of the dispersion of the House of Israel. But this does not make them "privileged," nor will God give any of them a position of rulership over others on the basis of their genealogy. He will have no tyrants ruling in His Kingdom--not even full-blooded descendants of the Israelites. No man will be put into a position of rulership unless he genuinely LOVES those he is expected to rule. It is a matter of the heart.
In God's Kingdom, rulership means being given the power to be a servant to those you rule. Those who still think of rulers as an aristocracy of privilege are unqualified to rule. Those who pursue rulership as a pursuit of unfair advantage are unqualified to rule. Those who see power as a means of attaining wealth at the expense of his servant class are unqualified to rule. Those who harbor a double standard and two gospels--one for the Jew and one for all others--is unqualified to rule.
Above all, one must be able to look back upon the injustices done to us personally and say with Joseph in Gen. 50:20,
"But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
That is a true Israelite in whom is no guile.
This is the final part of a series titled "Judah and Joseph." To view all parts, click the link below.