Sunday, September 6, 2015

Lost Sheep

posted on Facebook by Jesus Christ is King

Many Christians, when reading the letters of Paul come into contact with verses like "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.." (Galatians 3:13a)
The first thought that would come into mind is: "The Law is a curse....God cursed people by giving them the law....and now Jesus got rid of that curse (the law)."
Although anyone who has read the front of the book will know that the "curse" of the law is distinct from the law itself.
In Deuteronomy 28, God gives a list of curses that will fall upon the people if they do not obey his commandments. You will go into slavery, you will have no land, you will suffer in hunger and thirst, your children will be snatched away from you...etc, etc
This is the curse of the law Christ redeemed us from (Israel). The people of Galatia were from the lost sheep of Israel (the Northern Kingdom). The word Galatian itself comes from the hebrew word Galut meaning dispersed/exile. Peter in one of his letters also began with an introduction addressing several cities among them being Galatia, he calls them "To God’s elect, the exiles scattered" (1 Peter 1:1)
Paul's letter is to Israelites who were exiled and were without a covenant.
Why were they exiled?
They were cursed because they did not keep God's commandments...instead they began to worship idols. He warned them many times through his prophets yet they did not stop worshiping the works of their hands.
So he gave Israel (The Northern Kingdom) a letter of divorce (Jeremiah 3:8). This might not seem much at first, but if you've read the Torah before (Genesis-Deuteronomy) then you will know that once a husband divorces his wife...and she marries another....she cannot return to her first.
Once he wrote the letter of divorce to Israel (Jer 3:8), he told her to come back (Jer 4:1-2 and following chapters). Although Israel never repented.
So now they are eternally separated from God. A wife who is divorced from her husband...and has moved on to another, is not allowed to return to her first (It's an abomination - Deuteronomy 24:1-4).
But something strange happens....God says he will create a new covenant (Jer 31:31-34)...He will call the people who he called "Not my people" and then call them again "My people" (Hosea 2:23)...He will reclaim the sheep who have gone astray (Ezekiel 34:16).
That's impossible. Once she is divorced and she moved's forbidden. Will God break his own law to create a new covenant with Israel?
Well according to God's law, the only time a woman can remarry another man is when the husband dies (Deuteronomy 25:5).
So now we see something interesting going on. Yahweh (God) must die in order to remarry Israel. Ah.
They believed this was impossible "...remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:12)
But now hope has come....Yahweh became a human being, Yeshua of Nazareth. He lived a perfect life according to the law and the prophets. He was put to death, although because he was sin-less ... the grave could not hold him. Death is for those who are in sin.
Now a clearer picture is made where Yeshua says: "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)
The lost sheep that Yeshua keeps referring to in the gospels is the scattered people of Israel. They are as a sheep without a shepherd (Ezekiel 34:5, Matthew 9:36)
Yeshua says:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
And in Ezekiel 34, God identifies himself as the "good shepherd" who will regather the "lost sheep"
Yeshua is accused of hanging out with sinners in Luke 15 (We've all heard this right "Jesus hang out with drunks, sinners, and outcasts"). He goes on to give a rhetorical question: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" (Lk 15:4)
The people he's "hanging out with" are the lost sheep of Israel. They were the ones who rebelled against God by worshiping idols. (The Pharisees were from the Southern Kingdom, Jews, Not apart of the Northern Kingdom - Israel). So the Jews didn't love their brothers anymore...they called them dogs, sinners, idol worshipers, etc.
Hence, Jesus also says "I have not come to call the righteous (Jews), but sinners (Lost Sheep) to repentance." (Luke 5:32) when he's criticized for eating and hanging with them.
The whole New Testament is about the Lost sheep of Israel, Another example is: The Parable of the "Good Samaritan" (Luke 10:25-37)
A scribe asks Yeshua "Who is my neighbour?"
He replies with a story where a man from Jericho (a Jew) is beaten, robbed and left for dead. A priest saw him, said nothing, and kept walking. Then a levite, saw him, did nothing nothing and kept walking. Then a Samaritan, who was walking by also saw him...he took pity on the man...came, placed bandages on him, poured oil and wine on his wounds and rented for him to stay in until he gets healed.
Jesus asked the scribe "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The scribe said "The one who had mercy on him."
Who was the Samaritan? A Samaritan. It comes from a city called "Samaria" which was apart of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. He was from one of the lost tribes of Israel.
They eventually began to be called the the Samaritans, the people of Samaria. One of them was the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well. She was an Israelite. She asks Jesus "Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?" (Jn 4:2)
Who is Jacob? He is the forefather of all the tribes of Israel.
What does this parable mean to the Scribe? It means you should Love God, and your neighbour...your neighbour is the scattered sheep who you hate so much because they disobeyed God and were separated from the Kingdom.
How is all of this relevant? It's that none of this is taught in churches, but rather twisted to fit what people like to hear.
I hear people often say "We're redeemed from the curse of the law...." but you're a were never under the law in the first place.
To the Ephesians (Israelites) he says: Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth.... (Eph 2:11). When the Israelites were separated from the covenant, they became gentiles (not apart of Israel).
So they were placed under a curse...and they're no longer under a curse. They were gentiles, now they're grafted back into the olive branch.
Gentiles (non Israelites) like Europeans were never under the curse of the law. Yet in America, UK, Europe all you hear is "We're redeemed from the curse of the law".
Concerning the Sheep in the Gospels that the "Shepherd" goes back for once they're "lost"....those are the scattered sheep of Israel. If you read the front of the book, you would see Israel being referred to as lost sheep.
Yet in gentile churches you always hear "I was a lost sheep, that's what Jesus was talking about....but he found me! Woo!"
Concerning the hear "the samaritan was a random person, the point of the parable is that you never know who is your neighbor and you should just love everyone" (I'm sure alot of people think this...whenever someone does something good, they are always called a 'good samaritan' which actually comes from the bible in reference to the lost sheep of Israel)
Concerning marriage and law, many Pastors will look at the New Testament for advice...Such as Romans 7:
Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.
So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
He starts off by saying "I am speaking to those who know the law" (yet, people who dont know the law try and interpret what he's saying...he's speaking to those who know the law).
The law of marriage has authority over a person as long as they the law of marriage...the wife is bound to her husband forever (no divorce allowed)....but if her husband dies, she is set free from the LAW of Marriage (Deut. 25:5)...If she commits adultery by going with another man (idol worship)....she is called an adulterous (Hosea 1:2)...but if her husband dies (Yahweh who is God)....she may remarry him again! That is Yahweh in the flesh, Yeshua the Messiah!
Most people go to this verse for marriage advice...some people go to it so they can say "Look! We're no longer under law, we're under grace".
The amount of messages/comments we get is overwhelming. We can't respond to everyone. But If you read this post (and checked the verses cited) and it resonates as being truth to your spirit then consider searching it out. You don't have to be right about everything. You might have read a verse before and thought "These guys are wrong, It says this right here" but you need a teacher who knows the Bible in context to help you understand it better.

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