After reading several books over the years that attempt to identify gentile believers as becoming Israelites, especially using the Genesis 48:19 text as proof that gentiles make up the dispersed of Ephraim, I began to notice that they constantly are referring to us as being grafted “into Israel”, “in Israel”, in one form or another. This is disconcerting to me. Many, in their effort do such a masterful job of keeping focus in developing the accurate typologies in and through the lives of the patriarchs. However, most seem to usually leave the context and get carried away with a romantic look instead of a scriptural one.
One author in particular wrote a book in a genuine effort to dispel what Shaul (Paul) refers to as “the mystery of the Good News.” In it the author states masterfully that we gentile believers have covenant rights by adoption as he suggests we find our type in the Genesis 48 text. Here he interprets the text as prophetically describing the type; (the adopted sons of Jacob/Israel through Ephraim and Manasseh) as representing us ultimately being adopted through Messiah (the adopted son of Joseph, Mary’s husband), into Israel. This, in my opinion, is where the type is being seen as the reality.
Normally these teachers and authors acknowledge the typology seen in Jacob/Israel, Joseph, Ephraim/Manasseh accurately but instead of translating the message into what the typology represents they continue in the typology! I’m not suggesting that believing gentiles CANNOT BE descendants of Ephraim. For some that may be the case! However, even if that is the case, according to the Scriptures, it is NOT the point!
Since the phrase “mystery of the Good News” is found in Shaul’s (Paul) letter to the Ephesians, lets take a few minutes and consider some of the text surrounding that phrase. Specifically, lets see how many times the phrase “in Israel”, “into Israel”, “by Israel” and/or “through Israel” are mentioned in this letter. After doing repeated word searches of the above, I found exactly NONE! Not once does Shaul (Paul) make a reference to the Ephesian believers being found “in, into, by, or through” Israel. He does reference gentile believers as being once separated from “the commonwealth of Israel.” You might want to do more research on that phrase. I found it to be in reference to the civil polity of citizenship that would depict their community as what it was suppose to be; a called out people unto Messiah, who serve HIM. Not an entity unto itself. So, when Shaul (Paul) suggests in Ephesians that there is a mystery regarding the Good News, he does not disclose that mystery as being found IN any one people group.
However, when doing a similar search in Ephesians using the terms “in, into, by, through” as referenced to YAHSHUA, MESSIAH, GOD, LORD, etc, we find this;
“IN YAHSHUA”; 6 reference verses
“IN MESSIAH”; 4 reference verses
“IN YAHSHUA Messiah” 5 reference verses
“IN HIM” 6 reference verses
“THROUGH WHOM” 1 Reference (speaking of YAHSHUA)
“BY HIM” 2 reference verses
“IN The LORD” 6 reference verses
Lets also do a similar search for the terms “in, into, by, and through” in reference to THE SPIRIT!
“IN the SPIRIT” 4 reference verses
“THROUGH HIS SPIRIT” 1 Reference
“BY WHOM” 1 Reference (speaking of HIS SPIRIT)
Okay. Now lets add it all up and see what we have;
“IN, INTO, BY, Through” Israel= 0
“IN, INTO, BY, Through” YAHSHUA (in one form or another) = 30
“IN, THROUGH, BY” The SPIRIT = 6
So Shaul (Paul), in his effort to inform and encourage the Ephesian believers concerning the mystery of the Good News makes 36 references of who it is that they are in, into, by, through. Thirty six references in six chapters is an average of six times per chapter! Six times per chapter Shaul (Paul) reminds them, in one form or another that their identity is IN The ONE Who the types in Torah spoke prophetically of; MESSIAH. Shaul (Paul) does not mention the types used to establish the true one time in his disclosure of the mystery of the Good News to the believers in Ephesians.
Now, here is the kicker! Depending on the translation of the scriptures that are used, the one reference “of Israel” mentioned regarding the “commonwealth” is offset by:
“OF Messiah” 12 reference verses
“OF GOD”(ELOHIM) 17 reference verses
“OF The LORD”(MASTER) 3 reference verses
“OF The SPIRIT” 3 reference verses
That’s another 35 reference verses to THE ONE WHO the type depicted! All total, that is 71 references verses of the total 153 verses in Ephesians! That comes to nearly 12 references per chapter, or almost one reference in every other verse to THE ONE WHO we find our identity in!!!
So, what is my point here? Is it to once again denigrate Israel and exalt a replacement? YAHWEH FORBID! My point is simply that YAHWEH had given HIS plan through HIS chosen people. HE typified that plan for those who would be able to see beyond themselves and find their identity IN HIM! Because man has not done very well at remaining focused on the differences between the type and the true, we find ourselves constantly wrangling about how this or that fits into our theology…
In conclusion, let me summarize;
- We have been adopted by THE FATHER into THE Family of YAHWEH through believing what HE said and did through HIS SON; YAHSHUA.
- We who do THE FATHER’S will evidence that we have been adopted by HIM and recognized as the brothers and sisters of YAHSHUA, along with all from every nationality who believe and obey what HIS WORD says.
- We have been given citizenship in the city which comes down from heaven and should not be preoccupied with any earthly city in the meantime… May you prosper, IN HIM even as your soul prospers!