We Are Israel

United Faith ChurchPastors Corner, Taste of Heaven17 Comments

Today, the first of Cheshvan, was the day when the Lord brought the plague on the animals of Egypt.  Historically, Cheshvan has been a season which has seen many calamities. It is however, a very clear time when God makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Hebrews.   When the Hebrews began to cry out in their distress, the Lord heard their cries and came down to deliver them. Darkness had fallen over the land when the Lord their God led them out from the place of their affliction. It was night in Egypt, but the Hebrews were led by a pillar of light, illuminating their way and protecting them from their enemies.

It was only when their cries reached heaven, that the Lord came down and through the prophet Moses said to Pharaoh, “let my first born son go that he may worship me (Exodus 4:22).” He is speaking of “Israel” or the Nation that had come from Jacob.  God calls the nation of Israel His first born son and the world (or biblical Egypt) the son of Pharaoh.

We remember when God changes the name of Jacob at Bethel to “Israel” (Genesis 35:10).  The place is then called El Bethel, “The House God” and His son’s new name is now Israel.  So Israel now dwells in the house of God or truly in the heart of God since Israel is His first born.

In Romans 11:17 it says that we the gentiles through faith have been grafted in to the Olive tree.  Ephesians 2:19 Consequently, you are  no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people (Israel)  and members of God’s household.  We are now grafted into the family of God where the two become one in the father who represents the tree.   Why an olive tree?  It is the Holy Spirit who converts us and gives oil to the lamp so we can see and become the sons of God.  (…to all that believe he gave the right to become the sons of God).

So we see that in this season we have been grafted to a very strong tree. A tree or a house that has stood and has remained solid through time. It is a tree that bears fruit at every season.  A tree that will never run dry for it drinks the rain of heaven.

Romans 11:24   After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

We have been grafted in and are being blessed abundantly by the Father for a time and a season.   There will come a day when the Father, through the Lord Jesus will cause us to dwell with all of our brothers in God’s house.

We as mere branches cannot produce our own fruit. The fruit of the branches must be the fruit of God, for He is what supports and nourishes the branches. We become partakers of the nourishing sap and are blessed simply because of our attachment to Him. Through faith in Jesus Christ we receive the inheritance that belongs to Him.  For He is the one who reconciles us to Himself and the Father.   He will one day make the two sons into one.

Jacob’s son Joseph represents Jesus. Joseph bore two sons whom Jacob blesses, Manasseh and Ephraim.   Jacob crosses his hands and blesses the second born first!!! giving him a greater inheritance.   That is us!!!  He was blessing us to inherit the inheritance of the “first born”. Also, please note that throughout the bible the Lord God interchanges the name of Ephraim and calls him Israel!

Yes, our name is “Israel” for God was calling for a day when the gentile would come into the house of God and be as his firstborn.

We have been grafted into that inheritance through Jesus Christ. We bear fruit because it is already there.  A fertile tree…the tree of life.

Our name is “Israel”, and just as He led the Jews out of Egypt, so one day He shall come in all glory during a dark night to lead us out for He is the PILLAR OF LIGHT.

Please leave a brief comment below letting me know what you thought about this teaching.  

Blessings to all of you.

Leave a Comment

17 Comments on “We Are Israel”

  1. There is so much in this teaching to learn from. As we have been reading Genesis I have never seen this book like I do today, and I’m so thankful for the revelation of his word that is coming alive into my heart.
    In Gen 41, the crossing of the hands has really stood out to me. Manasseh was the first born and he said “forget all my troubles”. The second Ephraim said “It is because God has made me fruitful in the place of my afflictions/ suffering”. What an awesome and powerful God that he would turn all of our darkness and sorrow around to bear fruit for HIM, his name sake, that only he could receive the glory.
    He has grafted a people like me in whom I was not his, but has given me the opportunity like Jacob to be a part of his family, God’s household. What a privilege and honor because we to have wrestled with God, like Jacob again so not deserving, but only through his mercy and grace he has kept each one of us.

    “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last. John 15:6. God has chosen us to bear much fruit in every season that he brings us into. We are to look more and more like Jesus daily as we seek and find him.

    What a mighty, powerful, redeeming, and faithful God we belong to!!

  2. This teaching really shows the relationship between us and Jacob. He was a deceiver and had no right to anything just like us. He even stole his inheritance and make his own way until God makes him a son. We have no rights to anything of God, but Jesus died so that we may also be sons and share in His full inheritance.
    After Jacob was called Israel God said he would be blessed forever and that kings would be among his descendants. We go from being only a curse to being a blessing so that more sons may come into God’s household.
    It’s so amazing that we go from having the rights of a slave to having the rights of a son of the King. We can enter His gates in thanksgiving and go into the courts of His household with praise, giving thanks to Him and praising His name!!

  3. I am really seeing that Jesus is truly the root, the nourishing sap, AND the fruit we are to bear. He is everything! Revelation 22:16- “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” Jesus is constantly referred to as the Root of Jesse, David’s father, throughout scripture. This gives me all the hope and faith that I need because Romans 11:16 says, “If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.” And Jesus declares in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit;”. This is amazing because Jesus is the root or the vine and we have been grafted into the most fruitful root/vine there ever was. If we just remain in Him, then we will bear much fruit! Why would God allow such an undeserving wretch like me to partake in such a holy tree and root system is beyond me. He really is the greatest love!

  4. There is so much to learn from this teaching. As we have been reading though Genesis as a church, I have really seen how Jacob is a representative of the Gentile Church. Jacob was not the first born of Rebecca and Isaac, but he took advantage of his brother’s weakness and managed to attain his birthright. He then, quite deceitfully received the blessing from his father that was also meant for his older brother. In almost every way, he was not deserving of such a great inheritance. Yet there was no stopping Jacob! He wrestled with God, and was willing to loose everything but refused to be counted out.
    We too are like Jacob, having no rightful part in the household of God. Even though I am undeserving and have not worked for this opportunity, I see that God has made a way through His Son Jesus Christ. I see an opportunity, and I am taking it! The house of God is the Gate to eternal life, just like Jacob saw in his dream. In that place he saw a ladder with angels ascending and descending upon it. God sends his angels concerning His household. His attention is on His household and nothing will ever be able to destroy it.
    The words of this verse are true for me, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tenths of the wicked.” Psalm 84:10.

  5. God is incredible with his Word! This morning I literally heard him speak to my heart, “Arise and shine!” Once I heard it I turned to Isaiah 60:1-2 which says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.”

    This made my heart leap as I thought of the Israelites being within the thick darkness of Egypt, yet shining in God’s light.

    This is exactly what this month is! Thick darkness covers the land, yet God calls us out to rise and shine! It’s in the darkness that our God is glorified because he demonstrates how He’s all the light we need. In this time he encourages us to just hold on to him and follow the Light of his Word. The Lord always makes a way even in the darkest night!

  6. Praise God for such an amazing promise! The idea of being grafted into the Tree of Eternal Life– not by any man scented works, but by simply believing in the promise of God — that is true hope. When we are connected to the Tree of Life the only thing that matters is the Lord. Our hearts, minds, desires become entwined with His and what comes out of us is Jesus. Psalm 128 talks about a man whose heart is set on the Lord, to fear Him and honor Him. He is blessed. When we remain in the vine, we also display the goodness of God; and like the Psalmist we will have olive shoots springing forth from us — new life!

    Psalm 128
    1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
    who walk in obedience to him.
    2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
    blessings and prosperity will be yours.
    3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
    your children will be like olive shoots
    around your table.
    4 Yes, this will be the blessing
    for the man who fears the Lord.

  7. Praise God for His amazingly perfect plan! The creator of the universe created everything after it’s own kind. Genesis 1:11…And God said,”Let the earth put forth vegetation; fruit trees yielding fruit whose seed IS IN ITSELF, each according to its kind”.
    1 Peter 1:23 says we are born again, not from corruptible seed but from the incorruptible word of God who is Jesus…the first fruit of the resurrection! As Pastor Janeth Santiago explained, we must remain united to this word and let the word dwell in us to produce the character of Christ which is all the fruit of the spirit.
    The SAP in the vine of a tree brings life which is seen in the tree’s fruit. My part is to trust in the word of God to renew my mind and create His kingdom in me! My focus is to be entirely upon the Lord….His way, His timing, His motivation and the goal of knowing Him to bring Him glory.

  8. There is so much in this teaching! I have been thinking about the nourishing sap that we have access to now as branches grafted into the Tree of Life, as part of God’s household. The words nourishing sap in Romans 11:17 “… you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root” is interchanged in some translations as rich root or root and fatness of the olive tree. It is like the fattened calf that the father prepared for his lost son that had returned home in the parable Jesus told in Luke 15:11-31.

    As gentiles, we are the prodigal son, Ephraim, and just like that son, we were once dead but through Jesus have been made alive again, born again. And by faith, we too are welcomed back into the Father’s house where we can partake of the fatness, the Son’s inheritance. In the Father’s house he provides us all the nourishment we need to bear the fruit that testifies to everyone that we belong to our Father and are from his house. When we are in his house it is evident that we eat from His table the very word of God, we drink from the well of his Holy Spirit, and we abide in His presence.

    How amazing is the love of God – the lost son didn’t deserve to come home, he didn’t do anything to earn a welcome like that – it’s nothing of ourselves that allows us to be grafted into the olive tree, the Tree of Life, and called his children- it is only by the blood of Jesus. What a powerful love, can we believe a love like this and put our faith in a love so powerful it’s able to bring to life what was once dead! This is the house of God, for all who believe!

    How merciful and loving is God to bring us into His house, to call us his children and to grant us the inheritance of His Son!

    Psalm 23:6 “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Amen!

  9. Amen! What really struck me in this teaching was “We bear fruit because it is already there.”

    That’s powerful! We can’t bear fruit because we Gentiles are just grafted in. But Jesus who is the true vine has already made the good fruit ready for the picking!

    He is the tree branch filled with ripe fruit: love, joy, peace, etc. Every time I choose him, I pick the good fruit.

    Every time I choose to love him, obey him, follow him, I’m just picking the good fruit that is already there. Which means that it’s not my own righteousness, it’s Jesus’s righteousness because HE already made the fruit!

  10. Similar to many of you, The part about bearing God’s fruit simply because I am attached to God’s tree really touched me. Because He always produces abundant fruit, the branch naturally would as well. We remain in the tree by faith, just like Abraham.

    It also blows me away how we are Israel, undeserving Gentiles, and The Lord who delights in His mercy and glory would choose to “cross his hands” as Jacob did over Joseph’s sons and give us the inheritance of the firstborn!

  11. I agree Christina, the same part stood out to me, that we are blessed because of our attachment to Him. I am overwhelmed by the love of God to go to such lengths so that we, wild branches- an undeserving people, could be attached to Him and become His children. A child doesn’t work for provision or protection or love, they are simply held by their Father, trusting he is strong enough. In Hosea 11:4 He says of Ephraim “To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.” He has done this for us by grafting us into His olive tree through the blood of His Son, and to think this was His plan from the beginning! This teaching has just revealed to me all the more what great love God has for us, that we could become His children. And as children we need only to abide in the tree through faith in order to bear the fruit of the tree that we were grafted into – love.

  12. As I read the teaching on “a taste of heaven” I was personally overwhelmed with Gods love for us. I am so grateful to be a part of the move of God here at UFC. He continues to unfold by His Spirit, WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE, as we come to KNOW this awesome God through the revelation of His Word.
    Pastor Santiago shares often that we need to know what God did in the Old Testament in order to truly understand and know Him. The revelations that are shared in this teaching bear witness to this very fact! He has gone to great lengths to make Himself known to us……sovereignly grafting us into the tree of life and bestowing on us a double blessing ……
    Thank you, Father God, for continuing to reveal your awesome plan of redemption for each one of us in your word and gracing us with “eyes to see” more and more your amazing love for us……THAT WE MAY KNOW YOU.

    “And this is eternal life that they KNOW You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3

    1. Yes, Janet. I too saw just the abounding love the Father has for us through this teaching. I love the part where it says, “we are blessed simply through our attachment to HIM.” We just need to stay close to Him and He does it all. It’s mind blowing that we come into an already strong, enduring, fruitful tree!

  13. The fact that God grafts us Gentiles, who are 100% evil, into a 100% pure trunk is incredible. He is grafting a group of people who are “bathed in sin from the time they are born” into a trunk that “never even knew sin”. He has given us “Gentile branches” His pure nourishment to live on now and for eternity when we become attached to Him. What amazing fruit continuously sprouts from His pure nourishment. ( Fruit of the Spirit )
    That He loves us so much that He blesses us as Israel did Ephraim with the double inheritance blessing is beyond comprehension to me. Israel lays his hands on Ephraim (us) and the blessing is transferred to him (us)…..How many times have we been blessed the same way when hands were laid on us and the power, blessings and inheritance of God came into us. It is also amazing that He broke off “shoots” that He had called His chosen (jewish people) to make room for us dead branches to be grafted into Him…..and He not only changes our name, but He adopts us into His family as His children……what a God we serve…..INCREDIBLE!

    1. The grafting really amazed me too Bob. Reading this makes me see how completely unnatural it is to be in the tree of God…only He can do it, and how there’s no way to deserve it because we are wild trees by nature. Such mercy and love!

  14. This also reminds me of our recent reading in which Jacob (The second born) took the blessing of Esau (The First Born). Esau also sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup.

    We as Gentiles have no right nor inheritance to this Jesus. But God has called us the child of promise. We were once second with no inheritance in this kingdom but God has given us the blessing and grafted us in and called us His firstborn.

    This is important today for our lives but when we look to the future who will Jesus be returning for? His firstborn church, His bride, His faithful. When night falls on this world and God comes like a thief in the night, who will rescue us? Only the blood on the door post and it is by that Blood that we are grafted in to an inheritance that was not ours.

    1. Yes, Kris I was thinking the same thing when I read this teaching about how in our recent reading Jacob took that blessing from his brother Esau, whom was the first born. That part really stood out to me this time.

      I’m in awe how we as the Gentiles are so undeserving, but by his precious SON he has grafted US (his people) into his glorious kingdom for such a time as this. That is a love that is abounding and SO powerful that only Jesus could accomplish.

      To see that this God changes our name to “Israel” is so amazing and beautiful to me. That name is powerful and not to be taken lightly, he has taken us into the promise land holding our hands so tightly that we cannot ever let go.

      This teaching is such a blessing to me and I’m so thankful for God sharing and leading us in such a unique way… He desires us to know him SO much more!!!