Go Forth!

Go Forth!
Rabbi Robert O. Miller

“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)”

אֲבָל תִּתְאַזְּרוּ עֹז כְּנֹחַ עֲלֵיכֶם רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ וִהְיִיתֶם עֵדַי בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם וּבְכָל־יְהוּדָה וּבְשֹׁמְרוֹן וְעַד־קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ׃                                                                                                      

This was accomplished 10 days later when Shavu’ot had fully arrived.

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:4)”

                “The whirlwind and the chariots of fire that marked the Elijah story became the mighty rushing wind and the tongues of fire in the Pentecost story…Elijah was able to pour a double portion of his…spirit on his single disciple. The ascended [YahShua] could pour the infinite power of [Yahweh’s] Holy Sprit on the entire gathered community of believers.” (John Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels, p. 318)

                Why were we to be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh – the Holy Spirit?  Messiah YahShua said to “be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth.”  Why was it important for us to go “to the ends of the earth”?  To sift Israel from the nations.

“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. (Amos 9:9)”

                Our Messiah commanded His disciples to Go…to the lost sheep of Israel. (Matthew 10:6)” Notice they did not say, “But Rabbi no one knows where they are!”The disciples expressed no difficulty with the commission given to them.

                “These twelve Rebbe YahShua sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matthew 10:5-7)” 

“…Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, by authority of the Son through the inspiration of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age. (Matthew 28:19)”

                Symbolic of this, Rabbi Silas in his Book of Acts, makes careful mention of the representatives of those lost sheep of Israel.

“Now there were staying in Jerusalem Yahweh-fearing Jews from every nation under Heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: ‘Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs) —we hear them declaring the wonders of Yahweh in our own tongues!’ Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’ (Acts 2:5-12)”

“The leaders of the exaltation possess tongues of knowledge [so as] to bless the Elohim of knowledge for all His glorious works.”  – Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, 4Q405 Frag. 23 2.12

                They understood the experience of “speaking in tongues” as given to Elders and Sages, as we see in Numbers 11:24, 25:  “So Moses…brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tabernacle. Then Yahweh came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they ‘il sof’ (אל סוף incomprehensibly spoke), and they could not stop.”  But they could not understand what these 120 disciples of the Netzarim Sect were doing, so Rabbi Kepha explained: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, Yahweh says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious Day of Yahweh. And everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved. (Joel 2:28-32)‘ (Acts 2:14-21)”

                Rabbi Kepha has just announced to Judaism that the Prophetic Time Clock had just started ticking – the Last Days had begun.  Time was rushing to the Endtimes – the Day of Yahweh.

                “’Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: Yahweh has made this YahShua, whom you crucified, both King and Messiah.’

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Rabbi Kepha and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’

Rabbi Kepha replied, ‘Teshuvah (turn around) and be immersed, every one of you, in the name of Messiah YahShua for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom Yahweh our Elohim will call.’

With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ Those who accepted his message were immersed, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. Acts 2:36-41)”

Rabbi Kepha saw this as the beginning of the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision of “Two Sticks.”

“The word of Yahweh came to me: ‘Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, “Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him and his companions.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him and his companions.’  Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.

When your countrymen ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’ say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’ Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their Elohim.

‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.  They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my Sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their Elohim, and they will be my people.  Then the nations will know that I Yahweh make Israel holy, when my Sanctuary is among them forever.’  (Ezekiel 37:15-28)”

Who are these “companions” Yahweh is talking about?  They are Gentile converts.

“They are to atone for all those in A’aron who volunteer for holiness, and for those in Israel who belong to truth, and for Gentile proselytes who join them in community.” – Community Rule 1QS 5.6

“In the story of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9), “the divisions in the human family created by human brokenness destroyed the human attempt to build a tower…The symbol of that division was the confusion of languages. Now…in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the human family was invited anew into [Yahweh].” (John Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels, p. 319)

As they came into the Community – the Commonwealth of Israel – they left their old identity at the door.  They were now Israelites purchased by King Messiah YahShua’s precious blood. The first step to citizenship was to become a Ger Toshav – the returning Gentile.  What is expected from him?  Rabbi Yakkov (James) said this: It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to Yahweh. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from uncleanliness, idolatry, from sexual immorality, from the strangled meat of animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the Synagogues on every Sabbath. (Acts 15:19-21)”

Was this just his opinion?  No, for Rabbi Sha’ul stated who the true author of this opinion was: It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements. (Acts 15:28)”

The next step to citizenship was to become a Ger ha-Shaar – the Gentile at the Gate.  He wants to enter a little further.  He is called a Yah-fearer.  At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and Yah-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to Yahweh regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an Angel of Yahweh, who came to him and said, ‘Cornelius!’

Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it, Sir?’ he asked.

The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before Yahweh. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Shimon who is called Kepha. He is staying with Shimon the Tanner, whose house is by the sea.’ (Acts 10:1-6)”

The last step to citizenship was to become a Ger Tzaddik – the Righteous Gentile.  He is fully taken on the identity of being an Israelite.  Like Ruth who ceased being a Moabite who were forbidden from included, to being an Israelite of promise.  She said, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your Elohim my Elohim. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May Yahweh deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me. (Ruth 1:16, 17)”

This is what Rabbi Sha’ul is talking about: “And you (Gentiles) He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

But Yahweh, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Messiah …and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Messiah YahShua,that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Messiah YahShua.For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of Yahweh,not of works, lest anyone should boast.For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah YahShua for good works, which Yahweh prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands–that at that time you were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without Yahweh in the world. But now in Messiah YahShua you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. (Ephesians 2:1-13)”

Once you’ve made a choice to come on into the Kingdom there shall be one law for all: And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you. Thus all the children of Israel did; as Yahweh commanded… (Exodus 12:48-50)”

“You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am Yahweh your Elohim. (Leviticus 24:22)”

Yahweh poured out His Spirit on the Gentile Converts:

“And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Rabbi Kepha, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit for they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify Yahweh. Then answered Rabbi Kepha, can any man forbid water, that these should not be immersed, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? And he commanded them to be immersed in the name of Yahweh. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (Acts 10:45-48)”

Now King Messiah YahShua had ordained Rav Yakkov HaTzaddik (James the Just, His brother) to succeed Him in the leadership of the Netzarim Movement.  He had also been made Nassi (President) of the Sanhedrin of 70 Elders.

“The disciples said to YahShua, ‘We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?’
YahShua said to them, No matter where you are, you are to go to Yakkov HaTzaddik, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.‘ (Thomas Logion 12)”

“Control of the ‘Called Out Ones’ passed to the apostles, together with the Lord’s brother James , whom everyone … has called the Righteous…”- Eusebius (quoting Hegesippus, an early second century Jewish Christian writer), Ecclesiastical History, 2.23

Rav Yakkov also saw all this as a fulfillment of Ezekiel’s and Amos’ prophecy: “Brothers, listen to me. Rabbi Shimonhas described to us how Yahweh at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen Tabernacle. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek Yahweh, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says Yahweh, who does these things (Amos 9:11, 12)‘ that have been known for ages. (Acts 15:13-18)”

We have been told by old belief systems that Messiah YahShua chose the twelve talmidim (disciples), ordained them apostles, sent them to preach to the Jews, when they, rejected that message, they turned to the Gentiles replacing the Jews but nothing could be further from the truth. Rav Yakkov sees the Gentiles coming in as a sign that Yahweh is gathering Israel from the nations.

Even in his first official letter, Rabbi Yakkov Ha Tzaddik, the brother of our Messiah and leader of the Messianic Movement of the Netzarim addressed his it: “Yakkov, a servant of Yahweh and of King Messiah YahShua, to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations…(James 1:1)” This letter is not addressed to the Gentiles. It is not addressed exclusively to the Jews. It is addressed to all the Tribes of Israel!

Rabbi Kepha, one of our Messiah’s most trusted talmidim described himself as: “Kepha, an apostle of Messiah YahShua, (sent) to Yahweh’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1)” The word “strangers” used here does not mean Gentiles. The original Greek is “parepidemos”. It means literally, “an alien alongside,” “a resident alien ” living “throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” He wrote this letter from Babylon, which at the time was under the rule of the Parthian Empire! Abraham, as you remember from Scripture, was a stranger, an alien, when he lived among the Canaanite Gentiles.  Rabbi Kepha was addressing part of the lost ten tribes who dwelt among the Gentiles as aliens or strangers. Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia are all located in the northern half of Asia Minor in modern Turkey. These lands lay immediately west of the Parthian Empire!

Rabbi Sha’ul was chosen by Messiah to be His “chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. (Acts 9:15)”  Rabbi Sha’ul spent his years in ministry in the southern, half of Asia Minor and Europe. “Yea, so have I strived to preach the Full Messianic Message, not where Messiah was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation” (Romans 15:20). Not preaching in the areas where Rabbi Kepha and others of the Talmidim had carried the Full Messianic Message.  Remember, Rabbi Sha’ul was forbidden by the Spirit to preach in Bithynia. “After they (Rabbi Sha’ul and his companions) were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered [permitted] them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas” (Acts 16:7, 8).

With Rabbi Sha’ul’s arrival in Rome he went first seeking the Israelites: “[The Israelites at Rome] replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” They arranged to meet Rabbi Sha’ul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the Kingdom of Yahweh and tried to convince them about YahShua from the Torah of Moses and from the Naviim (Prophets). (Acts 28:21-23)”

After Rome, Rabbi Sha’ul continued to preach the Full Messianic Message to the nations looking for “Lost Israel.”  Rabbi Sha’ul, full of the blessings of Messiah, and abounding in the Spirit, departed out of Rome, determining to go into Spain, for he had a long time proposed to journey thitherward, and was minded also to go from thence to Britain. For he had heard in Phoenicia that certain of the children of Israel, about the time of the Assyrian captivity, had escaped by sea to “The Isles afar off” as spoken be the Prophet [Ezra], and called by the Romans – Britain. And the King commanded the Full Messianic Message to be preached far hence to the Gentiles [nations], and to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. (Act 9:15, 22:21) And no man hindered Rabbi Sha’ul…(Acts 29:1-4)” Rabbi Sha’ul’s commission, after he revealed Messiah to the kings and rulers at Rome, was to bear the name of King Messiah YahShua to the “children of Israel” (Acts 9: 15)

The Catholic Historian Eusebius, in his third book of “Evangelical Demonstrations”, chapter 7, admitted that the apostles “passed over to those which are called the British Isles.”

William Camden in his book “Remains of Britain” written in 1674 said: “The true Christian Religion (Messianic Faith) was planted here most anciently by Joseph of Arimathea, Simon Zelotes, Aristobulus, by St. Peter, and St. Paul, as may be proved by Dorotheus, Theodoretus and Sophronius.”  He said this in contention that the religion of the day had been hijacked by paganism.

Rabbi Adam (Andrew) according to Cave’s “Antiquitates Apostolicae” went into “Scythia and the neighboring countries primarily allotted him for his province. First then he travelled through Cappadocia, (Upper) Galatia and Bithynia, and instructed them in the faith of Messiah, passing all along the [Black Sea]… and so into the solitude of Scythia.” Rabbi Adam preached to the very area in Asia Minor which Rabbi Sha’ul had bypassed.

Rabbi Yakkov haKatan (James the Lesser) preached in Spain where he planted the [Faith]” (Cave’s “Antiquitates Apostolicae”).

Rabbi MattenYahu (Matthew) according to Metaphrastes: “went first into Parthia, and having successfully planted [the Messianic Faith] in those parts, thence travelled to Aethiopia, that is, the Asiatic Aethiopia, lying near India” slightly east of the area where the Assyrians settled the Israelite captives.

Rabbi Thomas journeyed into Northwest India to whom the Greeks called the “Nephthalite Huns.”

Rabbi Bartholomew also spent part of his time in neighboring Armenia and a portion of Upper Phrygia in Asia Minor.

Rabbi YaHudah ministered in Assyria and Mesopotamia which at that time were part of Parthia which Josephus designated as still inhabited by the Ten Tribes.

Remember, Rabbi Yakkov HaTzaddik referred to Israel as “scattered among the nations” and that is exactly where we have found them.  I am reminded of the witnesses of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) being poured out on the Talmidim on Shavuot (Feast of Pentecost): “Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism Cretans and Arabs) —we hear them declaring the wonders of Yahweh in our own tongues!” Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:7-12)”

What was Rabbi Kepha’s response: “…this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, Yahweh says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of Yahweh. And everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved. (Joel 2:28-32)‘Men of Israel, listen to this… (Acts 2:16-22)”

We have been gifted: “…receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses (Acts 1:8)”

One thing the Holy Spirit will do for you is to allow to discern whether you are speaking to an Israelite or a Gentile.  For the Israelite all you have to do is reveal the Kingdom to them and they’ll embrace it if they are not wicked.  With the Gentile, you have to build a relationship with them before you can ever witness the Kingdom to them.

We have been commanded:“…this full Messianic message of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)”

“…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)”

                It is our responsibility to get this message out: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the full message! (Isaiah 52:7)” (Romans 10:14,15)”

You have been sent: “…to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matthew 10:5-7)”

This is our responsibility; this is our commandment; this is our commission; and this is our message.

“…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).”

Originally written by Rabbi Robert O. Miller on August 8th 2007
(Robert Owen Miller 1957-2021)

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