Gentile Becomes A Ger
There are no Gentiles in YaHuWaH’s kingdom; there are only Ger and Ezrach men (with their families). What is a Ger and an Ezrach? First we will discuss how a Gentile becomes a Ger. And then how a Ger becomes an Ezrach, a native-born man.
The Gentile Becomes A Ger
The “church”, the called out ones, are CALLED INTO something and that something is Yisra’El. Baptism was and still is, or should be, an expatriation from the government of our first birth and a joining of one’s self to YaHuWaH’s set-apart nation.
What is expatriation and how does it relate to YaHuWaH’s kingdom? How many masters can we serve anyway? Let’s explore the roots behind baptism and free ourselves to serve YaHuWaH with all our heart, soul and strength.
One law shall be for the native-born man [Ezrach] and for the stranger [Ger] who dwells among you.” (Exo 12:49)
You shall have one law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born [Ezrach] among Yisra’El’s seed and for the stranger [Ger] who dwells among them. ‘But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born [Ezrach] or a stranger [Ger], that one brings reproach on YaHuWaH, and he shall be cut off from among his people. (Num 15:29-30)
The stranger [Ger] who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you [Ezrach], and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers [Gerim] in the land of Egypt: I am YaHuWaH, your Elohim. (Lev 19:34)
One ordinance shall be for you [speaking of the Ezrach] of the assembly and for the stranger [Ger] who dwells with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger [Ger] be before YaHuWaH. One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger [Ger] who dwells with you.‘ ” (Num 15:15-16)
The Gentiles do not keep YaHuWaH’s Torah until AFTER they leave the kingdom of their birth and join themselves (and their family) to Him and His other called-out men. THAT is what this series is about. YaHuWaH never told a single Egyptian to keep His Sabbath. We have much more to learn.
The Ger who dwells within Yisra’El’s, the Ezrach’s, gate is an immigrant from any nation on the earth and naturalized citizen of YaHuWaH’s spiritual kingdom, which is called Yisra’El.
The immigrant has been coming to America from all over the world for centuries. Each one has been drawn here by the hope of freedom, a new way of life and a new start. The process by which an immigrant becomes a citizen of a new country is called naturalization.
The naturalization process of leaving one nation and joining oneself to another requires the immigrant to do three things.
- Renounce his the old country and ruler
- Swear allegiance to the new country and ruler
- Adhere to the laws of the new country
The creator said,
“I am YaHuWaH, thy [each man’s] Elohim [lawmaker and judge], who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shall have no other elohim but Me.” (Exo 20:2-3)
Yahusha said the same thing!
No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other …” Mat 6:24
Unlike YaHuWaH’s kingdom, many kingdoms of the world, including the US Government, allow dual citizenship.
The U.S. Government recognizes that dual citizenship exists, but does not endorse it as a matter of policy because of the problems that it may cause. Dual citizens owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries.” (http://www.uscitizenship.info/uscitizenship-dual-citizen.htm)
How Does An Immigrant Become A Naturalized Citizen
During the first century, and long before, there were men who wanted to leave the country of their birth and join themselves to Yisra’El. In this series of writings we are going to talk about what the naturalization process was like for each immigrant.
Many people today believe that Yahusha began something new when he supposedly “instituted baptism.” But Yahusha, like all men, was prohibited from adding to or subtracting from any of YaHuWaH’s instructions given to us, and him, through Moses.
You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of YaHuWaH your Elohim which I command you. Deu 4:2
So, if Yahusha did not add baptism, what are its roots and what are its implications?
Today we are going to see what baptism meant to each Yisraelite who was left in the land, primarily Jews (short for Judah), during the 1st century.
The Immigrant Joins Himself To Yisra’El As, A Ger Who Dwells With Them
A foreign man, an Immigrant, coming into Yisra’El (with his family) was referred to by the Jews of Yahusha’s time as a “Proselyte” or “Ger.”
[Note: I must interrupt the flow for a moment to say this. Whenever I use a translation, a lexicon, a dictionary, a commentary, a concordance or even listen to a teacher I always compare what they say in light of the scriptures (that Yahusha, Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude all taught from) which is Moses and the Prophets! We must all be good Bereans who listen to what someone says and then search the scriptures to see if what was said, is so.
To the Torah and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isa 8:20)
Many men, sadly – most men, who write our study tools and teach YaHuWaH’s word have never repented and turned to YaHuWaH’s ways and it is for this reason that Jeremiah says,
O YaHuWaH, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.” (Jer 16:19)]
That said, here is a definition from a Jewish website on the “proselyte” which says,
The proselytes were converts from heathenism to Judaism. The Greek original of the term, proselytos, is not found in classical authors, and was evidently borrowed from colloquial speech by the Septuagint as an equivalent for the Hebrew word “Ger.”
If we know Torah we know that the Creator did NOT intend people to turn from heathenism to Judaism. But what is interesting here is to understand that the Proselyte in the Greek is the Ger in Hebrew.
The stranger [Ger] who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you [Ezrach], and thou shall love him as thyself; for you were strangers [Gerim – plural of Ger] in the land of Egypt: I am YaHuWaH, your Elohim. (Lev 19:34)
The Scribes and Pharisees were criticized by Yahusha who said they brought the Proselyte in and did not teach them correct ways to live. Instead of teaching the Ger to live according to Torah, they taught them to live according to the doctrines and commandments of men, found in Judaism.
“Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one Proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Mat 23:15
This wickedness is still going on to this day in Judaism and Christianity. We are not allowed to add to or subtract from YaHuWaH’s ways. Our only safety is in following Moses and the Prophets; nothing more and nothing less!
In part 2 of this teaching on how “The Gentile becomes a Ger” we will look at how an immigrant, a man, from a foreign nation is naturalized or joined exclusively to YaHuWaH and His set-apart people. Please do not stop here, there is much to be discovered, and we have learned sooo many lies.
Baptism, Torah Truth Or Tradition Of Men?
Baptism was a tradition, and not found anywhere in Torah. It was a sign to YaHuWaH’s set-apart men that another man was expatriating from the kingdom of his birth, and a joining himself to YaHuWaH’s kingdom, true Yisra’El. They are now to treat him as one of them. What was the naturalization, or assimilation process that a man had to go through to become a citizen of Yisra’El and now serve only their Elohim (their law-maker and judge)?
Let’s say there is a Midianite man who has had business dealings with Yisra’El; over a period of time he has seen that Yisra’El’s laws are very just. He has decided that Yisra’El would be a far better place for him to raise his family than where he now lives; so he moves himself and his family there.
In the first century, and well before, the Scribes and the Pharisees would oversee the process of this Midianite man being naturalized into Yisra’El.
This Midianite man would be considered a Toshav or “sojourner” before he was assimilated into Yisra’El; and a Ger or “stranger” afterwards.
H8453 תּשׁב toshav
A masculine noun meaning a sojourner, a foreigner. This word implies temporary visitors who were dependent in some way on the nation in which they were residing.
I call this toshav, or sojourner, an “involved alien” with respect to Yisra’El.
- He has regular or semi-regular contact with True Yisra’El
- He still maintains his citizenship in another kingdom
- He does not keep all of True Yisra’El’s laws
In contrast to the Toshab is the Ger or stranger is a citizen of true Yisra’El.
H1616 גּר ger
A masculine noun. The word indicates in general anyone who is not native to a given land or among a given people. But who has joined himself to such land and people.
The Ger is a very special man to the Creator. He has repented, left the kingdom of his birth, joined himself YaHuWaH’s called out people and now obeys only YaHuWaH’s ways given through Moses.
- He is a citizen of True Yisra’El and keeps all True Yisra’El’s laws, no matter where he is at.
- He has no citizenship in any other kingdom
So What Is Baptism All About?
“Baptism” was the process by which a man expatriated from a foreign kingdom into Yisra’El; but the Jews (especially the Scribes and Pharisees) were taking YaHuWaH’s law, and adding even more of their own doctrines and traditions to it.
Depending on whom one was working with in the Jewish community at the time, there were varying opinions on what a man must do to become a Ger (stranger) with them.
Hillel [a Jewish sage 110 BCE -10 CE] made their reception easy, but the sterner school of Shammai [another sage 50 BCE–30 CE] required a testing of their motives. Only after preparatory instruction imparted by three scribes [$$$] did the threefold ceremony of reception take place: circumcision, immersion, and sacrifice. The instruction was continued until the baptism [or immersion], which occurred when the wound was healed. The three teachers were witnesses at the ceremony, and only with this bath of purification was the rite of admission completed. (http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc09/htm/iv.v.xlii.htm)
“The Jews required three things of strangers [Gerim, plural of Ger] who declared themselves to be converts to the Law of Moses: circumcision, baptism, and to offer sacrifice. (“Baptism,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).
While circumcision was the first thing the Jews required of a Ger (proselytes or strangers), YaHuWaH had no such requirement in His instructions given by Moses. Even baptism was just a tradition for those coming out of their “Egypt.” There is no baptism requirement in YaHuWaH’s Torah, His instructions given to Yisra’El’s seed through Moses, for a Gentile who wants to join himself to YaHuWaH’s people.
G907 Βαπτίζω – Baptizo
1) to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
This reminds me of the man who wishes to save his life, but to do so he must lose it first; and the seed that must fall to the ground and die before it can produce fruit. A man is going to be completely immersed in YaHuWaH’s jurisdictional authority. There is no room for two masters. Please remember the 1st commandment.
A Related Word G907 is a root word G911
G911 βάπτω bapto
1) to dip, dip in, immerse
2) to dip into dye, to dye, colour
The word “baptize” (from the Greek baptizo) means “to identify” or “to be made one with“. In early Greek, the word had both religious and secular meanings. In general, it refers to the act of identifying one thing (the man being baptized), with another thing (the True kingdom of Yisra’El and the law of Moses), in such a way that its very nature or character is changed (a new man has emerged). It represents the idea that a real change has already taken place.
As a reference to identification, “baptize” means to place a person into a new environment or into union with someone or something else, so as to alter his condition or relationship to the previous environment.
In this context, baptism is a public declaration, an expatriation, expressing an inward change of repentance and an announcement of one’s commitment to leave the kingdom of his birth and join himself to YaHuWaH’s set-apart kingdom. A desire to be part of a group of a people (True Yisra’El) who have also made the same decision to turn to YaHuWaH’s ways given through Moses.
In Yahusha’s time baptism (complete immersion – remember, it is not about getting wet) was necessary for Toshab, the sojourner, to undergo in order that he might be joined with the nation of Yisra’El in her exodus experience. The meaning of baptism in Hebraic thought was that the Gentile convert is following Moses, with the rest of the Yisraelites, through the Red Sea; thus leaving his own Egypt (i.e. the bondage of his Gentile ways and country) behind and agreeing to be led by Moses.
Please note: There are no “Gentile followers of YaHuWaH“; the very idea is an oxymoron! Even Paul says.
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, being aliens from the commonwealth of Yisra’El and alien from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without YaHuWaH in the world. (Eph 2:11-12)
As a Ger or citizen of Yisra’El we, those who have repented, left the kingdom of our first birth and joined ourselves to YaHuWaH’s set-apart people are now included in the commonwealth of Yisra’El, but we are not yet Yisra’El. The Ger is the man who dwells within Yisra’El’s gates.
While the Rabbis had 3 requirements (circumcision, baptism, and to offer sacrifice) for the man who was joining himself to YaHuWaH and His people; we will see next time that YaHuWaH had no such requirements.
We are beginning to see that baptism was and should be far more than just a sacrament. It does not make anyone more holy and is not even a commandment of YaHuWaH. Baptism is in fact a tradition of the Jews which was used as an expatriation from one kingdom and a naturalization into YaHuWaH’s set-apart kingdom. Baptism is all about repentance. The man realizes that he has been serving other elohim (lawmakers and judges) instead of only YaHuWaH and keeping all of His eternal and unchanging ways.
In the 1st century and well before, baptism (immersion) was necessary for a Toshab to undergo in order that he might be joined with the nation of Yisra’El in her exodus experience. The meaning of baptism in Hebraic thought is that the Gentile convert is following Moses, with the rest of the Yisraelites, through the Red Sea, leaving his own Egypt (the bondage of his Gentile elohim, ways and country) behind and agreeing to be led only by Moses.
“I am YaHuWaH, thy Elohim, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shall have no other elohim existing before My face.” (Exo 20:2-3)
Repentance Is A Turning To YaHuWaH And His Ways
While Rabbis had 3 requirements (circumcision, baptism, and to offer sacrifice) for the man who was joining himself to YaHuWaH and His people. It is not about getting wet, it is about true repentance from circumcised heart. This is the only “slaughter” that YaHuWaH hungers for; the cutting of a man’s heart and spirit.
Elohim’s slaughter [zavach – a slaughter that is eaten} are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—These, O YaHuWaH, You will not despise. (Psa 51:17)
Wash ye, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil. … “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool if you are willing and obedient; and you shall eat the good of the land. (Isa 1:16, 18-19)
“But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says my Master, YaHuWaH, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live? (Eze 18:21-23)
So the Gentiles and even the blood-born Yisraelite men who wanted to turn from the ways of men and now live according to the ways of Moses, came to YaHuWaH with true repentance (a contrite heart and a broken spirit) and began their journey in the Way of Life. The laws they now kept were YaHuWaH’s instructions given to Yisra’El through Moses.
Repentance Is How A Man Becomes A Ger
Repentance, demonstrated by leaving the kingdom of our birth, is how a man becomes a Ger. He cannot remain in Egypt and following the elohim (lawmakers and judges) and still call himself YaHuWaH’s man. YaHuWaH only leads men who leave their Egypt.
But, what now are the duties and responsibilities of a new “Ger” or stranger who now dwells with Yisra’El?
“You shall have the same law for the Ger and for one from your own country; for I am YaHuWaH, your Elohim.” Lev 24:22
“One law shall be for the native-born and for the Ger who dwells among you.” Exo 12:49
And if a Ger dwells with you, or whoever is among you throughout your generations, and would present an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to YaHuWaH, just as you do, so shall he do. One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the Ger who dwells with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the Ger be before YaHuWaH. Num 15:14-15
The Ger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were Gerim [plural of Ger] in the land of Egypt: I am YaHuWaH, your Elohim. Lev 19:34
‘But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a Ger, that one brings reproach on YaHuWaH, and he shall be cut off from among his people. Num 15:30
It is all very clear in this context; once a man repents and is naturalized as a new citizen of Israel, he becomes a “Ger.” And as a “Ger,” he is required to keep all the instructions of Moses.
But, learning YaHuWaH’s ways and incorporating them into our lives, in order to become set-apart as He is set-apart, does not happen overnight. This life-time process of becoming holy as He is holy is called sanctification and it has almost been forgotten today.
So where does this new believer start as a “Ger”? Or, put another way, what are the minimum requirements, which he should adhere to, upon his immersion into True Yisra’El?
Our current line of reasoning is very germane to a controversy which was brewing among the disciples about circumcising the new “Ger” in Antioch; and our present study on immersion, baptism, expatriation and naturalization will add great light to the same. While this controversy begins in Antioch, it concludes in Jerusalem, and is recorded in Acts chapter 15.
Ger Have Minimum Requirements
So where does this new believer start as a Ger? Or, put another way, what are the minimum requirements, which he should adhere to upon his immersion or baptism into True Yisra’El?
Our current line of reasoning is very germane to a controversy which was brewing among the disciples about circumcising the new “Ger” in Antioch; and our present study on immersion or baptism will add great light to the same. While this controversy begins in Antioch, it concludes in Jerusalem, and is recorded in Acts chapter 15. Here is how it begins.
And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question. Act 15:1-2
“Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” This statement is part of a bigger picture. A picture that I try to bring more clearly into focus in the next part of this series called “The Ger Becomes An Ezrach, “a native-born man. Eventually all YaHuWaH’s men will be circumcised or they will not be His men. The question here in Antioch is one of timing. Whether or not a new Ger needs to be circumcised right after he has been naturalized into Yisra’El, and again please remember that we are talking about minimum requirements for a Ger who has just joined himself to Yisra’El.
And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that Elohim had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.“ Acts 15:4-5
Minimum Requirements For A New Ger In YaHuWaH’s Kingdom
Well, there was much dispute over this issue, even in Jerusalem. But finally James, the brother of Yahusha and the head of the Ecclesia (the called-out ones) in Jerusalem, stood up and spoke some wonderful words of wisdom. Here is what he said,
“YaHuWaH makes these things known from of old. Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to Elohim, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” (Acts 15:18-21)
So the minimum requirements for those new “Gerim” who are just coming into the faith that Yahusha lived and taught are; that they should abstain from …
- things polluted by idols
- sexual immorality
- things strangled
So don’t we have to ask ourselves why did James and the council pick these four things? Really five things, but we will discuss the fifth and last one later.
Most people will never understand this passage in Acts properly because they have decided that YaHuWaH’s instructions for His people are irrelevant for today’s superior, modern man and because they believe that, contrary to scripture, YaHuWaH does change and His word does not endure forever.
So let’s look for where these four items as they are addressed in Torah.
- Abstain from things polluted by idols
They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons, after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.” Also you shall say to them: ‘Whatever man of the house of Yisra’El [talking of the Ezrach], or of the strangers (gerim, plural of Ger) who dwell among you, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, and does not bring it to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, to offer it to YaHuWaH, that man shall be cut off from among his people. (Lev 17:7-9)
Eating meat sacrificed to idols would get a man kicked out of Yisra’El just as he joined them. Oh my, if you eat meat that you (I’m talking to men), your friend or you family member has not slaughtered to only YaHuWaH’s instructions, YOU ARE eating “meat sacrificed to Idols” and you cannot remain among YaHuWaH’s people. This link will help you understand how important this is. Foe a Ger or and Ezrach (not a Gentile) living according to Leviticus 11 and ignoring Leviticus 17 is suicide by ignorance. This is why it is the 1st of the minimum requirements.
But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before Yisra’El’s seed, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. (Rev 2:14)
Isn’t that a nice segue into the next item? Balaam knew these practices would destroy Yisra’El.
- Abstain from sexual immorality
The entirety of Leviticus 18 lists many sexual sins that, if a man does, gets him kicked out of Yisra’El and sometimes even killed. Verse 29 is the summation of them all.
For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. (Lev 18:29)
- Abstain from things strangled and from blood
And whatever man of the house of Yisra’El [Ezrach], or of the strangers [Gerim] who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among His people. (Lev 17:10)
James mentions “thing strangled” with the instructions concerning blood because if an animal is strangled the blood stays in the animal. Eating blood gets a man cut off from among His people as well.
So you see, James picked these sinful acts as the minimum requirements for a new Ger so that they would not get kicked out from among Yisra’El just as they were joining themselves (and their families) to them. What a wonderful man of Elohim James was to be able to demonstrate his wisdom and understanding with such a wise decision.
But there is one more item that James mentioned that gets a man cut off from among his people.
“Speak also to Yisra’El’s seed [not the Gentiles], saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am YaHuWaH who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is set-apart to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Exo 31:13-14
James did not forget this all important commandment when he addressed the council, and in fact included it in his decision. He said,
For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” Act 15:21
These dear ones, who were so new in the faith, were to begin learning Moses each Sabbath. Please notice: Keeping the Sabbath was not even an issue in the controversy – IT WAS A GIVEN! Failure to keep the Sabbath is yet another reason that a man gets kicked out of Yisra’El.
The beginning of life on the narrow way begins with repentance, followed by immersion (flesh, heart and nephesh – thoughts and emotions) into True Yisra’El. If we have truly repented, we will make Moses’ ways, our ways, leave our elohim in the nation of our birth and now serve only The Elohim and Creator of all things.
The decision to become a “Ger” is THE most important decision we each will ever make because it puts us in the way that leads to life. Check it out! We (true, born in the land, Yisra’El) were each “Ger” on the earth at one time! YaHuWaH speaking to “Born in the Land” Yisra’El says,
“Also you shall not oppress a Ger, for you know the heart of a Ger, because you were Gerim in the land of Egypt. (Exo 23:9)
Even the biological sons of Abraham are only “Gerim” until they, and the “Gerim” who come from other nations do one thing, …
Nothing has changed! Repentance from sin and turning to righteousness has always been the way to salvation.
Our journey in Way of Life begins with repentance, followed by naturalization into YaHuWaH’s kingdom. And the Way of Life will lead us to Passover. Yahusha said, “You must be born again!”
Now that we have a better idea of what “The Way of Life” is, what the “baptism of Repentance” is, and see that a “Ger” is a naturalized citizen of True Israel. We are now, finally, ready to talk about what Nicodemus did not understand on the night he spoke to Yahusha.
How can a man be “born again” when he is old? (John 3:4)
The Ger Becomes An Ezrach
The Ger becomes an Ezrach at Passover! Is it possible that THIS is the answer to “what does it mean to be “Born Again (born from above)?” We all have our own religious and traditional ideas. But what is its scriptural basis? We know that it has to predate Nicodemus, since Yahusha rebuked Nicodemus for being a teacher of Yisra’El and not understanding this second birth. Nicodemus, who was a later disciple of Yahusha and a Pharisee just like Paul, had great knowledge and understanding concerning the scriptures, so why do we treat him as though he could not understand a, supposedly, simple concept? Perhaps we have learned many lies and the answer is not as simple as we have been taught?
Is it possible that the scriptural basis of this new birth has roots in history that even predate YaHuWaH’s instructions given to Moses at Mount Sinai? Is it possible that the journey many people think they have already completed is a far more complex and life changing than most folks have ever imagined?
Please join me as we develop a solid foundation for our faith; and renew our minds to that good, and acceptable and perfect will of YaHuWaH. Only then we can worship the Creator in spirit and in truth.
The Gentile Becomes A Ger
In the first portion of this series we saw how a Gentile leaves the kingdom of his first birth and joins himself (and his family) to YaHuWaH and His other called-out men and becomes a Ger.
The Ger Becomes An Ezrach
There is a process which every man must pass through on his journey from being a Ben Nekar (one born in the kingdom of his first birth) to becoming an Ezrach (one born into the kingdom of his second birth). YaHuWaH’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob always concerns two things; the seed and the land. Passover relates to both!
What does it mean to be Born Again (born from above)? If we are born into some kingdom of the world the first time, what are we born into the second time? Yahusha rebuked Nicodemus for being a teacher of Yisra’El and not knowing the scriptures; where is “Born Again (born from above)” in the law and the Prophets, the words of YaHuWaH that never change and endure forever? You might be surprised!
Becoming “Born Again (born from above)” is a process which every man, if he wishes to draw back to YaHuWaH and find eternal life, must go through. The first birth is one of water into some kingdom of the earth. And the second birth is a spiritual birth into YaHuWaH’s eternal and unchanging kingdom.
The end of John chapter 2 has Yahusha in Jerusalem at the Passover and talks about “the miracles that he did.”
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast days, many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did. (John 2:23)
And the beginning of John chapter 3 speaks of the same miracles.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Yahusha by night, and said to him, rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from Elohim [THE lawmaker and judge]: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except Elohim be with him. (John 3:1-2)
You Must Have A Second Birth, Be “Born Again (born from above)”!
So it was during the Feast of Unleavened Bread that Nicodemus came to Yahusha at night.
Let’s ask ourselves some questions about this clandestine meeting.
Were Yahusha and Nicodemus alone that night?
Did Nicodemus ask about the second birth or did Yahusha volunteer it?
If this is something that a man must do to enter, or even, see the Kingdom of Elohim, then why did Yahusha entrust this information only to Nicodemus?
Is it possible that Nicodemus might have been one of the very few who knew the scriptures well enough to be entrusted with this precious information? The same information that I am trying to convey to my readers in these articles.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Yahusha by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from Elohim: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except Elohim be with him. Yahusha answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say to you, except a man be born again (born from above), he cannot see the kingdom of Elohim. (John 3:1-10)
It was Yahusha that initiated this discussion and Nicodemus did not understand what he was saying,
Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”(John 3:11)
This is a very serious question, and one that I do not believe has ever been made clear for the world. The reason I say that is because the answer is only able to be heard and understood by a spiritual man. Not the unrepentant man who has lived his entire life in the ways and traditions of men. It is for this reason that Yahusha spoke in parables.
The people he spoke to had both (flesh) eyes and (flesh) ears, but they could not see or hear because they had hard hearts and stiff necks also; and they would not repent and turn to YaHuWaH and His ways because they loved their own ways and traditions. Sound familiar?
Listen carefully to how Yahusha answers Nicodemus’ question concerning, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Yahusha answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of Elohim. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again (born from above).’ (John 3:3-5)
We (men) must be born a second time to enter the kingdom of Elohim. And when we become spiritual sons of YaHuWaH, our women (bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh) become His daughters. It is all about learning to live in accordance with His created purpose.
When we repent, leave the kingdom of our birth, and join ourselves (and our families) to YaHuWaH and His other called-out men, we are given a new heart and a new spirit. But the second birth is not into any kingdom of men; the second birth is into the kingdom of Elohim; a spiritual birth into a spiritual kingdom.
Of people born only of the flesh, YaHuWaH says,
And Elohim said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (Gen 6:13)
“Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die. (Eze 18:4)
The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of YaHuWaH blows upon it; surely the people are grass! (Isa 40:6-7)
All flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. (Job 34:15)
When YaHuWaH said that all flesh would perish from the earth, did Noah’s?
So YaHuWaH said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Gen 6:7)
Noah did not die; he and his family were saved because Noah walked with Elohim; he lived in the spirit.
And Noah found grace in the eyes of YaHuWaH. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with Elohim. (Gen 6:8-9)
If we live out our lives in a temporal (fleshly) kingdom, regardless of the fact that many “think” we are honoring YaHuWaH by being good citizens in their respective kingdoms. We will reap corruption!
BUT, If we choose to live by the spirit (following Torah), then we, men, can join ourselves to
the kingdom of Elohim and then be led to Passover in order to become as one born in the land and receive everlasting life.
Only the man who obeys YaHuWaH’s instructions concerning how “the man” was created to live, is a spiritual man; all the others are hypocrites and are deceiving themselves!
Therefore my Master said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men. Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvellous work among this people, a marvellous work and a wonder. For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.” (Isa_29:13-14)
We are all born, of the flesh, into some Kingdom of men! Each one of us has come through the water of our mother’s womb and been born into some kingdom on the earth; this is the first birth. For most of the folks who are reading this article, it is kingdom of the United States!
But Yahusha said, “You must be born twice to enter the Kingdom of Elohim.”
The second birth is not into any kingdom of men; the second birth is into the Kingdom of Elohim!
If we will repent, leave the kingdom of our birth and join ourselves to YaHuWaH’s kingdom and people we can then begin to live in the way that leads to life; and it is the Way of Life that will eventually lead us to Passover and the 2nd birth. Yahusha continues his dialogue with Nicodemus saying,
Only the spirit of Elohim gives new life. And that spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. (John 3:8)
YaHuWaH’s kingdom, for the time being, is like the wind! We cannot see the wind itself, but we can see the affects and effects of the wind in the actions of YaHuWaH’s people who follow that invisible kingdom. These actions are the substance and the evidence of our faith.
Now when Yahusha was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of Elohim would come, he answered them and said, “The kingdom of Elohim does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘look there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of Elohim is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21)
The kingdom of Elohim is in you, once you repent from the broad way, leave the kingdom of your birth, start obeying the YaHuWaH’s ways by walking in the narrow way and join yourself to the commonwealth of Yisra’El.
But wait, there is more! Seeing and entering the kingdom is only the start! Yahusha said, “You must be born again (born from above).” Yahusha concludes this talk with Nicodemus with a rebuke!
Nicodemus answered and said to him, “How can these things be?” Yahusha answered and said to him, “Are you a teacher of Yisra’El, and do not know these things? (John 3:9-10)
Now stop and think for a moment. If Nicodemus, a teacher of Yisra’El, should have understood this second birth, then wouldn’t that means the Born Again experience that Yahusha is talking about is an Old Testament concept, not a New Testament one? The New Testament did not even exist. This makes perfect sense to me! If YaHuWaH does not change and His word endures forever, the second birth or Time of Life (as it was called before Passover) has been available to His people from the garden. We have so much to learn.