I have had an interesting few weeks in the Garden of Eden amongst the hills of the Shomron. My heart has been pushed and pulled. I have felt joy and sadness, hope and uncertainty, and often times a great deal of anxiety concerning where my life is going. I have seen a little more of Joseph's land. And I have experienced a little more of Judah's world. The Kingdom of God has been pulling at me from many directions and it is taking me a while to find my way in it all. Although I have been documenting my journeys visually with photos and pictures and a blog, the external journey is really only the backdrop or canvas in which the more real internal journey has been able to be given context and thus a means of unfolding. I am not principally here to see ancient sights. I am here to meet my brother Judah and touch what Josephs land is all about. Judah and Joseph represent two opposing but complimentary forces. Ideally they should be in union and at peace. But now they are apart and in a state of partial darkness and disharmony.
We all know the story of the betrayal of God in the Garden of Eden. This was followed by the loss of innocence by our first parents Adam and Eve. This in turn led to minds and hearts that were polluted. We had sinned, we had missed the mark, we were alienated from the pure light of Gods clear word. His light had become hidden even though it was before us. We were given just one prohibition, everything else was permissible. But we blew it. Something had obscured the pure light of his clear word.
This was the condition of our first parents in that Garden, the light was occulted and the truth was hidden in plain sight. We had broken His word and caused the light of His clear word to be obscured. This was manifested by knowledge of nakedness, guilt and shame before our wise, loving, merciful, just and wise creator. We were out of sorts with Him. Our discord with our creator led to the introduction of alienation between bride and groom. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the Serpent Satan the deceiver. Adam and Eve had to leave the 'promised land of Eden' and work by the sweat of their brow.
Discord has followed our race ever since. Discord was between Jacobs two wives, Lea and Rachel. And discord was between their principle two sons Judah and Joseph. The pure light was hidden because the darkness was within. Its bad enough when its dark outside, but when it is dark within then we are in a state that requires mercy if we are to recover our sight and find our way to our Father in Heaven and to the Promised land. For 2000 years the lost tribes of the house of Israel have been reconciling with the Father through His Son. We have entered the heavenly Jerusalem, the heavenly promised land. We are now beginning the process of our return to the earthly promised land. Just as our relationship with our heavenly Father is being healed so too must other relationships be healed also. If relationships were broken in the Garden of Eden then they must be restored. How can there be a full return without the healing of our relationships to one another? Fathers and sons, husbands and wives must be reconciled, at least all those who believe. Judah and Joseph must be reconciled also. Until reconciliation occurs there can be no return, no regathering of the 10 lost tribes. We have been banished from Eden until the set time. Just as our first parents had to leave Eden, so too did Israel. Because of the betrayal and sale of Joseph by Judah and the other sons (except Benjamin), all Israel would end up in exile in Egypt. They had to leave the promised land, they had to leave Eden. The price for reentry into the land would be high. Later Israel could only enter into the 'promised land Eden' by Torah warfare which is obedience to the pure light of Gods clear commands. It was only those with eyes of faith that made it through the wilderness. Many died, unable to enter by faith.
I am grappling with the consequences of the fall in my time here in Israel. My little holiday in Israel has been more of an instructional period of hard physical work combined with times of relaxation. My hard work amongst the Jewish settlers has been good for my soul. And it has stretched me. This has been balanced by times of relaxation amongst believers which has also been an encouragement to my soul, but in another way. I have two strings pulling and tugging at my heart, one Jewish and one Christian or Messianic. One strong pull from the 'House of Judah' and one from the 'House of Israel'. On the Jewish side I feel a connection to my earthly side, my 'Jacob side' if you will, while on the other side, my heavenly side, or my 'Israel side', I feel a pull towards the things above where the Messiah is seated. I carry these contradictions within me. At this time these opposing forces cannot be resolved. The Kingdom of God has not yet come to the Earth, though I can feel it kicking inside me, it cannot be born just yet. One day there will be a cry from our collective Israelite Messianic soul that will bring forth the Kingdom (Rev 12). Good things take time, Labour takes nine months, but the Kingdom has taken 6000 years. 'Ha Shabbat', The Sabbath, is coming, the Sabbath when bride and groom shall be united. But until then we are in travail with these opposing forces at work within us.
The force of the pull on one side is the Zion of my flesh and blood while the other side is the Zion from the heavenly Jerusalem. God is on both sides, flesh and spirit, because according to Job 19:26, 'in my flesh I will see God', and this is opposed or supported or balanced by the fact that according to Hebrews 12:22 I am also from the Zion above in the 'Heavenly Jerusalem'. So I am grateful for the experience being here in the land of Israel, but I am also burdened by it as I hope to explain shortly. Although my spirit is from above I feel a desire to be grounded. I have two homes really, one above and one below, and what I really long for is for them to be one. In the beginning God made the Heavens and the Earth. And these two creations, one above and one below, need to be reconciled. They need to be bridged or connected. In the first verse of the Hebrew bible they are connected by the letter 'vav' which is translated 'and', as in "God created the heaven 'and' the earth". But there is a lot of travail in that one letter, in that vav which means 'and'. So we are in birth pangs praying, 'Thy Kingdom Come'.
We really do carry the Kingdom of God within us. We are in this way pregnant with the entire Heavenly realm within our very souls, waiting to be birthed. The very Kingdom of God in Heaven, is really wrapped up or curled up within our very souls that are nestled within our earthly carnal bodies. We have a higher dimension curled up within this lower dimension. This sounds like some fancy multi dimensional physics theory. But it is not theory. It is real. The Messiah is within us, Yeshua, and his Kingdom is wanting to be born into this lower realm through us. It is curled up and waiting and pushing and kicking. This is more than just some unction to speak or preach or declare his name. This is really an aspect of our being that is not as yet manifest. We feel it inside but we cannot bring it forth. Only the travail of all of creation can bring forth the Kingdom within us. And these birth pangs of all of creation will only happen at the appointed time (Moed in Hebrew, Gen 1:14). Hence it is wise to keep the appointed times as outlined in Leviticus 23.
In my previous blog entry I talked about Tel Aviv and it's lower place physically on the shore of the Mediterranean and its correspondingly lower place spiritually, especially as it is literally built on the sand. I have now returned to the mountains of Israel, and to a spiritually more elevated place also. The mountains are where the spiritual house of Judah is being formed as they contend for the land in a more muscular form of Judaism. The house of Judah in its Kingdom for is being formed not only on the mountains of Judeah, but also on the mountains of Samaria.
Judah is learning how to fight and how to apply Torah to living in the land. The dustiness and dryness of the life in exile is beginning to be replaced by vitality of trusting in the Lord day by day and applying the Torah to situations that could not happen outside the promised land in the ghettos of Europe or under Islamic domination or in the flesh pots of America.
In Tel Aviv it maybe more mundane and worldly and secular or even profane or perverted. But on the mountains of Judea and Samaria, the future is being formed in embryonic form. The Jews in the settlements have the opportunity to live the Torah in a much more visceral, earthy, hands-on and faith building way than in the controlled and safe environments in the state of Israel. Faith is required beyond the 'green line' in the mountains of the Shomron in a way that is not needed in the safe and predictable flat land of the secular state of Israel. For example, in the areas between Palestinian and Jewish settlements there are pockets of freehold land that cost nothing but faith to stake a claim. They are free if you have the faith and gumtion to hold onto them. You might build something up only to see the Israeli Police and Army tear it down. Then again it may stand. So faith can become real here in this way. And it is faith that is being tested, and spiritual resolve and character that is being formed.
And I too feel a pull to the land but I am not Jewish, I am part of the 10 lost tribes. I have faith in Yeshua and am in exile with Joseph. Things are in motion but we cannot return yet. Judah is not ready for us and we are not yet ready. I now want to briefly relate some experiences that I have had amongst the Jews in west bank (specifically in the Samaria/Shomron part of it) that illustrate my internal conflict.