Ms. Smallback

Part IV of (PoP) – Motives and Roots

This is a caveat article on prophecy, from a different angle.  There are things I’ve learned along the way that if I could help someone else learn in shortcut fashion, I’m happy to reveal my own journey’s lessons.

Guard against jealousy and the desire to know information for information purposes only

I met my brother for the first time in 2004.  We were adopted out separately at birth, and only “found” each other in our adult lives.  It was new for both of us.  I was mostly without family at that time (except my husband and kids), and I approached this with a great amount of caution.  Family has been rather treacherous for me.

We were raised quite differently.  He was an only child; I was the youngest of three.  He was raised in the city, I on the farm.  He was raised in poverty; I had all my needs met.  His upbringing was mostly unrestrained; mine was controlled to the nth.  His youth was wild and carefree, mine was guarded and controlled.  Yet from the first conversation, we related.  The first time we spent together, we were finishing each other’s sentences.

It was an anomaly to me – especially considering how different we were/are.  Very, very few people have ever understood me in the entirety of my life, so few I can count them on one hand.  [To quote a friend of mine and brother in the faith, he said I was the most misunderstood person he has ever met.  This has been proven over and over and over in my life.]

But this new brother of mine either understood me or wanted to.  It seemed almost effortless at times.  Our relationship took off rather fast, as we tried to catch up as much as we could on all the years that we had lost.  There was so much to talk about, and our conversations would last for hours.  He had a couple people in his life that were jealous of that.  They didn’t understand and wanted to control it.  They thought we were too close.

Five months into our new relationship, my birthday was approaching.  My brother asked what I wanted.  I said, just time with you.  Time with him to learn about him, share, and grow was what was most precious to me.  I didn’t need a “thing”.  His presence was a gift.  He obliged, took me to a long dinner, and then we went to a worship set at a house of prayer.  The people in his life scorned it.

A month or two later, (one that was jealous of our relationship, let’s call her “Kay”), made an issue about all she wanted for her birthday was time with him.  This was a first in over a decade of familial relationship, but my brother obliged.  He knew it was jealousy and a competitive motive, but he was trying to alleviate the conflict and honor her as well.  The dinner was usual.  He remarked to me that there seemed a newfound interest in him, but the future proved it would lead nowhere.

I tell you this story for two purposes.

If one who has endeavored to seek out a relationship with their Creator and their Savior, has learned things about their Creator and Savior that others want to know, watch how the Spirit reveals the heart.

Jealousy can do one of two things.  It can spur one to reach and achieve that which they have been stirred up to want.  Or it can be destructive.

If someone wants to know the information of the prophetic (“just tell me when” or “just tell me who” or “just tell me what” and then fill in the blank), but isn’t truly interested in knowing in an intimate way the one the prophecy is about, they will have a similar reaction as Kay.  Kay mimicked my actions but got a different outcome.  Those who seek the information without the relationship will also get a different outcome.  They will demand an audience or the information, but it will not satisfy.  The information they are seeking will be as a shoulder shrug.  They will not understand the implications, and they will not value the person – (in prophecy it is Christ).

My reward with my brother is my brother. Knowing him is my reward. Understanding his heart, learning his nuances and the way he thinks, what matters to him, is my reward. Now, sixteen years later, there’s not much my brother does or doesn’t do that surprises me.  I’ve learned his heart, his mind, his ways.  I suppose you could say I could predict him (and he would definitely tell you that). Prediction is like prophesying, but it’s done with knowledge, whereas prophesying comes from the Spirit of God (but can also have knowledge).

Likewise, my reward with Christ is knowing Him. The danger in revealing the things God hid in codes, symbolism, and mystery is the careless and cavalier manner in which someone uninterested in developing their own intimacy with Christ will treat the knowledge of the prophetic. The fire that warms and thaws can also burn and destroy.

The globalist agenda uses Biblical prophecy to attempt to control the future, but they’re sorely amiss on the character and nature of God, and thus have erred in their strategy.  But God will use their errors to accomplish His purposes, and when we start to understand the difference between knowing the what and knowing the who, we will understand prophecy.

I can’t emphasize enough the purpose of prophecy is to reveal the character and heart of God. But He has wisely shrouded it in mystery so that only a seeking heart will pay the price to know Him.  He is the pearl of great price that we sell everything to buy. Knowing what’s going to happen is never as important as why, which is never as important as WHO.

On the other hand, if jealousy spurs us to genuinely seek out what we want, then we’ll find our jealousy gets replaced by personal desire.  This is a beautiful thing. We are no longer jealous of what we see someone else has (an intimate relationship, knowledge, understanding, etc.), but we have instead endeavored we must learn how to obtain that ourselves.

“Roots, where are your roots?”

The other purpose of my story has to do with identifying roots.  Over a decade ago, a Messianic Rabbi stumbled upon one of our in-home Wednesday night Bible studies one night.  He lived in a town over two hours away and was in our town on business.  He inquired of someone in our group if there was a mid-week service somewhere he could attend, and they invited him to our study.

As we opened the Scripture and began reading, it wasn’t long before I noticed his demeanor change. He exclaimed, “Roots! Where are your roots?” We asked him to elaborate. He immediately took us back to the root words in Hebrew. He expounded on them in such a way the Scripture broke open and light poured forth.  We sat the next hour just listening and learning from him.  I emailed him for years after with various questions about scripture and words, and he came to our home church a couple times to lead a Passover Seder.  He expertly taught how all the aspects of the rehearsal of the Passover led to Christ, and how Christ fulfilled every one of them.

In this season of learning, the Spirit of God taught me I was to learn how to return to the roots of the faith.  In fact, He used my newfound relationship with my brother to expound it.  He showed me how my identity was largely known to myself in my life by my adopted family.  I have things in my personality and identity that are a direct result from my upbringing.  There are phrases and gestures I picked up from my family that I carried on into my own identity.

We have been adopted into the family of God. We are now sons and daughters of the Most High through the amazing sacrifice and obedience of Yeshua, Christ the Messiah. And yet….

When I met my brother, my own blood, with zero experiences together or in common, there was an immediate connection.  We were able to finish each other’s sentences from the first time we met in person. This, the Spirit showed me, was my roots. And both families matter.

This is me, a Gentile, being grafted into the olive branch.  Read Romans 11, and make sure you read it with the Spirit’s guidance.  You’ll see that word jealousy again.  In this instance, it’s for the good purposes:  to bring God’s people back to Him.  In fact, if the western church has deceived you to think there’s not a place for Israel anymore, read Romans 9-11.

But this is what God showed me of why I need that branch I’ve been grafted into.  The church’s roots are the Hebrew faith, the Hebrew language, the Hebrew customs.  Disregarding, ignoring or otherwise being ignorant of these roots is only to our detriment.  We’ve been grafted into it, not the other way around.

And just like finding my blood brother helped me understand myself better, finding our faith’s roots will help us understand the God of our faith better.  God painted the picture of redemption and gave that picture to the Hebrews (Israelites). He redeemed us out of the darkness and brought us into the light, irrespective of our actual blood lineage, and it is God’s gracious kindness that we are heirs in Christ.  But let’s not make the mistake of thinking we don’t need the Hebrews and their faith.

And about that word “Hebrew”….

Where does it even come from???  Who are the Hebrews?  The first time we see that word in Scripture is in Genesis 40:15:

For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.

This is interesting, because it’s the story of Joseph being sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt and was put in prison on false charges.  But it’s not the inception of “Hebrews”.  Some versions try to help us connect the dots by inserting it in Genesis 10:21.  Here it is in the Amplified:

Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber [including the Hebrews], the older brother of Japheth, children were born.

[For study, here’s Genesis 10:21 in about every Bible translation.]

But what we’ll learn in study is that the word “Hebrew” comes from the line of Eber, who was the great-grandson of Shem (son of Noah).  Just so we have it straight:  Noah had Shem who had Araphaxad who had Shelah who had Eber.

The ancient Israelites had a custom in their language, (which is incidentally called “Hebrew”):  they didn’t have vowels.  So vowels were inserted to ease with pronunciation.  But for simplicity, they used variances of their names and words by changing the vowels.  (Pay attention because this becomes very important in future breakdowns.)  So Eber is the “father” of the Hebrews, so to speak.  Hebrews derives its name from Eber.

And this must be pretty important to God because that name “Hebrews” has not left the vernacular of the faith for millennia, even having a whole book written to these people in the new covenant, yet the word Hebrew is nowhere to be found in that book.

In fact, when the Israelites were in Egypt for four hundred years, though they carried the name of Jacob/Israel, they were still being referred to as Hebrews by the people of Egypt.  And when the Philistines were challenging the promised land under the reign of King Saul, they were calling the children of Israel “Hebrews” even then, how many hundreds of years after Jacob?

And when Paul is speaking to the Corinthians he makes a clear distinction like this (2 Cor 11:22):  “Are they Hebrews?  So am I.  Are they Israelites?  So am I.  Are they descendants of Abraham?  So am I.”

So surely by now you can see the name “Hebrew” is of value to God. And if it matters to God, it matters to me. If God has not allowed Hebrew to drop from the vernacular after several millennia, I reason there must be a reason.  This must be of value to God.  We do not want to lose the things that are of value to God in the effort to be trendy or modern or progressive or even enlightened.  If God has preserved something, I want to know why and what it means to Him.

In the meantime, do not scorn your roots.  Embrace them.

To read Part 1, click HERE

To read Part 2, click HERE

To read Part 3, click HERE

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