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Revive Israel Ministries

©13 June 2014 Revive Israel Ministries

"Judah First"

By Asher Intrater

In the book of Romans we find the phrase "to the Jew first" three times: one for the gospel (1:16), one for wrath (2:9) and one for glory (2:10).  I believe that this phrase is a continuation from the book of Genesis, in which the tribe of Judah was to "go first."  The connection between the "Jew first" of the gospels and "Judah first" in the Torah reveals the consistency of divine order throughout the biblical covenants.
The Messianic covenant came through Isaac instead of Ishmael because Abraham was already married to Sarah.  She came first.

The seed then passed through Leah because she was Jacob's first wife, even though Jacob loved Rachel more.  The covenant should have gone to Reuven as the firstborn son, but he disqualified himself by sexual perversion (Genesis 35:22). The second son Shimon was disqualified because of murder (Genesis 34:30). Levi lost the kingship lineage because of his cooperation with Shimon, but retained the priesthood as the 3rd born.

The covenant right was then passed on to Judah (Genesis 43:3). He proved himself worthy by being willing to sacrifice himself to save Benjamin (Genesis 44:18). When Jacob travelled to Egypt, the order of Judah's leadership was already set (Genesis 46:28).   The order of the encampment of the tribes in the wilderness was again, "Judah first" (Numbers 10:14). When the Israelites conquered the land of Canaan, Judah went up first (Judges 1:2).

With Order comes Controversy

The controversy about the priority of the tribe of Judah came to a head when David became king.  After the rebellion of Absalom, the northern 10 tribes of Israel accused the tribe of Judah of "stealing" the coronation rights (II Samuel 19:42-44). Judah replied that their priority came from being "closer relatives" to David.  Israel responded by saying they were "10 times" larger, and that Judah had dishonored them. But Judah's claim to being "first" was stronger than the Israelites' claim to equality.

The conflict between Judah and Israel foreshadows the conflict between Israel and the Church.  Although the huge quantity of people in the international Church has great importance, it does not override the covenant order of Judah coming first. This order will continue into the end times (Zechariah 12:7) to the second coming (Matthew 23:39) and even to the millennial government (Matthew 19:28).

[God's Kingdom is established by covenant.  God is faithful to His covenants. Covenants have order; and that order reflects authority structure – whether in marriage (I Timothy 2:13), family, government, Church or Israel.]


Worship in Spirit and Truth

By Dan Juster

Matthew 6:33 commands, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.”  The first step in seeking His Kingdom is to seek a relationship with the King through worship. Kingdom advance flows out from, and is empowered by, worship. 

In John 4, Yeshua says to the Samaritan woman, You worship what you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews.  But an hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth".

Worship in truth means that the content of our worship must be based on the truth and that it must be sincere.  God is extolled as Creator, the Infinite One, who is merciful, loving and just.  He must be extolled as the one who intervenes in human history to bring about His good purposes.  The Exodus and other historical acts of God permeate the Psalms. 
 Yeshua in John 4 is drawing out a difference here between the Mosaic order and the New Covenant order.  Yeshua said that the least in the Kingdom is greater than John the Immerser.  In this better new covenant, our worship centers on Him and all He has done for us: His crucifixion, His mercy, His ministry, His resurrection, His ascension, His rule from heaven, and His return and future reign. 

In a familiar double entendre, Yeshua says, “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32).  This refers to His crucifixion through which He draws all people to Himself.  Such power and love is released in His crucifixion that it had to lead to His resurrection.  This is where justice and mercy kiss.  Here is the fullest expression of the love of God, His suffering with all the pain of humanity.  However, the verse also refers to our lifting Him up in our worship.     

Worship in spirit connotes fervor of spirit kindled by the Holy Spirit.  As Jonathan Edwards so well argued in his magnum opus, The Religious Affections, our relationship to the Father, Son and Spirit is an affection that must include emotion.


Building People

We can only do so much alone. In this message Asher stresses that the kingdom of God is made up of people and that we have no other choice but to build relationships and work as a team to extend the kingdom of God. To watch, click HERE!


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