For those who are new to the concept of "Torah" (the first five Books of the Bible that contain all of ADONAI's original teachings and commands), did you know that you no longer need to call yourself a "gentile"?
The word "gentile" in the Bible has always had a negative connotation representing the pagans - those who worshiped "other gods."
But, here's the thing: In Genesis 12, we see a pagan Chaldean named Avram, being chosen by YHWH to ultimately become "the father of many great nations!" (Remember, people early on in the Bible didn't really have any labels, and there were no Jews at the time. But YHWH chose to initiate His grand Plans with Avram, who accepted Him as his God.)
Genesis 12:1 Now Adonai said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” 4 So Avram went, as Adonai had said to him, and Lot went with him. Avram was 75 years old when he left Haran. (CJB)
NOTE that YHWH told Avram to get AWAY from everyone and everything he knew. Why? Because, in order to affect change, it is necessary get away from any "old" influences and old habits, and leave ALL your "baggage" behind....
Now, watch this!
Genesis 14:13 Someone who had escaped came and told Avram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Emori, brother of Eshkol and brother of ‘Aner; all of them allies of Avram.
Did you notice that? We now suddenly discover that Avram is referred to as a HEBREW – a term that means "to cross over" … which is what Avram did, both spiritually and physically.
What does this mean? Well, Avram accepted YHWH as his God and thus, "crossed over" both "spiritually" and also physically into the land God told him to go to. Avram chose to OBEY ADONAI. Was he perfect? NO! Nobody is. But he certainly made every effort to BE the man YHWH chose him to become, once YHWH had turned Avram's entire life upside-down..
And BECAUSE of Avraham's obedience, this happened:
Genesis 17:When Avram was 99 years old Adonai appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. 2 I will make my covenant between me and you, and I will increase your numbers greatly.” 3 Avram fell on his face, and God continued speaking with him:
4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 Your name will no longer be Avram [exalted father], but your name will be Avraham [father of many], because I have made you the father of many nations. 6 I will cause you to be very fruitful. I will make nations of you, kings will descend from you.
7 “I am establishing my covenant between me and you, along with your descendants after you, generation after generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be God for you and for your descendants after you. 8 I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you are now foreigners, all the land of Kena‘an, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God.”
9 God said to Avraham, “As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation. (CJB)
So, what did we learn here? Well, once we accept the truth of YHWH/Yeshua/Torah, we are no longer Gentiles or Christians, really (as Christianity is missing some very important aspects of YHWH's teachings). But we CAN refer to ourselves as "Hebrews" if we wish ... because we've "crossed over."
What we've learned here is that (1) YHWH chooses whomever He wishes; and that (2) He does give us the choice to accept or reject Him; and (3) that, if we accept Him, he constantly moves us - HIS people - to the next level.
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