Has anyone asked God “Who is the Bride?”
Before I bring the Torah on Jacob’s ladder, I’m just going to backtrack Abraham and Isaac to bring you something really juicy!! God is calling us now to look again at His Word because he is bringing new revelation, more understanding and deeper truth.
We are going back 2000 years before Jesus just to focus you on the time line we are in. After Isaac marries Rebekah, Abraham married another wife “Keturah” and the Jewish Rabbis say she was, in fact, Hagar. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourselves. (ii)
Hagar was not his wife when she bore him Ishmael – she was his concubine making Ishmael an illegitimate son.
When Ishmael was 14, Sarah became pregnant with Isaac and told Abram to cast Hagar and Ishmael out of his house and into the wilderness. This broke Hagar and Ishmael’s hearts and they nearly died of thirst in that wilderness until the angel showed Hagar the well. The young lad was not just physically dying but his heart was already broken with rejection and his soul pierced with sorrow. He was brought up knowing God and must have been wondering “Does God really hear”. It reads, “And God heard the boy crying."
“I shma el” means “God hears” me. Today, God will hear the cry of the Muslim people in this hour who are in a spiritual wilderness broken hearted for the love of their Father. Hagar was at the well called Beer L’Chai Roi when the angel said to her “Give the boy a drink” from “The Well of the God that sees my life."
Rabbi Rashi says that Abraham remarried three years after the death of Sarah at age 140 and took back Hagar, and gave her a Hebrew name “Keturah” because she was pure and “knew” not another man and she was good like “ketoret”, which is the name of the pure incense offered to God on the altar in the Holy Temple.
It is not unusual for people in the Torah to have more than one name: for example, Daniel was called Belteshazzar, Yeshua was called Jesus etc., Hagar was her Egyptian name and Keturah her Hebrew name.
Not only did Isaac feel guilty about the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael but so did Abraham, and we know that Abraham did not want to send Ishmael away. The text (Gen:21:9) is explicit on this point but Sarah was insistent, and God told Abraham to listen to her. (ii)
Throughout the lifetime of Sarah, reconciliation was impossible. After her death, however, Abraham sought Hagar out and brought her back. Hagar did not end her days as an outcast. She returned in honour, as Abraham’s wife.
That is what God does – He can and will restore and redeem every circumstance of our lives for He is our Redeemer.
That is why, at Abraham’s funeral, Isaac knew where to find Hagar and Ishmael to tell them his father had died. He went to Beer L’Chai Roi to find them and Ishmael and Isaac were both present at their father’s funeral. The divided family was reunited.
Last week we learnt that Isaac was at Beer L’Chai Roi when he met Rebekah coming on her camel with the servant. He was there to see Ishmael and Hagar at “The well of the God who sees your life."
There is a story here of immense consequence for our time.
Genesis 25 states that Keturah bore Abraham 6 sons, including Midian, who was the father of Sheba and one of Midian’s sons was called Ephah.
Midian, Sheba and Ephah are all mentioned in Isaiah 60 together with Ishmael’s son Nebaioth and Kedar.
It says in the Bible that Abraham left his inheritance to Isaac but gave gifts to his other sons and sent them to the land of the east.
Isaiah is prophesying into Israel in Chapter 60 vs 4-7 “Lift up your eyes and look about you. All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar………Young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.” Did you hear that? The descendants of the sons of Keturah, Midian, Ephah Sheba, Kedar and Nebaioth came proclaiming the praise of the Lord!
It says in Matthew 2 that wise men came from the east to Jerusalem bearing gifts of gold frankincense and myrrh to The King of the Jews. They said, “We have seen His star in the east and are come to worship Him."
Isaiah 60 Vs 7 reads: “All Kedar’s flocks (descendants) will be gathered to you, the rams (the men) of Nebaioth (the first born son of Ishmael) will serve you; and they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple”. These are Keturah’s sons.
Ishmael’s son Nebaioth was in Egypt – it is written “Out of Egypt I will call my son." We understand that the Hebrews were led out of Egypt by Moses, we also understand this to be Jesus when Joseph and Mary fled with baby Jesus to escape Herod - but I believe it can also mean Ishmael’s descendants living in Egypt – The Muslim.
Isaiah 19:23-24 speaks of a highway from Egypt to Assyria, they will worship together and The Lord almighty will bless them, saying “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance”. They are all coming into the Kingdom on this Holy Highway.
The Torah Portion for this week, Sunday 14th November 2021, is Jacob’s Ladder. Gen: 28-32 called “Veyetz” which means “And he went out” I’ve included Isaiah 60 and John 1:51
In this week’s Torah portion, we read one of the greatest mysteries in the story of Jacob’s Ladder that brings together the master connection of heaven and earth. This story is a Messianic story because Jesus becomes the connector between heaven and earth – Jesus is the Ladder. Let’s read it.
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. (That was because he was forced to leave because he acquired the blessing through the flesh – when he returns to the land of Israel he is a changed man.)
11 When he reached a certain place, (This place was known in the Hebrew as a place of divine encounter). He stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. (“It” does not exist in Hebrew – this should read “ascending and descending on Him." (vii)
In John 1:51 As Jesus is speaking about Nathanael – the man without guile or nothing false about him, he said “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the son of man."
13 There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land (of Israel) on which you are lying.
14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” and your offspring."
This is repeating the Abrahamic Covenant. That phrase “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you (Jacob)” has a subtle difference in Hebrew to the word “Blessing” spoken to Abraham.
In this instance the Hebrew meaning of Jacob’s “Blessing” actually means “ingrafted”.(ii)
God is saying that all the nations will be ingrafted into Jacob whose name is changed to Israel. So it should read that “Through Jacob all nations of the world will be grafted into Israel”. In Romans 11 that we looked at last week, I taught on the ingrafting of the Wild Olive tree – The Church - into the cultivated Olive Tree of Israel. This is a prophetic picture of what God is going to do through Israel and how important this ladder really is.
Let’s read on Verse 16:
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the House of God; this is the Gate of Heaven.”
It is important to understand that “This Certain Place” is Temple Mount today – called by the Muslims “The Dome of the Rock."
The Hebrew word for stone/rock is eben. This Hebrew word is spelled with three letters. Aleph, Bet, Nun (אבן). The letters Aleph, Bet, or אב is the word for father. The letters Bet, Nun or בן is Ben the word for son. The word stone/rock is a combination of the father and son.
The bible goes to extraordinary lengths to demonstrate the Messiah as the rock of Israel.
Jesus (YESHUA) also reminds us that he is the gate in John 10:1-2 “Truly, truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the Gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the Gate is the Shepherd of the sheep”. Jesus is the Gateway to heaven. Jesus is saying that there is no other way except by this ladder which connects heaven to earth.
Jesus is the ladder, and His prayers of tears will open up the gate as He cries out for mercy on His people for their redemption and salvation.
The angels that go up and down Him (Jesus) are the angels of the nations and Jesus moves those messenger angels to bring the nations in.
(This is not the place where he wrestles with God – that comes later.)
Esau, who hated his brother, Jacob, for taking his blessing of the first born carries a murderous spirit to kill his brother “Israel” to this day.
Esau represents the Muslim world that have sold their natural birthright to terrorism, with no regard for life.
Here we see two kinds of Muslim – Esau filled with hatred and a murderous spirit to kill his brother Israel and Ishmael broken hearted, abandoned and rejected by his Father and jealous of Isaac – The Seed of Promise.
Both are coming home to daddy in these end times through Messiah. (iv)
But look what I discovered. I looked up the Hebrew word for Esau and it looks like this. Then I looked up the Hebrew spelling for Yeshua and it looks like this (iv)
– Esau עֵשָׂו
Now look at this: “If you take the first letter in the name “Esau” and put it at the end, his name becomes Yeshua.
I believe that, like these letters, Esau will, in the end, be transformed into Yeshua and be saved.
Beneath the surface of the narrative, we read the clues and piece together a moving story of reconciliation between Esau and Jacob. Yes, there was and is conflict and separation at the moment; but that was the beginning, not the end.
Abraham loved both his sons, Ishmael and Isaac and they came together to lay to rest their father, Abraham.
There is hope for the future in this story of Jacob and Esau, too. Judaism and Islam (vi) coming together to lay to rest the hostilities of the past through Jacob’s Ladder – Yeshua ha Mashiach, The Redeemer of us all.
The Jew, the Muslim and the Christian coming together as one new man, grafted into Israel through Yeshua and that my friends will be the Pure and Spotless Bride.
1. Notes from Chadab.org in Genesis 21:1
2. Notes from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Hagar and Keturah
(i). The period between Abraham's call to enter Canaan and Jacob's entry into Biblical Egypt calculated from the ages of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the period in Egypt is stated in the Book of Exodus (12:40) as 430 years.
(ii). Blessing here means “ingrafted” says Rabbi Shapiro speaking on Jacob’s Ladder
(iii). Notes taken from Rabbi Shapiro – On Jacob’s Ladder
(iv). Hebrew Alphabet:
(v) Faisal Malick – The Destiny of Islam in the End Times..
(vi). Rabbi Sacks “On Judaism and Islam”
(vii) El Shaddai Ministries – Mark Biltz