Divine Purpose Part 2
Introduction: In our last teaching we discovered that it was the purpose of Elohim from the very beginning to bless all the families of the Earth. The promise first came through Abram and secondly through the chosen Nation Yisrael who would be a special treasure to YHWH above all people so that Yisrael would radiate the Esteem of YHWH in the Earth just as in the book of NechemYAH when we discovered that Yerushalayim was meant to be the light of the World that the World would come to the knowledge of YHWH. The Purpose for which YHWH chose and raised up Yisrael would be that they would fill the Earth with the knowledge of YHWH according to the Prophet:
YeshiYAHU (Isaiah)11:9b for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of YHWH
as the waters cover the sea.
This same call we have the privilege of being part of. Shaul (Paul) in Romans 11 challenges believers to realize the favour that we have received by challenging the believer who is not of Yisrael that since we are grafted into the tree through faith in Yahshua we need to not become proud and conceited.
Seeing how important is that call for all those who are part of Yisrael I wish to show how mightily YHWH worked through the death & resurrection of Yahshua to fulfil his calling to those he had chosen, what is often referred to as “The Great Commission.” To understand the means that YHWH used we need to look to the Nazarene Writings or the Brit Chadashah and how it applied to them & to us.
The Promise of the Father:
It was not until Shavuot (Pentecost) that we see the empowering by the Ruach Ha Qodesh (the Holy Spirit) according to the promise given by the Father through the Prophet Yoel (Joel):
Yo’el (Joel) 2:28-32 And after this it shall be that I pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men dream dreams, your young men see visions.
This promise found its purpose in the Words of Yahshua before he was taken up into the Shamaiyim (Heavens) in:
Acts 1:6-8 So when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Master, would You at this time restore the reign to Yisra’ĕl?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8“But you shall receive power when
the RUACH Ha Qodesh (the Set-apart Spirit) has come upon you and you shall be My witnesses in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) and in all Yahuḏah (Judah) and Shomeron (Samaria) and to the uttermost part of the earth.”
From this truth we know that it is the Father’s desire to fill the Earth with the knowledge of YAHWEH and his Salvation through his only brought forth son Yahshua. However we saw that the disciples had not brought his message outside of Yahudah (Judea) even up to 7 years after the Resurrection.
The End justifies the Means:
Faced with a reluctance to bring the message to the other nations we see YAHWEH allowing a wave of persecution to overwhelm the believers around Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) to demonstrate that even in this, the hand of YHWH was working though even this did not move the Talmidim (Disciples) to leave Yerushalayim as we read:
Acts 8:1 And Sha’ul (Paul) was giving approval to Stephen’s (TsephanYah’s) death. And on that day there was a great persecution against the assembly which was at Yerushalayim and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Yahuḏah (Judea) and Shomeron (Samaria), except the Shiliychiym (the Apostles).
We might even say that the calling of Sha’ul (Paul) had its purpose in reaching the Nations commonly known as the Goyim (the Gentiles) since the disciples had not yet answered that call but in Sha’ul’s ministry we do not see an Apostle whose sole concern is to reach the Gentiles but rather he always goes to the Yisraelites scattered in the many nations but in that process many Goyim or gentiles are seen to receive the Besorah the “Good News.” Sha’ul (Paul) singles himself out as called for this purpose:
Galatians 2:7- 9 But on the contrary, when they saw that the “Good News” for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the Good News (B’sorath) for the circumcised (of the Brit- Milah) was to Kepha (Peter). 8. (For He who worked effectively in Kepha (Peter) to make him an emissary to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Goyim (Gentiles)), 9 But Ya’acov (James) Kepha (Peter) & Yahuchanan (John) who were reputed as being pillars perceived the favour that had been given me, gave to me and Bar-naba (Barnabas) the right hand of fellowship so that we might go to the Goyim (Gentiles) and they to the circumcised.
Please note that verse 8 is in brackets to indicate that it may have been a latter inclusion by translators and not a directive from the Master.
As we observe Shaul’s calling to the Nations we see him however always seeking out the Yahudim (Jews) in every place but in so doing he also is seeking the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael being the Northern Tribes commonly called Yisrael that were scattered in the Diaspora (the Dispersion). However there is a marked difference in emphasis since both Ya’acov (James) & Kepha (Peter) in their letters make it clear who they are writing to:
Ya’acov (James) 1:1 To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.
Kepha Aleph (1 Peter)1:1 To the Pilgrims of the Dispersion.
The Call of the Master:
In our Scriptures we do not have much information regarding the working of YHWH through the twelve disciples apart from the book of Acts and various Epistles though we see the expansion of the “Good News” manifesting through the believers and people like Philip the Evangelist who was not one of the disciples though we see that when the city of Samaria witnessed the signs & wonders done by him that the whole City listened to him which finally brought Kepha (Peter) there.
We know that since the Covenant is with the House of Yisrael and Yahudah (Judah) everything that happens fulfils Divine purpose so today we will investigate the hidden workings of YHWH that might answer some questions that may have been raised in Sha’ul’s (Paul’s) writings but to do that we will first return to the Book of Yonah (Jonah) to determine a truth hidden in the text:
Yonah (Jonah) 1:1-3 And the Word of YHWH came to Yonah (Jonah) son of Amittai, saying,
2“Arise, go to Ninevĕh, the great city and cry out against it, for their evils have come up before Me.” 3 But Yonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of YAHWEH and went down to Yapho (Joppa) and found a ship going to Tarshish. And he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of YAHWEH.
The Question that may arise is “why did Yonah book passage to Tarshish” and where indeed was it? The Tanakh (Old Testament) through Ezekiel about 587BC suggests that Tarshish supplied tin to the Markets of Tyre from early times. There is some contention as to where Tarshish was, whether it was in western Spain or Britain but considering the Scriptural prophecies about Tarshish the suggestion is that Tarshish is Britain since Britain was not unknown to the Ancient World and as early as the 4th Century the Greeks, Phoenicians and Carthaginians traded for Cornish tin. If therefore we can consider that Tarshish was Britain we need to consider why Yonah had booked a passage for it. Was it simply to remove himself as far as possible from his calling or is there another reason?
To add further weight to the thought that Tarshish is Britain we have a document known as “the Scottish Declaration of Independence” drawn up in 1320AD in which they refer to being situated in “The Uttermost part of the Earth” but also that they are of Yisrael. Since the great Commission concludes with the Uttermost part of the Earth & Galgacus one of the Chieftains of Caledonia or Scotland said “the extremity of the Earth is ours” there is a thought that at this time this area was deemed the end of the Earth. It was also well known in the Roman World that this region was thought of as the uttermost part of the Earth.
According to Eusibius Bishop of Caesarea (AD 313- 338) “some Apostles passed over to the British Isles.”
The Lost Chapter of the “Acts of the Apostles”
Tarshish was in no way unknown to the Ancient world & was prophesied about in YeshiYAHU (Isaiah) & Yechezkel (Ezekiel) so a bit of understanding about it is good. To understand the significance of Tarshish which was also called Roman Britain we have a document called the “Sonnini Manuscript” formally preserved among other documents at Constantinople which contains the account of Sha’ul’s journey to Spain & Britain. In verse 2 we read:
Verse 2: For he (Shaul) had heard in Phonecia that certain of the children of Yisrael, about the time of the Assyrian Captivity had escaped by sea to the Isles afar off as spoken by the prophet [Esdra] and called by the Romans- Britain.
Why then may we ask was this chapter omitted but rediscovered in these last days but to fulfil the word of YHWH spoken through the Prophet Hosea?
Hosea 1:9- 11 Then YHWH said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your Elohim (G_d).
10 “Yet the Yisraelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘children of the living Elohim.’ 11 The people of Yahudah (Judah) and the people of Yisrael will come together; they will appoint one leader and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Yizre’el (Jezreel) (meaning that which YAH plants).
What is interesting is that Great Britain held the mandate to administer Palestine and on November 2, 1917 the Balfour Declaration was issued and finally accepted by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922 stating that His Majesty’s Government, view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
If therefore Britain is Tarshish and many Yisraelites having escaped the Assyrian invasion settled there we then have a better understanding of why Yonah (Jonah) desired to go there and it may also help us to understand why England & its Daughter Nation America have been so blessed & why many Missionaries came from America to transverse the globe. There is in fact no nation that has evangelised the World more than America.
Since Acts 28 finishes very abruptly with Sha’ul in his own rented apartment & teaching with unlimited freedom further investigation is necessary but when looking at his life there is a period of almost 6 years missing. However finally he is able to say this:
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
If indeed Sha’ul had completed his task a question arises based on his words about his unfinished mission:
Romans 15:28 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.
Sha’ul also says it this way:
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Master Yahshua,
From these readings we receive a picture of a man that would never be satisfied with half finishing his call which brings us to the conclusion that whatever the Master had called him to, he was absolutely determined to complete even to the point of losing his life.
The Effective Preaching of the Besorah (The Good News)
It is believed that the good News was first thought to be brought to Britain by Yoseph of Arimathea the great uncle of Yahshua as well other disciples who laid the foundation of the faith in the Isles of the West. Even before the Roman invasion Bran as King of Siluria declared his Kingdom faithful to the Good News. Five of the greatest generals mentioned in Roman history were at one time or another pitted against Britain including the likes of Plautius, Geta, Vespacian, Titus and Augustus.
Rome found it was unable to claim victory over the Britons but in a peace deal it appears that the faithful King of Britain became the son-in-law of the Roman Emperor Claudius.
This led to the sister of the British King Caractacus whose name was Gladys which was Celtic for princess marrying the Roman commander in chief. Also to bring a lasting peace Emperor Claudius adopted Gladys as his own daughter who was a devout believer and changed her name according to Roman custom to “Claudia”. All these events surely had the hand of Elohim in it and now we can better understand some of Sha’ul’s (Paul’s) words:
This brief history is to show the great hand of YHWH on Sha’ul that he was able to bring the Knowledge of Yahweh to the most distant part of the known World as well as to the highest ranks of the ruling class of Rome and thus fulfilling the great call he had on his life. As a demonstration of that we read the following:
Romans 16:13 Greet Rufus chosen in YHWH and his mother and mine.
This verse implies that Sha’ul and Rufus Pudens Pudentius were half-brothers with the result that Gladys now known as Claudia the adopted daughter of Emperor Claudius was Shaul’s sister-in-law. This affirms why Shaul according to the ancient writers spent most of his time in Rome with the Pudens.
In light of the spread of the Good News Sha’ul appointed Linus the son of Caractacus the British King to oversee the Roman Assembly confirmed later by Kepha (Peter) in the “Apostolic Constitutions” Book 1 Chapter 46”
2 Timothy 4:21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.
Sha’ul (Paul) was also beheaded at Aquae Salviae outside Rome and placed in the Pudentinan family tomb on the Ostian Road along with Linus in AD90, Pudens in AD96, Claudia in AD97 and other family believers.
The complete aim of this teaching is to first demonstrate how marvellous YAHWEH is, whose greatest desire is to see the knowledge of his Kingdom and the blessed knowledge of Salvation through the atoning blood of Yahshua to fill the Earth & that through Shaul (Paul) there is clear evidence of his purpose to reach the lost Children of Yisrael that had been scattered to the farthest Part of the Earth but even more amazing is that the knowledge of this great Salvation even reached to the highest ranks of Roman society through the great ministry of Sha’ul (Paul).
I hope through this we might understand the significance of “the Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles” known as the “Sonnini Manuscript” which sheds light on the spread of the Good News knowing that all that transpired was & is in the hand of Elohim our heavenly Father.
Through this study I hope we come to understand how important is the call that each one of us have in fulfilling this “Great Commission” knowing that the last words of our Master to his Disciples was:
MattithYAHU (Matthew) 28:18 And Yahshua came up & spoke to them saying, “all authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth. 19. Therefore go and make taught ones of all Nations immersing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Set-apart Spirit 20. Teaching them to guard all that I have commanded you. And see I am with you always even till the end of the age. Amein.
Mark 16:20 And they went out and proclaimed the “good News” everywhere while the Master worked with them and confirmed the word through the accompanying signs. Amein.
We know that the message of the Kingdom did fill the Earth or we would not be here and the Talmidim (disciples) did finally bring the message to the far reaches of the Earth since we have writings outside the scriptures that tell us of the various journeys of the Talmidim (Disciples):
In Foxes Book of Martyrs we discover concerning the Disciples that:
MattithYahu (Matthew) went to African Ethiopia.
Ya’acov (James) the less went to Syria.
Matthias went to present day Sevastopol on the northern side of the Black Sea.
Andrew’s eventual missionary travels took him to Scythia in southern Russia.
Kepha (Peter) traditionally spent time in Babylon & Rome.
Thomas passed through Babylon, Persia & went as far as southern India.
There are many more traditions of the Martyrs of the Assemblies that go to show how all these were so inspired by the Words of Scripture & of the truth of the death & resurrection of Yahshua that from a band of ordinary men YHWH turned the World right side up.
We now have had the batten passed to us & we know especially in this time we have a truth to bring to the World since Yahshua said to teach them “the World” to guard all that I have commanded you. The blessing is not alone for us to hold onto but rather we have been blessed that we may bring that blessing to the World as the Assembles did in the 1st Century.
Since Yahshua promised that he would empower us with the “RUACH ha Qodesh (The Holy Spirit) for the reason that we could be mighty witnesses for him and if we believe wholeheartedly his word we should believe like Shaul and later his disciples that we are called not just to know truth but more importantly to bring that truth to the World in order to sift out of the nations the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael but not them alone but all who turn to Yahshua to be grafted into Yisrael.
What we need as a people is to ask our Abba (Father) for wisdom through his RUACH (Spirit) and most importantly for a love for our Jewish & Christian brothers because it is only by the working of Elohim through his favour that we are who we are.
1 Corinthians 13:1- 3 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.