Remy Parrott
on July 28, 2020
The Christian Heritage of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - Part 12
AMERICA: The Western State of Israel
By: Tommie Spurgeon
In the court yard outside of the great Temple building was a tank of water called a sea. This was to take the place of the water laver that was in the tabernacle in the wilderness but was used to wash the hands and feet of the priest that ministered in the temple. It contained 10,000 gallons of water. This giant bowl made from bronze containing all of this water sits on the backs of 12 Oxen made of bronze. Three were facing the north, three were facing the south, three were facing the west and three were facing the east. This had great meaning and is the only reference to the twelve disciples found in the Old Testament. This showed them as coming from the Ephraim of Israel and laboring to take living waters, the Word of God and the Spirit to all the nations of the world. We would see that sacrifice of these oxen. All were martyred and died sharing the Gospel to the world except for John who suffered many things before he died at a very old age.
As I said before Jesus began his ministry in Capernaum at the very heart of the remnant of old Israel, Ephraim. It was there that he chose his disciples that would labor and sacrifice their lives for him. This was not only Ephraim but was also the Church. They began in Jerusalem but were rejected by most bringing horrible judgment on that nation because of the unbelief of Judah. They went to Samaria and then the rest of the world. Ephraim would become first in salvation and Judah would become last to be saved. They tried to reach all of Israel in the process along with the many Gentiles that they encountered. James wrote a letter that was addressed to the 12 tribes of Israel that were scattered abroad. This shows the intent of the Apostles in their mission to reach the ten tribes of Ephraim as well as the Jews with Benjamin and the Gentiles.
The Gospel contains two things: one is Jesus the King and covenant in his blood. He is the inheritance because in him is eternal life and it is the intent of the Gospel to bring people to him so that they will receive him as their Lord and Savior. The other thing is that in order to believe on him we must hear the Gospel. Paul said "how shall they be saved without a preacher?" People must hear the Gospel in order to believe on Jesus. This is the birthright of the first born, Ephraim, the Church. This is the promised responsibility of Ephraim that was the birthright that would establish a multitude of nations in Christ. They were covenant bearers. This is what any Christian is today, they are to carry the Gospel to anyone they can. There is a labor and a sacrifice in doing so. We are under the banner of the ox the same as the twelve disciples and have the same mission. This is why we are the Israel of God and members of his household and partakers of the commonwealth of Israel. Once again we are not natural Israel but Spiritual Israel the Israel of God (GALATIANS 6: 16).
At the time Moses was to die he blessed the whole house of Israel with different blessings. The following blessing is about Joseph and his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Understanding this blessing is a very powerful thing to know. Remember while reading this that God had set Ephraim above Manasseh in other words that Ephraim was to be greater.
DEUTERONOMY 33: 13, And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,
14: And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon,
15: And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills,
16: And for the precious things of the earth and fullness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.
17: His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
I wanted you to see how the JFB Commentary interpreted these scriptures. The following is a quote from their commentary.
JFB 13-17. Of Joseph he said--The territory of this tribe, diversified by hill and dale, wood and water, would be rich in all the productions--olives, grapes, figs, &c., which are reared in a mountainous region, as well as in the grain and herbs that grow in the level fields. "The firstling of the bullock and the horns of the unicorn" (rhinoceros), indicate glory and strength, and it is supposed that under these emblems were shadowed forth the triumphs of Joshua and the New Kingdom of Jeroboam, both of whom were of Ephraim (compare GENESIS 48:2.
The JFB commentary points out that Ephraim and Manasseh were supposed to be very blessed with an abundance of things. Not only at the time they were established by Joshua in the land of Canaan but also after the land was divided the ten tribes were established under the leadership of Jeroboam the leader of Ephraim. But I believe this goes much deeper than this interpretation. This promise is referring to the time that the Ox or Ephraim God’s elect the Israel of God, would take the Gospel to the world. The glory and strength of these horns, the horns of a bullock or the single horn of the Rhinoceros are the tools being used to push people together to the ends of the earth (verse 17 above). Since understanding that Ephraim would take the Gospel to the world it would only be right to conclude that these horns represent the strength and power of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to gather together the Kingdom of God all over the world. "Not by power, not by might but by my Spirit saith the Lord." The Christians in this world are often accused of being pushy and rude for their zealous preaching and continually trying to persuade others to become Christians. It is true we are and we do often seem to try and push people to make the decision to follow Christ. Jesus said to go into the highways and hedges and compel them to come into his house, LUKE 14:23. The word compel means more than asking them, but would seem to mean in JUDE 1:23, “ And others save with fear,pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
Even President Obama said that Christians are too pushy. Those that are not saved often do not understand the urgency of the matter. Jesus may not come today, but a person might die and go into judgment at any moment, the bottom line can be very serious consequences. The twelve oxen in the courtyard of the Temple that supported the bronze "Sea" were the only Old Testament witness to the Twelve Disciples. All twelve of these oxen had horns which symbolized the strength and power of the Word of God. These horns and the strength of the ox were the tools these oxen used to take the living waters on their backs to all the nations of the world. Facing all four directions of the compass north, south, east and west compares to "push the people together to the ends of the earth"(DEUTERONOMY 33: 17). Or, the scriptures in MATTHEW 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come". The strength of the ox represents the power of the Holy Ghost to give men the strength to do this. But, why horns? It is similar to Paul's resistance to accept Jesus when Jesus told him it is hard to kick against the pricks (thorns) ACTS 9:5; 26:14, If a person refuses to heed the message of the Gospel, their refusal will proclaim their eternal judgment. The horns are a good thing to push us together into the Kingdom but they can hurt you as well. The Gospel is the same way, we are either blessed with or judged by it, it is our choice.
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