Are You a Hebrew?
So the question is, are you a Hebrew? And you may say, “No!” but I’m sure that after you read this you may say, “Yes, yes I am.”
Most Christians use the term “born-again” instead of the word “Hebrew” to describe their “new life in Messiah.” But the two terms should equate to the same unique behavior and identity: to be “Hebrew” is to be “born again” to a new life outside the evil world-system. It refers to one who has crossed or passed over from death to life (1 John 3:14). “Crossing over” means surrendering one’s life totally to the God of the Hebrews who is Yahweh. Let’s take a closer look into this Hebrew word.
The word “Hebrew” comes from the word “ivri” This word was used to describe Abraham. It literally means “from the other side” because Abraham came from Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) to Canaan (Israel), most likely crossing the Jordan. But before we get to Abraham we are going to look at others who also crossed over before him in a “born again,” Hebrew way.
Colossians 3:2 tells us, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” Enoch is a good example of this. He was the father of Methuselah. Enoch walked with God, like Adam in the garden. Hebrews 11:5-6 tells us, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Enoch passed along his beliefs to his son. Because of this God did not bring about the flood until Methuselah died.
We know that God brought about the flood because of idolatry and wickedness on the earth. There was no mercy or justice. Noah was a righteous man and so God spared him and his family in the ark. Hebrews 11:7 says, “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.” Even though God cleansed the earth in the flood, evilness still persisted. An evil empire began known as the Babylonian Empire and places like Babel and the city of Ur were part of this empire. The people worshiped all sorts of gods and built ziggurats as temples. This is what the tower of Babel was, a temple to the gods. God dealt with the people once again, but this time He confused them with different languages and scattered the people.
This brings us to Eber. His name (Eber or Ever) is taken from the word Ivri, to cross over. Eber is the great-great-grandson of Noah. Eber was one who lived on a higher spiritual plane than most of the world. He knew what caused the flood and his thoughts went beyond those around him.
Abraham was related to Eber. Abraham lived in the city of Ur. Abraham was not only surrounded by idol worship, but his family also worshiped idols. To get an idea of what the world was like at the time of Abraham, we just have to read the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and how Abraham’s Nephew Lot was tormented day and night by the sinful nature of his neighbors. When God told Abraham to leave his father and family and to follow Him, we must understand that that was a big decision in Abraham’s life because he grew up with many gods, and now he was only going to serve one God, the One True Living God. Hebrews 11:8-10 tells us, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Now Abraham stood on one side, which was with God, and the world stood on the other side, which was idolatry. God made a covenant with Abraham and eventually it was passed down to his descendants. Abraham was a man who stood alone in his faith. No one else served only one God. It was Abraham against the world. Then to think that God would ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son! Well, you must remember that the gods of Abraham’s time required such things from their worshipers, but Abraham was different because he believed that God made a promise to him and that God would keep His promises. He truly is the father of faith. Abraham was not only a man of faith but he also was a man who was obedient to God’s commands. God chose Abraham because he knew that Abraham would teach his son to be like him and in so doing it would pass on from generation to generation. Abraham is the father of the Hebrews who later would be called the Jewish nation.
So we see now that Enoch, Noah, Eber, Abraham and his children separated themselves from the world. They had faith in God, and in so doing they obeyed His commandments and walked with Him in fellowship. We want to quickly look at one more and that is Moses. Hebrews 11:24-25 tells us, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” Because of Moses’s decision to separate himself from the gods of Egypt, the Hebrew people by faith passed through the Red Sea as on dry land (which led them to the other side in victory), but when the Egyptians tried to do so they were drowned (Hebrews 11:29).
To say that you are a Christian is not enough: you must completely separate yourself from the world. You must stand alone and stand in faith, believing and obeying the commandments of the One True Living God. In Hebrews 10:10 it tells us, “We have been set apart as holy because Messiah Yeshua did what God wanted him to do by sacrificing his body once and for all.” Just one more example of why we need to follow in the footsteps of those who crossed over to the other side: 1 John 2:15-16 tells us, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
So are you a Hebrew? If you have been grafted in as Romans 11:17 tells us and you have set yourself apart from this world by not conforming to this world but being transformed by the renewing of your mind, living by faith in Yeshua, being led by His Holy Spirit, then you have crossed over from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of Light and yes, now you can say, “I am a Hebrew.”