“’And thou, son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it: For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it: For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and of all the house of Israel his companions; and join them for thee one to another into one stick, that they may become one in thy hand.” Ezekiel 37:16-17 (The Israel Bible™)
During the recent Jewish holidays in September 2015, the Reconciliation with Israel Conference in Jerusalem, hosted by Kellen Davison, focused on recognizing the commonalities and addressing the areas that divide the two Abrahamic religions: Judaism and Christianity. As a result of conclusions made at the conference, Davison initiated the Commonwealth of Yisrael Project to help non-Jews join together in their common goal of bringing the Messiah Ben David, alongside the Jewish people, in a way that is mutually acceptable, conforming to Jewish law and Christian beliefs, and beneficial to all concerned.
The Commonwealth of Yisrael Project is intended to bring together non-Jews that love the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and recognize God’s eternal covenant with Israel, unifying them with each other and connecting them with the Jews. Davison spoke to Breaking Israel News, explaining that in order to succeed, the project must focus on the strong points that join people together.
His Commonwealth project will connect with Jews, though after 1,500 years of missionizing and anti-Semitism, many Jews are understandably wary. It does not target Jews, though it may be challenging to some Christians.
“I think that due to a lot of hatred for Jewish people, Christians have created a doctrine that is not in line with their own Christian Bible, which never says that Jesus’s mission was for Jews to accept him. I do not believe Jesus’s mission was towards the Jewish people. I believe in what the Bible says; that the Jewish people are in covenant with the God of Israel and have never been out of covenant with Him,” Davison told Breaking Israel News.
The Commonwealth project has launched the Yoseph (Joseph) is Alive list to identify the many factions spread around the world, and connect them as a single entity.
Davison explained, “‘Yoseph is Alive’ is aimed at building a list of thousands of names of non-Jews who want to come together in what I call ‘The House of Ephraim’. In this way, Ephraim (non-Jewish) signatories will let Judah (Jews) know that there is a growing body of believers in the God of Israel, which Jews should acknowledge as partners in the Family of God.”
“Rather than sift through all the differences, we want to work on our points of unity, founded on the love for the God of Israel and His People, to build spiritual bridges. Such closer association and acceptance of each other will then bring further reconciliation and unity,” Davison said, going on to explain. “This project will connect strongly with those that say God’s Covenant with Israel is everlasting, as it says in the Bible, and that it includes all twelve tribes as well as strangers who have joined themselves to Israel, like Ruth.”
Davison believes in spiritual unity among those that love the God of Israel, and between Jews and non-Jews. He refers to ‘The House of Joseph’, the brother who was exiled from among his brethren, comparing the present day meeting between Jews and non-Jews to the Biblical reunion between Joseph and his ten brothers (Genesis 49). The analogy shows how difficult this meeting can be.
“In the Bible, when Joseph’s brothers stood in front of him, they didn’t recognize him because he looked like an Egyptian and they were threatened by his authority as an Egyptian ruler,” said Davison. “But then later, using various ingenious ways, he revealed himself to them as the Egyptian with a Hebrew heart and powerful love of a brother.”
Davison added, “Today, there are a growing number of people rediscovering the richness of the Jewish Bible and nation. They are like Joseph in Egypt. The Jews don’t recognize them because they still appear Egyptian.” In the Biblical story, the sons of Jacob are reunited after many years of separation, yet the older brothers do not recognize Joseph since he now looks like an Egyptian.
Davison took the analogy one step further, saying, “Many of these people don’t even recognize their own true Hebrew roots since they have been separated from the house of Jacob for so long.”
The spark that originally led Davison to action was encountering anti-Israel sentiment and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). During Davison’s second trip to Israel in 2014, three Israeli boys were murdered, leading to the military Operation Protective Edge. Davison was horrified at the hatred he saw against a country he had come to love. Passionate about supporting Israel, he believes that anti-Israel movements are not political or even a threat aimed solely at Judaism. He explained in simple terms how this is a universal religious imperative.
“I think it’s a lot bigger than most people realize. Anti-Semitism is really anti-God. The Jewish people, and Israel are the people of God. If you look at terrorism, it’s targeting Israel but it’s also targeting Christians. It will target anyone who prays to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“This project recognizes that there is an issue greater than religious labels. In this way, we are doing something different than any other interreligious movement today. The Commonwealth project is about the family of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob reuniting in love for each other- but more importantly, with love and allegiance only for the God of Israel and His Ways.”
Davison closed, “This project is laying the groundwork for the future fulfillment of Joseph and Judah reuniting prior to David ruling over the reunited kingdom of Israel, as written in Ezekiel 37. Some people may feel there is the risk of ‘trying to run ahead of God’s Plan’. Those involved in the Commonwealth project believe that spiritual reconciliation is a key factor in the process of Redemption no matter how far away the Final Redemption is on God’s time clock.”