for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Romans 11:29
What is in God's plan for Israel and the Jews? - ( eretz Israel and am Israel)
It is clearly more complex than most Christians perceive it to be when their outlook has been formed or coloured by Replacement Theology and they only ever skip over Romans 9 - 11.
What is yet to happen as God draws his purposes for world salvation to a conclusion?
It is not merely, "Jesus returns and the Jews all go to Hell because they rejected him."
We have discussed elsewhere the fact that God is bringing the Jews back to the land that He promised to them.
Satan is angry because his time is short and he can see that by using Israel as his timepiece; even if the church can't see it. The so called “Arab Spring” may prove to have merely removed strong men who have been holding back the coming Ezekiel 38-39 war.
We can remind ourselves of some prophecies.
Ezekiel 37:11- 25 ( dry bones ), Ezekiel 34 (sheep of Israel), Ezekiel 39:23, Zechariah 14, Joel, Revelation
This page is concerned with the spiritual revolution that God has planned between the return of Israel and the events that wrap up this present age.
It is not going to be what most Jews and Christians think; our view of God is far too small. God will show himself to be bigger than the boxes we have made for him.
For many Christians it will be a shock to find out that God has not finished with Israel. But it shouldn't be a shock because Paul discussed the matter in his letter to the church in Rome.
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.
How many of us get upset that the Jews will not believe in Jesus and become Christians?
Have you seen the keen Christian on a first visit to Israel “witnessing” to the coach driver and the guide as if they were totally ignorant of God and the Bible and wondering why they do not get excited?
Do we understand that the resistance of the Jews is part of God's plan; as well as being rooted in Christian history? Can we see that their resistance was/is for our benefit?
Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious [jealous *] . But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy* and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
* see below
But this situation is not permanent. Perhaps it would be worth reading of the whole of Romans 9 through 11 at this point.
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
Let us review the ground that must be recovered – the remedial work that is needed to get us to a starting point. Let us stand back and look at the church as the Jews might see us.
We failed to take in Paul's warnings to the church in Rome, explaining about the Jews and it was mostly downhill from there. We do not understand the importance of the Jews and the respect due to them because we are steeped in Replacement theology and anti-Semitism. Our History is a bad smell in the nostrils of Jews; including expulsions, inquisitions, pogroms and the Holocaust.
And, in spite of protestations of “Never Again!” on Holocaust memorial days, there are plenty of Christians and Christian organizations still spewing out lies and hatred against the Jews of Israel.
Not a good place to start from in showing Yeshua the Messiah as the saviour of the world to his own people.Understanding each other
When Jews and Christians speak of the Messiah and of Salvation, are we using the same words but with different meanings?
(Jewish concept of the Messiah (and salvation) - Mashiach Judaism 101)
God can fulfil his promises to save Israel and he will/is.
Romans 11:23 -
And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!Romans 11:29 -
for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.There are no grounds for Gentile smugness or superiority here!
Let us remember that Jesus/Yeshua is King of the Jews and he gave his followers a commission (Acts 1)
”and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
How often are “Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria” included in our world mission plans?
Have we abandoned the Middle East to Islam?
Whilst the Jews and Christians retain their discrete identities, their paths will come together and even cross over. Christians will realize what they have been missing by despising the Jews and Jews will see there is more to Christians than they had previously seen. See the story of Ruth for a picture of the Gentile Church (Orpah and/or Ruth) and Israel (Naomi)
God will bring together Jews and Christians. Zechariah 8:23
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, `Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.' "
"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.“The fathers” generally refers to the Jews in scripture.
Many people look at the Jews in Israel, with all their faults (like ours), and say that Israel is not God's creation, just a political accident of the twentieth century. They overlook God's specific promise to first bring them back into their own land and only then cleanse them and renew them.
And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
Isaiah 62 - concerning the object of our prayer
You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.
"..... no rest till he establishes.... "is almost another of God's Untils, so what is this end condition; when Jerusalem is "...the praise of the earth"?
I would suggest it is when the Jews are restored to being a light to the nations. (Isaiah 60) and when nations and rulers are brought low (Daniel 4) Disasters will fall of God's enemies, but is the end delayed while Yeshua is calling his people to come away from his enemies? (Revelation 18 v4 and Numbers 16 v26-34)
God has brought many Jews back to their land, but the second phase is not yet completed, although there are many signs that this job is also in hand.
Going up - Jewish return to Eretz Israel
Many Christian ministries are responding to the scriptures that promise the Jewish return and are bringing Jews, often from impoverished circumstances, to their new home in Israel.
As observed elsewhere, the Messianic community in Israel has grown from a handful to 15,000 and this does not include those who believe but have not joined themselves to a Messianic fellowship.
And what about the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7 from v2 ? They are clearly Jews.
The number 12x12x1000 is clearly representational rather than literal, but it means a very large number and is related to the 12 tribes and the number 12 in Hebrew writing representing government.
Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000,
from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,
from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,
from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
v9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.
The great multitude that comprises the Gentile church only appears in v9.
This is a reminder that the body of Messiah Yeshua was still a Jewish institution when John was writing; it was still the Jewish Olive Tree that Gentiles were being grafted into. In spite of all that history has done to the Jewish “church”, God preserved his remnant and he has a purpose for them at the end of this age.
(Jews who are not believers in Yeshua as Messiah.)
There is a move back to faith within the Jewish, non messianic body. Aish haTorah (www.aish.com) is calling Jews back to faith with evangelical zeal. One Christian I know who participated in one of their conferences was most impressed with their zeal for the word of God and their openness to share study with anyone who is willing.
In Jerusalem one can come across groups of Jews who have set up a stall where they teach secular Jews how to tie teffilim and become more observant. There are groups calling Jews back to faith with evangelical zeal; even having altar calls that Christians would recognize.
Listen to Ari and Jeremy of Land of Israel.com and their Tuesday Night Live programme for a taste of Jewish zeal to be a “Light to the Nations.”
Jews are coming to receive Yeshua as their Messiah
Messianic fellowships appear to be making biggest impact in reaching secular Jews, who are not as biased against Yeshua as observant Jews. Ministries in the Diaspora are reaching all sorts of Jews. Faithful Jews developing a passion for seeking a deeper relationship with Avinu, God must be more ready for divine revelation of their Messiah.
The reborn Messianic Jewish body is still young and still developing its expression of faith and worship. Some fellowships look and sound more like churches whilst others will be more like synagogues. That is for them to work through. That will be difficult if we try to join them in large numbers and bring our Gentile Christian mindsets with us.
We (Gentiles) should not be expecting Jews to come into a Christianity that would not have been recognisable to the believers in the Book of Acts. The Church is not the same as "the way" that Paul/Sha'ul preached and followed. The church lost the way!
Just look at all the man-made baubles that have been added. Christmas trees, Easter bunnies, advent, eucharist, "the holy father" in his palace in Rome, christingles, icons, etc, etc; but no sign of the Feasts - the Moedim - appointed Times of God. And that is just mainstream church; before we have even got to the Christian sects!
But, having said that.....
"Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.' "
God has been working through Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and Karaite Jew, Nehemia Gordon and his study partner, black American Methodist pastor, Keith Johnson. From these highly different guys have come rediscoveries from the Bible that are revolutionizing the faith of many Christians. As they said,
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
We agonized over the question of whether a Jew- and a Christian could walk together when not agreed on fundamental issues of faith. This inspired us to examine the words of Amos in the original Hebrew, and we discovered that what the prophet actually said was:
Can two walk together, without having met one another?'
We decided to take up the challenge of Amos and meet one another on common ground in order to walk together humbly before God. We did this by focusing on our common scriptural heritage, the Old Testament, while respecting our mutual differences. We found that these differences allowed for a unique collaboration that helped us better understand the ancient prophetic writings that each of us holds dear.
As the biblical Abraham went forth from the land of his forefathers on a journey- guided only by his faith, we embarked on a study of the Avinu Prayer not knowing where we would be led. We found that, beyond understanding the Hebrew meaning of a prayer taught by a Galilean Jew from Nazareth, we discovered a path of reconciliation that this ancient prayer invited us to walk. We invite you, the reader, to join us on this journey- to explore the Hebrew origins of the Avinu Prayer, commonly known as the "Lord's Prayer."
You can follow their exciting journey in “A Prayer to Our Father”
But some are finding this falling outside their thought box - ( aramaic-letter )
One friend studied with Aish HaTorah (Fire of the Torah) with no hostility because he is a Christian. There is just a passionate desire to draw people back to seriously relating to God through the scriptures.
(When scriptures are referred to in the Bible, it always refers to the Hebrew Bible – Tanakh)
We greatly value every opportunity we have had to study and interact with Jewish people.
One friend attended the synagogue in his town, just sitting at the back and taking it all in without making any moves on the Jews. He won their trust and respect to the extent that they even allowed him to use their premises for a Christian meeting when he could find no other venue.
Another friend is often assumed to be Jewish by Jewish people. On one occasion a Jewish man asked him why he was associating with those Christians. When he explained that he was not Jewish but was one of the Christians demonstrating their love and support for Israel and the Jews, the man said,
“We had two thousand years of having you hate us. When you love us it breaks us inside.”,
We know of Jewish people who are happy to receive prayer for healing in the name of Yeshua.
And there are other Jews who enjoy working with Christians but, whilst eagerly looking forward to the coming of the Messiah, are not ready to agree that it will be Yeshua from Nazareth. However, more are now willing to wonder what the answer will be when the Messiah stands on the Mount of Olives and the Immigration service sends a representative to welcome him and ask if it is his first visit to Israel.
There is also the intriguing prospect of the Palestinians who are actually of Jewish descent and who still hold Jewish customs, but secretly for fear of the Palestinian authorities. What will happen when God's time is right and they recognize Yeshua as their (Jewish) Messiah and receive the Holy Spirit?
It is fascinating that, while the Palestinian media makes ever greater efforts to brand Jesus as a Palestinian martyr, Jews are starting to react to such ridiculous claims and claim him as their own.
In the year 2011 to 2012, a spate of Jewish authors, from the popular to the rabbinic to the scholarly, have wrestled with what Jews should think about Jesus. And overwhelmingly, they are coming up with positive answers, urging their fellow Jews to learn about Jesus, understand him and claim him as one of their own.
Several recent books are selling extremely, particularly, "Kosher Jesus" by media personality, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. While Christians will not be happy with some of his opinions, it is very significant that he said, "Jews have much to learn from Jesus - and from Christianity as a whole - without accepting Jesus' divinity. There are many reasons for accepting Jesus as a man of great wisdom, beautiful ethical teachings, and profound Jewish patriotism."
"Jesus is a Jew. He spent his life talking to other Jews," said Amy-Jill Levine, co-editor of the recently released "Jewish Annotated New Testament."
Benyamin Cohen, an Orthodox Jew who spent a recent year going to church, admitted that he's jealous that Christians have Jesus. "He's a tangible icon that everybody can latch on to. Judaism doesn't have a superhero like that," said Cohen, the author of the 2009 book "My Jesus Year."
The flurry of recent Jewish books on Jesus - including this month's publication of "The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ" by Daniel Boyarin - is part of a trend of Jews taking pride in Jesus, interfaith expert Edward Kessler said.
Comments from a CNN blog Jews-reclaim-jesus-as-one-of-their-own
It is now quite possible to meet an Israeli on the street who will express pride in Jesus and talk about what he said. Peter is also popular, since he and Jesus both upheld the Torah, but Jews have more of a problem with Paul as they read his writings as setting aside Torah. That problem may be due to the slant that many translations put on his teachings.
And do not forget David Stern's excellent Complete Jewish Bible.
Let us not forget what and where we used to be (See Ephesians 2 v11)
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
Remember it is not a matter of how do the Jews come in?
Both Jesus and Paul used the word “Until” about the times (or the fullness) of the Gentiles. So what is the end condition concerning the Gentiles? - (Luke 21 v24 and Romans 11 v25)
One issue very pertinent to Israel, as well as the Kingdom, is the Muslims. Indeed, one Israeli MK commented to a Christian evangelist that it would be great if Christians went preaching in the mosques and winning the Muslims. But they need the real, whole Gospel; not a Palestinianist message of Arab victimhood and liberation from Israel leading them along a path of confrontation with the God of Israel parallel with that of their Muslim neighbours.
The challenge to preach Christ in the mosques is mind blowing, but won't the conversion of multitudes of Muslims provoke the Jews to jealousy; to use Paul's expression. This salvation of former enemies may already be observed in Messianic fellowships in Israel.
The new Executive Director of ICEJ, Dr Juergen Buhler spoke on “God's plan for thee Arab World” on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (2011) and gave a really stirring perspective. ( Feast CD "The Kingdom of God" - Part 2 from ICEJ Resources)
After going through all the prophecies that talk of the restoration of the peoples around Israel, in the same terms as used of the restoration of Israel, he quoted the early church fathers who recorded that the Amonites, Moabites and Edomites (Idumeans) etc were "still living among us", but were starting to be called Arabs. Similar prophecies apply to the people of Eilam - Iran.
He also read Matthew 24 - the fig tree – we know that's Israel, but then compared Luke (21) that adds an important extra - “ and all the trees. This suggests an awakening in the nations surrounding Israel.
If we look at w hat God is doing today, we can see these prophecies coming towards fulfilment.
10 years ago – 200 evangelical believers – now, some believe there are 100,000 to 200,000 believers. This growth in a decade has to be an answer to prayer.
Previous edition of Operation World said of Libya - “one of the hardest countries to reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ." The 2010 edition said the spiritual climate has changed significantly – God is doing a new work – not enough Bibles.
Syria, Tunisia and Jordan
Churches have a growth rate of 7% pa or more for the first time in their history.
Second highest church growth rate in the whole world
World record church growth rate – 25% pa. From 500 Muslim Background Believers before the Iranian Islamic Revolution, conservative estimates put the number of born again believers in Iran at between 100,000 and 1,000,000.
The church has never grown as fast as since Ayatollah Khomeni took over.
Maybe we should thank God for the negative answer to all the prayers for the removal of this regime ?
Dr Buhler said that we will see revival in the Middle East, because God promised it to us. As the new Director of ICEJ, he declared that ICEJ needs to reach out more aggressively to Arab Nations and in particular to Arab churches.
The revival in Algeria is creating a love for Israel and believers there are talking of opening a branch of ICEJ! An Algerian pastor told us about the top imam of Libya, speaking on the Al Jazeera channel, saying that, “In all the Arab countries, every hour 667 Muslims become Christians. This means that every day 16,000 Muslims become Christians. He finished by saying that every year more than 6,000,000 Muslims become Christians.”
There is a big revival in the Arab world.Get the CD and listen to this stirring call to prayer. (ICEJ Resources)
Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post commented.
'American media superstar Glenn Beck's visit to Israel August 2011 was a revealing and remarkable event. It revealed what it takes to be a friend of Israel.'
'What was most remarkable about Beck's message was its rarity. Beck did not say anything factually inaccurate. The vast majority of Israelis certainly would find nothing controversial in any of his assertions. Yet despite his honesty, and his reasonable interpretation of Israel's strategic and diplomatic circumstances, Beck's is a voice in the wilderness. One almost never comes across a foreigner — or even an Israeli — who is willing to speak such basic truths in public.'
His call for courage and taking a stand in the face of opposition, disapproval and even, in his case, death threats is certainly timely for both Israelis and Christian Zionists but many Israelis and Jews were quite underwhelmed; very likely because Beck is seen as strongly right wing by the mostly left wing Israeli media and Democrat supporting American Jews.
There is also concern among Christian Zionists that Beck is a Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints)What is the mainstream Christian to make of this? Maybe, Listen to what is of God and filter out what comes from the doctrine of a sect. Mark 9:38-40
"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us." "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.
If this call to courage and responsibility has to come from someone who is not one of us, perhaps it should have come through one of us; although perhaps it had to come from Glen Beck because of his high media profile. Meaning no disrespect to Mr Beck; God can even speak through a donkey.
But if Restoring Courage becomes a vehicle for propagating LDS teaching we should be very wary. Also, his take on three faiths leading to God sounds unwise and strange, considering Beck's fearless stand against Islamism and western submission to jihad
How much of the Church is like Orpah and how much is like Ruth?
Many in the church love Jesus but they don't love his family.
Is Jesus going to have to divide his church into Ruths and Orpahs?
What are we to expect in the acharit-hayamin (Complete Jewish Bible )
Jeremiah 23 v.
"In the acharit-hayamin (In the last days), you will understand everything."
"In the acharit-hayamin, you will understand."
”Whoever keeps acting wickedly, let him go on acting wickedly, whoever is filthy, let him go on being filthy.
Also, whoever is righteous, let him go on doing what is righteous, and who ever is holy, let him go on being made holy.”
Many will purify, cleanse and refine themselves, but the wicked will keep on acting wickedly and none of the wicked will understand. But those with discernment will understand.”
Messiah loved the believers and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with the water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without a stain or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy ( set a part) and blameless.”
Some thoughts based upon and prompted by David Pawson's address with this title, given at the ICEJ UK conferences of 2011. (CD from ICEJ Resources)
Read Romans 11 v28 to the end and note the use of the word irrevocable in v29 , but consider verse 32,
“For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”
How often do we consider this? - How often is it preached about?
OK; so most of the Jews are disobedient to the call of Jesus, but it is God's doing, for our (Gentile) benefit and it is part of his plan, and the cause for Paul's doxology of praise. (11:33)
We are to preach to all nations – aren't the Jews a nation (a people)?
But the church mostly ignored the Jews for nearly two millennia; and largely still does, except to criticize them in their homeland.
But a new move started within the Anglican church in the middle of the nineteenth century. This work became CMJ and it is still active today. (Read Kelvin Crombie's “For The Love of Zion”)
But why didn't the church evangelize Jews? Jesus made it a priority -
“starting in Jerusalem and into Judea and Samaria and then to the ends of the earth."
Paul always went to the Jews first; and then to the Gentiles after being rejected by a majority.
Are we too proud to face the rejection stage? Luther turned against the Jews horribly, after they rejected him.
Why wouldn't Jews tend to reject our offers of Christianity, being aware of what Christianity has done to Jews since it had sufficient power?
And Jews cannot help but be aware of the bitter fruits of Replacement Theology poured out of the church of “Christian” Britain etc on the heads of the Jews in Israel and rebounding on to Jews in the Diaspora as a result of media coverage of disputes in Israel.
World War II, and the Holocaust shocked part of the church into trying to correct the error of the centuries. The Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ) was set up to build bridges and Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) and Prayer for Israel (PFI) were set up hoping to bring support and light to the Jews.
Then came the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) when the nations, in an act of cowardice, all removed their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, prompting a group of Christians to set up an embassy in Jerusalem.
Over the years, ICEJ has done a tremendous work to remove the suspicion with which Israel views Christians and thence Christ himself (Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah).
See History, Anti-Semitism, boycotts, Christians against Israel etc to gain some idea of the mountain that had to be climbed; to earn the right to be heard. But it is nowhere near as certain that the success in being a light / bringing the light to the Jews has been as great . David Pawson was banned from ICEJ events for twelve years for transgressing a prohibition on mentioning Jesus at a Christian Zionist event.
If we are to be a light to the Jews, we must tell them the truth about salvation in Jesus (Yeshua ha Mashiach) – not just support Israel!
Clearly we have a mountain to get over. ICEJ has achieved amazing pre-evangelism and removed many stumbling blocks but it would be shut down or expelled from Israel if it turned into a missionary organization.
If we love the people of Israel / the Jews, don't we want them to be saved?
I am aware of the dangers of ignorant “witnessing” but surely we can't just sit back and say “All Israel will be saved.” What if God intends us to be part of the process whereby all Israel is saved?
The uncomfortable truth for the Christian who loves the Jews is that most are dying without having received the salvation for which their messiah died. (wildolive does not hold to Dual Covenant Theology)
Romans 11:27 and this will be my covenant with them, . . . when I take away their sins."
With respect to the Good News they are hated for your sake. But with respect to being chosen they are loved for the Patriarchs' sake, for God's free gifts and his calling are irrevocable.
Just as you yourselves were disobedient to God before but have received mercy now because of Isra'el's disobedience; so also Isra'el has been disobedient now, so that by your showing them the same mercy that God has shown you, they too may now receive God's mercy.
For God has shut up all mankind together in disobedience, in order that he might show mercy to all.
Have you ever noticed this before? "so that by your showing them the same mercy that God has shown you, they too may now receive God's mercy."
The day when God saves the Jews is not just something we sit back and wait for. God's purpose to bring salvation to the Jews, including deliverance from the stoniness that came upon them for our benefit, is waiting for us, wild olive shoot, Gentile believers in Yeshua to show mercy to the Jews!
What does that mean?
What can we do to show them the same mercy that God has shown us?
Paul, in the seriously neglected climax of his letter to the Church in Rome, gives us the only deep discussion of his heart's anguish for the Jews and is our best chance of gaining insight into God's strategy for bringing the light back to the Jews. It is interesting that Paul speaks of winning Jews by provoking them to jealousy (not envy – see Bible against) but before jumping in with a plan to make Jews jealous of our Gentile Christianity, we must remind ourselves that Paul was actually Shaul the Jew hoping to make his own people jealous.
Maybe we need to step back and look at our brand of Christianity and see where it is going and if there is anything of about it that Jews might be jealous of?
We need to do something about the amount of Greek thinking that has displaced the Hebrew nature of our faith within the church.
The Jews are more likely to be jealous because we are enjoying their Bible, their God and their Messiah - because their Messiah is still alive. Many Jews who would not consider becoming Christians themselves are happy to be with Christians when the Holy Spirit is around,.
Paul worked in WORD, DEED and SIGN.
ICEJ has led us in so much good work in the sphere of DEED but it is still very clear that should ICEJ move into WORD ministry it would soon bring the whole work to a halt as far as Israel is concerned.
But what about SIGN?
David Pawson asks if the work of the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles has reached a plateau and the time has come to commence another climb.
He noted that the number of Messianic Jews in Israel had increased from a handful in the early days of ICEJ to around 15,000 by 2010. (and he urged us to pray for them; and the Palestinians who are joined with them)
SIGNS could open the way!
Many Feast of Tabernacles delegates have benefited from Christine Darg's healing ministry over the years. What if all these people took their trust in the power of the name of Yeshua out to the streets of Jerusalem? Many Jews have no problem receiving prayer in the name of Yeshua for healing and other needs.
The guest speaker at the Feast in 2010 was Rhinehart Bonke; a man who has seen more signs during his ministry than most …...... think of the possibilities! What if he had ministered healing in the name of Yeshua in Jerusalem and wider Israel.
What about this coming Feast and the one after? If every Feast pilgrim ministered one healing, what impact would 5000 plus healings in the name of Yeshua have?
I realise I am speaking foolishness, but just look at the impact of one healing performed in the name of Yeshua by two of his disciples – and the upset it caused later in the story. (the name was used six times in the Acts 4 account)
Are we ready to move beyond raising money, speaking up (or blogging) for Israel into SIGNS of Holy Spirit power?
Are we seeking God for the end conditions that will release salvation to "all Israel"?
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