(By Bart Peacher, a Gentile believer – December, 2013)
Most would agree that, over the last 2,000 years or so, the majority of those who have come to know Jesus Christ the Messiah are Gentiles, but what is His plan with respect to the natural born Jew? How is God accomplishing their salvation? When they meet their Messiah will they look like Gentile Christians? Is it time for them to meet Him as a people?
The Old Testament of the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh) testifies in various places about the Christ and His coming (Dan 9:25-26, Isa 11: 1-10, Isa 53:5, 11, etc.).
The New Testament (a Jewish document called B’rit Chadashah) beginning with Jesus’ own statement (Matt 15:24, Rom 1:16), describes how salvation and life via the Messiah would be offered to the Jews first, but that most would initially reject Him (Luke 13:34, Acts 13:46-47). Consequently, the Gentiles, who had no part of Israel by nature (Rom 11:17, 24) would accept Him and become members of the Commonwealth of Israel to comprise a one new man (Eph 2:12-16)!
The Church or Body of Christ would become dominated by Gentile believers until an appointed time called the ‘fullness of the Gentiles’ upon which the Jews, as a people, would then receive the Messiah bringing salvation to all of Israel (Rom 11: 25-26). What does that fullness mean?
Could it mean that the Lord’s Bride is only partially visible to the world? That her spiritual authority in the earth has peaked and cannot progress further until she is made whole? That when all of her members are finally in place, she will then have the faculty to ready herself to wed the Father’s only begotten Son, Jesus, the Messiah (Rev 19:7, 2Cor 11:2, Rev 21:9)? Will the mystery of God’s salvation to all creation be manifested shortly afterwards when all of His sons are revealed (Romans 8:19-22)?
The Scriptures infer that the Lord’s mysterious plan, the Body of Christ, His Bride, cannot be completed without the natural Jew receiving their own Messiah (Rom 11:17-24)? Will the Lord return again before that happens? Will he come a second time for a partially completed bride, not to mention her preparation period? What is His plan to bring the natural Jew to Jesus?
The written Word indicates that He has devised a plan using jealousy to bring His chosen people to Himself (Rom 11:11), thus that prodigal son will finally come home (Luke 15: 11-24)! Gentiles, for the most part, don’t spend their time thinking about how to make the Jewish guy jealous? What then is this jealousy thing and is it time for the Jew to take note and come ‘home’?
After the Holy Spirit had descended upon certain Jews at Pentecost birthing the Church, the all Jewish leaders were astonished when Gentiles, in like manner, also received the Holy Spirit. Therefore, they had a meeting upon which a decision was made to charge the Gentile believers with four basic tenets:
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you (Gentiles – mine) no greater burden than these necessary things:
29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.
Could equipping the Gentile believers with only those mandates really make the Tanakh observant, feasts keeping Jew jealous?! Not likely to a people who knew that they were chosen, the first recipients of the Holy Scriptures, raised by the Oracles of God beginning with Moses, scrupulously defining their very life. What then has God orchestrated to make the jealously thing work?
Over the last 2,000 years, God has brought the Gentile believers well beyond the four mandates in Acts: 15. They, through Scripture study and having a personal relationship with the Lord, have become champions, mentors, protectors, and teachers of the Truth (John 14:6) to the entire world including the Jew. While God Himself blinded His people from the Truth (John 12:40-41) the Gentile preached the Truth by the Holy Spirit with an unprecedented passion and love.
God, through this predominantly Gentile Church, has enlightened the whole world with the truth of the Gospel, revealing that the Scriptures point to Jesus the Messiah, the only path to eternal life (John 14:6). Additionally helping the Jew discover truths with respect to the Law of Moses and Grace (Rom 5:20, 6:14), while uncovering the real meaning of the Holy Feasts, etc.
God has seemingly designed it so that the Gentile cannot completely understand the ‘spiritual’ without first understanding the ‘natural’ and the Jew cannot completely understand the ‘natural’ without being shown the ‘spiritual’!
The Jews are being taught by a people who were not His people (Hos 2:23, Isa 65:1, Rom 9:25)), a people who were allowed to become one with Israel through the Messiah, creating the One New Man! A people who were mandated to keep just four rudimentary morals outlined in Acts 15 are now showing the Jew how to find his Messiah!
As icing on the cake, Gentiles have preempted most Jews by having met their Messiah first!
Could these be part of what God meant for the Gentile making the Jew jealous? What a marvelous thing! But, what will they be like when they meet their Messiah and is it time for them to meet Him?
It is utterly apparent that prophesies of Scripture concerning natural Gentiles are progressively being fulfilled!
What about the fulfillment of Prophesy for the natural Jew?
Many Christians (this author included) upon accepting Jesus understood that the Scriptures are spiritual in nature (Rom 15:4, 1Cor 10:11) pointing to the Messiah (John 5:39) with application to one’s personal walk with God. This was great news but not without challenges.
Satan likes to take the things of God and put a little twist on them, a spin if you will. This twisting and spinning may have contributed to the current ‘replacement theology’ which virtually leaves the natural Jew out of the picture. This teaching basically says that there is no real Israel except the spiritual. That is comprises only those who are currently in Messiah and that prophesies with respect to Israel are spiritual in nature and cannot be interpreted as natural earthly events.
The Apostle Paul noted that the spiritual is not first but the natural (1Cor 15:46). Could it be that, unless God reveals otherwise, all Scripture relating to the Jews and Israel have a natural fulfillment as a precursor to the spiritual? It did in the case of the Gentiles. Consider the following.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21) and that He is to reign over this Kingdom until all enemies are under His feet. Then, after all things have been subjected to Him, He will give the Kingdom up to the Father encompassing all (1Cor 15:24-28). Thus, the present heavenly earth bound Kingdom will be translated into the final Spiritual Kingdom it was destined to be. It will become manifested that all believers in the Messiah (natural Gentiles and natural Jews) are all true Israel (Spiritual Israel) via the promise to Abraham (Rom 9:6-8). Is God directly intervening with man to complete His vision?
The Lord made known that His plans for saving mankind (Jew and Gentile alike) are done for His own sake, not that anybody deserved it (Isa 43:25, Isa 48:11). Given that, He has shown to be sovereign, ruling in men’s affairs and has many times used Gentiles to carry out His plans for His people!
Recall the days of Moses and Pharaoh when God interjected Himself on the scene causing Pharaoh’s heart to harden and alternately soften to articulate the Exodus (Ex 4:21). He also intervened in Nebuchadnezzar’s life to prove to him that God will rules in men’s affairs (Dan 4:25). Praise God!
This time He is using the Gentile dominated Church to help deliver the Jews out of darkness into His glorious light.
Modern Israel (Jews in the land and those still abroad) is a mixed bag. They range from atheists to ultra orthodox. Although some (the ultra orthodox for sure) are steeped in Scripture, they have no chance of obtaining true knowledge without the Messiah (John 5:39-40).
Nevertheless, a few Jews actually have received their Messiah, Jesus Christ (they call Him by His Hebrew name Yeshua Ha-Mashiach). However, many of these do not accept the idea of becoming ‘Christians’. From their point of view that was for the Gentile part of the One New Man. But rather they consider themselves ‘completed Jews’ in their Messiah thus they call themselves ‘Messianic’ (the acceptance of this title may have caused unintended problems and division but they are nevertheless true born again believers in the Messiah according to the Scriptures). Although they feel that they don’t need to become ‘Christians’ in the Gentile sense, they do agree that all humans must accept the same Messiah (Acts 4:12)!
In like fashion, the Gentile believers who call themselves Christians also have unintended problems due to their denominations, etc. When they assemble to worship, pray, etc. they call it ‘Church’ but when Messianic Jewish believers assemble it is called ‘Congregation’.
The Jew and Gentile believers are markedly different although both have met the same Messiah and members of the same Body of Christ. Both Gentile and Jew in Jesus the Messiah know that there is only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism (Eph 4:5). Why then do many Jewish believers continue observing their Jewish traditions after receiving the Messiah?
Let’s remember that God is taking two totally different people and making them one in Him. Beginning with Jesus and the apostles, the believers in the first Church all kept to their ‘Jewishness’. From Jesus to Paul the church leaders were observant Jews. Likewise the Gentile believers, not being charged with Jewish observances, walked in the Lord according to the light they had. This has not changed much since that time. Remember that this is God’s work for His own pleasure (1Cor 12:18)!
There may also exist a semi- conscious distrust residing deep within the Jewish brethren due to a written history which blames all who call themselves Christians for the atrocities committed against Jews including the Inquisition and Holocaust. But true converts in Christ know that real born again believers did not partake of those things done in His name. They knew that abiding in God’s Love and following the Holy Spirit were the essentials (Matt 22:37-40, John 16:13) of the true faith that would keep one on the path of life and from participating in those things.
Additionally, the Messiah addressed the problem of those who commit atrocities in His name by telling whoever it may concern that they would be rejected by Him on the last day (Matt 7:22-23)!
As previously noted, the early church Gentile believers were limited in knowledge beyond Acts15. They had no natural root or foundation with respect to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thus no oracles from God like the Hebrews had since Moses. Therefore, they were left to seek God and learn on their own. They quickly realized that true religion was a relationship with God and the study of the Hebrew Scriptures was required if they wanted to go beyond the original four mandates and become effective witnesses of Jesus to the world.
Is now the time for the Gentile dominated Church to realize that her ‘fullness’ is at hand and may not progress much further in the faith until the natural born Jews are grafted back to their natural vine (Romans 11:17-26)?
Evidence shows that God is currently using the Church mightily for that purpose as many Christian organizations, with emphasis on natural Israel, have sprung up since Israel was declared a state in 1948. Research data reveals that there has been a noted increase in the natural Jew receiving the Messiah Jesus:
Messianic Jewish congregations believe first and foremost that Jesus is the Messiah promised to Israel, and the Savior and Redeemer of all humankind.
Today there are over 200 Messianic Jewish congregations in North America and perhaps 500 worldwide.
By David Sedaca
Vice President of Chosen People Ministries
President of the Union of Messianic Jewish Believers of America
“Today the latest reports estimate almost 20,000 and 150 congregations in “the Land” (as Eretz Yisrael is called), while globally the reports range as high as 300,000 Messianic Jewish believers.”(Charisma Magazine October 29, 2013)
“Now there are an estimated 150 Jewish [messianic] congregations around Israel meeting in different languages. The number of believers is estimated to be around 20,000, growing exponentially from 1948 when 12 Jews who believed in Jesus could be counted, to 1987 when there were 3,000 and 1997 where there were 5,000.”
Baptist Press, May 26, 2011
One can be confident that Jesus is not coming back to get His bride until she is ready. She will not be ready until she is complete and she will not be complete until natural Israel, the natural Jew, is grafted back in!
Does God need people to make this happen? No. Is He nevertheless using people to help fulfill this purpose? Yes (Isa 1:9) Unless the Lord of hosts Had left to us a very small remnant, We would have become like Sodom, We would have been made like Gomorrah).
Is either the Jew or Gentile worthy of this great salvation? No (Romans 3:23).
Has God told us that we would do greater works than Jesus did (John 14:12)? Yes. Has he told us that a great revival was at hand? Yes (by modern day prophets).
Could it be that the great grafting back in of natural Israel is the answer or part of the answer to both of these questions? Could it be that once natural Israel is complete in His Bride that the whole world will begin to be blessed in every way imaginable? Life from the dead (Romans 11:15)!
Is today’s Gentile dominated Church all or part of the ‘He’ who comes in the name of the Lord whom the Jewish people need to hear and bless before they will see the Messiah (Luke 13:35, See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord)?
If Gentile believers are wondering why they have not obtained the stature that was hoped and yearned for since knowing the Messiah, including a great revival and doing the greater works, could it be that this great grafting in of the Jews must happen first?
With modern Israel going thru such intense trials, shouldn’t her Gentile brothers encourage her to awake and declare her true identity by honoring and proclaiming God before the entire world so that He will fulfill His promises to them?
25 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob.
26 And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God.”‘
Will natural Israel rise to become the greatest nation where men will see a need to ally themselves with them according to the Scriptures? Could it be that all nations, including the USA, are decreasing so that Israel may increase?
Isa 60:3 “The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”
Zechariah 8:23, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’
Are the Jewish people lovable? Not necessarily, but in Messiah most definitely Yes!
Throughout history, God has used those who were not called His people to deliver His people and satisfy His plans. These included Pharaoh, Cyrus, Ahasuerus, Darius, Artaxerxes, and the United Nations in 1948, to name a few. Now it just may be the time for Gentile believers in Jesus to hear the call and march forward with the sword of deliverance for their Jewish brethren; opening their eyes from induced blindness (John 12:40) and transporting them into His marvelous Light (1Pe 2:9); setting the stage to reign with Him, living forever together in our beloved Messiah (Rev 5:10, 22:5)!
If you believe the message of this article but do not know what to do about it, simply ask the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to show you.
This author’s ministry, IT IS TIME ISRAEL, is about participating with God in this task of bringing modern Israel into her own, the grafting back in, meeting her Messiah, consequently setting the stage for incredible blessings to the whole world!
If you feel called to support Israel in any way, spiritually or materially (Romans 15:27), there are many ministries that are gateways for this purpose. ‘It Is Time Israel’ is one but it also promotes other legitimate pro Israel organizations. Check out our website at “itistimeisrael.org”
Soon, the Jewish people as a nation may become one with the Gentiles in Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah! Her destiny is to become the greatest nation on earth (Isa 60) who will bless all nations and God promises that those who bless Israel will be blessed in return (Gen 12:3, Gen 27:29). Will you bless Israel?
A very sick world is waiting