Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Mystery of Romans 11

It doesn't have to be a mystery.

For if you were cut out of the olive tree
which is wild by nature, 

and were grafted contrary to nature 
into a cultivated olive tree,
how much more will these, 

who are natural branches,
be grafted into their own olive tree?

Like all good mysteries of God, the clues revealing the details of the mystery are hidden throughout the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. Such is the mystery of the end times restoration and redemption of Israel, and how there is a direct impact on the international Church, as well as a significant role that God calls the Church to plan in His Divine plan.

The Spirit of God has to give us eyes to see and ears to hear, but that does not absolve us from closing our eyes and ears to what He is saying. I think that is pretty clear from the apostle Paul's warning in to the church in Rome:

"For I do not desire, brethren, that you should not understand this mystery, lest you should be conceited, mindful only of your own interests, that blindness ~in part~ has happened to Israel until the Gentiles have come into their fullness. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written"

Track with me: "And so all Israel will be saved" What does the And so refer to? It refers to the international Church coming into their spiritual fullness.

Some people thing God has set some numbers quota on how many Gentiles will be saved before all Israel is saved, but that is not the point. The point is that for all Israel to be saved, it will necessarily take the international Church, as many that will come to their spiritual fullness and enter into God's plan for -

"For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy."

Did you catch that? through the Church's mercy all Israel will be saved? And why? Because God set them up in His mysterious plan, "For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all."
It is not only in Romans where Paul spelled out the Divine plan to restore Israel through redemption by faith in Yeshua, but also to use the Church to bring it out (which the apostle Paul called our "duty" as the Church).

Back to the fullness of the Gentiles, I have just ordered a book that delves into the area of how the restoration of spiritual fullness of the Church has a deep parallel to the markers of God's restoration of Israel, and that book is based on the author's study of Ezra and Nehemiah. (Example, the holy language of tongues was restored to the Church the same year as the restoration of Hebrew as a modern language, used not just for religious services but as a used language.)

My Israeli friend, Eitan Shishkoff has written the insights about the Christian role in the spiritual re-building of Israel that are contained in the story of how Hiram and Solomon partnered to bulid the temple in his book, What About Us? The book that answers Christian questions about, How do Christians fit into the raising of up of Jewish believers in the faith of Jesus.

Since the early 1990's when God began to show me why He stirred my heart toward Israel, and specifically toward the growing Body of Messiah in Israel, I have had many Christians go automatically defensive as if the very mention of loving Israel meant a rejection of Christianity.

That is not the plan of God and it is not how He has led me. But honestly, it become wearisome to see some Christian ministers sniff at my advocacy of the believers in Israel as somehow excluding my concern for ALL people groups. Come on. The vision for Israel's restoration, as Paul says, means blessing for the whole church, "For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?" 

If you only knew the promised release of God's spiritual blessings - restoring those things that the Church has lost from the gifts and power we started out with in the gospels and Acts - then you would be rushing to take your place in the restoration and redemption of Israel.

Whatever is holding you back from considering the things referred to here, it hurts you more than you know.

When my friend Asher Intrater of Revive Israel first immigrated to Israel he was praying at the Wall in Jerusalem one day when God gave him a vision. God told him that the restoration of Israel to her inheritance by faith in Yeshua was too great for all the Messianic Jews in all the world. That they would have to partner with the Church in order to see all Israel saved.

Why is that? Because God has bound us up together so that neither the Church nor the Messianic Jews can come into fullness without coming into partnership and unity together.

Listen to me: we as the Church can enjoy our current level of the restored gifts and power of God, but we are not going to come into the fullness of restored gifts, power and apostolic-prophetic administrations by ignoring our role in the restoration of Israel to faith.

We are going to get to the place that God has destined for Jews and Gentiles in Messiah to come. I intend to be among that number and you should understand that you are making the same choice whether you will stay in your current state of holding the body of Messiah in Israel as not significant to your Christian concerns, or whether you will allow yourself to seriously consider that there is a part of God's mysterious plan that you've been missing. Your choice.

He gives the choice to us, but He is going to take those that are willing to the fullness of His mysterious and wonderful plan.

Monday, August 3, 2015

New Urgency in Message for Right Alignment of the Body

DALLAS:  I was very fortunate to be able to see Asher Intrater of Revive Israel in Jerusalem preach twice this weekend. First on Saturday to a Messianic crowd at Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue, then on Sunday to a Christian crowd at Destiny Healing Center.  There were similar core themes touched on in both messages that were uniquely addressed to the two very different congregations of believers.

The messages pertained to the right alignment of the international Church and the Body of Messiah in Israel. If there is one word to describe Asher's message before both groups of believers, it is a tone that I have never sensed from Asher: Urgency.

There was an urgency like I have never heard before from Asher about the necessity for the Christian Church and the believing community in Israel to come into right alignment so the purposes of God can be accomplished.

The Church cannot get to where it is destined until it rightly aligns with the Body in Israel, and the Body of Israel cannot get to where it is destined until it is rightly aligned with the Church. To get there both sides have to humble themselves to each other - but it is our prophetic destiny according to the Word of God, to become one new man in Messiah.  Then as Israel is coming to faith there is a parallel release of Divine power to the international Church see us through the growing deep darkness over the people of the earth.

"We are losing over there." Asher said this several times in the message at Destiny Church, saying, "We can't do this without you." What did Asher mean?

A few weeks ago I wrote that I was stunned when Eitan Shishkoff, a 30-year ministry partner with Asher and perhaps the most upbeat Israeli minister I know of, admitted to the Baruch HaShem congregation audience that at times due to the intensity of the opposition, he has days where he feels he has been hit by truck. 

What these two Israeli ministry leaders and friends said is stunning to me because they are also highly effective in their ministry labors. Good things are happening in their ministries.  So this is news that I want to emphasize with urgency to intercessors for the sake of ALL THE MINISTRIES OF ISRAEL:  THEY NEED US LIKE NEVER BEFORE. 

Asher shared about the array of oppressive forces that are bearing down on Israel, and bearing down on the believing community of faith in Israel: 

When Hitler rose up with a genocidal plan for Jews, that was just the devil infuriated that his time is growing short and the Nazis were used in hopes to cut off God's plan by wiping out the Jews before they can get to the day we are all rushing toward. Asher said (paraphrasing), We know we win in the end, but right this moment we believers in Israel really need the help of the international church.

In this present darkness we are faced with all kinds of forces of darkness including the genocidal Islamic hordes which form an almost complete circle around the nation of Israel. From the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to Gaza Hamas; from Lebanon Hezballah to Syrian AlQaeda; from Iraq Isis to the Iranian Persian dynasty; from Yemen AlQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to the Libyan Isis, and the Nigerian Boko Haram.

These are armies encircled around Israel and like the Nazis, are a demonic attempt to cut off the Jews before God's purposes can be manifested in them. What are God's purposes? That "all Israel" shall be saved, and the parallel release of Divine power go out into the international Church.  And the nations of the world are not resisting this threat. Even the long time alliance of the USA, Israelis understand is dissolving under current leadership. Israelis are increasingly recognizing that the only international force standing with them are the Israel supporting Christians.  Not even American Jews can be counted on at this point to support Israel in crisis with Islam. 

In Israel - the center of the demonic storm - it is not just Islam but religious persecution against the believers seeking to stop the message of Yeshua going to Israelis; the LGBT community seeking to shut down a Messianic community source of funds; government corruption denying lawful benefits strictly based on issues of faith. All these things are a continual press upon the believers in Israel, and these are why the Body in Israel needs the international church to join them in the battle to fulfill God's vision and plans for Israel. Without the Church, the battle is too pitched.

The Body in Israel needs us in the Church, but we in Church need the Body of Israel:  Asher also touched on the parallels between the restoration of Israel that has seen a parallel release of restoration of the gifts of the Spirit in the Church. He spoke about this at Destiny Church and I will be on the lookout for more on that subject from Asher. In a nutshell, when Hebrew was restored as a language to the Jews in the 1900's, in the church was the restoration of tongues. When Israel became a nation in 1948, there was a restoration of healings in the church; when Jerusalem was restored to Israeli control in 1967...I will search for the message to be exact on. The point is summed up in Romans 11:15: For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

There is no way I can do justice to all the red meat that Asher was pouring out in these two urgent messages to the Messianic and the Gentile Christian churches this weekend. But I can encourage you to listen to the BHS message.

Also, I want tell you that Pastor Jerry Howell at Destiny Christian Center heard from the LORD by the end of the message to enter into right alignment with the Body in Israel and to receive Asher Intrater as an apostle and prophet of Israel that he is. 

In a moving response, the pastor on behalf of his church, moved to come alongside of the believers of Israel as never before. Pastor Howell told Asher that they were not seeking to add to his burden by recognizing him as an apostle to their house, but for the purpose of coming into right alignment so they could do their part to lift up the arms of the believers of Israel.

May the response we witnessed today from this pastor and this church body be multiplied 10,000 times over as the Church contends with Messianic Israel for God's purposes for such a time as this.

One of the fascinating things Asher Intrater spoke about in his Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue message relates to the Matthew 24 passage when Yeshua's disciples ask Him what will be the signs of the end times. Verses 23-26 speak of a proliferation of false messiahs and He warns not to follow them.

Now I have heard taught that everything in this Mt 24 passage has already taken place in 70 AD, but I want to tell you that often in scripture a prophecy for the end times also takes place in the immediate times it was spoken as well - so don't let that deter you from understanding Matthew 24 as relevant to 70 AD and to our day too.

In this relation, Asher spoke about the mostly ultra-Orthodox proliferation of false messiahs that are evident in Israel and they are all rabbis. He named off four of them from different ultra-Orthodox sects whose followers believe their rabbi will become the messiah king of Israel. Rabbi Schneerson, Nachman of Breslev, both long dead, and others. There are billboards with their photos proclaiming they are the messiah. People go to their gravesides to receive healing and miracles.

The ultra-Orthodox generally do not believe in the secular state of Israel, but believe Israel is only legitimized as a state when one of their rabbis, or the followers of the rabbi, becomes the Prime Minister (king) of Israel.  That is one reason many among these sects they think they are a law unto themselves - so they can strike with impunity against the believers in Yeshua in Israel, they can attack LGBT's participating in the a Gay pride parade as one did just last week, or also firebomb Palestinians as some also did last week claiming the death of baby. These are fundamentalist terrorists, in the same way that Hamas, or al Qaeda produces religious fundamentalist terrorists, and they are becoming increasingly prone to violent acts.

The threat from these religious zealots is real. When Jack Teitel placed a package bomb at the doorstep of the Ortiz family in Tiberias, nearly murdering their 15-year old son who opened the bomb that detonated in his hands, Teitel was dropped off on the street by religious co-conspirators.

Now, I'm not saying all this NOT to stir hatred toward the religious, but hopefully to snap some attention into Christian consciousness! It seems that Christians get focused on the Jews who are the easiest to identify as Jews, and that would surely be the ultra-Orthodox with the black 18th century garb, tzitzit and payot.

REMEMBER: the apostle Paul clearly said these are enemies of the gospel for you sake. They are STILL enemies of the gospel and they are enemies of the Jewish believers of Yeshua in Israel TODAY.  So who do you think, as a Christian, you ought to be excited about in Israel - the enemies of the gospel or the emissaries of the gospel?

Remember also what Jesus said when questioned by some religious Jews, Yeshua said, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you." This remarkable statement - very prophetic - remains true today.

The Church has been delighted to entertain religious Israeli groups like the Temple Mount Faithful and others on their TV networks, in huge gatherings for Israel-supporting Christians while at the same time giving the cold shoulder to Israeli Jewish believers and ministries in Israel! So hosting and supporting the enemies of the gospel while ignoring the emissaries of the gospel.

How can we justify that? Just quit that - repent of it and get with GOD's plan for the right alignment with the Body of the LORD in Israel. The time is NOW.  The prayer shield for the Body of Messiah in Israel, and especially for the ministry leaders must arise throughout the international Church.  The urgency is for such a time as this.

You can also hear more messages by Asher on the website of Revive Israel