The Lord has given me two ministry focuses. The first is this reconnection message between Jew and Gentile in His Church that I write and preach about across the country; to blow its shofar deep into the body of Messiah/Christ to help us spiritually reconnect as family during the days, and all that goes along with that message. And the second is through Messiah's House Messianic Center, which has a local parachurch focus in the Westchester, New York and Connecticut areas. (Please visit reconnectingministries.org for our latest ministry brochure).
Messiah's House has been established specifically to serve the local church with Jewish ministry and better connection to Israel. In this ministry model, we do not act as a congregation, but rather as an arm to the local church to encourage Jewish evangelism; to help Christians better connect to Jewish people and to foster greater intercession for Israel and the Nations. There could be several Messiah's Houses all around the country, wherever there is a strong Jewish population working side by side of the local church.
More recently, one of the fastest growing churches in Connecticut, headed up by senior Pastor Glenn Harvison, opened its doors to the Messiah's House vision and ministry, giving us full use of their facilities to help promote the benefit of the One New Man vision and more effectively reach the Jewish population in the Connecticut and Westchester areas. The month before our first meeting they proudly hung the Israeli flag on their land, reinforcing their strong desire to connect with their Jewish roots and heritage. Harvest Time Church is undergoing is latest expansion into a 1,000-seat auditorium, which hopefully will be completed sometime in 2016.
When a church is located in areas of strong Jewish population, there is a whole lot more that can be done to help foster Jewish ministry and evangelism, as well as to obtain a deeper understanding between the two groups. This is one of Messiah's House main functions—to help bridge this gap working in tandem with the local church.
Of greater importance however, is the great need for healing and repentance to flow between Jews and Christians. In fact, I believe that before the Holy Spirit can have any real effect in this area, there is a great need for a spiritual reconnection to take place between Jew and Gentile, especially in this day as we come closer to the Lord's return. For the bride must be prepared and is not yet complete without Israel's spiritual awakening, thus calling His church into this fray.
Through Messiah's House, we celebrate the biblical feasts. We believe that these feasts are for all of God's children and celebrate them in the fullness of the New Covenant through Messiah/Christ. They are also a wonderful way for Christians to better relate to their Jewish friends and neighbors. And it was on one of these feasts last year during Tabernacles, otherwise known as Sukkot, that something wonderful happened at Harvest Time Church.
When Pastor Glenn and I met to discuss how we would actually celebrate this feast, instead of putting up a tent for food and fellowship, which would be the norm, we decided to take the feast into the Spirit and set up a tent over the altar so that people could come and celebrate the presence of the Lord—which, if you think about it, is exactly what Tabernacles is all about. Incidentally, this is also one of the feasts that all believers will celebrate in the Millennium (see Zech. 14:16), so why not celebrate it now?
We held several meetings during that week, and I have to say that on each night God showed up with a different manifestation of His Spirit. It was simply marvelous, and the meetings were so full of the presence of the Lord. Pastor Glenn and I agreed that I would initiate the preaching and he would finish it when we celebrated Tabernacles through the regular different church services that weekend. But this weekend was no ordinary weekend, and the Lord led Pastor Glenn to preach on identificational repentance.
I want to encourage all readers of this article to watch and listen (click through to Church Breakthrough Identification Repentance) to Pastor Glenn Harvison's message from Harvest Time Church and forward it to your friends and church leaders. As something very strategic happened that weekend in the Spirit between Jew and Gentile that will affect the body of Messiah/Christ for its future in this area, and that can also affect your local church and community. That in light of the Church's ancestral position towards the Jewish people, the church as a whole is in great need of this kind of healing and spiritual reconciliation.
Pastor Glenn Harvison's Thoughts and Comments
As a young seminarian, I was always taught that the evangelization of the Gentile world was the last "piece of the puzzle" that had to be put in place before the return of Y'shua/Jesus. Through my friendship with Grant Berry, the Lord helped me to see that there is one more event in the sequence of human history: the evangelization of the Jewish people and the manifestation of the One New Man. Leading up to the Feast of Tabernacles, I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to break the spiritual strongholds that have held our church back from our call to share the gospel with the Jewish people. As I began to write a prayer of identificational repentance, the Holy Spirit began to flood my mind with so many attitudes, words and actions that have prevented us from loving and reaching out to the Jewish people. As our congregation participated in the prayer, there was a powerful shift in the atmosphere. Jewish and Gentile believers in Y'shua/Jesus wept and embraced one another. Since that week, God has continued to add Jewish believers to our congregation.
We Must Break Off The Past In Order To Find Our Future
I believe during these end days, that it is necessary for us in the Church to break of any negative past spiritual influences, in order for us to find our future destiny in the kingdom of God, which is so characteristically made up of Jew and Gentile. As we enter the time of the fullness of the Gentiles, so it says, all Israel will be saved (Rom. 11:25-26), that there are some adjustments for us to contemplate regarding Israel and their spiritual awakening in the church.
During these days there is an amazing role for us yet to play out that perhaps we have not seen too clearly up until this time, which is to help breathe spiritual life back into Israel. Yet before that can happen all past influences, ignorance's and mistakes need to get broken off of us, so we can truly find our destiny in God's glory plan to awaken Israel in the last days, and finally unite His family. For did He not tell us that the first would be last? And did Jesus not say that you will not see me again until you (Israel—paraphrased) say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord?" (Matt. 23:29).
I believe that Israel's spiritual awakening and our connection to it, is also linked to the last great outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will ultimately usher in the Lord's return. And why I am always emphasizing the significance of this transaction between us in the church, known as "The Reconnection," as it is hugely significant to the advancement of the Kingdom of God upon the earth and why the enemy puts out such resistance to it, because it begins to unlock the door to his demise. Yeshua/Jesus cries out for this unity in His body between the two groups, so ultimately His family will be united (John 17).
Below is the prayer that Pastor Glenn Harvison wrote for himself and the church that he pastors. As he read it to me, all I could do was weep. My response and prayers of forgiveness on behalf of the Jewish people to the church are on the video.
My Personal Act of Identification Repentance
Grant, in the presence of God, I would like to address you as a representative of the Jewish people, and as a representative of Jewish believers in Y'shua.
I speak, today, representing myself, representing my present family and representing the past generations of my family.
In the presence of God, I want to confess my sins, and the sins of my family, in the area of racism and especially anti-Semitism.
I ask God for His forgiveness, and I humbly ask for your forgiveness, on behalf of the Jewish people, for any and every anti-Semitic prejudice, thought, word, gesture and deed on my part, and on part of the members of my family, present and past.
I ask God for His forgiveness, and I humbly ask you for your forgiveness, on behalf of the Jewish people, for any and every failure to show the love and dignity due to the Jewish people as fellow human beings, and, especially, as God's beloved covenant people.
I ask God for His forgiveness, and I humbly ask you for your forgiveness, on behalf of the Jewish people, for any and every expression of cursing, when God has commanded blessing.
In the presence of God, I would also like to speak as the Pastor of Harvest Time Church, as an Assemblies of God minister, and a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ, speaking to you as a leader in the Messianic Jewish community.
I ask God for His forgiveness, and I humbly ask you for your forgiveness, on behalf of the Messianic Jewish community, for any and every failure to love the Jewish people and Jewish believers, as God has commanded.
I ask God for His forgiveness, and I humbly ask you for forgiveness, on behalf of the Jewish people, for willful ignorance of the New Testament Scriptures concerning God's plan for the salvation of the Jewish people.
I ask God for His forgiveness, and I humbly ask you for forgiveness, on behalf of the Jewish people, for partnership with replacement theology, and every other discriminatory doctrinal error
Going back in history, I ask God for His forgiveness, and I humbly ask you for your forgiveness for the church remaining silent while millions of Jewish people were exterminated in Europe, and for the teaching from pulpits that this was their just recompense.
I ask God for His forgiveness, and I humbly ask you for your forgiveness for a lack of evangelistic zeal for the Jewish people, and for failure to cultivate a dynamic ministry atmosphere of the Spirit that provokes Jewish people to jealousy, and then to reach out for Y'shua.
Grant, I ask you these things, in the Name of Y'shua Ha'Mashiach, Jesus Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Congregational Act of Identificational Repentance
Now, to everyone who is not a Jew by birth. I would like to ask if you would stand with me this morning, and join me in a prayer of identificational repentance:
Father God, we stand in your presence today representing ourselves; representing our present families; representing our past generations and representing the Gentile church.
Father, we confess our sins of racism and especially anti-Semitism.
Father, we ask your forgiveness for any and every anti-Semitic prejudice thought, word, gesture and deed.
Father, we ask your forgiveness; for perpetuating derogatory stereotypes, jokes and anecdotes.
Father, we ask your forgiveness for any and every failure to show love and dignity.
Father, we ask your forgiveness for cursing and not blessing your people Israel.
Father, as wild branches grafted into Christ, we repent of boasting against the Jewish branches.
Father, we repent of every doctrinal error that has caused us to neglect our duty to the Jewish people and to Jewish believers in Jesus.
Today, Father, we renounce all partnership with racism and with anti-Semitism. In the Name of Jesus.
Cleanse our sin through the blood of Jesus. Pour Your love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
In the Name of Jesus, we break every demonic stronghold of anti-Semitism off ourselves, off our children, off our family line and off our church.
In the Name of Jesus, we declare that we are free to love the Jewish people; we are free to understand the Scriptures; we are free to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit; we are free to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and to lead them to faith in Yeshua Ha'Maschiach.
Father, we pray these things in the mighty name of Jesus/Yeshua. Amen!
Please feel free to use this prayer in your church and for further information on breaking off all past influences please read chapter 6 of my book, The Ezekiel Generation—The Fathers Heart.
Grant Berry is a Jewish believer in Jesus and author of The New Covenant Prophecy and The Ezekiel Generation. He has founded Reconnecting Ministries with the specific focus to help the church reconnect spiritually to Israel and considers it vital to the kingdom of God in the last days.
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