Note: This is the first of a two-part series on the reconnection of Jews and Gentiles in the end times. For part one, click here.
Isn't it interesting that whenever God shifted His focus from one part of the family to another that it always comes as a surprise to each group (see Colossians 1:26,27; Romans 11:25-27), and it is not easy to admit being wrong.
In each case, however, God began to shift His body with the revelation that was necessary at that time, which He is also doing now, as both mysteries can be clearly seen in Scripture. Yet before each shift there was an apparent blindness to the call, which the revelation subsequently lifts. And to be perfectly honest, the church is all over the place in how they view Israel in the end times and are in need of a greater revelation and understanding from the Messianic side of the family to help them see the fullness of God's plans to establish His kingdom upon the earth.
Let's not forget that it took the apostles some time to recognize that the fulfillment of the mystery of the gospel to the Nations through Messiah/Christ was now upon them. Just as it is now taking time for the church to recognize that we are also at the door of the mystery to unveil Israel spiritually and restore it to faith, but also our role and participation in God's plan to bring it to pass.
Where Is The Church Regarding Israel?
So where is the church now concerning this shift, it is mostly still divided. Interestingly though, along similar lines to those in the church who are holding to more conservative and liberal interpretations of Scripture. With those from the charismatic and Pentecostal denominations along with a mix of evangelicals opening up more and more towards the restoration of Israel and those from the liberal side of the church where church growth has been shrinking rapidly, still holding to the teachings of replacement theology.
The early church spurred these teachings on, as it was breaking away from its Jewish roots and they believed the church had superseded Israel and fully replaced them spiritually. However, there are also some conservative churches that still hold onto replacement theology, or fulfillment theology as noted by theologian N.T. Wright and there are also some liberal churches that are holding to Israel's election.
This is also evidenced in our reactions and responses to the Israeli/Palestinian crisis, with one body leaning in support of the Palestinians and the other in support of Israel. The latter hold to the truths and fulfillment of God's covenants in Scripture in regard to Israel's spiritual unveiling and pending restoration (Deuteronomy 30:4-6; Ezekiel 36:22-28; Jeremiah 31:37), while liberal viewpoints continue to cave into man's humanistic values.
For while we should keep both Israelis and Palestinians in prayer for salvation and how they are treated, the land rights to Israel belong to God, who has unquestionably given it to the people of Israel (Genesis 13:14,15; 17:7,8; Ezekiel 37), with Israel's physical restoration in biblical prophecies already being fulfilled. Honestly though, who are we in the scheme of things to question God (Romans 9:20)? But, in light of Israel's current spiritual condition, not everything they do is necessarily correct and they find themselves in an extremely challenging situation that, ultimately, only God Himself can solve.
So when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, let us understand that it is only when Yeshua/Jesus returns to us that there will be everlasting peace in Israel. Until Satan is locked up he will always wage war against the kingdom of God, of which Jerusalem is at its center.
However, praying for Jerusalem's peace is not always about blessing, but rather praying for the complete and utter fulfillment of God's word to awaken His people and restore the earth to Himself. This requires a great deal of wisdom and discernment, but also a much greater dependency on the Holy Spirit to guide us into effective and fervent intercession that will help to get the job done.
Could the Israel reconnection be the final piece that actually divides the church? I would not want to be one of those who opposes Israel when Messiah/Christ returns. Pray God for this part of the church that their blindness would be lifted. Could those holding to a continued separation between Israel and the church be bordering the arrogance that the apostle Paul spoke of in Romans 11, thinking like the Pharisees that they have had God to themselves?
These are strong words, but they are written in a spirit of love for us in the church to re-align ourselves with our Father's plans. Yeshua/Jesus is very close to the door and we are still in a time of mercy for us to come into repentance and get it right (Romans 11:32).
For He is intricately linked to both His Jewish and Gentile children and our unity now is essential for all of this to take place. Let us not forget His name is The Lion of the Tribe of Judah and He is coming back to a Jewish city to establish a Jewish monarch upon the earth, of which, His children from the Nations are grafted into its commonwealth. Pray to God that we would never forget our humble beginnings and who we are grafted into.
Pray also for the church that is opening up towards Israel that they would come into a fuller understanding, seeing this time more through our Fathers eyes and lens, rather than our own, and not funding the wrong groups. For there is still a lot more for us to learn, as we fully embrace our Jewish brethren.
It is not just about blessing Israel, but fully reconnecting to them spiritually as family. For God has already re-formed the Jewish branch of the olive tree with many thousands of Jewish believers like myself throughout the U.S. and Israel, and in other nations who are in great need of the church's support and love to fulfill their own destiny, which is to be a light back to our own people.
Like Aaron and Hur, who lifted up the arms of Moses so they could succeed in battle, pray that we in the church would properly connect and support our Jewish brethren first. And, that through our intercession for the rest of Israel, we would start to see this covenant people as the Scripture tells us they will be, and not as they are currently.
Isn't that what faith is all about? (Hebrews 11:1)
Grant Berry is a Jewish believer in Yeshua/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. His website is reconnectingministries.org.