In order for us to understand that the church's reconnection to Israel in the Spirit is also connected to the last great outpouring and harvest that is to come upon the earth, we need to first understand that God is not finished with the physical seed of Israel and that the church has not replaced them.
While the church is obviously included in the Israel of God, which the apostle Paul refers to as the commonwealth of Israel [that Gentile believers are now citizens of Israel and co-heirs (Eph. 2:12, 19, KJV, NIV; Rom. 8:17)], the family of God is not complete until Israel's spiritual restoration takes place and our first-born brethren are fully restored.
The branch that was broken off through unbelief in Yeshua is to be grafted back into its own olive tree, in which the nations have also been grafted into through faith in the same Jesus. We should never forget that we are grafted into their covenants and promises, including the new covenant through Christ, and it is not the other way around.
Scripture tells us through Paul's dissertation to the church in Romans 11 that Israel's hardening in part is only temporary, until we reach the fullness of the Gentiles. Whether that is a full number of souls, or a fullness of the Spirit, which also may include the full number of souls from the nations, we also know at this time that Israel's spiritual awakening is concurrent.
"The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will remove ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins" (Rom. 11:25-27).
God's Unconditional Covenants
The key word here for us to accept in the church is "covenant," for Israel is not just another nation. They are a covenant people, whom God has promised to restore and redeem before the end. This switches the focus back on God to bring about the actual circumstances for this to happen in light of His unconditional covenants and promises to re-establish them. God's family is made up of Jew and Gentile, and it is not complete until Israel is properly restored into its priestly role to rule and reign the nations with the rest of His church (Is. 61:6-9; Rev. 2:26, 5:9-10). God's final covenants must be fulfilled through Israel's spiritual awakening and Yeshua's return to the earth to sit upon David's throne (2 Sam. 7:11-16; 1 Chron. 17:10-14).
In light of this, God has a plan for us in these days of transition in His family between Jew and Gentile, which is different from those who have gone before us over the past 1,900 years—those who were more focused on reaching the nations. While this is happening, it is not as if God will bring this focus to an end until everything is complete.
On the contrary, as we begin to align ourselves with God's plans to awaken Israel spiritually, to fight for David's throne to be established on the earth through intercession and prayer, there is an intricate link to the nations awakening to the gospel and the final outpouring of the Spirit. Nothing but greater riches and resurrection, end-time power await His church as we make this family connection (Rom. 11:11-15). It is the power we so desperately need to reach a lost and dying world! So it begs the question, what are we waiting for?
The Roles of Israel and the Church
Does Scripture not tell us that the holiness of our Father's name will be shown to the world through Israel's spiritual awakening (Deut. 30:4-6; Ezek. 36:22-28)? The fulfillment of His Word, covenants and promises to restore them must take place first. But how will this happen, and who is going to do this? Will it just be between God and Israel, or does God always use an intercessor to bring His plans to pass on the earth?
From Noah to Abraham to Moses and even to Christ Himself and the apostles, God has always designed to work through us, so why would the end be any different from the beginning, and how come we have been unable to see this? Yet what we are told in many of our books and DVDs is that God is just going to deal separately with Israel, and the church continues on its own path with no real spiritual connection until after the Lord returns.
That theory is highly debatable. These teachings are in need of adjustment and correction—that indeed God has chosen a plan to reveal His glory that includes all the sheep in His family, the firstborn and all of the other children that Yeshua spoke of to the Pharisees in the temple courts. His other sheep from the Gentile nations also must come into the fold, but Israel never understood this, as they had God to themselves (John 10:14-16). In turn, it is the same with us in the church who have God to ourselves. It is time to restore Israel, and we must begin to understand that there are adjustments that perhaps we need to make that will allow the Spirit of God to lead us into a reconciliation that will bring about the end-time glory plan of the living God. We need to understand that God's covenants are in play here, and He will bring them to pass. Indeed, His children are intricately linked together to find unity at this time that the end may come.
Here's the missing piece of the puzzle, His mercy plan that will bring His Glory. Here's the edict that was given to us a long time ago that we must now move into: "For just as you once were disobedient to God, but have now received mercy through their disobedience, so these also have now been disobedient, that they also may receive mercy by the mercy shown to you." For God has imprisoned them all in disobedience, so that He might be merciful to all." (Rom. 11:30-32; emphasis added). He has chosen and sealed off Israel that the first would be last. He has chosen them for a time at the end to be awakened. But it is only through the intercession and the cries of the other sheep coming into agreement with God's divine plan to awaken His firstborn child that does not even want to be born, but must, because of the holy covenants of God, because of the promises of God in His holy Word to restore them.
In Ezekiel 37:9-11, we find the second part of the prophecy relating to Israel's spiritual restoration. The first part ties into Israel being restored to the land.
But let's focus on the second part. We are the generation; we are that end-time Ezekiel Generation that is called to stand in the gap through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so the end may come!
For Israel's spiritual awakening is the golden key to the end-time glory and power of the church. But it is also the Jewish and Gentile believers' connection to them as family who have been reconnected through the Father's heart to love them. For we are the ones chosen to take that key and to lay hold of it to unlock its unquenchable power!
What an honor the Lord is bestowing upon us in the end-time generations to help awaken Israel spiritually. From within the unity of the Spirit of God and the one new man—Jew and Gentile united in Yeshua—we need to recognize the unique roles that both groups are yet to play out in the last days:
- For Jewish believers to be a light to their own people with the church's full support and blessing.
- For the rest of Israel to be awakened and to receive salvation.
- For Jewish and Gentile believers to be Israel's salvific agent to help bring this to pass according to the mercy of God it has received (Rom. 11:30-32).
Just as Israel was used to give birth to the church, now in turn to complete the family circle of God, the church would release that spiritual life back to Israel to help bring about God's glory upon the earth through Jesus' return (see Ezek. 37:9-11; Rom. 11:30-32). For Jesus will not return until they say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord" (Matt. 23:39; emphasis added). It is important for us to understand that this will not happen by God alone and will require dedication and diligence on the part of His church.
The Church Is the Chosen Catalyst
If the church is the end-times catalyst that will breathe this life back into Israel, don't we need to focus on God's house first, that it may be properly awakened? Don't we need to address the issues that are keeping us separate from our own unique role in the glory plan and be willing to enter into a healthy dialogue to help bring about God's healing? Shouldn't this become our main focal point of prayer and intercession first, in order for this to take place?
I often say that if we want the veil lifted from Israel, we have to first lift the veil from the church concerning its attitudes and approach toward, as well as its separation from, Israel. For there are reasons we have not been able to properly see God's will and plan for this time. It brings to light some very sensitive and delicate issues from our ancestral past that still affect the way we act and think toward Israel that we must be willing to deal with now.
The Holy Spirit is looking to heal us from the past, from any ancestral actions toward the Jewish people that have traveled through our bloodline and that the enemy has been using to keep us apart. God wants all of us to break off the past in order for us to find our future in God's mercy and glory plan so that through faith in God's words and covenants, we will see Israel come to life spiritually, and that finally our Father may have complete unity between us in His family, as Jew and Gentile.
While most of Israel's spiritual awakening may not actually come down to the end, it does not separate us from our participation through reconnection, intercession and lifestyle evangelism to see her people spiritually redeemed. It is an area of adjustment that is required in our theology toward these times.
If we truly knew the significance and consequences of this transaction in us, how we would actually run to it with all of our heart and all our might, because we would understand the outcome it will produce. So I have to ask the leaders of the church, "Can you see this clearly yet?"
God is looking for us to fuel the heavens at this time—not only for Israel's spiritual awakening but also for the end-time harvest and the enemy's demise from the heavens (Rev. 12:7-9), which are all intricately linked in an end-time battle plan for the kingdom of God and His church. However, as we realign ourselves with the principle of the gospel to the Jew first and then the nations, only greater power is waiting in the wings, and the church's reconnection to Israel spiritually is absolutely vital for this to take place (Rom. 1:16; 11:12,15).
"May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me" (John 17:23).
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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