I remember many years ago I was at a conference and my friend who was putting on the conference asked me to stand on Sunday morning and told the congregation that I had an Israel Prayer letter. Then he asked me what the Jewish year was. I answered, I don’t know because I don’t follow that kind of stuff. Later he told me I should have given it a shot since none of the people there would have known the difference anyway.
This is so true. To pursue understanding to all things Jewish from a Christian standpoint is to dive into a seemingly bottomless pit. There is no end to the ‘rabbi trails’ of study that we can wander around in like some elaborate maze. And of course I did exactly that in my first years of being drawn into the search for the Jews that I found missing from the faith of Jesus, the Messiah born in Nazareth.
As I locked onto where God was leading me, to the believer ministries of Israel, I came to realize that although there was much richness in Jewish roots and the Hebrew language, it did not hold a candle to me realizing and pursuing what God was doing through the believers of Yeshua in the nation of Israel. That they were the key to future events and it was crucial that believers in the nation became not only aware of them, but entered into relationship with them.
When the Church officially cut off the Jewish believers in 318 AD – according to Catholic historian Malachi Martin – they were a comparatively rag tag group of emissaries who went to Rome to meet with pope Silvester. Martin writes of them that “they shunned all worldly power and revolution, and were for the most part dirt-farmers and petty merchants, hugging close to their obscurity even though their first bishop was James, first cousin of Jesus.”
To most of the major figures in the Church, the Israeli ministries of our time also appear to be a rag tag group of emissaries “hugging close to their obscurity.”
In the restoration of God’s mercies, expressed through His salvation of Israel to faith through the Messiah Yeshua, it is the Church in the nations who see beyond the humble nature of the Israeli ministries and believers, and in faith re-connect with them.
It is a seeing through the eyes of faith, like Naaman, a commander of the Syrian army who was a leper seeking to be healed by a prophet of God in Israel. Elisha told him to dip in the Jordan River seven times to be healed. What the prophet told Naaman to do enraged him, because it was too simple, too plain – not dignified or treating him as his commanding rank surely deserved. Besides, the Jordan River was just a dirty brown river and Naaman was used to more sparkling clean river flows in Syria.
This is a metaphor for the state of much of the Christian church today regarding the Israeli prophets – and all the five fold ministries.
Naaman’s servants had to talk sense to the great commander. They asked him essentially that if the Israeli prophet had told him something that appealed more to his own image of his personal standing, would he have followed the instruction and been healed. So, Naaman humbled himself and did as Elisha had told him to do – dip 7 times in the dirty Jordan River and be healed of his leprosy.
I often see Christians who do not want to accept that God has put the Israeli ministries into a significant and unique position in these last days of the last days. Not only are they especially anointed to reach their people in Israel, but they are also anointed to be facilitators of the vision of God for one new man in Messiah Yeshua that is coming together.
At this point while the Western church continues somewhat to balk at the rag tag Israeli contingent of the faith, the Far East is coming in droves to connect as family with their brothers in the faith. The faith has traveled across the world heading west and is now coming full circle back to Jerusalem – from the far east through the middle east and will finally come to Jerusalem, the City of the Great King.
Time for the West to awaken to this.
This article originally appeared on Fruit of the Fig Tree, September 21, 2017, and reposted with permission.