Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fullness of Israel

Most Christians are waiting for Jesus to return and establish the Kingdom of God. This is a false hope, as Jesus has “finished” his work on earth (John 19:30). He has already done everything that he had to do to establish the Kingdom. He will return at the end of the age to receive a Kingdom that has been established and operating for many years (1 Cor 15:23-25).

Responsibility for establishing the Kingdom of God has been assigned to the Holy Spirit working through the church. He has been unable to complete this task, not because he is incapable (as most Christians believe), but because a key part of his team is missing. During the Times of the Gentiles, the children of Israel are shut out of the gospel. This means that the church is not at full strength. Worse still, it gives the devil authority to continue working on earth.

The next big event in history is not the second coming of Jesus. The next big thing is the fullness of Israel. During a time of distress on earth, the Holy Spirit will move on the hearts of the children of Israel (Zech 12:10), causing them to come to faith in Jesus in a great flood (Rom 11:26). This will remove the last obstacle to the kingdom. Satan will be stripped of his authority, and the Holy Spirit will expand the kingdom of God rapidly, until the glory of God covers the earth, as the waters cover the sea (Hab 2:14).

Now if their fall is riches for the world,
and their failure riches for the Gentiles,
how much more their fullness (Rom 11:12).
All this happens while Jesus is sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Father.

One reason I went to Jerusalem was to look for signs that the fullness of Israel is getting close. There are a few hopeful signs of life, but not many. Most of the Jewish people seem to be pushing hard into orthodox Judaism, or fed up with religion altogether.

What they see of the gospel is not that appealing, as many of the Jewish messianic churches are just dull clones of western institutional churches.

I realise that the outpouring of the Spirit will come on Israel during a time of distress, but the Holy Spirit will need groups of Christians to work with him in teaching millions of new Christians how to live in Jesus. These Christians will have learned to support each other through distress and trouble without financial support from the outside. They will have a prophetic edge to their preaching.

Many Christians have moved to Israel to pray and celebrate Jewishness, but few seem to be ready for sharing the gospel during a season of distress. I met one young man who has established several house churches, which are growing rapidly, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Unfortunately, most Christians in Israel tend to be sycophantic rather than prophetic. As my host in Jerusalem explained, Christians living in Israel tend to be envious of the Jews, and want to be more like them, whereas God’s purpose is that the blessing of living in the Spirit would be so great that the Jewish people become envious of us.

We are getting close to the times when God is going to pour his Spirit out on the people of Israel. The Holy Spirit will do the tough stuff, but he will need Christians to help him. Christians in Israel should be forming spiritual commando armies to help him at this critical juncture in history. The going will be tough, but the result will be blessing for the entire world. I hope that some of the Christians with a passion for Israel will hear the voice of the Spirit and take up this call.

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