Do Christians Properly Understand the Mystery Concerning Israel and the Church?
Note: As we quickly approach the last days before Yeshua/Jesus returns, the mystery to awaken and restore Israel into the family in the one new man, becomes paramount in God’s glory plan to establish His kingdom upon the Earth. In this light, the Holy Spirit is shifting His focus onto a very necessary spiritual restoration that must occur between Jew and Gentile members of the family of God, so that His end-time plan can be realized through us. We call this The Reconnection, where both groups are intricately linked and greatly in need of one another, yet presently, the family of God is quite divided and separate.
As a result, I am in the midst of a series called, “What Is the One New Man?” In these articles we will explore and re-examine the pertinent Scriptures on the one new man, as well as issues relating to Israel and the church, and we will interview leaders from both sides of the family to gain a better understanding. However, the main goal is to help bring the body of Messiah/Christ into a greater unity and depth of understanding of this mystery; not through a Gentile or Jewish lens, but rather through our Father’s eyes and heart, who longs for His family to be one and to be united into His end-time purposes and plans. In order for us to be mobilized us into the fray (John 17:23).
If you haven’t read part 1 and 2 of this article, which lays the foundation for a better understanding of Romans 11, please click here first for part 1 and here for part 2.
Romans 11 Continued … The Mystery
The unraveling of this mystery is hugely significant to our generation and those who tarry before the Lord returns; more now than ever before, in light of the timing (Rom. 11:25-27). This is the pinnacle of these writings in Romans concerning Israel and the church and it reveals three major happenings:
The lifting of the veil over the people of Israel
The fullness of the Gentile Harvest
Israel’s spiritual awakening.
Thus this final section of Scripture that the apostle Paul writes comes with a caution, so that we may not be ignorant or conceited, but also understand the significance of this time, as well as its relevance to us (verse 25). Here Paul encourages us in our role back toward the Jewish people that we should not run out of patience and kindness (verse 22), thinking that Israel’s judgment is final and continue to love them despite their rejection (verse 28), because ultimately when that time comes, the balance of Israel will be saved. They are the first-born in the family and they will be restored, as God’s gifts and call are irrevocable (verse 29).
In fact there are several cautions in Romans 11 to our Gentile family concerning their position toward the Jewish people in how they should act toward them, while the balance of Israel are still in a broken off state—”Do not consider yourself superior” (verse 18) and “Do not be arrogant” (verse 20). But if we have become conceited concerning Israel and the Jewish people that we would repent before it is too late. It is almost as if Paul knew that there would be a great gap of time before these things would happen; that the church would turn on Israel, thinking that it had fully replaced her. That he cautions his Gentile brothers and sisters and reminds them not to forget their humble beginnings as a wild olive shoot being grafted into the olive tree of Israel (verse 24).
I firmly believe that all that was written in Romans chapters 9 and 10 and the first part of 11, are to lay the foundation to help the Gentile part of the family understand this complexity of Israel’s plight and journey back to faith, because it is so challenging for us to process and comprehend. The balance of those who were called first were broken off because of unbelief, but would be restored and grafted back at the end. Here Paul tells us that Israel’s hardening is only temporary, and in part (for there was a remnant of Jews who would believe—Romans 11:1-6), until the full number of Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. In other words, Israel must be restored and we are not complete without them being grafted back into the olive tree, which would happen at the same time as the last great harvest of souls. For what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? (verse 15)
But where did Paul get this insight, aside from the guidance of the Holy Spirit? For at this time in his life, he could not have known the exact timing involved here for this to happen. Nor that it would take almost 2,000 years for these Scriptures to actually come to pass where the fullness of this mystery is now being revealed. I believe the answer to this question like so many others that the apostles faced, was revealed through the Hebrew Scriptures themselves, which was always their source for the answers they sought, as Yeshua/Jesus Himself had guided them into to confirm all truth. Please understand that there was no New Testament written at this point and these Jewish apostles were the lives of those who penned it.
“As it is written: ‘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'” (verse 26-27).
Paul was a scholar of Scripture, and He knew the Word of God and the covenants and promises that were given to Israel that were distinct to them as a people. And today, because of Paul’s quotation here in the New Testament, God has seen to it that every main section of Scripture properly testifies that despite Israel’s judgment and dispersion that He would ultimately lead them back to the land of Israel and then spiritually restore them.
Deuteronomy 30:4 in the Torah; Ezekiel 36:22-27 in the Prophets among numerous others and this quote in the New Testament in Romans, all speak of God’s covenant and promises solely to the people of Israel that can only be finally fulfilled through their spiritual awakening and restoration. Indeed Ezekiel tells us that it is not just for their sake, but rather for the sake of God’s holy name; that our Father’s words and promises are on the line. We make a grave mistake here to think that these promises and covenants relate to anything other than the physical seed of Israel, plus we would miss the whole purpose and meaning of Paul’s explanation here in Romans 11, that we would fully comprehend this mystery.
The Church’s Role
However, the fullness of the mystery is not complete; nor is the text, until we fully recognize our own unique role here in the church, which is to release the mercy of God back toward the Jewish people and here is the calling. “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” (verse 30-31). And have we not also been given the gospel to make Israel jealous? (verse 11).
For there is a vital connection for the body of Messiah/Christ to see during these days and a major role for us to play out, so the end may actually come that is different from what we have been taught up to this point. Similar if you like, to those generations when the gospel was first poured out to the Gentiles, except now the roles are reversed; whose understanding was also hidden from previous generations (Eph. 3:1-11).
There is a family circle that must be completed here, so the bride is prepared for His coming that re-includes the branches of Israel that have been broken off, plus those that are yet to be restored, which is the full understanding of this mystery, but also how we are associated to it. Just as Israel was used to bring us life through Yeshua/Jesus, so now in turn God’s children from the nations would be used to bring that life back to them. And in so doing, the natural outflow of this and our focus upon it, is the resurrection power to reach both groups, Israel’s spiritual awakening and the fullness of the Gentiles (verses 25-26); the very revival that the church is so hungry for.
The two are intricately linked together, which is why we must now reconnect spiritually to Israel, in order for this transaction to take place through us, because the church is not a separate entity, as it has been since Rome broke it away from its roots and heritage, but rather a commonwealth of Israel (Eph. 2:12-22). For the gospel was never just to the Jews, nor the Gentiles, but rather to both.
The Ezekiel Generation
I called my second book The Ezekiel Generation for a specific purpose, as it is grounded on Ezekiel 37:9-11, which speaks prophetically of Israel’s spiritual restoration. But it is not God who speaks to the breath, nor to the four winds to awaken Israel, rather He tells Ezekiel to do it. And if you will accept it, we (the end-time generations of the church) are the prophetic fulfillment of this Scripture. “So that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10). This is our intercessory role now for Israel: “Do not keep silent; give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a glory in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7). That His mercy that we have received from Him, would be released through us towards them, that they would come back to life to complete the family and ready us for His return. This is why Israel and their spiritual awakening are the golden key that unlocks the rest and one now that we must take hold of to fulfill our end-time destiny upon the earth.
Church, are you listening?
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.
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