In September 2008, I led one of our tours to Israel. I was preaching in the Galilee to a group of believers from Papua New Guinea.
I read this verse from Genesis 12, where God speaks to Abram: “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (v. 3, NRSV).
The Papuans jumped out of their seats and began shouting for joy. They were the fulfillment of that verse. They were the families of the earth blessed through Abram.
Two miracles took place in 1967. The State of Israel held off six invading Arab armies and recaptured the city of Jerusalem in what became known as The Six-Day War. And it was the beginning of the Jesus Movement, also known as the Charismatic Revival. In the next 10 years, more than 1 million gave their lives to Jesus. Many of the messianic Jewish leaders today, including my wife and I, accepted their Messiah during this time.
Jesus spoke of many signs that would occur before the end of time. But one sign is unique to our day: The Jewish people are back in their Land, and Jerusalem is once again the capital of Israel.
In 1967 there were no messianic congregations in Israel. Today there are more than 150 in Israel and more than 500 worldwide. Twenty thousand Israelis profess Yeshua. More Jewish people have come to the Lord in the past 40 years than in the previous 2,000 years. The church today is more like the early church than any other time in history because there are Jews in the church.
The apostle Paul spoke of the Jewish people in his letter to the Romans: “But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! ... For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Rom. 11: 12,15, NIV).
Paul spoke prophetically of a day when Jewish people would return to their Messiah. If their rejection brought Gentiles to faith, then their acceptance would be life from the dead. That’s resurrection—revival! It is revelation of who God is; it is recognition of the One who became flesh, dwelt among us, died as a sacrifice for our sins and rose from the dead.
Israel is key to worldwide revival. Let’s not forget God’s plan from the beginning to bless all the families of the earth. The gospel was to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Rom 1:16, NKJV). It was given to Israel first and also to the nations. This is God’s plan for world missions.
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