Rabbi Schneider - The Significance of Israel
How important is Israel, both the nation and the people of Israel, right now, today, and going into the future? You see, many of us have spiritualized God's call upon Israel. We think somehow that the promises that once pertained to Israel now are simply given to the Church. Some of us have been convinced through osmosis that since the Jewish people, by and large, rejected Yeshua that somehow now the promises that God once made to them no longer belong to them, but now they're simply the inheritance of the church. I want to examine that proposition today. Myself being Jewish, the Lord even had to wake me up in terms of how important Israel is to Him today.
What I mean by that is this. Some years back, probably 15, 20 years ago, I really wanted to go to Israel. I was planning on going, but I didn't feel that I could afford it at the time. During this time of wanting to go to Israel, but feeling I couldn't afford it, I had an encounter with the Lord one night. And on this particular night, I found myself in a vision of the night looking down at planet earth from outer space much like you would see pictures from a space shuttle or that an astronaut would take when they're out in space. You know, they get off the earth and the earth becomes smaller, smaller, smaller, and eventually, they can look down upon the entire planet from outer space, still seeing the oceans and the bodies of water and different areas of the earth that are more green than others. That's what I saw. I saw earth from outer space, the entire planet.
On top of the globe, on top of the earth in this vision of the night, beloved one, was a pillar, a round sphere that extended off the top of the earth up into what I'm describing as heavenly places, way up into space, both physically, but also I felt a spiritual glory. This pillar, once again, is extending off the planet up into the heavens, and on top of this sphere, on top of this sphere that extended from the earth into the heavenly realm was Israel. And I felt the glory of God. The Lord showed me in that vision of the night that Israel was connected to His heart like no other graphical place on the planet. It stunned me to realize how exalted Israel was on the earth in God's heart. The role of Israel is not just something that was, it's something that is in God's heart and in the plan of redemption.
As a result of that marked experience, I immediately made plans to go to Israel for my first time. And I don't even know how many times I've been there anymore. I stopped counting. You see, Israel is not just a place that was important. It's a place that is just as important today. And you're going to see... It's going to stun you how important Israel and the Jewish people are to God's plan that connects to you. If you're a Gentile, it has relevance for you in the future. Hear what I just said. I said you're gonna be stunned when we've understood more fully the role that Israel has now and in the future and how Israel's role will affect and bless you.
You see, many don't understand how God's purpose for Israel will result in blessing for the entire world. In a few moments, I'm going to begin to walk you through some scriptures. And one of the scriptures that we're going to get to, if not today, on our broadcast when we pick up on this series, is that God said if the Gentile was blessed when Israel rejected the Gospel, how much more will the Gentile be blessed when Israel receives the Gospel? Paul said it's going to be life from the dead for you. So we're going to get to that, but I'm getting ahead of myself. And so I have a friend, to illustrate my point that so many of us don't realize how important Israel is to the heart of God, and to us to the Gentile church as well.
To illustrate this, I have a friend in ministry that oftentimes makes product available to the people that are in connection with his ministry. And he shared with me that when he offers products on healing, the products they sell right off the shelf. If he offers products on how to operate in the gifts of the Spirit, products go right off the shelf. But when he offers products on Israel and the importance of standing with Israel, oftentimes, very, very few people respond. You see, the church oftentimes does not understand how the fulfillment of Israel's destiny will result in life from the dead for the entire planet. And my purpose in this series is to help bring us all into a greater revelation of this and coming into a greater revelation of this, that we will stand with God's purpose for Israel in the earth because the Lord needs the church to be a beacon that is standing with Israel. Because Jesus said He will not return until there is a critical mass of Jewish people that are calling out, "Baruch haba B'shem, Adonai", (Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord).
Church, did you hear what I just said? Yeshua it will not return until there's a critical mass of Jewish people that have come to faith in Him and are calling out to Him to return. So before we get into many of the scriptures that I'm going to walk through with you today, I want to first of all talk about one other note. Many times people in the church are taught that, once again, the blessing that was once on Israel has now been transferred to the church. They've spiritualized the place of Israel. Many even look down on Israel. They say that the Jewish people because they did not believe Jesus, they no longer have a relationship with God, and all the promises that were once made to Israel now have been taken away from Israel and given to the church. Many of you know that that's called replacement theology. It's a huge error.
I want you to consider something with me. Many of us know the Lord's Prayer, oftentimes called the Disciples' Prayer as well in the book of Matthew, where Jesus taught us how to pray. And He said, "When you pray, pray in this way: Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Let's listen again. Jesus said, "When you pray, pray in this way: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, the physical earth, as it is in Heaven". Think this through for me. When we're speaking about the kingdom coming to earth as it is in heaven, what we're actually praying for is the theocratic governmental reign of the God of Israel through Jesus on the earth.
When we say "Thy kingdom come," what we're actually praying for is the government of God to reign upon the planet. The prophetic writing speak much about this time when the lion will lay down with the lamb, when everyone will live in peace, where there'll be no more weapons of war, that righteousness and justice will reign on the planet. That the Creator of the universe that created humankind, that created the trees, the butterflies, the plants, the bees, the giraffes, the hippos, the Creator of all that we experience on this planet is going to break into the earth and the planet that he created, and He's going to take up His rightful place and reign.
Right now we have mass chaos and anarchy because the Creator is not exerting His full sovereignty into the earth. But He's not going to let it go on like this forever. Soon Yeshua will manifest into the earth first being made visible at the Mount of Olives in Israel, and then the government of Yahweh will extend all around the planet and the king will take His rightful place. So when we pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," what we're actually praying for beloved ones, is the reign of Yahweh God on planet earth. And the scriptures have much to say about what it's going to look like when the Creator is writing on the planet. The Scriptures tell us, number one, that at His manifestation, the place that will first be hit by it is Israel. In fact, the Bible says that the Mount of Olives will split. This is the same place that Yeshua ascended to heaven from, we read in the book of Acts chapter 1.
That the same place that Yeshua ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives is going to be the place on the earth's atmosphere that's going to be first hit with His coming. And when He comes, the Scripture says, the word will go forth from Zion, from Israel, and it will cover the entire planet, even as the waters cover the sea. So when we're praying the Lord's Prayer, "Thy kingdom come," what we're actually praying is for the governmental reign of the Lord on earth which will be from Jerusalem. The Lord tells us that in that day that He sets up His throne on the planet, He will rain from Israel. And the Bible says, "And any that are left from all the nations that stood with Him will go from year to year to Israel to Jerusalem to worship Him during the Feast of Tabernacles".
So I want you to understand this is a Jewish thing. And we want the Lord to return. I want you to understand that when He does return, you're going to experience a very, very Jewish thing. That's why He's going to set up the capital city in Israel, the New Jerusalem that we read about in the book of Revelation chapter 21, and the gates of New Jerusalem during the theocratic reign of God upon the earth, the gates of New Jerusalem, John tells us in the Book of Revelation, will be inscribed with the 12 tribes of Israel. Capital city... If you're a Gentile listening to me today. Yeshua has now returned to the planet, He's reigning from Israel, He's reigning from the capital city, New Jerusalem, and the gates of this capital city will be inscribed with what? The names of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 Jewish apostles.
So we need to get in harmony with the heart of God. Paul said God has not rejected His people. The gift of call of God upon Israel, the Scripture says, is irrevocable. So you and I want to get into alignment with God's heart. Now, I am not defending every action that the nation of Israel takes, neither am I defending the behavior of every individual Jew. Because it's not about humankind. It's about God's call. You see, the gift and call of God are irrevocable. And it's not about the deeds that we have done in righteousness, but it's about His mercy. So I am not defending every action that Israel has ever taken, neither am I, once again, defending the personality traits or the behavioral patterns or the decisions that every single Jewish person has made. The Jewish people are uniquely gifted people.
And sometimes their gifts and talents have been used for incredible good on the planet. At other times, perhaps gifts and talents have been used that resulted in, some would argue, harm to people. But there's no denying that there is something very unique and powerful and special upon the Jewish people and upon the nation of Israel. And so what we're going to be doing here, beloved, in today's broadcast and in the other episodes in this series is we're going to be looking at the Scriptures in relationship to what they teach about Israel.
Now, let me make this comment before I walk us through the portion of the word of God that I want to go to today. The nation of Israel that was birthed in 1948 when the nation was born again in a day, modern Israel, still looks very much different than what Israel is going to look like when their God is fully reigning through it. In fact, when the nation of Israel became a state again in 1948, there was a big argument as to whether they can include the name of God in the Declaration of Independence because so many of these pioneers and these forerunners that is associated with the Zionistic movement that was responsible in large measure for the rebirth of the nation in 1948, many of these founders were atheist.
And so there was a big debate as the nation was being birthed in 1948 as to whether they could even include the name God in the Declaration of Independence. And so they compromised, and they simply refer to the Lord as the Rock of Israel. And so I'm simply saying that the nation as it stands today still looks very much different than what it's going to look like at Yeshua's return. He is going to completely recreate and redefine what Israel looks like. This is why many in the ultra-orthodox Jewish community don't even support the modern state of Israel. They say that the modern state of Israel is the result of man's effort and it's not the result of the prophecies being fulfilled. Because they say the prophecies will only be fulfilled when Messiah comes.
Now personally I support the modern state of Israel today, but I also believe that it's going to look far different at Yeshua's return. And He's going to recreate it. It's going to look like what the prophets said it should look like. Let's begin today, as we go into the Word of God, by looking at Yeshua's words in Matthew 23:39. The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord abides forever. I want to set up the context for you. Yeshua is speaking with His disciples, and by and large, the nation has rejected Him. Jesus got into further discussion about the temple. And He said to the Jewish people, He said, "Because you didn't recognize the time of your visitation," he said, "Not one stone will be left standing upon the other," referring to the grandeur of the great temple that stood there.
He prophesied its destruction. And He said it was because they didn't recognize the time of their visitation. And then He further went on, and He said this, "For I say to you, from now on, you will not see me until you say, 'Baruch haba B'shem, Adonai (Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord).'" In other words, Jesus is saying, "I'm about to ascend to heaven, you won't be able to see Me, and in fact, you're not going to see Me until you're calling out for Me to return". Just as John spoke about in the book of Revelation. At the very end, he said, "May the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!'" And a key element to Yeshua's return is the Jewish remnant that has received the Messiah Yeshua calling out for Him to return.
Now, as I continue this series, we're going to be going to the book of Romans. I'm just going to speak one word here from Romans 9 beginning in verse 1. Listen what Paul said, the great Jewish Apostle Saul. He said, "I'm telling the truth in Christ. I am not lying. My conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites..." Paul is going to go through three chapters: Romans 9:10 and 11 talking about his burden for Israel. What we're going to find is the book of Romans is not just about how to get saved. The Book of Romans reveals to us God's ongoing present passion for Israel and how important their coming to faith is in the Lord's overall plan of redemption.