Rabbi Schneider - How Does God Feel About Israel?
On of the problems we face as a church today is we have spiritualized, God's call upon Israel. I want to talk about the plan of God for Israel now. Many in the church think that Israel is no longer relevant. They spiritualize the Bible as it relates to Israel. Consider, for example, the book of Deuteronomy 7:6, where the Lord says here to Israel, "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth". I want to take a step back. Let's let the language of the Lord's tongue sink in here for a second. First of all, the Lord said to Israel, "You are a holy people to the Lord your God". And the Lord continued there to say that God's call upon Israel and their destiny was unique out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.
Now many of us know the word "holy" comes from the root Hebrew word "kadosh". And kadosh means to be separate, to be unique, to be set apart, to be different, something gets cut out or carved out. So something that is holy is different than everything else. So the Lord is saying about Israel, "You are a unique people to me unlike any other people". And if we look back, we can see that Israel has played an incredibly... you can't even have words to describe the unique set apart role they've played. The revelation of monotheism to the world that there's only one God, it spread to the planet from Israel. The ten commandments, the bedrock of Western civilization, has come into the planet through Israel.
The prophetic writings came into the planet through Israel. And the Messiah Himself, Jesus, came into the world through Israel as a Jew. And Jesus still sits in heaven, according to the Book of Revelation, as the lion from the tribe of Judah, and He's coming back, according to His own words, as the offspring of David. So Israel is very unique. And when I say that the church has spiritualized Israel, what I mean by that is that many in the church today are unmoved by the scriptures that pertain to Israel's destiny. They don't understand Israel's relevance. They understand the Bible talks a lot about Israel, but they relegate that to the past. They think that "we're the church now". And because Jews don't believe in Jesus in the majority sense of the word, well, they don't enjoy this same relationship that I do with God, and I have a destiny that they don't have.
But to think like this, beloved, is missing a huge part of the equation, because Israel still has a very unique role and destiny to play in the Lord's plan of redemption. Now, let me start by saying this. There's always been a remnant of Jewish people that have come to faith. But we saw a mass number of Jewish people come to faith in the late 60s and the early 70s to the mid-70s in what is oftentimes called the Jesus revolution. During this time of the late 60s into the 70s, there were many, many Jewish people that came to faith. And as a result of that, a unique entity was created. It was called the Messianic synagogue or the Messianic movement. And what happened was, previous to this movement, Jewish people would come to faith here and there just like the apostle Paul. The apostle Paul, you know, he was looking around and he wasn't seeing many Jewish people coming to faith during his lifetime.
And the Lord said to Paul, "Listen, Paul, I've got a remnant of Jewish people on the planet that do believe in me". The Lord said to Paul, "It's just like it was Paul in the days of Elijah". God said to Paul, "Paul, remember Elijah? He thought he was the only one in the planet that was faithful to me," the Lord was saying. But God said back to Elijah when Elijah said to the Lord, "Lord, look, they've torn down your altars, they killed your prophets, and I alone am left". And then Paul says, "But what was God's divine response to Elijah and Elijah called out to the Lord"? God said back to Elijah, "No, Elijah, I've got 7,000 that I've reserved for Myself that have not bowed to the knee of Baal". Paul said so too at the present time there is a remnant of Jewish people that have been chosen and saved in the grace of God.
So there's always been a remnant. From the time of Jesus up until today, there's always been a remnant. But what happened in the late 60s and 70s was suddenly there was almost an explosion of Jewish people that came to faith. Still a huge minority, but compared to what it was, it was a massive number of Jewish people that had come to faith in a small amount of time during this Jesus revolution period. And as a result of all these Jewish people coming to faith in Yeshua, the Messianic synagogue or the Messianic movement came into being.
And the problem that the Messianic synagogue and Messianic movement were endeavoring to solve was this: Jewish people now coming to faith in masses compared to earlier times, they wanted to still live like Jews. They didn't want to give up their culture. They didn't want to stop celebrating Passover. They didn't want to stop going to synagogue on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. They wanted to remain true to their identity as Jews. So as a result, the Messianic movement and synagogue was formed, where the Messianic movement created this entity called a messianic synagogue which allowed Jewish people to come and worship Yeshua in a way that was culturally sensitive. They could believe in Jesus and still live like Jews. They could believe in Jesus and still celebrate Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah at their synagogue. They could still have Passover in their homes and have all the other Jewish believers that were part of their fellowship to come and attempt to, you know, be involved in each other's homes for the Passover celebration.
So it was an incredible move of the Lord. And we believe that there's going to be another mass wave of enlightenment amongst the Jewish people where tens of thousands, more even than that, of Jewish people are going to come to faith around the same time in Yeshua, and that is going to usher in the Lord's return. You see, if I can take a step back for a second, it's just important to kind of point this out, what happened in the lives of many Jewish believers before the 60s and 70s, before the Messianic movement was created was a Jewish person here and there would come to faith in Jesus and then they would be told, "Well, you know, you need to go to church". And then the Jewish person would go to church, and unfortunately, too often what would happen is they would go to a church and the church would tell them, "Listen, now that you're a believer in Jesus, you need to stop living like a Jew".
If they were keeping kosher, they were told, "You should stop eating kosher. You don't have to celebrate Passover anymore. You should celebrate Easter". And they tried to basically strip them of their Jewish identity. And that was such an err in the mind of the church to think that Jews should no longer live like Jews. Paul said that each man should remain in the state that he was called. If you are called as a Jew, still walk like a Jew. Not as one that's under the law, one that has liberty in the spirit, but you don't stop being Jewish. So I'm simply saying that this is a huge mystery. It's the mystery of the church and Israel. And we're going to dwell deeper into this mystery in this series because I want you to understand that Israel is not just important to us because of what God did through Israel in the past.
There is still a modern prophetic call upon Israel, and what happens to Israel will directly affect you. Because when Israel comes to faith in mass, Paul tells us that's going to result in life from the dead for the entire church. So let's move now into the book of Romans as we get a greater understanding of this by looking at the heart of the Apostle Paul. I'm looking in the book of Romans now. I'm going to chapter 9. I'm going to be reading there, verses number 1 through 4. The grass withers and the flowers fade, beloved ones, but the word of the Lord abides forever. Hear the Word of God. Paul says this: "I'm telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit..."
I want you to see here that Paul's about to share his burden. He's about to share his heart. Notice that he says that his conscience is testifying with him, get this now, in the Holy Spirit. That tells me that the burden of Paul here is also the burden of the Holy Spirit. This is not just Paul's unique burden as an individual; Paul is sharing with us the burden of the Holy Spirit as well. "I'm telling you the truth in Christ, I'm not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Ruach, the breath of God, the Ruach HaKodesh in the Holy Spirit".
And here he continue in verse two, "...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," get this now, "who are Israelites..." So Paul is just breaking in his heart because the majority of his people are not believing. He continues on, "...to whom belongs the adoption as sons and daughters, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the temple and the promises".
So Romans 9 begins and continues with the unveiling of Paul's desire to see Israel saved. Now, there's probably not anybody that's listening to me right now that considers himself a believer in Yeshua. Probably not one of you would say, I don't want to be like Paul. We all want to be like Paul. I mean, he wrote most of the New Testament. He said, "Follow me as I follow Christ". So we all want to be like Paul. So we should consider if we want to be like Paul, we should want to have Paul's heart for Israel. And I right now speak over you a spirit of revelation and release and impartation of God's love for Israel into your soul and into your mind. Father, we ask you to give us your heart's desire and passion for your first covenant people, and that will give us revelation to understand their role in Your plan.
Let's continue on Romans chapter 10. So all of Romans 9 is really about God's plan for Israel-whole chapter. Now we go to chapter 10. First couple of verses in Romans 10. Here we go. Paul is speaking, "Brothers and sisters, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation". So get this now. Paul is not like most of the church today that could care less about Israel's salvation. Most of the church today... I don't think I should probably use the word "most". But many in the church today, they're not concerned about Israel. They could care less about Israel. In fact, many in the church today don't even want to hear about Israel's unique role in the plan of God. They don't want to understand that Israel has a forefront place to play in the future. Because many in the church feel like we're the important ones, we're the special ones.
Many leaders feel like Israel lost their place. I'm the special one. Now I'm the leader. So they don't want to see Israel take their place. They don't want to see Israel as the head of the nations anymore, because they feel like that is going to take away from their place. And that's very true. What I'm describing for you is a very real dilemma. Many leaders in the church they poopoo Israel, they push Israel off to the side. They don't want to hear that Israel has an important role in God's heart right now. Because they think that if Israel has an important role, that some of that takes away from their role as the leaders. But we need to understand Israel does have a forerunner role. They are still unique in the earth. They will be in the millennial period, they will be in the New Kingdom, but Israel's unique role as the head of the nations does not take anything away from anybody because in heaven, everyone's going to feel like they're God's favorite.
And any role that Israel plays will be played as a servant, a servant to the nations so there'll be no glorying in ourselves, neither individually or nationally, because everyone's going to be a servant, everyone's going to feel... Each one of you, we'll all feel like we're God's favorite. We're all going to feel perfectly loved and affirmed. No one's going to resent anybody. No one's going to be jealous of the neighbor. And so we should not be threatened by Israel's role as the chief of the nations in the age to come because we know that God is going to reign from Israel. Okay? We're gonna go to the city whose gates are inscribed with the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 Jewish apostles, and Jesus is going to reign from that place as the lion from the tribe of Judah and the offspring of David. It's going to be a very Jewish place.
Paul once again says, "My heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation". And then he says this, "For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge". What is Paul doing? He is affirming the zealous, the passion and the zeal that the Jewish people of his time had for God. They were sincere, they were serious, but He said it wasn't in accordance with knowledge.
I know that when I go to Israel and I go to the Western Wall, and there's a little room off the Western Wall where Jewish men go to pray, and there's a reverence in that place. And you could see that they carry the fear of the Lord because the anointing that came upon Israel at Mount Sinai when God appeared in glory, and fire, and smoke when the mountain quaked and the Jewish people were terrified, and they asked Moses to talk to God himself because they were so afraid to hear God's voice, that fear of the Lord, beloved one, that came upon Israel 3,500 years ago, it's still upon the Jewish people today. It's real. But Paul said despite their zeal, they missed something. They missed the fact that God has come to dwell inside us. And this can only happen when we received Him through the person of Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach.
There's an anointing on Israel, but it's the difference between what Jesus said when Jesus said, "I am with you. My spirit is with you," He said, "But will be in you". The anointing is on the Jewish people. But when we receive Messiah, the anointing comes from the outside to the inside. So Paul says, "I bear them witness. They've got a zeal. There's something there. It's a holy passion". But if we miss Yeshua, beloved, we missed the fulfillment of what all the scriptures point to. So Paul's heart is breaking because he sees the sincerity of his people. He sees their zeal, he sees their intention, but unfortunately, without Yeshua, it's unable to bring us in to the type of relationship with God that is craved deep inside the human heart. Despite Israel's national rejection of Messiah, what does God say about them?
Paul continues in Romans 11. Hear what he says in Romans 11:1, "God has not rejected His people". God has not rejected His people, beloved. Gods call upon Israel is irrevocable. And when I continue in on this series, we're going to pick up here. If God's role upon Israel is irrevocable, what does that mean? What is the call upon Israel? And what place are they playing in redemptive history today for you and I? And what role will they play in the future? It's important for us to understand because we want to get into agreement with the Holy Spirit. We began today's broadcast by talking about how Paul cried out, his conscience testified with him in the Holy Spirit. Paul had a burden for Israel that was in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
And I pray, beloved one, for you and I, that God would give us that same burden for Israel's salvation. Because the Scripture tells us when Israel comes to faith, when there's a mass of Jewish people that come to faith in Yeshua, it's going to be like life from the dead for the entire church. You know what that means? We're going to be blessed. There's going to be revival on the planet. The glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea at Yeshua's return. And Yeshua will return when there's a say critical mass of Jewish people that are calling out, Baruch haba b'shem Adonai (Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord). Peace to you, and Shalom.