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GOD’S PLAN FOR THE CHURCH AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE

By Susan Nikirk

PART THREE

IN THE FULLNESS OF TIMES

The heart of Father God is Restoration with mankind. As I write this third article, I recall my own restoration, as I searched for God, and eventually found Him, through His son, The Messiah. Although raised Jewish, I was saved in an evangelical church, and for many years afterwards, every church I was involved in, including my bible school, tore me away from my Jewish roots, and never taught on them. I am grateful to the Gentile church, their teachings, and my love for my Christian brothers and sisters is great. In the last few years, the Holy Spirit has been having me study on the Jewish roots of my faith in Messiah, and I discovered many people throughout the world are being led the same way.

In the last article, "One New Man", we have come to understand the importance of the joining of the Jew and Gentile in the light of God’s plan, and we have also read about the tactics of the enemy to keep these two people groups divided. None of us has the entire revelation of the plan of God, I will continue to write a small part of what the Spirit of God is saying to His Church today, regarding the coming together of the Church and the Jewish people; "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Messiah both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him." Eph.1:10

There is a richness in the heritage of the Jewish roots that Christians are missing, and the Holy Spirit is trying to bring this fullness into the Church today. This does not mean we go back to being under the law, it means we come to understand it and discover what Jesus meant in Mt. 5:17, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." First we must come to a true knowledge of the meaning of some of the words that we have heard for hundreds of years that have totally influenced us. Basically we have been brain washed. As I mentioned in my last article, the word law, is not a negative word, it refers to the Hebrew word Torah, which is the first five books of the Bible; and it means teachings or instructions from God. The word fulfil, means to clarify, give the true and perfect meaning of scripture, to perfect a foundation on which to build further. Jesus is saying, He came to bring complete understanding to The Torah, and to show how the teachings are to be acted upon. The one jot or one tittle is actually the smallest Hebrew letter, called a yud; so here He is saying that all of the Hebrew words would come into clarification.

fullness3.jpg (27007 bytes)During the time Jesus came, the word of God had taken on other meanings. There were so many teachers and scribes that had written down many additional explanations and rules from the original teachings of God, creating different denominations of Judaism, that people didn’t know what to believe. Jesus came to put the Word of God back into divine order, because people didn’t recognize or know God; they had forgotten the promises of God in many areas of their life. We must also be aware that when Jesus said, He was here to fulfil, to clarify the Word of God, there was no New Testament; He is referring to bringing understanding and clarity to the Old Testament. If the Church does not know the Old Testament how can they know what Jesus came to fulfil? Basically much of the New Testament is an explanation of The Old Testament. Many people today can’t understand what is being taught because they have no knowledge of the New Testament much less the Old Testament.

Just as it was in Jesus day, so today The Word still has not been fulfilled; it hasn’t been brought to complete understanding. We read in Romans 11:25 "For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in". When Israel became a nation in 1948, and when the Jewish people recaptured Jerusalem in 1967, we began to see the beginning of this scripture being fulfilled, as Jewish people began to return to their homeland, and the Messianic Jewish movement began to spring up again. The Apostle Paul is referring to a mystery, that he didn’t want the Gentiles to be ignorant of, since they have a part to play in the restoration of Israel and the Jewish people, and the return of the Messiah. Most of the references I have heard regarding the fullness of the Gentiles have to do only with salvation, but there is more to this scripture than that. It is when the Gentiles come into the understanding of the Word of God in its fullness, which will happen when they come to recognize, acknowledge, and understand their Jewish roots. In Romans 11, Paul warned the Gentile believers about boasting over the natural branches, and forgetting their roots. The Church over centuries has added all types of foreign customs to the original faith, making Christianity look like something totally different than what it originally was. This has drawn the Jewish people far from the knowledge of their Jewish Messiah, since they no longer see a Jewish Jesus in today’s Church. As the Church comes to embrace its roots again, this will help to lift the blindness that in part has happened to Israel and the Jewish people, which in turn will help to usher in the return of The Lord.

Our Messiah, Jesus didn’t come to start a new religion, He came to bring understanding to the Word of God, and to teach how it is to be properly acted upon. He did not come to do away with the Torah (teachings). Originally the words, Old Testament did not exist, it was only known, and still is today in Jewish synagogues as the Tanach (The Scriptures), which included The Torah (The first five books of Moses), The Neviim (The Prophets), The Kesuvim (The Writings). Jewish people consider The Tanach, not only as a book of law, or of history, but as a book of life. As it says in Psalm 119:165, peace comes from loving the law (teachings). When you put the word old before testament, it seems like something we don’t need, and unfortunately most of the Church today thinks they don’t need it, or the Church interprets it wrong. We need to imagine what it would have been like if all our bible translations would have had the original meanings of the words, like Torah instead of law, Yeshua instead of Jesus, Miryam instead of Mary, Ya’akov instead of James, Yochanan instead of John, Sha’ul instead of Paul. What if our New Testament had been written with all the original translations? Would we see a different book, one that is Jewish? Would we see a Jewish Jesus or a Christian Jesus?

fullness4.jpg (14431 bytes)Romans 3:1-2 states, "What advantage then has the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God." In the Vine’s dictionary it defines oracles as all the written utterances of God through OT writers. We also read in Romans 3, that we are only righteous through faith in the shed blood of Messiah; not by the law (The Torah-teachings). By these verses, many people believe they can disregard the law (Torah); yet Romans 3:31 states, "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."

In Malachi 4:5-6, it says that the prophet Elijah will be sent before the return of the Lord, and that he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Recently, I have personally witnessed a turning of fathers to children and vice versa. This is a prophetic sign of something much greater that is happening throughout the Church. In Matthew 17:11, Yeshua said, "Elijah truly shall come first, and restore all things." There is a spirit of Elijah moving within The Body of Messiah to learn about their Jewish roots. Most of the heroes whom we call Fathers of the faith of Christianity are Jewish people: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Elijah, and Moses. Then we have Our Messiah Yeshua. He was born into a Jewish family, celebrated all the Jewish feasts, worshiped in the synagogue, wore a tallit, publicly read from the Torah, The Prophets, and The Writings, and preached about The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To fully understand Yeshua, we must understand His Jewish roots. Many times in life, we must look back in order to see where we are going, this doesn’t mean we go backwards. It is like being in a rowboat, where you are facing backwards, yet rowing the oars and moving forwards. The truth is that Christianity is deeply rooted in Jewish life, beliefs, and heritage; and is destined to share a common future. The plot of Satan to deprive the Church of its relationship with the Jewish people has for centuries prevented the Church from experiencing the "rich root of the olive tree." (Romans 11:17) The Church took on a totally different appearance and ways from the early believers who were all Jewish; which resulted in severing of relationship with the Jewish people. The Church made it impossible for Jews to believe in Messiah Yeshua and still maintain their Jewish identity. This is the reason it has been so difficult to reach Jewish people, since they no longer see or hear the original "Jewish" gospel of their own Messiah. The Church will fulfill Romans 11:11 of making the Jew jealous, when the Christians once again begin to recognize the Jewishness of their own faith, then the Jew will be provoked to study the Scriptures for themselves to see if Yeshua is the Messiah. According to Acts 3:21, the heavens have received The Messiah Yeshua, and are retaining Him until the times of complete restoration of all things that God spoke by the mouth of all His holy prophets from ages past. There are many restorations that must take place, one of them is the need for the Church to once again embrace its roots.

fullness2.jpg (7332 bytes)"Thus says the Lord of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." Zech. 8:23 The words, shall take hold in the Hebrew Lexicon mean "to be bound fast, to be attached, to support, to preserve", and the word skirt "an edge or extremity of a garment, a corner or loose flowing end". It is known throughout Judaism, and was a command of God in Numbers 15:37-40, that the children of Israel wear a garment with four or more corners and must attach fringes (tzitzis) to each corner. This is and has been a sign of the Jew’s allegiance to God. The fringes represent the 613 commands of the Torah (instructions) from God, and serve as a constant reminder to be obedient to all His commands. We see in the above scripture that ten Gentiles will attach themselves to one Jew and bind themselves to the Jewish root and ways. Much like Ruth said to Naomi, "Where you go I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people, and your God my God". The Spirit of God wants His Church to begin attaching themselves to their Jewish roots. So you might be asking, how can we begin to know our roots? What can we do? We can start with what God ordained from the beginning, "The Moadim - The Appointed Times"!

Next In The Series: "Moadim - The Appointed times"  Go There >>

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