Apostolic Vision for Israel and the Church
©March 15, 2009 Asher Intrater
Our vision (and hopefully yours) is to fulfill the great commission given by Yeshua (Jesus). "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of Me in Jerusalem, all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" - Acts 1:8.
There is an obvious connection between the work of the Holy Spirit and the mission of world evangelism. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek" – Isaiah 61:1. Some want to have charismatic experiences but not be involved in personal evangelism. Others want to run evangelism campaigns like a business without the supernatural experiences of the Holy Spirit. Neither is correct. The two go together.
These two great mandates – Holy Spirit and Evangelism – are connected to a third mandate, the "Israel" mandate. Acts 1:8 was given in response to the apostles' question in Acts 1:6 – "Will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" The early Jewish disciples had the timing wrong. It wasn't to be at that time (1st century), but it is to be in our time (21st century). Yeshua was destined at His birth to be king of Israel (Matthew 2:6, Luke 1:32, John 18:37), and He will return at the 2nd Coming to fulfill that destiny.
Restoring the kingdom to Israel will not happen without Holy Spirit revival and world evangelism. Yeshua's kingdom is from "Jerusalem" all the way to the "ends of the earth." Holy Spirit baptism, world evangelism and kingdom restoration go together. The prayer movement, the missions' movement and the messianic movement form a three fold cord.
Without the restoration of Israel one cannot understand the end times. As Yeshua ascended from earth to heaven from Jerusalem, so will He return to Jerusalem. "This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go up into heaven." – Acts 1:11. His feet will soon again stand on the Mount of Olives: Zechariah 14:4 – "In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east."
Yeshua is head of the Church and king of Israel. His kingdom is connected to the restoration of both Israel and the Church. Some Jews want the restoration of Israel without the Church, and some Christians want the restoration of the Church without Israel, but you can't have one without the other.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers us for world evangelism (Acts 1:8) and world revival (Acts 2:17). Revival and evangelism produce an international community of dedicated and worshiping saints (Revelation 7:4-9). This glorious community of saints is called "The Bride". When she is ready for Yeshua's return, He will come. Revelation 19:7 – "The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready."
The community of saints in Revelation 7 is divided into two distinct groups: one is Israeli (verse 4); the other is International (verse 9).
Revelation 7:4 – I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
Revelation 7:9 – "Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne."
We call this the "dual restoration of Israel and the Church." The remnant of Israel and the International Church are united in one spiritual body. Yet Scriptures describe them in two identifiable groups. The Bride of Messiah is made up of two camps joined into one, like the Bride in the Song of Solomon.
"What would you envision in the Shulamite? – Like the dance of the two camps" – Song of Solomon 6:13.
These two parts, Jew and Gentile, are brought into unity by becoming the "one new man" – Ephesians 2:15, and by being grafted into the same "olive tree" – Romans 11:17.
Romans 11 speaks not only of two kinds of restoration, but of two kinds of fullness - one for Israel (verse 12) and one for the Gentiles (verse 25).
Romans 11:12 – "How much more will their (Israel's) fullness be."
Romans 11: 25 – "The fullness of the Gentiles will come in."
Israel's restoration comes in two stages, first physical, then spiritual (I Corinthians 15:46). The current state of Israel is only a partial restoration, not the fullness. The spiritual part of the restoration of Israel is the messianic remnant within Israel. This remnant will continue to grow until it reaches the 144,000; and finally it will reach its fullness when "All Israel shall be saved" – Romans 11:26.
The fullness of Israel is the national revival that will soon take place. However, that revival is dependent on the intercession and witness of the international Church. It is the fullness of the Church that brings about the fullness of Israel. "Blindness has happened in part to Israel UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, and so all Israel will be saved."
If the fullness of the Church brings about the fullness of Israel, what will the fullness of Israel bring? – The resurrection of the dead. Romans 11:15 – "What will their acceptance be but life from the dead?" The resurrection of the dead takes place at the 2nd Coming of Yeshua and at the beginning of His Millennial reign.
We could summarize Yeshua's vision for Israel and the Church as: 1. Holy Spirit Baptism, 2. World Evangelism, 3. Fullness of the International Church, 4. Restoration of Israel, 5. Yeshua's Millennial Kingdom.
Prayer Request: In a surprising move, prime minister elect Benjamin Netanyahu met late Saturday night with Kadima party chairwoman, Tsipi Livne, in a last ditch effort to form a unity government. Pray for God's will to be done in the coalition and in the appointment of the cabinet positions.