Messianic Judaism and the Fulfillment of the Great Commission
13:40 min video – Dr Brad Long talking about why God is calling Christians and Messianic jews together to advance the Kingdom of God
Messianic Judaism and the Fulfillment of the Great Commission
by Dr. Brad Long and Rev. Steve Strickler
For years I have struggled to understand the role of the Jewish people who don’t acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah in God’s master redemptive plans. Indeed, more pressing is the question of Messianic Jews and Christians cooperating together to share the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In the last several weeks I have been joined by many of you in praying, “Father, Thy Kingdom Come. “ This has meant both intercession to advance the Gospel as well as to defeat demonic strongholds designed to block the Gospel’s advance. In the midst of this intercession, the Holy Spirit has pressed upon me the need for us to be joined by those to whom we have been grafted to form the Body of Christ, our Jewish brothers and sisters in Yeshua. Effectiveness and fuller authority in prayer, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me, would come as we sought to labor together.
I received a powerful word on this last year at the Evangelism Dunamis event in Michigan. At one point in prayer, the Holy Spirit took me into the heavenlies to engage a demonic anti-Gospel stronghold of Islam, apparently centered in Dearborn, Michigan. As I was leading the group to pray about this, the Holy Spirit clearly said, “You will not have the authority in the Name of Jesus Christ to break the power of the deception of Islam unless you are joined by Jews, my chosen people who know me as Messiah.”
Stunned by the clarity of revelation, I said “Ok, Lord, what do I do? After a moment, I asked the group “Is there anyone here who is Jewish?” Immediately a man stepped forward, “Yes, I am Jewish and believe that Jesus is the Messiah. He is my Savior and Lord, but I have not stopped being a Jew. I am still Jewish. This has been a source of great conflict for me!” I understood him. He was wondering how he could both love Jesus and remain Jewish. We spent a few minutes confessing to the Lord and each other our lack of understanding on this. Then, we united in prayer to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to break the stronghold of radical Islam intent on “Death to America and Death to Israel!” Holy Spirit power and unity filled our prayers! Afterward, the Jewish brother wondered aloud to me what might have happened had Christians and Jews been united in such prayer in the 1930’s. Could the evil of the Holocaust have been avoided?
I was struggling to understand. How are Christians to conceive of the role of the Jewish people in God’s redemptive purposes? Are the Jews no longer God’s chosen people? Have they been replaced by the Christian Church as the New Israel? If so, does that mean for Jews to be saved through Messiah Jesus, they must set aside their Jewishness? Or, were the Jews saved and brought into the Kingdom on the basis of the Old Covenant alone which means that they don’t need to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord? I have always had a great love of the Jewish people and so I hoped that they were in, with or without Jesus. But Jesus, who never stopped being Jewish, says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). So, coming to salvation apart from faith in Jesus appears not to work either! There, I have shared my inner struggles with you. Read on for Holy Spirit clarity!
On October 1st the lights went on for me. Two leaders of the Messianic Jewish movement represented by Tikkun International(Tikkun isHebrew for restoration), Ben Jester and David Rudolf, presented a program at the Community of the Cross. They walked us through Romans 11 and explained how Jewish people are coming to salvation in Jesus, while remaining Jewish. Their teaching explained things in ways that I had never fully grasped before. As I stood with them, I suddenly realized that I was experiencing the fulfillment of what Paul presents in Eph. 2:14-16.
“For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed.”
Together we are the “one new man out of two.” I do not become Jewish and Ben Jester does not have to become a Gentile Christian. Together by Jesus Christ we come to the long-awaited new reality, the hope of all people joined as one in the Kingdom of our Father, by faith in Jesus Christ.
Simon confessed the sins of Great Britain in its failure to fulfill the mandate given by the League of Nations to establish the Jewish homeland in Palestine (1). Simon, in great grief, told how his father had been on the British warship that had prevented Jews freed from the horrors of Nazi concentration camps from returning home to the Promised Land. Instead, they were forced into camps in Cypress and Malta.
This picture is a visual proof that the Lord is moving to bring both Jews and non-Jews together by the blood of the cross of Jesus Christ through whom is created the “one new man out of two.” The Jewish Messianic Movement emerged at the beginning of the Jesus and Charismatic movements of the 1960s. Actually it reemerged. For the first 300 years of the Church, Messianic Judaism flourished alongside the broad and ever-growing acceptance of the Gospel by Gentiles across the then-known world. In history, antagonism arose, remained, and eventually worsened to alienate Jewish and Gentile Christian communities one from another. Satan’s intention was to prevent the fulfillment of Romans 11. Throughout the centuries the devil has hoped to keep Jews and Christians at enmity. Praise the Lord!
The Holy Spirit is on the move to re-unite us.
A quick look at history is worthy of our time. In the Great Moravian Revival of the 1800s, Count Zinzendorf welcomed Jewish believers who had come to salvation by receiving Jesus as their Messiah. He wisely insisted that they not give up their Jewish heritage.
In the 1960s and 1970s, thousands of Jewish people came to know Jesus as their Messiah, Yeshua ha Mashiach. Jews for Jesus and Chosen People Ministries are two well-known groups reaching out to their people with the Gospel. Not confined to America, the Holy Spirit is moving around the world. He is moving powerfully in Israel! A few years ago there were only four Messianic Jewish congregations in Israel. Now there are over 100.
Where will all this take us? Please pray for this growing connection for PRMI. No doubt, our Father intends for us to build on this foundation.
As you who are acquainted with the ministries of PRMI know, the Holy Spirit is busy deepening our commitment to His move in China to advance the Kingdom of God. What joy to be invited into two great streams of Holy Spirit ministry: one advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through China to Jerusalem (read more about the Back to Jerusalem movement HERE), and the other connecting with the Jewish people, which also takes us to Jerusalem!
1 The formal objective of the League of Nations Mandate system was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, “until such time as they are able to stand alone.”The mandate document formalized the division of the British protectorates Palestine – to include a national home for the Jewish people – under direct British rule, and Transjordan, an Emirate governed semi-autonomously from Britain under the rule of the Hashemite family. ( Wikipedia)