Gentile Church's Debt to Israel is Coming Due
by Ben Peters
"Don't underestimate the importance of this trip," I cautioned my fellow-travelers en route to the land of the Bible. God had been speaking and divinely orchestrating this band of thirty-seven prophetic warriors, each of whom had felt called to go and fill one of the thirty-seven chairs that one of our leaders had discovered in the basement prayer room at the Jerusalem YMCA Hotel. Miraculously, exactly thirty-seven people ended up coming on this adventure, with no human manipulation, just as one of God's servants had prophesied. He had declared that thirty-seven people were to go and take their seats and prophesy to the "dry bones" of the house of Israel, as described in Ezekiel 37:1-14.
With amazing love and harmony among several strong leaders, who knew this was a "God thing," we began to worship and pray through the night in shifts in this prayer room, and also in the YMCA Hotel tower overlooking Jerusalem. In the day time we toured the many wonderful sights, praying, proclaiming and prophesying in places like the Upper Room, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives, the Mountain of Temptation, the Sea of Galilee, and many more. Some of us wailed at the Wailing Wall, pouring out our hearts to God, inserting a prayer into the cracks that the eyes of Israel would be opened to behold their Messiah.
We had some awesome experiences in those intensive ten days. These included meeting several other passionate leaders who were already working in the Holy Land. We were baptized in Elisha's Springs, in Jericho, where two Palestinians received salvation and baptism, including our bus driver, Joseph. This precious man had wondered if there were other joyful, loving Christians like us in America. Also, a young lady, serving us on the Jesus Boat on the Sea of Galilee, was introduced to Jesus as Savior and Lord by two ladies on our team, as Joseph interpreted.
I am a Gentile, with no Jewish blood, as far as I know. Before I visited the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, I had little idea how many Christian leaders over the centuries had been anti-Semitic, from early church fathers, through Martin Luther and beyond. I felt the load of shame that the Gentile church bears for its terrible attitude and its despicable treatment of the Jewish people. I had always been taught to honor the people of Israel and had no idea how badly our spiritual ancestors had treated them. I therefore publicly repent for these sins of our spiritual fathers and ask that God would have mercy on us and restore us to our spiritual possessions which we have lost, even as the nation of Israel lost its natural possessions in biblical times, because of their sins and the sins of their fathers.
A WORD FROM THE LORD
But God clearly spoke to me these words: "Until the Gentile church turns its heart towards the nation of Israel, I can't take the church much farther." In the past year, I had been in places where I was exposed to numerous people who had recently become passionate to reach out and bless the nation of Israel as well as the other children of Abraham who lived in the Middle East. These were men and women I highly respected with international ministries. I was in mental agreement with their passion, but had not felt it in my own heart.
But when God spoke those significant words to my spirit, I cannot be the same any more. This revelation has completely restructured our hearts and ministry. We are already planning our next two trips to Israel with many of those who went on the first trip. Bases for ministry are being planned for Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jericho.
The most important things we got from the Jewish people were Salvation and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus' blood flowed from Calvary, paying for our redemption, and the Holy Spirit came to Jerusalem with fire and supernatural power, with signs and wonders that convinced thousands of devout Jews that Jesus was alive and still doing miracles.
Almost every spiritual blessing that came through Jesus and the early church, came from the land of Israel and from Jewish people. Jesus and all his apostles were Jews. The first several thousand believers were Jews or Jewish proselytes. They exported the gospel and its power to the Gentiles. Then our sadly-deceived spiritual forefathers turned their backs on the very people who had given them everything of eternal value that they had ever received.
I truly believe that God is saying that it is high time for the western church to have its own "Back to Jerusalem" movement, to bring back to Jerusalem and Israel what we took from them. It is time to take back the power of supernatural signs and wonders to give witness that their Messiah really lives within us and has come to fulfill all the prophesies concerning Him. The Jews "seek a sign" and will only be convinced when the miracles of Pentecost begin to happen again in the name of Jesus.
I am tremendously excited and full of faith that God is up to something amazing in the Middle East. Prophetic visions and dreams are increasing and many Scriptures are taking on new meaning as the Holy Spirit seems to be focusing our hearts on His preparation for a major revival for all the children of Abraham. And my sense is that it is much sooner than we think.
I believe this revival will culminate with a multitude of Jewish people going out from their homeland as they did two thousand years ago, taking the gospel of the Kingdom, the gospel of the saving, healing and miracle-working power of their risen Messiah/King, to every nation on the globe. This will be a movement that will totally eclipse the exploits of the early church as it spreads from Jerusalem to the uttermost parts of the earth. I believe in the possibility that the nation of Israel "will look upon Him Whom they have pierced," before Jesus physically returns.
It's time for the whole church of Messiah Jesus to repent of our Gentile sins against Israel and return to them what they gave to us. Let's ask God for the baptism of fire to fall again in His Holy City. The results will be felt around the world.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.