Over the past 150 years some Protestant (and later Catholic) circles have focused a spotlight on the ‘fourfold gospel’ or the ‘full gospel.’ Born out of the Holiness and Nazarene movements, these groups include the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Assemblies of God, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel and other Pentecostal groups. In the 1950’s an Armenian-American cattle rancher Demos Shakarian established Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International which helped to popularize the concept of ‘the full gospel.’
Each of these groups enthusiastically focused on the Gospel portrayals of Yeshua the Messianic King of Israel who came to the Jewish people with healing in His hands. Yeshua’s prophetic role of bringing purification to the sons of Levi and pouring out the Holy Spirit on Israel excited their vision. Their emphasis was to bring this message primarily to Gentiles. And for the past 100 years the term ‘full Gospel’ has conveyed this sense of Pentecostal and Charismatic worship and practice.
But let’s take a minute to apply the term ‘full gospel’ to a specifically Hebrew context. That term may actually help us to better understand YHVH’s multifaceted heart, purpose and plan for His Jewish people. The divine strategy emphasizes that there are three essential and distinct steps in Israel’s restoration. Each step is necessary. Each step is interrelated to the other two. No step is to be left out, and no step should be overemphasized. Ezekiel 37:1-14 sums up these three prophetic steps – this ‘full Jewish gospel’ – in a dramatic and poetic way.
Step one – the return to the Land of Israel
“Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says YHVH God, Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel’” (Ezekiel 37:12). In verses 9 and 11, the Jewish people are described as “these slain” who mournfully confess “Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished! We are completely cut off.”
On January 27 there is a yearly commemoration of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust. That was the day when the Nazi death camp Auschwitz was liberated by Russian troops. One out of every three Jews on the planet was murdered by the Nazi empire – six million out of eighteen million. The survivors of the Holocaust – the entire Jewish people – could well identify with Ezekiel’s confession that our bones are shriveled up and all our hopes have perished.
YHVH promises to take this ‘slain people’ and bring them back into the Land of Israel. We who are living today are eye-witnesses of this continuing process. The Jewish people have returned to Israel, are returning there as we speak, and will make a full return in days soon to come.
- The return of the Jewish people to their Israeli homeland is an ongoing work of God in our day. It deserves our full encouragement and support. It is one of the three steps of restoration – one of the three pieces of the pie. It is not the whole pie. But it is an amazing prophetic piece of that pie!
Step two – the Spirit-birthed resurrection of the Jewish people
“Then you will know that I am YHVH, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I YHVH have spoken and done it, declares YHVH” (Ezekiel 37:13-14).
The spiritual regeneration of the Jewish people is coming. On that day all the descendants of Jacob will:
- receive a revelation of YHVH’s holiness and their own personal sins and repent of their sins in mourning (Zechariah 12:10-14)
- receive the forgiveness of sins, a new heart and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, thus coming to have personal intimacy with the God of Israel (Zechariah 13:1, 9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)
In light of this spiritual need that the Jewish people have – to receive a revelation of their own sins and their need of atonement – it is a priority that followers of Yeshua everywhere pray and intercede for Israel’s salvation through Messiah Yeshua our atonement (see Isaiah 53). That message of good news – that gospel report – needs to be communicated to the children of Israel with priority and burning zeal. “For I am not ashamed of the good news for it is God’s dunamis (δύναμις, Greek for power) of salvation to everyone who believes – to the Jew proton (πρῶτον, meaning especially, chiefly, with priority) and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
- The sharing of Messiah Yeshua’s gospel/good news message with the Jewish people is an ongoing and strategic work of God in our day. It deserves our full encouragement and support. Along with aliyah (the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel) it is one of the three steps of restoration – one of the three pieces of the pie. It is not the whole pie. But it is an amazing prophetic piece of that pie, and one which must be part of our vision and outreach to Sarah’s children!
Step three – the transformation of Israel into an exceedingly mighty army
Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says YHVH God, Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army (in Hebrew, hel gadol me’od me’od – a vast army, much much; Ezekiel 37:9-10).
Ezekiel’s vision explodes on the prophetic horizon: the reborn and restored Jewish nation will transformed into one of the most powerful and historically significant armies that the world has ever seen. The purpose of the return of the Jewish people to the Jewish homeland is not only to grow wonderful Jaffa oranges, to develop cutting-edge computer technologies, and to lead the world in hydroponics and desert agriculture innovations. It is to become God’s powerful army on the face of the earth.
The Middle East is in the throes of both death and life. Violent and protracted battles are being waged right now from one end of the Arab world to the other and, interestingly enough, none of those wars have anything to do with Israel. But in the not too distant future all of these nations will gather (as prophesied in Psalm 83, Ezekiel 36-39, Joel 3, Zechariah 12-14, etc.) to battle against the Jewish state in their attempt to achieve a final holocaust against Israel. Ezekiel’s army will be one of God’s most striking battle flags and secret weapons prepared for that day. Followers of Yeshua need to make sure that they are incorporating this Last Days central vision in their prayers, intercession, worship and activity.
- The raising up of Ezekiel’s army from within the Jewish people is an ongoing and strategic work of God in our day. It deserves our full encouragement and support. Along with aliyah (the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel) and the sharing of the message of Yeshua (Israel’s Messianic King and atonement), this prophetic army is one of the three steps of restoration – one of the three pieces of the pie. It is not the whole pie. But it is an amazing prophetic piece of that pie, and one which must be part of our strategic vision for Jacob’s children.
Scattered across the face of the globe there are some sold-out followers of Yeshua who are given over to the three-pronged prophetic vision described above – the three prophetic pieces of the Jewish pie. But some of these believers are so tied into their own piece of the pie, that they come close to denying the spiritual validity or kosher nature of the other two pieces.
- Those who focus on Jewish aliyah and return sometimes avoid connection with Messiah Yeshua’s gospel and its priority call to Israel, and sometimes avoid connection with Messianic Jews
- Those who focus on sharing the good news of Messiah with the Jewish people sometimes denigrate the importance of Jewish aliyah and works of compassion and blessing the people of Israel
- Those who focus on the restoration of the prophetic and apostolic often avoid the present restoration, the prophetic calling and the amazing destiny of the Jewish people, preferring to focus on what they see as the beauty of the Gentile part of the Bride of Messiah, the exclusive role (as they see it) of the Gentiles in bringing about the return of the Jewish Messiah, along with an exclusive and obsessive focus on negative aspects of Israel’s prophetic future
The night is far spent for us to engage in such childish and narcissistic behavior.
- “The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12)
- “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
How should we then pray?
- Pray for divine clarity and balance for all those engaged in these three areas of Jewish ministry
- Pray for spiritual courage for all to recognize and discern the differing gifts and calling God has given
- Pray for prophetic intercessors worldwide to tap into God’s heart about these issues
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s army speedily and in our day
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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