In the first Star Wars movie “Episode IV: A New Hope,” there is a scene where the heroes are engaged in a full-on assault on the Death Star. As the Y-wing starfighter pilots are being picked off one by one by Darth Vader’s forces at the Battle of Yavin, Gold Leader keeps yelling into the radio microphone to the pilot named Gold Five, “Stay on target! Stay on Target!” In the heat of battle, only a single-eyed and determined focusing on the ultimate target will lead to victory.
So much is happening in the world right now. The international economy is experiencing vertigo. Russia is again flexing its muscles. China is pursuing Olympic gold and the economic leadership of the world. Iran is plowing forward in nuclear passion. US Presidential contenders are neck to neck. Turks are debating womens wearing of Islamic headscarves. And the Middle East “peace process” seems to be on hold.
For those who love and pray for Israel, what’s our target? On what strategic spiritual targets should our eyes be focused in the battle, as Yeshua’s kingdom gets re-established on earth as it is in Heaven?
1. Preach the gospel to the Jew first (Romans 1:16)
The gospel of Yeshua is the only hope of salvation for anyone (see Philippians 2:9-11). Yeshua alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jewish people need the gospel. There is no salvation for any Jew apart from through personal belief and commitment to Yeshua as Atonement and Savior (see Acts 3:22-23; 4:12).
Yeshua was born to save His people, and His name means YHVH is salvation (see Matt.1:21). The gospel has a priority emphasis on the Jewish people (see Romans 1:16, where the Greek word proton (πρωτον) means “chiefly”, “especially” or “with priority”).
The evangelistic mandate given to all believers in Yeshua has a special emphasis on priority vis-à-vis the Jewish people. This is not an option, but a commandment given straight form the lips of Israel’s Messiah Yeshua (Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8).
2. Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah
Yeshua is not only the Christ (Greek word for “Anointed One”) of the Gentiles, but especially the Messiah (Hebrew word for “Anointed One”) of the Jews (see John 1:41). He is a descendant of King David who has been anointed as King of the Jews, Son of God, High Priest in the Heavenlies, and Ultimate Prophet.
To deny that Yeshua is the Messiah of the Jewish people is to deny His Davidic authority over His own people.
The gospel focuses on a Jewish Messiah who will re-establish the promises to King David’s dynasty over Israel and the nations. The center of this Kingdom will be the world’s future capital city – Jerusalem. The gospel at its heart is Jewish, and its fulfillment has much to do with the Jewish people.
3. New Covenant roots
The focus of our faith is on Yeshua, the Mediator of a New Covenant (see Hebrews 12:24) which is also a better covenant than the Mosaic covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). True Jewish identity is rooted in Messiah Yeshua. It is founded on the roots of the Abrahamic covenant promises (see Romans 11:17, 24). It finds its full expression in the New and not the Mosaic covenant (Hebrew 8:6-7).
The purpose of the Mosaic Torah was and is to lead people to Messiah Yeshua (see Galatians 3:24-25). When Jewish people (and Gentiles) partake of the New Covenant, they are no longer under the legal authority of the Mosaic covenant.
Those who teach that believers are under the Mosaic Covenant are teaching falsehood and are deceived on this point.
The rabbinic system is at its heart in rebellion against the Messiahship and Deity of Yeshua. Though it has many areas of wisdom and truth, it misses the heart of God’s revelation and rejects His only way of salvation (see Romans 10:2-3). Believers should not be looking for their identity in rabbinic traditions, nor should they submit themselves in any way to rabbinic authority.
4. Anti-Jew is Anti-Christ
Hatred of God, His ways and His strategies eventually leads to hatred of His chosen people Israel. The German word “Judenfeind” (translated “Jew-hatred”) is the clearest definition of this phenomenon.
Hatred of the Jewish people includes hatred of the Jewish homeland and state, the State of Israel. The desire to destroy or weaken this State is a biblical litmus test before God (see Jeremiah 30:16-17) and will bring divine judgment. To attempt the destruction of the Messiah’s people is a quick way to enflame the Messiah’s burning wrath.
The strategy of the Islamic world to destroy the Jewish people’s State, and the willing acquiescence of the Great Powers to weaken Israel, to reduce her borders and to hinder her ability to defend herself – these are part of a satanic strategy that believers need to be aware of and oppose – through prayer, through teaching and through action (see Zechariah 2:9; Isaiah 62:1, 6-7).
5. A great army, a great time of trouble, a great future
The promises and prophecies of the future involve both the cross and the resurrection for the nation of Israel.
Israel will become an incredibly powerful army in God’s hands, leading to world revival (see Psalm 105:15; Ezekiel 37:10-11; Isaiah 41:15; Micah 4:13; Romans 11:12, 15). Israel will also go through its strongest crisis as a nation, known as the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (see Jeremiah 30:4-9; Ezekiel 20:30-49; Zechariah 12-14). Ultimately the fullness of God’s promises and restoration will be realized for Israel, and all the world shall acknowledge this (see Ezekiel 36:34-39; Amos 9:9-15; Isaiah 65-66).
We need to focus on the fact that Israel is not some prophetic chess piece which is the key to end-time events, but that Israel is close do God’s heart and passions (see Psalm 148:14; Hosea 11:9; 2:14-23; Isaiah 63:9). Though purification and destruction will come, the ultimate fruit is God’s restoration, His plans for good and not for evil, to give Israel a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
In light of the above, we need to stay on target with a special love, focus and commitment to God’s heart, purpose and strategies for the Jewish nation, the Jewish State and the salvation and restoration of the Jewish people. As we think globally, we need to press in – turning our hearts to prayer, our lips to evangelism, and our means to furthering action for God’s prophetic strategies for Israel!
Blessings to you in the name of Yeshua, Israel’s Messiah, Savior and David’s Greater Son,
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