Dear friend in the Messiah,
Shalom! I just returned from a quick trip to Israel to plan some of our ministry events in honor of the seventieth anniversary of the formation of the State of Israel. Can you believe it? What a difference a few years makes.
I wish I had been alive in 1948 to see the formation of the modern State of Israel. Really, I am jealous of everyone who was there at that time and who believed that one day God would indeed bring the Jewish people back to the land of Israel. The horrors of the Holocaust were still just being uncovered at the end of World War II in 1945. I still meet soldiers who entered the concentration camps and made these gruesome discoveries. Most of these elderly heroes can barely keep from weeping whenever they talk about these horrific events.
For those Christians who watched the early films or heard the reports of what the Nazis had done in slaughtering six million Jewish people, the biblical promise of Israel’s restoration seemed more improbable than at any other time.
But, out of the ashes of the Holocaust God raised up the modern State of Israel, and who could read their Bibles and not see this as one of the great miracles of our modern day?
I believe the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and the birth of the State of Israel is just a first and magnificent step in God fulfilling His covenants and promises to the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3, 2 Samuel 7:14ff., Jeremiah 31:31-35).
The presence of the modern State of Israel energizes our faith and helps us believe that God will one day keep all His promises to Israel and the nations!
Many Christians travel to Israel and are sometimes disappointed because Israel today is quite secular. Of course, there are hundreds of thousands of religious Jewish people living in Israel today and a growing Messianic Jewish movement of perhaps 25,000-30,000 followers of Jesus.
We are thrilled to see the way God is moving in Israel and drawing Israelis to His Son—but the number of Jesus-followers in Israel today still only constitutes fewer than 1 percent of the population. This is why we are so grateful for our staff around the world who have dedicated their lives to reaching Jewish people everywhere with the life-changing message of the Gospel!
ISRAEL IS NOT THE ISRAEL GOD DESTINED HER TO BE!
This is exactly what the Scriptures teach us about the last days. In Ezekiel 36, the prophet speaks of a future return of the Jewish people to the Land after having been scattered among the nations. He says that God Himself would initiate the return and that the Jewish people would return to the land of Israel in unbelief.
The prophet writes,
Therefore say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land.’ ” (Ezekiel 36:22-25)
I am often asked whether or not I believe the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy and my answer is a resounding yes. Thoughtful Bible students usually respond and ask, “How can Israel today be the fulfillment of prophecy when the Messiah has not returned and the Jewish people living in Israel are generally not following the Torah and not believing in Jesus as Messiah?”
My quick response to this very good question is to say that this is exactly what God promised through the prophet and, unlike any other previous generation, we are seeing God’s word come to a very specific fulfillment.
What’s next? According to Ezekiel, the next two items on God’s timetable will be the spiritual restoration of the nation of Israel and then the physical restoration of Israel.
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:25-28)
I envision these next events taking place at a future date—at the second coming of Jesus! We can be certain that as sure as God brought Israel back to the land, God will also pour out His Spirit upon the Jewish people. He will turn them to Himself through His Son as He returns to establish His kingdom. Jerusalem will be His capital and Jesus will reign as sovereign over both His Jewish and non-Jewish followers, and in that day His promises to the Jewish people and the nation’s will be fulfilled.
I believe that this is what the Apostle Paul predicted when he wrote to the Roman believers, “Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!” (Romans 11:12).
And again, “For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15).
Knowing the future He has planned for Israel and the nations—what should we do about it today?
The Apostle Paul also tells us in Romans 10,“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
Would you join Your Mission to the Jewish People in preparing the nation of Israel for the second coming of the Messiah? We can partner with God by sharing the Gospel with the Jewish people in Israel, North America, and across the globe! This is our mandate today.
As Paul writes,“I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous” (Romans 11:11).
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!
Yours in the Messiah,
Dr. Mitch Glaser
President of Chosen People Ministries