Truth and Lies - Have You Been Deceived?
This season reminds me of the greatest reason to stand with Israel, Jesus our Messiah. Sometimes we can miss Him and Who He really is. Solomon wrote in the Book of Proverbs that there is a season, “a time to every purpose under Heaven.” That is so true. Let me share a personal story about a time that happened for me and Tiz that revolutionized our thinking first, about Jesus, and second, about Israel. When I discovered my true roots, the foundation was laid to take a stand for Israel and the Jewish people
Years ago, I found myself on my very first trip to Israel. It was not a trip I had been dying to make. After all, as a Christian, I had been taught that God was essentially done with Israel and that the Jews had received their chance to accept Jesus as Messiah but had blown it. I was taught that the “church”—not a denomination or building, but the believers who formed the body of Christ—had replaced Israel; in fact, the church was Israel. I was so misguided. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
I certainly wasn’t looking to “reconnect with my Jewish roots” on this trip. I wouldn’t even have known what that phrase meant. I was, however, dealing with a gnawing feeling that, as a pastor, I dared not utter in the light of day: there was something missing in my life and in my Christian faith.
Have you ever felt like that? In your quiet, solitary moments, have you ever wondered or even prayed, God, what’s wrong? I love You; I’m serving You; I believe Your Word. I know that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. I know it’s all true. So why does it feel like something is missing in my life? If you’ve ever struggled with those thoughts, you’re not alone. I know exactly what you’re going through. It was with this mind-set that I embarked on my trip to Israel.
Open Your Eyes - God Wants To Show You Something
After I arrived in the Holy Land, one of the first places my Israeli friends took me was Capernaum. Despite my hesitancy, I was truly excited to go there because I knew this to be the location of one of the great stories of the Bible. Capernaum was the place where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, described in Mark 1:29–39.
As we walked through the gates, the remains of Peter’s house were directly ahead of us and to the right the remains of an ancient synagogue. Joseph, my friend from Jerusalem, began to tell me all about this holy place of Jewish worship.
As he did so, I couldn’t help but think, So what? What does this synagogue have to do with me? I’m a believer in Jesus. Then, Joseph pointed out an inscription on the doorpost. It indicated that the synagogue had been dedicated by the grandchildren of the apostles of Jesus. As the group began to walk away, I remained transfixed.
I stopped the group and said, “Joseph, tell me again who dedicated this synagogue.” He told me again. “How can that be?” I asked. “Weren’t the descendants of the apostles Christians? Weren’t they followers of Jesus?” Joseph said, “Of course, they were.” Still confused, I asked, “Then what would a believer in Jesus be doing in a synagogue? Did they backslide?”
You Have Ancient Ties - Grafted Into Jewish Roots
The next few words changed my life, and I believe they will change yours, too. It was the reason God had brought me to Israel. It was the answer I had been looking for. “Larry,” he said, “the church and the synagogue were synonymous for three hundred and twenty-five years after Christ’s resurrection. Jesus never intended for His followers to be separated from Israel, from God’s people, or from the Torah. As Christians, we were to be grafted in.”
As Joseph led the rest of the group to Peter’s house, I remained. I wasn’t alone, though, for my God—the God of Israel, the God of the Jews, the God of that synagogue—was right there with me. He gently said to me, “Larry, I’m going to open your eyes. I’m going to teach you how to read My Word, not with the eyes of a Gentile Jesus, not with the eyes of a Protestant Jesus or a Catholic Jesus, but with the eyes of a Jewish Jesus. I’m going to show you what you’ve been missing.”
A Life-Changing Revelation - Can You See It Now?
Standing at the entrance of a two-thousand-year-old synagogue in Capernaum, Israel, on the Sea of Galilee, I was stunned by a profound revelation: Jesus was a Jew—a practicing, observant Jew. Not only that, but His disciples and followers were also practicing Jews. For some, this may seem like a “no brainer,” but for me, in that moment, I was struck with a revelation that completely altered my understanding of who Jesus was—and therefore who I was as a Christian.
That experience led me to see Jesus, and the entire Bible, in a fresh, new light. It was a paradigm shift—a total uprooting of how I had been taught to read the Word of God and how I had followed Jesus. As a result, it was a total shift in how I saw myself and lived my life as a Christian. The journey I’ve since taken to uncover and understand the Jewish roots of my Christian faith has been, aside from the moment of my salvation, the most transformative, exciting, and fulfilling experience of my life.
The Wall Is Coming Down - Jews and Christians Standing Together
What hit me like a lightning bolt over twenty-five years ago has led to a revolution. We’re now seeing people around the world who are desperately hungry for knowledge of their Jewish roots, as well as for the wisdom and revelation of the Torah. There is a growing recognition that we, as Christians, are not, and never were meant to be, separated from or foreigners to our Jewish roots.
On the contrary, we are to be grafted in, connected to the roots. We are fellow branches of the same tree. We are connected. We have a reason to stand for Israel and the Jewish people when we know the True History Of Israel. We share the same Messiah. For them, it is the hope of His coming. For us, it is the certainty of His return. All of this has become the foundation for me and you to stand with Israel and support the Jewish people.
Why Don't You Stand Up and Do Something?
There’s more we want you to see. Right now, as anti-Semitism is greater than ever, and Israel is and the Jewish people are being attacked on every front, we need to rededicate ourselves to standing with them. Let me give you just some of the key reason why. I encourage you to understand them yourself and then share them with others.
7 Scriptural Reasons To Stand With & Support Israel
- Genesis 12:3. “I will bless those that bless you, Israel.”
- Isaiah 40:1. “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, And call out to her, (Amplified)
- Psalm 122:6. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you.”
- John 4:22. “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews”.
- Romans 11:17-18. “You, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.”
- Isaiah 62:1. “Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her.”(New Living Translation)
- Amos 9:14-15. “I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine. I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them says the Lord your God” (New Living Translation)
7 Things You Can Do to Bless Israel
- Study God’s prophecies for Israel and learn the Jewish roots of Christianity.
- Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for God’s protection over Israel.
- Explain to your family, friends and church why we need to stand with Israel.
- Support charitable projects that bless the Jewish people and fulfill prophecy.
- Object to anti-Semitic attitudes from politicians, in school and media.
- Pray for and vote for leaders who support pro-Israel policies.
You Can't Afford To Miss This Exciting Time In History
As we start another year, it’s critical that we remember the reasons and the blessings to stand with Israel and the Jewish people. We are living in prophetic times. The dividing walls between Jews and Christians are coming down. We are fulfilling the ancient prophecy of becoming “one new man” together.
You can join with us in this ongoing effort to tikkun olam- repair a broken world, as we bless the nation of Israel through one of our many charitable outreaches. We currently have a special offer. For your gift of ANY amount, you will get Pastor Larry’s latest teaching series Jesus and The Seven Churches of Revelation.
It will inspire you and encourage you to actively engage in preparing for the coming of the Messiah as we are sharing in the destiny that God has planned for us as we look up and expect His return.