Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Yesterday I wrote the first installment on the first affirmation of TJCII. The more I think about what I wrote, the more I like it. In fact, I’m ready to call it the best RR ever. Okay, I just did.
Rabbi Trail: It takes a truly humble rabbi to say, I just wrote the best RR ever. I am. I did. It is. End RT.
What made it so good? It takes a fresh look at Romans 11, which isn’t easy. Now I want to add to it. Let’s review the first affirmation.
- We affirm the election of Israel, its irrevocable nature and God’s unfinished work with the Jewish people regarding salvation and the role of Israel as a blessing to the nations.
Can you sin away grace? Certainly not, but maybe that’s the wrong question. Maybe the question should be, “Can you refuse to accept grace?” Yes, grace is the gift of God, but like every gift, it must be received, opened, engaged, and enjoyed.
Why did I ask the question? These affirmations (and even TJCII itself) are necessary because Christian Church history has been hard on Jews for sinning away grace. Have Jewish people received Messiah Yeshua? Some have and some have not, yet.
Which brings us back to the question, have Jews who have not yet received Yeshua actually rejected Him? I don’t believe so, and let me tell you why. In order to reject Yeshua, Jewish people (and everyone else too) have to know what they’re rejecting. Yeshua prayed for these people… Luke 23:34a But Yeshua was saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
If every Jewish person knew what I know, every Jewish person would respond to the election to which they have been called. Let us recall the words in Romans 11, “All Israel will be saved.” It is critical that this first affirmation include the election of Israel and its irrevocable nature that will lead to all Israel being saved.
And the salvation of Israel will lead to worldwide revival. Romans 11:15b … What will their acceptance be but life from the dead? “Life from the dead” is the best description of revival I’ve ever seen. Yes, the salvation of Israel leads to worldwide revival.
And that is why the last part of this first affirmation is so important, “… the role of Israel as a blessing to the nations.” Most believers think God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled in the first coming of Yeshua. Genesis 12:3b …and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. Certainly, Yeshua is the answer to that promise, but there is more than just His first coming. He’s coming back!
His return is connected to the salvation of all Israel (before, during, or after, I’m not clear). The salvation of Israel is connected to worldwide revival (before, during or after, I’m not clear). All the nations of the earth will be blessed by the Seed of Abraham, Yeshua. And that will happen with Israel (Jewish people) being included.
Zechariah 12:10 “Then I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication, when they will look toward Me whom they pierced. They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son and grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for a firstborn. At the end of chapter 13, the 1/3 of the people who remain will enter in. Zechariah 13:9 This third I will bring through the fire. I will refine them as silver is refined, and will test them as gold is tested. They will call on My Name and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will answer, ‘Adonai is my God.’
Gold is tested with a torch. The jeweler holds a torch to gold and melts it. If it is pure gold it will not flame up. Only impurities will burn, pure gold just melts. God will test His people with fire. The point is this, God has a future for Israel, the Scripture is clear. In that future, both Israel and the rest of the world will be blessed.
This is why these TJCII men have been around the world for the last 25 years praying in the spirit and praying down strongholds, and believing that God will make of the two, one new man, one body of Messiah, Jewish and non-Jewish together to welcome home the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Bo Yeshua bo! Come Yeshua come! In Your name we pray. Amen.
Memory Verse: Zephaniah 3:17 Adonai your God is in your midst— a mighty Savior! He will delight over you with joy. He will quiet you with His love. He will dance for joy over you with singing.’
131 7/2 Monday: Zechariah 1:1-6; 2; 12
132 7/3 Tuesday: Ezra 7-8
* 133 7/4 Wednesday Ezra 9-10
134 7/5 Thursday: Esther 1-2
135 7/6 Friday: Esther 3-4
Question of the day: What is Ezra’s problem?
Answer: Ezra becomes convicted of the sin of the Israelites, Levites, and priests. Ezra 9:15 Adonai, God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left this day as a remnant. Behold, here we are before You in our guilt; because of it no one can stand before You.”
Every time we come to a question of the day, the following question is, “Why is this important to us?” If you already know the answer, don’t read the rest of this RR. Today, we have the benefit of knowing history. We also have the benefit of knowing our Lord and His commandments.
Knowledge of the Lord and His ways has never been so ubiquitous in all of history. Maybe there are those who are ignorant, but not us. We are the people of God. We are the people who have received Him as our personal Lord and Savior, have read His word and studied His commands, and have trusted in Him.
We know what Paul wrote to the Corinthians has been canonized. Paul begins to write a message, but quickly turns to speak prophetically on behalf of God. 2 Corinthians 6:16 What agreement does God’s Temple have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God—just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 17 Therefore, come out from among them, and be separate,” says Adonai. “Touch no unclean thing. Then I will take you in. 18 I will be a father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says Adonai-Tzva’ot.”
This is the same issue with which Ezra had to deal. We are in the world, but we have been called out, called to not be “of” the world. Yet today, much of the body of Messiah is both walking in sin and embracing it. God is calling His people to righteousness (according to how He defines righteousness). Since when should we be more concerned with making someone feel bad than urging them to attain to God’s righteous standard.
That previous paragraph is directed mostly at “them” when it should mostly be directed at us. Matthew 7:5 Hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Many have used this verse to not judge another. That’s not the message. First, fix yourself, THEN “take the speck….”
Yes, the Bible says “judge not,” but that means “do not condemn.” We don’t pronounce the verdict on anyone, that is reserved for God alone. But we are called to have plenty of discernment. If God’s people don’t call sin for what it is, sin, then who will? That’s why these two chapters at the end of Ezra are so important to us. We are all children of Israel, given another opportunity to build God’s house. Unless we take heed, we will come under God’s judgment. Instead, let’s repent and walk in love, grace and obedience.