The flight from Hong Kong to Osaka found me tired, but unable to sleep. With a personal movie screen imbedded in the seat in front of me, what was I to do, but surf through the inexhaustible film options available? I chose a mystery based on an unsolved series of murder cases in 1960's San Francisco.

I got pretty involved in the intricate story line, and as the actors finally closed in on the villain I was really looking forward to the solution. Right then the pilot's voice broke into the movie. "We will now be starting our final descent. This will conclude our entertainment program on this flight." I almost protested out loud. "Oh no! Now I'll have to find a copy of that film. I've have to find out how it ends."

The Mystery: Israel's Salvation & Gentiles as Fellow Heirs

When I reached Osaka for an Asian conference on Israel and Messianic Jews, it hit me. The intrigue of a well-told mystery is just what God meant when he used that word to refer to the enigma of Jews and Gentiles being one in Messiah. In Romans 11:25-26 Paul says "I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery ... blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved ..." Again, writing to the Ephesians he says that God showed him by revelation, The mystery of Messiah, which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men ... that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs (with the Jewish disciples), of the same body. (Eph 3:4-6)

As the Japanese-initiated event unfolded two things were strikingly evident. These were the harmony of numerous church leaders previously not so enthused to associate with each other (their description) and the hunger to understand and serve God's purposes for Asia and Israel together with us, their Israeli Messianic Jewish brothers. I was watching the "solution" to God's mystery thriller: "How will Israel be saved AND the Gentiles become true fellow heirs?" And it thrilled me.

Africa and Europe Too

The following week African leaders gathered outside of Nairobi, Kenya for intensive prayer and teaching from Israeli Jewish believers, my teammates Avi, Marty and Marc. At November's outset, a group of Christian counselors and pastors in Great Britain listened attentively for an entire day to a series of messages on the Jewish roots of New Covenant faith. Soon after, German churches and evangelical Christians in city after city heard the story of one man's rediscovery of his Jewish heritage through Yeshua, aliyah to Israel and the renewal of apostolic faith in the land. (That storyteller would be me.)

These trips were not for fund-raising. Rather, we were invited to speak about the emerging Messianic movement in Israel. In each case we were received with honor, fascination, gratitude and desire for continued friendship. Our experiences strengthened the realization that God is moving in a concerted way to reunite the Jewish and Gentile portions of the body of Messiah world-wide.

The Chambers of God's Heart: Israel and the Nations

A huge portion of the Bible is dedicated to describing the essential role of Israel in world redemption. Increasingly, around the globe, men and women of God are realizing the truth to which the Church has been largely blinded for 18 centuries - that God's promises to Israel are irrevocable (Romans 11:29) and that she will reawaken to put faith in the true Messiah, Yeshua, before His second coming. God's passion for the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob throbs throughout His word. The apostle's cry in Romans 9:2,3 gives voice to that passion: "... I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Messiah for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh."

With so much focus on Israel and on Jewish believers, how are we to understand the Lord's heart for the nations, and integrate that dimension with His clear emphasis on Israel at the end of days? I believe one key is found in Isaiah 49. There, speaking to the Messiah, God says "It is too small a thing that you should be my Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be my salvation to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6) God wants all men to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4); this points to our calling to continue reaching out to all peoples with the gospel.

The universality of Yeshua's atonement is well-established. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." (John 3:16) But the relationship of Israel and the nations is not merely that we walk with Yeshua on parallel pathways. The drama of God's closing act in history is that Jesus' Jewish and Gentile disciples become aligned in "solving" the mystery of the ages.

The Five Clues of Isaiah 60

In his 60th chapter, Isaiah turns the spotlight on the nations and their end-time involvement with Israel's destiny. Here, I believe, are the clues that solve the mystery of Jew and Gentile at the end of the age. First, the Spirit will draw Yeshua's non-Jewish followers to an interest in Israel. This is exactly what is happening on every continent. "The Gentiles shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising." (60:3) This happens in tandem with darkness covering the earth (v.2). Sound familiar? So, there is a simultaneous growing darkness and opposition to Israel (all we have to do is open today's paper to see that) AND a movement of Gentiles loving Israel and wanting to bless her. Here, then are five clues Isaiah presents to clear up the mystery of how God intends to work through Gentiles loyal to Him in bringing Israel back to the Lord.

  1. FINANCIAL RESOURCES. "The Wealth of the Gentiles will come to you" (v.5 and 11)
  2. HELPING JEWS come HOME. "The ships ... will come first to bring your sons from afar" (v.9)
  3. INTERCESSORY PRAYER. "The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls" (v. 10 )
  4. REPENTANCE for ANTI-SEMITISM. "The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bowing to you" (v.14)
  5. EQUIPPING for MINISTRY. "You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles, and milk the breast of kings" (v.16, I understand "kings" in this context to mean mighty men of God, like Derek Prince)

A Mystery Solved

After two wonderfully intense conferences in Osaka and Tokyo, plus a very full weekend of ministry, I took the return flight to Hong Kong. As I had hoped, the same mystery movie was available for viewing. Eager to see the end of the mystery, I opened the little screen and scrolled to the last scene I remembered. This time I got to see the ending. And though I'm not going to tell you how the movie ends, I'm delighted to have opened these few scenes from the mystery we are walking out together.

The more I learn of this mystery, the more thrilling it is. We are experiencing the long-promised release of love's resources coming toward Israel in waves. At a time when many are clamoring for Israel's punishment and rejection, it brings us bright hope, added courage and needed comfort to know that our Gentile family members are activated on behalf of their Israeli Messianic brothers and sisters.


Tents of Mercy and municipal social services
team up for a Humanitarian Aid Fair
  Last month over 120 needy families received special aid packages from Tents of Mercy. Organization of the event was facilitated through the social services office. Funding for this extravagant blessing was provided by a very special donor agency. A good time was had by all!  

 

By Eitan Shishkoff


Donate ... to the work of Ohalei Rachamim

Let us know what you think - why not comment to this article. The authors of these articles are often involved in intense ministry and are thus unable to respond to most comments. As is normal with print and online magazines, Tikkun reserves the right to publish only those comments we feel are edifying in tone and content.
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Comments:
20:07 07Dec09 Catalina Jaramillo -
I can relate this article to me because I am Gentile and a few years ago while reading Isaiah 60, my heart was filled with a great love toward Israel. I know it was the Holy Spirit revealing me this powerful truth. It is awesome seeing the fulfillment of prophesies; but it is great privilege to be part of it. May each one of us find a small or a big way to bless our beloved Israel.

01:15 08Dec09 Rev. Lizzetta Crittle -
Great article and we know that God's word will not return to Him void but will accomplish that which He has sent it to do.
As a Gentile believer in Jeshua I pray for the awakening of the Jewish people and as the Lord leads give to those ministries who also desire to see the Jew and Gentile becoming "One New Man" in Christ.
As you say the more we understand this mystery the more thrilling it is.

17:12 08Dec09 Shirley A Cole -
I thank God for anointed men and women who find the scriptures and words to explain what God has laid on my heart.

07:46 12Dec09 Raymond Howell -
I hope that all the churches in America will see that they need to repent of the attitude that God is judging Israel and embrace her for who she is. She is the apple of G-d's eye and need to understand that we are all accountable for how we treat the Jewish communities abroad.

09:29 21Dec09 Hank Hudson -
Since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I've got more love and concern for Israel and enjoy studying the Old Testament in greater depth and reading about Israel's history. I especially like studying the Prophets. Recently bought "6,000 Years of the Bible" by G.S.Wegener -- a great reading treasure for me.

14:39 05Jan10 Pelham Gross -
YOUR God is the greatest, Papa Eitan! We love you and all you have any thing or body to do with!

20:21 10Jan10 Annie Klein -
I am so excited to read about your ministry! Raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist with a deep respect and love for the Word, married to a Jewish as-yet-undeclared-believer in God and Yeshua, and praying every morning for Jewish people everywhere to return to their God, I believe the Lord led me to your website to encourage my spirit. I can hardly wait for the day when all believers see the eternal beauty of the law God gave as a blessing for all humanity. Which includes true observance and rest on the 7th day Sabbath. Imagine a world where the 7th Day Shabbos is celebrated in joy, thanksgiving and praise!
Also, ever since reading on the BBC news website about destitute, lonely Holocaust survivors living in Israel, I have been praying to find some way to make a difference in their lives. Thanks to the Lord for directing me to your website.
I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for everyone to know the heart of God for them, and for your continued trust in His care for you, purposes, sovereignty and timing.


Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: Rooted Spiritual Life
Marty Shoub: How Long?
Asher Intrater: Megatrends from the Bible
Mati - the Rebirth of Mati Shosahni