Raising The Banner For The Gentiles
| By Martin Shoub |

I have just returned from a three week ministry trip with Eitan Shishkoff. While he was in the USA I went to New Zealand. A week later we met up in Korea and then on to Japan to complete the journey. We received many wonderful blessings on our excursion but God used this trip in a special way to reveal to me His plans for the Nations.

I am sitting in a restaurant in New Zealand. My hosts have taken me to visit Peter and Penny Robertson. Peter is an itinerant speaker with a prophetic ministry, in 1992 he heard the Lord speak to him, "Build a bridge between New Zealand and Israel." A week later I am with Eitan in Korea, our host is Pastor Hung Soo Park. Fourteen years ago Hung Soo saw a vision of Yeshua weeping. He asked the Lord, "Why are you crying?" Yeshua answered him: "I am crying for my people Israel." ... Something is up.

My responsibilities here at Tents of Mercy include connecting with believers in the nations whom God has stirred to connect with us. You might say I am working on the bridge from this side of the span. And from this vantage point I am seeing a wonder taking place that encircles the globe. God is moving in the hearts of Gentile believers everywhere to take another look at His promises and purposes. Adonai is turning their attention to see how this tiny nation among the nations is so dear to His heart. The call to build a bridge is not just for believers in New Zealand.

Korea is a country that loves to hang banners from buildings and street lamps. Everywhere one sees banners hanging, they tell a story, they are an advertisement - they're made to get your attention. Isaiah tells us something about banners:
And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles will seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious. Isaiah 11:10

I have often mused over our people's rejection of Yeshua, claiming He is only the "god of the Gentiles." This truth does not disqualify Him a Messiah; it serves to establish His claim. The Gentiles flock to the Jewish Messiah's banner. The same Messiah who raises a banner for the Gentiles also gathers the scattered children of Israel:
He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:12

Today we are seeing Messiah Yeshua issuing these two Kingdom decrees: raising a banner to the nations and gathering His scattered nation back to Himself. As Messianic Jews we love to encourage all believers with this testimony: we are a sign to you that God is keeping His covenant promise to Israel. As the prophets foretold we are returning to the land and the God of Israel. But we also see that what God is doing in the nations is a sign to us! The nations have been flocking to His banner for almost 2,000 years but today we are seeing a new activation of a promise made long ago.
Behold, I will lift my hand in an oath to the nations, and set my standard (or, banner) for the peoples; they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. Isaiah 49:22

The banner is waving, the message is: bring my children back.

When I was in New Zealand (the literal ends of the earth*), I spoke at a small church in the rural community of Thames. A lovely place, as far as one can get from the pressure cooker of the Middle East. Funny thing, this little country church had an Israeli flag proudly displayed on their wall. I have seen the same phenomena in even smaller country churches in my native Canada. Can you imagine Israeli flags on any church building even 20 years ago? This flag is not just décor; it is a covenant promise that believers from the ends of the earth are joined to us here at the center; through their prayers and partnership with us, they are embracing the call to bring us back.

And then there is our dear friend, Park Hung Soo; the pastor in Korea who saw Yeshua weeping for Israel. That was some 14 years ago and since then he has worked tirelessly in response to those tears. Aside from his duties as the senior pastor of Seoul National University Church he is God's ambassador for Israel in Korea. Hung Soo is committed to sharing his heart, transformed by the heavenly vision, with many key leaders in the country.

Now, believers in Korea are starting to embrace the Messiah's call to carry us back. Everywhere we went they responded with deep love and affection for us and earnest prayer for Israel. They have seen the banner.

Korea is a nation committed to sending missionaries to every corner of the globe. The Gospel has taken root in this country and is expanding the believers' vision to look beyond their borders. Through some like Hung Soo and other Messianic Emissaries, God is saying to these precious people, "Embrace My other great end-time purpose to restore Israel back to Myself, carry my sons and daughters back to me in your arms."

Following Korea, Eitan and I were privileged to meet with our brothers and sisters in Japan. In some ways Japan and Israel have much in common. Two nations that have relied on know-how over resources and to date have only a small minority of believers in the land. We are not daunted by our trying circumstances because we have a sure word of promise: All Israel shall be saved. As I reflected on the huge throngs of people in Japan I stood in doubt. Will God remember this great nation too?

Though Japanese believers are few in number, they have remarkably embraced the call to identify with Israel for over 70 years (See, 70 Years of Prayer, Oasis magazine, October '06). We marveled at our Japanese brethrens' dedication and identification with the God of Israel, but it was a youth service that opened my eyes to see the banner waving for the nation of Japan. At Kakogawa Baptist Church some 100 Japanese young believers gathered to hear Eitan speak about his misdirected youth as a political revolutionary and God's call for spiritual revolution. I saw the same love and zeal on their faces as I have seen on the faces of our own precious Israeli young people. Then I knew they too had a sure word from God. The Father has made a promise to the Son:
Ask of Me and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance and the ends of the earth as your possession. Psalm 2:8

God is not so unfaithful as to forget their love and service. Indeed He will most certainly answer these lovely Japanese believers who cry out to Him day and night.

Yeshua is the King of Israel and King over all the earth. He is joining all His people, both Jew and Gentile. By His grace we are building a bridge to link our hearts together under His banner. ... and His resting place will be glorious.

 

By Martin Shoub


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Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: Loyalty and Lasting Relationships
Moshe Morrison: Brought from Afar
Asher Intrater: From Assyria to Egypt - the Isaiah 19 Vision
Eddie Santoro: God's Favour on Man