GENTILES IN A MESSIANIC COMMUNITY, 12.07.18
The following is a summary taken from the teachings by Rabbi Calev Goldberg, Beth Shechinah House of Glory, Messianic Congregation, www.bethshechinah.com
GRAFTED IN — The Role of the Gentile Believer in a Messianic Community
In the final redemption when the fullness of the Gentiles is complete, Adonai will fulfill all of His Covenantal promises to Israel. The Messiah will come and deliver His people and return them to their land and establish His kingdom on the earth for a thousand years. He will reign and rule on the earth and Jerusalem will be the capital of all the nations.
But what is the prophetic destiny of the Gentiles and what will their role be? There are a number of scriptures that describe the destiny of those who have been grafted in.
- Revelation 5:9, 10 — “Worthy are you to take the book and to break its seals, for you were slain and purchased for God with your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nations. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God and they will reign upon the earth.”
- Zechariah 8:23 — “So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord. In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment (the tzitzi) of a Jew, saying. “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” Tzitzi means “commandments”. This one Jew that ten men will take hold of, we believe speaks of the Messiah. Therefore, this scripture can be interpreted as, the Gentile Believers who attach themselves to the Messiah are taking hold of the commandments (the Torah) by attaching themselves to Him. Isaiah 56: 2, 3 speaks of those Gentiles who take hold of covenant and the Shabbat.
- 1 Peter 2:9 — Peter refers to the Gentile Believers as “ a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” These are terms that the Tanakh uses exclusively to describe Israel.
- Ephesians 2:11-13 — ‘Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in their flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so called “Circumcision” which is performed in the flesh by human hands. Remember that you we at that time excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Messiah Yeshua you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Messiah. For He Himself is our peace who made both groups into One and broke down the middle wall of perdition by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Torah of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.” This oneness does not mean sameness.
- Ephesians 3:1-11 — Paul describes this unique relationship as a mystery that was hidden in God and not revealed in other generations. It was not known to the sons of men as it is now being revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit. The mystery revealed was that the Gentiles would be joint heirs and fellow members and fellow partakers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the gospel
When Gentile Believers come to faith they are grafted into the commonwealth of Israel but doesn’t become Jewish but is attached together with Israel. It is not about Israel becoming part of the Church. Instead it is the Church who becomes part of Israel. The Gentile believer becomes fellow heirs and fellow members of the body and fellow partakers of the promise in Messiah Yeshua through the gospel. (Ephesians 3:6) A scripture that is often misunderstood by most Believers is Galatians 3:27, 28 but there is a difference between Jew and Gentile, male and female, bond and free and this difference is not related to salvation but God’s divine mandate that He promised to Israel regarding the land, their inheritance and the people.
As Romans 9:4, 5 articulates: “Who are the Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Torah and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers and from whom is the Messiah according to the flesh.” What advantage has the Jew or what is the benefit of circumcision? (Romans 3:1, 2)
- Romans 11:1-35 describes the unique role and attitude the Gentile Believer is to have towards the natural branches his Jewish brethren.
Messianic Foundation from the Roots Up, www.bethshechinah.com , (pp. 77, 78), A course in understanding the Messianic Vision and Congregational Life of Beth Shechinah, by Messianic Rabbi Calev Goldberg.
This STUDY is an effort to provide an overview, or brief summary, positionally, of the integration of the Gentile believer within the Messianic Community, on the basis of Who Jesus/Yeshua was and is.
Increasingly, Gentile believers are becoming curious about, and discovering the Jewish roots of their Christian belief system/doctrines/faith, which have for centuries been largely unacknowledged, if not forgotten. Upon recognizing the reality of who Jesus/Yeshua was – that He was a Jew – and that He read and studied Torah and Tanakh, just as all His family, other Rabbis, Pharisees, etc., and will also return as a Jew, to the Mount of Olives, in Israel (Zech.14:4). We see the Old Testament as foundational to the New Testament and see how the New builds upon the Old. Realizing that there was no “New Testament” to draw on, and that He not only read, but is quoted throughout the New Testament as quoting Torah/OT/Tanakh Scriptures, we also see how Jesus/Yeshua confirmed and validated the Scriptures. Here are just a few examples:
“But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matt.4:4)
“that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut.8:3)
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’” (Matt.5:21)
“You shall not murder.” (Ex.20:13)
“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’” (Matt.5:31)
“When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce.” (Deut.24:1)
“And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me” (Lk.4:17,18)
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news” (Isa.61:1)
Everything Jesus/Yeshua said and did validated Torah/OT/Tanakh, and was aligned with what the Father instructed Him to say/do:
“Amen, amen I tell you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He does” (John 5:19,20).
“I do nothing by Myself, but speak just what the Father has taught Me. The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to Him” (John 8:28,29).
“I did not speak on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting. Therefore what I say, I say just as the Father has told Me” (John 12:48,49).
Gentiles in the Messianic Community understand that Yeshua/Jesus wants us to be united with our Jewish believing counterparts. We understand that we have been grafted in (Rom.11:23,24), and become “sons of God through trusting in Messiah Yeshua. For all of you who were immersed in Messiah have clothed yourselves with Messiah. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua. And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed—heirs according to the promise” (Gal.3:26-29). We understand that we are adopted and have “received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Ruach Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, also heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Messiah” (Rom.8:15-17). Jew and Gentile believers become united by our belief in Yeshua, by His Holy Spirit, and are on an equal footing, for by His Holy Spirit (Ruach) all believers in Yeshua (Jesus) have the same access to the Father.
Messianic believers also understand that Yeshua Messiah clearly did not abolish, negate, or counter Torah/OT teachings and/or commandments in any way, as substantiated in:
17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
18 Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.
19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!
Although many have misinterpreted Yeshua Messiah’s statement of “fulfillment” to somehow intend a cancellation, negation, or abolishment, it is clear from the dictionary definition of “fulfill” that this is incorrect:
- bring to completion or reality; achieve or realize (something desired, promised, or predicted).“he wouldn’t be able to fulfill his ambition to visit Naples”
- carry out (a task, duty, or role) as required, pledged, or expected.“some officials were dismissed because they could not fulfill their duties”
synonyms: carry out, perform, accomplish, execute, do, discharge, conduct
When you “perform” a task, you demonstrate how something is to be done in the process of doing it. Yeshua Ha-Mashiach/Jesus Christ came to live out/demonstrate how the Father’s commandments are to be lived out by His followers, to show all believers how it is done in real time/life. After He left, His Holy Spirit (Ruach in Hebrew) was released to His followers to endow them with the gift of the Spirit enabling them to follow in His Footsteps.
© 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
Scriptures from Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
Reference, Rabbi Calev Goldberg, Messianic Foundation from the Roots Up, www.bethshechinah.com , (pp. 77, 78), A course in understanding the Messianic Vision and Congregational Life of Beth Shechinah.
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Copyright © 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.