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Biblical understanding about Israel
From 20th – 24th September, thirty-five Bible teachers came together in a Salvation Army centre in Ede, The Netherlands for a European “Training the teachers” conference organized by Christians for Israel International.
Men and women actively involved in teaching in churches, they came from the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Denmark, Ukraine, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, as well as USA, Singapore and Honduras. The common theme was the desire to know more of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and to share experiences, in order to be more powerful witnesses to Him into their nations.
Over four intensive days, they explored the theme “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).
International Bible teacher Rev. David Pawson kicked off with three masterly lectures, chapters 9-11 of the Letter of Paul to the Romans. “Contrary to what many people think, these chapters form the heart of the Apostle’s letter to the church in Rome”, explained Pawson. “The whole point of Paul’s Letter was to explain to the Gentile Christians in Rome their relationship with the Jewish believers, who had been thrown out of Rome by Emperor Claudius. In so doing, Paul reveals God’s greater purposes with the whole of the Jewish nation, and through them with all nations. Paul reveals sixteen ‘surprises’, that to this day have remained hidden from most Gentile believers in Jesus. God shows Himself to be a God who is faithful to His promises, covenants and revealed purposes.”
Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer (President, Christians for Israel International) continued by exploring the relationship between the covenants entered by God with the Jewish people, and the Biblical concept of the “Kingdom of heaven”.
“For centuries the church has preached that we will all go to heaven when we die. That idea could not be farther from the truth. It has resulted in many false notions of the kingdom. The kingdom of heaven is not about us going from earth to heaven, it is about the Kingdom that will come down from heaven to earth!”
“This false teaching about the Kingdom has meant that the church has ignored the fact that it is God himself who has blinded and hardened the Jewish people – in order that we Gentiles could be saved. We owe our salvation to their transgression! This veil that God has imposed will last until Jesus Himself will remove it. That is His prerogative.”
“As Christians we need to bow our heads with respect for God’s mysterious dealings with his own people. The Jewish people are not like heathen nations who do not know God. On the contrary - God created the nation of Israel. He entered into covenants with Israel, he married Israel, and He will be faithful to her. Instead of constantly criticizing the Jews, we should be filled with remorse for the rivers of Jewish blood that have flowed over the centuries at the hands of Christians in Europe.” According to Glashouwer, the message of Christians for Israel is an urgent call to repentance. “The return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel is a final wake-up call to the church. It is the greatest sign of hope the church has ever seen, because it shows God is preparing for the Kingdom. It is time to repent of our past, to comfort Israel, and to look for the coming of Christ. Only then will God’s Kingdom be fully established on earth”.
In a masterful exposition drawing widely on the books of the first and second covenants, Rev. Henk Poot (full-time speaker and author for Christians for Israel Netherlands) explored the Jewishness of Jesus, and the magnitude of His ministry as Messiah. As Gentile Christians, in our desire to embrace the universality of Jesus as savior of all people, we have rejected His particularity as shepherd of Israel. The Christian church has separated from Jesus own people in the flesh, the “lost sheep of Israel” for whom alone He was sent (Matthew 15:24).
“We have forgotten that He is the Word of God - through whom, by whom and for whom all things were made. He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega. If we are to understand something of the heart and soul of God, we need to cast off our Gentile mindset and (re)discover Jesus as the angel of the Lord who appeared to Israel in the old testament. He is the Son of God, God incarnate, but also a son of Israel, a man who bears the genes of his people in his blood. He was born and died a Jew and is still a Jew, interceding before His Father. And he will come again as a Jew. The Jews may not have Jesus, but He has them!”
Executive Director of Christians for Israel International
Legal Counsel for the European Coalition for Israel
Watch some photographs below.