As each day goes by, evidence of the link becomes more apparent. When it comes to Israel, the hotter things get politically, the more clear it becomes that G-d and his spiritual enemy Hasatan are waging a galactic battle that will culminate with Yeshua’s return on the Mount of Olives, as predicted in Zechariah 14:1-4. One only has to follow the pronouncements of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, or the Boycott Divest Sanction movement, to recognize the hostility toward Israel that is growing every day. Add to that the violence on Israeli streets, the pronouncements of Iran, Hezballah, Hamas and even the Palestinian Authority—along with the International threats to Jewish community centers and cemeteries—and the spiritual importance of the prophetic return to the Jewish homeland becomes…well…obvious.
On the positive side, I’ve always been amazed by Israel’s ongoing survival—and not only survival, but success—in the face of such opposition and outright hostility. Yes, she has her economic and security challenges. But she is also on the cutting edge of the high-tech fields in so many areas, including medical. Her impact on the agricultural world is astounding. The aid she extends to communities in crises worldwide is second to none—including even the U.S. And her military might is up there with ours as well. And of course she is, as many in our government have so often mentioned, the only democracy in the Middle East.
All of these extraordinary developments have occurred over a relatively short period of time. And during that same period, another amazing phenomenon has occurred—that is, the revival of the first clearly identifiable Messianic Jewish community expression since the first century. It’s not lost on me that the first century also was the last time Israel dwelled in her own land as a nation. Both of these prophetic realities occurred parallel time wise.
In regard to the Messianic Jewish revival, similar astonishing growth has occurred. There was a time not all that long ago when a Jewish believer might believe they were the only one in the world who believed Yeshua was the Messiah. Nowhere was that more true than in Israel. In the 1950s, there were just a few Messianic Jews there—although they were not called that back then—and most of those few felt alone as Jewish believers. Now, estimates of the number of Messianic Jews in Israel are somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000. Estimates worldwide range in the hundreds of thousands. In Israel, the Messianic Jewish community is often cited in the media. Many Messianic Jews serve with distinction in the military. They hold key positions in the legal, tech, medical and other fields. And now, there are political organizations and parties forming to advocate for Messianic Jews.
While discrimination against Messianic Jews remains in Israel and beyond, there is an increasing recognition in the Jewish press, and among a number of Jewish leaders that Messianic Jews are fully Jewish. In the past, this was rarely true. Articles in major Jewish publications and television reports usually refused to consider Messianic Jews as Jews. And they were usually negative. That is rapidly changing. At one time, New York’s Jewish Daily Forward included aggressive anti-missionaries among its staff writers. Now, positive articles are being written. And the Messianic Jewish community is being recognized as a helpful constituency in the battle to advocate for Israel in the face of a hostile world—and even at times hostile church structures. Here is a quote from a recent Jewish Daily Forward article.
“…raising awareness about anti-Semitism and advocating for Israel has been a part of [the messianic Jews’] mandate since the modern messianic Jewish movement coalesced in the 1960s. Messianics view Jews as divinely linked to the Land of Israel. For them, anti-Semitism is not just bigoted, but also an abomination.”
Many orthodox Jews contribute articles to the Forward, and are readers as well. There is an increasing awareness that we are here to stay, and may have something positive to contribute to the wider Jewish community and society as a whole.
The openness in Israel to Messianic Jewish humanitarian aid organizations has also greatly expanded. Organizations like the Joseph Project and the Joseph Storehouse are doing a great work, and are working hand in hand with Israeli agencies and governmental officials. Some of those officials have even spoken at major Messianic Jewish conferences.
As we approach the future, I believe that G-d’s hand will become ever clearer in Israel, the Jewish homeland, and in the Messianic community in Israel and worldwide. And we can expect an intersection of the two prophetic phenomena in Israel, as the Messianic community there continues to grow in numbers and influence.