Since returning to the old paths (Jer 6:16) where the good way is, over the past six years Scripture’s puzzle pieces have come together! Jumbled passages now form a unified picture. We live in the days just before Messiah returns.
It’s the period spoken of in Acts 3:21, a time of which God has spoken of from ages past through the mouth of all His holy prophets. It’s that time of restoration of all things. For from ancient times—from the very beginning—God has declared those things not yet done. (Isa 46:10)
God’s clock started ticking in His restoration of all things 66 years ago, when against all odds a Nation dead for some 1,896 years was born in a day and fulfilled the prophesy of Isaiah 66:8. That nation was Israel; the day May 14, 1948.
And in less than 24 hours, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq attacked. Yet this meagerly equipped nation of Holocaust survivors, in what has become a pattern, defeated her enemies. Translation: God saves Israel! Even her deserts now bloom! (Isaiah 35:1)
Later, in 1967, after nearly 2000 years, Israel regained control of the Holy City of Jerusalem, where Yahweh placed his Name. By the end of that miraculous Six-Day War, Israel tripled its controlled area, from 8,000 to 26,000 miles. They captured the Sinai, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Like exclamation points at the end of sentences, miracles punctuate Israel’s history. And though each of these miracles deserve being told, in this article I will summarize only one. It occurred during the Six-Day War, and is typical.
The Conquest of Shechem (Nablus)
IDF analysts had predicted taking Shechem would be difficult, one of the bloodiest battles. But Yah had another plan. Jordan placed its heavy artillery and tanks in the hilly terrain overlooking Shechem from the west, assuming that the IDF would attack from the coastal plain. But the IDF advanced from the east.
According to Colonel Uri Banari’s eyewitness account, as reported in the 5/14/2007 edition of Arutz Sheva’s article Miracles in the Six-Day War, at the entrance to Shechem thousands of cheering Arabs waved white handkerchiefs and clapped their hands. There was no panic in the streets, no armed guards.
“Suddenly,” reports the Colonel, “something happened which changed the entire picture in a moment. One of our officers wanted to disarm an Arab guard. When the latter refused, our officer fired a shot in the air.
“At that moment, all the crowds disappeared and streets emptied. The Arabs began sniper fire. I didn’t comprehend what had transpired. Only later, I understand. The residents of Shechem had thought we were the Iraqi forces due to arrive from the direction of Jordan. . . . They woke up to their error very late.”
“The Arabs were surprised; the fear of the Jews fell upon them. In Hevron and in Shechem, in Jenin and in Jericho the Arabs were heavily armed. There was not even one small Arab village without arms. With great haste, the Arabs, however, hid their weapons and didn’t consider using them. They raised their hands and flew white flags of surrender from every edifice. The fear of G-d fell upon hundreds of thousands of proud Arabs…”
In 1967 when Israel regained control of its most holy city, fulfilling the prophesy of Luke 21:24, it ended that time when Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles.
Only a hand-full of Messianic congregations existed, then. And the phrase Hebrew Roots, referencing a movement, had yet to be uttered. Today, in 2014, these Hebrew Roots congregations are sprouting up everywhere, in every country, and out of every Christian denomination.
Quoting Wikipedia, “It’s a grassroots movement without an ecclesiastical superstructure.” Its basic tenants, aside from its most central, faith in Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah are: keep Yahweh’s Sabbath, observe His annual Feasts, and obey the Commandments, including dietary law.
Subsequent to their desire to keep Yahweh’s instructions–don’t worship Him the way Gentiles worship their gods (Deu 12:30)–and energized by their newly acquired knowledge of the Church’s syncretism with Paganism during the third century, those returning to the old paths renounce unbiblical, Popish holidays. Out with Christmas! Out with Easter!
Those contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints prefer the scorn of family and friends to disobedience of their Heavenly Father. For those returning to their Biblical (Hebrew) roots, it matters not what those holidays once meant to them. It matters only what they mean to God. And His memory is not short. He was there from the beginning.
For a couple of years now, week after week I hear testimonies that sound the same. From those joining my local congregation to those I hear when listening to Hebrew Nation Radio there is a common theme. I see it in print on various websites, too. Their names change, but the stories are much the same. They go something like this:
I’ve been a Christian for a number of years, but I keep feeling something is missing. I’ve asked God to show me TRUTH. I’ll follow where it leads. But the more TRUTH I discover, the more I don’t fit in.
What I read in the Scriptures isn’t what I’m hearing from the pulpit. Nor do I get straight answers when I ask why we don’t keep the Biblical Sabbath or the Feasts? According to the book of Acts the apostles kept them all! Didn’t God say those in covenant with Him were to observe them forever?
Why did Jesus emphatically say that not one jot or tittle would pass from the Law, until heaven and earth passed away? What did he mean when he said those who break and teach others to break even the least of these laws would be least in the Kingdom of Heaven?
If the law was done away with, why did the Lord tell those who love him to keep His commandments? And if when Gentiles come to faith they need only to abstain from idols, fornication, things strangled, and blood, does that mean they can murder? Can they lie? Must they still pay tithes?
SEEKING ANSWERS IN THE OLD PATHS
These seekers of the old paths want someone to explain why the New Covenant was made only with the House of Israel and the House of Judah! Could it have something to do with what Paul taught in Romans?
But if Gentile believers are grafted into Israel’s cultivated Olive tree, if they gain citizenship in Israel’s common-wealth and are no longer alienated from the covenants as it says in Ephesians 2, why do so many Pastors tell Jews who accept Jesus that they are no longer Jewish? Why do they want Jews to act like Gentiles and eat unclean things and reject the Sabbath?
Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Scripture clearly teaches that Gentiles do not replace but become part of Israel!
And why, why, why would having God’s law written on one’s heart exempt one from obeying it?
These seekers of TRUTH demand to know why God would devote two thirds of Scripture to the Old Testament if what the Church teaches is true and we need only the New? Has the God who ‘changes not’ changed His mind?
Or has the Church lost its mind?
But Israel’s rebirth and the ever growing Messianic and Hebrew Roots movements are not the only signs of the time. There is another, and it is even more remarkable.
Orthodox Jews, men like Yair Davidi and Hanoch Young, men who have devoted decades to studying Hebrew prophesy, are starting to recognize Christians as brothers. Especially those in the Hebraic Roots movement are recognized as part of the lost 10 tribes which were scattered into the nations from the House of Israel.
If that doesn’t elicit a “Praise Yah,” you better check for a pulse to make sure you’re still alive. If after centuries of persecution by the so-called Church, Jews are recognizing our relatedness, how long can it be before they recognize their Messiah?
For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery … that hardness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the nations have come in; and so all Israel will be saved, even as it is written.
The Deliverer will come out of Zion and turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And if their casting away means reconciling of the world, what will their receiving be but life from the dead!