Are the Restorations of Israel and the Church Converging?

Thursday, March 16, 2017 |  Brian Hennessy

I believe God is doing an amazing thing in our day that has flown largely under the radar. It appears He is merging His restoration of the church with His restoration of Israel.

In my previous article I discussed how the Feasts of Israel were actually dress rehearsals intended to point to a spiritual fulfillment in Messiah. Passover, of course, was fulfilled in Yeshua on Passover when he died and was resurrected. And Pentecost on Pentecost when he sent the Holy Spirit to the early church. Only the third Feast of Tabernacles remained without a New Covenant fulfillment.

However, as I said, I now believe the first of the three Tabernacle feasts, the Feast of Trumpets, received its spiritual fulfillment on June 7, 1967 when Jerusalem was liberated in the Six-Day War. But as some commented, it didn’t happen on the exact date of the feast. Didn’t that disqualify it?

That puzzled me at first also, until I saw it in the context of the restoration of the church. Let me explain.

To begin, it’s important to understand that the church was taken captive in the fourth century when Constantine married the church to the state. He did so with the help of many church leaders whose Biblical understanding had been corrupted by Greek philosophy.

Convening at Nicea in 325 AD, the Emperor Constantine established Christianity as a new Gentile religion that would have its own feast days (Easter, a Sunday Sabbath), rituals and priesthood. His goal was to separate Christianity from Judaism. To quote the words of Constantine: “Nothing should be held in common with that nation of liars and Christ-killers.”

In doing so, Constantine severed the church from its Hebraic roots and established the Roman Catholic Church as the official expression of Christianity. His actions plunged the church and Europe into spiritual darkness for centuries. A period appropriately termed The Dark Ages.

But God in His mercy did not leave us there. In time He began to restore our stolen heritage and the spiritual truths connected to the seven Biblical Feasts of Israel. As it played out in history, His restoration came as extended seasons which didn’t necessarily start on the Biblical Feast dates.

It officially began when Martin Luther posted his 95 thesis in October of 1517 and the Protestant Reformation was launched. In his awakening to the truth that “the just shall live by faith,” and not by religious works, he discovered he’d been born-again. And the spiritual fulfillment of Passover was restored to the church.

Soon afterwards, the Bible was translated into the common language of the people, first by Luther in Germany, and then by Tyndale in England. As a result, more and more false teachings of the Roman Church were uncovered and discarded and slowly replaced with the correct Biblical understandings. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was restored.

In the process, many believers began to see God required more than just a true knowledge of salvation. He wanted us to put on the new man and live godly lives from then on. The first to switch obedience from the traditions of the Catholic/Protestant Church-state systems to the teaching of Scripture were called Anabaptists. They simply wanted to practice believer’s baptism, not the Church’s infant baptism. And for that they were cruelly persecuted. God soon raised up gifted teachers, men like John Calvin, the Wesley brothers, George Whitfield, George Mueller to build up the body of Messiah. And a new wave offering of faithful believers began to serve the Lord, restoring the Feast of First Fruits.

Then at the start of the Twentieth Century a small group of believers in Kansas sought for, and experienced, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with its spiritual gifts. That led to the Azusa Street revival, which spread around the world. And the power of Pentecost was back.

Then came June 7, 1967 when Israel miraculously recaptured Jerusalem and precipitated several historic awakenings in both the Jewish and Christian communities.

For Christians, it was the trumpet call that awakened us to the Hebraic roots of our faith. And to discover the enormity of the crime that had taken place at Nicea so long ago.

So even though the event itself didn’t happen on the exact date of Trumpets, it did happen in Jerusalem. And led to tens of thousands of Christians coming up to Jerusalem to bless the nation and celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. But this restoration, which resulted in such a huge spiritual victory in the hearts and minds of so many Christians, was significantly different from all the rest. Instead of being initiated from within Christianity, it was instead triggered by a Jewish military victory in Israel.

Doesn’t that suggest a spiritual convergence of our two communities not seen since the first century?

If I am correct in this discernment, it means we are coming into the unity that Yeshua prayed for just before his death (John 17:21). Because the next feast to be fulfilled in both our restorations from “Babylon” will be the Feast of Atonement. If that feast results in a large scale Jewish/Israeli awakening to Yeshua, and a cleansing of the body of Messiah - as many anticipate - wouldn’t that bring about a complete spiritual merger of the church and Israel in Messiah? Wouldn’t that truly make us “one flock with one shepherd”? (John 10:16)

After Atonement, of course, comes the Feast of Tabernacles, also called the Feast of Ingathering. That convocation speaks loudly of “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him” (2 Thess.2:1) But before all that happens there must come the Day of the Lord with the apostasy and revealing of antichrist.

Surely we live in prophetic times.

Brian Hennessy is the author of Valley of the Steeples

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