Reconciling the Church to her Hebraic Roots

When the Emmaus Group was founded, one of the goals was to understand God’s prophetic purposes for Israel.   Over the past 2000 years, much erroneous teaching has influenced the church’s position towards Israel, leading to tragic consequences throughout history and which continue today.

The modern State of Israel is, like every other nation in the world, not perfect. However, God has made it very clear that he has chosen the Jewish people as a nation for himself and to be the vehicle through which he would implement his redemptive plan for mankind.  The Emmaus Group works hard to present the church with the truth about Israel, and to actively encourage reconciliation between the church and her roots in order to bring her into obedience and to equip her for what lies ahead.

Relevant Articles:

WARNING! THE LAW OF MOSES APPLIES TO GENTILE BELIEVERS

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Warning: The Law of Moses Does Apply To Gentile Believers! “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?  For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king….”  1 Samuel 15:22/23 The prophet Samuel spoke these words to King Saul after he disobeyed God, proving rebellion can be extremely costly – in Saul’s case he lost his kingdom!  Refusing to obey God is considered equal to the sin of divination, and such insubordination is also considered equal to iniquity and idolatry.  The King James translation uses the word stubbornness for insubordination.  It says; rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness as idolatry.  Why idolatry?  Because refusing to obey God means by default placing someone else’s ways  before His, in other words one worships another before God’s – that is idolatry.  However: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  But outside are dogs (unclean people) and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”  Revelation 22:14-15 God frequently called the early Israelites a stiff-necked people.  People with stiff necks cannot (or will not) turn their heads to see things differently.  The Israelites were stiff-necked by choice, not wanting to change their old ways so they rebelled.  Like Saul, they too lost their place in the Promised Land....

ROMANS 11 & THE 2 OLIVE TREES

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Those who understand Paul’s teachings in Romans 11, know he likened Gentile disciples of Christ to wild olive branches, who through Christ, are grafted into a cultivated tree, a symbol of ‘spiritual Israel’. In the Middle East and southern Europe where olive groves abound, it’s very noticeable how harshly cultivated trees are pruned in order to produce better fruit.  Cultivated olive groves have lines of well-ordered and pruned trees, whereas wild trees grow everywhere on the hillsides, straggly and wild, producing lesser fruits.  The harshness with which cultivated trees are pruned, even using chainsaws to cut off major branches is significant when considering Paul’s parable in Romans 11. Why, because Gentile branches should expect to be pruned and trained as the host tree is.   If Gentile believers are grafted into the cultivated tree, becoming spiritual citizens of the commonwealth of Israel, they too should expect to do as the Lord requires of Israel.    Otherwise we risk falling into the trap of wanting to have our proverbial cake and eat it.  We want the blessings that Israel receives without paying the full price of commitment and obedience. Jesus makes clear: love = obedience to His word, all of it!   This is not out of legalism (a trap into which Israel has fallen) but out of love for our Father in Heaven. God placed laws and commandments for the Israelites to follow with the counsel that great blessing or cursing would come too, depending on whether they obeyed or rebelled.   The Western church majors on the doctrine of grace, a doctrine which has been placed on such...

ISRAEL – A THORN IN THE ARAB SIDE

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) As tensions and violence continue in the Middle East with both Palestinians and Israelis hardening their hearts, disciples of Jesus Christ who understand Israel’s unique place in biblical prophecy, must align their thinking with God’s by taking every thought captive to Christ.[i] First and foremost we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven,[ii] so must see the conflict through God’s eyes, not ours. As ambassadors for this kingdom, in all matters pertaining to political-religious conflict, we must seek first the wisdom of our King. Attempting to make sense of the Arab-Israeli conflict through man’s eye is destined only to confuse, divide and cause trouble. To understand what’s happening in this aged dispute we must turn to God’s word. For it is an aged dispute, one that goes back over four thousand years to the first disputes about land, water and inheritance. “The Lord blessed Issac…the man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous.; for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.” Genesis 26 12-14. When one reads the name ‘Philistine’ in the Bible one must think Palestine. ‘Filisteen’ is simply the Arabic pronunciation of our word Philistine, from which derives the modern pronunciation Palestine. The early ‘Filisteens’/Philistines/Palestinians envied the early Israelites much as they do today. Abimelech, the Philistine king, said to Isaac “go away from us, for you are much mightier than us” (Gen 26:16). Later in verse 20, we read how Isaac’s herdsmen clashed with the Philistine herdsmen over water (much as they do today). “The...