Thoughts on the unity of Messiah’s body in the Land of Israel and the universal body of Christ
It is estimated that there exists today approximately 30,000 different denominations in the body of Christ universally. Yeshua said, when speaking about Satan, that a house divided cannot stand and that even Satan is not divided against himself. The house of God is a very divided house and in a very real sense when we look at the big picture many of the denominations, in fact more and more denominations are “imploding,” that is to say, that the spirit of uncleanness, such as the so called “same- sex marriage” is becoming more and more common in some of the historical Protestant denominations. Men and women who have no intention to get married are living together, even having children together and are being fully tolerated and accepted in many fellowships the world. False gospels are being preached that are really not the gospel at all, rather they are self-centered, self indulgent gospels.
In Israel, the bottom line of the major divisions, circle around the issue of the charismatic and the non-charismatic. The charismatic fellowships generally speaking are very concerned with eschatology, the place of Israel in the plan of God and the particular prophetic calling of the Messianic community in God‘s plan of restoration. Normally the thinking here in the Messianic community is not the “imported” teachings from the traditional dispensational understandings, but rather the understandings that have come through searching the Scriptures and comparing the Scriptures with historical realities.
There is often also the big question of “Torah”, how do we relate to the Mosaic and rabbinical derivatives from the mosaic commandments, as there no longer is a temple in Jerusalem, which would make it possible to practice the Mosaic law? These issues and a multitude of others that are surfacing at the present time and are causing major rifts in the Messianic community.
The big question is, does God really have a plan to restore his church even before the second coming of Messiah, the church that has greatly deviated from the church that the apostles founded? Of course the situation today is far more complex then it was in the beginning when the apostles were still alive, but even then the challenges were very great as there were many different heretical teachings at that time, but because of right understanding of Scripture and the authority that God had given the apostles, they were able to deal successfully to uproot these heresies.
Another important and major question has to do with the place in which the church was born, the city of Jerusalem. Does God have a plan to restore the apostolic and prophetic mother church of Jerusalem? If so, would the Jerusalem church play a major role in bringing together the thousands of scattered fragments of the divided body of Messiah?
What about the question of the “Table of the Lord”? For most people, this is not at all the question. Nevertheless, it exists. What did Jesus mean when he said. “Take eat this is my body broken for you and when he said drink all of you, this is the cup of the new covenant in my blood shed for many?” Many even today associate this thought with “cannibalism.” Nevertheless, Jesus meant what he said and we need to rightly understand what he meant when he made the statement.
There are many questions that we need to ask, as the Lord in his faithfulness and in his mercy and in his grace is in the process of resurrecting the ancient part of the church that was called in the beginning “The church of the circumcision.” Whenever we will be ready, as Messiah’s body in the Land of Israel, to lay on the altar everything that we think that we really know and come empty-handed before the throne of God, confessing our many sins, and in brokenness and in humility truly seek his face, even shedding tears, not only because of our own sins and the sins of our nation, but also for the sins of the universal church, as his holy priesthood, then certainly God will answer from heaven.
Israel has been called by God to be “A kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” This holy calling is still our calling. Will we finally understand and yield to the kingship of our Lord Yeshua HaMashiach?
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Benjamin Berger is the son of Orthodox Jews who immigrated to New York from Europe after many other family members were lost at Auschwitz. After a period of spiritual study and searching, he left the practice of Orthodox Judaism when he came to know the God of his fathers, and recognized Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel. Today Benjamin represents the Israeli Committee on the International Leadership Council of Toward Jerusalem Council II (TJCII). He and his brother Reuven lead “Kehilat ha’seh al Har Zion” (The Congregation of the Lamb on Mt. Zion). The congregation, made up of Hebrew speaking Jews, Arabs, and Gentile Christians, meets at Christ Church in Jerusalem located at the Jaffa Gate in the Old City.