Anti-Semitism, Root Issue of the ChurchGod is re-establishing the Church on its true biblical foundations. This includes an understanding of the relationship between the Body of Christ and the Jewish people.
Several years ago a group of believers in the Vancouver area were crying out to the Lord about revival in Canada. They knew our Nation, the Dominion of Canada, was founded on the words from Psalm 72:8 " … He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the uttermost parts of the earth." Canada had yet to experience national revival, and these intercessors were seeking God about the keys to such a revival in our land. The Lord began to respond to their fervent prayers.
… the ugly root of anti-Semitism has been exposed in our Nation.
Over a period of time the Lord revealed to David Demian, a medical doctor of Egyptian heritage, that Canada would not be healed of her long standing French/English conflict, nor would she be released into her end time destiny, until she dealt with the "root issue." In time, the Lord made clear to David that this "root issue" was "the anti-Semitic heart of our Nation."
Many Canadian Christians have no doubt heard of the ministry of Dr. David Demian. God has entrusted to David the stewardship of this "word" for our Nation, a call to repentance concerning the "root issue" of anti-Semitism and a call to prayerful faith concerning Canada's end time destiny.
Repentance and reconciliation
Many cried out to God about our sin in the incident of the St. Louis ship, and our guilt as Canadians concerning other similar sins of omission where we have failed to support Jewish people. By the grace of God, the ugly root of anti-Semitism has been exposed in our Nation. In fact, approximately 25 survivors of the St. Louis ship, accompanied by their spouses, came to Ottawa in November, 2000, to gather with representatives of the Church from across Canada, Native leaders and leaders of the Jewish community. In Ottawa, they heard heartfelt expressions of repentance and godly sorrow for our sin as a Nation against them and their family members, many of whom perished in the Nazi death camps. I am so grateful to God for the ministry of His Holy Spirit among us, the Spirit of Truth, who has literally led many in Canada into the truth on this issue and even spoken to us about what is to come, just as Jesus said He would (see John 16:12 & 13).
However, I sense there is still more revelation God wants to bring concerning the "root issue." I believe the Lord is bearing witness that anti-Semitism is not just an issue for Canada; it is a "root issue" for the Church as well. God is re-establishing the Church on its true biblical foundations, particularly restoring the essential truth of Romans 9 to 11, and Ephesians 2 and 3.
I heard someone comment recently that Israel failed and fell short in her time (see Jeremiah 31:32), and then the Church in the period of history called the "times of the Gentiles" likewise failed. What immediately came to mind were the words of Paul: "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
It is sobering, perhaps even traumatic for Christians who have embraced the new covenant to consider that we, like Israel, may have failed to be all that God intended and called us to be. I sense we could be entering a new season in God's purpose and timing—perhaps a kind of final phase, that might be called "the season of the one new man"—not Israel's time, nor the Gentiles' time, but God's time, the time when God's wisdom (see Ephesians 3:10) and God's glory (see Isaiah 40:5) will be revealed even to principalities and powers through a broken, contrite Church made up of Jew and Gentile, together as one olive tree.
Unbiblical "replacement theology"
Even though Paul emphasized: "do not boast … you do not support the root, the root supports you" (Romans 11:18), the Church in the 2nd and 3rd century began to drift from her roots and foundations in God's covenant faithfulness to Israel. Instead of being continually grateful to God that Gentiles had been mercifully included with the Jews as members of God's family, the Church began to view itself as superior to the non-believing Jews and a "holy nation" in its own right.
Surely then, the Church had replaced Israel in God's mind and heart …
After all, a predominantly Gentile Church had recognized and received Jesus as Messiah, while the Jews had missed their hour of visitation. Surely then, the Church had replaced Israel in God's mind and heart, and the Jews, considered by many to be guilty of killing the King of Glory, had forfeited their calling. We know that this unbiblical attitude has led to unspeakable persecution of the besieged Jewish people in every generation, as if God had ultimately rejected those who once were His people, His "treasured possession" (Romans 11:1 & 2, 11-16).
I heard recently that Jews in the 3rd century who converted to Christianity were expected to renounce every vestige of their Jewishness—to sever every connection with their roots. It seems the Church in its ignorance had cut itself off from its roots, then proceeded to ensure that every Jewish convert did the same. This tragedy reminds me of Jesus' words to the Pharisees: "You hypocrites! You shut the Kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to" (Matthew 23:13).
There is a very instructive (although very sobering) little booklet by Sister Pista of the Sisters of Mercy in Darmstadt, Germany entitled The Guilt of Christianity Toward the Jewish People, which provides an overview of anti-Semitism in the Church over the centuries. Although certainly not the case for every Gentile believer, it seems the Church ignored or rejected the essence of the "mystery" Paul speaks of in Ephesians 3:4-6, a revelation that is absolutely vital and fundamental to our understanding of who we are and what we're part of, by the grace of God. Paul says we're wild, uncultivated branches that have been grafted into the cultivated olive tree, to benefit from the life-giving flow of nourishing sap from the roots (oh, thank you Father). The Church however, seems to have ignored in large measure this foundational truth, as if we were somehow a separate olive tree with a rather weak and shallow root system at that!
I sense God wants to expose the pride and presumption of His Church so we can truly be in the days to come "a people prepared for the Lord." The Lord in Revelation 3:17 says: "You say 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."
Ouch! It is humbling to consider the truth that we are basically heathen orphans who have been adopted into a Jewish family, a family the firstborn Son of which is our Jewish Saviour (see Romans 9:4-5; Ephesians 2:11-13). Furthermore, Paul makes clear the "salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious … to provoke them to jealousy." It would naturally follow then that we could only boast in our success as the Church of Jesus Christ to the extent we were actually succeeding in our primary purpose of making the Jews jealous—but if we even understood this (I certainly didn't), how successful have we really been?
I believe it could be said that God our Father is calling home both of His beloved sons: the elder son who might be seen as the Jewish people, and His wayward prodigal son, the Gentile Church. We will return home to His heart on an equal footing, united together in Yeshua, confessing: "Father, I have sinned."
… we can minister under the anointing that tears down dividing walls and puts hostility and hatred to death.
He is restoring His family, and He is restoring His house—a house of covenant love; a house of prayer and worship for every tribe and tongue under heaven.
Finally, I believe God wants to commission us as ambassadors of reconciliation to the Jew first and to the nations.
He is inviting us to understand better what His Son accomplished on the cross (see Ephesians 2:14-18), so we can minister under the anointing that tears down dividing walls and puts hostility and hatred to death. I sense Israel is a key to such reconciliation. I believe God is looking for those to whom He can entrust the mystery of the full Gospel, as Paul describes it in Ephesians 3:1-9, especially verses 8 and 9. He is not asking us to put the Jewish people on a pedestal, but to show love and mercy to His beloved sons and daughters, because He is longing for them to know He has not forgotten them. They are carved on the palms of His hands forever. He is longing for them to know they are yet secure in their identity as His people and their destiny among the nations, for the praise of His Glory.
David Cummings is the pastor of Hamilton Christian Fellowship, Hamilton, ON.
Originally published in Christians for Israel TODAY, Spring 2001.
Used with permission of the author. Copyright © 2004 Christianity.ca.