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Sitting in a Christian Missionary Alliance church in Jerusalem, (I was there for a meeting), I was struck by the many, and often conflicting visions people have and have had for the city.
CMA, for instance, built the property in 1906 when the Land was under Turkish rule. Their vision was to create an outreach center that will evangelize Muslims. Did they understand they were living in momentous days? World War I was around the corner, and so was the Balfour declaration (1917). Maybe, or maybe not. Certainly, the Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church who own vast stretches of Land in Jerusalem had their own vision for the Land and the city. Muslims have their own vision, and even among the various Jewish streams, there are multiple and often conflicting visions for the city and the Land.
But God has His own vision, and that is the only one that counts.
We prayed from the scriptures into God’s vision as it is clearly declared in the Word.
Ezek. 37:21 “Then say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land;
Ezek. 37:22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.
Ezek. 37:23 They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
Ezek. 37:24 “David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.
Ezek. 37:25 Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell there, they, their children, and their children’s children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.
Ezek. 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore.
Ezek. 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Ezek. 37:28 The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” ’ ”
Simply put, God’s vision for Israel is to send His Son back to rule over a gathered, cleansed, sanctified people who will walk with God in the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit unto obedience and the knowledge of God. The fulfillment of this vision will, also, be a clear revelation of God to the nations: He alone is God, that He is Holy (He sanctifies) and that He is the God of Israel. His presence amid His people will prove it! Worthy is the Lamb!
We prayed God’s vision for the Land from these verses
- Lord let it not be our own vision, nor the nations’ vision, but only your vision that is established.
- Lord everyone is trying to define your city, shape it to their own vision. They fight each other to gain control of the city. The Orthodox Jews, the Liberal Jews, all nations, settlers, tycoons, the Palestinians. Oh God deliver us from man’s vision altogether and establish your own plan
- Lord no might or power of man or the enemy can long resist your Spirit. Let it be not by their power nor by man’s or satan’s might, but by your Spirit
- Lord, we pray you will break the strongholds that are keeping Messianic Jews from coming to the Land to live here.
- Eze 37:23 Lord show the power of your blood and the cross in cleansing your people. Display this nation as a trophy of Grace to the world, that they too may turn to you in repentance
- Eze 37:24 Lord, we long for the rule of your Son over us. We long for the day that righteousness will be the air we breathe in this nation. We long for the day in which your people will obey you and follow you and love you
- Eze 37:26 Lord we long for your presence, your nearness, your great Glory. We long to be ruled by our King, and we long to see our King!
- We cry to you: Come, Lord Yeshua!
- Lord establish your own plan and vision for this Land and overrule even our own government in any place where they are not doing what is in your will for the people.
- Lord you promised blessing, prosperity, joy and happiness and relief to your people (see Jeremiah 31), overrule this government in anywhere they are establishing a plan that is not of your vision for the Land.
- Lord, we plead with you to direct the forming of this government according to your own Word
- Lord have mercy on Israel and keep it on track according to your plan and Word. We give you our own worries and fears as to who will have what ministry in the government. You see your people are like sheep without a shepherd. Have mercy on Israel.
We prayed for the Body from these verses
- Lord you are the head of your Body, we cry to you to shape it according to your own will
- Lord, we pray for the same gathering, cleansing, sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit to be at work in the Body of Messiah in the Land.
- Let your bride come to her full
- Let your bride shine in your beauty
- Let your bride have a heart just for you
- Lord, clearly from these verses we see how you long to reunite with your people, we believe you desire deeply to be glorified in your Body, you want to come near to us, to reveal yourself to us, to appear in your Glory. Have your way, dear Lord
- Lord give your Body a deep longing for Truth.
- Lord give your Body a deep longing for her Messiah
- Lord give your Body a broken heart, a contrite spirit
- Lord give your Body a desire to obey you
The vision of the nations
If you read the next chapter, Ezekiel 38, you realize right away what the nations’ vision is: to conquer the Land! It is Gog and Magog, and without getting into interpretations of Who, What, Where and When, we can just simply say that this chapter describes the ultimate goal of the nations and it is in direct opposition to God’s own plan.
- Lord disappoint the nations and establish your own purpose
- Lord, keep Israel as the apple of your eye
- Lord, humble the nations so that they may know they are but men (Psalm 9:20) and let them see your Glory (Psalm 102:15), that they may seek your face (Psalm 83:16)
Gaining God’s Vision from the Word
The meeting in CMA was a meeting of Jewish and Arab pastors in the city. Those who come are clear on the restoration of Israel, as they see it clearly from the scriptures. One brother recounted his recent visit to Finland where he also spoke in some refugee centers, preaching the gospel. He recounted his astonishment, that while visiting some of the already converted refugees, he found an Israeli flag on the wall. These refugees, from Iraq, Iran and from the Kurdish parts of Turkey, told him, “we love Israel!”
This was my own experience as well, when I visited a church in Hamburg several years ago. After the service several Iranian brothers approached me with the biggest smiles and biggest hugs possible. They expressed the same thing; "we love your people". What a joy we experienced together!
We are all astounded by this, yet, isn’t it natural for a new believer, untainted by replacement theology, to read the Word and believe what it says? God’s vision is in plain sight! Would to God the Church will also just read and see and understand.
Blessings from Jerusalem,