I have just completed my latest book on The One New Man between Jew and Gentile, which will be launched in 2018. The book has somewhat of a different approach; not only to help the body of Mashiach/Christ move into this most special union, but also to lovingly deal with all of the issues that may be keeping Jewish and Gentile believers apart from it.
The new book focuses on the great significance of this spiritual reconnection and how God is moving His family towards it; especially through His apostolic body that He is raising up at this time to help bring it to pass. Many of these spiritual leaders in both the church and Messianic bodies have unique and fresh perspectives given them from the Holy Spirit during these days to help us to better understand this transaction and how important it is for God's family to process.
One such apostolic leader is Pastor Robert Morris, who shepherds Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas, one of the largest churches in the United States with 39,000 active members. Just recently, I interviewed Pastor Morris, and in our discussion, he shared his heart and own experience about how God began to reveal the Israel connection to him. This story and revelation is shared in one of Pastor Morris' teachings and sermons called "Blessed to Be a Blessing," which is a must for all to watch to help us better understand this reconnection message. You can click on it at the end of this article and you can also read about it in his bestselling book, The Blessed Life, where he dedicates the last section of the book to this most significant ministry focus and understanding ("Afterword: God's Road Map for a Blessed Life").
The fruit of this revelation concerning his reconnection back to Israel, which was given to him by the Holy Spirit, has been an untold blessing both to his life personally and also to Gateway Church. Once, when in conversation with the Lord, Pastor Morris asked Him why He has blessed him so much, and immediately the Lord responded, "Because you gave your first fruits to my firstborn." Gateway Church gives one tenth of its Mission's tithe to the Jew first through Israel-focused ministries; plus it is the first check written each month by their church office. However, like many of us, this was not always Pastor Morris' view and in the teaching he shares how the Holy Spirit began to unveil the Israel piece to him. To change his mind and focus on this most significant understanding in the family of God; and to move him away from replacement theology, but also the mindset that goes along with that thinking.
In this spiritual awakening toward Israel and the Jewish people, Pastor Morris does not encourage our focus to be exclusive by any means, but rather to re-prioritize them into the order that God has already established in His word for His kingdom purposes; "To the Jew first and also to the Gentile," (according to Romans 1:16). Plus he encourages us to be open and honest with our Jewish friends; to tell them what we personally believe that Yeshua/Jesus is our Messiah, and to earnestly encourage them to seek out this truth for themselves.
We also discussed the spiritual understanding of God's children from the nations being grafted into Israel, which is quite different from replacing them; what this means to us now and how it changes our perspective. Especially since the remnant of Israel has re-emerged and how we may work with them to help fulfill and complete God's plans on the earth before He returns to us.
Pastor Morris has been given a deeper spiritual understanding of this special reconnection in the one new man between Jew and Gentile. For both groups to celebrate the uniqueness of their identities, yet still to be one in the Spirit and family of God. Not to think of Gentile believers becoming like Jews and vice versa, but rather to uphold and honor both expressions of faith in love and respect. To want to love those of Israel as our own, who are yet to be re-grafted back into the olive tree; never to forget God's promises to them to ultimately restore them to Himself and to the family of God.
Pastor Morris is personally extremely excited by what is beginning to happen in the body of Christ/Mashiach, as this refocus shifts us and begins to take place. In his own words, he believes it to be a Kairos moment for the Kingdom of God during these days.
First fruits thinking has also become staple at Gateway Church. Not only with their finances to bless Israel and the Jewish people, but also to help Jewish believers find the fullness of their identity; to help strengthen them in Mashiach/Christ. This is another crucial part of this reconnected focus in The One New Man, to help win Israel back to faith. Through the guidance of Dr. Wayne Wilks who has also founded The Messianic Jewish Bible Institute and now oversees Gateway's Jewish ministry, they hold a Messianic Service the First Friday of each month as a first-fruits offering to God and to honor His chosen people—All are welcome to these meetings.
Pastors and Leaders
Pastor Morris also encourages other pastors and leaders to move into the reconnection. In a leader's meeting recently, they asked him what was the most important thing that he could tell them, and he shared this principal of first fruiting his tithe to the Jew first. One of the pastors in the meeting immediately laughed and thought, I'm not going to do that. Later in his car he was thinking on this and again thought, I'm not going to do that.
But then the Lord answered him, shocking him, by responding, "You know why, don't you? Because you are anti-Semitic."
Lord, I'm not anti-Semitic," the pastor responded. "
"Yes you are, you just don't know that you are, but you are."
Then the Lord continued, "Think about this. Everything Robert Morris has told you has been right, how he has implemented this in his church; and how it has blessed the church and caused the church to grow and to be healthy. Why would you say then, that I'm not going to do this one thing? It's because you have something in your heart that you need to deal with regarding Israel."
The pastor then immediately pulled aside in his vehicle; prayed and repented on the spot. When he got home later that week, he met first with his business pastor and told him that from now on, he wanted to send 10 percent of their missions money to bless Israel first; and to give to ministries that take the gospel to the Jew first. The business pastor didn't know of any, so the pastor told him to send the offering to Gateway marked for Jewish ministry and they would know how to handle it.
However, what happened after that on Sunday in his church meeting was just remarkable, as his offerings literally doubled and has never gone down since. And it wasn't just one big gift either, but rather hundreds of new tithers that hadn't given before. Plus the pastor never announced it or preached on it until a later date. Since then that pastor has been to Israel several times and connected with the body there. He now loves his Jewish family; helping to support and strengthen them, and even does tours back to the land to help others find this new place in the family of God.
What an amazing reconnection story in the one new man! Thank you, Pastor Morris, for your love and commitment to the Jewish people; and to the family of God for us to be one in Mashiach/Christ. May His love and the riches of His blessings continue to shower you and the Gateway Congregation for your willingness to take the lead here with the Father's heart to re-unite His family, In Yeshua's/Jesus' most holy name, amen.
Please click here for Pastor Morris' sermon, "Blessed to be a Blessing."
Grant Berryis a Jewish believer in Yeshua/Jesus and author of The New Covenant Prophecy andThe Ezekiel Generation.He founded Reconnecting Ministries with the specific focus to help the church reconnect spiritually to Israel and considers it vital to the kingdom of G-d in the last days. His message focuses on the unity, love and healing that the Father wants to bring between Jew and Gentile, yet clearly points out the differences and misunderstandings between the two groups. Now is the time to look more carefully into this mystery to make way for healing and reconnection in the Spirit. For more information, please visit reconnectingministries.org.