Should I move to Israel?
Many are asking the question, "should I move to Israel"? (Should I make aliyah?) Just the fact that a person would ask that question implies that they have a sense of kinship with Israel. It is almost inconceivable that a Bible believing person who claims to be a disciple of Yeshua , a member of a sect founded by 12 Jewish men, who accepts the Bible, a Jewish book, as the word of God, could NOT have a kinship with Israel. Sadly, even anti-Israel sentiment is possible and very widespread in the church today. Yes, believers in Yeshua should have a love, an appreciation and a kinship with Jewish people and the land of Israel - that is proper and good.
However, even having a commendable kinship for Israel does not end the discussion of aliyah, it only quickens it. In fact, if reason and truth are important in the decision, this is a very, very complex question. If kinship and Spirit are ones driving motivations, the issue is somewhat simpler. Being motivated by heart or spirit is especially prevalent among 'Israel loving people' today. Wanting to help Israel's struggle for a peaceful homeland, defending Israel against aggression and widespread anti-Israel propaganda, and yearning to see Jewish people know their Messiah, is almost a visceral response for many believers. Probably the vast majority of pro-Israel, pro-Jewish activities over the last 100 (and in past history) years have been largely 'spirit' motivated. The banner, "I will bless those that bless thee" (Gen 12:3) has been sufficient enough truth for these people to give their lives toward helping Israel. For many of these believers, being at the center of Israel is equivalent to being at the center of God's purposes in the earth. If they thought they could, 'moving to Israel', would be largely a pragmatic and/or a timing issue - its a matter of, 'God, open the door and I'll go'. For these people, a clear theological rational is not needed, it is largely a matter of the heart. They claim the "I will bless.." banner, as an open ended injunction that 'in anything or in anyway that I can help Israel, God will be pleased'. To these people, a warning must be given. Perhaps your heart will guide you successfully, it has guided many to bless Israel in the past, and God will bless them accordingly. However, God does not wish that His servants are ignorant of his strategy, and especially as we approach 'the end', one must realize that being 'out of step with the Spirit' could severely diminish ones fruitfulness or worse. Yes, it is true that we often act on God's leading without full knowledge the whole plan, yes, it is true that that God has an individual plan for each of us and even moving to Israel may be a 'personal' call that may or may not flow contrary to the mainstream 'corporate' call. But we are soldiers, not 'do gooders'. God is building an army, a trained, disciplined, glorious army who will 'march in line not swerving from their course' (Joel 2). There is a course or strategy. So our 'personal' decision, which is legitimately just that, should at minimum be 'corporate aware'. It should be made within the context of an earnest and sincere attempt to know the larger global prophetic strategy and compliment its objectives. The Father seeks those who will worship him in spirit AND in TRUTH.
I just returned (last night) from a meeting with a couple who are candidates (the husband) for congregational leader at my congregation. It would be hard to find a more compelling testimony of a more sincere couple devoting their lives to the welfare of Israel. They have been in ministry for thirty years. About 1990, three months before the Gulf War, they moved to Israel. (I didn't hear their specific rational for going other than a love for Israel, etc.). He is gentile, she discovered she had a Jewish grandmother, but both grew up gentile and had no interest in Israel till later in life. They sold everything they had and arrived in Israel with three children and $4000.00 dollars. They worked without pay to help an Israeli (nonbeliever) family business for several years. They had two more children in Israel (the last three 'miracle children' after repenting (the husbands had a 'birth control operation') of the sin of trying to control their 'fruitfulness'. They moved nine times in ten years and were involved in various ministries, etc.. They learned the language, they adopted Israel as their permanent home, their son and daughter married in Israel, and as servants of their Messiah, they offered themselves to the well-being of Israel. But after 10 years, for reasons not fully explained,, the family returned, discouraged, to the US. The married children (and grandchildren) are still there, continuing in their parents love of God and Israel. The husband relates how, as a Messianic congregational leader in New York just before they left for Israel, he would tell everyone, Jew and Gentile in his congregation, how they should all make aliyah. In all the discussions last night, the impression seemed clear that they would still, even now, encourage aliyah for everyone. It is this author's respectful opinion that, if he questioned this couple about their theological reasons for believing that they or any gentile should move to Israel, those reasons would be largely nonexistent or woefully wrong. This wonderful but painful example, is typical of the spirit or heart response of many believing lovers of Israel. They moved to Israel, only to move from Israel. Their sacrifice certainly will bear fruit, but every believer should ask the question, "Could God have a better way?"
The Bible is full of people who stepped into the unknown when told to do so. But today God generally speaks through His written word. It is our responsibility to seek out what it says. God's 'master plan' for this earth, especially as it is relates to the 'end-of-the-age' is in his Word. It is in the Word (and history) that we see the emergence of two great entities generally called 'Israel' and the 'Church'. If it could be said that each person must be a member of one of these groups functioning corporately toward a final goal, the truth would be easy to ascertain. But, alas, God has chosen not to make things so simple. There are dozens of ironic twists and hidden turns to the story. Even the word Israel is used to represent a multitude of meanings.
(To be continued)
It is easy to be confused when one attempts to define and distinguish the role of the church (believers in Yeshua) verses that of Israel. Some say they are the same, some say the church replaces Israel, some see them merging as they carry out a single 'end day' ministry. The answer could and should guide ones decision to move to Israel.
Israel - (Unless otherwise noted, the term 'Israel' is loosely defined as the visible Jewish (or Israelite) natural descendants of Jacob and their political expression known as the nation of Israel.)
Church - (incomplete)
(Other Issues - incomplete)
General revelation vs. Special revelation
Identity - who am I corporately
Am I thinking corporately or am I thinking individualistically?
Who am I and
Is Israel the key to world redemption? The short answer is NO.
Israel 'sold' their birthright