The Destiny of Nations
© November 2005 by Asher Intrater
(This article is an excerpt from a teaching at the recent Aglow convention in Nashville, that we have had numerous requests for.)
Every nation has two groups of people in it: the general population, which is seen by God as being in rebellion to His authority (Psalm 2), and the remnant, which is the group of true born-again followers of Jesus (Yeshua). The spiritual destiny of a nation is carried by the remnant of believers within that nation. We cannot understand God's purpose and destiny for a nation by the unbelievers - even though the unbelievers are usually the majority population within the nation.
When God looks at a nation, He looks at it like a piece of fruit - like a banana with a peel, or like a nut with a shell surrounding it. The unbelievers in the nation are like the outer shell, but you - the believing remnant within the nation - are the part that God is looking at as the bearers of the national destiny! God's purpose and the destiny for your nation are found not in the outer shell of the unbelievers, but in the core fruit of the believing remnant of your nation!
Here are a couple of examples: We cannot understand the spiritual destiny of China by looking at the communist regime of Mao Tse-Tung. That is only the carnal exterior of China-the chaff! The "wheat" of China is the approximately 100 million believers found in its underground church. When God looks at China He sees both the wheat and the chaff.
A person without much spiritual discernment will only see the chaff, because that is what is visible to the natural eye - in this case, communist China - and not the fruit of God within the underground Chinese church. It takes spiritual sight to see the hidden remnant within China, but it is only the believing remnant that carries the purpose and destiny of God for China.
In the end, God will separate the two. Remember that God takes the chaff and burns it up (Matthew 3:12)! The communist regime is not even going to be in the kingdom of God, but the underground Chinese church will be. We understand why God made the Chinese nation, when we see its underground Church. Consider the suffering and courage of that community of faith. What would the kingdom of God be without them?
Here's another example: the believing remnant of Palestinians in Israel. One of the joys we Messianic Jews have in Israel is our relationship with Palestinian Christians. I'm referring to born again, Spirit-filled, evangelizing believers who are Arab by birth! We have conferences from time to time, in which we enjoy precious worship and communion together.
As Jews we are enriched by our fellowship with Arab Christians, because they carry with them some of the culture of our forefather Abraham. Our people - the Jewish people - have been scattered in exile for the past two thousand years, and so we have come back, somewhat as strangers to our own land. We have actually discovered some of our own roots through our Arab Christian friends!
Our ministry in Israel is in partnership with a group of Palestinian evangelists who are preaching the gospel to Muslims in the West Bank. They are in danger of their lives from day to day. Yet Muslims are being saved through them! Like the underground church of China, they also suffer for their faith. As a Jewish believer, I cannot imagine the kingdom of God without the remnant of true Arab Christians!
God has a spiritual purpose and destiny for every tribe, tongue, people, and nation - if only we will have spiritual eyes to see it (Revelation 7:9). The same holds true for Israel (Revelation 7:4). If you want to understand God's purpose for Israel, you cannot look at the unbelievers. You have to look at the hidden believing remnant within the nation.
"God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel...? But what does the divine response say to him? 'I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.' Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace."
Perhaps you did not even know that there is a believing remnant in Israel. Today - similar as in Elijah's days - there are more than 7,000 people who are Israeli citizens, Jewish by physical birth, and born again by the Spirit of Yeshua. I am blessed to count myself as one of those.
As it was in the example of the Chinese Church and the Palestinian Christians, so it is with the Messianic Remnant of Israel. The destiny of our nation is found within the believing community, not in the unbelieving majority. If you want to understand what God is doing in Israel, the primary place you will be able to see it is within the Messianic Remnant.
Some of you have become confused in trying to understand God's destiny for Israel by looking at our unbelieving politicians - right wing or left wing, or by our unbelieving rabbis - Orthodox or Reform. That is not where you are going to see God's purpose for Israel! Why are you willing to have spiritual discernment when you look at every other nation of the world except our nation?!
I want to challenge our friends who are Christian intercessors. If you want to understand the purpose of Israel you must look past the outer shell of our unbelieving politicians and rabbis, and you must look to the core remnant of true believers within our nation.
If you continue to try to see the spiritual destiny and purpose of Israel by looking only at the unbelievers, you will only get confused either on one side or the other. Either you might fall into "Israel-Idolatry," in which case you might start believing that a right-wing politician or religious rabbi is saved just because he can quote some things from the Bible, or that a political religious movement alone can bring the kingdom without the Holy Spirit or the Gospel (Acts 1:6).
On the reverse side, you might end up in "Replacement Theology," rejecting God's plan for Israel altogether because you say, "These people are not spiritual and not believers in Yeshua. Therefore they can't be Israel, and God has no special destiny for this nation." That is also a grave mistake, which denies hundreds of covenant promises and direct prophecies concerning Israel as a nation.
Both Israel Idolatry and Replacement Theology are errors. Such viewpoints deny the very authority and authenticity of the Scriptures. Both come from the mistake of missing the role of the Messianic remnant within the nation. The Messianic Remnant provides the correction for both Israel Idolatry and Replacement Theology.
As in every other nation, to understand the destiny and purpose of God for Israel we must look with spiritual discernment at the believing remnant within the nation. This growing remnant of evangelizing believers is how the kingdom of God is increasing. That reality is no less true in Israel than it is in every other nation on the face of the earth.
We must have God's vision for the nations, which is expressed and carried primarily in the believing remnant of that nation. There are two possible destinies for the peoples in every nation. There is the good destiny that comes from Yeshua, and a perversion of that destiny which comes from the devil.
We can see this in Zechariah 14, where the phrase "all nations" is used twice in the chapter. At the beginning of the chapter (verses 2-3) it says, "For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle" and they will be destroyed by Yeshua at His second coming. (NAS)
Then toward the end of the same chapter (v.16), it also says that "...every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem [or, you could say, the remnant of every nation] shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." KJV
You see that "all the nations" have both a positive divine destiny and a negative demonic destiny. The struggle between those two destinies is what spiritual warfare is all about. You are the representative within your nation that carries the destiny that God desires for your nation. You contain within you a vision for the salvation of your nation.
You are not going to be the part of the unbelievers from "all nations" that come up to Jerusalem to be destroyed! You represent the kernel of wheat within your nation and not the chaff. You carry God's vision for the nations regarding Israel. You are called to partner with the remnant of believers in Israel through intercession and support of God's purposes within Israel.
Your future is to be among those from all the nations who will gather each year to worship King Yeshua in Jerusalem. This is The Destiny of the Nations that is carried within the remnant of every tribe and tongue and people and nation...including Israel and including your nation.
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