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|Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.||A Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship|
|July, 2017 (5777)||Vol. 43 No. 8|
A GENTILE FOR ISRAEL
By Nathan Knibb
Rev. Nathan Knibb
A GENTILE FOR ISRAEL
Since both of my parents were Gentiles (i.e., not Jewish) and my growing up days in Southern California revolved around non-Jewish issues, you would think that under these normal circumstances I as a Gentile would have no reason whatsoever to be "A Gentile for Israel".
EXCEPTION TO THE RULE
Well, it just so happened that our next door neighbor had a son who was my age, and I began to notice that he was always absent from school on Jewish Holidays, and in their front window a Hanukkah Menorah was displayed once a year. These two things that would come and go somehow spoke unknowingly to me about Israel and its people, the Jews.
As time went by, I started reading the Holy Bible and at the age of twenty I asked The LORD for help and through a local radio broadcast I accepted The Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) as my Saviour.
THE TIME WAS RIGHT
Almost to the date, a year after I had accepted The LORD I met a Hebrew Christian minister by the name of Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo who has been a blessing to me ever since. The passage of Scripture that The LORD used to help me understand my responsibility in being a blessing to the Jewish people is found in Genesis 12:3, where we are told that The Almighty GOD made a covenant with Abraham, ...I will bless them that bless thee.
MY FIRST SEDER
That very same year I attended a Hebrew Christian Passover Service (Seder) conducted by Dr. Hidalgo and my heart was stirred to know and understand that Jesus also celebrated Passover. As a result of my willingness to know and learn more I then began to grow spiritually, and little by little The LORD used more and more Scriptures to help me comprehend The Holy Bible and Its Jewishness.
O JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM
One particular verse of Scripture that kept impressing me was Psalm 122:6, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. As I began to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I started to notice that some Christians did not respond to this verse, while others seemingly did not care that The LORD Himself asks us to specifically pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Since I have been praying for the peace of Jerusalem, I have been blessed. Even my wife has been willing to learn and to be obedient to the command found in this verse.
THE BOOK OF RUTH
Later on in my walk with The LORD and through a study of the book of Ruth (a Gentile woman), I began to notice that this Gentile woman made several statements found in the first chapter of Ruth that spoke deeply to my heart, she said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following thee: for whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people (Jewish) shall be my people, and thy GOD my GOD:.
OTHER CHRISTIANS SPEAK
As I heard other Christians speak, write and act, it seemed as if they didn't mind what they said, wrote or how they acted towards Israel, the Jewish people, whether it was wrong or unscriptural. It wasn't overnight, but as time passed and through circumstances and situations in my life, The LORD kept increasing my faith in His Word, and helping me in my understanding of His Word and the Jewishness of The Scriptures. Now as I look back over these many years I thank The LORD for allowing me to know and understand the Jewishness of the Holy Bible which is most important.
THE NEW TESTAMENT SPEAKS
Even in the New Testament, in Luke chapter 7, I noticed that a Roman Centurion (obviously a GENTILE like myself) did a very unusual thing or at least it wasn't the custom of the day. This Centurion actually LOVED ISRAEL and the Jewish people so much that he built them a synagogue. Then in the Book of Acts, the Greeks (Gentiles) that came to synagogues in various places where Saul-Paul the Apostle preached must have surely demonstrated with their attitudes love and kindness in their hearts towards the Jewish people. Also, I noticed that everywhere Saul-Paul went with The Good News of Messiah he first presented it to the Jewish people and also to the Gentiles.
A KEY VERSE IN ROMANS
I n Romans 1:16 we read, For I am not ashamed of The Gospel of Christ (Messiah): for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. As I recognized that The LORD gave me salvation, why should I be ashamed to take The Gospel of (Messiah) Christ to the Jewish people first and also to the Gentiles.
Being associated with Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc. for over twenty years, my family thinks that I "converted" and have become a Jewish proselyte. People sometimes assume that I am Jewish because of my association with Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc. After all of these years I am still a Gentile. Yes, I am proud of being "A GENTILE FOR ISRAEL".
One of the most difficult issues that I have to confront almost daily is with the attitude of some Christians that profess belief in The Word of GOD but refuse to acknowledge that GOD still loves Israel (the Jewish people), and in their highmindedness even go as far as to ridicule and speak wrongfully against the people whom GOD chose to LOVE, that is, the Jewish people who make up Israel.
AN INVITATION FOR YOU
If you are Jewish I urge you to read the New Testament so that you can better understand the love Yeshua (Jesus) has for you, and how we are told that He wept over Jerusalem and how He has provided for you the blood atonement for your salvation.
If you are a Gentile ask The LORD to help you see that The Jewish Messiah has provided salvation through His sacrifice, and He has done so by GOD's Grace and He has chosen to use the Nation of Israel to bring to us The Holy Bible given by inspiration of The Spirit of GOD through the Jewish people.
As a result of our Salvation through Yeshua (Jesus), whether you are Jewish or Gentile, we become one in Messiah.
Won't you also become "A GENTILE FOR ISRAEL"?
IS AN ENGLISH WORD THAT MEANS