A man gives an investor $5,000 and tells him to put it in a safe place where he can make a profit. The investor promptly goes to the horse races and randomly gambles away the $5,000. But somehow, no matter how hard he tries to lose it, he keeps doubling it! By the end of the day, he has $500,000.
This is precisely what happened when Israel rejected the gospel. Israel was called to be a light to the nations. However, despite receiving a massive Jerusalem revival (Acts 2:41, 4:4, 21:20), the leadership rejected the gospel. In the natural, this should have hurt the efforts to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. But, in fact, "to provoke [Israel] to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles" (Rom. 11:1b, NKJV).
God gave Paul insight into His plan. Remember the investor—through doing the wrong thing, he made an amazing profit. That is what Israel did. By doing the wrong thing, revival came to the nations. Paul then argues, if Israel, by rejecting the gospel, caused a massive awakening in the nations, what happens when Israel fulfills her God-ordained plan of following the Messiah? In other words, if the investor, through disobedience made a profit, how much more profit will he make when he truly invests the funds? Paul tells us:
"But if [Israel's] transgression means riches for the world, and [Israel's] failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will [Israel's] fullness mean? ... For if [Israel's] rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will [Israel's] acceptance mean but life from the dead?" (Rom. 11:12-15, MEV).
6 Million or 600 Million
Charles Simeon, one of the founders of the London-based Church's Ministry Among Jewish People in the early 1800s, once got into a theological discussion regarding what some felt was too much emphasis on Jewish evangelism. Simeon had seemed so carried away with the future of the Jews that a friend passed him a slip of paper with a question, "Six millions of Jews and six hundred millions of Gentiles—which is the most important?" Simeon had the answer already. He wrote back, "If the conversion of the six is to be life from the dead to the six hundred, what then?"
Simeon understood that the final revival—the "Greater Riches" revival or "Life from the Dead" awakening depended on Jewish acceptance of Jesus. It is the Jewish acceptance that will release the greater riches that Paul speaks of. And, of course, if greater riches are promised, we must ask ourselves, what are riches? If someone is going to give you something greater than x, you need to know what x is.
Greater Than What?
Paul tells us that riches are what were poured out on the nations in the first century: "if [Israel's] transgression means riches for the world..." So whatever was coming, it was greater than the grace that Paul had when he spread Yeshua throughout the world—it will be greater than the book of Acts where we see:
- the dead raised (Acts 20:10)
- the sick healed (Acts 14:9)
- miraculous escapes from prison (Acts 16:26)
- the gospel preached in power (Acts 8:4-8)
- and so much more!
I believe as we come to the end of the fullness of the nations, we are already seeing the beginning of this "Greater Riches" revival. There seems to be an overlapping, as one season comes to an end and a new one begins. We are seeing the beginning of Jewish awakening and greater riches being poured out on China, India, Nepal (which now has the fastest growing church in the world!), Argentina and other places.
Why should the nations pray for Israel?
- Because through Israel, the gospel came to them (Acts 1:8).
- Because of Israel's unbelief, the gospel prospered among the nations (Rom. 11:11).
- Israel's acceptance will result in greater riches and life from the dead (Rom. 11:12, 15).
Buckle your seatbelts!
Ron Cantor is the director of Messiah's Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Cantor also travels internationally, teaching on the Jewish roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.
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