An excellent three part teaching is up at Messianic Good News,
The question of “Who is a Jew?” remains a contentious and unresolved issue, relating as it does to the ‘Law of Return’ and the nature of the ‘Jewish State’ as well as to the question of whether Jewishness is necessarily connected with either the practice of Judaism or Zionism.
This series offers a brief overview of what constitutes the Jewish people today. It is an abridged and edited version of a Powerpoint series originally compiled by Margie Kinsella. Part One – Background and History deals with the history of persecution that has formed the identity of Jewish people today. Part Two – Return to the Land looks at whether God is gathering Jewish people back to the land. Part Three – Judaism gives a brief description of the main branches of Judaism with which many Jews identify themselves.
Excerpt from Part Two, The Return to the Land
IS GOD GATHERING ALL THE JEWS TO THE STATE OF ISRAEL?
There are many Old Testament verses that speak of returning to the Land. What do these verses point to? Words used in the New Testament help us to understand the Old Testament: A pattern, a copy, an example, a shadow, a tutor (to lead us to Christ), a model, a type, a figure, a foreshadowing, a proverb, an allegory, a symbol, a parable –translated in Hebrews as ‘type’ & ‘symbolic’.
What then does entering the “Promised Land” point to? What is being ‘foreshadowed?
Numbers 14:23: The spies who were sent to spy out the land brought back a bad report because they allowed fear to overcome their faith in the promises of God? Because of lack of faith – “they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to give their fathers”.
Psalm 95:10-11 ….So I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’
Hebrews 3 & 4 shows what this “rest” was pointing to:
For if Joshua had given them rest, then he would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered his rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:8-10).
This is the eternal “rest” we enter into by faith. “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:11
To say that today Jews should enter the physical land called “Israel” in fulfillment of the Old Testament, is to completely ignore the teachings of the New Testament and overlook what the experience in the Old Testament was foreshadowing!
The Old Testament finds its fulfillment in the New Testament—in Yeshua/Jesus. Jewish people find their fulfillment by receiving their Messiah not by returning to the land.
But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. (Romans 11:11)
This means to provoke them to salvation, not to returning to the physical land.
The Scriptural truth: the return is to God – the gathering is to Shiloh – the Messiah!