We are all dependent upon the root of Jesse, Jew and Gentile alike. The Jews are the ‘natural branch’ and the Gentiles are the ‘wild branch‘ that was grafted in. Paul writes –
“And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”” – Rom. 15:12
God is the God of all people and He always planned to bring them together into one in Jesus, who is the ‘Root of Jesse’ –
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” – Eph. 2:14-18
To do this, He called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who became Israel. They were to act as priests and prophets telling the world about God and calling all men to repentance. But, they failed in their calling but, that does not mean God failed, He always has a way. He punished Israel and sent them into captivity. Then He called them back. In Ezekiel it is written –
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” – Ezek 36:25,26
Now why am I giving you this history lesson? Because, what God does to Israel in the spiritual, He does to the Church in the spiritual. And right now much of the Church is suffering from the same apostasy that Israel did. They are leaving God’s word for the world, adopting its ways instead of God’s ways. Oh, they may have a show of ‘religion’ but, their liturgies are empty, devoid of the Spirit of God. They have chosen broken cisterns that Jeremiah prophesied about –
“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” – Jer. 2:13
The people come to church and they leave just as empty as they came because, all they receive is Humanism disguised as spiritual. There may even be lots of shouting and dancing but it is all just emotion. Remember, the prophets of Baal also danced and shouted but, God did not hear them. Will there be emotion when the Spirit of God moves? YES! But, emotion without the Spirit’s moving is just ’emotional sickness’. How can you tell if the Spirit of God is moving? He will always lead you to obey God! There will be no more homosexuals ordained and no more abortion allowed. No more lying and cheating and no more adultery and no more drunkenness.
But, God promised to bring Israel back to their land, back to the place where God dwells. How does He do this? He first promised to “sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean”. How does He do this – by His living word –
“that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,” – Eph. 5:26
Restoration and revival always begins with the word of God being obeyed. When Jesus began His ministry, He said “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” The true Gospel always begins with repentance from sin. Without repentance there can be no forgiveness. God will cleanse you but, then He will sanctify you, that means ‘set you apart’ from the world for Himself. No more living like the world six days of the week and then acting holy on Sunday.
Then God promises “A new heart also will I give you“. This may take some time because as Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). God alone can know it. We have to be like King David and earnestly pray “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps. 51:10). Apart from God this is impossible but, God makes it possible by giving us ‘a new spirit’. He will give us the Holy Spirit to empower us to be this new man. He will comfort us when we stumble, guide us when we have lost the way, and empower us beyond ourselves. and Jesus promised Him to us –
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” – Acts 1:4,5
Now were there not any lost people in Israel, not any that needed healing or deliverance? But, Jesus told them to wait! Wait until you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Because He knew the true Gospel could only be preached in the power of the Holy Spirit – and yet there are pastors of churches today that tell their people the Acts 2 experience was “only for those days”. They are denying Scripture for Peter preached –
“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” – Acts 2:38,39
I guess they are saying their people are not called of the Lord.
God wants to restore the Root of Jesse and that means Jews and Gentiles being grafted back in. He wants us be His people –
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” – Deut. 6:5
He wants His people to all be like King David of old –
” he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” – Acts 13:22
David had a new heart, given by God, so he could declare “I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.” (Ps 138:1).