The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is far more than the beginning of the church. It represented a commitment by God to fulfill His promises to Israel and also gives us clues to how God is going to fulfill those promises. In the outpouring of the Spirit, God did not shift His plan from Israel to the nations, He invited the nations to participate in Israel’s story.
Joseph’s story is a stunning prophecy of Jesus’ life, ministry among the nations, and ultimate intention for Israel. It illustrates how the story of Israel and the gentiles is deeply intertwined because Joseph’s life serves to save both Egypt and Israel. In doing so, it prophecies of Jesus’ activity in the nations.
It is a common assumption that the New Testament shifts the focus from Israel to the nations. The New Testament does give a clear directive to take the gospel to the nations and also describes the spread of the gospel among the gentiles. However this Great Commission is not disconnected from God’s promises to Israel.
Most believers assume that the Old Testament is primarily about Israel and the New Testament is a shift in emphasis in the nations as defined by the Great Commission. However, we must see the Old and New Testament as a single, unified story and the Great Commission as deeply rooted in both the Old and New Testaments.
Talking with Joel Richardson on the Underground to discuss what it means to love Israel in a biblical way. Join us in Israel next summer in 2017.