Lately, I have been pondering anew my nationality, citizenship and Kingdom affiliation. Most would consider me an American citizen, of American descent, however, I do not. Yes, I was born here, to American citizens who come from families that arrived on this shore in the 1640s and 1740s, but I no longer consider this my home, or my nation.
In the very late 1980’s and early 1990’s I served in the US Army and was deployed both to Korea and Saudi Arabia/Iraq. I had previously lived for six years on the missionfield in Colombia, South America with my bush pilot father and midwife mother. The combination of the two experiences gave me a very different picture of the United States than the average nationalist. I saw things from an external vantage point that caused the patriotic patina to begin wearing off.
While I still appreciate this country and the blessings it affords, I have come to the very real conclusion that this is not my home. Christendom teaches rightly that we are citizens of a higher Kingdom and for years I sought to understand this, being forced to wait for something on the other side of the veil of death. Once I began to search the Scriptures from an Hebraic perspective, I learned several very important things:
- The Kingdom, to which Yeshua referred, is not some other-worldly, post Judgment/resurrection, ethereal heavenlies entity, though its fullness will be manifest after the final Judgment. Rather, The Kingdom is the much prophesied restoration of the tent of David with Him, the Son of David, seated on the throne, and that prior to Judgment Day.
- Being ‘grafted in,’ does not make me part of something other than Israel (the Church?), rather, it makes me part of Israel. (The Church hasn’t replaced Israel, rather, when Scripture is rightly understood, those coming to faith in Messiah are grafted into Israel.)
- Israel is composed of two distinct parts that are ‘echad,’ unified: The House of Israel and the House of Judah, the Northern and Southern Kingdoms, respectively, each with its own destiny/path toward the final restored Tent of David.
As I have continued to grow in understanding the plan of restoration and redemption as presented in Scripture, I have increasingly grown in understanding concerning my citizenship, nationality and purpose in this stage of the restoration of the Kingdom. If the restored Kingdom is a real physical Kingdom and I am a citizen thereof, then my every thought and action should be modified to that end. I should be focused on building and supporting the restored Kingdom, rather than supporting government, culture and policy that undermine The Kingdom.
Al McCarn’s Give Me A Place Where I May Dwell goes into a number of detailed actions that I along with like-minded believers should be pursuing. I recommend the book highly as a resource and action plan for the hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish Torah seekers like myself. Chiefly, we all need to be moving forward in action… Judah says, ‘Don’t tell me, show me!’ Common culture might quote, ‘a little less talk and a lot more action!!’
My recent frustration that has led me to pondering these subjects is the seeming reluctance of Messianic fellowships to encourage intermingling with other fellowships. THE Kingdom cannot be built when kingdoms protect their little respective cliches. As Messianics, we must think bigger and pursue interconnectedness. If we are truly serious about THE Kingdom, we will cease to be concerned with our own little kingdoms. We must be intentional about building bridges and connections across the Body. We must pool and share resources, support each other, and encourage a national identity. One way, the National Shabbat concept, introduced by Tzefanyah Pappas, is discussed on Hebrew Nation Radio. [Must hear show!!]
Our citizenship, when rightly understood, is in Greater Israel, the restored Tent of David. As such, we need to be taking active steps toward fostering and building national identity!! Much of that will begin to happen when we build bridges, intermingle and cease cloistering!!
I challenge all who read this to find ways in your region to actively build bridges and tear down walls. Citizenship, national identity and The Kingdom are the goal, and it requires that all of us get off our duffs and begin gathering!!