Sid Roth

"It's Supernatural"

Our Guest Robert Heidler

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Sid: I got ahold of an unpublished manuscript and it’s called “The Messianic Church” and it’s by Pastor Robert Heidler. He’s pastor of Glory of Zion Outreach Center in Denton, Texas. He holds a Master’s in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary; he is a man of the Spirit. I have to ask you, Robert how in the world did you get from a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, and writing a book called “The Messianic Church,” what did God do?

Robert: Well Sid it was a very interesting… I don’t know exactly what to call it. I’ve always been involved in the Messianic movement; I’ve been related to it in a number of ways. In 1997 I was asked to teach a course at the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute in Odessa, Ukraine. It was to teach a course on church history from the Messianic perspective. I’ve always liked church history; I’ve always honored the messianic movement, and seen that it was a great work of God. So I was excited to be able to teach this, and I began, but I never looked at church history before from a Messianic perspective. Like a lot of people I always assumed that the church began under the wing of Judaism, but the apostles very quickly separated it from Judaism, and established it as a Gentile organization. So to teach on the subject of church history from the Messianic perspective the first thing I wanted to know was, exactly when did that break take place. So I started in the books of Acts and really assumed by Acts 15 I would see a clear break where this is no longer a Jewish thing, it is now a Gentile thing. As I studied through the books of Acts what I found is that never happened. The apostles never tried to make or break from Judaism.  Even though I’d read the book of Acts many times, I had never really studied it on this before. I saw in Acts 15:5 there were members of the church that were still actively involved in the party of the Pharisees. In Acts 20:21 James boasts of tens of thousands of Jews in the church that believed in Jesus, but were still zealous for Torah. You see Jews and including the Apostle Paul still taking Nazarite vows, still observing Sabbaths and feasts. Paul planned the itinerary of his missionary journey around where he wanted to celebrate the feasts. It surprised me in Acts 23 when Paul was before the Sanhedrin, members of the Pharisee party stood up to speak in his defense. I got to the end of the book of Acts and realized they never made a break from Judaism.

Sid: Now is that where you got the title for the manuscript “The Messianic Church”?

Robert: Well what I saw was this, as far as the title that the early church… Paul and Peter and the other founders of the church were not Catholics, they were not Protestants, they were not charismatics, they were all Messianic Jews. They never tried to make a split from that that was there identity.  That was the flavor of Christianity that they planted, wherever they planted it.

Sid: So those first followers of Jesus would they have called themselves Christians, or Jews?

Robert: Well it’s interesting the word Christian that we have today is the Greek translation really of the word “A follower of the Messiah.” A Christian is the follower of Christ; Christ is the Greek word for Mashiach, for Messiah. So they would have called themselves Messianics.

Sid: So in effect it wasn’t Jews and Christians with a divide between the two, it was Jews that believed Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, and Jews that believed Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah, that was the issue. Sort of like today, we have a sect up in New York City that believe their messiah came a number of years ago and died and will come back, Rabbi Schneerson. They’re still called Jews, a little mashuga, but they’re still called Jews.

Robert: When the Gentile Christians came in, you know Ephesians, and Romans it talks about that they are engrafted into something that was already there, they were engrafted into this Messianic church.

Sid: You know a famous theologian by the name of Francis Schaeffer, his wife Edith Schaeffer wrote a book, and the title was “Christianity is Jewish.”

Robert: Yes, and that’s something we lost and it was not God’s will for us to lose it. We really didn’t lose the Jewish elements, Hebraic elements, until basically the 4th century with the pagan Roman emperor coming in to offer the church a deal that it should have refused. The church that the apostles established was a Messianic church.

Sid: Now how does the church today relate to this actually authentic history that you’re speaking of. How does this play out for the church today?

Robert: Well I see in the church today the spirit of God is stirring for the church to reconnect with some things that it’s lost. You know since the protestant reformation, and there have been wave after wave of the Holy Spirit restoring to the church much that it has lost. In the 20th century we saw the gifts of the Spirit restored into the church. As we come into the 21st century there is just a ground swell all over the world everywhere I go of believers saying “We feel like we have lost something that we’re supposed to have.  There are some things that God wanted us to have to benefit from that the church has lost.” God is in the process of stirring a hunger for that.

Sid:  Well let me ask you this, how was the timing of losing our… you know rather than calling it Jewish roots I’d rather call it Biblical roots. What was the connection between the loss of the Biblical roots and the loss of the power of God?

Robert: Oh I think it was a very close connection because the loss of the Biblical roots came with the edicts of Constantine when the church submitted to that. That was tracing it historically; that’s when the church began to die; that’s when miracles began to end. Some teach that miracles ended at the end of the first century, but historically you can trace them continuing as a standard part of church life into the 3rd and 4th centuries. When the church began to cut itself off from the root, you know when you take a tree and you cut it off from the root the leaves begin to shrivel and die, and it can’t produce fruit anymore. Romans says “We feed on the rich sap of the root” which was the revelation, the Biblical revelation, that God gave beginning with Moses and onward. There was a lot of that the church just chose to reject and cut itself from, and the result was we lost the power; we lost the presence of God.

Sid: What do you think Paul meant in Romans 11 where he says “If it was a blessing the Jewish people rejected their Messiah,” of course the blessing was the Gentiles to be grafted in. “How much greater blessing when they receive their Messiah,” then he says something that I’d like to hear your spin on, “It’s going to cause life from the dead.” What did he mean?

Robert: Well I think it means it going to awaken something in the church that has not been seen for 1500 years. “Life from,” if you just want to sum that phrase up in one word it’s the word “Revival.” I believe he’s saying there, at that time when the Jews return and begin to come back to their Messiah, it is going to release and draw the church into the greatest revival in history. It will be the great end time revival. I believe that we are just at the place where that is beginning to be released.

Sid: Well I have tell you for those, of course, that are just tuning in for the first time I have a copy of an unpublished manuscript, and we have made copies of this. It’s called “The Messianic Church” by Pastor Robert Heidler. Trust me it fills in missing ingredients to cause light bulbs to go off. Here’s the reason I appreciate your work, I see many people that come into the information that you’ve come into Robert, then walk in such lack of love, and such a religious spirit that they literally fight what the heritage is that has evolved in Christianity.  Then I see Gentile Christians that have such a religious spirit they literally fight the Biblical Jewish roots, and both of them have the same religious spirit. Somewhere in this equation, especially with the New Covenant understanding, there is a freedom; it’s a Hebrew word it’s called “chofesh.” That’s what I read in your manuscript, freedom.

Robert: So many people want to get enamored with their Jewish roots and they really reject the New Covenant. They try to go back under legalism, and that’s not what God is calling us to do. God wants us to enjoy the freedom of the New Covenant and the joy that He has for us. There are some things that He wants us to benefit from that He intended to be a part of our heritage that we’ve lost. So we don’t go into it as a legalistic thing. You know in our church we celebrate the Biblical feasts, we also celebrate traditional Christian festivals.

Sid: You know Robert, I believe there’s a whole new paradigm coming to the church, and we’re just grasping it right now, but some of the missing ingredients are in your manuscript.

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November 18th, 2013 at 4:29 pm

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