We were blessed to participate in the Global Gathering this month in Munich, Germany. There were representatives from nations all over the world, including mainland China and various Arab nations. Led by our friend, David Demian, the Gathering has a deep and wide revelation of the international ecclesia as the “Family of God.”
Our team from Israel was asked to lead a prayer on this topic, which we did in Hebrew, translated into many languages.
“I bow my knee before the Father from whom is named the whole family both in heaven and on earth” – Ephesians 3:14-15.
Notice the word “father” in verse 14 and the word “family” in verse 15. Any father is happy when his children are united in love, and any father is pained when his children are divided in disagreement.
The Father Wants His Family Unified
We want to make our Heavenly Father happy. We want to be a family; we want to show Him our unity and love together. Notice that this family has both a heavenly identity and an earthly one. We are a family that is bought and brought together by the blood of Yeshua. We are seated with Him in with a universal, international, heavenly identity (Ephesians 2:7).
Yet there is also a human, earthly tribal identity as the extended family of Abraham. Paul’s vision for the ecclesia as the family of faith may be seen as a fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham (Galatians 4). One of God’s first promises to Abraham was
“In you all the families of the earth will be blessed” – Genesis 12:3.
And the meaning of this promise was expanded when God lengthened his name from Abram to Abraham, calling him
“a father of a multitude of nations.” – Genesis 17:5.
Who are the multitude of nations of which Abraham is their father? Where are all the families in the earth blessed through Abraham and his seed? These are those who follow in the steps of Abraham through faith in Yeshua. The ecclesia is to be the extended family of Abraham. This is our identity.
The Extended Family of Abraham
He likes the process of marriage, pregnancy, birth, raising children, having uncles and cousins. This is why Yeshua did not just “parachute” straight down from heaven, but was born and raised and went through childhood and puberty. There is supposed to be a real tribal family feeling to being the international ecclesia.
This is an aspect of identity that perhaps the Arab Christian and Messianic Jewish believers—as the natural offspring of Abraham through Ishmael and Isaac–can help restore to the international church ecclesia. In fact, at one point in the Global Gathering, we joined together, Arabs and Jews, to bless the international body. We prayed we would all be a united family to our Father in heaven and an extended family from our father Abraham.
This was a powerful moment in which we felt that there was a historic fulfillment of the prophecies and promises of Scripture for the people of God to be a family together.