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Revive Israel Ministries

©November 12, 2011 Revive Israel Ministries

Firstborn and Siblings
By Pastor Jonathan Switzer

My experience is as the third born child in our family.  I will never be first born. The first-born bears weight and responsibility that the rest of the children will never have to bear. 

  1. If the parents go away, he is the one put in charge.
  2. When he is learning “lessons” of obedience, he has no other siblings to look to as examples. Younger siblings learn obedience, partially, by watching how the older siblings respond to their parents' commands. 
  3. Until his siblings are born, he is the only child. During that time, his parents' time is spent only with him. There is no division of that attention with other children.
  4. His training in obedience is to “mature parents” never to older siblings who are more mature but still limited in their maturity.

The younger siblings must submit often to a less than “worthy” older sibling.  When an older sibling, in his immaturity, leads out of his “flesh” the younger sibling ends up a victim of oppressive leadership. The younger sibling must still submit and learn to forgive, but he does so with a growing awareness of the faults and mistakes.

Some first-born tend toward over-conscientiousness. There is a potential for legalism. Parents are “in their learning curve on the first”. The first born in the family feels a need to lay foundations. This is similar to the legalism or "Judaizer" danger against which Paul warns. A more mature older sibling is more gracious, less legalistic.

As third born, I have come to realize that I am no less important in our family. However, the first born gets a double portion. I am free to walk in all the heritage of my parents. I have a full inheritance and destiny in the family. But it would be a waste of my time and energy to want to be or try to be the first born. In my family I’m third. That's just the way it is.

We are told by Paul that the gospel was “first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” Paul repeats this formula many times. The Jews were the first of the first fruits (after Christ). As a “grafted in” believer in Christ, I will never have the responsibilities that the Jews carry. Theirs are the covenants, patriarchs, Torah etc. The Acts 15 council clarified that Gentile Christians are not responsible to carry the burdens that were reserved for the Jews. Jews were the first-born in that sense.

The weight of the “Jewish” culture is something that no Gentile is expected to bear. Our adoption is similar to a sibling-relationship to the first-born. We bear our own responsibilities as the Spirit guides us into all righteousness. Our responsibilities are no less significant. They just will never be the responsibilities of the Jews, the first-born. Ultimately, Christ is the first born among many brothers.


The International Atomic Energy Agency has published a report that Iran is indeed in advanced stages of developing atomic weapons, including missiles that can reach Israel. This report validates Israel's warnings throughout the last decade. The greatest danger to world peace is nuclear weapons in the hands of Islam extremists.

There has been disappointment this week in Israel at the lack of response from the international community. Russian and China have said there is no need for sanctions, and the United States has mainly been silent. There is a sobriety here that we may have to stand alone against this threat to our existence. Yet if God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8, Zechariah 14)?

Who Ate Lunch with Abraham?


Asher's new, long-awaited book, "Who Ate Lunch with Abraham?" has just arrived (in the English original). It analyzes the appearances of Yeshua as the Angel of the Lord from the Law and the Prophets, through to the book of Revelation. This book is guaranteed to inspire and challenge your understanding of the eternal nature of Yeshua the Messiah and of the progressive revelation of the Bible as a whole.

The main idea for this book was developed not only in years of study in the Hebrew texts, but also in real life experiences of sharing the gospel with Orthodox Jews in Israel. (Not to mention a lot of prayer and intercession.)

Don't miss it. Order for yourself and send to friends.

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Excerpt from the book Who Ate Lunch with Abraham

Consistency of Scriptures

Truth must be consistent. If a teaching contradicts itself, it cannot be true. This principle applies to philosophy, theology, and all logical thought.

Yeshua said that He came not to nullify or contradict anything that was written in the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them (Matt. 5:17-18). The apostle Saul repeated this principle often (Acts 24:14; 26:22; 28:23).

The Bible is true and trustworthy. As such, it is internally consistent. Genesis starts with the creation of heaven and earth; Revelation ends with the creation of the new heavens and new earth.

The kingdom of God proceeds through various stages from a tiny seed until a mighty tree that fills the whole earth (Matt. 13:31-32; Mark 4:26-28). There are different stages, but the development is consistent from beginning to end.

Two thousand years of disagreement between Israel and the Church have created a barrier to seeing the consistency of Scriptures. One of the keys to breaking down that barrier is the connection between the Angel of the Lord and Yeshua the Messiah.

The Scriptures are consistent because the nature of God is consistent. That is also true of the Messiah. Yeshua is the same in the past, the present and the future (Heb. 13:8). Yeshua is the common thread that links the Scriptures together. The eternal nature of the Messiah is demonstrated by showing the central role of the Angel of the Lord in the Law and the Prophets.

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