Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, for the Jew first, and also for the Greek.”
Greta is a believer from a Greek background who was born and raised in a predominantly Jewish community. She had a profound visitation of the Lord in 1982 which dramatically translated her into the Kingdom of Yeshua. In 1988, Yeshua again visited her, this time as the Jewish High Priest who took upon Himself the sin of the whole world. Since that experience, her life and ministry has been devoted to the salvation of Israel and Greece/the nations. Her burden to see the gospel go to the Jew first and also to the Greek has led her to traverse the bridge between Israel and Greece in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul.
Greta has organized and spoken at Jewish-Greek unity conferences and women’s meetings to teach Jewish roots, the humanity of Yeshua and the reality of the one new man in order to further Jewish-Greek unity. She has spoken in the USA, Greece, Germany, Finland, and Cyprus on the difference between the Hebraic and Greek heart-mind-set, an awakened conscience and a circumcised heart. She gained valuable experience working for David Wilkerson’s Teen Challenge ministry as a coordinator of evangelism and discipleship programs for women. She also completed a training program under Reinhard Bonnke. Greta sees the connection between Israel and Greece as a crucial link in these last days as it was in the days of the first believers, rekindling revival and restoration, advancing the Kingdom of God and hastening the return of the Lord.
The Jewish-Greek Bridge
The Jewish-Greek Bridge is a vision for unity between the Jewish and Greek people, especially believers in Yeshua. It is a vision for the full restoration (Tikkun/Apokatastasis) and complete prophetic fulfillment of the Shem-Japheth identity and familial relationship, Israel being the son of Shem and Greece/Cyprus (and various European nations) being sons of Japheth. Genesis 9:26-27
In a very real way, human society is a “grafting” of the Jewish and Greek cultures and thought. Both Jews and Greeks are called to the God of Israel and each in their own unique callings, have had special roles to play in history, both individually and cooperatively. Romans 1:16; I Cor.1:24
Many would say that it is impossible for a Greek and a Jew to become one, and truly in many ways, history would seem to support that perspective. However, in my journey as a Greek believer growing up in Jewish community and in my studies of the Word of God, I see that the contrary is true.
The call for the gospel to go to the Jew first, and also to the Greek, is first and foremost a literal and natural call. These national callings cannot be replaced or erased in time and in eternity. Replacement theology, which teaches that the church has replaced natural Israel, has no place in the full counsel of scripture. God’s calling of natural Greece also has not ceased nor been replaced by the generic phrase, “Gentiles.” The true God of Israel unites His children, whether Jew, Greek or any other nation. He doesn’t replace them. Unfortunately, what the Greeks sowed in promoting replacement theology, she has also reaped. She too has been “replaced” in her unique supportive, expansive and cooperative role, and therefore we hear myriads say that to the Jew first and also to the “Greek” has nothing to do with the literal Greek, but to the Hellenistic world generally. They fail to see that when Paul uses the word Hellene rather than the word Ethnos in many New Testament scriptures, he means the literal Greek first.
The call to become one new man, where the Messiah becomes all and in all, is not a call to blur and ultimately erase our individual identities as Jew, Greek, male or female, but it is a divine invitation to go beyond our own spheres, callings and isolation, in order to become one as the Father and the Son are one. Colossians 3:10-11; John 17:20-21, not negating our fundamental and immutable individual roles but going beyond to emphasize our essential and eternal oneness in and through the God of Israel and the mystery of that oneness.
The Jewish-Greek Bridge is a call to both Jew and Greek to unite in divine cooperation for the fulfillment of God’s redemptive purposes for humanity until all is restored according to Acts 3:21. This divine invitation is to become, in spirit and in truth, the one new man who is both Jew and Greek/Gentile and yet much more from the union of the two. Like the marriage covenant of God, the two become one in order to bear good fruit that remains and endures unto subsequent generations. Why does God consistently use the Jew-Greek, male-female parallels in scripture? It is because it takes the one to fully understand the other. They are forever connected and inseparable. The union of Jew and Greek is ultimately for the purpose of being restored together in one body to the image of Christ where He is all and in all. Ephesians 3:10-11
One of the first steps in building true unity between Jew and Greek must be to get to know one another’s distinct identities, like male and female, in order to fully appreciate and embrace one another in truth. Our finest example of this is the Jewish Apostle Paul who defined the individual unique callings of Jew and Greek and yet, while maintaining his essential Jewish identity, he became all things to all men, that he might win them to the Messiah. I Corinthians 9:19-23 This Jewish man travelled from Israel to Greece to make the divine connection towards becoming the one new man and in doing so, he continues to exponentially bear fruit that remains. Like Paul, our unique gifting and callings must facilitate a union that is energized by authentic identities uniting, and not by identity confusion. This is very much like the unity of a man and a woman.
Restoration of Identity and Purpose: The Shem-Japheth Brotherhood
In order for this restoration of true identity and purpose to happen, we must discover and realign with our original callings in God. Shem is the genealogical line of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, including Yeshua. Therefore Shem is both natural Israel and also Yeshua. Shem means name. Yeshua is the Name of the one true God. Yeshua and Israel will always be interwoven in time and in eternity and one without the other cannot fully reveal who He is (God’s Name/Shem). In being called to dwell in the tents of Shem, Greece enters into the same God, family and covenant. Ephesians 2:19
It is through this oneness in the tents of Shem that the full restoration and fulfillment of Jewish and Greek identity becomes truly possible. Dwelling as two brothers in one tent, the roles become more obvious, sharpened and most effective. Shem (name), has to do with the Jews giving the revelation of the one true God to the world. Japheth (enlargement/beauty), means that the Greeks/Gentiles enter the tent to enlarge and beautify it. The Rabbis say that of all languages, the Greek language is the only one able to translate the Hebrew scriptures eloquently and it has served to expand the Jewish revelation of God to the whole world.
What does it mean to dwell in the tents of Shem? It has to do with changing our”mind-heart set”to an Hebraic one. God calls us all like Abraham, the first Hebrew, to dwell in temporal “tents.” He does not call us to build independent cities, empires or kingdoms, reaching to the heavens. The only eternal city is the one whose builder and maker is God. We are called to dwell in tents as a picture of our temporal existence, revealing that we are seeking His city alone. If in the likeness of our father Abraham, we are looking for the city whose builder and maker is God, we are in essence looking for God Himself and for our abiding place in Him. Romans 11:8-10
We are not “at home” in these “tents.” We are groaning, waiting for our complete redemption, the restoration (Tikkun) of our body, (soul and spirit). 2 Corinthians 5:4; Romans 8:22-23. We desire not to be unclothed but to be clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Dwelling in the tents of Shem is ultimately about emigrating from our own self-focused life to immigrate to the God of Israel/Yeshua and His Kingdom. II Corinthians 5:6-9 It is the difference and privilege between being grafted into the line of Shem (tent dwellers) rather than being in the line of Ham/Canaan whose sons, Nimrod and Asshur, built the cities of Babel and Ninevah. If the Lord doesn’t build the house, they labor in vain who build it.
Dwelling in the tents of Shem is both dwelling in Israel and dwelling in the God of Israel Himself. “I in them and You in Me Father that they might be perfected in one.” John 17:23 Dwelling in the tents of Shem is about learning by experience, abiding together, journeying together in God and not about learning about God or one another theoretically. Yeshua Himself tabernacled among us, dwelling in a temporal “tent.” He too groaned to return to the glory He had with the Father before the world was. John 17:5 He is our model and example to follow.
Therefore God commands the nations to come to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths in the millennium, the only feast to be maintained and celebrated, not only by Israel, but by all the nations that remain who did not come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 14:16-19 Therefore, dwelling in the tents of Shem is an eternal command of God. It is God’s eternal command to Israel and the nations to celebrate our only true oneness in the God of Israel. This great message extends into eternity, that we are one family in God, citizens of the commonwealth of Israel and that the holy Jerusalem is the eternal city of God and the mother of us all.
Romans 11 and Ephesians 2 and 3 expand and bring to a fuller understanding what Genesis 9 lays out prophetically, and vice verse. Romans11:17, Ephesians 2:19 and Ephesians 3:6 are about Japheth (the Greeks/Gentiles) coming into the tents of Shem, being grafted into the commonwealth of Israel and partaking of the root and fatness of the olive tree. It is Japheth partaking of Israel’s riches in and through the God of Shem/Israel-Yeshua, ultimately into life from the dead. Romans 11:15 The gifts and callings are without repentance for the Jew (Shem), but they are also without repentance for the Greek/Gentile, (Japheth), for it is when the fulness of the Gentiles (melo hagoiim) comes in, that all Israel will be saved! Romans 11:25-26 Japheth must be grafted in through Yeshua to dwell in the tents of Shem (the Name and God of Israel) and so all Israel will be saved.