The 1980’s and 1990’s witnessed the rise of two Christian streams. One was called the prophetic movement and the other was known as the apostolic movement. Though these tributaries were beset by no small measure of controversy, they were eyewitnesses of some amazing stirrings of God as the foundational gifts of Ephesians 4:9-16 found renewed and reformed expression.
These young and burgeoning movements occasionally manifested immaturity, overstatement and pride. As with most charismatic movements, their strengths did not always lie in knowledge and careful use of the Scriptures. Nevertheless, there were some voices of balance within these groups, and they wooed their enthusiastic adherents to more biblically sound and thoughtful expressions of faith.
This newsletter offers a challenge to these movements – to their present leaders and also to their many followers.
The prophetic declarations and the apostolic pronouncements which sound out from your pulpits – are they being constructed on dunes of sand or is their foundation on the rock of God’s word?
The sand and the rock in question refer to how you deal with the Scripture – their solid meaning focuses on the Jewish people, their calling, gifts and destiny. Do your preaching, your pronouncements and your prophesying honor that divine focus? When you adapt Bible promises about the Jewish people, do you let your people know at the get-go that these are priority prophetic promises of life for the Jewish people? Do you make that clear before you apply the principles in those verses to your Christian audience and to the larger family of faith?
If you give a wide berth to the Jewish people’s centrality in these promises, then believe it or not – Replacement Theology (the sin of the fathers) will continue to occupy the high ground in your movements; the Bible’s prophetic words about the Jewish people will continue to be twisted and Jacob’s amazing prophetic destiny will continue to be ignored.
Building castles made of sand
Jimi Hendrix once sang that “castles made of sand fall in the sea eventually.” Two millennia before Jimi, Messiah Yeshua’s words echoed quietly on Galilean hills: “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house. And it fell – and great was its fall” (Matthew 7:26-27).
We who hear and understand Yeshua’s words have a responsibility. Unless we act on His words, we are considered foolish people standing on shaky foundations.
“From the standpoint of God’s choice/election they (ed. the Jewish people) are beloved for the sake of the patriarchs. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:28-29). If these words are true (and they are!), this means that we must make absolutely certain to convey this rock-solid foundational truth as we apply the Jewish Scriptures to our primarily Gentile congregations and audiences.
If a promise pertains to Israel and her future prophetic destiny, then we need to make sure that we also proclaim Israel’s prophetic destiny to our people before we use the principles in that scripture to encourage our own people. But if we leave Israel out of the picture, we stand in violation of Genesis 12:3. The Hebrew in that verse says, meqalelecha a’or (‘the one who ignores/derides, scorns, belittles you [Israel], I will curse’).
- To ignore Israel while taking Jewish prophetic promises and focusing them only on Gentile Christians is Replacement Theology, plain and simple. An Abrahamic curse comes upon those who do this
So many of my dear friends in the prophetic and apostolic movements don’t know it, but they are actually trumpeters of a new form of Replacement Theology. Were someone to make a list of how often this happens (to paraphrase John 21:25) “I suppose that even the world itself would not contain” the many and varied illustrations.
Here are four examples of the myriads that abound out there:
- Using Isaiah 60 (“Arise, shine for your light has come”) to refer to Gentile Christian revival, when the context actually refers to Jewish revival and how it will then impact the entire world
- Using Ezekiel 37 (the vision of the dry bones) to refer to the church, when the context actually refers to God raising up a mighty Jewish army in Israel
- Using Ezekiel 36 (the promise of a new heart and spirit) as being fulfilled now among Gentile Christians, when the context actually refers to a Jewish return to the land of Israel followed by a Jewish spiritual revival
- Using Isaiah 19 (the highway between Egypt and Assyria) to refer to a future tripartite equality between the Arab nations and Israel, when the context actually refers to Israel’s priority calling as being the cause of blessing to her surrounding Arabic-speaking neighbors
Is it not time to move on, to press onward and upward toward the goal, the prize of the upward calling we have in Messiah Yeshua the Son of David (Philippians 3:14)? Is it not time for the body of Messiah to get with God’s plan and honor His priority choosing of the Jewish people as the key to world revival? Can the prophetic and the apostolic streams get back in step with the Spirit of God here by honoring His heart and priority for Israel?
We will rock you
Yeshua challenges His listeners to be not only hearers but also doers of His words. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).
The night of boasting against the natural Jewish branches is nearly over (Romans 11:18). The daylight is almost here (Romans 13:12). Let those who would prophesy God’s heart and strategies get in step with God’s heart and strategies concerning the Jewish people. Let those who would speak God’s apostolic heart over His body be pleased to honor Israel, for Gentile believers are indebted to the Jewish people and share in Jacob’s spiritual things (Romans 15:27).
As the premier Apostle has said, “If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment” (1 Corinthians 14:37).
How should we then pray?
- Pray for God’s heart revelation to come upon the movers and shakers in the prophetic and apostolic movements regarding Israel’s abiding priority
- Pray for spiritual pride, narcissism and boasting to be revealed and repented from
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
Donations can be sent to:
FINAL FRONTIER MINISTRIES
BOX 121971 NASHVILLE TN 37212-1971 USA
Donations can also be made on-line (by PayPal or credit card) through: www.davidstent.org