On occasion, friend and fellow Messianic, Tzefanyah ben Yochanan, has visions that are prophetic in nature. This morning my email had a detailed vision that he had yesterday, and it triggered some thoughts. Here is the majority of that email,
Today @ 8 AM Eastern time Yom Rishon (Sunday) August 23 I had a vision. I was standing and talking to hundreds of people. As I spoke I began to share that it is time to bury the hatchet of all the doctrines that divide us. I began to share that there are many gray areas in scripture, but we have taken those areas and made doctrines out of them and used them to declare ourselves having a truth that everyone needs that I have a corner on. I shared how when we do that we create separation between each other. We as the people of Yosef are still walking in the sin of Jeroboam to this very day. We are erecting golden calves and altars to ourselves and we have made these doctrines as mighty ones. After I finished sharing that bold message to these hundreds of people my whole body began to shake and my knees began to buckle. I was weeping profusely and I fell prostrate upon the ground and with a loud cry came forth, “Oh King of Yisrael bring us home!!!” As I lay there yelling out and profusely weeping, the hundreds of people in that place began to do the same. We were all identifying the sin of Jeroboam in our lives. The hundreds in that place were now all prostrate on the floor crying out in unison with weeping and travail, “Oh King of Yisrael bring us home!!” My body was quaking and I was weeping throughout the vision and then at the end was a sense of calm assurance, tranquility, that He heard our cry.
All of us in that room knew heaven touched earth in that place. We all knew it was time to prepare for our journey. He heard us and was taking us home.
What particularly struck me was that in recent days, I have again been thinking of the sin of Jeroboam. While this is a topic we have discussed before, I think it is something we need to revisit, particularly in light of Tzefanyah’s vision.
Most of Christendom does not know or realize that the way the faith is currently practiced is not the way it has always been. Indeed, very little has changed in the last 1500 or so years, but a great deal changed between about 150 CE and 500 CE. Even a cursory reading of the book of Acts reveals that in the years immediately following the Master’s death, the apostles kept the feasts, ate clean, worshipped on the Sabbath and expected non-Jewish converts to learn and keep Torah. Simply, the early believers who best knew exactly what Yeshua taught, were ‘zealous for the Law.’
So, what happened and what has this got to do with Jeroboam?
As we have studied before, 1 Kings 12 relates the story of how Israel was divided by the House of Israel turning away from the leadership of Judah and charting its own course into grave apostasy. Jeroboam, in an effort to retain the monarchy and build a dynasty, thus preventing the reunification of the northern tribes with the throne in Jerusalem, created a whole new religious system. He,
- introduced new feast days,
- introduced new gods,
- introduced a non-Levite priest system, and
- changed the place of worship.
Essentially, he walked away from Yehovah’s Instructions (Torah) and began to do his own thing. I’m sure they put together carefully crafted arguments and justifications for why ‘that Law has been done away with’ and ‘He knows our heart.’ But, the bottom-line is that they walked headlong into lawless apostasy.
The centuries immediately following the time of the apostles was no less different. The Gentile believers coming into the synagogue as new believers in Yeshua and desiring to learn Torah, in obedience to the Nassi, James the Just, ran into a pretty heady mix of trouble. The religious leaders in Jerusalem were not happy with this upstart movement that regarded the oral law as tradition, thus reducing their authority, while at the same time, anti-Semitism from the Roman empire was increasing in fervor due to the 67-70 CE war in Israel followed by the 135 CE Bar Kochba rebellion.
As the anti-Semitism grew and spread, it predictably crept into the fledgling scattered bodies of believers that were cast out of the Jewish synagogues because of distrust. Hurts on both sides fed the division eventually leading to radical anti-Semitic theologians like Marcion and Chrysostom. Though Marcion was widely regarded as a heretic, his teachings strongly influenced Christian theology, even to this day. Chrysostom was held, and is still held as a pillar, yet his foul mouth spewed vile hate from the pulpit as we have seen before.
By 325 CE, at the first Council of Nicea, numerous laws were instituting forbiding anything that even looked “Jewish,” while codifying holidays and days of worship that have clear pagan roots. Further, Rome was established as the center of the new ‘religion’ with its own priesthood that was entirely separated from the Hebrew roots of the father.
Essentially, Christendom came to be through the Sin of Jeroboam. The stories exactly parallel, and it is a history that tragically, most pastors do not know or recognize, never mind the lemmings in the pews.
A few months ago, I had the rare privilege to spend a couple weeks in Israel. During that time frame, one of the specific requests we made of our tourguide, Hanoch Young of Kol Yehuda, was a day trip to Dan in the northern most corner of Israel. I/we wanted to see the archaeological remains of the abomination that Jeroboam constructed.
Our purpose for going, though, was not to sight see, but to turn our backs to it, face Jerusalem and repent for our sin, the sins of those we represented and for the sins of our fathers. (See Leviticus 26:40-45!!) Our desire, just like that expressed in Tzefanyah’s vision above is that the King of Israel bring us home. But, until we cry out corporately and admit our guilt and sin, He will continue to wait!
Each of us, particularly in this month of Elul, traditionally a dedicated time of repentance before the new year beginning on Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets/blowing), needs to be asking our Father to show us what sins we need to repent of, particularly those of Jeroboam. Christendom as a whole will be forced to face this very issue and it will become a dividing line that demarcates who will walk according t the Ways of the Father and who will stick with traditional lawlessness.
I challenge and beg each dear reader to cast yourself before the Father and ask Him to reveal whatever needs to be cleaned up, then be willing to ‘man-up’ and face the changes. A thorough search will reveal pagan origins to holidays, unclean meats, and sunday.
May Abba lead us all to a proper walk before Him along the ancient paths….