Last week, as I researched and read Scripture related to ‘stiffneckedness’ for a post, there were multiple connected trails that I chased. Very interesting stuff…
We have discussed on various occasions the division of Israel and Judah, how they are often named ‘the House of Israel,’ and the ‘House of Judah’ in Scripture and how this has particular prophetic significance. A GREAT primer, if the subject is new to you, is The Lost Sheep by 119 Ministries. (They have a TON of terrific teachings… all free!)
Now, we understand that the division was in the plan of Yahweh, though I think only in recent years have we begun to understand the hows and whys. Today, as Yahweh reveals an understanding of things long hidden in Scripture, we find Him preparing Israel to be rejoined to Judah… to the consternation of many, as this post will discuss.
What I want to share is what I read and pondered the other day.
Jeroboam, the first king of Israel (the Northern Ten Tribes), was very intentional in separating to himself the Northern Kingdom. He had a kingdom and he wanted to insure that He and his progeny kept it! I mean, who wants to go back to normal life when you can build a dynasty?
Let’s read and then discuss and compare:
25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived [a]there. And he went out from there and built Penuel. 26 Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 27 If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king [b]consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.” 29 He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. 31 And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among [c]all the people who were not of the sons of Levi. 32 Jeroboam [d]instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he [e]went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 Then he [f]went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had [g]devised [h]in his own heart; and he [i]instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and [j]went up to the altar to burn [k]incense. 1 Kings 12:25-33
WOW!! That passage just boggles the mind! And, it begins a pattern of behavior that continues to this very day.
Scripture is clear. The reason Jeroboam did what he did was to drive a wedge between Israel and Judah, to create division between the people and Jerusalem, the dwelling place of Yahweh. He did so with several very specific measures. He…
- redefined their God.
- redefined their worship.
- established a system of priests.
- instituted new holy days (holidays).
- syncretized paganism into the religious system.
This is a calculated transgression against Yahweh, and against His Torah. The gravity is breath-taking in its coldness! This is a major milestone in the House of Israel’s rejection of Yahweh and HIS ways, His voice, His commandments, His Torah, etc…
That rejection continues to this very day!
Predictably, so does the sin of Jeroboam.
An honest ramble through ‘church’ history, particularly if you look through the unapproved, unsanitized history, you will find that at numerous points in history, especially in the late 2nd to 5th centuries, Christendom’s Greco-Roman Bishops were very intentional in dividing the restored Tent of David that the Apostles began rebuilding. (The Amos quote has an early partial fulfillment, but we see that it is pointed to the end of days.)
Late last month, I posted ‘What did the Early Church Fathers REALLY do?‘ I HIGHLY recommend you take the time to watch and absorb, because that information is NOT promoted by most pulpits as it would reveal the very thing we discuss… that is, the intentional dividing of the Body… Or, this webpage with an overview of errant understanding and wrong historical perspective.
To take a very quick overview of Christendom, let’s consider a few things our ‘fathers’ have done. They,
- redefined God. Torah-keeping Yeshua became Torah-abolishing Jesus. (Some suppose to tap dance around this charge by stating that the ‘principles’ still apply, but ‘we don’t have to do that.’)
- redefined worship by removing a number of things tied directly to the Hebrew roots of the Messiah and the faith.
- established a system of priests that operated according to their own doctrines and thought processes. All Hebraic perspectives and contextual clues were removed, ignored or denigrated.
- instituted new holy, er, holidays, such as Christmas, Lent, Easter, etc, and erased, denigrated, ignored, etc the Feasts of Yahweh that were tied to the Creation Order and the sanctifying will of the Father.
- syncretized paganism into their new religious system with a myriad of false practices.
No doubt, some pastor reading this is now holding his head in his hands and thinks I have completely lost my mind. Rest assured, I have done the research and I make NO excuses for the errors I walked in while occupying a pulpit for a decade.
Yes, there are true believers saved in the name of Jesus, but there is also truth coming out all over and we have a choice to make. Learn, repent and humbly correct our errors in order to prepare for THE Kingdom, or move forward with stiff necks and hard hearts protecting our reputation and little kingdoms. Once we have been informed, we have to do something about it, or we walk in willful sin.
Jeroboam chose the latter and Scripture records that Abba Yahweh warned him. This is what happened,
33 After this event Jeroboam did not return from his evil way, but again he made priests of the high places from among [a]all the people; any who would, he ordained, to be priests of the high places. 34 [b]This event became sin to the house of Jeroboam, even to blot it out and destroy it from off the face of the earth. 1 Kings 13:33-34
In the last decade, at an accelerating pace, the Ruach/Spirit has been awakening people to the ancient paths. We are being awakened to the huge amount of tradition and pagan myth we have allowed into our worship, and we are, most importantly, awakening to the historical fact of the intentional dividing of Judah and Gentile believers in Messiah. In the wake of this growing tidal wave of search for truth and a restoration of first century practice, there is also a growing number of pastors who, when faced with this information, choose the path of Jeroboam.
Truly sad, but even sadder are the words of Messiah Yeshua,
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many [a]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23
Notice the distinction between ‘the will of My Father’ and ‘lawlessness.’ Even a simple reading of the Tanak indicates that ‘the will of My Father’ is to ‘obey My voice,’ ‘walk in My paths,’ ‘keep My commandments,’ etc. and of course, ‘lawlessness’ is rejecting the Torah.
We are at a pivotal point in history as we enter the seventh millennium. Our Father is at the point of bringing His people together to again walk in His ways and follow the Messiah as we enter through His redemptive blood. We dare not stand in His way by dividing Israel and Judah. Rather, we best be seeking Him in humility and asking how we can be of service!
I know this is challenging for some. Humility and prayer is the answer.
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