Of all the biblical narratives that tell the story of Israel’s sad history of transgressing against God, the narrative of King Jeroboam and his apostate Northern kingdom is by far, the saddest of them all. Jeroboam was given a very concise directive from God, he was to obey God and if he did God would give him to rule over ten tribes of Israel;
“‘I will take you, and you shall reign over whatever you desire, and you shall be king over Israel. ‘Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statues and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.”
(1 Kings 11:37-38).
This was God’s punishment to King David’s descendants for the sin of idolatry which was initiated by Solomon. It is noteworthy to interject here that this was not to be a perpetual arrangement. Consider what God went on to say to Jeroboam; “Thus (in doing this) I will afflict the descendants of David for this, but not always.” (1 Kings 11:39).
God desired to discipline the leadership of Judah (The House of David) by creating a split in the Kingdom of Israel: ten tribes to Jeroboam in the north which were the house of Joseph, and two tribes in the south which were the house of Judah. This was a temporary action on behalf of God and was not to be far reaching.
Jeroboam, whose charge was to obey God carefully, failed to do so. In fact, Jeroboam went on to create an apostate kingdom. Not only was it apostate, but it was abominable in God’s sight. Jeroboam established an order of service to the God of Israel that was a complete removal from what had been formerly established with King David in Jerusalem.
The following extract from 1 Kings will provide for us ample understanding as to where Jeroboam was in his faith and why he did what he did. It begins:
“Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel. Jeroboam said in his heart, ‘Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 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.’”
Note that Jeroboam is motivated by fear. He then went further to say,
“So the king 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.’ He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.” (1 Kings 12:25-29).
His fear led him to take action to protect his reign as king by providing idols for Israel to worship and secondary places of worship. This he did knowing that God had already ordained one place for His name. That place was Jerusalem.
At that point the apostasy was well established but in an act of hopeless desperation he took yet another step towards placing his will in opposition to God’s will. Jeroboam reforms the Holy Priesthood. Yes, the Holy Priesthood that God Himself had ordained. God took great care in establishing His priesthood. It started with Moses and Aaron immediately following His extraction of His people from Egyptian bondage. God went on to paint very important, prophetic and far reaching pictures relative to His priesthood. For all practical purposes a new religion was created and instituted. With that creation and institution an abomination that defiled the complete house of Israel was accomplished. Jeroboam had become an effective vessel of God’s ultimate adversary. That adversary, of course is “Ha Satan” himself. It was he, who from the beginning, has worked to defile and undermined whatever God would initiate towards His work of redemption. Satan has continued to oppose God’s redemption initiatives up to this present time.
Another example of Satan’s initiative to affect God’s work of redemption is The Council of Nicea. Like Jeroboam, the early Christian movement felt a pressing need to compromise in the face of what seemed to be insurmountable opposition. The fear of Rome superseded their faith that God would sustain them, even in the most horrific of circumstances. Within three centuries, they were ready to do what seemed appropriate to protect themselves and ensure their survival. They did what King Jeroboam did. The basis for their action was essentially identical. Yes, a new religion was instituted under the authority of a Pagan emperor, which, according to the Roman pagan system, that emperor was considered to be divine. The emperor presiding over that particular compromise was Emperor Constantine. He took the ultimate seat of authority in the Church, the seat of authority that belonged to God only, and instituted changes that the church is yet to recover from. So fundamental were those changes that Christianity, at that time, became unrecognizable from a Biblical perspective.
This abomination had many desolating effects. One such effect was what is referred to as “Replacement Theology.” Replacement theology became the churches justification for seeing itself separate from Israel to the point of replacing Israel. This is precisely what Satan did with Jeroboam. Yes, Satan accomplished the same thing with the early church as he did with the ten tribes of Israel under Jeroboam’s apostasy. How concise was the prophet Hosea when he stated; “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Ironically, the same prophecy given to the apostate kingdom of Israel also became appropriate for the church.
Over the last century there has been a development in the Church that has the potential to reverse the very apostasy seeded by Satan. Israel-loving, Zion focused believers have begun to be bold in breaking the yolks of blindly accepted doctrinal dogmas, dogmas that have perpetuated notions such as replacement theology and many others. This movement is denominationally unaffiliated. No committee of men charts its course. It is universal without human directives or control. It is truly an awakening by God’s hand.
This movement is not without vulnerabilities and susceptibilities though. Over the last twenty years there has been a group within the movement that has begun to succumb to the tendency to supersede natural Israel. The leaders of this movement have given it different names over the years. They began as “The Two Sticks” (Ezekiel 37:16-28). They were also referred to as “The House of Ephraim” and “The Two House” movement. Most recently they have become known as “The Redeemed Israel” movement.
Without going too far afield to try and define this movement, let me say that many in this movement are very sincere and enlightened believers that are searching for greater truth and purpose. This is good and should be encouraged. Nevertheless, within this movement there is an idea that asserts that the reason for this awakening is that those who are being awakened possesses DNA that connects them to the ten tribes of Israel. Yes, they literally believe that they are literal decedents of the tribes that consisted of the Northern kingdom of Israel. They maintain that these tribes were lost and the awakening, therefore, renders them “now found.” As a result of this they become “standouts” among other ordinary (unconnected to Israel through DNA) Christians because of their Israelite DNA.
Without saying too much it should be easy to see the inherent problem this can breathe. Yes, it too has the potential to become Replacement Theology. It is my opinion that the people, who are awakening to recognize the hope of Zion and the Father’s love for Israel, are doing so, not because of their physical DNA but because of their spiritual DNA. We are waking up because of two primary factors:
1) God has placed His Holy Spirit within us and we have gravitated to the things that are dear to Him. He has awakened us to His love and His commitment to Israel.
- 2) This is His set time for the bride of His Son to stand together with Israel and function in concert with Israel, not seeing herself in anyway at all in contest with Israel.
Those who have awakened, and are awakening, at this critical time, should be particularly careful and discerning concerning Satan’s desire to corrupt what God is doing in His Church today. We should allow the unfortunate history of the apostasies mentioned, to serve as constant reminders of our need stay true to God’s word. We cannot be Israel therefore, we cannot replace her. We are, on the other hand, to stand with Israel as her strongest support; the source of her greatest encouragement among all the peoples. Yeshua, Israel’s Messiah wants to be that very strong support and encouragement to Israel and the vessel He wants to do so through is His bride, His Church.