Of all the biblical narratives that tell the story of Israel’s sad history of transgression 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 Kings11:39).
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 and the house of Joseph, two tribes in the south, 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, 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 1Kings 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, Jeroboam is motivated by fear. He then went further:
“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.” (1Kings 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 this point the apostasy is raging but in an act of hopeless desperation he takes yet another step towards placing his will in opposition to God’s. 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 the 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 reasons a new religion is instituted.
At this point the abomination that defiled the complete (Judah included) house of Israel was accomplished. I used the word accomplished because this was the work of an enemy. That enemy, of course was Ha Satan himself. It was he, who from the beginning has endeavored to defile whatever God would establish 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 the pressing need to compromise in the face of what seemed to be insurmountable odds. The fear of Rome superseded their faith that God could 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 “A Jeroboam”.
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 living temple of God, the seat that belonged to God only, and officiated 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 church’s justification for seeing itself separate from Israel to the point of replacing Israel. Is this recognizable? Yes, Satan accomplished the same thing with the early church as he did with the ten tribes of Israel in Samaria. That thing is apostasy! Oh, how correct 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 is also 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 yokes of blindly accepted doctrinal dogmas. Dogmas that have perpetuated notions such as replacement theology. We are denominationally unaffiliated. No committee of men charts our course. We are universal without human domination. It is truly an awakening by God’s hand.
Our movement is not without vulnerabilities and susceptibilities, though. Over the last twenty years there has been a group within us that has begun to succumb to that tendency to supersede natural Israel. These brothers and sisters go by different names. They began as The Two Sticks. They were also referred to as The House of Ephraim. Most recently they have become known as The Two House 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 awakening have DNA that connects them to the ten tribes of Israel. They maintain that these tribes were lost. The awakening therefore renders them “now found”. They then become “standouts” among other ordinary Christians because of their Israeli 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 that 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 will therefore gravitate to the things that are dear to Him. He is awakening us to His love and His commitment to Israel. 2. This is His set time for the bride of His Son–the church–to stand together with Israel and function in concert with her.
We, at this critical time should be particularly careful and discerning regarding Satan’s desire to corrupt what God is so clearly doing in His Church today. We are to stand with Israel as her strongest support and not see ourselves as her replacement. Yeshua, Israel’s Messiah wants to be that very strong support to Israel and He wants to do so through His bride.