Preparing the Way
Over the centuries those who have become followers of God have had a responsibility and a role in preparing; not just for their own callings and destinies; but in shaping the dynamics of the community around them. Then there have been those leaders whose mandates have tapped and triggered a much higher level of God’s priorities in preparing the way.
After years of turmoil and persecution at the hand of the one he had honored, trusted and was destined to replace, David’s steps exceeded the impossible. Taking a array of incredibly disparate groups of unlikely people, he brought these people of God together and forged a kingdom. It was the pinnacle of his life’s accomplishments. In like manner, there was a parallel in the birth of the State of Israel; the culmination of what had evolved during the decades preceding this coming together of similarly extremely different segments of God’s people.
The accomplishment of this more recent improbable and largely impossible task involved transcending the human limitations and normally accepted issues of identity, culture and leadership with a unity that was beyond the ordinary.
Despite the divide from centuries of persecution, misfires and myopic misunderstandings, the destiny of the Church and Israel, as a people, has been and is entwined. Indeed, the early Church unequivocally was a Jewish sect.
There then came a time following the resurrection of a significant turning that tapped and triggered a much higher level of God’s priorities in this preparation of the way. Acts 14 (tPt) describes the journeys of Paul and Barnabas: “At each place they went, they strengthened the believers and encouraged them to go deeper in their faith. And they taught them, ‘It is necessary for us to enter into the realm of God’s kingdom, because that’s the only way we will endure our many trials and persecutions.’”
The Passion translation of this passage in Acts notes that preparing the way with genuine Kingdom-building represents a struggle, yet also is the antidote to the hardships resident in the world’s infrastructures arrayed against God’s people. Then in Acts 15 (tPt), as the Spirit guided the Church leaders with needed adjustments to such an unprecedented season, Peter addressed a private gathering of the elders and apostles, the leadership of the Church with this amazing observation: “So now, not one thing separates us as Jews and gentiles, for when they believe, he makes their hearts pure.”
Then Paul and Barnabas advanced this theme, sharing with this Jerusalem Council about the signs and wonders and miracles God had been doing among the non-Jewish people. After hearing their testimony the apostle James was moved to quote the prophet Amos with these words: ‘After these things I will return to you and raise up the tabernacle of David that has fallen into ruin. I will restore and rebuild what David experienced so that all of humanity will be able to encounter the Lord including the gentiles whom I have called to be my very own,’ says the Lord. ‘For I have made known my works from eternity!’
David’s Greatest Exploit
What David experienced, that had fallen into ruin, began with the miracle of bringing the various tribes and factions comprising God’s people into a place of unity, in being one. It was what Peter was referring to and advocating in embracing the gentiles into the faith.
This coming together of God’s people parallels what had been required to bring about the State of Israel in 1948. With this re-birth and restoration of Israel as a nation came an awakening and restoration to this Acts 15 bridge and mandate of: “…even all the gentiles who are called by my name” with the Church.
The Impact When God’s Purposes Unify
This mandate and link between Israel and the Church is a vital part of the preparation needed for the restoration and establishment of the Kingdom of God. During the year of 1948 when Israel became a nation, this correlation of what the Spirit of God was doing between Israel and the Church was evidenced by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the US when more than 200 healing ministries got their start … as God began restoring the supernatural to the followers of the Messiah, as it was in the time of the early church.
This process of restoration continued in both Israel and the Church. In 1967 another significant event occurred in Israel with a correlated manifestation within the Church. After two decades as a nation, with new waves of aliyah, again there was a war in Israel. And again, against all odds in the natural Israel emerged victorious and in doing so, regained control of Jerusalem. That same year witnessed two significant moves of the Spirit in the Church: the beginning of a cross-denominational prayer movement known as the Charismatic revival and the launch of the beginning of the Messianic Jewish movement.
With the restoration of proactive prayer and the Jewish roots of the faith came the draw of multitudes … to the faith and to Israel …. due to each these moves of the Holy Spirit. They were additional evidence and steps in the restoration of the substance and power that once had been the heritage and mode for God’s people.
A Historic Review of Israel Unified
The return or the aliyah of the different segments of Diaspora Jews to Israel began in the late 1800s. It concluded with the War of Independence and the birth of Israel as a nation. Waves of aliyah found early impetus with Theodore Herzl’s effort with the rise of Zionism. However, the ideals motivated by Zionism became enmeshed with the realities of the spread of global persecution of the Jewish people during this time frame.
Each wave of aliyah during the decades that followed contained a unique composition and profile of Jews who systematically, with one mind and herculean effort, brought the land of Israel back from its long season of dormancy, leading to the settlement of villages and towns and the establishment of an identity, economy and culture that ultimately has amazed the world.
The role of these progressive waves of aliyah and the associated developments created ripples, amassing God-foundations in replicating David’s accomplishment of Kingdom-building unity. Following the farming settlers in the late 1800s, came the communal (kibbutzim and moshavim) farms and villages, along with the start of land-buying with funds from Diaspora Jews. Aligned with these developments was the need for progressive effectiveness in defense. With these tasks arose capable leaders.
As WWI began concluding there came the Balfour Agreement. The interim following WWI began with a subtle increase but then sharp rise of anti-Semitism, as the dark clouds of war gradually, but systematically became a threat to the world’s freedoms.
During the interim between WWI and WWII came a different shape in both the legal and illegal aliyah, with the emigration of the professionals and shopkeepers whose trades and expertise advanced the formation of Israeli cities. It was during this interim that immigration to the US became very difficult and the British response to the Arab outcry to the rise in the Jewish presence in Israel was to renege on the Balfour Agreement, actively working against the shiploads of Jews seeking asylum and safe-haven in Israel.
The onset of the dire global impact of complications from WWII ultimately resulted in the British relinquishing their grip over Israel to the United Nations. Amazingly, the result was the UN vote for Partition, followed by Israel declaring its Independence. Even more astounding was how Israel conducted and prevailed in the war waged against them from multiple and vastly overwhelming outside Arab groups assaulting their borders.
The Leadership Characteristics of the Early Waves of Aliyah
In understanding the season now upon us, it is instructive to take a closer look at the flow and composition comprising these early stages of aliyah. They reflected a sacrificial singleness of purpose of higher-level goals with the leadership intent on establishing a safe-haven for God’s people that concluded with the re-birth of Israel.
Sacrificial Singleness of Purpose. The pioneers whose sacrifices led to Israel’s statehood embraced a singleness of purpose for which they were willing to put their lives on the line. Their ranks were composed of very courageous doers, whose actions genuinely might be described as: loving not their lives unto death.
Again and again, their efforts began with extending the benefit of the doubt and reaching out to share the blessings of God with their neighbors. It fit with Jesus’ description of a different form of leadership from that of the world; one based on God-centered sacrifice and singleness of purpose: that of servant leaders.
He who finds his life will lose it and he who eschews his life for My sake will gain it. Matthew 10:39
Faith in God’s Word. Yet, despite the consistent extensions of friendship and peace, they maintained a singleness of purpose in their prophetic goals for the Land of Promise. Again and again, those paving the way to Israel’s statehood had a unique grasp of and believed the promises in God’s word concerning the restoration of God’s people to the Land of Promise.
Leon Uris, the author of the classic “Exodus” was a US Marine infantry veteran who survived the brutal WWII battles of Guadalcanal and Tarawa. His subsequent interviews, research and time in Israel in the early 50s uncovered the faith that had been operating in these modern-day Israeli pioneers. The following represents a glimmer of the historic, God-centered foundations that their efforts were fulfilling.
Big Picture Goals. “Until the LORD gives rest to your brothers, as to you, and they also occupy the land that the LORD your God gives them beyond the Jordan. Then each of you may return to his possession which I have given you.” Deuteronomy 3:20
Humility from God-Sanctions. “For the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the country you possess, you shall allow a redemption of the land.” Leviticus 25:23-24
The Fear of God. “And you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning.” Deuteronomy 19:21
Awakening God’s Glory. “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You. In the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by. He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. God shall send forth His mercy and His truth. My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men Who are set on fire, Whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword. They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They have dug a pit before me; Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Awake, my glory! Awake, and I will awaken the dawn.” Psalm 57
God’s Enemies Scattered. “The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion and it will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit. And there will be nothing for Egypt which the head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do. In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand of the LORD of hosts, which he shakes over them.” Isaiah 19:14
Accepting God’s Higher Purposes. “A voice cries out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3
Strengthened as His Good Stewards. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.” Isaiah 40:31
Significance of the Times. “Why is this night different from all other nights? It is different because we celebrate the most important moment in the history of our people. We celebrate going forth in triumph from slavery into freedom.” The Jewish Haggadah
Israel and the Church: Restoration and Rebuilding.
While there has been significant slippage since the days when Peter addressed the Council of Jerusalem with the observation of there not being one thing that separates us as Jew and gentile, the Spirit of the Lord has over the centuries been systematically restoring this essential dynamic, with the task of rebuilding being the responsibility of His people.
Underlying the age-old preparation of the way is the process of the exodus of God’s people from bondage into freedom. It is a part of the distinction between the identity-thing of those who know their God and those who do not. What then took place in Israel in those years from the late 1800s to 1948 began the fulfillment of the words of Isaiah:
“Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” Isaiah 58:12
Again, it comes back to this intertwining between God’s preparation of Israel and the Church. It has been noted that 1967 represented a subsequent key transition for God’s people as Israel regained control of Jerusalem. With the restoration of the Jewish roots and prayer movement within the Church in that same time frame, it has been estimated that more than half of the resulting new converts were Jewish.
Many of these new Jewish believers from the late 1960s to mid-70s heeded the aliyah call, a most unique wave of aliyah, becoming a part of the process of what God has long been preparing with His people in the Land. As this community of Israeli Jewish believers has grown and the second generation has begun to serve as a part of Israel’s infrastructure, the alignment of God’s steps of preparation, of restoration and rebuilding, are coming into greater focus with the words spoken long ago concerning the rebuilding, and that of not one thing separating Jew and gentile.
Understanding the Times
Leading this preparation of the way have been ones whose vision saw the end from the beginning and were not daunted or seduced by it. These were those who paid dearly to be a part of this process of rebuilding the Land and the society versus those who simply bathed in the sacrificial efforts of others. So it will be in the time before us.
In recognizing the signs of the times, we have entered a time when obeying God and opposing evil has never had greater significance. It is a time when obeying God and opposing evil comes at a cost, as the forerunners in leading the way to Israel’s statehood and those among God’s persecuted have long recognized.
Yet, as the wisdom of Paul has discerned that we see through a mirror dimly and only know in part; both the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation punctuate this wisdom in speaking of events to be sealed up and hidden until the time of the end. Clearly there are strategies from on-high for this entwined destiny between Israel … the people and the land … and the Church, which have yet to be revealed. It will be through scripture and revelation, not the precepts of men, that we can monitor the unfolding clues.
The Turning and Some Clues
This is the turning for the season now upon us. For some, it is not dissimilar to the time when Moses and all Israel stood before the Red Sea with Pharaoh and the hoards approaching in the distance; when the Lord spoke very plainly, yet so dramatically to Moses in Exodus 14:15-16: “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the children of Israel to move forward. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it.”
It suggests the restoration of the authority to be expected for the rebuilding from those in leadership who love not their lives unto death.
In this great time of turmoil and change, we need to be making our passage out of the realm in which we’ve been held in bondage … and coming together …. not unlike the pioneers of the last century coming to Israel, in keeping our eyes sharply on the simplicity of the scriptural goals that lie ahead.
But then for many, the season now upon us is closer to the time when Joshua assumed the reins and responsibility for mobilizing the vitality of the emerging generation … who had been groomed those many years under the leadership of Moses. Again, wisdom needs to be given to issues of identity, culture and leadership for this pathway of preparation.
Transitions such as this are a time for the mobilizing and preparation of warriors, when the reality of facing the amassing battle has come, not unlike when the dark clouds of Hitler’s intentions were becoming clear … as God’s people faced the melding of identity, culture and leadership that demands action; with the time of hesitation and the tickling of the ears of the masses having passed.
Those who simultaneously face the battle and build are not unlike the return of the Babylonian exiles to Jerusalem, when with one hand they worked to build and with the other they held a weapon.
Such times transcend doctrinal sacred cows and nuances and the precepts of men; as the voices of the doers come to the forefront. These are times that demand hearts prepared to face the realities and battles to possess the higher levels of what has been promised. The wisdom undergirding the battle cry then was and now is: “All that you command us we will do and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may Adonai your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, he will be subject to death. Only be strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:16-18
The realities for God’s people in Israel during the mid-30s to late 40s saw no separation between the warriors and the protected. It demanded the serious and discerning to be mobilized for action. The reality of the settings demanded maturity. Again, with one hand they worked to build and with the other, held a weapon. However, the generation now emerging will again carry a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who truly serve God and those who just talk a good game.
Again, it calls for a raising of the standard. Yet in raising the standard, the focus is as Isaiah discerned in restoring the ancient paths, to rebuild the singleness of purpose and unity accredited to David. The passages following this Isaiah 58 focus on restoration and rebuilding, sharply highlight God’s people delighting themselves in the Lord, as outlined in the biblical Shabbat.
It will be then that the angelic intervention will come to fulfill the promise of God’s people walking on the high places of the earth. The higher levels in raising the standard will be beyond individual mandates and the local communities served …. as this intertwining of God’s purposes between Israel and the Church advance and manifest. Again, it will have at its core the impact from the sharpening of matters of identity, culture and leadership. Like the forerunners preparing the way for the rebirth of Israel, it will come at a cost and it will transcend the generations.
While there are numerous prophetic events yet to come, openly described in scripture, there is an amassing of the battle lines with an alignment and clarity that will unfold for what lies ahead. In embracing the increase in the intensity of the momentum of developments, the question arises as to the focus of the next emerging phase of aliyah, as well as the expectation of the Spirit’s outpouring, triggering what many believe may be the final countdown in God’s process of restoration.
“When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them. Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. Then if a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises from among them and gives you a sign or a wonder and he says, ‘Let us follow their ways,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams.” Deut 12:30, 32; 13:1-3
Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and voice for the higher dimensions of spiritual game-changers and intercessors since the mid-90s. As founder of Global Initiatives Foundation and designer of the God’s Economy Entrepreneurial Equippers Program and the Jewish Business Secrets YouTube series, Mr. Ruddick equips economic community builders with strategy where God’s light is dim in diverse regions around the globe.
He is author of “The Joseph-Daniel Calling;” “Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;” “The Heart of a King;” “Something More;” “Righteous Power in a Corrupt World;” “Leadership by Anointing;” and “Mantle of Fire,” which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders with destinies to impact their communities. They are available in print and e-versions from www.Amazon.com, www.apple.com/ibooks and www.BarnesandNoble.com.
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