Last week at Ruach we experienced an event beyond description. Mike Evans and his associate Derek brought three days of healing prayer training, an event open to the wider community, as well as led three evenings of healing services. Truly miraculous healings occurred which cannot be denied, and we who attended were all changed by being a part of this enormous blessing. We once again felt the power of the Ruach viscerally as when we first met Messiah.
As if that weren’t enough, on Shabbat morning many of our conference participants were interested in attending our regular Saturday morning services. Most of our guests were Gentiles and probably for most of them, this was quite a different experience. Although I more typically interact with Christians who understand the beautifully interrelated purposes of Jews and Gentiles vis-à-vis Judaism and Christianity, I know there are many other Christians who believe in replacement theology. To overly simplify, this is the thought that the Jews were God’s chosen people, they blew it, so Christians are the new chosen people/Israel in HaShem’s eyes.
With that as a backdrop, and with our sanctuary filled with Christians last Shabbat, the following is just a brief excerpt from that morning’s Haftarah reading from Ezekial 36:
“16Again the word of the LORD came to me: 17 Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman’s monthly uncleanness in my sight. 18 So I poured out my wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. 20 And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the LORD’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’ 21 I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone. . . .
24For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 28 Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. . . .
36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the LORD have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.”
As stated here and throughout our Scriptures, this is an eternal covenant. This is the Word of the Lord.
So much for replacement theology! I am sure many in the room were surprised and left with a new understanding of this very challenging subject. Not to mention Rabbi Nathan’s divinely inspired (and I mean divinely inspired) drash which you must check out on the Ruach Israel website.
So would you believe that this reading in Ezekial was not chosen by our rabbis particularly for a day when we would have these visitors? Rather, this reading was leined in every synagogue in the world last Shabbat, for these readings are predetermined on a fixed schedule utilized by all Jewish houses of worship. Can you ignore HaShem’s perfect, powerful orchestration of these readings for a time such as this?
I can’t stop thinking about the overwhelming presence of our Abba, Yeshua, and the Ruach that pervaded those days last week and last Shabbat. And I can’t wait to be in His Presence in community again this coming Shabbat. For He, through Yeshua, is powerfully walking with each of us in these days.