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Author: Bob O'Dell

Published Date: August 18, 2018

The following is an invited guest blog post by Laura Densmore.

 

What does a national reformation look like? What will it take for a national reformation to happen?  Let’s take a look at an example in the bible from 2 kings 22. King Josiah is in a building program to rebuild and repair the breaches of the temple. In this process, the book of the law, the Torah, is discovered by Hilkiah, buried under some rubble. Hilkiah, the High Priest brings the Torah to Shaphan, the scribe, who then brings it to King Josiah. When King Josiah reads the word of God, the Torah, this is his reaction:

And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 1 Kings 22:10-11

When King Josiah rent his robes this was an outward manifestation of what was going on in his heart. His heart was “cut”, it was torn, he was going through a circumcision of the heart. Listen carefully to his next words to Hilkiah and Shapan:

Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us. 2 Kings 22: 13

Josiah realized that both he and “his fathers” had not hearkened, not listened, not obeyed the words of the book, the words of the Torah and he wanted to know what to do next. His heart was tender in receiving the words and he humbled himself to seek and inquire of the Lord what to do.

This is a BIG KEY.  We must humble ourselves. We must ask God to remove the stony places in our hearts and tenderize our hearts. We have become hardened and desensitized to much sin.

What happens next? We cannot repent of sin that we are not aware of. We are blind to it. We must hear the word of God, and then the conviction of sin can hit us. King Josiah assembles all the people and he reads the word of God to them, so that the word of God, the Torah can do its work in their hearts:

And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD.

And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. 2 Kings 23:2-3

After this, the national reformation begins. King Josiah has the vessels made for Baal and the Asherah grove removed from the temple and they are taken out and burned. He removes the idolatrous priests who offered incense to Baal. He basically cleanses the temple and the city and removes the mixed worship system that was in place.

So now, how does this apply to our time today? We are in a season of repentance, we are seeking for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit, how might the God of Israel accomplish this with us today?

Here is a key principle: the deeper the level of repentance, the higher, the wider and the greater will the outpouring of the Holy Spirit be.

What keeps us from repenting? It is pride and self righteousness. If we have been in church for very many years, we can develop the mindset, “Well, I am all right. I don’t need to repent of any sin. I go to church every Sunday, (or Shabbat as the case may be), I put my tithe in the offering plate, I don’t steal, I don’t do drugs, I am not cheating on my wife/husband, etc. I am good, I don’t need to repent.”

This is pride. It can be very subtle. It likes to be cloaked, to be hidden, it may not be overt. We begin by repenting down pride. And then we can get to the rest of the sin behind that wall.

Let’s look at one more example in scripture about repentance and then I am going to apply it to the season we are in right now, this season of repentance.

What motivated Daniel to pray the prayer of repentance for himself and his people in Daniel 9: 1-19?  Why did he pray this prayer of repentance at that time? He had been studying in the word in Jeremiah that the time of the exile in Babylon for Judah would last for 70 years. (See Jer. 25:11-12, and Jer. 29:10).And then he understood that the 70 years were nearly up. He also knew that if he and his people were going to come out of exile and be allowed to return to the land of Israel, that they needed to repent and return to the Torah. He was following the pattern of repentance found in Leviticus 26:40-42:

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.  

Daniel confessed the iniquity of his people and of his forefathers. He was very specific to say that they had departed from following the Torah. This is what got them kicked out and evicted from the land:

We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from your precepts and from your judgments: Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel have transgressed your Torah, even by departing, that they might not obey your voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the Torah of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
Daniel 9: 5, 10-11

So what is the application for us in the body of Christ today? Is there a place of blindness to sin that needs to be revealed? What is the sin of our “church” forefathers that we need to repent of?

That is where THE LIST comes in. The List was researched and co-authored by Bob O’Dell and Ray Montgomery. It is a list of the atrocities, the persecutions, and the crimes and murders committed against the Jewish people by our church forefathers. THE LIST goes back 586 b.c when Jerusalem was invaded by Babylon’s army and the Temple was destroyed. It then tracks through time with the second destruction of the Temple in 70 a.d with the Roman army invasion of Jerusalem and the destruction of the second Temple. Then it picks up with the Council of Nicea with Constantine’s anti-Jewish decrees. Here I quoted from the List:

Council of Nicea, in 325 a.d.: Changed the date of Easter away from that of Passover; separation of Jews and Christians begins; Jews cannot convert pagans to Judaism; property rights challenged. Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, said “let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd”, a policy that made the Jew an outcast and a pauper.

What is so significant about this LIST?  It is basically a very detailed view through the window of time into the sins of our church forefathers. You can’t repent of something that you don’t see.  Reading through this list opened MY blind eyes! My own heart was “cut deeply” in reading through the list. I could not read it all at once. I read for a while, absorbed the weight of what I read, allowed it to break my heart, prayed prayers of repentance, took a break, and then came back to it.

Tears flowed. I never knew that “Judensau” figures carved in stone are attached to churches all over Europe—they are still there today! These Judensau stone figures depict Jewish people suckling upon a pig! Deep shame and sorrow hit my heart when I gazed upon these images.

In fact, the church where Martin Luther worshipped has one attached. On the 500 year anniversary of the birth of the “Protestant reformation” a petition to take the Judensau figure down from off of his church. The petition was denied and the image remains affixed to the church.

Judensau on Martin Luther’s Church in Wittenburg. (Photo: Wikicommons)

What THE LIST does is expose and reveal the sins of our church fathers in a way I have never seen before.

How big of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit do you want to see?  Do you want it shallow, brief, then it fades away? How long, how great, how wide of a mighty wave of revival do you want to see in the end of days?

It depends on how DEEP do you want to go into repentance? The deeper we go into repentance and get to the root of things, the greater the outpouring and national reformation will be.

We in the church have been so blind for so long a time, spanning the centuries. What THE LIST does is it shows us the big picture, the sweeping panorama of sin that our church fathers have committed against the Jewish people over the centuries.

What the list does is exposes two very important things that we can repent of:

*the specific events of sin done to the Jewish people
*the mindset, the doctrine and the thinking that permeated the church culture at the time that permitted these atrocities to happen.

What was that mindset/doctrine?  It is the notion of “Replacement theology”, that the “church” has replaced Israel/Jewish people, and that all the covenants and promises made to Israel/the Jewish people are null and void, that those covenants and promises are now for “the church”. It is the  notion of Age of Law/Age of Grace, that the Torah was nailed to the cross, and we are now living in the “Age of Grace”. It was this TURNING AWAY from the whole counsel of the Word of God.

It is this evil root of replacement theology thinking that gave us the heinous fruit of the Inquisition, the Crusades,(there were SIX of them! I did not know that), the Pogroms, and ultimately, the Holocaust of Nazi Germany.

This kind of thinking is still prevalent in much of church today. The BDS movement is rooted in replacement theology.  The anti-semitism against Jews today, the persecutions and unceasing attacks against our Jewish brothers and sisters has its root in replacement theology.

As these “sins of our church fathers” is exposed in this document, my prayer is that this document would be used by the hand of God to be as a “jack hammer” to break up the cement-like places found in our hearts, that it would be used as an instrument to bring about deep, heart-felt repentance. May we weep over the things that causes God to weep, and may it His tears that slide down our cheeks.

On the other side of that repentance, may we see the Holy Spirit begin to move to repair the breach between Jews and Christians, to build out the bridge in the Grand Canyon between us that has been there over the centuries. May we see reconciliation between Jews and Christians, that the two sticks of Judah (the Jews) and Joseph (the non Jews) would truly begin to draw near to each other in restoration.

May you plan to spend some time reading through THE LIST.  I want to give you fair warning: this is not an easy task or assignment. It is hard and it is painful. But it is necessary and it is so worth it!

May you allow the Holy Spirit to break your heart as you read through THE LIST as it did mine, and so many others. May we all truly begin to take responsibility for the sins of our forefathers, in what they did, and in what they believed;  for this is what allowed them, even inspired them to do the evil things that they did.

May we follow the path and the pattern that Daniel did when he prayed his prayer of repentance in Daniel 9. It was from the pattern of repentance prayer given to us in Leviticus 26:40-42:

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.  

May each one of us begin the journey of heart-felt, deep and thorough repentance, to repent down the iniquities of our church forefathers for their actions and for their replacement theology mindset. Perhaps, just maybe, if enough of us walk down this path of repentance over the sins of our church fathers, maybe we will see a national reformation as in the days of King Josiah. It is up to you, and it is up to me. Let us begin that journey.

 

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