Ariel Blumenthal

Revive Israel
 
 
"There are two empty places at our family table. Won't you come home? Our family is not complete ..."            
 


By Ariel Blumenthal

Vered, our children and I participated in the "Global Gatekeepers Gathering" (3G) on Ko Samui island in Thailand, from the 26th-29th of April. We were hosted by a Thai Christian couple, owners of a beautiful resort on the best beach in Ko Samui. About 150 leaders from 25 nations were there, including 10 from Egypt. (We also met many Israeli travelers, for whom the islands and beaches of Thailand are a favorite destination.)

As so often happens in this Gathering movement, the Holy Spirit moved powerfully on the group through prophetic, "identificational" acts of reconciliation, intercession and unity - this time bringing healing to the Abrahamic family by us repenting (especially Vered "standing in" as Sarah) and welcoming Hagar and Ishmael (the Egyptians) back into the family.

But before I share that testimony, let's look at the theology of these kinds of "prophetic acts."

Our Messianic/Christian faith is actually based on a prophetic, identificational act - that of Yeshua Himself dying on the cross for our sins, rising from the dead, and ascending to the Father. It was prophetic in three ways:

1) It was based on Scriptural prophecies and themes.

2) It was led by the Holy Spirit, and thus accomplished historic breakthrough first in the spiritual realm.

3) It was identificational in that one man stood in for the whole of humanity.

If all of these things were not true, then Yeshua's death on the cross would have been, well ... just that - a penal death on a Roman cross like so many other Jewish criminals and so-called "messiahs" (Romans 5:15-19; Hebrews 10:14).

More Biblical examples can be found in the identificational, intercessory prayers of Daniel (9:1-19) and Nehemiah (1:4-11), both righteous men who "owned" and confessed the sins of their people, and sought God with great fervor, led by the Holy Spirit. As such, their prayers and "prophetic acts" were perfectly timed, coming at the intersection of God's promises with just the right circumstances of history and human relationships. It's not as if these men were the first or only Jews of their time to pray like this; but like Yeshua, theirs came at the "fullness of time" for breakthrough, for which God and the prayers of many had prepared the way (Ephesians 1:10).

On the third day of our meeting we had a clear sense that God had brought us together "for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). As it was with Esther, this time we were led by the women in our midst.

Ariel and Vered Blumenthal and family
"Egyptian women willingly identified with Hagar and confessed the rejection, envy and resentment she felt when Abraham cast her out of the family as Sarah demanded. (This spirit of rejection has dogged the Arab peoples every generation since. Those who have been set free from it are often magnificent people, but the ethnic type prevails.) Agonized tears were wept by the Egyptians and everyone else as we experienced a measure of those emotions. They confessed that they had hated and mocked "Isaac" and his offspring. Then an Israeli mother [Vered] stepped forward to plead, "There are two empty places at our family table. Won't you come home? Our family is not complete. Isaac needs his older brother, who was blessed by God first." These words don't begin to express the depth of significance and emotion of the moment. I hope you can imagine a bit of the atmosphere."1

There was much weeping and rejoicing following this time of sharing. And then, the Egyptians began to sing over us, while our 8 month old boy, Lavi, sat on my shoulders giggling and smiling (as he almost always does). It was as if Hagar and Ishmael were singing and rejoicing over Isaac! (Perhaps that's what we should have named our laughing boy.)

Possibly for the first time in history, descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob came together with the family of Hagar and Ishmael, all of us secure in our eternal inheritance because of our faith in our great, older brother, Abraham's greatest Son, Yeshua (Romans 8:29-30). Together, as One New Man, led by the Holy Spirit we believe that we can be part of bringing wholeness, reconciliation and unity ("perfection" Hebrews 11:39-40) to the Abrahamic family scattered throughout the Middle East.

1 Quote from Lynn Green's account of the 3G Gathering at lynngreen.net.

This article was previously published on 13May16 here on the Revive Israel website


 

Rachel Netanel

Beit Netanel
 
 
 
 
"I have everything that I ever wanted and I feel nothing - only emptiness and a void in my heart."
 
 

My niece, beloved by many, owns a very successful dress boutique in Rishon LeZion. Recently I told her how wonderful it is to see her succeeding.

Her face fell and she said, "Rachel, I have everything that I ever wanted and I feel nothing - only emptiness and a void in my heart."

I looked her in the eyes and replied, "You are just like I was. I was successful in TV and in designing clothes. I was as successful as I could want, but it did not fill me. Everyone loved me, but it brought me no joy."

I told her how I discovered Yeshua and how my life changed completely. Having eternal salvation is the only thing that can bring us joy. Everything else in life is temporary, but Yeshua is forever. He filled the empty place in my heart.

She grabbed my arm and said, "It's time! I want to hear more! Can you come on Monday?" I told her that of course I would come, but in the meantime she must take a notebook and write down all of her questions. Then I would come and teach her all that I know.

She called me every day to remind me to come on Monday. She said that she must change her life. After her call, I put down the 'phone and shouted for joy! I have shared with her for fifteen years, and she was never interested. Now all of a sudden she really wants to hear!

Monday came and she had a million questions. I stayed until 2 in the morning teaching and answering as much as I could. She 'phoned the next morning to say that she was completely filled with excitement, energy and unspeakable joy! She didn't know what was happening to her.

During our next meeting while we sat and studied the prophecies about Yeshua, she told me about a dream she had where Yeshua said to her, "Come after me". When I asked her if she was ready to receive Yeshua, she said, "Yes!" She prayed and asked for forgiveness for all of her sins, and to receive Yeshua. She shouted with joy and then told me she was going to raise her family to be believers.

This article was previously published on 06May16 here on the Revive Israel website

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Also in this issue of the newsletter:
Daniel Juster: Justice vs Love
Etian Shishkoff: Unsung Heroes
Leon Mazin: The Gifts
Tents of Mercy: Because I Will Be With You