smlogo.jpg (9246 bytes)

The Elijah Connection

By John Stembridge 

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD; And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5,6).

Now our topic here today is the lost tribes. I’ve been working a long time for the regathering of the Jewish people, but now in this time slot, it has expanded. God’s plan is so immense, how can we ever fathom or plumb the depths or the heights of it?

We wanted to come in here today, all of us prayed up and ready to let the Holy Spirit teach us. Some of you may have a revelation, one may have a piece of the puzzle that will help us and bring us into better focus on the heart cry of God.

To begin with, I want to bring out what may be a key to help us. That is, at every year at Pesach [Passover] during the seder [order of service] the Jewish people leave one empty space at the table for Elijah. The youngest child will go open the door to see if Elijah is there. What’s the significance of this?

It hasn’t been of any importance in Christianity, but it is of significant importance to Jewish people. Why? Because in the last promise of the Tenach [the Old Testament] God says at the end of this age, He will send Elijah the prophet who will turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to the fathers.

The Holy Spirit knows exactly where Abraham’s seed is, in whatever color, language or nationality of people, etc. All we need to do is to be obedient. He says very clearly that He will gather all who will gather. And this issue of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers could very well be the key.

As for the governments of men: they are all temporary governments. Everyone of them will be shaken by God. They cannot thumb their noses at the commandments of God and think they are going to make their own laws. Every nation, including the U.S., is weak – a mixture of iron and clay. The little stone in Daniel, which I believe is the Torah, the Word of God, is going to come and crush all of the last kingdoms of man. Very soon we will get a Holy King on the holy Hill in Jerusalem. It’s fast forward now. God is no longer prolonging His Word; He is performing His Word.

We are trying to focus on what God is doing; to let the Holy Spirit, who is our Professor, our Instructor reveal to us God's plan in these last days. I want to see some action in the Spirit realm and I believe we're going to get some answers how Israel and all we that love the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can work in cooperation with the Spirit of God to see all the 12 tribes come home.

The Sh’ma 

I wrote a book on the Sh’ma which is Hebrew for the word “hear”. “Sh’ma Israel – hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deut. 6:4).

Now, the SEED of everything we’re involved in here today is in the book of Genesis. Everything that we’re dealing with is in the five books of Moses, in the prophets and in the poetic writings. The Book of Psalms is full of prophecies, as well as the major and minor Jewish prophets of the Tenach [Hebrew Bible]. So we have to become students in a yeshivah. A Yeshiva is a learning center where young rabbinical students come together with seasoned sages, a chance to impart the wisdom of the ages from generation to generation.

There is one other thing I believe would help prepare the way with what Ben is going to share with us today:

In the Tenach in the Book of the major prophet Jeremiah, it is now “Sh’ma, goyim” which is “Hear, O nations.” It says even the islands as well as the nations are waiting for this word. And what is that word? “Hear, O nations, he who scattered Israel will gather and keep [or redeem] Israel as a shepherd gathers and keeps his sheep” (Jeremiah 31:10).

So the cornerstone of Judaism and Christianity is the Sh’ma.  If a we can never hear God’s voice, how can they get to first base, much less home base in revelation and understanding?

So the message of “Sh’ma” must go to all the nations of the world. As Moses had to go to Pharaoh, who was a pagan animist, with this message of the return and the gathering of the people to the land, so it is our message today: to go to the pagan leaders and then if they don’t respond and help in this, then God is legally free to destroy them as He did Pharaoh. God will use someone to do this. Are we willing? Can we say as Isaiah “Heneni” – “Here am I, send me”?

Are we listening to the prophets as they speak to us? It’s usually in types and shadows; You get a little glimpse, a little hint here and there and it’s almost like we’re on a treasure hunt. We’re trying to hunt for the pieces. I’ve got a little bit now but I don’t have the whole picture. And you’re always on a search.

One thing that has helped me to understand better the wider plan of God’s salvation: In Christianity we put salvation almost entirely on a personal level. But God is going to save entire nations, for He speaks of sheep nations and goat nations. Before all of this culminates, these nations have to be manifested. There’s a need to know who the sheep nations are. The goat nations are those who destined for destruction with the outpouring of His wrath with fire and holiness.

God is looking beyond. Yes, He is a personal God and I’m not trying to discount that, but I say Christianity discounts salvation of nations. It is just as easy for God to save a whole nation as it is to save one individual.

That’s what motivates me, though a lot of my friends and family do not always understand. That’s OK. I love them, and I believe they love me though they might not always see. It may not make sense to you, but my testimony is that I would just a soon work untiringly for the regathering and salvation of all 12 tribes as to pray for the healing or salvation of one person.

And we read in the Word of God that it pays great benefits. So many in America are investing here and there, and spend hours and hours in the stock market. This is all temporal. People are wealthy today, but they’re sick in body; they’re sick in their mind. They’re full of drugs; they’re full of alcohol. But when God does this perfect work of redemption, Israel will be the economic and spiritual capital of the world. And He is not going to add any sorrow with it.

Isn’t that worth your time and money in investments? To me, it is. Some of my friends are experts in the stock market. They are experts in politics. They’re experts in the stock market. They are experts in politics. They’re experts in medicine, science, the arts and so many other fields. But we in Judaism and Christianity need to truly humble ourselves to get our ear close enough tot he heartbeat of God to really learn what God love and what He hates.

The whole house of Israel has to come into focus first. These two houses, Judah and Ephraim, are to become one. Another Scripture that helped me on this, is Isaiah 49:

“Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb. . .made my mouth like a sharp sword . . . and said, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified . . . And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him. [Why Jacob? It is Abraham’s seed, Isaac’s seed; Jacob’s seed that is scattered among the islands as well as nations and continents of the world. This is a commandment from HaShem that they are to listen to Him.] Though Israel be not gathered. . . .” What generation is that that Israel is not gathered? It’s in your lifetime and mine. (Well, John, it was in centuries past, too.) That Though Israel be not gathered yet shall it be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

“And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel” (Isa. 49:106).

How many people are there on the earth? We just turned 6 billion! That’s a lot of people. In the midst of that 6 billion, God has these 12 tribes of Jacob that He is sovereignly and supernaturally resurrecting from the four corners of the earth.

He says here the smallest part of our assignment is going to be their restoration. What’s going to happen after that? HaShem is going to raise up a “servant” – Messiah – who will not only restore Judah and the ten lost tribes, but after that happens, He will give you for a light tot he goyim – Gentiles – nations, that you may be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” All the heathen nations will know it is God when they see these tribes regathered and redeemed in Zion.

God called Israel “my firstborn” to Pharaoh, and said if he refused to let him go, I will slay Egypt’s firstborn. Israel is destined to be the first, totally redeemed, Spirit-filled nation at the end of days. After these 12 tribes come together, then He’s going to give Israel as a lamp and a light to the nations to show forth His salvation to the ends of the earth.

Stones in the Way

In another portion of Isaiah it says, “Cast up, cast up the stones” that are preventing His people from returning unto Him. There are many stones in the way of these tribes regathering. One of them is that animosity between Ishmael and Isaac and their descendants - a billion and a half Moslems with their nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Ishmael is the firstborn, but not the son of promise.

Jesus said, “Salvation is of the Jews”. That’s God’s plan. With the regathering of the 12 tribes of promise, the glory of God will come upon these regathered and resurrected “dry bones” and Israel will become the head of the nations.

I told a Palestinian, “Sir, if the Palestinians and the Arab and Moslem neighbors of Israel can ever come to the point to accept this regathering of the Jewish people from the nations back to this land, the blessings that are going to come on you, you will not be able to count. Because not just the present Israel, the whole middle east will be as the Garden of Eden. It’s going to become the head of the nations again when God’s glory and grace comes back into that land and to all of Abraham’s seed.

That’s the significance of Elijah, to bring the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to the fathers. And as we deal with the lost tribes, this has to be one of the magnets, i.e., that the Moslems relate to Abraham, as well as the Jews and Christians. Father Abraham is going to be one of the catalyst that we get beyond all the doctrines that have kept us apart. The concept of that father’s love for his children and the love of the children for that father, is going to get beyond the different wives and the different children and be healing balm when all Israel is regathered and filled with the glory of God. It will be a precious time, but the 12 tribes, the House of Judah and the House of Israel coming together as one will propel it.

 Fanatic Islam, are going to have to be addressed for lit terrorism brings fear. Because of the headlines emphasizing terrorism, some Jews have never been to Israel. They have no desire to even visit there because of fear. Fear is another stone that will have be moved out of the way in preparing the way for this regathering of these 12 tribes. Another stone to be removed is the idolatry and ease of materialism.


“Be My Valentine”


I once spoke at PTL at an international singles’ conference on Valentine Day. These were divorced, widowed – single people, Many of whom were hurting. A woman whose minister husband had committed suicide after an adulterous affair had spoken ahead of me.

I was wearing a lapel button, “I love [then a red heart] Israel”. I said, “Do you know that God has a valentine?” Yes, he not only has a valentine, He actually  married His valentine at Sinai.

{As Ben so beautifully puts it, it was not only a marriage contract, it was the biggest real estate contract in the history of man – when He married His wife and He gave her the choicest home in all the earth – Zion. New York city, and Buckingham Palace, the Kremlin, the forbidden city, any place can name on the face of the earth, was nothing compared to the home He gave His bride then and today.]

I mentioned how the opening speaker’s story had griped my heart. I said to them, “Many of you woke up one day and your found your mate had been unfaithful and had taken up with another lover. Inevitably in your hurt you reached out to a family member, to a close friend, to stand with you that peradventure God would do a miracle, heal your marriage, and restore your family.” Then I asked all of these divorced, widowed, single people, “Have you ever considered that God in His love for his wife, Israel, could be reaching out to us here today to stand with Him in this restoration?”

Scores came to me afterward and said they had never heart it explained so graphically as that. They wanted to be a part, to be a helper. Talking about a help meet, wouldn’t you like to be a helpmate to God to restore His wife and His family to himself and to the home He has given her as an inheritance forever?.

Many Christians want to “fly away” from any responsibility. They don’t consider the land holy. But it is and it’s going to be redeemed. Like in individual salvation, the whole land and nation will blossom and bloom. It will be the choicest in the world when it’s regathering is completed. It will be forever precious and holy.

Why not say as Isaiah, “Heneni” – “here am I, send me.” Olivi, may it be so.