Since Passover of 2018 I have been declaring that we are in a new TIME, or ERA, and not simply a new season. Acts 3:21 states that He, Yeshua must remain in heaven until the TIME to restore all things. Yes, there is an ultimate restoration coming when Yeshua returns to earth to reign in Jerusalem for 1,000 years, and then the Ultimate-Ultimate restoration of a new heaven and a new earth, that is true. However, that Passover visitation at Celebration Church was a very significant expression that has impacted our city and beyond with a lasting impact of significant proportions! The result has been a unity of believers here that is unprecedented along with a deep understanding for the Hebrew roots of our faith that has brought major changes in our worship, giving and outreach. Kingdom stuff for sure!
This past month we spearheaded an incredible event that I want to share with you here. Pastor Stovall and Kerri Weems of Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida continue to have remarkable insights into ‘the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven’, and as a result they wanted to remember Purim this year…in Auschwitz. Sound crazy? For some it might, until you see the prophetic timeliness of it all. So, we invited sixty pastors and their spouses from fourteen nations to join us on this most unusual journey to see, hear and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches during these most unusual days.
First of all, allow me to underscore some reasons for the connection between the holiday and the location for our observance. Purim is the story of the Book of Esther during the reign of Xerxes II, Ahasuerus of Persia approximately 500 B.C. The evil Haman has risen to great power and authority with the title of Grand Vizier, special counsel to the king. Esther’s cousin and adoptive relative Mordechai works in the palace due to saving the king’s life earlier in the story. Now, Mordecai has no capacity or desire to honor Haman’s position, which seems to initiate the evil plot to eradicate the entire Jewish population of the kingdom. The magnitude of the scheme makes no sense at all until you learn that Haman is not really a Persian, but a direct descendant of King Agag (the Amalekite) who was slain by the prophet Samuel when King Saul did not obey a direct order from the Lord to wipe the Amalekites out completely!
Jewish population was about to suffer severe consequences for Saul’s disobedience some 500 years earlier! But as you already know, Queen Esther the Jewish girl Hadassah, saves the day by fasting and praying for wisdom and a counterplan to save the Jews. She invites Haman for a picnic with the king, and then reveals the evil plot to kill the entire Jewish people…including Mordechai and herself. Haman and his ten sons are hanged on the gallows prepared for Mordechai and the story has a happy ending.
Hitler’s ‘final solution’ to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the earth has a similar ending with his own suicide and ten of his top SS commanders hanged on gallows on the final day of the Feast of Tabernacles 1947. On his way to be hung, one of the ten, Comm. Schtreicker cried out “Purim Fest 1947!” He seemed to know the connection between what he had helped to perpetrate and the plans of Haman some 2,500 years earlier!