Family in the End Times
by Ariel Blumenthal, , Revive Israel

Recently, at a leadership gathering in Switzerland we found ourselves in deep travailing intercession for this generation of youth. Despite all the social media connections, they may experience more loneliness and alienation - less "family" - than any other generation in history.

As we prayed, two Scriptures came suddenly to mind. The first:

" the last days men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, disobedient to parents, unholy ..." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Whenever I read this, I want to ask Paul:

"In your day, were people little angels, not engaging in all this evil behavior?

Is this only something for the future 'Last Days'?"

No, there was plenty of evil in Paul's day. However, most traditional societies agreed to the existence of absolute standards of morality and taboos. Most Jews and Greeks would have agreed that this list of evils was indeed a list of evils!

So, the prophetic warning is this: a time will come when such behavior will become "normal", a time when people and their social standards will say:

"Self-love? Love of money? Pride? Rebellion? Homosexual marriage? Of course! This is our 'humanism'; this is how free thinking, "moral" people behave - what's wrong with it!?!"

The Promise of Restoration

"Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers ..." (Malachi 4:5-6)

This was the second scripture which the Spirit quickened in me, one which promises something that can only be understood by first understanding 2 Timothy. For if there is no disintegration of the biblical family, then why would Elijah need to come before the Day of the Lord to restore the fathers' hearts to their children, and children's hearts to fathers?

Isn't it the most "natural" and "normal" thing for a father's heart to be towards his children, and vice versa? Well, yes - but not in the End Times! There is nothing more destructive to children than self-loving, self-centered parents; and nothing more offensive to parents than disobedient, rebellious children.

So we are promised that the prophetic, forerunning (Elijah) spirit of the Lord will do a great work in the generation before Yeshua's return - a work of restoring true family! This is exactly what we were praying last month in Switzerland. As we went deeper into intercession, I found myself repeating these words: "We are birthing the last generation ..."

In these Last Days, let's pray together for a restoration of both natural and spiritual family in the church - with the sacrificial love of Messiah at its core.

This article was previously published 05Jun15 here on the Revive Israel website

Family in the End Times
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel

When I wrote Covenant Relationships about 25 years ago, I had in mind both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

The Great Commandment tells us to love God and to love one another (Leviticus 19:18, Deuteronomy 6:5, Luke 10:27). Loving God may be a little easier because He is perfect. The problem with loving people is that they are not.

If we are to love real people with real problems, we must have some framework and guiding principles. The framework is the covenant; the principles are two-fold: loyalty and integrity.

The Great Commission includes sharing the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8), praying for a worldwide revival (Acts 2:17), and restoring all things since creation (Acts 3:21). Those tasks are too big for anyone. There is only one way to proceed: we must work as a team.

To work as a team in cooperation, we must again have a framework and guiding principles. The framework is covenant; the principles are loyalty and integrity.

Without the Cross - This won't work

The problem is that it doesn't work! Even with covenant, loyalty and integrity, our relationships are doomed to failure. Why? - Because we human beings are still selfish and sinful. We need something else to help us. This is where the cross comes in.

There is a conflict between loyalty and integrity: Everyone we try to be loyal to lacks integrity somewhere. There is a gap between the desire to remain faithful to that person and the fact that the person lacks integrity (to some degree). How can I show loyalty to someone who is lacking integrity?

We need grace. In order to stay faithful to people who are not perfect, we must choose the cross; we must choose sacrificial love; we must choose to grant grace when the other fails. Our grace toward other people must fill in the gap when they fail. We must take their failures and weaknesses upon ourselves. That is painful. That demands faith.

Covenantal principles alone are not enough; they must be filled up with a cross-like attitude, with the love of Yeshua who died on the cross for us when we failed. He showed loyalty to us when we did not act in integrity. We have to act that way to others, and they will have to act that way to us. That's the only way covenantal relationships can succeed.

This article was previously published 29May15 here on the Revive Israel website

Family in the End Times
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel

It had been a busy Shabbat. Our congregation, Ahavat Yeshua gathered for the weekly meeting which began at 11:00 am. Our beautiful, new Celebration Hall was filled with people. Our youth group team led worship, and the entire congregation joined in as God's anointing flowed from these gifted teenagers.

As in the days of the early church in Jerusalem, Jewish believers were joined by those from the nations in worshipping the King. The praises ascended to heaven and the weariness of a long and difficult week faded while the presence of God refreshed His Body.

Sharing from the Word
At just the right moment, the Torah was removed from the Ark and the children of Israel honored that which been given to them so long ago. Different members, both older and younger, shared in the privilege of reading God's word from the Torah scroll in the original Hebrew.

A message was preached and lives were impacted. The meeting climaxed as the congregation came forward and cried out to God to be transformed into the same mindset that allowed the ancients like Abraham, David, Elijah and Joshua to face the giants in their lives and yet overcome and be victorious. We face many of those same "giants" here in the city of Jerusalem, and we need to stand as they did on the promises of God.

As always, the meeting was followed by a time of food and fellowship. Edmund, who prayed to receive Yeshua last week, sat and spoke with several believers. It was his first meeting, and he was touched by God who is calling him from death to life. Ada, a young woman who recently left her home in Russia to become a part of regathered Israel, was talking with a group of younger women. Throughout the room, the all-important work of relationship building was crowning what had been a blessed gathering of His Body.

This article was previously published 07Jun15 here in a Zion's Glory newsletter

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