© 4 March 2016 Revive Israel Ministries
Ruth Ecclesiology and Esther Eschatology (Part II)
By Asher Intrater
The books of Ruth and Esther describe real historic events, but may also be seen as parables with prophetic meaning. Ruth contains a message about the relationship between Israel and the Church. This is what we call "Ruth Ecclesiology." In a similar fashion, the book of Esther contains a message about the End Times. We call this: "Esther Eschatology."
The life stories of these two women contain the unfolding mystery of Israel and the Church, and of End Times prophecies. One affects the other. A "Ruth Ecclesiology" should lead to an "Esther Eschatology."
Esther may be seen as a symbol of the Church, the bride of Messiah. She is sharing intimacy, grace and beauty with her husband, the King. But then a crisis occurs. Esther is "called to the kingdom for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). And what "time" is that? It is a time of unprecedented international crisis. And what is that crisis? - An attempt to kill all the Jews.
The attempt to kill the Jews happened not only at the hands of Haman (Esther 3:6), but also Pharaoh (Exodus 1:16), Herod (Matthew 2:16) and the End Times (Ezekiel 38-39, Zechariah 13-14). All spiritual warfare ultimately climaxes in an attempt to kill the Jews. We can see this genocidal tendency both in Nazism and in Islamic Jihad. In the end times, an attempt to kill the Jews could very well target all Christians who believe in Yeshua as the King of the Jews, or see themselves aligned with the nation of Israel.
Interestingly, the description of Haman in Esther 3:7; 8:1; 9:10, 24 is "Tsorer" צורר which is the word commonly used in modern Hebrew for "Antichrist" and the root of the Old Testament word for the "Tribulation." Haman may be seen as an Antichrist figure in this End times parable of the coming Tribulation.
Esther is warned by Mordechai in a prophetic message of the urgency for her to intercede with the king on behalf of the Jews during this worldwide crisis. She is at first reluctant to hear what seems to be an overly intense and negative message. She even tries to make excuses to avoid her own involvement in the crisis, but Mordechai is persistent to show her the necessity of her role in intercession.
There have been apostolic and prophetic voices that have been trying for years to warn about the upcoming impending crisis and tribulations. Many believers seem uninterested; still others have been taught that they will not have a part in this crisis because they will have already been raptured to heaven. We don’t see it this way at all. For this reason, we have organized every year an "Esther's fast" תענית אסתר with local Arab Christians and Messianic Jews here in Israel, broadcasted by live stream to partners and pray warriors around the world (Esther 4:16).
Many have not grasped the urgency of this "Esther-type" view of the end times. Perhaps it sounds too intense, too negative, too Jewish. Some of our most biblically-educated and prophetically-discerning friends seem to miss this. Even those who do understand a "Ruth Ecclesiology" don't necessarily go on to see the "Esther Eschatology."
However, the story has a happy ending! After an extremely difficult time of intercession, tribulation and spiritual warfare, there is a sudden and miraculous intervention of God that affects the entire world. The murderous decree is cancelled. The evil forces are destroyed (9:17). History is changed. A great revival takes place.
The book of Esther states that many "became Jews" (8:17) or "joined themselves" to the Jews (9:27). As a parable, this could indicate a sweep of evangelism, of people becoming true Christians, or supporting Israel, or understanding the Jewish roots of Christianity, or converting to traditional Judaism, or all of these.
Finally, the righteous take possession of the government over all the nations (8:2, 9:3, 10:3). All the people are made happy, peace abounds and feasts are celebrated. This is a beautiful picture of the kingdom of God on earth. Purim is a time of great joy. Let's join together in this Esther and Mordecai calling for spiritual battle to win the victory in the end times.
Every year during The Fast of Esther we hold an all-day, live streamed event of worship, fasting and prayer. We invite you to join us on March 23, 2016 from 8am - 18:00 Israel time, for this important time as we rally together to stand for God’s plans and purposes to prevail over every wicked scheme against God’s people in our generation. We will provide translation from Hebrew to English. To watch the invite video, click HERE!
Pull in the Next Generation
For this week's audio teaching from Youval Yanay in English with French translation, click HERE!