(Back to Teachings)


The "Keys of the Kingdom" for those who have de spirit of Gideon

by Gerald Fruhinsholz

Is there anyone who does not know the story of Gideon?... A man chosen by God, one of the least of men, to fight against the Midianite army allied to Amalek and the sons of the East – the occupying power of that time in Israel. Gideon was the youngest of his family and like all the Israelites, he feared for his life and was in hiding…

A family of Israel, a son of Israel…

Gideon is the son of Joas – "the Lord has given": a man of the tribe of Manasseh, of the family of Abiezar (Judges 6:11,15). Established at Ophra, Joas was a leader in his community. He set up an altar to Baal and erected a sacred stake, symbol of the Canaanite Astarte. God ordered Gideon to tear it down, which he did.

Gideon (Guid’on - from the Hebrew gad’a) means "to knock down”, "to cut down". The Gideon is a man of God who causes fortresses to fall. God uses him when he is only a son of Manasseh undergoing the persecution of terrible enemies. Nothing disposed Gideon to become a hero (gibor), a "Messiah" who would deliver Israel. Jewish tradition says that the Messiah (Mashiah) manifests himself to every generation to protect the people. Today’s rabbis know, however, that the Messiah who is coming (El Gibor) will be of the tribe of Judah, and that He will be a descendant of King David.

Gideon was threshing wheat to protect it from Midian. An angel of the lord appeared to him, and said: "The Lord is with you, valiant hero!". Gideon seeing in him a man, complained of the sufferings that the Midianites were making them live through, recalling God’s promise with respect to His people. And the angel said to him: "Go with your force, and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian: am I not the one who is sending you?"

Wow! And Gideon, like Moses and each one of us who does not possess the stuff of heroes, will say: "Ah! My Lord, with what shall I deliver Israel? See, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. The Lord will say to him: But I will be with you, and you will beat Midian as one single man" (Judges 6:15). Let us be aware that it is the Lord who is speaking… like the One we know today as our Emmanuel, having said: "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20).

The sacrifice and the fleece

We know what follows: Gideon wants proof that it is God who is speaking, and he prepares a sacrifice on the rock. The angel of the Lord causes fire to fall on the offering, consuming the sacrifice and disappears. And Gideon cries out: "Woe is me, I have seen God face to face!". Gideon understood that this man was coming from God. Later, before leaving for war, Gideon "will put down a fleece" – that it may be dry when there is dew and that it may be wet when the grass around is dry. We have the right to test God when He asks of us a particular mission.

Tearing down sacred pillars, spiritual strongholds

The Lord asks the young Gideon as a first priority to tear down the idol of his village, the sacred pillar. It was a challenge and a real proof of courage, for Gideon knew that he was going to bring down upon himself the fury of the whole community. His father will support him eventually, when the population want to lynch him, saying: "Let Baal defend himself!", from which comes his new name Yerubaal (Judges 6:32).

We are called as Christians, to pull down strongholds: "For the weapons with which we fight are not carnal; but they are powerful through God, for the tearing down of strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4).

In the last days that we are living through and as the coming of the great King approaches, there is a stronghold to be torn down (which will not make friends for us), it is replacement theology, which encompasses two other doctrines poisoning the Body of Christ: Humanism and A-millenarian theology.

  • Replacement Theology: it is the replacement of Israel, which is alleged to have been abandoned, by the Church.

  • Humanism: this is to place man above God, and to doubt the Word of God, to oppose the truth and divine justice under the pretext that God is love; it is also to deny the calling (election) of Israel as the chosen people.

  • The Doctrine of A-millenarianism: this is to deny the coming Millennium as the Kingdom upon the earth with the King-Messiah at its head: it is to deny the re-establishment of Israel before becoming the first of the nations. The A-millenarianist believes that the Millennium has existed since the beginning of Christendom and that the Messiah is already here, personified by the Church. According to them, Israel has no role to play and, like the other nations, must be evangelised.

The Gideon, a prophetic Christian

Gideon uses three elements, insignificant in appearance but prophetic in his war against the Enemy of the time:

1. the trumpet (the shofar),

2. the flaming torch,

3. the vessel enclosing the torch, before being broken.

That corresponds to three qualities of the Christian for the last generation:

  1. Being prophetic – the true Christian hears the sound of the shofar, the call of God. To hear the shofar meant to hear the sound (shofar) which warned Israel of danger and brought them together in the combat: "Happy are the people who know the sound of the trumpet; they walk in the in the light of your countenance, O Lord!" (Psalm 89:15). The light of the countenance of God, is the Shekhinah, His glorious presence by means of the Holy Spirit. Israel is the prophetic element of the last days. To fail to acknowledge that is to deny the prophecies and promises written for the End Times, all of them linked to Israel.

  2. Having a love for the Truth – The flame is the truth of God! The Bible says that in the end Times, there will be a lack of love for the Truth, a preference for more acceptable theologies (read 2 Timothy 4:3). The devil will do all sorts of miracles, deceptive signs, he will use "all the enticements of iniquity for those who are perishing because they have not received a love of the truth to be saved". And God Himself will send "a power of deception, so that they will believe in lies" (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11). To deny the promises for Israel, is to deny God’s purpose!

  3. Being able to discern the times – The torch was hidden in a vessel. The broken vessel is the symbol of humility, a necessary quality that is the opposite to the pride of the "Laodicean Christian" (Revelation 3:15-19); by means of this brokenness, God brings submission to His vision. This vessel was to be broken at the opportune moment. We must learn discernment for God’s time. There are seasons, and significant times – chronos (time which passes) as opposed to kaïros (prophetic time). Jesus denounced the religious people saying that they knew what the season would be the next day but were ignorant of the prophetic times: "Hypocrites! You know how to discern the appearance of the earth and the sky; how is it that you cannot discern this time?" (Luke 12:56).

An elite for the Lord

Of the 32,000 men who came to fight the enemy and after God’s selection, there remained 300 men. God wants to glorify Himself in this small number; it is the quality that is important. The Lord is looking for people of faith who have vision. The men chosen simply placed one knee on the ground to be able to drink, keeping their hand on their sword. That speaks of extreme vigilance. Christians are to be constantly listening (on the alert) for signs from God in the Word and in events. They are ready to stand up and act rapidly.

Today we must be aware of the urgency of things – events are moving quickly. Christians are often caught up in seeking comfort or simply concerned with their own lives. The Gideon looks out for the interests of God, he is ready to follow Him.

End Times?...

This story of Gideon has something to do with the End Times! The Enemy is the Midianites and Amalek, allied with the Arab people. Isn’t this current?... Yes, for Israel has been struggling since the beginning of its creation with fierce enemies, the Islamists in general, whether they are Arabs or not, denying the legitimacy of Israel and wishing to take its place in the land. They too are practising Replacement theology! For Islam’s vocation is to conquer the world, not only Israel.

  1. Midian (a child of Abraham and Ketura), means "he who argues and looks for a quarrel"

  2. Amalek is the number one enemy of Israel. God said: "Because the hand has been lifted up over the throne of the Lord, there will be war from the Lord against Amalek from generation to generation" (Exodus 17:16). Amalek is the constant enemy and is to be seen not only in the Middle East but in all the nations.

  3. Finally, the battle took place in the valley of Jezreel: "The whole of Midian, Amalek and the sons of the east assembled; they passed over the Jordan, and camped in the valley of Jezreel" (Judges 6:33). It is the place of the final battle Armageddon! Jezreel means "God has planted, sown by God". That means that this battle is foreseen by God, it is in His plans, in order that HIS glory may be manifested, with a view to the salvation of the whole of humanity!

A love for Israel that is alive

Gideon had a longing for the liberation of Israel from the occupation of the Midianites who were ravaging the fields of the Israelites and terrorising the people: "the Lord turned towards him and said: Go with this force that you have, and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian: is it not I who am sending you?" (Judges 6:14). The "Christian Gideon" embraces the cause of SION and makes of this cause, the cause of God.

He has a heart for the Truth of the Word and for the salvation of Israel: "For love of Sion, I will not be silent. For love of Jerusalem, I will take no rest at all until her salvation appears, and her deliverance, like a torch which is lit…" (Isaiah 62:1).

His sword is "for the Lord", in the service of the cause of God. But let us be aware that our actions, however heroic they may be, will have no merit. God alone gives the victory! The glory is due to Him alone!... And, however, God said: "Go with your force!". May the Lord give us this boldness, in the same way as He inspired the young Gideon to faith and courage to confront the Enemy. With this elite, God is going to open up His Kingdom… He has placed the keys in our hands.

(Back to Teachings)