Archive for April, 2010

The Messianic Movement part I

April 29, 2010

This is a first part of a series to describe the history of the Messianic Movement. I would like to tell something about the Dutch messianics like Isaac Da Costa and Abraham Capadose.

If one would describe history of the Messianic Movement then the first question is where to begin. An easy manner is to put Yeshua at the beginning and from then drawing the line and highlight what fits for your purpose. Along that line there are a few marking points, main points which are necessary to mention.

One of these points in this two millennia of history is the international Reveil in the beginning of the 19th century. Some very interesting developments occurs in that period. It was the first time since the apostles that many Jews converted. It was a worldwide awakening and a new beginning of a worldwide missionary. This came as an answer on the world-changing Revolution along with the Enlightenment which mostly ungodly fruits bore and spread around the world until today. The Enlightenment and the French Revolution are quite remarkable in two millenniums of history. Not only it changed the world, but it also was the beginning of a new development which made up ultimately the re-establishment of the land Israel and the return of the Jewish people. At the same time a new branch of Messianic Jews evolved and grew up first within the church and later it became more independent and self employed outside the church.

This event stood not on its own but is to see in the broader perspective. I would tell something about the church. The Protestants tradition sees the Roman Catholic church as (the vessel of) the antichrist. It is seen that it has a time of a rise and a time of a downfall. The period between is 1260 years according to the prophecy of Daniel and the book Revelation. The beginning of the rise is about the year 337, after the dead of Constantine. According to that the downfall began with the time of the dead of the king Philip II of Spain and the Edict of Nantes in 1598. One point in its rise of several hundred years is the establishment of papacy in the remarkable year of 606[1] and became full with the reign of the Pope when he received its power both political and spiritual. According to this view many Puritans[2] and also some theologians of the Netherlands foresaw a further fall of the antichrist in about the year 1795. This happened with the French Revolution and it came to pass that the Pope lost his (political) power in the year 1870 when he lost his Italian state. Another important person, the great sir Isaac Newton expected a definite fall and end of the period of antichrist “not before” the year 2060. For me he is one with the best hermeneutics of the book of Revelation.[3]

Church history is dominated by the Roman Catholic church. It fits in two millenniums with a typical 1260 years of highest power. With the Enlightenment the religious power was fallen down. Along this development the Protestants came out of the church with new glory, but not completely clean of Roman practices as e.g. Sunday observance and Christmas. On the other side the Enlightenment brought an unclean liberal spirit which developed in evil powers as it is today. The church was injured by this spirit of unbelief especially since the French Revolution. However I believe (with Newton and many other Puritans) the power of the antichrist is downfallen more and more and the final end is near where after the Messiah appears in His mighty power as the King of the world.

In the 19th century when the Enlightenment effected the church, a new revival happened worldwide. And especially in Holland a remarkable thing happened. Here began this revival which is called the Reveil with two Jews: Isaac Da Costa and Abraham Capadose. Although the spiritual father was Willem Bilderdijk,  a very important poet of the Netherlands, Da Costa especially was the person who came out into the light of the Reveil. And this was typical for the international Reveil: many Jews came to believe that Yeshua was the Messiah.

[1] When Boniface III got himself declared universal bishop and head of the church and assumed the title of Pope. Quote from: French Revolution and the downfall of the antichrist, John Willison, p.29

[2] Based on this view several people expected the fall of papacy around the year 1795 which coincides the French Revolution. See: Prophetic Conjectures on the French Revolution, Philadelphia, 1794. With extractions from: Brown, Knox, Goodwin, Love, Usher, More, Jurieu, Fleming, Willison, Gill. Is to find on Google Books.

[3] A very interesting collection of many of his manuscripts, many not published until 2008, are to find here: Also the Jewish National Library in Jerusalem has very interesting documents, free accessible, even never published writings under the name Newton’s Secrets: Isaac Newton wrote far more on theology then on physics.