When I was
in Israel in November 2005 with the intercessory tour for Tents
of Mercy congregations we visited many sites around the city
of Akko with a young Messianic Jew who pastors a congregation
there. He said something astounding that caused an instant change
of direction in my thinking. I had never heard anything like
it before but it instantly registered that I was hearing the
spiritual truth of the matter. It was a very different interpretation
and expectation of this prophecy that Moses spoke over the tribe
of Asher dipping his foot in oil.
pastor/rabbi Guy Cohen said that he believed Moses was speaking
of prophetic oil--the oil of the Holy Spirit--that the "foot"
of Asher being dipped in oil was not about petroleum products,
it was about the outpouring of revival and the Holy Spirit!
the “foot” area of the tribal land of Asher remains
in Israel’s possession and includes the town of Akko where
this young Israeli's congregation, The Harvest of Asher, is located.
It is a new work having been birthed a couple of years ago by
the mother congregation in nearby Kiryat Yam, the Tents of Mercy
congregation under the leadership of Eitan Shishkoff. Guy Cohen,
who is a “sabra” or native born Israel, also was born
and raised in Akko. It is a town that has been pretty much ‘written
off’ because the poverty is so great there, but isn’t
that just like God? In spite of their economic poverty (or maybe
because of it), the oil of the Holy Spirit is flowing in and among
this Akko congregation. God has granted them unprecedented favor
among their unsaved Jewish brothers in this city, and though there
are still spiritual battles to be fought continually, the believers
in Akko are rich in vision for a major revival and outpouring
of the blessings of God upon their city.
should keep the whole prophecy in context. See that the blessing
being spoken over the people in the tribal land of Asher is not
just that for oil, it is also connected with being blessed with
children and being acceptable to his brethren. As one reads, “Let
Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren,
and let him dip his foot in oil.” When I was writing this,
I found that the Hebrew word for “dip” (tabal) might
have been better translated “plunged,” like the kind
of complete immersion or baptism that takes place when a great
spiritual awakening breaks out in a region.
who are actually ministering in the Akko area believe the prophecy
of Moses points to the spiritual blessings of the oil of the Holy
Spirit that God intends to pour out on the area where they live
and work and minister. They are expecting to be blessed, in the
tribal lands of Asher, with a fulfillment of Moses’ blessing
that will cause many spiritual “sons” or “children”
to be birthed into the kingdom of God. This is what they believe
is promised to take place as they are witnesses of the power of
Yeshua the Messiah to their friends, families and neighbors.
the primary meaning of the prophecy is not for a blessing of fuel
oil, but rather for Holy Oil, then this may be a prophecy of where
one of the greatest outbreaks of revival in Israel is slated to
begin! Isn’t that just like God who inspired James to write,
“Listen, my beloved brothers, did not God choose the poor
of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which
He promised to those who love Him?”
As I said, I had never before heard such a powerful spiritual
interpretation of this prophecy as Guy Cohen’s simple, straightforward
expectation for revival in his city. Yes—prophesied thousands
of years before from the lips of Moses, but speaking of God’s
desire to pour out true blessing on His people Israel. Oil is
nice, Holy Oil is much more precious.
I stood there hearing Guy’s words, I knew that I was hearing
the voice of the Spirit of the Living God who looks upon the true
poverty of region of Akko and yearns to pour out a blessing of
Holy Oil upon a people who will turn to Him in trusting Yeshua.
I got it. The young rabbi didn’t have to linger on the point.
I got it! “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than
much black gold!”
at least a couple of decades many of us have assumed and accepted
that this prophecy was a reference to a material blessing of oil,
rather than a spiritual blessing. There’s nothing wrong
with that if we don’t let it blind us to the primary meaning
and purpose of the kind of blessing that God really wants and
intends to pour out on Israel.
from a genuine Spirit-filled, Messianic Jewish Israeli pastor
from the very tribal area the prophecy referred to, Guy Cohen’s
interpretation struck me as a much more pure interpretation. It
captured the heart of God and did not just speak to temporal needs
that as human beings we tend to give a greater priority to. As
I spoke with another young Israeli believer from Jerusalem while
writing this, we marveled over the reluctance to consider this
prophecy as a promise for spiritual blessing rather than a temporal
blessing. “We have to change our minds,” this 23-year
sabra woman told me. “When we can’t see what God is
really concerned about in Israel, the salvation of the people,
then our minds are caught in earthly concerns, not God’s
agree. As I have reconsidered that this verse may not have been
speaking of natural oil at all, my eyes have been opened to many
things about the prophecy that I had not considered before. For
one, it made me take notice that God was in fact addressing these
blessings through Moses over people, not over the land. I was
also amazed to realize that only God could know that of all the
allotment of land that was for the tribe of Asher that it would
be essentially only the foot portion that would actually be in
Israel’s possession in the last days. How cool is that?
The geography of this prophecy is important. Don’t think
because a very small oil discovery was made in the Dead Sea region
that it is ‘close enough’ to be a fulfillment of prophecy!
God doesn’t miss by hundreds of miles!
Another reason I believe that the young Israeli pastor was correct
in his interpretation is because Israel's blessings are going
to be limited apart from the nation’s acceptance of Yeshua.
As the numbers of believers in Yeshua increase in Israel, so will
the material blessings upon Israel increase. That is something
that many Christians do not yet see in the plan of God for Israel.
It is through people returning to God through faith in His Son
that the Father is able to pour out more and more blessing upon
Israel. (An excellent book that covers this understanding from
a Messianic Israeli perspective is Asher Intrater’s booklet,
What Does the Bible Really Say About the Land?)
In context the prophecy that Moses spoke over the tribe of Asher
was not just about oil. Organically connected to the oil are prophetic
words that the tribe would be blessed with children and that he
will be acceptable to his brethren. The tribe of Asher would have
many physical children down through history, exactly like all
the other tribes did. Why would a prophecy about an oil discovery
in the tribe lands of Asher be connected to a blessing over the
tribe of (1) “sons” or “children,” (2)
and “favor” or “acceptance” among their
context, the details of the full prophecy do not make a lot of
sense apart from a primary spiritual application and meaning by
God—that of spiritual sons in the season of Israel's harvest.
should the “foot” area of the tribe of Asher receive
such a prophetic blessing relating to the harvest of the last
days? It could be related to the fact that the second aspect of
the prophecy is already occurring as the Messianic believers in
Akko enjoy an unprecedented acceptance by their neighbors. Very
few regions in Israel have been as accepting of Messianic believers
as Akko. Ariel is another town. This acceptance of the Messianic
believers among their countrymen is actually a trigger for God’s
blessings upon the regions of Israel where Messianics are accepted
and persecution is not. We are going to see more and more evidences
of this as the kingdom of God continues to expand in Israel.
You will get no argument here that a major oil discovery in Israel—anywhere
in Israel—would be a great blessing for the nation and I
certainly don’t stand opposed to any who hope for that.
However, I am no longer convinced that this particular prophecy
over the tribe of Asher was about mere fuel oil.
wouldn’t be the first time that one of the “dark sayings”
of prophecy has been popularly accepted in an entirely misinterpreted
application. It isn’t just a matter of whose interpretation
is right and whose is wrong. When a misinterpretation is widely
accepted and expected then it causes people to miss the primary
meaning as the prophecy is actually unfolding! We can’t
see what God is doing when He is doing it because our expectation
is fixed on something else that we consider would be more effective,
beneficial or rewarding.
perfect example of that is the first coming of the Messiah. Since
the circumstances of His appearances did not match their interpretive
expectations, many continued to cling to the popularly accepted
misinterpretation of Messianic scripture looking for a Messianic
King, instead of the Suffering Servant who was before them.
who likewise follow too closely after the efforts of those who
have been inspired by scripture to do oil exploration in Israel
(or even to attempt to breed the ‘perfect’ kosher
red heifer so the unsaved religious Jews can be prepared for a
renewal of Temple Sacrifices!), are simply not open to hear that
this prophecy may not be about fuel oil at all. Additionally,
it is an alarming fact that most of the folks so focused on those
pursuits relating to Israel, don’t seem to know the first
thing about the spiritual harvest that is already going on right
now in Israel through the labors of the Israeli Body of Messiah.
This is the lens that I view these things from.
of Christians are caught up marveling over the search for Israeli
oil hoping for a material blessing of Israel, but few even think
about the promise of a great revival and Holy Oil flowing upon
the people of Israel today.
Prophecy is funny. When lots of people are sure they know the
interpretation far in advance, then they can not see or receive
the real interpretation as it is unfolding. That is sort of a
rule about prophecy. Few have been able to accurately say what
a prophecy meant until it was actually happening, and then it
was like they said in Acts, “This is that which the prophet
it is unfolding some can recognize it as prophetic fulfillment
and some cannot because they are too adamant in their conviction
that it is supposed to be something else they are looking for.
We have to be open enough about prophetic scripture to be among
those who can recognize God’s intent when it is subtly unfolding
in the earth.
is it that we would consider a natural oil discovery as more significant
to Israel than the promise of a mighty outpouring of Holy Oil
on the “foot” of the tribe of Asher? As Israel when
so many could not see that their Messiah was walking among them,
our minds have become dulled to spiritual truths. As Yeshua commented
in Matthew 13:15, “For the heart of this people has become
dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed
their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with
their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I
would heal them.”
thing about the “foot” is that in prophetic terminology,
the feet often represent the last days, which if you read the
all the prophecies Moses spoke over all the tribes in Deuteronomy
33, one has to wonder if all of them weren’t referring to
far, far down the historical road of the 12 tribes, even into
our own day.
I am all for an oil discovery in Israel, but I am believing for
and praying for an outpouring of Holy Oil on the people of the
Akko area right now—that current ministry efforts would
be blessed with fulfillment of this prophecy over their tribal
It will be interesting to see if there is ever a natural oil find
in land allotted to Asher, but I am positive that there will be
a fulfillment of the spiritual promise of Holy Oil poured out
over the people in the harvest of Asher.
for this growing congregation of believers led by Guy Cohen—the
Harvest of Asher Congregation—a member of the Tents of Mercy
network, among whom the Lord is moving mightily in Akko, Israel.
Truly the oil of the Holy Spirit among the people in the tribal
lands of Asher is much more precious than even a major 'black
gold' oil strike in Israel.
The many ministries under the covering
of Tents of Mercy and Revive Israel, Eitan Shishkoff and Asher
Intrater, will be conducting another International Conference
and Intercessory Tour in Israel on March 1-8, 2007.
For further information on the Esther’s Call Tour, or If
you have any questions or would like to receive a registration
form, write to Estherscall@aol.com
If you would like to read Eitan's recent article "Esther's
Call" go to http://www.tikkunministries.org/newsletters/es-sep06a.asp