War in Heavenlies and on Earth – 28 July 2014

It has been three full weeks now since Operation Protective Edge — the current war which the terror organization in Gaza, Hamas, started against Israel — began, with still no clear sense of when it might end.  I would ask that whatever I say in this letter will be read in the context of all that I have written in the previous updates .

Randi is returning now from Eilat after spending several nights there, taking an older sister in the Lord, and a single mother with two small children who were all stressed from the sirens and rockets fired at Beer Sheva in the past week.  We have one minute to get into shelter, which is a lot of time compared to those living closer to Gaza, and we do not hear all of the military noise from both sides which those living around Gaza are hearing continuously.  A King’s Kids camp, which we were providing sleeping quarters for this week, needed to be canceled. King’s Kids includes Jewish and Arab Israeli believers.

For those who read the Bible as the Word of God, and believe what it says about the end-times and the last days of the end-times, what is happening here and all around the Middle East makes some sense.  For those who relegate the Scriptures to be just a book, with some past history and some nice ethical principles on how to get along, are going to be without any answers for what God is doing, both among nations, and among individuals; both ‘in the world’, and within the Body of Christ; both in the flesh, and in the Spirit.  Yeshua/Jesus is reigning on high at the right hand of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is working in the world, and within the born-again believer/Christian, whatever our national or ethnic identity.

I write as one who believes that he obeyed the Lord in not taking a weapon when I was called to serve in the Israeli army:  The Father in Heaven loves the Arabs, like all other peoples, and doesn’t want to hurt anyone.  We raised our children to know the Lord for themselves, and as army age and duty neared, to pray that they would know God’s will for themselves:  they have all served — two of them as officers, two of them in special combat units, one of them in Gaza in 2009.  We have been going to Bethlehem since 2003 (during the 2nd Intifada) to celebrate the birth of the Lord with an evangelical pentecostal church that does not accept Israel, as a testimony and witness that our common faith and relationship in Jesus is paramount and must be demonstrated in times of crises.  God is not a pacifist, yet has provided the only peace plan to bring all war of every kind, including among animals and from bacteria and viruses, to an end.  There will be no sin or consequences of sin, such as war, in His eternal dwelling place which He will create for all those who love Jesus for who He really is.  We are called to become disciples of Yeshua/Jesus, not of anyone else, nor of any philosophy or cause or peer group.

Spiritual maturity of believers is seen in our growing in discernment between good and evil. (Heb 5:14)  We must know that our God is Good, and that the god of Islam is evil!  Otherwise, we are not going to engage in spiritual warfare any more successfully than we would in carnal warfare if we did not believe that we had a good and righteous need to fight, and to win.  Hamas, and also Fatah (PLO), with Abu Mazen as its president, both exist to destroy the Israel as YHVH has covenanted with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob that the Children of Israel (Israelis) will be in this land — not only for their own inheritance, but also the LORD’s! (Is 19: 23-25)  This is not an ordinary battle, but it is at the heart of all war:  against YHVH and His Anointed. (Ps 2)

Hamas terrorists are literally undermining the borders of Israel by their elaborate tunnel network in the lower parts of the earth. Many of these tunnels are built to extend right under kibbutzes and moshavs of Israelis living all around the border with Gaza.  Just today, an attack by a group of terrorists coming up from a tunnel into Kibbutz Nahal Oze was thwarted by Israeli security forces.  The only reason for these tunnels, apart for providing an underground security home for the leaders of Hamas, is to make terrorist attacks within Israel against soldiers and civilians.  Many of those living around Gaza are moving away until they do not have to fear these human moles from coming up from beneath them into their homes and schools.  No country would tolerate this, and God has given civil governments the moral and legal responsibility to protect its people against enemies, and against local criminals; and disciples of Christ are to generally submit to the civil authorities. (Rom 13)  Worldly governments can not be equated with the Church of God/Body of Christ, and can not be expected by believers to act as if they are.

The bogus claim of disproportionality of numbers of dead persons in Gaza as compared with the number of dead in Israel is irrevelant, and even hypocritical.  Was it proportional when Israel released more than 1030 Palestinian terrorists and murderers in order to get back one Israeli soldier from Gaza captured by Hamas?  Was it proportional when Israel released 430 terrorists in order to get back three dead Israeli soldiers from Hizbollah in Lebanon?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_prisoner_exchanges

(I also wrote about this matter of proportionality in a pique during the 2009 war in Gaza:

http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/still-living-in-the-days-of-the-bible-part-1-4-jan-2009/

http://streamsinthenegev.com/school-of-fish/still-living-in-the-days-of-the-bible-part-2-5-jan-2009/ )

Khaled Mashaal, one of the main leaders of Hamas, who is living well in Qatar while keeping his people in misery in Gaza, said today or yesterday that he is willing to live with Jews, but not with occupiers.  For those who know anything about Islam, to allow Jews (and Christians) to live in a Muslim-dominated society is to relegate them to dhimmis at best, and to force them to convert or die at worst.  The ‘occupation’ which Mashaal and Abu Mazen speak of is not territory gained by Israel in earlier wars which the Arab Palestinians waged against the  sovereign nation-state of Israel (both by God working out His redemptive plan, and by international law), but the entire country as the re-established homeland for the Jewish people.  If the “occupation” is the core issue of the conflict, then it is surely the Arabs’ refusal to abide by international law (not to mention God’s promises, which BELIEVERS should uphold) in accepting the state that has led them to feel ‘occupied’.  Rather than enjoy the benefits of being in the only successful pluralistic country in the region, they have spent their entire lives and efforts at cursing and plaguing Israel.  This is only returning upon their own heads!

I write these things with some fear and trepidation:  I am not a ‘right-wing fanatic’, nor a ‘hawk’, nor a war-monger, nor against peace.  I write these things to give, I hope, some facts for Bible-believers to pray with understanding, and not to be confused or deceived or ignorant, which contributes to those very things.

What must the Holy Spirit do to bring unity — based on [God’s] truth, [God’s] righteousness, and [God’s] love — within the Body of Messiah, which is the prayer of our Lord?  And our prayers should be looking towards the sanctity of our Father’s name, and for the coming again of the Lord Yeshua/Jesus to establish God’s Kingdom in Jerusalem, Israel, over all nations and every created thing, throughout the entire universe which He created and made.  May He come in our generation!

God bless you all with His shalom, and may we be counted among those who pursue His peace, as is fitting for His children.

War of Hearts – 24 July 2014

Israel’s 10th President, Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin has just been consecrated and sworn in at the Knesset (Parliament), succeeding Shimon Peres after seven years in that office.  During the much subdued ceremony compared to normal times (due to the current military operation/war in Gaza against the Hamas terrorist regime), sirens were heard in Beer Sheva and all around the Jewish towns and kibbutzes around Gaza. Both the out-going President, and the in-coming, expressed confidence of defeating the terrorist threat, both against Israel and her citizenry, and also against ordinary Gazans suffering by their elected government.

War on Earth first manifested when Cain killed his innocent and righteous brother, Abel, and then rejected personal responsibility and to come back to God on His terms. Yet, for all this, YHVH let Cain know that He would avenge him against whoever might kill him , and would even s descendant, married two women, got hurt by a boy, killed him, and threatened anyone to challenge him, and promised to avenge himself 77 times! Does any of this sound familiar as individuals grew to become nations and history unfolds before our eyes?

For the first time in a long time, the EU has understood that Israel is fighting against terrorists, who need to be disarmed.  They hatefully and inhumanely hide behind and under innocent men, women, and children in the line of fire.  At the same time, though, UN organizations such UNRWA, UNESCO, UNHRC are accusing Israel of war crimes and considering taking her to the international criminal court!  Despite all the evidence and proof of Hamas’ reign of terror both within and without its territory, they are NOT being either rebuked or investigated, and are given ‘equal’ status to a legitimate government.  As the elected government of Gaza, Israel COULD legally go to war against GAZA, and not only against terrorists in Gaza.  The world’s unwarranted hatred of Israel and favor towards the likes of Hamas is reminiscent of those who wildly cried out to release the rebel, robber, and murderer Barabbas, and to crucify Yeshua.

Some thoughts to consider:
1.  Each time that Hamas refused to accept cease-fire arrangements, or broke the two humanitarian ones early, Israel discovered and recognized the extent and seriousness of the massive tunnel network and underground city which Hamas has expertly built over many years with the billions of dollars it receives from the U.S., the EU, and Qatar.  Did the western nations not notice that virtually no building was going on above ground to develop the Gaza Strip as a functioning society?!

Yet, for all that, Israel is censured and deligitimized while terrorists bully and intimidate and threaten anyone who challenges them and withholds from them ‘payment’.  Such is the hardness of the sinful heart that sets itself against the righteousness, truth, and love of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Pharoah was an example of this, but listen to the Word of God of things to come:

In Rev 13:5-9, the Holy Spirit has this to say about the christ to come and believers then:

“And a mouth speaking great things was given to it, and blasphemies. And authority was given to it to continue forty-two months.
And it opened its mouth in blasphemy toward God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those dwelling in Heaven.
And it was given to it to war with the saints and to overcome them.  And authority was given to it over every tribe and tongue and nation.
And all dwelling on the earth will worship it, those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world.
If anyone has an ear, let him hear.”

In Rev 9:20-21, John is given to write of those who will survive the plagues associated with the sixth trumpet:

“And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and golden, and silver, and bronze, and stone, and wooden idols (which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk).
And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

2.  A strong Israel remains more resistant to the message of the gospel, since the nation will continue to think that they can handle their own affairs and determine its own destiny, and that God is with them and blessing them without believing in Yeshua/Jesus, who alone has protected them throughout our history, and has provided the only way which will secure true peace and tranquility, not for her only, but for the entire world.

Israel remains the enemy of the gospel so that more Gentiles can still be saved through faith in God’s Messiah — Yeshua/Jesus — before “all Israel” — the full remnant from among all the tribes — will be saved.   Meanwhile, individual Jewish people inside and outside of Israel are being saved, but many more Gentiles, including those who are Muslims and enemies now of Israel and her God, are being brought into God’s Kingdom and household.  This continuing negative side of the Israeli people’s stubbornness and stiff-neckedness, and their continuing successes against all odds, will also bring forth the increasing rise, which we already can see, of anti-semitism and violence against the Jews, against Israel, and also against Christians.

God has built in frustration and futility in all the affairs of man, so that people might seek Him, in whom alone is perfection, and that believers will anticipate with a lively hope the return of the Lord.  No matter what the outcome of this present warfare, there will not be complete satisfaction on the part of Israel’s government, or among all her people, or among those who sympathize with the Palestinian narrative.  The cancelling of air flights to and out from Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport is a blow to Israel’s economy in many ways for a long time; the soldier who is missing, whom Hamas claims is in their custody (whether dead or alive is not known), plays on the strongest human emotions as to what to do about that; the kidnaping and murder of the three Israeli teens still remains a mystery as to the whereabouts of those who carried out the event which started the events leading to the eruption of the latest conflict.

Rom 11:32-36   “For God has shut up all in unbelief, so that He might show mercy to all.  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!
For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?
Or who first gave to Him, and it will be repaid to him?
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things; to Him be glory forever! Amen.”

Meanwhile, some members of our congregation have been making visits to the hospital to encourage, support, give food to the families and friends who are there because of their loved ones hospitalized from injuries.

God bless you, and thank-you for  your support in good times and bad.

The God of Armies – 21 July 2014

Yesterday we had five siren alerts of rockets and missiles still being fired from Gaza towards Beer Sheva.  Our weekly congregational services on Friday evenings are greatly reduced in the number of those coming since the place of meeting is old enough not to have any real protected area.

Soroka Medical Center, the university hospital located just down the street from us, is on emergency status now, as more Israeli soldiers are being wounded or killed in the hard fighting going on in the Gaza Strip.  While people are fighting and risking their lives, God is still bringing more children into the world:  a young medical student couple just gave birth on Saturday to a healthy boy!

The grandson of the remaing founding elder of Yeshua’s Inheritance Cong. is on the Israel-Gaza border, waiting for the probable call to go into the defensive war turned offensive, as is necessary in any war to stop the enemy from continuing to require the nation to defend itself.  His family is an example of Gentiles whom the God of Israel has made a place and a name for them among His people in their re-establishment back in the Land which He has promised to [eventually] give them as an everlasting possession and inheritance (as long as these Heavens and Earth remain).

Our prayer is that more Israelis and more Gazans would turn to the one true God, and fear His holy Name, which He often gives as YHVH of Hosts (Armies), since their is war in the heavenlies ever since Lucifer rebelled and took a third of the other angels with him to his side against the triune God; and that war has been brought earth-ward ever since Eve was deceived and Adam disobeyed in the Garden of Eden about 6000 years ago.  This war has not effectively ended yet, despite the truth that Jesus has already won it — both in the natural and in the spiritual as the Son of God and Son of Man — on the cross, and He is not going to now ‘lose’ it.  We may win some battles and lose the war; Yeshua only wins, despite appearances to the contrary!

Here is an example of an Israeli military commander who understands the spiritual dimension of this war against enemies such as Hamas:  http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24759/Default.aspx
Let us pray that God would give him more light, and bring him, and many others, all the way back home through knowing Yeshua.

Also, you can read a Biblical thread which shows the true nature and purpose of the historic and cosmic war:  http://streamsinthenegev.com/messianic-judaism/praise-to-him-who-sits-upon-the-throne-and-to-the-lamb/

I was considering some of the ways that Israel is reflecting the nature of her God in these wars, even though she is unaware of it:

1.  God is using Israel to bless the world by taking a small, embattled, squeezed-in nation of people who have known unparalleled suffering, yet ‘stubbornly and stiff-neckedly’ kept going, to stand up to an implacable enemy which not only threatens her own existence (as if YHVH was not involved or else not capable), but also threatens, intimidates, bullies, terrorizes the entire Judeo-Christian civilization and its beneficent influences, the very environment in which the Jewish people have both suffered and thrived.

2.  Israel’s government and people turned the other cheek thousands of times over the years as Hamas sent thousands of missiles fired at it’s next-door neighbor (the Bible tells us to be ‘good neighbors’), before it finally took it on the chin enough to try to get the foolishness out of the neighborhood bully, who doesn’t allow even their own people to question their bad behavior, and the horrible consequences it brings upon them all.

3.  YHVH (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is stronger and mightier than all the forces of His creation combined, yet He is kind and gentle with us so that we don’t crumple at His touch.  But when He does let us taste a sample of His power, it is that we might truly fear Him and worship Him as God, and cease from our own folly that we are potential gods.  Jesus could wipe us out with a breath of air!  Even believers do much to bring reproach to His name!  Many ‘innocent’ people die in earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, bad accidents, etc. etc. etc.  And, sad but true, people will blame God, even blaspheme him.

So, Israel, is indeed a mighty army to be reckoned with, beyond any normal standard.  She could, if unleashed without any scruples, destroy all of Gaza and its people.  Yet, by the Spirit of her God, whom she still refuses to accept to rule over them, she demonstrates restraint and does what is possible to reduce loss of life, while unavoidably and inadvertently also contributing to loss of life and property.  And, many blame Israel as the convenient scapegoat.

4.  Both in Proverbs and in Romans, the Word of God tell us:  “not avenging yourselves, beloved, but give place to the wrath, for it hath been written, `Vengeance [is] Mine, I will recompense again, saith the Lord;’ if, then, thine enemy doth hunger, feed him; if he doth thirst, give him drink; for this doing, coals of fire thou shalt heap upon his head; Be not overcome by the evil, but overcome, in the good, the evil.”

Israel, in the midst of war, has not only agreed to three humanitarian cease-fire arrangements which Hamas has either refused, or agreed to and broken (and Israel should not agree to one without ensuring Hamas gains no benefit), but she has opened up a field hospital on the Israeli side of the Gaza border, in order to help Palestinian wounded; Soroka Hospital is providing medical treatment to some wounded Gazans.  Israel, for some reason, provides (yes, with some restrictions), water, medicine, electricity, food, construction materials to Gaza (read, Hamas), which is not only not appreciated, but even used to worsen the lives of the general population by the terrorist leadership, and used to build many (15 already located as of now) elaborate tunnels to protect Hamas leaders, and to try to infiltrate into Israel to kill, maim, kidnap.

As believers in Jesus, let us give glory to God, who, behind the scenes, is bringing people and nations to account, saving many who repent and believe the gospel, and bringing glory to His Name, and to His Son’s name.

May God have mercy on us all!

Israel Again at War in Gaza Against Hamas – 18 July 2014

Israel sent in ground troops into Gaza last night at 10:30, following a long day which included a ‘game changer’, or which showed the situation for what it is regarding the perpetual murderous grudge of Hamas towards Israel and the Jewish people (in particular, but also against their own population, which they hatefully use as human ‘shields’ in order to deter Israel’s military efforts, and also to turn public opinion against Israel when civilians are killed in the war).

In Operation Protective Edge, we see the effectiveness of the vast sums of money spent by Israel to protect her citizens and borders, at the same time as seeing the extent of the vast sums of money spent by Hamas in its efforts to politically gain from seeking to terrorize and kill as many Israelis as possible with its vast arsenal of missiles able to reach anywhere in Israel, and its tunnels to enable terrorists to come underground under the Gaza-Israel border in order to carry out attacks on innocent civilians.

It was just such a tunnel that turned the tide yesterday whereby the Israeli government decided that a ground offensive is necessary if they are going to locate and destroy the many well-constructed tunnels which Hamas has somehow managed to build over the years. Yesterday, pre-dawn, Israeli intelligence picked up information of an imminent attack of terrorists seen running towards a tunnel entrance, which would have led them to a kibbutz on the Israeli side of the border.  The airforce pinpointed the target of several men running into the tunnel entrance and blew up the entrance.  It is not certain if all of the terrorists were killed or injured.  This planned attack was done at the beginning of the day in which Israel agreed to a 5-hour cease-fire for humanitarian reasons to allow for Gazans to get medical aid and groceries.

Just before the cease-fire, which began at 10:00 yesterday morning, Hamas launced multiple rockets into Israel; during the cease-fire, some rockets were fired; immediately after the cease-fire at 3:00, again a barrage of missiles were fired into all areas of Israel. Hamas has twice refused to accept a truce brokered by Egypt, while Israel had expressed a willingness.  Hamas is insisting on its own terms, which is like a bad boy causing trouble all the time, and then demanding to get concessions in his favor because he ‘agrees’ to ‘act good’ for a while. Now Hamas wants Turkey to act as broker, but Turkey’s PM has turned his government into an enemy of Israel, as he seeks to restore the Islamic empire.

While Hamas hopes and prays that every rocket and missile it launches will be successful, not only to frighten and disrupt the lives of Israel, but also to injure, kill, or damage as many civilians — and sometimes military — as possible, they insist on holding Israel to ‘playing by civilized rules’ when she at length chooses to retaliate in defending her people.  And the world listens to Hamas:  while saying that Israel has the right to defend herself, she must do whatever is possible to not kill those not involved in the fighting, even though they know that Hamas has embedded their arsenal among the population, and the Hamas leaders are safely hiding in well-protected underground facilities.  This double standard does not seem to apply to other nations which even now are wreaking havoc and destruction on each other.  Israel does have a conscience, and does care (sometimes too much) what others think, and does value life over death (with incongruous exceptions like abortion).

The Israeli military goes to great pains not to cause excessive civilian casualties, but war against an avowed enemy that does not care for even its own people is not going to be a movie or a video game, when at the end all the gore is only acting or virtual.  In most of Israel’s wars, the ‘powers-that-be’ usually have stopped Israel from attaining its objectives just at the (A SIREN IS GOING OFF JUST NOW IN BEER SHEVA.  BE BACK IN A MINUTE.) (BACK NOW, AFTER TWO CONSECUTIVE SIRENS, DURING WHICH WE WENT DOWN TO OUR BOMB SHELTER.) moment that she has gained the upper hand, and then concessions are required of Israel which perpetuates the necessity for so much money and energy to go into a seemingly never-ending war economy, even as Israel prospers at the same time.

God is with Israel in a unique way — in both goodness and severity — because of His covenantal relationship, and He is acting to bring His Chosen People to return back to Him, who alone gives true peace with eternal security, and will make wars to cease.  Meanwhile, the gospel of Jesus Christ goes out to all that more Gentiles and Jews will be saved now and not have to endure the wrath of God to come.

God is working in many ways and in different levels — both natural and spiritual — as He brings to pass the fulfillment of every jot and tittle of the Law and the Prophets.

Thank-you for for standing with Israel for the sake of the name of the Lord.

Clear Trumpet Call – 13 July 2014

Shalom from God in Messiah,

Thanks to God and to all of you who stood with us in prayer and words of encouragement for the Trumpet Call to Prayer that gathered close to 50 people!

Things being what they are here, today proved two things:  in the Body of Messiah here, not all are of one mind, even if many are of one  heart; and, God is ‘there’ when we come together in unity for the sake of the name of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (or in any other language which honors Him).

There was a better turnout of Arab leaders than of the Messianic (Jewish) ones.  On the Jewish side, though (but not all are Jewish), we  had more who are not ‘leaders’.  While we had brothers and sisters from Ariel and Beer Sheva, the rest of those who came were primarily from the  Jerusalem and Bethlehem areas.  Few of the leaders on the Jewish and Arab side had actually communicated prior to Sunday’s gathering, so we
really had no clue as to who was or was not coming. Other events  were going on in the north of the country, so we knew that they were not available; and the Galilean leaders decided that they would have their own prayer gathering.

What we are in need of is for ALL parts of this small country, with its relatively small number of Jewish and Arab believers, to come together in one place.  God willing, this will yet happen!  There were a few persons who had asked if we would be praying for the usual partisan things that each side is so good at; I said, ‘No’, so they did not come.  It is just this sort of partisan, divisive mindset that we have to get beyond if we are going to move on, forward, upward.  Otherwise, we have no message for our peoples about the truth of the gospel and its power to make peace, produce love, promote unity and holiness in the fear of the Lord.

Yeshua told His 11 remaining apostles before He left them to go ‘home’ that ALL authority has been given to Him in Heaven and on Earth, and that we should take the gospel and make disciples of any and all people, and that both these things are true until the end of the age.  The end of the age has not come yet, so both these facts and truths are still in force.  And Yeshua promises to be WITH US in this matter until the end.

Our High Priest, Messiah, also prayed that we would become one with Him and each other in the same manner as He is one with the Father.  This is no natural unity!  Nor is there a natural means of attaining to it:  it must be a work of the Holy Spirit in those who want to be a part of the sure answer of the Father to this prayer of His Son.

Do we want God to do what He wants to do?  Jesus has told all of us that there are going to be wars until the end, just as much as He is sovereign over all things during all of the wars and other tribulations.  GIVEN THAT, He and His apostles tell us how we are to live and what we are to labor for, even as we rest in Him with all assurance.  Wars and threats are not to be seen BY BELIEVERS as reasons for NOT believing and obeying, but are to seen as CHALLENGES — sometimes even insurmountable by all natural reckoning — for us to overcome by our faith of who Jesus is so that we might be conformed to His image.  Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.  Jewish people as a whole do not believe that; Muslims do not believe that.  It is we who have the witness and the truth, and the Holy Spirit has been given to us for power to both
proclaim and to live that truth.  There is spiritual warfare regarding this truth just as much as there is natural warfare all around.  We are called to identify with Jesus BY NAME in a world and against the devil which reject and despise Him.

God is going to fulfill every jot and tittle of all that He has purposed and promised to do.  KNOWING that, He is calling us out from every people and nation to be a kingdom of priests that have a different and better ‘calling’ in the meantime.  If we “do not keep our proper domain”, and resort to merely natural instincts and associations, then we are not really upholding the truth of the gospel and the truth that to Jesus belongs all authority:  He has won the war on the cross!  And because He is risen, EVERYTHING which God promised to the fathers will be fulfilled!  Because of only ONE righteous Man, God will not destroy either Israel or the Earth.  Praise the Lord!  We have much to be THANKFUL for as we come together as brothers and sisters, despite our peoples being at war with each other over the inheritance.  No one will receive from God what He has not promised; but neither will anyone receive from God even what is promised in any other way except than through honoring and blessing Jesus, before whom every knee shall bow and tongue confess that He is YHVH (LORD).

These things comprised the substance and spirit of our prayers.  We do not know what the next step is, but trust the Lord to  lead us, so that we will have a collective voice to speak truth in love and in righteousness in His name and for His sake.  We blessed each other before we left, and we may need to remind each other what we have ‘tasted’ to keep us on course.  May the Lord Jesus do what He needs to do to get what He wants, even during this present war ‘situation’ in our land and against our people.  We pray that the Holy Spirit would give the Christians in Gaza hope as they look to Yasu for help and strength.  We pray for Israelis to begin to turn back towards the God of Israel, rather than trust in themselves or in our military forces and capabilities, as amazing and important and necessary as they are in these times.

Trumpet Call To Prayer – 9 July 2014

As I write this, the sounds of war are heard within our nation, and the blood of Abel cries out for vengeance and vindication.  Yet the blood of Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah/Yasu al Massih cries out better things:  salvation, and forgiveness of sin. (Heb 12:24)

There is a growing sense within and among the Israeli Messianic/Christian and Palestinian Christian communities that our united, collective voice needs to be heard as a prophetic voice to our people.  We, who believe in the name of the Son of God have, by grace, received the truth for solving the perpetual conflict between the Jewish and Arab peoples, and for all the other people groups in the world.  They do not know the Way of peace, but we do:  His name is Yeshua/Yasu/Jesus, who died and rose again!

We can seek our own righteousness, or else we can submit to the righteousness of God, who alone is wise and good.  The message which our Lord has given us to take to our people is the gospel, which alone God has blessed with power to save and to give peace to those who repent and believe, and who live in its truth.

With this purpose in mind, and after consultation with some of the Jewish and Arab leaders, we are calling a meeting to pray together this Sunday, July 13, from 15:00 – 17:30.  The location is accessible, and legally allows for Israelis and Palestinians to meet together.

At this critical time, the need to come together as believers in Yeshua/Jesus/Yasu, to humble ourselves, to pray and seek God’s face, and to turn from our own ungodly ways towards each other and towards our enemies — real and perceived — has never been greater.

For the sake of His Holy Name. . .

Vengeance and Redemption – 6 July 2014

Rockets have again hit Beer Sheva (yesterday, as of this writing), violence and rage are again venting, cries for vengeance are shrieking.  Yet, for all this, God is working out redemption, as witnessed by people repenting and believing the good news of God about salvation through living faith in Jesus throughout the country and region.  Today is still the day of salvation!  This is still the acceptable year of the LORD (YHVH)!  We, as believers in Yeshua/Jesus, cannot forget that.

The natural man either witdraws into isolation and seclusion, seeking ‘private’ peace for/with those who are ‘his/hers’; or else draws upon carnal weapons to defend, and to ‘kill before being killed’.  This is normative human response to existential threat.  Yet. . .the spiritual man — those born of the Spirit from Above — must exercise faith, hope, and love just in such times as these.  Even should we be engaged in military service, we must not rely upon, nor think, that such weapons will bring peace. They can not kill a spirit, nor will human weaponry gain the credit for bringing true righteousness and peace to the world and all that lives in it.

God does say that there will be wars until the end, and that He will even glorify His holy name through war.  Jesus is, after all, YHVH (the LORD) of Hosts (Armies)!  But it is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit human hearts will be replaced, and thoughts and intentions renewed and transformed.  Only the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ will make wars to cease, and weapons turned into agricultural tools. War will not be learned anymore, and this will be in EVERY FACET of life! O, for that happy day!

Tonight we had a prayer meeting at ‘the Old House’ (Yeshua’s Inheritance Cong. home, thanks to God and to the CMA), and this time we invited other city pastors to join us, with anyone else that they wanted to bring.  The situation in the country and region is also a call for the believers in general, and the congregational/church leaders in particular, to come together in unity to beseech God on His Throne of Grace, as well as work together for the sake of the gospel and Yeshua’s name, by whom we are called and identify. This is a trying time for the Arab Israeli believers, who are being spiritually challenged, I know; they are caught between a rock and a hard place, and the cost of being a disciple of Yasu is weighing in on them.  But this is not less so for the Jewish Israeli believer vis a vis our own primary allegiance.