SPOILS OF WAR
EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY BATTLES
While the intimidated and compliant West continues to “negotiate” with radical Islam behind veils of denial, compromise and deception, Israel has no alternative but to confront it on the field of battle. What most observers miss, however, is that every time Israel fights in her own defense and prevails, the power of Islam weakens over the Middle East. Since Islam is primarily a martial, militant spirit and its religion one of expansion through the Jihad, the holy war, the more this darkness is defeated in battle, the more it is dispersed, and the more souls are freed from its oppression and bondage!
Consider the following numbers: Before the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, there were but a few thousands of born-again Christians in that land. With over 70,000 born again Believers today (some live abroad), the Iraqi church is experiencing a remarkable growth. Even more so, a full-blown revival is reported among the Kurds in northern Iraq where freedom of religion is greater yet.
In Egypt, there is a documented outpouring of the Holy Spirit among Coptic Christians who trace their faith back to the Apostle Mark. Large worship gatherings take place in the caves above the “City of the Dead” outside of Cairo where the Spirit of God is moving among the “Garbage People,” an approximate one million Egyptians who live and work among the garbage dumps of Cairo. While ministering among them, Mary Lou heard the Spirit of God say, “These are my queens and kings.”
In Iran, there is a growing underground movement of house churches with reported millions of Muslims watching Christian satellite TV. Many are having dreams and visions of Jesus. Meanwhile, in Israel, the Body of Messianic Believers is growing and flourishing all across the country even during days of distress while enduring intense persecution from the religious orthodox and Islamic camps.
Both Syria and Jordan have experienced significant Christian growth in recent years. Conservative numbers report nearly 100,000 underground Believers in Saudi Arabia who are in constant danger, while in Lebanon there are reportedly 10,000 born again Believers, with over 1,000 having been added to their numbers during the 2006 Israel/Hezbollah war.
No doubt, as the armies clash on earth and the cause of the God of Israel is upheld on the battle fields, armies are on the move in the heavens as well, and the proclamation of the eternal gospel is setting captives free. Now that you know the truth, when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, pray also for our Arab brothers and sisters that their faith be established, their strength renewed, and their numbers multiplied many times over for the glory of our God.
ISRAEL IN TRANSFORMATION
While the media continues to conjure up sensational coverage of the seemingly endless Middle Eastern mayhem and destruction, Israel is experiencing an awakening of sorts in spite of, and probably because of, the intensifying pressures. Following an extended season of defeatism and self doubt, it seems that the nation of Israel is undergoing a sort of a mental renaissance and rediscovery of its identity and purpose. Can this be the early stages of a spiritual awakening? We believe it is.
Israel, it appears, has reached a point of confident assurance not only in her right to exist, but also in her right to defend herself in spite of the relentless avalanche of International disapproval and criticism. The recent Gaza campaign, though very small and contained in military terms (compared to Israel’s “real” past wars), seemed to have stirred up a nationwide movement of prayer and supplication to God for His protection, wisdom, and victory over her enemies.
This awakening is not limited to the orthodox or religious circles only, but is reaching into far wider spheres in Israel. In fact, the combat units who entered Gaza seemed to have experienced a genuine spiritual hunger offering earnest prayers before engaging in battle. Field synagogues erected on the battlefields had no less than 10 services each day. Reports emerging after the recent Gaza Operation indicate that the God of Israel still answers prayer, and the following are but a few examples:
A Hamas map showing the locations of booby-traps, landmines and sniper positions, found its way into Israeli hands. Consequently, the IDF was able to counter and neutralize these installations. A large platoon of Israeli soldiers, not realizing they were resting in a school that was booby-trapped, disarmed the bombs with no casualties after they were miraculously discovered by a soldier relieving himself in the night. Hundreds of tunnels full of live explosives and ammunition hidden in Palestinian homes, under beds and kitchen cabinets, were destroyed by IDF forces with no associated casualties.
One Hamas rocket, heading toward an Israeli apartment building, fell instead into an open sewer pipe and exploded underground. An elderly Israeli woman walked away, barely scratched, from an apartment completely demolished by a Hamas missile. The mayor of a southern Israeli city felt compelled to cancel school one day, sending all the children home. Within hours a Hamas missile slammed into and demolished an empty kindergarten in that city.
JOIN US IN ISRAEL THIS JUNE
We are leading a group of intercessors and worshipers to the land of Israel June 7-15, 2009, and all those interested to learn more can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This group is shaping up as a very focused and relational team, space is limited, and the time to join is now. We will spend quality days exploring Jerusalem’s ancient past and eternal future, visit the beautiful Galilee, Nazareth and the Golan Heights, travel south through the Jordan Valley to Jericho, the Dead Sea and Masada, and dip our feet in the Mediterranean Sea by Tel-Aviv. As we travel throughout the land, our group will worship with local believers, meet with Messianic leaders, and hear from Israeli scholars in the fields of ► Christian Zionism ► Hebrew treasures of the Bible ► Messianic Judaism ► the Palestinian conflict ► End times prophecy ► and Biblical life & culture.
You may ask, why go through the expense and effort to travel to Israel? Because, in that small land, and among this embattled yet chosen nation, are found both the origin and the consummation of our Christian Faith. In the Land of Israel the ancient prophets spoke; the scriptures were written; and the Messiah accomplished His eternal work. There, His Kingdom will be established upon earth where He will reign with righteousness and peace. Come with us to Israel, experience the Land and the people, and participate in the building of the ONE NEW MAN reality.
WHAT’S ON THE POLITICAL HORIZON?
As negotiations continue to unfold in the present efforts to form Israel’s next government, Netanyahu’s Likud and the Yisrael Beiteinu rightist parties are nearing an agreement which could secure a leading coalition within days. This coalition, including not only the right-wing but also ultra-Orthodox parties, will present a very strong nationalistic / religious coalition, something not everyone in Israel is happy to see.
Frankly, a national unity government which would have included the centrist Kadima and left-wing Labor parties was the hope and preference of many. With unprecedented security challenges and the increasing international criticism of Israel’s defensive actions, many felt that the nation needed a government that will unite the population and command international respect and support, rather than one which will trigger further global rejection and Israel’s sense of isolation. Such a government, it appears, may not be in the making at this time.
What is on the political horizon, instead, is an emerging hawkish government that, in fact, may reflect Israel’s true reality much more accurately: a nation with its back in a corner and ready to take extreme measures to defend itself in an increasingly hostile region and an uncaring onlooking world.
The hard facts are that Israel’s tactical and psychological advantages on the battle field are less and less effective in accomplishing its strategic goals of neutralizing the Arab threats. The unthinkable has already happened when Islamic missiles hit civilian targets both in the Galilee (north) and in the Negev (south), driving hundreds of thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters with no solution in sight.
During the first Gulf War in 1991, when Tel Aviv was targeted with Iraqi Scud missiles, many fled to the relative safety of the Galilee. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, when the Galilee was hit with thousands of Hezbollah missiles, northern residents fled to Tel Aviv. Where will they find shelter during the next war when the range and accuracy of the enemy’s rockets could easily reach all of Israel’s tiny territory? In the next war, look to God to show His power.
Israel is genuinely hungry, even desperate for peace, yet all of the previous peace efforts have failed; including the 2000 Clinton negotiated initiative which offered the Palestinians a sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital. With the present outgoing dovish government under the leadership of Ehud Olmert (who was an international favorite) having also failed to reach a viable peace during the last three turbulent years, it is no political mystery that a right wing nationalistic government is on the rise.
IT’S DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN
Military options, however, may also be wearing thin with the alarming aftermath of both the 2006 Lebanon/Hezbollah war and the recent Gaza operation. In spite of valiant fighting and tactical victories, the Israeli military could not stop missile buildup in the north (under the watch of U.N. “peace keeping forces”) or missile launching in the south. Furthermore, with Iran’s nuclear program nearing combat readiness, Israel is facing its ultimate nightmare: a jihadist regime which possesses nuclear apocalyptic capabilities and the motivation to put them to use.
While most Israelis support a two-state solution, many are wondering what will happen after the proposed Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Given the historic and inevitable radicalization of the Palestinian population when left to itself, the expectant outcome is that Judea and Samaria will, like Gaza and southern Lebanon, become terrorist nests. Bordering Israel’s main population centers, the horrifying scenario is that it will not be long before Islamic rockets slam into Tel Aviv and Israel’s soft interior.
If current negotiations between Hamas and Fatah succeed, the results will actually hinder the creation of a Palestinian state. Why? Because rather than Fatah moderating Hamas - Hamas will most probably radicalize Fatah, creating another openly hostile terror entity on Israel’s Western frontier. Given the international criticism of Israel during the most recent Gaza operation, any Israeli attempt to defend itself against West Bank terror will again result in an international outcry. Why bother withdrawing in the first place then? The besieged Israeli population sees a world unwilling to admit that the Arab-Israeli conflict is not a nationalist struggle to create a Palestinian state at all, but rather a jihadist struggle to destroy the Jewish state!
The fact is that, since 1947, Israel’s Arab neighbors and the Palestinian people themselves have consistently rejected the idea of a two-state solution. They have proven their intentions and promises to “drive Israel into the sea” and take sole possession of the land time and again through war and deliberate sabotaging of the peace process through terror and unreasonable demands. Only the West pretends to believe the lie and denies that these are not their true objectives. Israel, however, does not have the luxury of denial.
Sensing the noose tightening around their small nation, more and more Israelis are politically leaning towards the right, resulting in a nationalistic hawkish leadership rising into power. This, in itself, does not mean that war is on the horizon. Instead, as history has proven both in Israel and the US, when a strong leadership emerges - the enemy often shrinks back. Like any abuser who counts on intimidation, compliance and silence, the very presence of strength and the willingness to uphold the standard of truth sends a message to the enemy saying, “don’t mess with me.”
In the past, when Netanyahu held the Premier’s office, terrorism diminished. As the scripture says, “The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all… stand.” Eph. 6:12-13.
The same is true for your life and family. Israel’s natural battles are a true reflection of the spiritual realities all of God’s children face and must conquer. Israel, as well as you, will be brought to the position of “having done all… stand.” Whatever this “all” may mean for each and every one of us, we all must learn to submit to God, resist the devil, and put our trust in the Lord’s might and faithfulness.
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.” Psalm 60:11-12. As you pray for yourself and your household, remember the Body of Messiah in the Middle East, both Jewish and Arab alike, and ask the Lord to bring in the harvest.
As a practical expression of your faith, while joining the Lord as you watch and pray with Him over Israel, please consider supporting Messianic Believers in Israel through our ISRAEL FUND. Your supports helps those persecuted for the Faith, people of excellence, and those with hearts to do great things with God as He establishes His testimony in Israel during these turbulent times.
Thank you for standing with us in this ministry. ONE NEW MAN CALL is supported by friends of the Ephesians 2:14-15 vision, calling Jew and Gentile to dwell as one in God’s Olive Tree. To learn more about our June trip to Israel, to support this work, or to provide direct financial support to Messianic Believers in Israel, contact us at the address below. Thank you.
In His grace,
REUVEN AND MARY LOU DORON
(C) 2009 One New Man Call
One New Man Call
P O Box 164
Hayfield, MN 55940 USA
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Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, taken from the New King James Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org