Monday, March 29, 2010
Isaiah 52 gives a picture of One who caused astonishment among men. God's servant's vision and appearance was so marred, more than any man. His form was scarred and tortured more than the sons of men.
In this manner, for this reason, from God's perspective many nations will be sprinkled, made aware, and observe such things. They are confronted and cannot ignore the suffering of this Servant. They really do not understand; nor do they want any part of this process.
The Scripture says kings will shut their mouths at Him; this Servant of God. That which has been told, they shall see. That which they have heard, they shall consider. Let us also consider~
Is this a way of God? Do Do His servants suffer pain, despair and violence at the hands of this world? Is it allowed by the invisible hand of God? Is this a process to learn total dependency upon Him? Does our faith grow stronger in the process? Are our spiritual muscles expanded and strengthened? Is this what is necessary to convince us that we truly are totally dependant on God for all things?
This is not the way the world perceives being blessed. Satan can also send prosperity, health and ease. A life of comfort is the ultimate goal for most; they run from adversity at all costs. What is the end result of the mindset that avoids anything of trial and tribulation? What of eternity? What of spiritual growth?
The reason the world, the kings, our friends are astonished at such affairs that happen in our lives is that they run from any type of adversity. It is against human nature to go through such things. In the natural we also run; it seems to be in our DNA to avoid such things.
The enemy of mankind always sends his lies that if God was for us we would not go through seasons such as these. Was God for Jesus? Is Jesus our Saviour? Is He not our example? If He is our master in this life do we expect to be treated differently?
We are trapped in this shell of a human body. But we are not shells walking around avoiding adversity when it comes our way. We are eternal beings who has a Father in heaven, with our strong Advocate Jesus sitting at His right hand! All things are under His control; even when things seem to spin out of control.
Our glory, our boastingt is in the power of our God; not in our power! He brings us through the shadows of death and despair. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Glorify Him in the midst of the fires. The fire only burns off what binds us; the strong ropes that attach themselves to us in our seasons of testing and despair. They serve an eternal purpose I feel we will not fully understand until we get to our final destination.
Like the three Hebrew children in the book of Daniel, there is always a fourth One walking in our midst. These came through the firey furnace. The only thing burned off of them were the ropes that had them tied and bound.
Never forget, He has promised to be with us, even to the end of the earth. He is Faithful and True! The Spirit of the Living God will bring a scripture or a song in the night; I pray my ears are tuned to hear what the Spirit is saying to me, daily. If there is a season when I do not or cannot hear that still small voice, I pray He will bring to remembrance what He said to me yesterday or the day before!
He is God! What He said the other day still applies today. His words are eternal. We are eternal. He is not a man that He should lie. Rest in His promises. Stand on the promises of God!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
When a Head of State visits the US he or she is greeted with honour, sometimes even military honours. For example when one of the Arab Head's of State comes to the White House they are even met at the Airport by high ranking dignitaries, often even the President Himself. If it happens to be the King of Saudi Arabia, Obama would even bow to him, showing his submission to Islam. If it was a third-world leader from Africa he would get the full military reception. And when they came to the White House they would come through the front door and be brought to the Oval Office. All of this of course would receive full press coverage.
BUT, when the Jewish Leader of the best and only real friend America has in the Middle East "Israel" comes to visit the White House he is brought in under the cover of night. Not to the front door, he is brought to a side door! There he is met by an unknown person and quickly ushered into a side room where he waits for the grand appearance of the President, who takes his time, and then arrives with arrogance and distain, showing a vindictive attitude towards the Jewish Leader of Israel, Netanyahu.
It would seem to me that the cover has been completely blown off any pretence of Obama's position on Israel, and the Arab's who call themselves "Palestinians". He no longer negotiates with Israel these days - now he Demands that Israel submit to the Islamic Arabs, and give up their land in order to appease them . In short, what he is demanding is the final and total destruction of the Jewish State of Israel.
Obama knows the truth. That who, and what he is, will catch up with him. His intent is to destroy the United States from within, and his hatred for the USA and even its flag is becoming well known. But God has something to say to Mr. Obama;
 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
Obama has given Netanyahu until Saturday to give his answer on his demands. That causes me to wonder; "how long God will give Mr. Obama"?
Unlike times past, when the Israeli people wanted their government to give in to the wishes of the United States [at least to some degree], this time Netanyahu has the backing of 90%, -if not more- of the Israeli public, even including the left wing Parties. The latest Israeli polls show only 9% have a favourable opinion of Obama - and believe he favours the "Palestinians" and the Islamic Arab World. In fact, I personally don't know one Israeli who doesn't believe that Obama is a Moslem!
As Believers in Yeshua (Jesus the Holy One of Israel) you have God's Word about the days we now find ourselves in. There should be no doubt in your mind of the need to prepare the best you possibly can for your family and loved ones. This coming year will reveal many things, making it all very clear, and no longer necessary for these kinds of warnings. But for now you are forewarned. Not by this Messenger - but by God's Word.
It must be very clear to everyone by now that God has the attention of the entire world focussed on this small piece of real estate "Israel" just as it is has been foretold in scripture. For it is here in this land God gave you His Word, and it is here in this land "Israel" He will bring all things together, and His prophetic Word shall come to pass.
Isa. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for our son Joel and all the IDF soldiers. Pray for this Ministry and your part in it.
Friday, March 26, 2010
FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2010
THE LIFE IS NOT IN THE SHELL
These mortal bodies of ours are but mere shells, and the life is not in the shell. The shell is not for keeping, but a temporary confine that enshrouds a never-growing, ever-maturing life force. The body is a shell that acts as a transient guardian of the life inside. The shell is synthetic in comparison to the eternal life it clothes.
Every true Christian has been imbued with eternal life. It is planted as a seed in our mortal bodies and is constantly maturing. It is within us an ever-growing, ever-expanding process of development—and it must eventually break out of the shell to become a new form of life. This glorious life of God in us exerts pressure on the shell, and at the very moment resurrection life is mature, the shell breaks. The artificial bounds are broken and, like a new bornbaby chick, the soul is freed from its prison. Praise the Lord!
Death is but a mere breaking of the fragile shell. At the very precise moment our Lord decides our shell has fulfilled its function, so must God's people abandon their old, corrupt bodies back to the dust from which they came. Who would think of picking up the fragmented pieces of shell and forcing the newborn chick back into its original state? And who would think of asking a departed loved one to give up his new, glorified body—made in Christ's own image—and return to the decaying shell from which he or she broke free?
Paul said it: "To die is gain!" (Philippians 1:21). That kind of talk is absolutely foreign to our modern, spiritual vocabularies. We have become such life worshippers, we have very little desire to depart to be with the Lord.
Paul said, "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better" (Philippians 1:23-24). Yet, for the sake of edifying the converts, he thought it best to “stay in the shell.” Or, as he put it, "abide in the flesh."
Was Paul morbid? Did he have an unhealthy fixation on death? Did Paul show alack of respect for the life God had blessed him with? Absolutely not! Paul lived life to the fullest. To him, life was a gift, and he had used it well to fight a good fight. He had overcome the fear of the "sting of death" and could now say, "It's better to die and be with the Lord than to stay in the flesh."
* My Thoughts ~
I immediately thought of my wife and family after reading this. If there were no one else in my life, leaving my shell would not be so traumatic; but what of those I have loved and those who love me. If I leave my shell, in the natural it is a traumatic event! This is true, the thought may have come from the enemy, trying to convince me that life here with the ones I love is more important. But I have to, and I have reached a proper decision in that regard. Do I love Jesus more than life itself? If I do not, then why?
He is eternal. If I remain faithful I will receive a body likened unto His glorious body. An eternal body that is never sick, dismayed, uncertain or confused. What is it about the fleshly body that desires to linger on and eventually age and decay. We cannot run from this fact! Perhaps we are the generation that will see the return of the LORD and will be found worthy to be caught away with Him in the clouds! Perhaps we will go the natural way of all flesh.
If we would desire rather to stay here, what is the reason? A larger home, a new car, a larger 401 k? To what end does this serve? Or do we desire to remain here to bring glory to His name; to be allowed one more day to be changed into His image; to be purified to be the spotless Bride the Father is preparing for His Son? Important questions that need self examination.
No matter to this thought! He is coming for those who desire His appearing. Let us remain faithful and full of His strength; His quickening Spirit that is promised to those who believe.
He who has promised is faithful and true. He has promised to be with us always - even to the end of the world.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
©March 21, 2010 Asher Intrater
Yeshua compared Himself to two figures in the Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures): Jonah and Solomon. He said He was like Jonah, but more. He was like Solomon, but more.
As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth… greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South… came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and a greater than Solomon is here.
Jonah suffered, died, and descended into hell (figuratively or actually - Jonah 2). On the third day he was resurrected. When he preached in Nineveh, he not only called them to repent, he told them of his miraculous death and resurrection experience. His message and his experience caused a great revival in the nation of Assyria.
This is the Messianic pattern seen in Jonah:
* the suffering prophet
* the death and resurrection
* repentance and revival to the Gentiles.
* This pattern is seen clearly in the life of Yeshua and in the spread of Christianity to the nations. Yet, Solomon was also an image of Yeshua. Solomon was David's son. He reigned from his capital Jerusalem. He brought peace to the world. Kings and queens from around the world came to see him and hear his wisdom.
Here is the Messianic pattern in Solomon:
* the Davidic king
* ruling the nations in peace
* world leaders coming to Jerusalem to hear him
This pattern will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom, when Yeshua will rule over the nations from Jerusalem.
Although Yeshua gave the examples of Jonah and Solomon, many other prophets and patriarchs can be seen as images of the Messiah as well.
Abraham sacrificed his beloved son to bring blessing to the world.
Moses was a mediator between God and man, bringing them deliverance and revelation from heaven.
Judah offered to take Benjamin's punishment instead of him
Joseph was rejected by his brothers, thrown into a pit, raised back up, became the ruler of the Gentiles, and revealed his identity to his brothers at the end.
Joshua conquered the Holy Land just as Yeshua will conquer the whole earth on His return.
David suffered at the hand of Saul and then became king over Israel.
Jeremiah was rejected, thrown into a pit, raised up again, and preached right before the destruction of the first Temple.
Job was turned over to the devil to suffer and then was doubly restored.
Elijah ascended alive into heaven in a cloud as Yeshua did.
Daniel was persecuted because of jealousy, thrown into a lion's den, raised up, and became the leader of the Gentile nations.
Mordecai was virtually hanged on a tree, supernaturally rescued, and became the leader of the Gentile nations as well.
These examples will suffice to make the point that the biblical heroes provide a pattern of the life of Yeshua. The examples fall into two main categories: the suffering servant and the ruling king. The rabbis call this phenomenon Messiah son of Joseph (suffering servant) and Messiah son of David (ruling king). We understand that there are not two messiahs but one, with two different periods of ministry, first the suffering servant and secondly the ruling king. The two images of the Messiah in the Tenach are indicative of the two comings of Yeshua, first and second.
Many Jewish people do not see Yeshua as Messiah because they are expecting a ruling king like Solomon. They cannot see the death and resurrection of Jonah and the faith of the Gentiles as a pattern of the Messiah. However, many Christians do not see Yeshua reigning on earth in a restored Solomonic kingdom. Yet the image of Yeshua ruling in an expanded Israelite kingdom is essential to understanding the Second Coming as much as the image of His suffering, death, and resurrection is essential to understanding the First Coming.
Tension over Building in Jerusalem
By Frederick Solomon Intrater
Recently the US government has expressed disdain for the Israeli government's policy of building houses in East Jerusalem. This has been communicated by the three top American officials Obama, Biden, and Clinton. The uniformed character of their response gives the impression that it was premeditated and coordinated. This week I attended a seminar with Nir Barkat, the Mayor of Jerusalem. Barkat outlined the international conflict over Jerusalem, of which the current diplomatic commotion is an example. Barkat explained that the Americans were misinformed. The expansion of construction is in accordance to a plan ten years old. This plan expands Jewish and Arab neighborhoods alike and in relative proportions to maintain the status quo of approximately 1/3 Arab civilians, 2/3 Jewish civilians.
The particular neighborhood in conflict is Ramat Shlomo, an ultra-orthodox community, located in the northern part of the city, between three large Jewish neighborhoods: Ramot, French Hill, and Ramat Eshkol. Next to Ramat Shlomo is also a large Arab town named Sho'afat, which was not part of Israel prior to 1967. East Jerusalem, which was also not part of Israeli sovereignty until 1967, is in a different and separate part of the city. Yet again and again Ramat Shlomo is mentioned in the news as "East" Jerusalem. No one locally thinks of Ramat Shlomo as part of East Jerusalem. There are other Jerusalem neighborhoods much larger than Ramat Shlomo, and much deeper into formerly non-Israeli territory (such as Neve Yaakov). The question arises as to whether the American response was a reaction to new developments or an intentional strike at US-Israeli relations.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday I felt so bad that I did not go to church. On Monday of last week, a week ago today, I passed out cold in our dining room and fell across the table; out like a light! My wife called 911, I was taken by ambulance to the emergency room and was hooked up to everything they had available. I lay there thinking, " I have never been sick, NEVER! " This is not for me! There must be some mistake!
After extensive testing for bacteria or viral meningitis, and three spinal taps (two very unsuccessful, and very painful) I was admitted into isolation for three days. It was never fully determined to my satisfaction what I may have contracted. I was discharged last Wednesday. I have been having severe headache and neck pain since. I have an appointment with my family physician in two days regarding an elevated red blood cell count. I am praying in that regard.
The evening before I got home my wife became ill with a stomach flu. She fully recovered in a day and a half. (She had to recover, to take care of me, the worst patient of her life!)
The afternoon I got home, her father, who lives a short distance from us had a heart attack! He is presently still in the hospital and is to have heart surgery in two days.
His name is Howell; please keep him in your prayers.
In the middle of all of this mess, uncertainty, confusion and concern over health issues, the Holy Spirit, out of the blue, as they say, brought a beautiful song to my soul and it blessed me greatly. I have not heard this song for possibly 30 years so I know it was God trying to speak comfort to my soul and give me added assurance that He knows exactly the situation we are in, that He is in full control, and that this is something that I must go through to reach a new level of spiritual maturity and growth. It can be gained by no other way.
The first verse and chorus goes thus ~
" In shady green pastures, so rich and so sweet;
God leads His dear children along, "
" Where the waters cool flow bathes the weary one's feet,
God leads His dear children along - "
" Some through the waters,
some through the flood,
some through the fire,
but all through the blood, "
" Some through great sorrow,
but God gives a song;
In the night season ,
and all the day long. "
How sweet of the Spirit of God to bring this song to mind - And He gave me the words so that I was able to sing it over and over again in this time of growth, fear and uncertainty. He loves each of us so much that He is determined that we will grow more and more into the image of His Son through our travel on this troubled planet.
There is coming a day when the Son will arise with healing in His wings and we will be with Him, gazing upon Him in His fullness for all of eternity. What a day that will be - when our Jesus we will see !!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I can say we must hold fast to our confidence. Not confidence in ourselves, but our confidence in God!
Isaiah gives a very appropriate speech in this regard. Chapter 43: 18-21 gives us a glimpse of what is going on. God tells us through the Prophet to not remember the things of old; our past mistakes and missteps. He promises to do a new thing! Just hold on!
God says to "behold", in other words, PAY ATTENTION!
What He has desired for us is our good. It shall spring forth and we will be very aware when it happens. It will not be a dark mystery we will not understand. God promises to make a way in the wilderness; notice He says IN the wilderness. He will give rivers IN the desert; He does not say we will walk around the desert.
Isaiah continues to prophecy that even the beasts of the field, the dragons and the owls will even have to praise Him. The owls represent an unclean bird. The dragons represent monsters, or jackals. The owl mentioned here speaks of the cavity of the desert owls eyes that hold and retain unclean substances. Even these unclean things that oppose the God that is in us will eventually have to acknowledge that He cares for those who are His.
Why do they have to acknowledge this characteristic of God? Because He gives water and rivers and drink to His people; His chosen. He formed us for Himself; we are His! To deny us would be to deny Himself. What are the chances of that happening?
Through this process, and it has an expected end that only He fully understands, we will show for His praise; not show forth our praise, but HIS Praise.
In our times of desert experience when all seems to be going in the opposite direction, when the beasts, the dragons and the owls growl and howl at us, when we feel like Job and think, " I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. My harp is also turned into mourning, my organ into the voice of those who weep..." (Job 30:29-31)
Something must rise up into our spirits that declares even if the olive fails, the fruit falls off of the vine, the herd in gone from the stall, YET, I WILL rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. He neither faints nor grows weary. His promises will come to pass. He makes a way THROUGH the wilderness and desert of our life. These experience are a necessary part of our spiritual (eternal) development.
Do not lose heart. He sits as the Refiner of silver and gold. We will be a spotless Bride for His Son when He returns to set up His kingdom on this troubled planet. Keep looking up; our Redemption draws neigh.
He is a quickening Spirit. For as the Father raises up the dead and quickens them, even so the Son will quicken those whom He will (John 5:21) He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, so we have every right to ask to be quickened, in the desert and wilderness! If the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you, this same Spirit will quicken your mortal body (Romans 8:11).
Never forget that Christ died for our sins. Do not let the enemy convince you otherwise. He suffered for us, the Just for the unjust (that is us); why? so He could bring us to God. He also, as must we, put death in the flesh and thus was quickened by the Spirit.
March through the wilderness and desert knowing full well that God goes before us and He is behind us all of the way!
" For you shall not go out with haste,
nor by flight:
For the LORD will go before you;
the God of Israel will be your rearward! "
Friday, March 12, 2010
FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2010
GOD’S TREASURE IS IN EARTHEN VESSELS
One of the most encouraging Scriptures in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 4:7:
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the
power may be of God, and not of us.” Then Paul goes on to describe those
earthen vessels—dying men, troubled on every side, perplexed, persecuted,
cast down. And even though never forsaken or in despair, those men being used
by God are constantly under the burden of their bodies, waiting anxiously to be
clothed with new ones.
God mocks man’s power. He laughs at our egotistical efforts at being good. He
never uses the high and mighty but, instead, uses the weak things of this world
to confound the wise.
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the
flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the
foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak
things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And the base
things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and
things which are not…that no flesh should glory in his presence” (1
Does that ever describe me! Weak thing—foolish thing—despised thing—a
base thing—not very noble—not very smart. Yet that is his perfect
plan—the greatest mystery on earth. God calls us in our weakness. He puts his
priceless treasure in these earthen vessels of ours because he delights in doing
the impossible with nothing.
I saw Israel Narvaez, former Mau Mau gang leader, kneel and receive Christ as
Lord. It was not just an emotional surface experience—he really meant it. But
Israel went back to the gang and ended up in prison, an accessory to murder. Did
God quit on him? Not for one moment! Today Israel is a minister of the gospel,
having accepted the love and forgiveness of a longsuffering Savior.
Have you failed? Is there a sin that so easily besets you? Do you feel like a
weakened coward, unable to get the victory over secret sin? But with that
weakness in you, is there also a hunger for God? Do you yearn for him—love
him—reach to him? That hunger and thirst is the key to your victory. That
makes you different from all the others who have been guilty of failing God.
That sets you apart. You must keep that hunger alive. Keep thirsting after
righteousness. Never justify your weakness—never give in to it—and never
accept it as a part of your life.
Read this devotion online: http://www.worldchallenge.org/en/node/7859
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
For anyone who has ever received compassion, deliverance and grace from God while in dire circumstances, these words hit the nail right, squarely on the head.
" His (God's) wrath smoked, it burned, it was fire, it was devouring fire, and coals were kindled by it. Those that by their own sins make themselves as coals (fuel) to this fire will be consumed by it. He that ordains His arrows against the persecutors sends them forth when He pleases, and they are sure to hit the mark and do execution; for those arrows are lightenings (verse 14). "
" He shows His readiness to plead His people's cause and work deliverance for them; for He rode upon a cherub and did fly, for the maintaining of right and the relieving of His distressed servants. No opposition, no obstruction, can be given to Him who rides upon the wings of the wind, who rides on the heavens, for the help of His people, and, in His excellency, on the skies. "
" He showed His condescension, in taking cognizance of David's case: He bowed the heavens and came down, did not send an angel, but came Himself, as One afflicted in the afflictions of His people. He wrapped Himself in darkness, and yet commanded light to shine out of darkness for His people, (Isaiah 45:15). "
" He is a God that hideth Himself; for He made darkness His pavilion, His glory is invisible, His counsels are unsearchable, and His proceedings unaccountable, and so, as to us, clouds and darkness are round about Him; we know not the way that He takes, even when He is coming towards us in ways of mercy; "
" BUT, when His designs are secret, they are kind; for, though He hide Himself, He is the God of Israel, the Saviour. And, at His brightness, the thick clouds pass, comfort returns, the face of affairs is changed, and that which was gloomy and threatening becomes serene and pleasant. "
* O the marvelous ways and works of our God. His ways are beyond comprehension. But rest assured, He works on our behalf in every difficulty.
I will call upon the LORD who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies. ( Psalm 18 )
From where do we get this confidence?
Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the LORD shall be saved! Are you a "whosoever" ? So am I - pray with confidence, expecting an answer. We may not understand His ways, but we know that He hears and will answer!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
" Awake, Awake!
Put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city;
for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean."
" Shake yourself from the dust,
arise and set down, O Jerusalem;
loose thyself from the bonds of thy neck,
O captive daughter of Zion."
This entire concept applies to all believers! We do have beautiful garments - the garments of salvation given to us freely by the atoning blood of Christ on the cross. Why do we sit in the dust so long? What a waste of valuable time!
God tells us to shake ourselves-we must shake ourselves and realize our position, victory and standing as sons and daughters of God. We must loose ourselves from the bonds of the past. Yes, we have been captive in the past, but not now!
Awake, shake yourself, the bonds around our neck are things of the past. Everyday is a new day in Christ Jesus. Do not let the enemy lie to you; he is a liar and the father of lies. We are free! We are clothed with beautiful garments; the garments of Christ.
Loose yourself from the bonds and lies of the enemy. These are issues of the past that have been thrown into the sea of forgetfulness God speaks of. Do not go fishing into that sea, ever!
It is time to AWAKE and realize our position in Christ.
Monday, March 1, 2010
This week "Haaretz" (Israel's third largest Hebrew newspaper) featured an interview with Mas'ab Yousef, the son of Sheikh Hasan Yousef (one of the founders and primary leaders of Hamas). In 1996, as an 18 year old, Mas'ab was arrested for carrying illegal weapons. He was thrown into an Israeli jail, beaten mercilessly, and interrogated. By this time, he was ready to kill any Israeli he could.
Israeli security forces tried to enlist him to work for them. He agreed – thinking that he would become a double agent and attack Israelis from within. However, during the time he was in jail, he witnessed cruel abuses by the Hamas leaders against their fellow Muslim prisoners. He became disillusioned with Islam, and thought the Hamas leaders were even worse than the Israelis.
He was released from jail in 1997. After his release, he continued meetings with Israeli security officers, and was surprised to find them quite reasonable and humane. He saw that they were not against Muslims and Palestinians in general, but only trying to stop terrorist attacks. He began to see things from their point of view.
In 1999, a Christian tourist from England met him near the Damascus gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, and invited him to a Bible study. Out of boredom and curiosity, he decided to come. He liked the young people there and found the discussion interesting. He took a New Testament in Arabic home with him and started to read. He got as far as:
Matthew 5:43 - "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."
Young Mas'ab was stunned by the teaching of the love of Yeshua (Jesus). It was totally different than anything he had ever heard. Yet it seemed to fit everything he was struggling with in his heart. To "love one's enemy" seemed to give a ray of hope to the Israeli-Palestinian problems.
Over the next few years, he became a born-again believer in Yeshua and also began to work as key secret agent of Israel in the West Bank. He was given the code name, "Green Prince": green which is the color of Hamas, and prince because he was the son of one of their top sheiks.
Throughout the years 2000 to 2006, Mas'ab was involved in many crucial security events, including the outbreak of the second Intifada, infiltrating the Al Aksa terror ring, exposing the connection between Hamas and the PLO, intercepting secret information from the Hamas headquarters in Damascus, and thwarting numerous suicide bombers.
Israeli security officers state that countless Israelis owe their lives to this young man. They also say that Mas'ab was different from most Palestinian agents. His motives were not for money or need, but out of an ideology to save lives. He was held in great esteem, and his secret influence was such that his word at times even turned back the decisions of the prime minister or army generals.
Here a few translated remarks from his interview in Ha'aretz:
"I will not lie and say that I am not afraid. But I draw motivation from the fact that I saved hundreds of lives – Israelis, Palestinians, Americans. This gives me strength to go on. I am not pro Israeli nor pro Palestinian. I worked for my God, who is the Father of all men, whoever they are.
The root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not military or political; it is a war between two "gods" – the God of the Torah and the god of the Koran. The Koran teaches that this land is holy to Islam and it is forbidden to give it up. The Torah teaches the Jews that this is their land, and it is forbidden to give it up.
Even a moderate Muslim reads in the Koran that Jews are sons of monkeys and are to be killed as heretics. The Palestinians must stop blaming Israel for all their problems. If they really want to be free, they must be set free from their god.
The Hamas leadership cannot make peace with Israelis. It is forbidden for them to make peace with heretics. The current Hamas leadership is responsible for killing Palestinians. They would not hesitate to slaughter people sitting in a mosque or throw people out of high buildings; just as they did when they took over in Gaza. . ."
In 2007, Mas'ab fled to the United States, where he now resides.
Last week he called his father who is in jail in Israel. For the first time, he explained to his father about his faith in Yeshua and his previous work for Israeli security. It was obviously a heart-breaking conversation between him and his father, whom he so greatly loves, respects, and admires.
Mas'ab is currently publishing a book describing his childhood in Hamas, his work with Israeli security, and his faith in Yeshua. Please buy the book as soon as it comes out. (I received a pre-publication copy of the manuscript. After reading the first page, I couldn't put it down until I finished it in the middle of the night.)
Please pray for this young man's protection, both spiritually and physically. His life is clearly in danger. The testimony of his faith is spreading through the West Bank, and obviously causing spiritual shock waves.
Television: The interview with Asher aired last week. If you would like to see it (it is currently only available in Hebrew with no sub-titles), click program 455 at http://www.23tv.co.il/282-he/Tachi.aspx. Please continue in prayer for high viewer participation. The manager told us that they already received threats and complaints from ultra-Orthodox against the program.
Esther's Fast: Some 12 congregations participated in this week's assembly in Jerusalem. There was unity among the pastors, repentance, praise, intercession, prophetic declarations, shofar blasts, and the Lord's Supper. And all took place in Hebrew. The saints are looking for more opportunities like this and all were encouraged in the Lord.