By Shira Sorko-Ram
The most amazing configuration of personalities and events are reshaping the Middle East. Think about it!
The leader of the most powerful nation in the history of civilization is an outspoken born-again Christian. Many of his closest advisers are strong Christians.
This nation's closest ally is headed by a man who also declares himself a Christian.
Even the head of a third ally - down under - is considered by the Australian press as unusually religious and committed to Christian and family values. Interestingly, others who are our closest, active allies such as Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, are from nations that profess Western Christian values.
Meanwhile, Israel has just formed its first mostly secular government coalition, meaning new important freedoms for the Israeli people, including more freedom to choose religion and faith.
WHAT MADE SADDAM TICK?
The first three leaders have formed a coalition with some 40 other nations to bring down a regime in the ancient nation of Babylon whose leader saw himself as the successor of Nebuchadnezzar, whom he claimed was "an Arab from Iraq, albeit ancient Iraq." For years, Saddam has been rebuilding the famed city of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar's empire included the Middle-Eastern countries surrounding Iraq. The proud and ruthless Nebuchadnezzar saw himself, as described in the book of Daniel, as god. And, Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel and carried her rulers and people off into captivity.
Saddam Hussein's mission in life has been to promote pan-Arab unity as the modern equivalent of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian empire - thus his predisposition to invade his neighbors. Secondly, like Nebuchadnezzar, his great desire was to eliminate the nation of Israel.
The Iraqi leader had also proclaimed himself as the successor of the Muslim warrior, Saladin, who captured Jerusalem in the 12th Century. Furthermore, the Iraqi leader had claimed to be a descendant of Muhammad. Though a "secular" Muslem, having Muhammad's blood flowing in his veins gave him legitimacy for carrying out his life's mission.
Now, the "Christian Coalition" has toppled the successor of Nebuchadnezzar, Saladin and Muhammad.
It is to our great advantage to remember that all battles are primarily won or lost in the heavenlies through the warring forces of good and evil. Such a glimpse is given us when Elisha prayed that his servant would see that "the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha" insuring Israel's victory. (II Kgs. 6:16)
Watching this war unfold day by day on television, we could not help but see through the eyes of our spirit the tremendous war that was going on over the skies of ancient Babylon. It is far more than a physical war on the battlefield - although that has been fierce. The battle in the heavenlies has incompassed confrontations in the UN, in France, in Russia and Syria. It is Satan's mother of all battles for the minds of the Iraqi people, the Arab peoples and the nations of the world.
It has reminded us so much of the first fierce battle that we watched George W. Bush engage in. It was in Florida, November-December, 2000. For 33 days, we viewed the mind-boggling conflict over who would be the next president of the United States. As we watched the events zigzag and seesaw back and forth; with surprise players entering the stage and exiting; with skirmishes, court actions and counteractions; we could feel the reverberation of the gigantic battle above in the heavens.
As we learned a whole new vocabulary - chads, hanging chads and dimpled chads - and while the nation anguished over whether overseas ballots would be counted or not, and which court would decide what, we could feel, though thousands of miles away, the people of America praying. We knew that somehow this battle would affect the future destiny of the United States. Finally, a bruised but victorious George W. Bush emerged. He had stood in faith; he had won.
Only after 9/11 did the people of God who had interceded so diligently, praying that God would grant victory to His choice, understand why President Bush had been raised up at this time.
With single-mindedness, he went after Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and terrorist groups and then Iraq. Though in the past Israelis have generally felt more support from Democrats than Republicans, Israelis are acknowledging that President Bush has been a better friend and more understanding of Israel's needs than any other U.S. president in the history of modern Israel.
As the challenge of uprooting Saddam Hussein's regime and removing WMD came to a boil with the UN, the two Christian leaders were again tested to the outer limits. Would they stand for what they belived to be right or would they buckle to world pressure? Again, the future of world events rested upon these two men.
WHY HAS GOD GIVEN THE ALLIES THE VICTORY?
The Bible gives the clues to the ways of the Lord.
Obviously Saddam Hussein is a modern false god. His graven images and likeness appears everywhere in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of them - possibly more than any other false god in the history of mankind. God Himself has smashed them to the ground - with tanks.
"And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!" Then he answered and said, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground." Isaiah 21:9
Secondly, the last time Saddam was shown speaking on video (although no one knows whether it was recorded before or after the war had started), he blasphemed God. Here are excerpts of his speech:
"You (Allied forces) relied on your god and now it is clear to everyone your aggression." Then speaking to his followers, he said, "Strike them with a spirit of jihad. We will continue our pact with Allah and he is our witness."
The Bible clearly shows that God may choose to bring down rulers who blaspheme His Name, as shown in I Kings 20:23 when Syria attacked Israel. The Lord promised Ahab - though one of the most wicked kings Israel ever had - that Ahab would defeat the blaspheming Syrian king because he said, "Their gods are gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger than they."
The Lord, through a prophet, told Ahab that because of that blasphemy, "I will deliver all this great multitude in your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord."
Indeed, the spiritual situation in America and the U.K. is very reminiscent of the times of the Kings of Israel and Judah. Out of a total of 39 kings between them, only eight were righteous, all kings of Judah. And even when a righteous king rose up, many in the land would worship a combination of the God of Israel and false gods. Yet God often answered the cry of His chosen people until the cup of wrath was full and God gave them over to their enemies.
Today, there is no doubt that there are many godly people in America, Great Britain and Australia. Even in other allied nations such as Spain and Eastern European nations, there are a growing number of praying believers. It is certain that because of praying people, miracles such as the return of the POW's were granted by God.
The American and British armies which invaded Iraq are, without doubt, the most compassionate, humane army ever to fight a war. This is an extremely important factor, besides being a righteous act, which will prepare the Iraqi people to be introduced to the God of compassion and love, not just the god of wrath, represented by Allah.
CAN THE GOSPEL BE BROUGHT TO IRAQ?
We know God's plan for Iraq is that the Gospel be brought to its people. Yet we have come to the conclusion that it is humanly impossible. But, so what? Yeshua said, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
With faith, nothing is impossible. God will open Iraq to the Gospel, if we pray in faith believing, and are as determined in this spiritual war as Bush and Blair have been in the military phase.
First of all we must pray for the establishment of a truly democratic state. Yes, we know that there has never ever been a democratic Arab state - never. And the Iraqis have never experienced democracy - not even for a single day. Yet, we must pray in faith for the impossible.
We were quite amazed to read that Nabeel Musawi, the right-hand man of Ahmad Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress, told an Israeli journalist that the INC wants not only a democratic Iraq, but one that has relations with Israel. Chalabi, who has lived in the U.K. for many years has been brought to Iraq by the Pentegon. Yet, no one knows if the INC will have a role to play in the new Iraqi government or not, as the Iraqis will decide. It will depend on his ability to connect with local Iraqis. Certainly, this subject of new Iraqi leadership should be a major prayer point for all believers everywhere. We must pray that God will place in office His choices. Even if these men and women do not know the Lord, He can anoint them to do His will, even as He anointed Cyrus, King of Persia.
Incidentally, Musawi also said that the INC, if they had any say in the matter, did not want Palestinians in their country because they regard them as a fifth column and among the most faithful followers of Saddam. According to Musawi, the Palestinians in Kuwait had identified many of Kuwait's officials to Saddam's invading army in 1990, most of whom were never heard of again. Kuwait subsequently expelled a half million Palestinians from their country.
Another very important point: there are already some born-again Iraqis, especially among the Kurds. Fox News announced that Mozul has the largest Christian population in Iraq. About three percent of Iraqis are considered Christian, possibly many of those nominal. Yet there is a core of God's people in that land.
We know of a number of believers from Israel who have been slipping into Kurdish-controlled country for years and helping the Christians in northern Iraq establish congregations and evangelize the Kurdish people.
We must not rest for a moment in this spiritual war that has only begun. Neither can we think for a moment that victory is guaranteed because God has been gracious to the Allies thus far. Remember that although Arafat is no match for Israel's formidable military force, suicide bombers and snipers have brought Israel to the edge of devastation, ruining her economy, threatening her very existence. We must pray that God will supernaturally send his heavenly armies to defeat the paramilitaries, the foreign terrorists and paramilitary forces sent by Satan to harass the Allies and to impede the plan of God for Iraq.
Furthermore, it is our belief that we must pray earnestly against another enemy of the Gospel, none other than the United Nations, which is attempting to control events in Iraq. We must remember that the UN, a consortium of 191 nations is made up of the following:
- 57 Islamic states
- Pagan nations (Hinduism, Shin-toism, Buddhism, Communism, etc.)
- Humanistic states with godless values.
Only a minority of these 191 nations have a significant presence of God-fearing people.
Therefore, if the UN takes charge of rebuilding a new Iraq, it will most certainly greatly hinder the Gospel. Indeed the UN will voice its reluctant approval for some kind of ambiguous democracy, but will emphatically declare that it will not tolerate evangelizing Muslims, which would be considered detrimental to the "peace" and "stability" of the region. The 57 Islamic nations will see to that, and there will be hardly any to oppose Islamic sentiments, or as the electronic media calls it, Islamic rage.
To win the spiritual war, America and Great Britain will again have to go it alone for all practical purposes. The victory will be won first in the prayer closet, and secondly through the willingness of the Body of Messiah to equip and send servants of the Lord to the Iraqi people - servants who are as willing to give of themselves as the young men and women of the Allied armies have been.
PRACTICAL PRAYERS FOR THE IRAQI PEOPLE
- That God will in mercy help the Iraqi people form an honorable and virtuous government made up of people who will work together for the good of the nation.
- That God will raise up Iraqi leaders who will govern honestly and wisely and will create a true democracy allowing the Iraqi people to be free to hear the Gospel.
- That every Iraqi will have access to a Bible - Old and New Testaments! (Not just the New)
- That God will raise up Christian television that can be seen throughout Iraq.
- That God will raise up Christian Iraqi radio stations, and help believers publish and distribute millions of Gospel books throughout Iraq.
- That a great army of dedicated men and women sent by God will be commissioned and equipped by the Body of believers to minister life to the Iraqi people.
- That God will raise up Iraqi and Arabic-speaking spiritual leaders to evangelize Iraq.
- That those sending and those sent will strengthen, help and cooperate with the born-again believers already there. That, when appropriate, those sent would realize it is more important to bless and assist the Iraqis than to establish American or British controlled churches and institutions.
- That there will be peace between Iraq and Israel.
- That the propaganda war will be won and the incredible lies so easily believed by both Islamic peoples and humanistic nations will be exposed for what they are.
- That the U.S. and the U.K. will humbly give glory to God for the victory.
- Pray for the overthrow of the demon god Allah and his power over the Iraqi people.
- Pray that the ancient spiritual strongholds of Shia holy places will be demolished. For example, in the city of Karbala is where two of Mohammed's grandsons fought against the Sunnis and they and their small band of warriors were all killed. This event's significance for Shiites is likened to the crucifixion with Christians. Another stronghold is Najaf where the cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed is buried. This is where the two clerics were hacked to death a few weeks ago. These demonic Shia strong holds must be brought down by intense, focused intercession and warfare.
- Pray that God will pour out His Spirit upon the Iraqi people. Pray for incredible supernatural acts of salvation, healing and even the raising of the dead. Remember that even Nebuchadnezzar - after seeing a series of enormous miracles including dreams, witnessing three Jewish men survive after failure to burn them alive, and finally receiving a curse upon himself which caused him to lose his mind for seven years - even this Babylonian tyrant gave public witness to the glorious King of Heaven. There is great hope for the Iraqi people.
- Last, but not least, pray that there will be a tremendous spiritual awakening among the young men and women of the armies of America and Great Britain in Iraq. Pray that they in turn will have the privilege of leading Iraqi people to the God of Israel, who sent his Son, that they might not perish but have everlasting life.
The nation of Israel is waiting for their Messiah, and we are the Messiah's hands and feet! We just have to give them a chance!
For the preaching of the Gospel to the ends of the world,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. The Israeli people will one day thank you.
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