By Shira Sorko-Ram
Yesterday was the second day of Purim, the holiday celebrated by Jews for 2500 years in memory of the divine deliverance of the Jewish people from the wicked enemy Haman.
The first Gulf War ended on the first day of Purim, 1991. This year, the two days of Purim fell on the 48-hour, last-chance period President George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein.
And now the war has begun. For the born-again believers in Israel, America and Great Britain who are not fighting the physical battle, our foremost task is to watch and pray. It is not an overstatement to argue that this war is a crossroads for the future direction of the world.
If the U.S. and Great Britain and their allies come out of this war victorious, then the U.S. will continue to be, for now, the principal world power. If catastrophe occurs and the war goes badly, then the rise of a politically powerful European Union will lead the humanistic UN towards one-world dominance.
The leaders of the United Nations and the European Union make little pretension to be a people of God. Europe has, for the most part, turned its back on God. The UN is made up principally of nations of pagan religions. With one voice, they have shown, with their resolutions, to be against the God of Israel and the God of the Bible.
The UN has busied itself with numerous resolutions against Israel and nary a word against Palestinian terrorism. The Belgium government has let it be known that they are continuing with proceedings to bring to trial the Israeli Prime Minister for crimes against humanity. The EU is working on plans to increase boycotts against Israel. The god of this world, who hates Israel because Israel is the apple of God's eye, is overseeing the activities of the UN. Now the UN, as an organization, has turned against the Allied forces who are convinced they must protect their nations from an infamous dictator with WMD.
GOD'S PLAN FOR IRAQ
No doubt there would be many Americans and Brits who would take offense at our assertion that God is on our side. But we have no doubt that this is indeed true. And here's the reason: GOD WANTS A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING IN IRAQ!
For nation will rise against nation…all these are the beginning of sorrows…And this Gospel shall be preached as a witness to ALL nations and then shall the end come. Matt. 24:7,8,14
We know from the Bible that the Lord wants to return to the earth and take His bride.
But as the farmer, he waits patiently for the harvest. (James 5:7) The Gospel must be preached in Iraq. In Iran. In Syria, Lebanon, Saudia Arabia and Yemen and in all the 22 Arab Muslim dictatorial nations.
This can only happen through a crushing defeat of the god Allah.
For this reason, we believe, God has raised up a righteous leader, George W. Bush. For this reason, God has given him an extraordinarily brave and courageous ally in Tony Blair, who, when asked by a BBC reporter, said, "Yes, I am a Christian."
And now, God has granted these two leaders another 35 nations as allies, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Australia, Japan and ten FSU nations.
God did not allow the godless leaders of France and Germany, Russia and China to prevail at this time. We believe that God has presented these two Christian leaders and their allies with the privilege of bringing liberty to the Iraqi people, that they might be delivered from their oppressive Pharaoh.
Look at what the New York Times tells us about the possibilities!
"As the military commander in chief, the president [Bush] will have virtually unlimited power to change and rebuild Iraq as he sees fit, far greater power for example than Queen Victoria's over India in the 19th century.
"Spokesmen for the White House say the president's plan for Iraq are fair and generous: to root out the worst elements of Mr. Hussein's Baath Party, and to create a constitution and government that will make it a beacon of democracy for the Arab world." (March 16, 2003)
However, the Lord God who so loved the world, does not only want to free Iraq from an evil tyrant. He wants to make this ancient Babylonian nation into a true beacon for eternal life! You see, if we really believe in heaven and hell, then foremost in our minds will be the harvest. And we must always bear in mind that the harvest is GREAT. The problem, the Lord explained, is that there is a great lack of workers.
So we must pray for victory in this physical war. And then we must pray for God TO SEND WORKERS IMMEDIATELY INTO IRAQ TO PREACH THE GOSPEL. Be assured, that this battle for the souls of the Iraqi people is a major conflict of cosmic proportion in the heavenlies. It can be won only with tremendous spiritual warfare being waged by God's people. There will be a short window of opportunity which will then close if we do not prevail.
Remember Japan after World War II when General McArthur called on the United States to send missionaries to a broken Japan, as she was ripe for the Gospel. Almost no one responded and the window of opportunity has been virtually shut for over 50 years. (see below)
We must pray for dedicated, trained, skillful workers - with an anointing to reach Muslims and who know how to navigate cross-cultural sensitivities. This is the task of all believers - to preach the Gospel to every creature and to make disciples in all nations.
This is also the task of the Jewish people - to be a light to the nations. If there is a difference of opinion between God-fearing leaders and godless leaders today, let us see what happens when American and British evangelists and pastors begin making headway in the spiritual harvest field in Iraq!
Our job is to pray for victory for the allies and to pray for revival in Iraq. We must pray for the setting up of a free and democratic government in Iraq where the Gospel can be freely preached, disciples be nourished and taught, and Iraqi spiritual leaders be raised up. They can then begin to reach into other Arab nations. Just think! MaozIsrael already has a contributor from an Arab nation who gives and prays for Israel! This is God's peace plan!
The Scriptures are our warfare manual and Israel is God's example in the Bible of how He deals with nations. When Israel sinned, her nation was attacked. When Israel repented, she was victorious because God defeated her enemies. As God dealt with His beloved Israel, so will He deal with the nations.
God is certainly calling the Allied nations to solemn repentance so that He can give them victory. We have noted that Jim Goll of Ministry to the Nations is calling for a National Day of Prayer - a response which is exactly what brought Israel victory. Goll points out that President Bush Senior called for a National Day of Prayer on Sunday, February 3, 1991.
Other presidents such as George Washington, John Adams, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln called for a National Day of Prayer.
Also Rabbis in Israel and the U.S. have been calling for a day of prayer and fasting. In fact, many Jews, including Messianic Jews, fasted the day before Purim, as did Queen Esther and her maidens for three days - a fast that brought deliverance to the Jewish people.
As the war moves forward, let us repent for our nations and let us stand against the Islamization of Israel's land. God's Word is sure and cannot fail. "I will bless them who bless thee and I will curse them that curse thee."
Let us pray for a spiritual army of dedicated men and women, full of love for the Iraqi people, to invade that land with the Gospel. And let us continue to evangelize the Israeli people who must fulfill their national calling - to take part in world revival. (Rom. 11)
May God have mercy upon us and grant us victory.
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TERRORIST VICTIM BECOMES STRONG WITNESS TO ISRAELIS
Teenager Abigail Litle, whose father worked for the Southern Baptist Con-vention in Israel, and whose family lived in Haifa, was killed by a suicide terrorist bomb last month. Her death has had an amazing impact on the entire nation because of the testimony this young girl left behind. The subject of Yeshua has, again, become a continuously returning subject for discussion on TV, radio and the press. Only heaven can calculate the tremendous influence this little girl's death will have on bringing to the fore the wonderful gift of salvation God has granted to His Jewish people. The following report is given by Noam Hendren, pastor of Congregation Keren Yeshua in Tel Aviv.
A suicide bomber, bent on terrorizing the Israeli people, claimed the lives of 16 innocent victims, many of them teens and soldiers. Abigail Litle, age 14, daughter of Phillip and Heidi and sister to Josiah, Hannah, Elishua, and Noah, was killed instantly. The emergency medical personnel tried in vain to revive Abigail, unaware that her Savior had already gathered her life in His arms and carried her home to Himself.
At her funeral, some thousand mourners--Messianic believers and non-believers, neighbors and schoolmates--whose lives had been touched by Abigail's life or death, gathered to comfort the grieving family and to honor her memory at the Messianic congregational cemetery in Haifa. They were joined by the mayor of Haifa, the US ambassador, and Knesset Member Yuval Steinitz, who came to share official condolences with the family and those gathered. Radio and TV reporters, Israeli and international, were present to cover the event. But this was not to be just another terrorist-victim funeral.
The service began with a cloudy sky casting an appropriate pall over Abigail's casket, which was draped with Israeli and American flags and perched above its final resting-place. Addressing those gathered in Hebrew, Abigail's father, at times his voice breaking, spoke of dreams for his daughter's future which would never come true and the immeasurable void which her death left in his own heart and in the hearts of each of his family members.
Yet Phil confessed his unshakeable confidence that though Abigail's body lay in the nearby coffin, Abigail was not present with us today. Rather, she was fully alive and enjoying the presence of the Lord Yeshua, into whose hands she had committed her life as Savior. He would deeply miss Abigail, but they would also surely meet again, face to face and forever.
Abigail's pastor and non-believing friends from her school all testified to the impact that this young girl's faith and love had on those around her. Even those who had not known her personally could not help but be convinced that Abigail had something very unique to give, and that she gave it freely.
Pastor Daniel Yahav of the Peniel Congregation in Tiberius, speaking "as a Jew, as an Israeli, as a Zionist, and as a follower of Messiah", served as a representative of the local Messianic Jewish community in embracing the Litles in their grief and loss and affirming our unity of faith and destiny in Yeshua the Messiah.
By the time the visiting dignitaries had their turn, the clouds had cleared and bright sunlight flooded the cemetery. Death had been swallowed up in victory; grief tempered, even sweetened, by the confident hope of a future joyous reunion. God had been magnified and glorified and His Son Yeshua powerfully presented as the true source of life and hope for all men.
MK Steinitz recognized that this was a unique family, which had linked its fate with that of the Jewish people and its national "redemption", and shared in the price of that redemption with the tragic loss of their daughter. Both he and the US ambassador spoke of the Litles as somehow symbolic of the linkage between America and Israel, but Steinitz clearly saw that it was their Messianic faith which had given them this special love and commitment to the Jewish people. He welcomed them, and the Messianic congregations generally, as partners in our national cause.
Following the ceremony, one after another of the non-believers present, expressed their awe at what they had just witnessed. A TV correspondent, who had covered many such funerals, confessed that this was the first time she had been brought to tears by what she saw and heard. The police commander supervising security arrangements, a confident unbeliever, could not help but acknowledge the "truth" of our faith. Similarly Steinitz, with whom Abigail's pastor, Shmuel Aweida, had shared the Gospel as he prepped him the day before the ceremony, had to acknowledge that he had glimpsed a true faith that went far beyond mere religion.
The correspondent for Reshet Bet radio insisted that his editor interview Shmuel for the evening news program, broadcast between 5-6pm. As we drove home, we heard the live interview: Shmuel was asked "What is a Messianic Jewish congregation?" His clear, sensitive reply was a wonderful testimony to the Messiahship of Yeshua, His atoning work, and the commitment of those who believe in Him to our people and country.
Please pray that the ongoing testimony to the saving power of Yeshua the Messiah--as a result of these events--would continue to fill Abigail's death with meaning and significance. And please continue to pray for the Litle family, that the Lord would graciously comfort and strengthen them in their great loss.
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GOD’S PLAN FOR JAPAN WAS IGNORED
By Rose Weiner and Jay Rogers
The Muslim world was looking for a hero in Saddam Hussein. Instead they found a cruel man exposed in all of his vicious brutality. The humiliation of Iraq tells the story of the many people groups living in this area. Within Iraq there are Persians, Arabs, Palestinians, Kurdish and many other nationalities. The political boundary lines of Iraq do not speak of one nation, but of the cruel oppression of many.
This is similar to the conquest of Asia by the Japanese, when they surrendered after their defeat in World War II. The Emperor of Japan, Hirohito, surrendered not only his weapons and military forces but also surrendered his gods, believing that they were inadequate and unable to help the Japanese people. Observing the kindness in which the United States soldiers treated the defeated Japanese, he stated that he had never seen an army like the Americans that did not rape, pillage and brutalize the captured foe.
Because of this, he requested that Christian missionaries be sent to Japan to teach the Japanese about the God of the Christians. General Douglas McArthur asked for 1000 missionaries to come to the broken and receptive people of Japan. The church yawned and very few responded to the call. Today, Japan has become an economic giant but has a spiritual vacuum for a heart.
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