By Shira Sorko-Ram
Yet, having grown up in the U.S. and having lived the majority of my life in Israel, I bear the sorrow of being an eyewitness to the increasing load of sin, the ever-rising cup of wrath, in both nations, and what is worse, the increasing acceptance of sinful behavior by believers, those who are called by His Name. It is because I love Israel and America that I grieve to see the ever-widening gap between the values of our founding fathers - whether it be Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or George Washington - and our peoples today.
I could talk about adultery and fornication, or about abortion and homosexuality. I could speak about higher education's idolatrous, irrational love affair with evolution and humanism, and its mockery of God - making its case through scholarly books and authoritative journals to almost every nation in the world Then there are addictions that have overwhelmed our youth - drugs, alcohol, gambling and of course pornography which is now available through the internet in virtually everyone's private dwelling.
Or there is the omnipresent New Age mumbo jumbo of half-truths, false gods and aliens which are prevalent in everything from rocks and tarot cards, to satanic churches and the billion-dollar business of children's toys. And what about honesty and integrity in big business, or for that matter, in the lives of individuals? Or what about the courts’ decisions against the public display of Ten Command-ments and children praying together?
But let's take just one example - easy to talk about because it is so blatant. In the last two years, I have been to two movies. I walked out of both of them because of the foul language and more-than-suggestive scenes. It has occurred to me that if I were watching a movie that turned anti-Semitic and begin to denigrate and malign the Jewish people, I wouldn't consider staying in my seat. How, then, can I sit in a movie that defames and scorns the name of my God, or portrays values which my God hates?
Islamics in the Arab world do not see
America and the "Christian" western world as moral.
50,000,000 Christians residing in the U.S. - or at least that is the figure given of those who claim to be Christians. So I ask myself, how is it that these millions of Christians cannot pressure Hollywood to produce at least versions of movies that are clean? With such a large lobby, there is no doubt in my mind that they could quickly convince Hollywood to do just that. How? Refuse to attend any movie rated anything but "G", and let Hollywood know that if they produce clean versions of decent movies, their hungry coffers would experience financial reward.
But no! Movies as a rule not only break every one of the Ten Commandments, but also express contempt toward God and anything to do with His followers. Evangelicals are normally portrayed as dour prudes or conniving fanatics. However, notice that there is no such treatment whatsoever toward followers of Islam. Not a sound. Not a whisper.
Why? Because Hollywood is afraid - for good reason. But they are not afraid of Christians, because Christians go with the flow.
Please understand one thing. I'm not asking you to agree. Just to understand. Americans (as do Israelis) regard themselves as moral - at least far more moral than most other nations of the world. But Islamics in the Arab world do NOT see America and the "Christian" West as moral. They see the U.S. as the principle purveyor of public sewage - through movies, cable and satellite TV. What does it teach them? That America is the home of adultery, hypocritical religious types, homosexuality, abortions, business crooks in high places and lovers of La Dolce Vita. Drugs, addictions and sexual perversion are the meat of the now-generation. The U.S., as has Israel, has become a veritable Sodom and Gomorrah. That's how Islam sees it. (Of course, Islam is utterly blind to her worship of a demon god that teaches murder, lies and violence in order to promote its goal of world domination.).
What I see is that many of God's people are asleep. Most prophecies I read are those concerning God's intention to prosper the American people. Of course, that is absolutely true. But how can He do it when the majority of Americans have turned their back on God? (These observations I believe apply also to Canada, Great Britain and Australia, with whom the U.S. shares a common God-given heritage)
When I hear only encouragement and blessing being prophesied, somehow I think of the Old Testament prophets - God's men - who were not afraid to tell Israel that she was heading for disaster if she did not humble herself and repent.
Who preaches repentance today? But you say, it's so indigestible. No one today would listen to such a message. We respond, the prophets of the Bible found themselves very unpopular - especially when they referred to the "normal" prophets who only spoke of good - as false prophets.
Does God want us to prophesy the good intentions of our God towards us? Of course. Thus spoke the prophets of old. But they also continually warned of what sin will do to a nation. Our prophets of today must do the same.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and all the Biblical prophets spoke of the great things God was and is ready to do for his people. But their foretelling was always, always connected to repentance and the humbling of the nation and the individual.
I say all this because the article following by Asher Intrater, our close associate and friend, is strong. I fear that many may not even want to consider the warning. I can only say, as a sinner saved by grace, that in such a critical time, when a madman has chemical and biological weapons and perhaps even nuclear weapons, it is worth taking stock, and humbling ourselves before God. When a despicable dictator who starves his people in Asia now has ballistic missiles capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast, we must cry out to God, that He might yet have mercy and save us from catastrophe.
America the Beautiful! Israel, the land of Milk and Honey! Great Britain, the Hallowed Ground that has known nation-wide revival! Oh, how God wants to gather our children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. Are we willing?
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O COLUMBIA, O PALESTINE
By Asher Intrater
Sometimes we believers can get a little "spooky" by looking at every event as a sign from heaven. It borders on being superstitious. On the other hand, it's difficult not to see the biblical symbolism in the events connected with the Columbia space shuttle disaster. It seems that it is too much to overlook or chalk off as mere coincidence.
Let's review some of the well-known elements:
- Columbia - The name Columbia represents the American dream - the thirst for a new world, horizons without limits, success with no boundaries.
- Palestine - The shuttle was first sighted as disintegrating "over" Palestine, Texas.
- Heavenlies - The space program was in the "heavenlies" which biblically represents spiritual authority and dominion.
- Texas - Is obviously the home of George W. Bush, and the home of American oil interests as well.
- Falling Star - The shuttle appeared to be a star falling out of heaven when it disintegrated. A star falling is also the sign of the fall of a world power.
- Seven Flags - There were six Americans and one Israeli on the flight symbolizing the partnership between America and Israel.
- Iraq - Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut was one of the pilots who flew in the mission that successfully bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981.
Sometimes the Bible has pointed out that a small symbolic defeat can be a warning of a potentially larger defeat close at hand.
If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him. Esther 6:13
In this passage Haman's wife Zeresh warns him that his humbling experience before Mordecai is a spiritual sign that he is about to have a bigger fall. In the current situation, the symbolism is somewhat reversed.
I am not prophesying, but merely making a comment on the obvious symbolism here. The message is two-fold:
- That the U.S. (and Israel with it) may suffer a humil- iating defeat in the Iraqi war.
- That the U.S. and Israeli partnership could stand to disintegrate over the Palestinian issue.
Please understand, I do not see this as a judgment, but as a warning. In other words, this has not been decreed to happen, but is a warning of what could happen if there is not appropriate prayer and repentance.
Simply put, God is calling the believers in Israel, America, Great Britain and around the world to give themselves to immediate intercessory prayer and moral repentance in this time right before the impending war in Iraq.
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14
Some of the prophetic interpretations coming from Christian Zionists and Messianic Jews place an emphasis on criticizing the stated willingness of Bush and Sharon and Blair to allow for a Palestinian state if conditions were right. They point out that a Palestinian state would be tantamount to the sin of "dividing up God's holy land."
I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land. Joel 3:2
It is true that the failure of the nations to recognize God's covenant with Israel - that the land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, is a great sin. It is such a great sin that it is part of what leads up to the very battle of Armageddon at the Second Coming of Yeshua. We believe strongly in defending Israel's right to live in this land, even militarily. I myself have two sons serving at this time in battle units in the Israeli army.
However, the issue here has a lot more to it than simply right-wing politics or Zionist ideology. We need to ask ourselves, "What is God saying to us as believers in Jesus (Yeshua)?" It is true that the ownership of the land of Israel is one of the important issues here. However, seeing the occupation of the land as the only issue gives an unbalanced perspective. The "land only" view does not involve humility and repentance on our part.
We read above in II Chronicles 7:14 that the solution lies within us, as the "people who are called by My name." We cannot just point the finger at the politicians and the Muslims. We have to deal with our own sin. If we will deal with our own sin as a people of God, then God will hear from heaven and heal the rest of the land. In other words we deal with spiritual sins within the community of faith, and God takes care of the issues concerning the land and the politics.
Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3
Our job is four-fold: to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek God's face and to repent. Humbling ourselves means to remove pride. We need to remove spiritual pride, intellectual pride, religious pride, theological pride, nationalist pride and ethnic pride. We as Americans and Israelis don't realize how big this plank is in our eyes, and how easily it is seen by others. (I say that as one who has dual citizenship, both American and Israeli - and quite proud of it!)
We are to pray. In this case, prayer means prayer together with fasting. The times are urgent and we need to give ourselves to prayer and fasting. The prayer and fasting of the city of Nineveh saved the city of Jonah from impending disaster and judgment (Jonah 3:5-10).
There is a subtle deception in the Western Christian world (including us Messianic Jews) in which we have taught the Bible as a system of spiritual principles through which we can be blessed. There is much truth to that. I believe in God's total blessing, prosperity and victory. However, we have put more emphasis on the principles than on the "principal". We have missed the central focus of our personal relationship with God.
We are called to turn from our wicked ways. Most of the world does not look at Israel and America as holding higher standards of integrity. What they see is lust and greed. We pump out sexual immorality all over the world through media and entertainment, yet we expect the world to see us as holy. We are riddled with scandals and corruption in politics and business, yet we expect the world to see us as righteous.
A clear biblical example of hindrance to military victory stands out in my mind -- the sin of Achan at Ai. God told Joshua that the reason they had suffered a defeat was because there was sin in the camp. If they would remove that sin, victory would come.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
Our job is to seek God and to seek His higher standards of moral purity. Then He will take care of the blessings. I'm sorry if this sounds like I'm "preaching," but isn't that what we are supposed to be doing?
Yeshua said He would restore Israel as we concentrated on the infilling of the Holy Spirit and witnessing for the gospel (Acts 1). I am 100% percent for the prophecies of the restoration of Zion, but we have to keep evangelism as a higher priority. My boys (Israeli soldiers) carry with them guns to defend against terrorists, but more importantly, they carry with them the witness of Yeshua and eternal salvation for our people.
We would do well to remember that our first job is to preach the gospel. The occupying of the land today is done not only by physical settlement, but also and firstly by preaching the kingdom of God. Some prophetic or Messianic or Christian Zionist ministries have lowered their emphasis on evangelism, and therefore have over-emphasized the issues of the land.
I believe God wants to give victory to America and Israel, to remove the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, and to bless the partnership between America and Israel. However, that is not going to happen without deep intercessory prayer and true moral repentance.
On a final note - investigation indicates that a small piece possibly broke off at the take off. That little piece though almost unnoticed may have caused the damage that ultimately destroyed the shuttle. They couldn't fix it because they were already in space. What I'm writing about here may seem to some like a small insignificant piece. Let us deal with it now, so that it will not cause greater difficulty later. We have the power in prayer to go into the heavenlies and fix whatever is not working right.
If we do our part of intercession and repentance, and keep our primary focus on preaching the Gospel, I believe God will do His part in bringing the victory. (www.revive-israel.org)
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"THE STATUE OF LIBERTY" PROPHESYING ON BENDED KNEES
A prophecy from Bill Yount
In the Spirit I saw the Statue of Liberty standing tall and proud, and then suddenly she was kneeling on her knees. Her lowly posture seemed to be a prophetic act, as though she was prophesying to America - "Your greatest weapon is your knees! If you think you stand, take heed lest you fall! If you fall on your knees to me now in repentance, I will cause you to stand tall again."
With her head bowed low, a large Jewish prayer shawl like a mantle from above came down over her head and shoulders. This lady then began travailing and weeping in intercession for Israel . The prayer shawl seemed to signify another prophetic act as she continued to prophesy.
"Oh America, you have been brought to the Kingdom for such a time as this. Your real war is in the Spirit to cry out for My beloved Israel for their salvation and deliverance. If you will defend My chosen people this hour, I will be your defense! And I will put My fear of you back into the nations that are coming against you! No weapon formed against you shall prosper! And they that contend with you will find themselves contending with Me!"
"Turn your hearts toward JerUSAlem, My homeland and yours! And I will turn My heart towards you." (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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