One lesson the book of Job teaches is about the battle going on in the heavenlies. God wanted to teach Job — and all generations — about the war going on for the souls of mankind. Daniel 12:2, 12 and Ephesians 6:10-12 also reveal the intensity of this battle.
Israel: Center of Conflict
But why is Israel so central to this age-old battle? What is it about Israel that is so attractive? Surely it is not Israel’s natural beauty. I have traveled to Israel many times and over 75 other countries of the world. When compared to places like the Alps of Europe and Switzerland, beautiful tropical islands, or the natural parks of America, Israel’s beauty does not come close. Is it then the natural resources that attract the enemies of Israel to conquer the land? Israel is hardly worth the dirt and sand it rests on. In fact, much of Israel is arid with literally nothing growing on it. Without irrigation and the revitalization which began less than 60 years ago as Israel became a nation, the land would be a virtual desert. No, it is not Israel’s beauty or natural resources that cause the surrounding Arab nations to want this place.
Jerusalem: Key to Conflict
So what is the source of all the conflict? The answer is Jerusalem. The reason Israel is so attractive to her enemies is Jerusalem. Yet Jerusalem cannot compare to the beauty of cities like Paris, London, or Rome. Every major city in the world has great attributes: size, architecture, wealth and major tourist attractions. What makes Jerusalem much more sought after than the other major cities of the world? The answer is found in the Bible. Jerusalem is known for belonging to God, and God has chosen to place His Name there. Some day all peoples of every nation will come and worship His Name in this Holy City. Jerusalem will be the praise center of the earth. The Bible declares Jerusalem is the city of
God. We read in Psalm 132:13, 14:
“For the LOR D has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling: ‘This is my resting place forever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.’”
In 2 Chronicles 33:7, God says:
“In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever.”
The Temple Mount: Focal Point of the Conflict
More specifically, the point of the conflict is the Temple Mount where the first and second Temples were built and destroyed. Presently the Temple Mount is the home of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa — the Islamic mosque of worship to the moon god. As my sister Shira Sorko-Ram and her husband, Ari, stated in the April Maoz newsletter, “It is a cosmic
war, the epicenter of the spiritual struggle over the destiny of the human race.”
The Temple Mount is where Abraham offered Isaac up to God on the altar — an act of ultimate worship. It is where Solomon erected the Temple for the people of God to worship. The Temple Mount is the place where all people will some day gather to worship the God of Creation. The Bible is clear on this point:
“At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD” (Jer. 3:17).
“In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LOR D, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:2,3).
Satan: The Root of the Conflict
Satan’s greatest heart desire is to be worshiped. We read in Isaiah of Satan’s ejection from the presence of God. Isaiah 14 reveals the five “I will’s” of Satan.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High’” (Isa. 14:12-14, emphasis added).
All of Satan’s “I will’s” indicate his desire to be higher on the ladder. He wants to be God; He wants to be worshiped. When Satan tempted Christ, Jesus responded,
“And he [Satan] said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only’” (Luke 4:6-8).
Satan’s nature always attempts to turn worship to himself. Jesus, on the other hand, always turns the conversation toward the Father.
Pivotal Conflict on Planet Earth: Worship
The biggest battle on planet Earth is over who or what each of us is going to worship. Man is created to be a worshiper. Man will worship something or someone. Satan’s ultimate goal is for man to worship him. We read in Revelation 13 that many people will worship him. It is also evident from Scripture and current-day events that Satan is obsessed with the Temple Mount. It is there where Satan tempted Jesus to jump off the pinnacle so people could see a miracle of preservation. The Holy of Holies is where God’s glory is revealed, and by tempting Jesus, Satan hoped to capture it; but he was unsuccessful. Hundreds of years later, Satan seduced his servant Caliph Omar in the 7th Century to take possession of the Mount — the place destined for the King of kings and Lord of lords. Now Satan is seeking his second chance on the mountain of God — the Temple Mount. However, his departure will be quick
“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev 20:10).
Israel: Center of Worship
“This is what the Sovereign LOR D says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her” (Ezek. 5:5).
Half of the 2000 strong participants at the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America Conference as they worship the God of Israel
Israel is the center of the world geographically. It is the navel of Asia, Africa and Europe. It is a center of the world for revelation. It is where Moses wrote the law; where the prophets lived and taught; where the Bible was written. It is the place where the Messiah was birthed; where He lived, taught, was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead, ascending to heaven. It is also where He will return again.
This is why Israel is the battlefront of the entire world and why it will be the place of the last battle fought on earth. It will be the center of God’s glory because the Messiah will rule and reign over the earth from Jerusalem. It will be the eternal center of worship to the one and only True God.
God has created, decreed, loved, called, and protected Israel from her conception which began with a miracle through Abraham and Sarah. Israel continues to survive with miraculous protection. Egypt could not enslave her; the Red Sea could not drown her; Jonah’s whale could not digest her; the fiery furnace could not burn her; the gallows of Haman could not hang her; the nations of the earth could not assimilate her; the world’s most powerful dictators could not annihilate her.
Israel has experienced unspeakable persecution and atrocities from Pharaoh to Nebuchadnezzar; from Nero to Hitler; from Russia to those who call themselves Christians.
Now with more than one billion Arab neighbors, and more recently the terrorist groups of Hezbollah and Hamas, the threat of total annihilation seems imminent. However, God’s Word declares otherwise.
Israel Cannot Be Destroyed
She can’t be destroyed. As Jeremiah 31:35-37 declares: “This is what the LOR D says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar the LORD Almighty is his name: ‘Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,’ declares the LORD, ‘will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me.’ This is what the LORD says: ‘Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,’ declares the LORD.”
The Lord also gives a warning to those who have set their hearts to destroy and capture Jerusalem. He says, “On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack
Jerusalem” (Zech. 12:9).
Bone Yards of History Declare, “Israel Lives On!”
Where are those who have persecuted Israel throughout the ages? They are all historic footnotes buried in the bone yard of human history. Where is Israel where are the Jewish people? They are alive and well and at the forefront of the cosmic battle of the ages. They will still be around long after Hezbollah and Hamas have been buried in the bone yard. The Israeli flag will still be flying over the ancient walls of the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel. (“The Church and Israel” message. Christian Friends of Israel Conference. Hagee, John: 14 Sept 2006.)
Christians in Israel worshiping at the Western Wall
The War Is Not Over
“Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?’” (Rev 13:4).
Satan is not finished. Still he seduces the world and many world leaders. He may not convince Western countries to follow the moon god of Islam, but he still seeks other seductive goddesses. One of his latest tactics is the New Age Movement. This is nothing more than the same old lie Satan told Eve in the Garden, just under a new name. “We
are gods in disguise” according to New Agers. The goal, therefore, of the New Age Mirage is to discover one’s own divinity. Of course this lie began in Lucifer’s heart when he decided he wanted to be God. Then he passed on his deceptive lie to Eve in the Garden, and continues to prey on victims who want to worship themselves as god. In contrast, our God is seeking worshipers from mankind to replace those who led worship in heaven before Lucifer rebelled.
Want to Be Blessed?
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee” Ps. 122:6 (ASV). One of the most amazing principles I have learned about the nation of Israel is those who identify with her are blessed. In Genesis 12:3 we read, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” This simply means that God will bless the individual, church, institution and nation that blesses Israel.
There are numerous examples of this in Scripture. When the Israelites left Egypt at the time of the Exodus, all the Egyptians who identified with her were blessed. Later when Israel was about to enter the Promised Land, the harlot Rahab identified with the Israelites and she and her family were blessed as their lives were spared during the destruction of Jericho. Later, Ruth — who was of a pagan, gentile background — identified with her Jewish mother-in-law and was blessed so much that she is in the lineage of the Messiah.
In the New Testament, we find more examples of those who prospered. Luke 7:1 tells of the Roman centurion who received supernatural blessing as a result of his kindness to Israel. Then in Acts 10, we find a Gentile who received salvation for his love of Israel. Those who refuse to show kindness to Israel are under the judgment of God.
Our own Christ For The Nations has learned this lesson well, and identifies with Israel. My mother laboriously reminds the CFNI students of the blessings that come if they support Israel and the Jewish people.
Christians Stand United For Israel
With the whole world turning against this tiny land, about the size of the state of New Jersey, who will stand in the gap to intercede on her behalf? As Christians we must be united in support of the Jewish people. It is very clear to me that God is looking for Christians who will pray for her zealously so that her inhabitants may turn to their Messiah.
The Book of Revelation reveals a dramatic climax to world history. The final conflict of Armageddon is quickly approaching. The battle lines are forming. The closing chapter is rapidly unfolding. The ultimate and final question God asks every human being is, “Who do you choose to worship?”
Dennnis Lindsay is President and CEO/of Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas
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What We Learned On Our Vacation
By Shira Sorko-Ram
Ari and I were given a gift of a vacation this summer from a generous congregation in the U.S. We chose to go for two weeks to the Bavarian Alps we wanted to see mountains and rolling green hills and crystal rivers you know, away from noise, traffic jams and news of
war, injustice and corruption.
The vacation was a dream, a utopia, a fantasy land where it seemed that all of the evil of the
world was away on another planet. We stayed in a German hotel a hundred years old half a kilometer up in the Alps. We breathed the incredible oxygen of the mountains, said to cure everything (really) that has to do with respiratory ailments. In fact for centuries people have gone there for the cure.
We actually climbed steep slopes, sang “Singing in the Rain” as we walked under a big umbrella arm in arm as the almost daily rains washed the velvet green slopes and the gorgeous forests. Higher up, but close by, the clouds poured down snow on the crevices and peaks where only the best mountain climbers dare to tread.
In this idyllic world so gorgeous and clean we spent the first week just resting, walking,
praying and trying out little quaint restaurants with German home cooking.
The second week we ventured out a bit and only slowly became aware that we were just two
miles from the village Hitler made his home and headquarters and where he spent much of his public life. It was in Obersalzburg that this man sat on his balcony overlooking some of the most awesome scenery in this world, and while listening to the classical music of Wagner, fashioned his plan to take over the world, utterly destroy the Jewish people and set up a kingdom that would last, he said, 1000 years.
Among the beauty of nature that reflects the glorious majesty of God Himself, Hitler poured
over the studies and records showing the locations of the 16,000,000 Jews in Europe and
around the world, and planned the concentration camps where he would exterminate them.
We were told we must visit Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” a marvel of engineering where a teahouse
was perched on a craggy peak 6,000 feet up like a medieval warlord’s stronghold. Hitler entertained his guests up in the clouds, intending to overwhelm them with his super-human power and invincibility.
The teahouse is now open to the public, and Ari, being a practical man, decided he was going to have a dish of spaghetti in the place where Hitler, the Haman of the 20th century, would never have dreamed a Jew would set foot. And so we two Israelis sat in the outdoor patio and looked at the indescribable scenery and ate our spaghetti.
Looking down on the clouds gathering mist for their next downpour, I could not help but ponder the lessons of Hitler applicable to today’s Hamans. Though it is not God’s will for human beings to suffer poverty and misery, it is not those things that basically bring out the evil in man. Hitler had everything the world could offer. He became very rich from the sale of his book, Mein Kampf; he was honored by millions of his countrymen and he had a strong political base from which he could have brought great good to his nation.
Instead, he sat in his wonderland and refined the greatest execution of evil yet witnessed by mankind.
Today, the world’s politicians and journalists bemoan the fact that poverty and misery cause Islamic Jihadists to dream of Israel’s annihilation and the demise of the West. World leaders remain in denial as Al Qaida and myriad other Islamic terrorist leaders are found to come from upper classes and educated families. Bin Laden himself comes from a family who has a worth of $5 billion. (CNN special Jan 2001)
The problem is not a simple “because of poverty” problem although those who are obedient to God will always have a heart to help the poor rise out of their poverty.
The root of terror is not material, but spiritual. The root problem is the evil that is found in the human heart of unredeemed man. Today, its greatest manifestation is in the philosophy to establish an Islamic world kingdom with Sharia law.
Yet Israel is God’s “down payment,” His reminder that ultimately the righteous will inherit the earth, his showcase of how God will redeem His people from their sins. As God keeps His promise to the children of his beloved Abraham, so will He keep His promises to our children and our children’s children in answer to our prayers.
Hitler is gone in eternal judgment, while we Jews sat dining in his teahouse.
One day all evil will be erased from the world. And, as Daniel the prophet said, we “who turn many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)
The Army of the Lord that is you and that is us will be the only army that sees its goals realized!
One day the Jihadists will be gone. Bin Laden will be gone. The suicide bombers will be gone. So will all others who pursued Self instead of God.
But we have a glorious future with our Prince, the Prince of Peace. And I wouldn’t be surprised that if in this world during the 1,000 years of Messiah’s earthly reign, or in heaven, I will see Ari asking the heavenly host for a plate of spaghetti to celebrate his joy over the eternal victory that Yeshua has brought to this world!
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Hebrew Book of the Month presents:
Dear Maoz Partner,
In Israel we are always talking about war. The Bible also says much about war - spiritual warfare. And spiritual war in Israel is like any other - dangerous, full of pitfalls, surprises and ambushes. The only way to victory is total commitment.
The goal of our spiritual war - which is so much more important than any Middle East war - concerns the soul of this nation. To win, we must keep His goals clearly in sight. Israel's failure last summer in the war with Hezbollah was, to a great extent, caused by a lack of uncompromising goals, from which Israel would not withdraw until she realized them.
The goals of our spiritual war are very clear. We are to bring Israelis to understand and receive the free gift of salvation. And we are to train Israelis to be committed believers, workers and leaders in order for the next generation of believers to realize an ever-increasing expansion of the Kingdom of God.
We are, then, a spiritual army with the same needs as a regular army. We must have our airforce of intercessors who soften up enemy territory. Our prayer warriors can be called in for special missions when the enemy strikes hard or when new advances are being made.
We need our technicians who provide the equipment and create the programs which aid the preachers and teachers and leaders for all ages. They keep the computers working and the machines operating.
In an earthly war, the Quartermaster Corps supplies the regular needs of the troops, including food, clothing, weapons and housing. Israel's official army website declares that his branch is one of the most important elements of the Israeli army.
It is the same in the spiritual realm. When our worship team leads the congregation into the presence of God, they do so with instruments and sound equipment supplied by God's Quartermaster Corps - YOU - the faithful contributors who are passionate about seeing that this ministry is equipped to accomplish the work at hand.
An army can never do its job withought the supply line. Our Israeli army found that out last summer when, during the war with Hezbollah, important supply lines broke down. Soldiers nearly died from lack of water, and critical equipment such as binoculars and flack jackets were not available in the midst of the battle.
When the army's logistical services are in order, the foot soldiers and the heavy armor - those on the front line - can produce the results that bring victory. In the spiritual realm, the Maoz team members and congregational soldiers are the producers - helping to nurture the congregation as they love and teach the new generation of Israeli children, develop a coffee house ministry, train leaders, produce materials such as books, audio and video messages and worship CD's.
That is why you are so important. You are a critical and irreplaceable part of the synchronized army of God. You are the "Quartermasters Corp" that keeps the supply lines open so that the frontline soldiers can function.
May we all keep our eyes on the target, together with the other frontline workers across this nation; the goal is the winning of an entire nation to God. We want to do our part that has been assigned to us by the Captain of the Host of Heaven.
The days of celebration and feasting will one day suddenly come upon us. Until then, together we will continue to battle util we see this war won.
When God promised that "all Israel shall be saved," His intention was and is that we, His Body, fight the good fight of faith until we see these promises come true.
Your fellow soldiers,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
Support our Tel-Aviv Congregation, Tiferet Yeshua
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