A long time has passed since my last blog article of substance. At the start of 2014, the board of directors of Light of Zion prayerfully decided my overall health was such that I needed to take a medical leave of absence for a year. Decades of intense ministry, travel, and neglect of my physical body have taken their toll. But God is restoring! He has begun to graciously pour healing on me at just about every level. It will be a lengthy process continuing through 2014. Meanwhile, I’m answering emails, occasionally blogging, meeting with leaders, mentoring individual young people, attending to basic administration of the ministry, and distributing emergency aid to the poor. While all that amounts to part time work, I’m accepting only those few speaking invitations the Lord clearly directs. During this time I not only appreciate, but very much need your prayer support. I wholeheartedly thank you in advance for it.
I’m glad to say I’ve just returned to Israel! Unlike the US, it’s normal here to talk about God outside the walls of a house of worship. Daily life can present regular opportunities to love Israelis in Yeshua’s name. I’ll also be participating in frequent intercessory prayer and worship gatherings — as well as daily ongoing physical therapy.
Chag Sameach Purim!
Today happens to be Purim, the most joyous celebration in the Jewish calendar. People of all ages take to the streets here in a type of national, thanks-be-to-God party. Though not a Levitical feast, Purim is a biblical holiday based on Esther 9:20-28. The book of Esther recounts how an anti-God spirit aiming to annihilate the Jewish people animated a wicked Persian ruler named Haman. Haman’s fury rose against the Jews because they would not bow to him in worship. Haman himself was an Amalekite, the nation destined to war against God “from generation to generation” (Exodus 17:16). In the end, God defeated Haman’s evil scheme, causing it to backfire on him.
Is it coincidental that Israel’s fiercest enemy today is the Islamist Persian leadership to which Israel will not bow in worship? Thinking ahead, could the future end times man of lawlessness known as the Antichrist prove to be an Amalekite? Aware of the seriousness of this season, many Jews and some Christians observe the fast of Esther that occurs 1-3 days before Purim, based on Esther 4:16. During this time we cry out for mercy as we face God’s enemies.
Then, on Purim, we celebrate! We rejoice in God’s covenant faithfulness and sovereign victory. Often costumes are worn to symbolize that how we see things is not necessarily how God sees them. Our Purim praise is to gladden His heart, but also serves as spiritual warfare.
A month after Purim we celebrate Passover, First Fruits (Resurrection Day) and then Shavuot (Pentecost). The first of four extraordinary “blood moons” in 2014-15, in which the moon appears red, will occur this Passover. Blood moons have historically signaled monumentally pivotal battles for Israel. It’s not far- fetched to ask whether these upcoming blood moons might warn of a resurgence of the Amalek spirit through Iranian mullahs in a planned nuclear attack. Will Israel preemptively strike Iran, igniting a regional war and global ire against her? Friends, your prayers can and do make a difference!
Christ at the Checkpoint Update:
Some of you prayed wholeheartedly for a spirit of grace and truth at the recent Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in Bethlehem. Propagating a disguised form of replacement theology, the conference has served to foment disdain toward Israel around the world, particularly among evangelicals. Sadly, this year’s gathering was no exception. Thankfully, however, an Israeli Messianic pastor and friend of ours, Oded Shoshani, shared a pointed — if not publicly well received — message at the conference. With humble forthrightness, Oded courageously exposed some of the distortions, lies and anti-Semitic features of the new, so-called Christian Palestinianist theology. Many Israeli Messianics view his presentation as an answer to prayer, reflecting the voice of God.
Recently I mentioned that Light of Zion hoped to record a set of DVD teachings about Israel this year. The DVD’s would be posted online and freely distributed. Due to my medical leave, however, the project has been postponed. (Those who donated toward it have been notified and offered a refund.) Meanwhile, if you’d like to obtain DVD’s by others, you can check out the following links. Please note we do not endorse all views expressed in them. The links are listed in no particular order and the DVD’s are not offered for free: www.maozisrael.org/site/PageServer?pagename=maoz_israel_videos (news and human interest based); http://coffeetalkswithmessiah.com/store/products/category/dvd/ (for those preferring a rhema-prophetic orientation); http://israelajourney.ca/newsite/Home/1/0 and www.cfi.org.uk/dvds.html (these are produced by Christian organizations supporting Israel).
Stirring Considerations About Israel in These Last Days:
(1) The prophetic Scriptures reveal that Israel’s last days regathering and restoration, especially that of Jerusalem, would be globally contested with great fury. Since Israel’s Christian detractors seek to discredit Israel, it could prove wiser for them to cease and desist from their war of words against her. Their contention and fury backfire to actually confirm that Israel’s current regathering and restoration exists by the hand, heart and will of God — according to His Word.
(2) Despite unrelenting military, political and economic opposition since her re-birth, Israel has amazingly prospered as a nation. Man cannot curse what God blesses (Numbers 23:8). The reality is reminiscent of how the Jewish nation, even as slaves, prospered under the cruel pharaohs of ancient Egypt (Exodus 1:12). Today, as then, God is preparing Israel for a future national deliverance at an appointed time. Trials and perplexities lie ahead — followed by stupendous glory and majesty.
Friends, you have come to God’s Kingdom for such a time as this! (Esther 4:14) By your intercession the King may reverse the enemy’s decree. Together with the Jewish nation, may you “find relief from [your] enemies,” may [your] sorrow turn into joy, and may [your] mourning turn into celebration (Esther 9:22)! Chag Sameach!