This blog post compiles a recent series of short articles. Be blessed!
A Biblical Pattern: Warfare Signals New Season in Redemption History
As we approached this year’s fall feasts, some prophecy watchers believed global shock waves would usher in the new civil year, 5776. I shared that God never communicated to me this would occur, but He did not tell me it wouldn’t, either. He urged me to draw closer to Him, focus on the logos truth of His Word, then look at coming facts on the ground in light of that truth.
Facts on the ground: During the fall feasts, Palestinians began randomly stabbing Israeli civilians in the streets. Knifing of Jews is now a way of life in the Jewish state. (International news outlets report only those attacks resulting in injury or death, not countless other thwarted attempts.) Thankfully, as prayers have gone up, Jewish fatalities have gone down. But the stabbings continue. Perpetrators are still losing their lives.
On another level, the global propaganda war against Israel and the Jewish people has ratcheted up to new levels as result of the knifing “intifada.” Potentially, these far reaching, anti-Israel lies may prove more dangerous to more people than the kitchen and butcher knives. Falsehoods reported in mainstream, alternate and social media, together with distortions of truth acted upon by international governing bodies in the matter, are beyond measure. What can Israel-loving believers do? How do we target our prayers and move toward a solution?
First, a bit of back story. As you and I follow the Lord, we are encouraged not to be ignorant of our enemy’s ways and the warfare he wages. Throughout the Bible, Satan’s timeless weapon of choice is deceit. The father of lies, lies (John 8:44). Ultimately, his goal is death. A murderer from the beginning, the devil’s greatest assaults often arise just before God’s next stage of redemption history. The devil knows his time here is short. Fearful of his final eviction from earth, he seeks to preemptively thwart each step taken toward the inevitable event. This he usually does by implanting lies that inspire fear, leading to mass murder of the people through whom redemption is destined to occur.
For example, not long before the exodus from Egypt, a pharaoh “who did not know Joseph” feared the Hebrews would revolt against his authority (Exodus 1:8-13). The Hebrews had done nothing, apparently, to rouse his angst other than quietly prosper. Ignorant of truth, the deceived ruler sentenced them all to slave labor, male infanticide and bitter oppression. Nevertheless, God delivered them.The next phase of redemption history, namely Israel’s receiving of the the law and Promised Land, was initiated.
In the book of Esther, a Persian official named Haman demanded that all bow down and worship him. But one God fearing Jew refused. So Haman plotted to annihilate all Jews throughout the empire—based on distortions he reported to the king: “There is a certain people…who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them….Destroy them.” (Esther 3:8-9) Thankfully, the plan backfired.
Consider next the book of Ezra. After exile in Babylon, Jews returned to the Promised Land. They started rebuilding the country and at first things went well. But after the foundation of the Temple was laid, opposition stirred. Local Arabs lodged a complaint, based on lies and distortions of truth, with high governing officials (Ezra 4:12-16). Once more, a king feared the Jews would crush his kingdom—based on no tangible evidence whatever. The propaganda campaign succeeded temporarily and Jerusalem’s restoration was delayed. But later it resumed and the Temple was rebuilt. God’s prophesied, first restoration of Israel was fulfilled. This phase of redemption history set the stage for Messiah.
Five hundred years passed and Yeshua was born. Obsessed with a lie the child would lead a revolution and usurp his royal crown, a Roman king executed every Jewish boy in the region of Messiah’s birth (Matthew 2:13-18). Decades later, another Roman ruler sentenced Yeshua to death, based on more lies. But the New Covenant burst gloriously upon humanity, redemption available to all.
Fast forward with me through nearly 2,000 years of Christian and Islamist campaigning to stamp out or slaughter Jews. In the late 1800’s, Israel’s second prophesied restoration began with the Zionist movement. The devil trembled; he knew his time was now very short. No coincidence that soon thereafter, the Nazi Holocaust took place. There lie upon lie formed the foundation for the most devastating Jewish genocide the world has heretofore known.
At the beginning of his rise to power, Hitler remarked that people fall victim more easily to a big lie, repeated often in various forms, than to little ones. Thus he instituted a widespread propaganda campaign, built on lies most of us would regard as outrageous, to set the stage for his Jew-free, global regime. Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Josef Goebbels, summarized, “All Jews, by virtue of their birth and race, are part of an international conspiracy against us….They started this [World?] war….the treatment they receive from us is hardly unjust. They have deserved it all.” *
Intelligent, Christian German society took the devil’s bait, murdering 6 million Jews and others. Yet God used what the enemy meant for evil for His redemptive purposes. With justifiable, post-Holocaust Western sympathy, Jews experienced a temporary reprieve from age old anti-Semitic and anti-Messiah strongholds. Israel was reborn as a nation, Jerusalem returned to the Jewish people. Her restoration leading to the Messianic Age began.
That restoration has endured resistance and warfare from the outset. The big new lie of 2015, inspiring the current knife “intifada,” focuses on the Temple Mount. The false allegation is that Israel seeks to take over the Temple Mount. Admittedly, a few Jewish extremists would love to do just that. But the State of Israel has never had any such plan. To the contrary, Israel is firmly committed to quelling the extremist Jewish fringe. Since Israel regained the Temple Mount in 1967, each elected government has maintained Muslim control of the Islamic holy sites through the Jordanian Waqf, known as the “status quo.” NonMuslims are prohibited from praying in an obvious way on the Temple Mount.
Nevertheless, given the history of devil-driven, preemptive strikes against the Jews, what might the enemy know that we don’t? Could his “knife intifada” against Jewish control of the Temple Mount backfire and lead to the very thing he fears? Does it signal a major step in redemption history? Could it just be a matter of time?
……. To be continued.
* Josef Goebbels, “Die Juden Schuld!,” Das Eberne Herz (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDP, 1943), 85-91.
Part 2: Kristallnacht – November 9-10, 1938 and 2015
This week Jews around the world remembered the notorious “Kristallnacht,” or Night of Broken Glass. The annual observance recalls November 9-10, 1938, as the watershed date on which the Holocaust became an inevitable reality. After years of increasingly anti-Jewish policies, that night Nazi soldiers and gangs murdered approximately 100 Jews and arrested another 30,000, dooming them to concentration camps. Over 1,000 synagogues and thousands more Jewish homes, schools, businesses, hospitals and cemeteries were torched or vandalized. Broken glass littered the streets of Jewish communities throughout the so-called German Christian Reich. In the wake of Kristallnacht, Jewish victims were fined the equivalent of US $400,000,000 to pay for damages the Nazis themselves had caused. (Jewish Virtual Library, jewishvirtuallibrary.org)
In 2015, 77 years after Kristallnacht, hatred for Israel and the Jews reaches across the earth at levels surpassing that of the Holocaust. But the converse is also true. Never before has so widespread a remnant of the international Body of Christ interceded before God for Zion’s sake. Your prayers and other practical acts of justice make a difference! As a result, I question whether another holocaust quite like the first is inevitable.
In this second part of a mini-series on “What Scripture Says About Israel’s New Knife Terror and Old Propaganda War,” we amplify key prayer points stated in an earlier post, and originally suggested by our friend Rick Ridings. Let’s expectantly approach God’s throne of grace, one in the spirit, as we present them to our King.
1. O Lord, times and seasons are in Your hands. We declare Your time for any outbreak of war over the Temple Mount. That time may be soon, but You have shown us it is not now. (Psalm 31:15, Daniel 2:21)
2. According to how You see fit, please cut off those who harbor an “ancient hostility” and seek to “destroy Judah” by cutting or stabbing. (See Ezekiel 25:15-17 regarding the Kerethites, which means “those who cut.”)
3. We ask You to uproot and root out the roots of incitement and propaganda about the Temple Mount specifically and Israel generally.
4. We declare Your Word in Yeshua’s name: “There is no [successful] witchcraft against Jacob.” (Numbers 23:23)
5. Release revelation of Yeshua and His saving love to demonized terrorists held captive by oppressive occupiers, namely satan’s demons inhabiting or driving them. (John 3:16)
6. There’s more. The incitement is not just over the Temple Mount; it is over Palestinians’ perceived level of victimization, which in turn shapes their core identity. Pray for the truth that sets free to be unleashed on them. Let’s have faith for God to expose and dismantle entrenched lies that cruelly oppress them and periodically erupt in terror. (John 8:32)
Next year, you might consider attending a local Kristallnacht observance. Your quiet presence can powerfully remind Jewish people that in Yeshua, Love does win!
To be continued……
Part 3/Conclusion – What You Can Do Now About Israel’s “Knife Intifada”
1. Know and stand firm in what God says about Israel.
2. Get and stay factually informed about the conflict from reliable sources. We suggest the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post and Daily Alert.
3. Understand Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state under principles of international law and justice. (My book Why Still Care about Israel? offers an excellent summary on this.)
4. Visit Israel. It’s still quite safe for tourists – and winter is the low priced season.
5. Proactively connect with Jewish people in your community.
6. Advocate for Israel through online petitions, peaceful rallies, and letters to elected officials.
7. Share God’s heart for Israel with your friends, church, children and grandchildren.
8. Support and align with Messianic Jews who labor on behalf of Israel.
9. Be and share the good news with Jewish people. Provoke us to jealousy (Romans 11:11) through your Messiah-like love!
10. PRAY FOR ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS
> Conviction leading to salvation
> New Palestinian leaders who will inspire peace, not incite terror
> Wisdom for Israeli leaders and security forces in responding to terror
> Healing of terror victims and comfort for their families
Friends, your prayers and seemingly small, other deeds do make a difference. Let’s persevere together in joy.