Some Israelis discerned a divine message this Hanukkah in the unearthing of an amazing antiquity found near the Temple Mount. During the holiday, archeologists discovered a clay seal, dated from the approximate time of Yeshua’s ministry, with the words “Pure for God” written in Aramaic. “This felt like a Hanukkah miracle,” said the chief archeologist for the site involved. (The Jerusalem Post, 25 December 2011) Ancient Jewish texts refer to the use of such seals to authenticate sacrificial libations offered during the Second Temple period.
News of the seal broke on December 25, thus seemingly underscoring a word for 2012: “Purity for the Coming King!” God desires, even demands, truth in the inward parts (Psalm 51:6). “Impure Christianity” will no longer suffice as a lifestyle or culture in a world where good and evil are increasingly juxtaposed. We must choose between God’s pure truth or deception. This year, ask the Spirit to surface that which has been buried deep in your inmost being. When He does, know that He is lovingly purifying you as Messiah’s Bride. For our King is coming!
Likewise, please pray for purity in Israel, that the nation may offer herself to God in righteousness. “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.” (Malachi 3: 2-3; see also Ezekiel 36: 24-27) Please specifically pray for purity:
• Among Israeli Messianic Jewish and Arab Christian leaders and congregations;
• Among believing youth in the Land;
• In sharing the Gospel;
• In Israeli hearts to receive Yeshua as the only authentic sacrificial libation;
• In the Israeli government, military and all sectors of Israeli society (especially repentance from corruption and a return to the God of our fathers);
• Towards the unborn (abortion rates are thankfully coming down but still high);
• Among Palestinian/Arab Christian brothers and sisters, and all others, who deny biblical and historical, ancestral Jewish ties to the Temple Mount area where the purity seal was unearthed.
In 2011, Arab/Muslim uprisings unleashed waves of lawlessness across the Middle East, including Israel. Pray for a spirit of love of the brethren and honor for godly authority to break the power of violent lawlessness settling on the Jewish state.
In recent months, ultra-Orthodox Jewish (“Haredi”) zealots have sanctioned violent attacks not only on Messianic Jews, but on numerous other law-abiding citizens whose expressions of faith differ from theirs. Increasingly, they also vandalize properties owned by those whose views they deem unkosher. Meanwhile, they have so intimidated Israeli police that their criminal acts are often uncontrolled and unpunished. Though a minority, Israel’s Haredi population is firmly politically entrenched. It is growing rapidly due to high birth rates. Their unabashed agenda is to eventually replace the State’s democratic government with their extremist religious system of law. Unchecked, their radical tactics could threaten to tear apart the fabric of Israeli society. In the Bible, such lawlessness is associated with the antichrist, who is called “the man of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:3).
Pray and proclaim that Israel will not surrender at this time to the anti-Messianic domain of lawlessness. Pray that many truth-seekers will turn instead to Yeshua, the fulfillment of the law of love. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure…” (Psalm 19:7-8; see also 2 Thess. 2:10)
Pray and proclaim a release of brotherly love in the Land. “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.” (Ezekiel 37:21-22)
Last year, we watched in awe how the prayers of the saints, aligned with God’s Word, moved His heart time and again to mercifully shield the Jewish nation. Regularly we heard of terror attacks thwarted and military intelligence amazingly ascertained. Please do not grow weary in well doing as you pray!
In 2012, Israel is surrounded by enemies on all sides as has not been the case for decades. To the south, the fiercely anti-Zionist Muslim Brotherhood is rapidly rising to power in Egypt. To the west, Hamas-ruled Gaza remains steadfastly dedicated to destruction of the Jewish state. Up north, Syria and its Hezbollah proxy, Lebanon, house tens of thousands of missiles and biochemical warheads aimed at us. Regional pressure is on Jordan, to the east, to absorb Hezbollah and Hamas masterminds fleeing Syria. Palestinians in Judea and Samaria continue wielding weapons of untruth about Israel across the globe. Iraq is now regarded as a potential strategic threat, along with Turkey and Iran.Recently obtained evidence reveals that Iran will be able to build a nuclear weapon by the end of 2012. But God is in control.
We’ve detailed in past newsletters how to pray boldly for Israel’s protection. The matter is highly related to a move of the Spirit in the Middle East. Several months ago, our friend Rick Ridings received a vision while praying about the regional situation. He saw a lethal, scorpion-like creature arise from Iran. It was stopped, however, from firing its weapons when a huge boot came out of heaven and flattened it. Please pray that God will “put His foot down” on the Islamic Republic of Iran. The prophet Jeremiah describes a severe, last days’ judgment on Iran, known then as Elam. In the end, God’s throne is set in Elam/Iran and its people mercifully restored. (Jeremiah 49:34-39) But victory is not without the ongoing intercession of the international Body of Messiah.
“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, ‘There is no help for him in God.’ But You, O Lord, are a shield for me…the Lord sustains me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” (Psalm 3:1-3a, 5b-6a)
“Let them [Israel’s demonic enemies] be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that men may know that You, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.” (Psalm 83:17-18)
• Pray for rain this winter. “Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain…” (Zechariah 10:1)
• Pray for Israel’s recently discovered offshore gas reserves to be protected and quickly utilized. “…The abundance of the sea shall be turned to you…” (Isaiah 60:5)
• Pray for aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel from the nations) to increase in God’s timing and leading. “‘Therefore behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that it shall no more be said, “The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,” but, “The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.” For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers.'” (Jeremiah 16:14-15)
• Pray for Israel to bless the nations this year with more breakthrough discoveries and inventions, particularly in the fields of medical care and environmental conservation. “For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15)
• Most importantly, pray for the salvation of the Jewish people in Israel and the nations. “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” (Romans 10:1)