SPOILS OF WAR
EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY BATTLES
While the intimidated and compliant West continues to “negotiate” with radical Islam behind veils of denial, compromise and deception, Israel has no alternative but to confront it on the field of battle. What most observers miss, however, is that every time Israel fights in her own defense and prevails, the power of Islam weakens over the Middle East. Since Islam is primarily a martial, militant spirit and its religion one of expansion through the Jihad, the holy war, the more this darkness is defeated in battle, the more it is dispersed, and the more souls are freed from its oppression and bondage!
Consider the following numbers: Before the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, there were but a few thousands of born-again Christians in that land. With over 70,000 born again Believers today (some live abroad), the Iraqi church is experiencing a remarkable growth. Even more so, a full-blown revival is reported among the Kurds in northern Iraq where freedom of religion is greater yet.
In Egypt, there is a documented outpouring of the Holy Spirit among Coptic Christians who trace their faith back to the Apostle Mark. Large worship gatherings take place in the caves above the “City of the Dead” outside of Cairo where the Spirit of God is moving among the “Garbage People,” an approximate one million Egyptians who live and work among the garbage dumps of Cairo. While ministering among them, Mary Lou heard the Spirit of God say, “These are my queens and kings.”
In Iran, there is a growing underground movement of house churches with reported millions of Muslims watching Christian satellite TV. Many are having dreams and visions of Jesus. Meanwhile, in Israel, the Body of Messianic Believers is growing and flourishing all across the country even during days of distress while enduring intense persecution from the religious orthodox and Islamic camps.
Both Syria and Jordan have experienced significant Christian growth in recent years. Conservative numbers report nearly 100,000 underground Believers in Saudi Arabia who are in constant danger, while in Lebanon there are reportedly 10,000 born again Believers, with over 1,000 having been added to their numbers during the 2006 Israel/Hezbollah war.
No doubt, as the armies clash on earth and the cause of the God of Israel is upheld on the battle fields, armies are on the move in the heavens as well, and the proclamation of the eternal gospel is setting captives free. Now that you know the truth, when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, pray also for our Arab brothers and sisters that their faith be established, their strength renewed, and their numbers multiplied many times over for the glory of our God.
ISRAEL IN TRANSFORMATION
While the media continues to conjure up sensational coverage of the seemingly endless Middle Eastern mayhem and destruction, Israel is experiencing an awakening of sorts in spite of, and probably because of, the intensifying pressures. Following an extended season of defeatism and self doubt, it seems that the nation of Israel is undergoing a sort of a mental renaissance and rediscovery of its identity and purpose. Can this be the early stages of a spiritual awakening? We believe it is.
Israel, it appears, has reached a point of confident assurance not only in her right to exist, but also in her right to defend herself in spite of the relentless avalanche of International disapproval and criticism. The recent Gaza campaign, though very small and contained in military terms (compared to Israel’s “real” past wars), seemed to have stirred up a nationwide movement of prayer and supplication to God for His protection, wisdom, and victory over her enemies.
This awakening is not limited to the orthodox or religious circles only, but is reaching into far wider spheres in Israel. In fact, the combat units who entered Gaza seemed to have experienced a genuine spiritual hunger offering earnest prayers before engaging in battle. Field synagogues erected on the battlefields had no less than 10 services each day. Reports emerging after the recent Gaza Operation indicate that the God of Israel still answers prayer, and the following are but a few examples:
A Hamas map showing the locations of booby-traps, landmines and sniper positions, found its way into Israeli hands. Consequently, the IDF was able to counter and neutralize these installations. A large platoon of Israeli soldiers, not realizing they were resting in a school that was booby-trapped, disarmed the bombs with no casualties after they were miraculously discovered by a soldier relieving himself in the night. Hundreds of tunnels full of live explosives and ammunition hidden in Palestinian homes, under beds and kitchen cabinets, were destroyed by IDF forces with no associated casualties.
One Hamas rocket, heading toward an Israeli apartment building, fell instead into an open sewer pipe and exploded underground. An elderly Israeli woman walked away, barely scratched, from an apartment completely demolished by a Hamas missile. The mayor of a southern Israeli city felt compelled to cancel school one day, sending all the children home. Within hours a Hamas missile slammed into and demolished an empty kindergarten in that city.
JOIN US IN ISRAEL THIS JUNE
We are leading a group of intercessors and worshipers to the land of Israel June 7-15, 2009, and all those interested to learn more can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This group is shaping up as a very focused and relational team, space is limited, and the time to join is now. We will spend quality days exploring Jerusalem’s ancient past and eternal future, visit the beautiful Galilee, Nazareth and the Golan Heights, travel south through the Jordan Valley to Jericho, the Dead Sea and Masada, and dip our feet in the Mediterranean Sea by Tel-Aviv. As we travel throughout the land, our group will worship with local believers, meet with Messianic leaders, and hear from Israeli scholars in the fields of