In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus says He — the Son of Man, King — will judge the nations on how they treat His brothers. Jesus’ brothers in the flesh are the Jews and by adoption the Christians, those who have acknowledged Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and Savior.
This verse was the obvious subtext when Jonathan Cahn addressed the United Nations on April 17, 2015. Cahn is a Messianic pastor in New Jersey known for his prophetic words concerning the United States.
The Jewish New Year is upon us. Now begins a time of reflection and repentance leading up to Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.
There is a lot of shofar blowing in the weeks before Rosh Hashana (head of the year). Biblically, this time is known as the Day of the Shofar Blast. You can read more about how these holidays are related at Hebrew4Christians.com. The video below is a cool shofar-blowing montage by IKAR Los Angeles.
I recently had a vision of a new season in the Middle East defined by the re-drawing of its borders. I saw angels being released who had sashes over their shoulders on which were written the phrase “Border angel”. They were being sent forth to reset borders according to their original ethnic calling.
In the statement, Isis said Christians who wanted to remain in the “caliphate” declared earlier this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a “dhimma” contract – a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as “jizya“. “We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,” the announcement said.
The unofficial state of war spreads as Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza continue to strike Israeli cities, hitting Jewish civilians (and occasionally Arab citizens of Israel). These jihadi rocket attacks are shot from launchers deliberately positioned by Hamas among Gaza’s civilian population – a war crime by legal and ethical definitions. Thursady 192 rockets were fired by both Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Some were even co-fired by the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah commandos. Of these, 44 were intercepted by the Iron Dome rocket defenses. Friday morning three rockets were fired from within Lebanon into Israel by an independent as-yet-unnamed jihadi group there.
How are the hostilities developing? What seem to be the next steps? What guidance can the Scriptures gives us regarding understanding and prayer?
I’ve deferred to brother Avner Boskey to recap the week and give biblical analysis. Instead, I want to just share personal thoughts, maybe process on digital paper.
This is my first time living with the threat of bombing. It’s hard to say how I feel. To me, it is very much just a fact of life because of where I am. Then again, I’m in Jerusalem. We’ve had three sirens in a week. Tel Aviv has had sirens daily. I cannot imagine what life in the south of Israel near Gaza would be like. They get rockets all the time.
Right now, though, my heart hurts for the people of Gaza. They are people imprisoned by those among them who are power hungry and driven by a murderous hate for Israel.
Believers who are called to love Israel should also have a heart for the Arab world. It is heart-breaking to watch war and not peace break out again in Israel. Yet Isaiah calls us all in Isaiah 40:2 to “speak over the heart of Jerusalem.” Truth and love must blend in our heart and our message to Israel. Rodney King-type appeals (“Why can’t we all just get along?”) are not the need of the moment, and have an unreal kumbaya quality to them. This is a time for war, not a time for peace.
Unity and love between Jews and Arabs is a prime value and a deep necessity. But God is not about the business of creating ‘one new ostrich.’ When concerted efforts to destroy the Jewish people arise, Messianic Jews and believing Arabs need to look unflinchingly upon murderous Islamist violence and destructive strategies, call them for what they are, reject them and take a bold and public stand against them. Anything less than that will not carry the day.
Fast-moving events are transfixing Israel this week. The bodies of three Jewish teenagers murdered by their Hamas kidnappers were discovered. Jihadi rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip have been smashing into Israeli kibbutzim and towns even as we go to press. Saudi Arabia announced that it has moved 30,000 soldiers to its border with Iraq, concerned about the jihadi onslaught rolling like thunder across Mesopotamian fields.
We are entering another season of ‘Bein hameitzarim’ (the period of the “Dire Straits’).