|Israeli flag flies in front of Dome of the Rock
By Asher Intrater
Will there ever be peace in the Middle East? Actually, yes. Peace in the Middle East is a central aspect of the kingdom of God. It is the dream of all the Hebrew prophets.
In the latter days the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it... For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the law from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. Isaiah 2:2-4
Here we have the biblical vision of peace on earth.
When does it take place? - "In the latter days." The end times events are beginning to take place in our generation. And where will it take place? - "Zion." Jerusalem will be the international capital of this world peace. Who will be part of it? - "All nations," "Many peoples." The Messianic peace will include every nation of the world.
This vision of the kingdom of God - world peace with its spiritual center at Jerusalem - is repeated at great length by many of the prophets (cf. Isaiah 35, 60-66; Jeremiah 33; Ezekiel 40-48; Joel 3:18 ff; Micah 4, Zechariah 14:16 ff). The prophecy in Micah 4 repeats Isaiah's vision, but adds, "Everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree (vs.4)." This phrase is a biblical symbol for economic prosperity. The Messianic age includes not only world peace, but also economic prosperity.
"Beating swords into plowshares," means that weapons of war will be converted to agricultural tools, that is, for peaceful use. This conversion of weapons to peaceful use takes place immediately after a great apocalyptic war.
This war is started by the ungodly nations of the world and will be stopped by Yeshua Himself at His Second Coming.
I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken... Then the Lord will go forth and fight as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. Zechariah 14:2-4
This passage is one of the clearest Biblical pictures of the coming of the Messiah. The setting for both the war and the Second Coming is a united attack by the nations of the world against Israel, and Jerusalem its capital.
Yeshua comes at the Second Coming to intervene and stop the attack against Jerusalem. (His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives… verse 4.) He descends out of heaven with an angelic army to protect the people of Jerusalem and to destroy the nations that attacked them.
I saw heaven open, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it was called faithful and true, and in righteousness He judges and makes war…The armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations… Revelation 19:11-1
Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14 describe the same event, but from different viewpoints. At the end of the war, Satan and the demonic forces are bound and jailed, resulting in a 1,000- year peace on earth governed by Jesus Himself. The battle of Armageddon of Revelation 19 is followed by the millennial reign of peace in Revelation 20.
Yeshua considers the attack upon Jerusalem as an attack upon Himself. The nations of the world who attack Jerusalem may not realize that they are attacking the Messiah, but God sees it that way. This battle is the final test of submission to God's authority, the final chance to show faith in the absolute truth of the Word of God, as given in the Old and New Testaments, no matter what the world's governments, media or powers say. No matter what is politically correct.
At the Second Coming, not only will the nations who attack Jerusalem be destroyed, but also every person who refused to submit to the authority of Yeshua.
…When the Lord Yeshua is revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8
The nations will be judged as to whether they attack Jerusalem. Individual persons will be judged as to whether they disobeyed the message of Yeshua. Every person must accept God's authority in His chosen Messiah. Every nation must respect God's authority in His chosen capital.
Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed saying, Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!" He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them…But as for me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain. Psalm 2:1-4,6
And where exactly is Zion? It is not only in Jerusalem, it is Jerusalem! And it is from this city only that He will reign.
Blessed be the Lord from Zion, Who dwells in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord! Psalm 135:21
For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. "This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it." Psalm 134: 13-14
For that reason, the Lord promises blessing to those who decide to be on His side - the side of the clear Word of God.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love thee. Psalm 122:6
However, there are clear warnings of curses upon those who hate the city of the God of Israel.
May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward. Let them be like grass upon the housetops, which withers before it grows up…Nor do [not let] those who pass by say, "The blessing of the Lord be upon you; we bless you in the name of the Lord." Psalm 129:5-6,8
The international attack against Jerusalem is seen as disobedience to the gospel and as rebellion against Yeshua. Yeshua was born to be King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2, John 18:33-37). He was crucified to be King of the Jews (John 19:19, Matthew 27:37). He will return as a conquering King to sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem.
The worldwide attack on Israel is an attack on the Jews who live there. Since Yeshua is King of the Jews, that attack is also an attack on Yeshua Himself.
In recent years we have seen a growing coalition in the United Nations that is united to denounce Israel. That coalition and the international conflict concerning Jerusalem will one day lead to the horrible apocalyptic war of the end times. The coalition against Israel is led by a strange mixture of liberal, secular humanism from the European nations on the one hand, and by militant religious fanaticism from the Islamic nations on the other.
The coalition of nations denouncing Israel is in conflict with the purposes of Yeshua and the kingdom of God. Christians around the world must become aware of the biblical importance of the restoration of the nation of Israel, lest they find themselves fighting against Yeshua at His second coming and thus enduring His wrath.
If Yeshua at His second coming is to fight against those nations that will attack Jerusalem, then those who believe in Him must stand together with Him in defense of His city and its inhabitants.
Much of what is said about Israel in the international media and in the UN is inaccurate and biased. The world is being swayed by Islamic propaganda. At the spiritual root of this propaganda is the claim of Islam that Jerusalem and "Palestine" belong to them as their holy places.
That claim of Islam is a direct denial of the Biblical covenants of God concerning the land of Israel. Seven times in the book of Genesis does God reiterate His covenant to give the land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants (the Jewish people).
(1) And the Lord appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." Genesis 12:7a
(2) And the Lord said to Abram…"Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever." Genesis 13:14-15
(3) On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, saying, To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. Genesis 15:18
(4) And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. Genesis 17:18
(5) So Isaac went to…the Philistines [i.e., Gaza Strip], And the Lord appeared to him and said… "Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham." Gen 26:1a-3
(6) And behold, the Lord stood above it and said [to Jacob], "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants." Genesis 28:13
(7) God also said to him…"And the land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you." So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel [i.e., West Bank]. Genesis 34:11a, 12,15
This promise was confirmed by Jacob on his deathbed: Then Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me…and He said to me, "Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous…and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession." Genesis 48:4
Abraham's covenant, according to the Bible, is through Isaac, not Ishmael:
And Abraham said to God, "Oh that Ishmael might live before thee!" But God said, "No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him." Gen. 17:18-19.
We are not anti-Arab. They are a blessed people and also children of Abraham. God has made them a great people and given them many lands to live in. We are against the claims of Islam that deny the covenant promises of the Bible that the land of Israel - that one small part of the many lands of the Middle East - belongs to the sons of Abraham through Isaac, that is, the Jewish people. We are for the Arab people, but we are against the terrorism and propaganda that seeks to turn the nations against Israel.
The bottom line "justification" for terrorism is that Israel is "occupying" land that belongs to the Arabs and to Islam. But the question is, "who is occupying whose land?" Israel cannot be occupying the land of Israel if it is the land that God swore to give them as a possession. According to the Bible, Israel is not "occupying" the land, but "living" in the land that God gave them. Whose land is it? Islam says it is their holy land. The Bible says it is land sworn to the sons of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. What do you say?
Those covenant promises form the spiritual basis for the claims of Yeshua to be the Messiah. The claims of Islam against the covenants of Israel are therefore an attack upon Yeshua as well. Although most Christians do not realize it, the claims of Islam and of the UN against Israel threaten the authority of the Bible and the covenantal foundation of their faith in Yeshua.
International propaganda against Israel is a spiritual deception, affecting whole nations. The Bible says that it is Satan who is the deceiver of the nations (Rev. 20:3). One of the primary deceptions of Satan is to gather the nations to battle against Jerusalem (Rev. 20:8-9). This spiritual deception of Satan, lying at the root of Islamic claims on the Holy Land, Palestinian propaganda, international media bias and anti-Israel coalitions in the UN, will eventually lead to a great war in which the nations of the world will attack Jerusalem.
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle…(See Zechariah 14).
Permanent peace will occur only when the root of deception and rebellion is driven out. The true solution is a spiritual one, and it is found only in the person and the authority of Yeshua the Messiah.
Now as He (Yeshua) drew near, He saw the city (Jerusalem) and wept over it, saying, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes." Luke 19:41-42
The only one who can bring peace to the Middle East is Yeshua, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). It has to be the real Yeshua of the Bible. It is not the US or the UN. It is not Judaism or Christianity. It is Yeshua (Jesus) Himself, who is both the Son of God and the King of the Jews.
If only the world could know…He is the one who makes for peace.
For additional articles by Asher Intrater, visit http://www.revive-israel.org/
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Go Sar-El Tours!
Are there tourists coming to Israel? The answer is affirmative. It is true the numbers are much smaller. But Jews, and Christians are still coming - especially prayer tours in which Christians are traveling through the country, praying for the spiritual and physical deliverance of Israel.
If you are thinking of bringing a tour to Israel, let us recommend our friend, Shmulik (Samuel) Smaja and his company, Sar El. We are suggesting Shmulik because we know him to be a strong believer and a successful, ethical business man who will give you the best tour in Israel for you money.
If you choose to work through this believing Israeli tourist company, your blessing will be double! You will receive the finest hotels, guides and drivers for your money and you will be supporting the Messianic Jewish community in Israel.
Come to pray for and bless Israel! A visit to Israel at this time is a very concrete way of showing your love for the land and people of God.
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram
Shmulik was born and raised in Jerusalem by Messianic Jewish parents who taught him to love the Bible and its commandments, and live according to them. Because of this rich inheritance passed down through his father, Shmulik developed not only a deep love and respect for the scriptures but for the land of the scriptures as well. His wife Susan was born in a traditional Jewish home in New York and came to faith in the Messiah during her years in college. Her faith eventually led her to immigrate to Israel where she met and married Shmulik. Over the years the Smadjas and their dedicated staff at Sar-El Tours have had the privilege of serving tens of thousands of Christian visitors to Israel from all over the world. Well known Pastors and ministries such as Pastor Chuck Smith and many of the a churches affiliated with Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa,, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Swindoll and the Dallas Theological Seminary, Pastor Jack Hayford and Pastor Scott Bauer of Church on the Way, Dr. Paul Crouch-Trinity Broadcasting Network, Ray and Sharon Sanders and the Christian Friends of Israel, Tom Hess and Progressive Vision International, Freda Lindsay and Christ for the Nations, Open Doors Ministry, Pastor Benny Hinn - Prophecy Tour & Conference (1998), Kenichi Nakagawa of Harvest Time Ministries Japan and many others.
instruct your travel agency to contact Sar El for Israeli land arrangements: Sar-El Tours & Travel LTD
P.O. Box 10656, Jerusalem, Israel 91104; phone: 972-2-671-8787, fax: 972-2-672-0303
email: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: http://www.sareltours.com/
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Dear Maoz Partner,
When we were growing up, we heard sermon after sermon about the coming of the Lord, our home in heaven and our eternal reward for the works done on earth.
In those days, we didn't have much in the way of material goods to keep us attached to this world. We were poor and most everyone else we knew was also poor.
Today God has blessed the western nations with more abundance than the world has ever known. This abundance gives us mighty tools to expand the Kingdom of God.
Yet it seems that the vision, the glory, and the immensity of the next life has faded for some (but not all) of us.
Satan, however, has taken this tremendous truth of heaven and twisted it into one of the most grotesque lies of all times. Just look at this picture of a Palestinian mother hugging her son who is about to become a "martyr" by blowing himself up or shooting as many Jews as possible.
Her last minutes with her son are recorded on video. She said, "This is the best day of my life. Allah willing, you will become a martyr and you will be successful. May every bullet hit its target."
At his funeral (he killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded four others,) his mother said, "Our children are in heaven, their children are in hell. I wish all my children would be like him…."
By believing a monstrous, hideous lie, this woman and hundreds of thousands of other Muslim mothers are willing to give up everything to get their children to heaven. (According to them, the only "sure" way is to die while killing the infidels.)
We have the truth. What are we willing to do to see Jews, Arabs and the nations inherit eternal life through the wonderful, matchless, indescribable love of God - expressed through substituting His only Son so we can live and not die!
They have given their all to Baal, to Allah, their god of death. We have the power of choice to follow our LIVING God - to go into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature - to the Jew first....
Here is a clear opportunity for you to reach the Israeli people - by partnering with Maoz! With your gifts, we are raising up a wonderful congregation in downtown Tel Aviv, printing and distributing life-giving Gospel books in Hebrew, evangelizing in our city and helping the poor among our people.
Thank you for giving LIFE!
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. For your gift of any amount this month, we are offering the tape, "Seven Lies the World Believes about Israel," by Shira. This message is clear and to the point... you will want to pass it on to a friend! Just request it on the enclosed card.
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