Standing in the gap for Israel 08/06

Please note: I’m at New Wine again this week, so do continue to pray for us working at this event.

bible-in-handThe Word:   In that day the LORD will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of His people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. (Isaiah 11:11, 12)

“‘But you, mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for My people Israel, for they will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favour; you will be ploughed and sown, and I will cause many people to live on you—yes, all of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt… ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of My holy name… “‘For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean’” (Ezekiel 36:8-25)

israel flagmovingPointers for prayer: As you read through this week’s Watching over Zion News Report please continue to proclaim the Word of God over these issues.

israel flagmovingPlease pray for those within Israel and throughout the world who plan evil against the Jewish nation. Pray for protection of the borders around Israel – especially from the constant threat of Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS. “He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:3-4) Do continue to pray for the problems within and around the nation of Israel. It is not for us to stand in judgement over the Arab Palestinians but to remain faithful in our intercession.

israel flagmovingAs I mentioned last week, we are living in a sobering time in history (specifically regarding Iran), but also regarding those (even within the church) who would speak out against Israel. But standing with Israel is not about politics! This is about the Word of God, but the political ramifications are extremely dramatic. Yet God is sovereign – so may we declare His sovereign power to accomplish all His purposes in Israel and the Middle East.  Stand in prayer against those who would deny Israel’s right to its ancient homeland, and please continue to pray for the complete restoration of the nation of Israel.

israel flagmovingHaving once again met our dear friends from Elam ministries (see report below) please continue to pray for a great revelation of Biblical truth to saturate the Muslim world – especially with the Arab Palestinian youth – along with those countries that are not ethnically Arab but Muslim – such as Iran and Turkey. Pray that these Muslim countries would break free from the bondage of false religion and come to a place where the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the God of Israel – would set them free (John 8:32). Below is an answer to prayer from the Elam ministries.  When you read this, do give thanks and praise to the Lord God for answered prayer, and may it inspire you to pray for those who suffer under the leadership of Hamas and the PLO.

Believing in a miracle

miraclesCFI is at the New Wine Festival (‪#‎nwunited15) again this week, so do continue to pray for us working at this event.  I am writing this report from behind our stand.  As its Wednesday, it is a ‘day off’ for the thousands of Christians who come to New Wine; however the staff manning the stands in the ‘Market Place’ are still on duty. And so between the quieter periods when our Scottish Borders rep – Philip – doesn’t need me, I’m hoping to get this report out.

New Wine is a movement of churches working together to change the nation through a network of church leaders, National Gatherings, training events and resources. Their vision is to see the nation changed through Christians experiencing the joy of worshipping God, the freedom of following Jesus, and the power of being filled with the Spirit. To see churches renewed, strengthened and planted, living out the word of God in every aspect of life, serving God by reaching the lost, broken and poor, and demonstrating the good news of the Kingdom of God to all.  This vision is a really good vision, and so many Christians are really blessed by this.

The majority of conversations and time sharing on what Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) do have been good, encouraging and fruitful.  However we have also had a few that have not grasped why CFI would choose to help Israel.  Having been rather ‘verbally attacked’ by a couple of ‘visitors’ – one of whom criticized me for standing with a nation who in their opinion “Wilfully killed Palestinians” – and simply would not allow me to explain the truth – reminded me once again of the clear battle we are in, and the need for much prayer.  However, New Wine is a great event, and we have good fellowship especially with the various ministry stands around us.

One story that is frequently seen at New Wine on a poster is of a man called Dayshaun.  After civil war broke out in Dayshaun’s country of Sri Lanka, living became difficult. This once wealthy man now had barely enough money to feed and take care of his wife and two children. Wondering how he would provide for his family, Dayshaun went for a walk hoping to find food. Instead, he found what looked like a bar of soap lying on the ground. He picked it up and Dayshaun’s life changed forever. The ‘bar of soap’ turned out to be a mine and exploded in Dayshaun’s hand.  He cried out to his gods, but help didn’t come. Then he remembered a God whom his co-worker had once told him about, so Dayshaun cried out to Jesus (Yeshua). Slowly, the blood that was oozing out of his body stopped and this sent him on a journey of healing that eventually landed him at the feet of Yeshua. You can read more on his miracle here.  So what’s the connection here with Israel?  Simple… as David Ben-Gurion once stated, “In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.”

Ben GurionWe need to pray that Christians would truly believe in the Word of God (the Bible) and see Israel as the
miracle nation it truly is.  We also need to pray that the Church would know the Word of God, and understand just why God is miraculously bringing the Jews back and why the Nation of Israel is literally ‘blossoming’.  In Isaiah 11 above it clearly states that, ‘In that day [post Jesus – see verse 10] the LORD will reach out his hand a second time [Many people think the first time was from Egypt. However God went with the Jews to Egypt and blessed them. Plus they didn’t become a ‘nation’ until after they came out of Egypt. The first time was from Babylon] to reclaim the surviving remnant of His people from Assyria [now mainly Iraq], from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush [Ethiopia], from Elam [now Iran], from Babylonia [now mainly Iraq], from Hamath [now Syria] and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. God is doing these very things in our day and has been since the 19th century.

As I mentioned in the prayer pointers, we are living in a sobering time in history (specifically regarding Iran), but also regarding those within the church who would speak out against Israel from a political point of view – however that view has been formed.  But standing with Israel is not about politics. This is about the Word of God, but the political ramifications are extremely demanding and dramatic.  The issue with replacement theology; the issue of being uninformed with the truth and the issue of the hallowing of God’s name (Ezekiel 36) are all crucial issues.  However, if we continue to allow our nations to believe a lie, what will the future bring?

UK Schools teaching ‘pro-Palestinian’ extremism?

Pal teaching NUTAs stated, the issue with replacement theology; the issue of being uninformed with the truth and the issue of the hallowing of God’s name – or not (Ezekiel 36) are all crucial issues.  However, if we continue to allow our nations to believe a lie, what will the future bring?  According to an article by Camilla Turner in last Monday’s Daily Telegraph, an extremist agenda is being taught to our children as young as three years old.  It has been claimed that the National Union of Teachers (NUT) are “spreading political propaganda” in classrooms by promoting Palestinian “resistance”.

The article, which can be read in full here states, “the N.U.T. has designed and promoted a teaching resources pack, under a partnership with Edukid, a children’s education charity, which asks teachers to explore themes of Palestinian “occupation, freedom and resistance”.  The resource pack, titled “My Name is Saleh”, and a video were launched at the NUT annual conference in April. Writing in the pack’s foreword, Christine Blower, the NUT general secretary, explains the project was “inspired by a union delegation visit [to the Palestinian territories] in 2013”.”

The director of Stand for Peace, Sam Westrop, a counter-extremism think-tank, said that by teaching school children that Palestinian “resistance” against Israel was a worthy cause, the “NUT’s political propaganda and misrepresentation serves the extremist agenda”. The Charities Commission said it would contact Edukid to assess whether regulations had been breached.

Terror attacks in Israel.

There has been a recent spate of terrorist attacks in Israel of late.  In one incident, a 27 year-old woman was injured on Monday night after a terrorist threw a Molotov cocktail at her car in Jerusalem. The incident occurred near the Arab neighbourhood of Beit Hanina, near the Ben-Zion interchange.  Magen David Adom medics gave her medical treatment and took her to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital with first and second-degree burns on 15% of her body. Her husband was rescued from the vehicle and was not injured. The vehicle was completely burnt out. The MDA ambulance also transported a young man of about 20, a volunteer with United Hatzalah, with burns on his upper limbs after inhaling smoke while trying to extinguish the burning car with a fire extinguisher to hospital for treatment. A manhunt is currently underway for the perpetrators.

At the same time, the Israeli Prime Minister has stated that Israeli Police will find and arrest the Jewish extremists who killed a baby Arab Palestinian. An 18 month old Arab Palestinian infant was burned to death and three of his family members were seriously wounded after a house was set on fire in the ‘West Bank’ village of Douma, near Nablus.  One of the two homes was empty at the time, but there was a family in the second: 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsheh, his father Sa’ad, mother Reham, and 4-year-old Ahmed. The four were evacuated to a hospital, and then to the burns unit at Sheba Medical Centre, Tel Hashomer.  Sadly the baby died of his injuries. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed “shock and horror” at the attack and stated that Israel would hunt down those who did it.

Naturally, the western media including the BBC and Sky News covered the story extensively.  The death of an Arab baby by Jewish extremist “settlers'” is of course very wrong, yet the media are quiet when Jewish children are killed by Palestinians. Last year, Chaya, a Jewish baby was killed in a terror attack in Jerusalem. The three-month-old baby was killed and seven other people were wounded an Arab Palestinian drove his car into a light rail train station near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. The incident was barely mentioned in media. Doesn’t Jewish lives matter?   Another issue that should be stated is regarding the way people respond. When rockets are fired into Israel by Hamas terrorists, the Palestinians have been known to rejoice in the streets while handing out sweets to children.  However when news broke of the Arab Palestinian Muslim child that was killed in the terrorist attack on the house, the people of Israel reacted with an outpouring of empathy and love. Among the efforts made by the Jewish community of Gush Etzion in Judea and Samaria was the organizing of a prayer session, to which Muslims were also invited. One representative stated, “Terror and murder are the “antithesis” of the Jewish faith.” To view the video on YouTube of the prayers being offered up by the Jewish community, click here:

Prayers answered in Elam

One way I personally believe can help this issue of the Islamic world is for salvation to come to the Muslims through Jesus. It is good to know that many Muslims are having dreams and visions of Jesus (Yeshua) and getting saved. Often when this happens, the new Christians develop a heart for Israel and start to pray regarding this issue.  Is there any better way for the former Muslims to bless the Jewish people?   Again, as mentioned in the prayer pointers above, I met our dear friends from Elam ministries again at New Wine who shared an amazing answer to prayer.  Alireza Seyyedian, a member of the Church of Iran denomination, had been imprisoned in Iran due to his Christian faith.  However, after much prayer, Seyyedian has been released early from Evin Prison.  Sources informed Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) that Seyyedian was released by the prison authorities on 27 July after serving three years, six months and ten days in prison.   Allegedly, Mr Seyyedian’s baptism in Turkey the previous year had been interpreted as a deliberate attempt to demonstrate that there was a lack of freedom in Iran. The trial judge stated: “We have enough priests in Iran to baptize him,” and concluded that he was “propagating against the regime”.  You can read the full story here: http://www.csw.org.uk/2015/08/04/news/2718/article.htm

baptism banner with tom's bookThose of us who are of the prayer group praying for Elam ministries are still praying for an early release of Farshid Fathi, who has been imprisoned because of his Christian faith since December 26, 2010.  Please do continue to pray for a great revelation of Biblical truth to saturate the Muslim world – especially with the Arab Palestinian youth – along with those countries that are not ethnically Arab but Muslim – such as Iran and Turkey.  Pray that these Muslim countries would break free from the bondage of false religion and come to a place where the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the God of Israel – would set them free (John 8:32).

David Soakell

(Middle East News Correspondent)

Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Christian Friends of Israel UK & Jerusalem, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio

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About David Soakell

Believer in Yeshua (Jesus). In full time ministry work. Passionate about Israel, and publishes a weekly Middle East News Report.
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