Why did Messiah Yeshua once say. “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but are you unable to discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2-3). Luke phrases it this way: “How is it that you do not know how to analyze this present time?” (Luke 12:56).
Evidently, during the reign of Tiberius, Caligula and Nero, Pontius Pilate and assorted Herodian Edomites, some descendants of Jacob – spiritual leaders – nevertheless lacked accurate discernment about what was then going down in Jewish history.
It’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer
There is an urgent need for Messianic Jewish leaders (as well as other leaders in the Body of Messiah) to cry out to God for cutting edge spiritual discernment about today’s clear and present dangers. Yeshua Himself challenges us to knock, ask and seek YHVH about these matters.
What is needed, first of all, is an undivided heart, sold out to the God of Jacob: “Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (Psalm 86:11). “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them. I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19).
Second comes a revelation of God’s heart of love for Israel (Hosea 11:8; Psalm 148:14; Romans 9:1-3). We are not simply dealing with a cosmic chess game; YHVH has a priority love for the Jewish people (Isaiah 43:3-4). Our heart must be tuned to His heart on this matter. Otherwise we will not be able to discern what is happening at this present time.
Not everyone who teaches about Israel and prophetic events has drunk from the well of the Father’s love for the Jewish people, as Matthew 7:22 points out. Here’s a good touchstone: does the teaching we are hearing about Israel bring us to tears and anguish of heart for Israel’s rescue and honor? Does it move us to deeper intercession for Israel, that Jacob’s children be kept from the evil day, and enter into the fullness of their Scriptural inheritance? Or does it move us into a state of pre-occupation about Last Days gnats, while we simultaneously swallow Last Days prophetic camels whole (Matthew 23:24)?
- Sometimes it is possible ‘not to see the forest for the trees’ – to see reams of prophetic facts about Israel and the Last Days, and yet to miss out on God’s prophetic heart of love for the Jewish people, both for today and for the Last Days.
The threefold cord
In the Upper Room, just before Yeshua faced the cross, He prophesied about the upcoming message that Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) would minister to mankind after Messiah rose from the dead: “And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment” (John 16:8).
This message is still relevant; indeed, it is eminently suited to our generation. For not only are all sons of Adam and daughters of Eve infected by the virus of sin; the world’s leaders and talking heads great and small (see C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength for a reworking of these themes) are similarly testing positive to the same spiritual sickness. We are witnessing a red and threatening sky, as menaces increase and nations are stampeded by tsunami-like fears, all fostered by an irresponsible media and egged on by power-hungry plutocrats and oligarchs.
Like George Orwell’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ in his classic Nineteen Eighty Four, our TVs and internet news pages are filled with fast-changing, ever-transforming ‘facts’ regarding the economy, medical threats and solutions, climate and energy threats, etc. Orwell’s apocalyptic vision in his book (penned in 1949) now approximates our daily reality:
- “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in ”
When science fiction morphs into daily fact, one could ask how it came to be that ‘fact-checkers’ are currently asleep at the wheel. And as our red skies increase in intensity, coming judgment is not so hard for many of us to imagine.
Sharks gathering on July 4
The American magazine Newsweek posted a recent headline, ‘Great White Sharks Gather Just Miles From New York Coast Over July 4.’ And indeed, the Middle East this month is seeing the gathering of world leaders and superpowers – each with his own agenda, press releases and secret strategies.
Most palpable is this week’s meeting of Russia’s Putin, Turkey’s Erdogan and Iran’s Raisi – three leaders considered bad news to Western interests, and whose perspectives on Israel have not always been positive. Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83 make reference either to these countries specifically or to the regions currently ruled by these totalitarian regimes (see Jews, Arabs and the Middle East: A Messianic Perspective for more background).
US President Biden just completed a whirlwind tour of both Israel and Saudi Arabia (KSA), where he declared that significant steps had been taken.
Biden called KSA’s decision (taken under US pressure) to allow overflights from Israeli commercial and passenger traffic “a big deal, not only symbolically but substantively . . . This is the first tangible step on the path of what I hope will eventually be a broader normalization of relations” between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Biden noted.
But Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan immediately side-stepped Biden’s declaration: “No, this has nothing to do with diplomatic ties with Israel . . . The issue of overflights is a decision we took… in the interest [of] providing connectivity between countries in the world, and we hope that it will make some travelers’ lives easier. It’s not in any way a precursor to any further steps.”
POTUS Biden then spoke in Bethlehem, adding that the US is still committed to dividing both the city of Jerusalem and the Biblical borders of the Land of Israel between the PLO and Israel:
- “Two states along the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, remains the best way to achieve equal measures of security, prosperity, freedom and democracy for the Palestinians as well as Israelis,” Biden said.
Biden “reiterated the US position that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and that it continues to be the policy of the United States that the specific boundaries of sovereignty in Jerusalem must be resolved through final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.”
The God of the Bible declares His blessing on any nation or individual who blesses the Jewish people (see Genesis 12:3). At the same time, He is distinctly not pleased when any nation sets its hand to divide the Land and the City that He has chosen as an irrevocable inheritance of the sons and daughters of Jacob (see Joel 3:1-2).
These two biblical principles underscore today’s challenging need for prayer!
Fake peace and true peace
There are principles in the Scriptures which sometimes have uncanny parallels to what is going on in our day:
- For from the least of them to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain. And from the prophet to the priest everyone deals falsely. They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace. Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? They were not ashamed at all, nor did they know even how to be ashamed . . . says YHVH. (Jeremiah 6:13-15; see also 8:10-12)
The God of Israel declares that a day of peace is coming, but not based on whittling away God’s Land and giving it to nations who deny the calling and gifts given by YHVH to the sons and daughters of Jacob:
- So will My word be which goes out of My mouth. It will not return to Me empty without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it. For you will go out with joy and be led in peace! The mountains and the hills will break into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush, the juniper will come up, and instead of the stinging nettle, the myrtle will come up. And it will be a memorial to YHVH, an everlasting sign which will not be eliminated (Isaiah 55:11-13)
Let us be praying for that day!
How should we then pray?
- Pray for YHVH to illuminate His body with a deepened revelation of God’s loving heart for Israel and His severe judgments on nations who spurn Him
- Pray for God to bless world leaders with razor-sharp discernment and courage about these issues
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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