Jeremiah lamented, “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” This issue is dedicated to the blessed memory of the more than 1200 Israeli’s who were slaughtered by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. We have included a list of the slain so that we might remember the broken hearts and pray for their families. This issue is also dedicated to the more than 240 hostages for whom we pray for deliverance. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would open “the prison to them that are bound,” and “set the captives free.” Our prayers are for God’s protection of the Peacekeepers of the Israel Defense Forces and for complete victory over all of her enemies and that the troops will see evidence that “The Battle belongs to the Lord.”
Since the massacre on October 7th 2023, I am frequently asked by believers; Is this the end? Is this what starts the Battle of Gog Magog? In this issue we’ll carefully examine Jesus’ list of signs to answer “Are we seeing the fulfillment of the things in Matthew chapters 24-25 . The lead article entitled The Beginning of Sorrows is an exposition of Matthew 23:36 – 24:31. In the article entitled, “When The Fig Tree Withers Away,” we will address the misinterpretation of the budding fig tree parable being applied to Israel becoming a nation in 1948. The article on Hanukkah, as mentioned in John 10, covers how Jesus revealed Himself as the light of the world. It provides a message of hope not only to pray for victory in this war but encouragement for victory as we live through times of national decline and increasing religious persecution against the people of the Book. The column on How to Stand With Israel, encourages congregations to stand against the swelling tide of anti-Semitism flooding our land. We have included a guide to facilitate prayer for Israel. The prophetic events list shows where we are in the overall scheme of things.
When the breathless world finally exhaled from the heart stopping shock, a collective scream of international voices demanded the annihilation of Hamas. Leaders from 80 of the 193 nations listed in the UN called and or personally visited Prime Minister Netanyahu in a show of solidarity. The largest U.S. aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford was sent to Israel’s coast. But, how quickly the support for Israel has vaporized in the world media by humanitarian concerns for the attackers rather than the victim. When we thought we could not be more stunned, we were slapped in the face by the virulent hatred for Israel seen in large rallies supporting Hamas in major cities and college campuses across the western democratic world. The U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin’s call for Israel to “pause” was rightly rebuffed by Prime Minister Benjamine Netanyahu. The Arab, Muslem neighbor nations true to form were silent until their capitol streets resounded with anti-Israel vitriol. One by one Arab Muslim States have voiced condemnation of Israel. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of our NATO ally Turkey, openly defended Hamas and condemned Israel as an occupier of Palestinian land, to which Netanyahu responded by calling home Israel’s diplomats. It was no surprise when Russia chimed in against Israel and hosted both the top representatives of Hamas and Iran to Moscow to condemn the Zionist aggression. And to top it off, the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, just three weeks after the massacre, and before the remains of all the incinerated corpses have been positively identified, blamed Israel for provoking the attack saying “the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to fifty-six years of suffocating occupation.” He then called Israel’s ground invasion “collective punishment of the Palestinian people.” It is no surprise that these remarks lit the fuse of the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, who heatedly demanded the immediate resignation of Secretary Guterres for his ludicrous condemnation of Israel. Gilad Erdan further stated, “I call on him to resign immediately. There is no justification or point in talking to those who show compassion for those who perpetrated the most terrible atrocities against the citizens of Israel and the Jewish people.”
The origin of the Hebrew word pronounced “Hamas,” which is used over fifty times in the Old Testament is translated as “violence” in the Jewish Scriptures. “The act of violence (hamas) is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not…” (Isaiah 59:6-8)
It is no coincidence that just prior to the ground invasion into Gaza, Prime Minister Netanyahu in an address to the nation read from the next chapter in Isaiah using that same Hebrew word as a victory rally cry.
“Violence (hamas) shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” (Isaiah 60:18)
The solution for true peace is found in this verse as well. The Hebrew word translated “salvation” is “yeshua” – the Hebrew pronunciation of the name above all names YESHUA/JESUS. The remainder of Isaiah chapter 60 details Israel’s spiritual and physical peace in the Millennial Messianic Kingdom.
“the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.”
“Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever.” (60:19-21)
Isaiah’s next words in chapter 61 give the answer as to how this peace will come. It is no mistake that Jesus began His ministry by reading this text and proclaiming the purpose of His coming to be the fulfillment of it.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Our prayer is that this memorial issue sets a Biblical perspective for these prophetic times. We as believers in the Jewish Messiah must seek to be spirit-filled as we pour in the oil of comfort to our Jewish friends and acquaintances. More than ever before believers need to be encouraged to stay focused on the opening mission statement of Jesus as we share the news of His power to deliver peace in the hearts of the Jewish people in these sorrowful times. On top of that we must stand up for and with the Jewish people as they are gripped with fear at the epidemic of anti-Semitic demonstrations sweeping our college campuses and city streets. We hope you will share this issue with your Christian and Jewish friends and acquaintances to be a positive influence against the flood of lies and disinformation.