Five major parties emerged from the recent elections in Israel:
A coalition needs to be formed of at least 61 seats to carry a majority of the 120 member Knesset. The challenge is that the liberal Labor party doesn't want to join the conservatives; the ultra religious Shas doesn't want to join the ultra secular, Israel Betenu; and the two top leaders, Livni and Netanyahu, don't want to appear as if they are submitting to the other one.
I believe that God allowed the situation to get "stuck," because the root problem is that most of the leaders care more about their own faction and party interests than they do about the nation as a whole. This divine dilemma is to cause the leaders to re-examine their priorities.
(We as leaders in the Body of Messiah here in Israel also need to re-adjust our hearts to make sure that the welfare of the whole Body is more important to us than the "stream" or "faction" we are in.)
Pope and Jewish Leaders
This past Thursday, Pope Benedictus met with 60 leaders of the U.S. Jewish "Presidents" council. He expressed sorrow for the suffering caused the Jewish people throughout history. The Pope exhorted the Catholic Church that "the Holocaust was a crime, not only against mankind but against God as well." Let us keep in prayer the Pope's planned visit to the Holy Land in May. I believe we are entering a new period of open and positive relations between Christians and Jews worldwide.
Cyprus' "Harbor" Destiny
While preaching this week in Cyprus at a rally sponsored by our friends at "Gateways Beyond," I noticed that in Acts 11:19-20, Cyprus was an important base for carrying out the great commission from Acts 1:8, picking up where the Jerusalem saints had left off. Acts 11 is a key to understand Cyprus' destiny as a church and a nation. Cyprus is strategically set to be a harbor – a "receiving" station – for those sharing the gospel. It has a "hosting" gift – to be a place of hospitality for international missionaries. Finally, it is to be a "sending" base to launch apostolic ministries throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. Pray for Cyprus to fulfill its destiny to receive, host, and send.
Gospel in Nigeria
Pray that lasting fruit will be borne from the mass evangelism rally in Mubi, Nigeria this past week, led by Reinhard Bonnke. Over 500,000 (!) were in attendance, accompanied with multitudes of salvations, healings, and deliverance. For more info, see www.cfan.org
Turkey and the Golden Lampstand
The crisis in Turkey continues this week, in tense relations with Israel. Turkey also has strained relations with Greek Cyprus, as it maintains 30,000 troops on the Turkish side of the island, after having invaded Cyprus in 1974. Turkey also has been fighting a 25-year war with the Kurdish population of southeast Turkey, who wish to form their own homeland. Their most strained relations are with the Armenians. Turkey slaughtered a reported 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923. They have made great efforts to "deny" that the Armenian genocide ever occurred.
Yet Turkey has a positive destiny as well. In Revelation 1:11 we see the glorified Yeshua (Jesus) standing in the midst of a seven-fold golden lampstand. The seven branches of the lampstand represent the seven churches of Revelation. All those churches were in Turkey. This is particularly connected to the Armenian conflict as many of the Armenians are descendants of those first century churches.
The glorified image of the seven churches in Revelation 1:11 is a key for the church of Turkey to grasp its destiny. Islam did not come to Turkey until 6 or 7 centuries later. Turkey's true identity is not in Islam, but in those "Revelation" Churches. I envision a "flag" over Turkey with the picture of a golden, glorious lampstand on a field of crimson. Pray for revival in the church of Turkey.
To the German Church
There is another Holocaust coming. This will be a bigger, world-wide Holocaust, a combination of international Jihad and a federation of nations against Israel. The true Church in the German speaking nations can be compared to Peter. He was strong, a natural leader. Yet he denied the Lord in a moment of crisis. God allowed this to happen so that when he returned, he would strengthen his brother disciples. The German speaking churches will return to strengthen believers in their brother nations of Europe. God allowed them to "deny Him" in the first Holocaust, so they would stand strong and bold in the second Holocaust.
As a Messianic Jew, I would like to ask for forgiveness from the German Christians. Many of us have come to you with a message of guilt and manipulation. God punished your nation with almost 50 years of division (1945 to 1989). Yet He punished our nation with almost 2,000 years of exile (70 AD to 1948). Certainly exile is a worse punishment than division, and 2,000 years much more than 50. Who are we to cast aspersions?
The philosophy of Nazism was based on Aryan supremacy – that Germanic peoples are racially superior. That has certain similar elements to Jewish racial pride. We call ourselves the Chosen, not in its correct biblical sense of being chosen by God's covenants of grace, but in its incorrect sense that we are chosen because we are superior. The idea that either Jews or Germans are racially superior is equally deplorable.
We bless you to be fruitful and multiply in the kingdom of David's greater Son. May you fulfill all the destiny God has for you!
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