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February 27, 2017

Kalaniot in the Judean Hills

ON A HILLTOP NEAR YISH’I

This past Shabbat was perhaps the first real day of Spring (Hebrew: Aviv) in Israel. Like many Israelis, we went forth to greet the glorious weather with a picnic basket, blanket and camera. Our favourite place is a hilly area west of Jerusalem, just southwest of the town of Bet Shemesh. The white blossoms of almond trees were still shining along the way; and after pulling off the road, clambering over a fence and through the trees we came upon our field. It was covered with outcroppings of ancient grey stones-and all in and around were thousands upon thousands of kalaniot-the scarlet anemones so beloved in Israel and throughout the Middle East.

Although a few will continue to bloom here and there throughout the spring, this was their peak; within a few weeks the March winds will have blown them away. From where we settled, we could hear sounds of conversation and laughter; a little distance away the hills were moving with Israelis-Jews, Arabs, children, parents, the aged, all out to stroll and hike and relax, breathing in this beauty.

As we wrote a year ago, it is a sweet diversion, these outings. The pressures, tensions, the threat of violence are part of life here. And just across the border in Syria, in Iraq-so many woundings, violations, deaths; so much blood has been shed. Yet, gazing over these fields covered in scarlet, we find ourselves strongly impressed with the one weapon and defense which surprasses all. It is the Blood of the Lamb.

This is not a “morbid” thought! Morbidity involves death; death is the result of sin. But there is no Death in His blood! The “life is in the blood,” the life of the One who has defeated death and hell, who is our salvation, presently and in what is to come. It is the blood of One who loves us (love casts out fear), and released us from our sins (Rev. 1:5); it is the blood of the Anointed One (Messiah, the Christ) which cleanses our consciences from death to serve the God of Life (Hebrews 9:14); it is the blood which overcomes the Accuser with the word of our testimony-because, though our own lives fail, our hope is in His life which is in His blood. This is our living Hope and the Hope of Israel.

Later, as we were departing with joyous thoughts of thanksgiving in our hearts, our notice was drawn to a roadsign at a nearby intersection. On the sign was the word Yish’i, with an arrow pointing back in the direction of the hills we had just left. Yish’i is Hebrew for “My Salvation.” It is the name, taken from Psalm 27:1, of a tiny community just over the hill. Yet for us it brought to mind the Israelis drawn towards and moving among the kalaniot on the scarlet hill-drawn with steadfast kindness by the one who has loved them with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Drawn to their Father-through the blood of His Son.

PLEASE PRAY:

For a deep revelation in Israel of the shed blood of our Messiah Yeshua. It is our Salvation, within which we find renewal, courage-our strength, our love, our hope!


OCCULT SPELLS AND THE TIMELINESS OF GOD’S WORD THROUGH THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES

Prayer alerts were sent out to Believers around the world this past weekend in regards to an occult call over the internet for cursing U.S. President Donald Trump. The call does not appear to have been a hoax, but rather, a serious campaign launched on Twitter under the name #BindTrump, with instructions for a “mass ritual” to release “a spell to bind Donald Trump and all those who abet him.so that he may fail utterly.”

By the time it had been picked up and further promulgated by occultist Michael M. Hughes, it had already gone viral. The call contained instructions for releasing the curse on Friday night February 24th-and afterwards to be repeated “on every waning crescent moon (i.e. March 26th, April 24th, May 23rd. June 21st. etc.) until he is removed from office.” Along with the instructions it was recommended to “say a prayer of protection and invoke blessing from your preferred spirit or diety.” (It even contained the suggestion that it might be found helpful to read the 23rd Psalm aloud.). Many of the messages were accompanied with a traditional illustration of a witch beneath the words “Witches, We Need You!”

It is remarkable that earlier the same evening that the first of these spells against Mr. Trump were being cast, and also the morning following, Holy Scriptures were being read aloud in Synagogues around the world (Parasha Mishpatim), which included the following two verses:

“You shall not permit a witch to live.” (Exodus 22:18).
“You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people.” (Exodus 22:28).

Witchcraft is fueled by a desire for unlawful power. In Scripture it is linked with rebellion (I Sam. 15:23). Man’s first temptation was to rebel against the authority of God’s word. Yielding to that temptation resulted in death for both Adam and Eve and their descendants. As the God of Life, Elohim hates witchcraft. It an evil still moving in the world, will have still been deceiving and leading people astray when it is finally destroyed (Revelation 21:8, 22:15). Until that day, its power is broken by a walk of obedience to the authority of His Son Yeshua/Jesus-and through the power of His blood.

As we wrote last week, we find it instructive that the Hebrew words for “revile” and “curse” are the same two words used regarding the seed of Abraham in Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and those who revile you, I will curse.” “Cursing” is a solemn prerogative of the Most High.

PLEASE PRAY:

for grace amongst believers in Israel to bless our leaders with intercession on their behalf—that, while not being blind to their faults, we will not curse them by reviling them with our words, either by mouth or on the internet. It is God who raises up authorities…it is to Him that we have recourse if they misbehave.

[Dominating this morning’s news were accounts of the fiasco which took place in Los Angeles last night at the climactic moment of the Academy Awards, when the wrong film was announced as winner of “Best Picture.” A British paper reported that throughout the evening “The awards were handed out in between jokes and attacks on President Donald Trump.” God is not mocked. We are not to revile or curse our rulers.]

Martin and Norma Sarvis

Jerusalem, Israel

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