“For You light up my lamp, O LORD, my God illumines my darkness.” (Psalm 18:28)
“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, For on Him the Father, God, has set His seal” (John 6:27)
Ceramic seal impressed with menorah. The 1500 year-old seal, discovered in recent years by archaeologists near Acre, is thought to have been a “bread stamp” used by a Jewish baker to certify his bread as kosher.
Photo by: Israel Antiquities Authority
For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’”
John 6:32-33 (NKJV)
1. WINDS AND FLAME IN GAZA.
The so called “March of Return” violent protests on the border with Gaza continue. There is no question that the Hamas-led riots are being fueled with incitement from Iran. Friday they were called to be released in solidarity with “Al Quds Day” (Al Quds is Arabic for Jerusalem). Initiated by the late Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini almost 40 years ago, Al Quds Day was established to be observed annually on the last Friday of Ramadan, for the purpose of expressing international solidarity against Israel, support for the Palestinians, and for the liberation of Jerusalem from Zionist rule. This past week some 10,000 Palestinians approached the border fence. Before the day was over, four had been killed and many wounded. However, the numbers and the intensity of this protest was down from what had been expected…the fury of the riots reached their peak almost a month ago when, on the day the US Moved its embassy to Jerusalem masses stormed the fence, 62 were killed and many hundreds injured. The enthusiasm for attacking the border appears, at least for the time being, to be waning.
Yet during the past two months, a new form of over-the-border terrorism has been activated from the Strip. Hundreds of incendiary kites—and more recently, helium-filled balloons—have been launched over the border. After being fitted with a long string to which a bag of some burning fuel is attached (or may be set alight remotely by cell-phone), the kites or balloons are released into the winds where they are carried over Israeli territory where they then fall and ignite the fields or forests beneath. This evil device began to be utilized just as Israel’s late spring wheat crop was dry and nearing harvest. Hundreds of these kites and balloons have been launched. As of this past week, an estimated 4,500 acres of agricultural fields, forests and grasslands have been burned, causing $1.4 million in damage. Israel has tried many means, including the use of drones to bring down the balloons before they reach the fields; she has so far refrained from actively attacking from the air those who are launching them. But patience is wearing thin.
* For a ruakh (Hebrew for “wind” and “spirit”) of God to blow over the Gaza Border—driving back the fires sent for destruction.
* That “GOD, God of the Spirits of all Flesh” (Hebrew: El Elohei-haRukhot l’Chol-Basar ; See Numbers 16:22 below) would silence the spirits of hate, murder and violence which bind and rule over the Arab people in the Gaza Strip.
* Hebrews 1:7 (Psalm 104:4). ‘And of the angels He says, ‘Who makes His angels winds, and His ministers a Flame of Fire.’” That the LORD of Armies will release angelic hosts, bearers of His wind and flame, in fighting the ancient powers over Gaza, which are enemies both of Israel and of the Gazan’s themselves.
* That Israel’s leaders will be granted divine guidance and counsel in how to deal with this situation; how to protect Israel’s border-lands and citizens firmly and where-possible, mercifully. Most people outside of Israel are unaware of the gestures made by Israel on behalf of the citizens under Hamas rule who are antagonizing us–thousands of tons of humanitarian aid Israel allows to be passed into Gaza daily.
2. WINDS AND FLAME IN TEL AVIV.
Friday afternoon, as ten thousand Palestinians were following a spirit-wind in Gaza, 250,000 were following a different wind in Tel Aviv as the city’s 20th annual “LGBTQ Pride” parade (its largest yet) poured through its streets. The parade marked the end of two weeks of revelry—film festivals, concerts, exhibitions. The parade is the largest of its kind in the Middle East. The city has for a number of years been listed among the prime “gay destinations” in the world; and each year tens of thousands visit from abroad. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai was on hand to launch the event, declaring, “I am proud to stand here before you. I remember how it was 20 years ago when we started this parade, and I am thrilled to see the wide audience here in the street…we will walk together and we will break down the barriers of hate, of separation…and we will reach a situation where—in the free and sovereign State of Israel—every human being will be equal.” The Chairman of Israel’s LGBT Task Force, in inviting all to the parade, released the call, “Come and be proud, as men and women, come and be more political. Come to the rally because together we will prevail over darkness…”
“…But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)
We wrote on this parade in an Update seven years ago. Since that time, it has grown to a quarter of a million. And “Pride” continues to be its banner, its watch-word: “Pride 2018” “I am proud to stand here before you…” “Come and be proud…we will prevail over darkness.”
God has an answer for these people, a way out of alienation, and loneliness, into peace and wholeness. But He has not changed, “He resists the proud—He gives grace to the humble.” Below we print again what we wrote in 2011. Please read it prayerfully…and may God release a way of cleansing, healing, righteousness and true and wholesome identity to His people whom He is returning to the Land.
TEL AVIV: “BEST___ CITY OF 2011”.
In a recent international American Airlines competition purportedly selecting the most popular destinations among LGTB (i.e. lesbian, homosexual, trans-gender, bi-sexual) tourists, Tel Aviv was named “Best Gay City of 2011”. Israel received 43% of the votes; New York City was second with only 14%. During the competition, Tel Aviv was described as “the gay capital of the Middle East.” This is only the most recent in attempts to highlight homosexual activity in the city as a drawing card for tourism. In 2010 a campaign was launched in England and Germany to label Tel Aviv an official “gay destination”. Also in 2010, a 144-page Chinese travel guide calling Tel Aviv a “paradise for members of the gay and lesbian community” was published,. It was a “joint initiative by Israel’s Foreign Ministry mission in Taiwan’s capital Taipei and a Taiwanese publishing firm specializing in gay literature” and was entirely devoted to homosexual attractions in Tel Aviv (“Chinese travel guide dubs Tel Aviv ‘gay paradise”: by Boaz Arad; Travel; ynetnews.com; 07/26/10; 15:40). Tel Aviv applied to host this summer’s “World Pride 2012” parade, but London won out. Israel’s Tourism Ministry responded positively to such initiatives, reporting that it supports targeted marketing campaigns likely to increase tourism to Israel.
I. “’As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, “neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride…they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.” (Ezekiel 16:48-50).
II. “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses…” (Ezekiel 36:24-29 NKJV).
III. “For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as a brightness, and her salvation as a torch that burns” (Isaiah 62:1).
IV. “In that day the LORD of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, for a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate” (Isaiah 28:5-6).
The Bible does clearly teach that participation in physical homosexual activity is sin. As such, it falls within many “uncleannesses” (II. above) from which God has promised to cleanse His people Israel after bringing them back to the Land. Yet sexual perversity was not the first great sin of Sodom leading to her destruction (See I. above), but rather “pride” and “haughtiness” in her sin. A flaunting, defiant celebration of any sin invites the severe discipline of Israel’s God on behalf of the destiny of the people whom He loves.
It is not unusual for us to hear Christians from the nations responding with shock when told of certain sins being rampant in our land. “I just can’t believe that would happen in Israel!” is a typical response (as though returned Israel were expected to be automatically shining in righteousness simply because she is “Israel”.) We believe that that will someday be the case, but not yet. The Evil One is aware that his time is short, that Israel’s coming back, not only into her land, but into Covenant with her God will mean “life from the dead” for many nations. So even as he musters enemies from outside her borders, he positions others to work from within to keep her in darkness, to confuse and debase and pollute. Yet the Spirit of God is also at work within her to “convict of sin and righteousness and judgment” (“She will remember her evil ways and her deeds which were not good; she will come to loathe herself in her own sight, for her iniquities and her abominations.”—Ezekiel 36:31). Meanwhile, Isaiah 62:1 (“III” above) shows that another catalyst for her igniting into a torch of righteousness will be the fervent intercession of those who see her need and allow that Spirit to awaken in them the Father’s love and compassion for her, even in her sickness.
*For Israelis who are bound in sexual sin to be set free.
*For a holy Light to shine this year, clarifying and defining in holiness and truth areas in which the enemy has blurred and confused identity and gender among the children of Jacob.
*For the Body of Messiah in Tel Aviv to be strengthened and granted strategy from the Holy Spirit in bringing down strongholds of sexual sin and perversion, and providing a way into wholeness. Many, many Israelis are from broken or dysfunctional homes which have left them confused and helpless.
*For Jerusalem to arise in her redemptive destiny, that her righteousness would go forth as a blazing torch—first in bringing illumination to the other cities within Israel. That the awakened remnant would receive insight and strength in the Holy Spirit so as to “turn back the battle at the gate”—including the gateway of Tel Aviv.