Saturday the 7th October 2023 will, forever, be etched on the corporate memory of both Israel and the world. More Jews were killed on this one day than at any other time since the holocaust. As I write this, the world is sitting on the edge of its seat, as cataclysmic events unfold in Israel, the epicentre of spiritual earthquakes.
I don’t actually remember the establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948, but I’m old enough to have vivid memories of the 1967 six-day war, watching my father listening to the radio with his Bible in his hands, as the extraordinary events of June 5-10 resulted in a seemingly “impossible” Israeli victory. And who can forget the Yom Kippur war of exactly 50 years ago?
Israel is, and always has been, the focal point of world history. These wars are modern-day marker points in the history of the land and its people, the place to which God sent His Son, the Messiah, and to which the Messiah will return when God calls ‘time’ on the pages of history and Satan’s time is over – a day that Satan dreads.
The first coming of Jesus shook the foundations of Satan’s Kingdom. The second coming will bring his reign as the god of this world to an end. Satan did everything he possibly could to eliminate the threat of Jesus coming to be the Saviour of mankind, by having all the baby boys in Bethlehem killed. But Joseph heard the warning voice of God and he, Mary and baby Jesus escaped as refugees to Egypt. We must not be surprised that the second coming will be preceded by Satan’s vicious attempts to stave off the inevitable. As it was for Joseph, being able to hear the voice of God in the midst of the turmoil will be vital for God’s people.
Jesus warned us in clear and uncertain terms that His second coming would be preceded by “great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again” (Matt 24:21). He said there would be “wars, rumours of wars . . . famines and earthquakes in various places” Simultaneously with the invasion of Israel by Hamas terrorists on the 8th October, an earthquake struck Afghanistan, killing over 2000 people.
Living as the People of God
For some time now, I have been planning to restart my earlier series of blogs on living as the people of God in the end-times. But I did not anticipate that the chosen day to resubscribe my data base for this purpose, would coincide with what I believe will be the most significant end-times event since the foundation of Israel as a nation in 1948. No-one, believer or unbeliever alike, can look at today’s news and ignore the global significance of what is happening. Believers who read and know their Bibles cannot look at today’s news and ignore its spiritual significance. Jesus IS coming again.
Between now and when Jesus returns, spiritual warfare will increase as Satan battles to keep believers deceived and blinded, so as to keep them from playing their part in an end-time harvest for the Kingdom of God (Matt 13:37-39 and 24:14), and so extend his time. In Daniel 10:12-13, the prophet describes how a demonic prince and the archangel Michael battled it out as Daniel was waiting for God to answer his prayers.
For Daniel, persistence in intercession was the key to answered prayer and having revelation from God himself. And, similarly, intercession is vital for God’s people today, for these are the days of Daniel, whose end-time prophecies will soon unfold. It was for these times that Daniel said “the people who do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (Daniel 11:32).
It is this that burdens my heart for today’s church. It is those who really know their God who will be strong. It is those who have learned to recognise His voice in the secret place who will be able to discern what He is saying in the heat of battle. It is those who are seasoned in the ways of God, whom God will use to bring about His end-time purposes. It is these who will be motivated to bring in the end-time harvest for the Kingdom of God. What is happening in Israel today is a massive wake-up call for the church – time is running out.
While the battle rages on the ground in Gaza, there is a different battle being fought in the spiritual realms. In effect, at the Fall, Satan, the arch-terrorist of the spiritual realms, invaded the hearts of man and took the whole of mankind hostage. God’s eternal plan, that the generations of mankind should become the citizens of Heaven, was contended for by the enemy from the beginning. Satan is jealous for what belongs to God. He wants to take God’s place, above the Almighty (Isaiah 14:12-14).
It is only Jesus who can set Satan’s hostages free, to fulfil God’s original plan and purpose for men and women, to be citizens of Heaven. John 3:16 succinctly describes God’s rescue plan. how He sent Jesus, the sinless Son of God to triumph over death and hell. To be a believer in Jesus is to be ‘in Christ’, and in Him we share in His victory over sin and death.
Just as mankind had a choice about choosing sin in the first place, mankind can now choose to reach out to the Saviour, the Messiah, to Jesus. Jesus is the only way of escape. We are living in dark days of spiritual deception, but they are days which God will use to bring many to salvation – there is an end-time harvest to be reaped for the Kingdom, by those who know their God and know how to proclaim “the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matt 24:14). The harvesters must be ready, for the day of the Lord is coming soon. Peter said, “It will come like a thief” (1 Peter 3:10) and Jesus warned, “Keep watch because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matt 25:13)
But, such will be the increase of deception and oppression from the enemy in the days leading up to the return of Jesus that, as Jesus said, “many will turn away from the faith.” and “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt 24:10 and 12). Sadly, this has already been taking place, as the cutting edge of the gospel has been watered down in exchange for a sanitised version of Christianity which Satan is happy to leave alone. Satan only becomes interested when the purposes of God are stirred up and his territory is threatened.
In parallel with this, however, there is also a rising up of believers who do know their God and who have been awakened to the real situation. They may or may not be part of an established church structure, but, together, they are the end-time church, passionate about Jesus and desperate to bring salvation, healing and deliverance into this fallen and very broken world. A world where the sheep have been left to wander and have become victims of the enemy’s trashing and thrashing (see Ezekiel 34:1-10).
Believers in today’s world need the ministry of healing and deliverance more than ever before, so that the world can see the truth of Jesus as prophesied in Isaiah 61:1-3. We have a message for the hurting, the broken, the grieving and the traumatised – Jesus is the healer and the deliverer. He sets the captives free.
Today’s events in Israel are a wake-up call – not just for Jewish people, but for believers throughout the world. They are not days for the faint-hearted – for there is a war on. The pure hatred in the heart of Hamas towards Jews, is simply a reflection of the hatred there is in the heart of Satan – not just towards Jews, but also towards believers in the Messiah. No wonder Paul found it necessary to describe the essential spiritual armour that is available to believers (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Where the Lord Walks
But, as Joshua discovered, the Captain of the Lord’s Host is with us in the battles (Joshua 5:13-15). It was His presence that made the ground holy. We need not fear. Jesus said, “See to it that you are not alarmed” (Matt 24:6). To be in Christ is everything. With Him we can walk on ground made holy by His presence. Jesus said, “Be sure of this, the Kingdom of God is near” (Luke 10:11). Without Him we are lost – not just in time, but for eternity. With Him both our time and our eternal future are secure.
We may not be able to avoid the traumas of living in these end-time days when, whatever happens in one place is, instantly, relayed around the world for all to see and hear. But, in Christ there is an eternal answer which transcends all things, a peace which truly is beyond human understanding.
Early in my ministry the Lord had me teach from the book of Nahum – which I discovered to be a unique treatise on spiritual warfare. Verse 3 of Chapter 1 reads: “where the Lord walks, storms arise, the clouds are the dust raised by his feet” (GNB). By the end of the message we knew that the Lord was walking with us in the meeting. The Captain of the Lord’s Host was present – we were on Holy Ground.
Storms arose as His presence convicted hearts, baptised some in the Holy Spirit, brought forgiveness, repentance, deliverance and healing to others. For three days God moved amongst us in unprecedented ways. He was teaching us that while we may go to war, it is He who will fight the battles and bring victory.
As spiritual darkness covers man’s understanding with a blanket of deception and his spiritual eyes are blinded by the enemy, our prayer must be that the darkness of these days will drive people to seek out the Light – Satanic darkness can never extinguish the Light of the World. The darkness only makes His Light shine brighter. It is harvest-time and He is the Lord of the harvest and as the darkness deepens, the innermost heart of man will cry out for help. Who will hear and answer those cries?
While our prayers today are especially with the people of Israel, as they negotiate the traumatic events that are unfolding hour by hour, this is what we read In Jeremiah 32:26 and 27.“Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: ‘I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?’” He is the God of all mankind – even of those who don’t yet recognize or know Him. My prayer is that there will be many who, in these desperate days, will seek Him and find Him.
In these ‘days of Daniel’ God is raising up a people to do His exploits in the extraordinary season we are all now passing through. As we study the Scriptures, and watch the news, let us not forget the words of the Apostle Paul, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have HOPE” (Romans 15:4).
As we pray for Israel, the families of those who have lost loved ones, all those that have suffered injuries and trauma, and everyone who has been caught up in the war, “let us fix our eyes our eyes on Jesus, the author and the perfector of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
These are urgent days for the Kingdom of God. More to come very soon in succeeding Blogs.
Peter Horrobin – October 11th 2023