A Strategic Perspective On Preparing For Yeshua’s Return
UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES
The dimension and magnitude of the present moment in world history practically defy description. Gross darkness and chaos are over the earth. We are sobered by the unimaginable shifts and changes surely about to take place…from which there will be no going back. It would be a great mistake to think that tomorrow will be like yesterday or today. God birthed Israel out of the womb of Egypt when the Amorite cup of iniquity had reached full measure. If the life of Israel is the prophetic foreshadowing we believe it to be, the great move of the spirit we are longing for will only come once iniquity has again reached full measure.
Satan, knowing that Israel’s eyes being opened will light the fuse of his demise, will hold nothing back to keep that from happening. In the face of the continual onslaught of the entire kingdom of darkness, the local Messianic Body alone is simply not able to fill the Land with worship and praise to prepare the way of the Lord. The Lord’s way and place will not be established except through a living manifestation of the “One New Man.” We know that Jerusalem is the central focus of the final battle and the enemy’s last stronghold. However, when seeking an overall strategy for the war, there are some facts we might do well to consider.
A VIEW FROM HIGHER UP
Scripture tells us that there is a hierarchy of unseen spiritual forces (beings) whose activities affect our lives on a daily basis. As important as this is, most believers unfortunately do not think in these terms on a daily basis. Some years ago we heard a teaching — actually more like a prophetic revelation — concerning the Last Days spiritual forces to be encountered on the way to the consummation of God’s plan and Yeshua’s return. Realizing that there is no scriptural map to indisputably explain these things, we step into this arena trusting the Spirit to bear witness to the matter.
According to Yeshua’s words in Matthew 24, deception will be rampant in the end times. That which is most subtle is most deceptive. That which wrongly employs principles, truths, and examples from God’s Word and deeds is the subtlest of all. Throughout history, religion has been used to blind, manipulate, and control people. We understand this to be the work of a spiritual force we have come to refer to as the “religious spirit.” Under its dominion are untold millions of souls. Promoting a twisted idea of God, It enslaves people through pride and fear to further the goals of the kingdom of darkness. We believe that the stronghold of this spirit is in Jerusalem…the site of the final battle.
The power ranked just below that one, also influencing multitudes, promulgates the exaltation and deification of man. We know this force as humanism or the “Greek spirit”. Included here are materialism, worldliness and all types of lust. Those in its grip desire to be seen as the best, the richest, the smartest, and on and on. They live before men. This spirit leads people to lift themselves up by putting others down. We believe that the stronghold in Israel of this pervasive and destructive force is in the area of Tel Aviv.
The weakest, and therefore the first of the three to be confronted, is false religion. People caught up in false religions have something in common. They know the visible world is not all there is and have a consequent openness to spiritual things. There is generally less competition in this group in comparison to the other two, as their focus is more on the inner life, where success is not necessarily measured in relation to or depending on other people. Many of these are lovers of the truth whose eyes are yet blinded to Yeshua by the prince of this world. When the true light comes, many of these seekers will turn to the Lord. We perceive the stronghold of this power in Israel is the Galilee.
TIBERIAS AND THE GREAT RIFT
As we consider the spiritual dynamics of the Galilee, certain connections are immediately evident. Haifa is where Elijah battled the false prophets of Baal and it is the world center of the Bahai. Tsfat (or Safed) is the world center for Kabala…an occultic form of Jewish mysticism whose influence reaches also many non-Jews. Most gentile believers associate Tiberias with the Sea of Galilee and miracles Yeshua performed during His ministry on earth. But for many Orthodox Jews, Tiberias is second in importance only to Jerusalem. Every year tens of thousands come on pilgrimage to worship and pray at the tombs of many famous rabbis. This is not a small thing.
Orthodox Judaism is founded on the Torah and the Talmud. The Talmud is essentially a codification of rabbinical thinking, commentary, and fables that has at its heart an oral law believed to have been given to Moses by God along with the Torah. In actual practice, more time is spent studying the Talmud than the Torah. The three rabbis probably most influential in establishing this divergent stream of Judaism are all buried in Tiberias. Maimonides (also known as the Rambam) codified Jewish law and philosophy into the Mishna (part of the Talmud). Rabbi Akiva supported the Jews’ second revolt against the Romans and named Shimon Bar-Kochba as the Messiah, which caused the Jews who believed that Yeshua was the Messiah to separate from the rest. He was also part of a council responsible for removing from the Mishna all references pointing to Yeshua. All of the anonymous “miraculous” works in the Mishna are attributed to Rabbi Meir Ba’al Haness. Only Biblical Judaism lays the foundation for the New Covenant (see Jer. 31:31). This shift in emphasis, from the Torah to the Talmud, moves Judaism from God’s Word to man’s word, essentially creating a false religion. There is more to say about the inner workings of this dynamic, but we hope you can catch the heart of the point we are making. Because it begins with the Torah and subtly goes off, the error is exceptionally deceptive.
The Great Rift Valley is the line of separation between East and West. If you will, it is the geographical touch point of the battle between the children of Zion and the children of Greece (Zech. 9:13). It includes the Jordan Valley — the lowest inhabited valley on the face of the earth — and runs right through the center of Tiberias. The Talmud, which put Greek/humanistic thinking at the heart of Judaism, has its primary altar of worship in Tiberias. It is absolutely crucial that the Presence of God has a true dwelling place in this ancient city.
YESHUA AND THE GALILEE
It was in the “Galilee of the Gentiles,” the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that those who walked in darkness would see a great light (Is. 9:1-2). Yeshua grew up and lived thirty years in the Galilee. The first disciples were Galileans. Most of His miracles were performed here. After the Resurrection, the women at the tomb were instructed by an angel and by the Lord Himself to tell His disciples to go to the Galilee, and there they would see Him (Mat. 28:7,10). From one spot at the edge of our village on the western side of the Sea of Galilee, one can see where many believe Yeshua was baptized, where He walked on the water, where He fed the multitudes, where He preached His greatest sermon, and the mountain where He was transfigured. Throughout all of Israel there is nowhere that His peace is felt more than in the Galilee. Beloved, none of this was by chance, nor can it be without residual effect.
GALILEE WORSHIP GATHERINGS
God is not a formula. Every day…every moment…is different. The goal of the Galilee Worship Gatherings is to prepare a place for the Presence of the Lord so that God would have freedom to express whatever is on His heart. We are committed to following however the Spirit leads us. Father is longing for those who will walk with Him like Abraham…hand in hand…with eyes fixed on eternity.
Practically speaking, this means that we will corporately seek the Lord for daily direction. We will have before us a varied menu of possibilities: from worship to prayer to focused intercession…waiting, listening, being with local believers…going to spiritually significant places…and simply fellowshipping with one another. As we come with no agenda of our own, presenting ourselves as living sacrifices and poured-out offerings, God faithfully makes His agenda known.
A key element is that everyone’s thoughts, feelings, and impressions matter. Transparency is crucial. Regardless of physical or spiritual age, we are equally able to recognize the witness of the Holy Spirit. Though the gathering is strongly centered on worship, it is definitely not for musicians only. It’s for anyone who wants to take a time and be totally set apart for the Lord. As we seek nothing for ourselves in any way, the reality is that such a time will invariably have an effect on our lives, our work, our burdens and our nations. When the way is prepared, the Lord comes. And when He comes things happen.
It is our desire is that our brethren from the nations would be released and completely available to the Lord during their time here. Gatherings are between 10-14 days and are for from 8-12 people…not including the Israeli team. As we will be scheduling groups at different times throughout the year, let us know if you are interested and we will be glad to furnish you with details regarding dates and costs.