The Three Battlefronts
© July 2003 by Asher Intrater
Last summer many of the Israeli Messianic youth were taking part in a musical
outreach directed by Souled Out Ministries from Chicago. One evening in the
city square of Netanya, Eitan Shishkoff and I sat watching over the youth; we
were serving as parents/pastoral overseers. We felt as if we were watching the
fulfillment of a dream come true right before our very eyes.
At the same time we were praying for their protection. I was aware that we had
to pray for their protection from three different directions. First, since it
was a crowded public square, there was the danger of a terrorist attack. Secondly,
because they were sharing their faith, there was the danger of persecution from
the ultra-orthodox. Thirdly, because they were teenagers, there was the danger
from the influence of secular Israeli culture, filled with sexual immorality,
drug use, etc.
We have to face these three battle fronts every day. Many of the Israeli Messianic
youth, including our two older boys, serve in the Israeli army, protecting the
citizens from terrorist attacks. Believers around the world, who serve either
in law enforcement or in third world missions, have to face similar life threatening
situations. Whether from the communist regime in China, militant Muslims in
Indonesia, drug cartels in Columbia or organized crime in the inner cities,
believers who choose to stand up for righteousness will have to face threats
on their very lives.
The strongest opposition to Yeshua's (Jesus) ministry was not from the sinners,
but from the religious leaders and hypocrites. He even referred to them as snakes
and vipers (Matthew 23:33). Last week I was out sharing the gospel on the streets
of Tel Aviv. One of the ultra-orthodox "anti-missionaries" came to harass me.
He literally began to hiss at me. He cursed me over 100 times in a demonic tone
of voice saying, "You're going to burn in hell, you're going to burn in hell,
you're going to burn in hell...". When he finished, I simply danced a little
jig in the street (Luke 6:23).
The modern Western world is being flooded by spirits of sexual immorality. Essentially
it is a spirit of adultery. Its primary goal is to destroy marriages. I am struck
at how important the marriage relationship, and even the purity and beauty of
sexual relations within marriage, are in God's plan. In Genesis 1 we find that
mankind is made in God's image (Genesis 1:26). The most important relationship
for any human being is his relationship with God, being conformed to the image
of Yeshua (Jesus). Along with that relationship comes the blessing of receiving
authority in His name (Genesis 1:28) and of being filled with His spirit (Genesis
The second most important relationship is already found in Genesis 2, that between
a man and wife. This was part of God's plan in the Garden of Eden. That relationship
has a mission to bring other children into the world who will enter into the
Genesis 1 relationship with God (Malachi 2:15). That relationship also comes
with a blessing - companionship (Genesis 2:18) and sexual pleasure (Proverbs
I see the spirit of sexual immorality in the world in these end times being
symbolized by the figure of the "great whore" of the book of Revelation (chapters
17-18). I see the spirit of violence and terrorism being symbolized by the figure
of the "beast" in the book of Revelation (chapter 13). The spirit of the beast
has been found in many different forms throughout history.
One of the common factors of this violence is a spirit of revenge, particularly
combined with a sense of having been treated unfairly (having been "ripped off").
Cain murdered Abel because he saw God's blessings on Abel and was jealous. He
thought he had been treated unfairly by God, and sought revenge. The same may
be said of Ishmael's reaction to Isaac, and Esau's reaction to Jacob. In fact
this spirit of revenge has come through many generations. Ezekiel 35:5 - "Because
you have had an ancient hatred and have shed the blood of the children of Israel
by the power of the sword...."
The rejection of Yeshua by religious leaders and hypocrites is also mirrored
throughout the Old Testament in the attacks upon the prophets. Joseph's brothers
tried to kill him (Genesis 37). The people of Israel almost stoned Moses (Exodus
17:4). Saul's men tried to kill David; the kings of Israel tried to kill Elijah
and Elisha; the leaders of Judah almost killed Jeremiah; and actually did kill
Zechariah the son of Yehoiada (II Chronicles 24:21).
Let us be strong in our faith to stand against the criminal attacks of violence
against our bodies, the attacks of lust and immorality that seek to drain our
souls, and the lies of religious persecution that would seek to steal our spiritual
relationship with God through Yeshua (Jesus).
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