©Revive Israel Ministries August 2, 2010
Blessings in Poland
By Sandy Hatfield
Recently we had the privilege of hosting 46 Israeli teens and their leaders at our campground in northeastern Poland. My husband and I have been praying for many years that the Jewish people would find blessing in Poland. So our hearts were filled with joy as the busload of teens arrived at our facility. Our staff and counselors came from six different countries so it was quite an international experience. For ten days we studied God's word, worshiped, prayed, swam, kayaked, took excursions, played crazy games, and developed friendships. In our small groups we discussed relevant themes to encourage them in their faith. We are thankful to God for this opportunity and pray that He will provide more times of blessing between Poland and Israel.
Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT for America (www.actforamerica.com), recently hosted a conference to address the rising influence of Islam in the Western world. She gave an excellent overview of history, from the 500’s to present, that exposes the myth that a “peaceful co-existence” with Islam is possible (to view seminar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgbPLAD85w4).
Guest speakers, such as R. James Woolsey, Jr., former Director of the CIA, and Andrew McCarthy, III, shared how Islamic infiltrators are using liberal ideology as a ladder into the U.S. government. They gave insight and understanding on issues such as "Islam as a totalitarian political movement," "The role of the U.S. Courts in the War on Terrorism," and "Reducing dependence on foreign oil."
Islamic extremism creates a society that is extremely oppressive to women. Let us pray for women's rights activists around the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to rise up against this oppression.
In September 1994, just a few years after the fall of communism, I had the opportunity of leading a church planting team in Makhachkala, Dagestan. Dagestan is a small nation located on the western side of the Caspian Sea neighboring Russia and about 150 miles north of Iran. The country had been under the influence of Muslim culture, tradition, and rule for hundreds of years until it was conquered by Russia in the late 1800’s. Since the fall of communism, the country has been under the increasing influence of radical Muslims who are desirous of an Islamic State.
Our team assisted local nationals, both Dagestani's and Russians, in planting Hosanna Christian Church. After two years, the church and its ministries were released to indigenous leadership. Under the indigenous leadership, the church has increased in numbers and ministries, establishing an honorable reputation throughout Russia and other countries.
Dagestan should be functioning under the rules of religious freedom that exist in Russia. However, Islamic extremists have stepped up persecution toward people of other religions and even Muslims whom they deem as too liberal.
Last Thursday, Artur Suleymanov, pastor of Hosanna Christian Church, was assassinated. He was shot in the head and then died in route to the hospital. A lone, masked gunman stepped up to the car, shot him through the window and then fled. Artur was a man of great passion for the Kingdom of God. He is truly a modern day martyr.
Reasons for the Name "Yeshua"?
Names in the Bible have great importance. Our savior was given the name "Yeshua" for TWO reasons. Yeshua in Hebrew is a shortened form of the name Yehoshua, which is the original name of Joshua, the hero of faith who led the conquest of Canaan. "Jesus" and "Joshua" are at root the same name.
The name Yehoshua means, "God saves" or "Yehovah saves." Of all the names that God could have given to the Messiah, He chose Yeshua (Matthew 1:21). The first reason is that saving mankind from sin and Satan, from death and hell, is the highest priority in the heart of God. Everything else is secondary.
Eternal life and forgiveness of sins - as offered to the world by the gospel - should be our number one priority as well. We need to leave the ninety nine to find the one who is lost (Matthew 18:12). The Messiah came into this world, first and foremost, to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).
The second reason that Yeshua was given the same name as Joshua is to show us that Yeshua's second priority is to take possession of planet earth at the second coming. Joshua is an image and type of Christ. (In fact it was Yeshua Himself who led the conquest of Canaan in the first place – Joshua 5:13.) As Joshua conquered the Promised Land over three thousand years ago, so will Jesus conquer the entire globe when He returns.
There is a parallel between Jesus and Joshua. There is a parallel between the conquest of Canaan and the Second Coming. At the First Coming, He came to save; at the Second Coming, He will come to conquer. Those are His first and second priorities. Those are the two reasons He was given the name Yeshua.
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