The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
I have been reading about the "spider web" of massive, concrete tunnels in Gaza where most of the hostages of Hamas are hidden; and for the past two days the Scripture from Acts (above) has been ruminating strongly in my spirit. In fact, today I even seemed to "see" this incredible, supernatural event that I'm praying Almighty God might bring to pass in Gaza. I prayed, "Sovereign God, You alone know where all these hostages are hidden, deep underground in a network of solid concrete. Do what you did for Paul and Silas, Lord! Cause the ground to shake with a great earthquake that breaks apart the concrete and send mighty warring angels to carry each one of these precious people to safety! Do it, Lord, for Your Name's Sake! Do it to show that you are the God of Israel and God over the whole earth! Your word so clearly displays your heart for the Jewish people and for those who were tortured, beaten, and kidnapped. Some trust in horses and some trust in chariots (some trust in human, military might) but Father, WE trust in the Lord our God who is mighty to save!
I am sending this out tonight in the hopes that you will pray this prayer with me. Our God has always shown Himself powerful and mighty in war, defending His people. He leads out the prisoners with singing! I am singing His praises, and believing His promises, just as Paul and Silas were doing in the prison. May it cause an earthquake to shake the ground, the tunnels to split apart, and His enemies to flee before Him!
May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
may his foes flee before him.
May you blow them away like smoke--
as wax melts before the fire,
may the wicked perish before God.
But may the righteous be glad
and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
This one certain Scripture keeps reverberating in my spirit day and night:
When people are saying, “Everything is so peaceful and secure,” then destruction will suddenly come upon them..." (1 Thess. 5:3) This is, of course, what just happened in Israel. Precisely at the moment that it looked as if many of the Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, would "normalize relations" and secure peace and safety for Israel, sudden destruction came upon them.
Now there are many people writing to me and calling me, asking me how to pray. I decided to write this blog to help us all come into alignment with God's heart concerning Israel and the Jewish people. Watching too many videos and news reports on this war can pull us into politically biased opinions and give us distorted views about Israel. This blog will be longer than usual, but I feel it's essential for those of us who want to stand with Israel to understand why we should and how God Almighty looks at it, and how we can pray in alignment with His heart.
Of course, we all know that in the beginning of His Story (history!) He called a man named Abraham to come out of his pagan homeland of Ur and to go wherever God led him. In Genesis 12:2-6 God makes His covenant with Abraham, promising that he will become "a great nation" and that through him all nations will be blessed" (because the Messiah would come through his line). Through this covenant our Sovereign God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, made a decision to choose a people and land for Himself. In doing so, He set the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob apart as His own and He led them eventually into the Land He promised them as their own inheritance, FOREVER. The following Scriptures help bring us fully into the rhythm and the heartbeat, as well as the mind and purposes of the Holy One of Israel:
Exodus 6:7-8: I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.
Deut. 4:31, 33-39: For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.
Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, driving out before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.
Jeremiah 10:16: Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things,
and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the Lord of hosts is his name.
Jeremiah 13:11: For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory...
Thus says the Lord,
who gives the sun for light by day
and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar--
the Lord of hosts is his name:
“If this fixed order departs
from before me, declares the Lord,
then shall the offspring of Israel cease
from being a nation before me forever.”
And the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When God restores the fortunes of his people,
let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground,
except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
declares the Lord.
I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land that I have given them,” says the Lord your God.
CAN THERE BE ANY QUESTION HOW OUR GOD FEELS ABOUT HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL? What an astounding declaration He makes that Israel will NEVER cease to be a nation before Him unless the whole order of the universe disappears!
So, keeping in mind all these promises and all this love God has for Israel, let's take a look at how He feels about her enemies. The thing we have to get straight in OUR minds is that Israel's enemies are GOD'S ENEMIES! Psalm 11:4-5 says:
The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord's throne is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.
The Lord tests the righteous,
but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
Keep in mind that the Hebrew word for violence is hamas. God hates the one who loves Hamas, because this terrorist organization embodies demonic evil and violence.
So, you might ask, why does God allow these great tests and trials to come upon His beloved people? The Bible is filled with the stories of how He has allowed plagues, desert wanderings, invasion of wicked enemies, and wars for one reason, and one reason only: TO CALL HIS WAYWARD PEOPLE TO RETURN TO HIM! It is His cry of "Teshuva" - which means "Repent, turn from your sin and come back to your God and to His commandments!"
I believe this cry of God's Voice was evident within the "Ring of Fire" solar eclipse many of us observed on October 14th. I have since learned that the three-stranded terrorist proxies of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Jihad, are called "The Ring of Fire." So God answered His enemies with a marvelous sign in the sky that not only gave a call of "Teshuva" to the U.S.A. (who has wandered far from him), but also revealed Himself to the lost, both Jew and Gentile. I discovered that the duration of this eclipse was 4 hours and 53 minutes. Pastor Troy Brewer stated that the Holy Spirit directed him to Genesis 45:3 for understanding. This verse reads: And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. Then verse 4 says, So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph!"
Do you see the marvelous message of this beautiful ring of fire in the sky? Yeshua is going to be revealing Himself to His people through this time of war and devastation. He is lifting the veil over the Jewish people, just as Joseph lifted off his Egyptian headdress and makeup and in tears, said to his brothers "Come near to me!" I have good and very dear friends in Israel, most of whom are believers and Messianic pastors, and they are sharing with me stories of so many secular Israelis reaching out and asking, "Will you tell us what it says in the Bible?" and "Who is this Yeshua you talk about?"
The Red Horse of Revelation 6 is indeed riding; and the wars and rumors of wars (Matthew 24) are escalating and undoubtedly headed into conflict with Israel's Arch-Enemy, Iran, the PRINCE OF PERSIA. This is a principality of Satan so strong in its hatred of the Jewish people that Michael, the Archangel, had to battle him 21 days and call for another chief archangel to help him in the battle! (See Daniel 10:12-13). This Prince of Persia antichrist spirit is alive and well in the nation of Iran and its evil proxies and its goal is the total annihilation of Israel and every Jew. It is stirring up the spirit of anti-Semitism across the world. BUT GOD IS WORKING SALVATION IN THE MIDST OF IT!
I delighted to listen tonight to Gen. Avivi of the I.D.F. in an interview. He stated, "All eyes are on the God of Israel. The connection to our God is strong. In war you don't hesitate. Everybody is speaking with God and seeking His guidance and protection."
I hope you made it all the way through this blog to read this last quote! And I hope it made your heart rejoice at it did mine! Speaking for his soldiers and his Israeli friends and families, he is telling of the Teshuva he sees and hears in the Land as people humble themselves and seek their God. It reminded me of one of my favorite passages in all the Bible, when King Jehoshaphat and a united Israel faced a great army coming against them and they prayed, "We are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You!" (2 Chron. 20:12)
We know how all this ends, Beloved. Isaiah 65:17-19 gives us the glorious picture. So, keep watch, stay in prayer, and I hope this may have helped your heart to beat with our Lord's heart!
“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever
in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
and her people to be a gladness.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress.
Kelly Ferrari Mills