I write this hurriedly on the plane returning from Korea after 2 weeks of blessed and intensive ministry and preaching. A glance at the paper showed that Yassar Arafat is dying, on the very eve of the presidential elections in the U. S. The world is on the verge of another shifting in powers and principalities. One week from today, the world will be different.
I traveled with some friends for prayer to the border of North and South Korea. That line of demarcation has tremendous spiritual significance. Like the former Berlin Wall and the border between North and South Vietnam, the Korean 38th parallel represents the wall of partition holding back the giant of communism in China. North Korea, once a small puppet of their northern neighbor is today perhaps the most fiercely anti Christian and anti American nation remaining of the Communist bloc. South Korea, in terms of percentage of population and of denominational influence, may be considered the most dominant Christian community in Asia.
The spiritual tension that has been there since the Korean War cannot continue much longer. Whether there will come unification or conflict is yet to be determined. (There are even rumors that North Korea has planned an invasion of U. S. and South Korean military bases, using underground tunnels.)
In 2008, coinciding with the end of the coming U.S. presidential term, the international Olympics are to be held in Bejing. The impact of China is about to explode upon the world. One of the great mysteries of the kingdom of God has been the expansive growth of the underground home church movement in China over the past 20 years. Brother Yun, one of the leaders of the cell network, reports that at the turn of the year 2000, they estimated the number of members in their home churches to be 58 million born again Christians! That staggering figure represents the largest single block of evangelical believers at any time or place in history.
We had the joy of meeting together with Brother Yun for about an hour after his ministry in Jerusalem at the ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles. His stunning autobiography, “The Heavenly Man,” describes gruesome, nightmarish tortures that he underwent during 7 years in Communist prisons and over 30 arrests for the crime of preaching the gospel. He also tells of the supernatural signs and wonders, the dedication and the unprecedented growth all found in the Chinese underground church.
Yun also tells of their “Back to Jerusalem” vision (the sequel book), in which they are praying and preparing for a million “missionaries” to come out of China to evangelize the Buddhist and Hindu world, and then bring the gospel to the Muslim world; and finally to arrive “back” in Israel to prepare for the coming of Yeshua. Similarly to our view (note “Iraq to Armageddon,” pages 73-74), they teach of the Holy Spirit directing Paul not to preach the gospel in Asia (Acts 16:4-6), but rather to proceed westward. Almost 2,000 years of history has now brought the wave of revival evangelism to China and India and Southeast Asia.
The impending death of Arafat will impact the entire Muslim world and with it the United Nations, and the balance of international powers. Arafat was the primary promoter of the concept in the 1970’s, that the murder of innocent civilians in a publicized media event can be justified to obtain political gain. By the second Intifada, starting in the fall of 2000, the concept of suicide terrorism has now become a household word.
The concern in Israel and among the Palestinians is whether chaos will break out upon Arafat’s death, or whether the second level of PLO leadership (Abu Mazen, Abu Aleh, Gabril Rajoud, Muhammed Dahlan, etc.) can stabilize the Palestinian Authority’s rule. Unfortunately, Arafat’s leadership of the Palestinians has been centered on their “struggle” against Israel, rather than developing social institutions or governing infrastructure for the welfare of his people. That rallying call against Israel has also been a unifying element across the different factions of militant Islam.
As we look to the next four years, 2004 to 2008, the West will be greatly impacted by the U. S. elections; the Middle East by the death of Arafat; and the Far East by the emergence of China. This is a “Kairos” turning point. I would encourage as many of us as possible to dedicate time to prayer and fasting over these next three days, November 1, 2 and 3, as what will happen now will greatly influence our world and the kingdom of God.
I am reminded of the story of Ester, whom God called to a position of royalty at the exact time needed to save the Jewish people (Ester chapter 4). All of us who are true believers in Yeshua have been called to a kind of spiritual royalty as well. We need to be aware of the times and seasons in which we live, so that we can pray with prophetic discernment. Ester was able to change history through her prayer and fasting; so can we. (Prayer and fasting are to promote salvation in the world, salvation for Israel and salvation for God’s people everywhere.)
Amazingly, the Bible says that God “knew” us before we were born (Jeremiah 1, Romans 8). Considering His foreknowledge of our personality and giftings, He pre-determined for everyone the most strategic time and place in which to be born. Everyone of us is born for “such a time as this” in his or her own living situation. Joshua was born for the generation that was to conquer the promised land. David was born when the nation grew to the point to be ready to have a king. Hezekiah, one of David’s most godly offspring, was born for the crises of the destruction of the 10 northern tribes. Paul was born at the time when biblical faith was ready to explode across the Roman empire.
Let us be aware of the purposes and timing of God, so that we may pray and serve accordingly.
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.