Israel Prayer Teams
PO Box 111302
Carrollton, Texas 75006




Prayer Insights from Purim:
God is Faithful When His People Are Not
by Howard Bass

We – and the rest of humanity – place ourselves in danger when we ignore God’s voice and His mighty deeds which ascribe glory to Him alone. The holiday of Purim reminds us of this real and present danger when God’s people – the Jews and Christians– ignore His grace and faithfulness to His purposes of redemption. (The Holocaust is another grave reminder of failing to heed the Providence of the LORD to keep His prophetic and covenantal promises). The LORD remains faithful in His love and for His Holy Name’s sake, even when we do not.

Esther 4:13-14 God’s sovereignty and faithfulness, and our own personal responsibility
Ezra 1:1-4 the proclamation of Cyrus, King of Persia
Purim is the only major Jewish holiday instituted outside the Land of Israel.

The events which happened to the Jews at the time of Queen Esther and Mordecai occurred about 50-60 years after King Cyrus had issued the call for the people of the LORD to return to the Land of Israel to rebuild the Temple of the LORD in Jerusalem. Most of the Jews did not go up but rather remained in the galut (exile). They apparently preferred the life amongst the people who served other gods and had little taste for returning to the harsh life of rebuilding society under the Hand of God.

Nonetheless, the LORD had left some believers in Persia in order to preserve His people and a testimony for His Name. The scroll of Esther is notable for not mentioning God directly. While it is evident throughout the book that the God of Heaven was overseeing and intervening through events here on Earth, it is also a picture of the galut mentality that the Name of the true God is forgotten by His people. Practically and spiritually the people are in exile: they do not know who their God is, and have no personal relationship with Him. They celebrate their freedom like pagans rather than in a manner worthy of Him who has called them to serve Him who is Lord over all.

This is the present reality of Israel – both within the land and without. Because of unbelief and unwillingness to return to the LORD, the Father of Israel, through His beloved Son Yeshua, the Jewish people continue to find themselves threatened with annihilation by those who oppose them for being the people chosen by God, and primarily rely on their own skills and power to prevail.

Just as the LORD has kept His Word in the past – when He preserved and redeemed His people out of Egypt, and again delivered them from destruction by their enemies like Haman, and again saved a remnant through the Holocaust and re-established a sovereign nation-state in our own day – so too will God be faithful to Himself and to Messiah Jesus, who died on the cross to allow God to accomplish all His purposes for His people, and bring the Jewish people and Israel through its worst crisis. In doing so, He will also save many other people as well, just as in Egypt, Persia, Europe, when they saw Him act on behalf of His chosen – even while they were outside His full covering. Praise the LORD!

Es. 9:27 - For believers in Jesus – whether Jewish or not -- the story of Purim has lessons for us:

What is God’s Name? – Many who are called Christian/Messianic live their lives as if in exile: not actively representing the Kingdom of Messiah in the country in which we live; not confessing the Name of Jesus before men out of fear or because of what public faith in Him requires of us. We can either serve the Lord Jesus or not, willingly or not, but He will ever remain faithful and true to His name.

Jesus outside our worship. – There are local churches who, in the Lord’s eyes, have kept Him outside; they are in spiritual exile, yet He calls to those inside to repent and return to Him, and so He to them.

Pagan spirit in celebrations. – Many called Christian celebrate their sacred days in a manner more like the heathen than honoring the holy God who purchased them with His own blood.

Vengeance is YHVH’s. – When we are far from the close relationship with our Father in Heaven, we often resort to carnal and desperate means for protecting ourselves from our enemies. That itself should be a clue to us that perhaps we are not where we should be. Vengeance is the LORD’s! He will judge and war against those who curse His people and seek to wipe them out.

Remnant suffers for righteousness sake. – Mordecai and Esther were willing to suffer for righteousness sake in order to honor God and to seek protection for their people against their enemy, who only seeks his own glory. They represent a believing remnant who fear the LORD and identify with His/their people.

Israel and the Church will prevail! – The faithfulness of God to Israel gives comfort and hope to the believers in Jesus. God’s sovereignty and providence work all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. No weapon formed, not even the gates of Hades, will prevail against the people whom God has chosen for His inheritance and glory!

By Howard Bass Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation in Beer Sheva


“Narrow is the way,” Yeshua said, “that leads to life.”  Here the congregational leader of Beer Sheva, the congregation which was the target of attack by a religious mob on December 24, 2005, speaks to Jewish and Christian believers alike. It is a reminder to us all that we must ‘keep the first thing first.’ 
When our priorities right, our prayers will follow suit.

 The Incense of Prayers

 By Howard Bass
of the Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation in Beer
Sheva, Israel.

 Replacement Theology began a long time ago, when first, Jews and then, Christians went to the left or to the right of the Spirit of Truth of God the Father’s Word.  We replaced the commandments and promises of God with traditions of men and hope in this world, which opposes the Kingdom of YHVH God and of His Anointed One. 

 The Messiah and Son of God Himself has taught us to pray firstly for the sanctification of our Heavenly Father’s name, and that HIS will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (I’m writing English, and this name honors Him), we are commanded by Him to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness. 

(If I may turn aside for a moment after what I’ve just written:  if born-again believing Christians get involved with all kinds of unprofitable nonsense over the name of our Lord and Savior, we can certainly not expect much favor from God.  In this we show ourselves to be like the Jewish people who, too, have made a mockery of The Name of the God who chose us! All this done in the interest of sanctity and reverence!)

For all her significance and importance in God’s plan and purposes, Israel is not the focus in His sight:  Jesus Christ is.  He—or the nation—who denies that Jesus is the Messiah is the liar, or, in other words, is the false prophet.  He—or the religion—that denies the Father and the Son is the antichrist, or, in other words, the one who would both take the true Messiah’s place and also oppose Him. 

The Messiah is anointed to be the Prophet greater than Moses; the High Priest according to YHVH God’s word to Melchizedek; and the King of kings, heir to the throne of David and to the Father’s.  Those who do not believe in Jesus/Yeshua for who He is also do not have the Father.  This is no small matter. 

It is a very big matter when it comes to our prayers, which are offered as a sacrifice to God on the basis of Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins and the sin of the world.  Do we know that we are forgiven?  Is the world crucified to us?  Are we crucified to the world?  Those who do not worship God in the way which HE has prescribed are idolaters, whether they profess to believe in only one God or not.  Jesus is the Way, and He has shown us the way. 

Israel is still under God’s righteous judgment despite being partially re-established in part of the land promised to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, and to their descendants forever.  Israel/the Jewish people still resist the Holy Spirit of God and persecute Yeshua and His church, especially when Jews are part of the composition or Jews are the object of the good news of God’s grace and righteousness.

On the other hand, Christians who currently believe and understand God for His purposes regarding Israel – as relevant and significant as that is – are not deemed more righteous in God’s sight than some other believer who, at present, does not.  There are many believers (and even unbelievers) who stand with Israel, but are missing His mark in other vital areas pertaining to standing with Jesus and manifesting fruit of holiness and righteousness in their life.  And, likewise, there are some dear saints and prophets of God who, for whatever reason at present, just don’t see it, but are precious to God and to many others.  Humility (in bold letters!) is the woof and web of our God our Father’s character and of His Son.

Everything that is taking place in the Middle East and the rest of the world must be seen and understood in the light of the revelation of Jesus Christ.  He is coming again to judge the nations – including His chosen nation Israel – and to rule them in righteousness and justice.  These terms, in righteousness and justice, are related but they are not synonymous; they are too often confused and misused.  Without understanding this perspective, our prayers and intercessions will be short-sighted or wrongly motivated. 

The fervent and righteous prayers of the saints which God has been “collecting” -- until the appointed time to begin answering them – have to do with the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Lk 18:1-8; Rev 8:3-6).  When we grasp that the justified believers from all history who will have part in the first resurrection will be reigning priests with Messiah over Israel and the other nations, then it is evident that neither is the Church “Israel” nor Israel “the Church!”  These replacement theologies have made void the manifold promises and blessed hope of all creation with false expectations and fables!  Jesus promised that when the Son of Man returns He “will bring” righteous justice, but added “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

The religious and secular who trouble the believers in Israel (and elsewhere) are a mixture of God-fearers who really believe they are doing God’s will, and of “worthless, lawless people” (bnei belial), or rabble rousers.  By the grace and power of God, some of these will ultimately repent and be saved, and many will not.  Better to be saved NOW through repentance and faith and to have part in that blessed and holy first resurrection, than to wait in uncertainty whether God will show mercy on them or not.

Under the Torah, a false prophet was to be killed.  According to rabbinic Judaism, Jesus is considered the false prophet deserving of death.  Therefore, we who believe and follow Him in our worship of God are likewise under a death sentence.  As the Lord informed us, there will be those seeking to kill us, thinking it to be God’s will.  This is what the “great” Jew Saul was doing before he “saw the Light”, and became “little” (Paul) in his own eyes.

While God has warned that He will judge those who divide HIS land, He also allows room for it being divided as long as the Jewish people are unrepentant and refuse to return to Him through Jesus.  This Jesus, whom He sent to restore not only the tribes of Jacob and the preserved ones of Israel, He sent also to the Gentiles who are called by His name.  “Stumbling will come, but woe to him through whom it comes!” 

The Israeli Jewish people do have claims of sovereignty in the land from the LORD—but without receiving Jesus, who alone comes in the name of YHVH, they have no blessings and no peace or security. 

The Arabs do have a right to live within the State of Israel and to be treated justly.  The “strangers in the land” are those gentiles (non-Jewish Israelis) who are with the people whom God has chosen and who honor the God of Israel.  The “alien, or foreigner in the land” is a “thorn in the side”, ones who do not join themselves to the calling and destiny of Israel. 

The Arabs and other gentiles have no claims of sovereignty over the land of Israel, but the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob is offering both Jews and Arabs much more in Christ now than what both sides are in fear and conflict over now.  And this is our message to them:  the gospel of Yeshua the Messiah and the Kingdom of God—as they receive the forgiveness of their sins, are baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, and receive the free gift beyond all imagination of eternal life with God the Father and with Jesus His beloved!

Our prayers and intercessions for the salvation of Muslims – who deny the Father and the Son – are of major concern to God.  Being gentiles, the one true living God will give them a new heart and a new Spirit with which to show mercy to Israel and to provoke Israelis to jealousy for their God.  What a deliverance from darkness to light, from revenge born of bitterness to love born of the triune God!  The gospel is the power to save both Jews, Arabs, Greeks, Iranians, Americans. 

Christians are not Israel’s savior.  We are only witnesses of the One who is Israel’s savior, and we serve Him in God’s wondrous plan of redemption.

What we believers are facing in Beer Sheva, in Arad, in Rishon LeZion, in the Galilee around Tiberias is not something strange.  Many other believers in Jesus as Lord and Messiah have suffered – and are even now suffering – for His name’s sake.  The enemy is waging a war of attrition to wear down the saints. 

Praise God for Jesus in Whom we have the victory through His resurrection and the hope of our ultimate redemption!  May we all be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to love and to bless those who now hate us and curse us, even as we pray and proclaim the Truth.  We want to be faithful to Him who has shown such love to us, and be so used of God that the Holy Spirit will convict them of righteousness, of sin, and of judgment.  Let our salt be salty and our light shining.  Even so, come Lord Jesus! 

Howard Bass

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