Pre-Pope, Christian group denied entry to Israel Many would-be Middle Eastern participants in Jerusalem conference were refused visas or deported upon arrival Shortly before opening its doors to Pope Francis on...
We may well be living in the generation to witness Jesus’ return, a pastor from Singapore told a conference in Jerusalem where Arab Christians and Jewish followers of Jesus have been embracing one another in love and unity. And the ‘Isaiah 19 highway’ – which speaks of Egypt, Israel and Assyria (comprising much of the Middle East) one day becoming a blessing to each another – would pave the way for that event just as John the Baptist had prepared the way for the Messiah’s first coming.
A British-based Iranian woman brought up as a devoted Muslim has told how she became a Christian after an encounter with the God of the Bible. She heard His voice as she watched a movie about Jesus and later responded to His personal invitation spelled out in the Book of Revelation.
A Turkish Muslim who made a pilgrimage to Mecca in a desperate attempt to get his life back on track returned as a Christian to the great astonishment of his family. Now a pastor, Ali Pektash has been addressing a conference in Jerusalem called At the Crossroads and sees it as part of his mission to help re-unite the sons of Abraham.
A profound gesture of peace between Israel and Iran has been made at a conference in Jerusalem aimed at strengthening bonds of reconciliation between the sons of Abraham. Among those present was an Iranian pastor based in the UK. When a conference organiser took the opportunity to pray a blessing over that Iran, the pastor returned the favour by praying a blessing over Israel.
Canon Andrew White, who leads a 6,500-strong congregation at St George’s in the heart of the war-torn city, spoke of how his people were happy despite much suffering – 1,276 of them have perished as victims of violence in the past ten years. But Iraq has a Christian heritage going back to ancient times, he explained, and was part of the ‘Isaiah 19 Highway’ which forms the vision of the At the Crossroads conference, meeting at Christ Church in Jerusalem’s Old City.
This week, Christ Church Jerusalem is hosting Christians from the Middle East -- men and women who acknowledge their redemption by the blood of Yeshua the Messiah and who are determined to live together by the Holy Spirit. The nations represented at this gathering include Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia and Iran. Yes, that's right.
The first half of Isaiah is filled with judgments on Israel as well as the nations around her. The words of warning and woe are often punctuated with promises filled with hope, mercy and grace. Isaiah 19 is such a word. The last three verses of chapter 19 are rather stunning.