By Dr. Jürgen Bühler, ICEJ President 

The current war in Israel is not just a war fought in the physical realm. From early on, it was obvious we were dealing not just with a political conflict, but primarily a conflict of tremendous spiritual dimensions. Last October 7 witnessed the darkest manifestation of antisemitism since the Holocaust during World War II. After visiting the Gaza border communities several times and seeing first-hand the results of the atrocities and barbarism committed that day, it felt like peering into the abyss of hell. Indeed, we witnessed a powerful demonic spirit at work. Throughout the Bible, this spiritual principality is identified with Amalek, and it surely gripped the followers of Hamas in Gaza that day, just like it did the Nazis in Germany back in the 1930s and 40s. 

This Amalek spirit emerges in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, with the story of the brotherly rivalry between Jacob and Esau. Although these twin brothers eventually reconciled, Esau had a grandson named Amalek who allowed his jealousy and hatred of Jacob’s descendants to grow, and his lineage inherited it down through the generations. The Bible warns of the dangers arising from such sibling rivalries, as we see in the companion teaching by David Parsons on the tensions which arose between Cain and Abel. And we even find it culminating in the End of Days, as set forth in Revelation chapter 12. 

This intriguing chapter, found in the last book of the Bible, reveals certain aspects of the cosmic reality and the hidden roots of this ancient conflict in our times, particularly since October 7. In Revelation 12:1, the Apostle John sees “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.” This woman is pregnant and about to give birth. Then another sign appears: a dragon is standing in front of the woman ready to devour the child being born. The unique features of the dragon are that he has seven heads with ten horns and on each head a diadem, or crown. The word of God identifies this great dragon as “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.” (Revelation 12:9) Jesus calls him the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31), and Revelation 12:10 refers to him as the “accuser of our brethren.” The same envious spirit that was crouching at the door of Cain’s heart, urging him to lash out at his brother Abel, is still busy with the very same strategy in the heavenlies as well as on the earth. 

Joseph’s Dream, Bible drawing by Otto Semler (Flickr)

But who is the woman? The references to the sun, moon and twelves stars appear only one other time in a similar way, back in Genesis in a dream of Joseph that caused great jealousy and even accusations among his brothers: “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, ‘Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.’” (Genesis 37:9) 

This is a clear reference to Jacob, his wife Rachel and his twelve sons – the same Jacob who became Israel, Patriarch of the Jewish nation and people. John saw the same imagery adorning the woman, depicting Israel, who was in birth pangs and about to give birth to a male child. This child was the promised Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) who was to rule the world with a rod of iron (Revelation 12:5; Psalm 2:9, 110:2; Isaiah 11:4; Revelation 2:27, 19:15). The main target of the dragon was not the woman but the male child. However, he taken up to heaven (see Acts 1:9) and was thereby removed from Satan’s threat. So, his attention and anger were then directed against the woman – Israel. 

The important truth revealed here is the eternal hatred that Satan has against the Jewish people. Israel was called to play a unique role in the world, to bring forth the salvation plan and purposes of God to humanity. From the beginning, God declared that through their seed, “all the families of the world shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3) Israel was called to be “a light to the Gentiles” (Isaiah 42:6), and a priestly kingdom (Exodus 19:6), purposed by God to save the nations of the earth. Through Israel, the word of God was given (Romans 3:1). They brought forth the Messiah in the flesh (Romans 9:5). All twelve original Apostles who first preached the Gospel to the Gentiles were Jews. This is undoubtedly a nation called like no other nation. In our day, Israel has returned to their ancient homeland. The main purpose of this Ingathering is to bring back the Messiah to our world, therefore Satan knows “that he has a short time.” (Revelation 12:12) And if he can destroy the “woman” – meaning Israel and the Jews – he believes he can frustrate God’s plan of redemption for mankind.  

It is worth noting that Satan’s main tactic and weapon in the heavens is “accusation.” It was his main method throughout the centuries before Christ’s birth (see Job 1:6; Zechariah 3:1). And on the earth, the constant use of accusation remains his main strategy. The word translated as “accuser” in Revelation 12:10 is the Greek word kategoros, from which we derive the word “category.” The Oxford dictionary defines category as a “division of people as having particular shared characteristics.” 

In many ways, this “categorisation” is at the root of all the world’s racism and xenophobia, and this is especially true with regards to the Jewish people. We see it in the scroll of Esther when Haman appears as the main accuser – or categoriser – of the Jews, telling King Ahasuerus: “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore, it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.” (Esther 3:8) 

Recent anti-Israel protest at Columbia University in New Year (credit AFP)

This demonic force of false accusation is at the very root of antisemitism, both then and today. It is what drove Martin Luther to write his notorious pamphlet “Against the Jews and Their Lies.” It made the Nazi officials at the Wannsee conference, although many were raised in Christian homes, to agree to the ‘Final Solution’ – meaning the plan to murder eleven million Jews in Europe and North Africa. And it causes the writers of Palestinian schoolbooks to deny any Jewish history or right to live in the Land of Israel, thereby raising yet another generation of antisemitic Palestinian youth, including those who stormed the Israeli communities along the Gaza border on October 7. It fuels the poisonous teachings in mosques and Koranic schools that made them believe Jews can be slaughtered like beasts. And this very same spirit recently led 15 out of 17 justices at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to heed the voice of the “accuser of the brethren,” as they ignored the genocidal intentions and actions of Hamas and instead gave credence to the false charge that Israel is seeking to annihilate the Palestinians. 

The power of such words, thoughts and concepts should never be underestimated. They can be daunting demonic lies that are hard to resist. In Revelation 12:15, it says: “So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.” Note how often the power of the mouth or voice is referenced in Revelation (for example, see 9:17, 13:5, 16:13). 

It also is noteworthy that the lion’s share of the world’s media today is highly critical of Israel, if not outwardly antisemitic. This demonic flood of lies from the mouth of the dragon rages today through all the streams of TV, print and social media. The US-based Combating Antisemitism Movement found that after October 7, the amount of anti-Israel and antisemitic posts on Tik-Tok alone outnumbered by far the number of comments on Israel’s war against Hamas in the top five English news sites, such as CNN and the Wall Street Journal. 

One final characteristic of this dragon is that he was not able to destroy the male child, and he could not destroy the woman (Israel), so he became angry and “went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17) That means the last line of attack or accusation will be against Christians. It is exactly this agenda that is preached in many mosques around the world today, under the slogan: “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.” 

This warning needs to be taken seriously, as the word of God warns us that a final, global campaign against the Christian faith is to be expected. On that note, I recently learned a new law was passed in the US that all electronic purchases of religious items (Bibles, Christian books, etc.) are being registered in a huge database. As Christians, we need to be praying and alert concerning the challenges ahead. A number of Christian ministries worldwide are already being specially monitored by state authorities simply for standing with Israel. 

Yet despite all this, there also is very good news in the same chapter of Revelation 12, which provides believers with the weapons we need to overcome and be victorious in this great conflict of the last days. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

Here are three basic truths that will help us not just survive but to overcome! 

  1. The principal weapon God has given believers is the blood of Yeshua. The respected Bible teacher Derek Prince outlined seven powerful ways the blood of Jesus works on our behalf: It is the main source of our redemption (Ephesians 1:7); cleansing all our sins (1 John 1:7); justification (Romans 5:9); sanctification (Hebrews 13:12); it gives life (John 6:53ff); speaks on our behalf (Hebrews 12:24); and gives access to the presence of God (Hebrews 10:19ff). These are very important points which deal with the main target of Satan’s accusations against us – our sins and failures. Every believer born from above can claim these powerful features of the blood of Yeshua. 
  1. It is quite obvious that the best antidote to the lies and accusations of Satan is truth itself. Jesus himself said the truth shall set you free (John 8:32). The Greek word for confession literally means “saying the same thing.” It means we say the same thing the word of God declares about Israel, the Jews, our own lives and the Church. God’s word and truth are powerful (Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 4:12).  
  1. We need a radical dedication to Jesus. It will mean not ‘only’ a willingness to lose your life for Jesus, but much more a lifestyle of daily taking up our cross, of dying to our self each day, of being willing to give up everything for the sake of that treasure in the field, the kingdom of God. 

Satan is powerless against people who are covered by the blood of Yeshua, who live in and speak God’s truth, and who are wholly sold out to Him. This means in the current conflict against Israel and any future conflict against the Church, we need to appropriate the above attributes of the blood and God will give us the victory. For that reason, we are currently gathering every day on the Global Prayer Gathering, confessing and proclaiming God’s truths about Israel. We are tremendously blessed to see many people incredibly dedicated to this prayer time, as many join daily or several times a week. 

Let us all be alert as we enter a new dimension of conflict. And let us be a people washed in the blood of Yeshua, confessing (and knowing) the word of God, and being fully dedicated to our Lord and Saviour. Together, we will overcome!