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“Let Our People Go”

1 September 2022

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union before its dissolution in 1991, died this week at the age of 91.

He probably didn’t know it, but Gorbachev played an important role in the fulfilment of God’s plan to bring the Jewish people home in these last days leading up to the coming of Messiah.

When Gorbachev was appointed Chairman of the Soviet Politburo in 1985, he set out to reform the Soviet economy as well as the underlying social and political structures of the Soviet Union, which had become isolated and stagnated during the Cold War. He is most famous for introducing new principles of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). His reforms unleashed a process of revolution that he was unable to control, and ultimately resulted in the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.

During Gorbachev’s reign, central and eastern Europe was transformed. The Republic of Russia under Boris Yeltsin, as well the other Soviet Republics such as Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic nations, became independent, forming the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The former Eastern bloc nations (East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and Yugoslavia) all became independent; Czechoslovakia subsequently split into the Czech and Slovak republics, and Yugoslavia dissolved, leading to the Balkan conflicts. East Germany (the German Democratic Republic) merged into West Germany in 1990.

God has used this massive geopolitical restructuring over the last 40 years to achieve two highly significant events. First, the fall of the Iron Curtain enabled the gospel of Jesus Christ to reach millions of people who for decades had been cut off from the West. Second, millions of Jews who had been trapped within the Soviet Union were able to leave and emigrate to Israel.

It is estimated that between 1989 and 2018, about 1.7 million (ex-) Soviet Jews and their relatives emigrated to countries outside the Former Soviet Union – about 1.1 million of them to Israel.

God works through history to achieve His purposes. He inspired the Persian leaders Cyrus, Darius and Xerxes to enable the Jews to return from Babylon and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. In our time He has used the dissolution of the Soviet Union to bring His people home from “the land of the north” to Jerusalem and the mountains of Judea and Samaria – just as He promised through the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah (amongst others).

We Gentiles have an opportunity – and duty – to be involved in this process.

The Soviet Jews would not have been able to leave if it were not for the courage of Western leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, who dared to abandon the previous Cold War policy of détente, and openly confront the Soviet regime for its oppression of human rights and demand the release of its prisoners of conscience.

Similarly, Christians and others demonstrated and prayed constantly during the 1980s for the release of the Soviet Jewish “refuseniks” such as Natan Sharansky and Yuli Edelstein, and dissidents like Andrei Sakharov.

Today, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to the exodus of Jews to Israel from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia – some of whom are settling in the hills of Samaria and Judea, which the world insists on calling “illegal settlement”. We Christians are privileged to be allowed to play a small role in this miraculous, prophetic event.

So we see at every step of the way, God’s plans and purposes far exceed the wisdom or understanding of man – yet, in His mercy, He invites us to be involved.

Let us pray fervently that the Lord will continue to bring His children home from the countries of the former Soviet Union to the land of Israel, and that Christians like Koen Carlier and his team in Ukraine will be able to help them.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today


Gorbachev played a complicated but unique role in world history
Natan Sharansky (human rights activist, former political prisoner in the Soviet Union, Israeli minister and Chairman of the Jewish Agency, and currently Chairman of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy) writes: “Gorbachev was a product of the Soviet regime, a member of its ruling elite who believed its ideology and enjoyed its privileges — yet decided to destroy it nevertheless. For that, the world can be grateful.”
> Read more..


Switching conflicts: The Jews leaving Ukraine and Russia for the West Bank
A tiny portion of the 33,000 new immigrants from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus move to settlements, fleeing war and repression to live inside one of the longest geopolitical feuds.
> Read more..


Celebrate Gorbachev’s failure to save the Soviet Union, not his heroism
Jonathan Tobin writes at JNS: “Lionized abroad while scorned at home, he thought he could preserve the Communist regime by liberalizing it. Other tyrannical states won’t make that same mistake.”
> Read more..


Update from Ukraine: Requests from Israel
Christians for Israel’s Koen Carlier reports: “We continue to bring Jewish refugees to Moldova, from where they leave for Israel. We also have a driver with a van permanently stationed in Western Ukraine to help Jewish refugees to the Polish border in cooperation with The Jewish Agency. We have five different phone numbers where requests for help are noted. What is new, is that we also receive regular requests from Israel to help family members who live in remote villages or towns in Ukraine.”
> Read more..

 

SCRIPTURE FOR THE WEEK:

Isaiah 43:5-7
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Ezekiel 36:8-12

8 “But you, mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. 9 I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, 10 and I will cause many people to live on you—yes, all of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will increase the number of people and animals living on you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 12 I will cause people, my people Israel, to live on you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.”