One of the verses that most inspire our vision and purpose on this earth is Acts 1:8 - "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, even unto the ends of the earth." It is exciting to know that God's plan is progressing every day. This past year the gospel has been shared in Israel more than in any year since the first century.
The numbers of people that are receiving the Lord in such places as India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc. are just expanding all over the world. When the gospel started from the early Messianic Jews in the first century, it moved out in all directions towards every continent. However there was an overall strategy given to the apostle Paul (Rabbi Shaul) that pointed the spread of the gospel from east to west (Acts 16:6-10).
Note 1: Since the earth is round, if you set out in one direction, you will eventually come back to the starting point. Had God not directed Shaul to go west, we might have assumed that the kingdom of God would remain only international without any restoration to Israel. However with that strategic direction, we see that God's plan was to loop the gospel around the world and end up back in Jerusalem. That is just what is happening in our day. It started from Jerusalem and has arrived to the farthest ends of the world; now it is starting its way back from the farthest ends of the world toward Jerusalem.
Note 2: This east to west direction is symbolic of the entire Biblical plan to return to the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were sent out of Eden to the east. Abraham the first "believer" was given his first commandment by God to go back, westward, from Ur to Israel. In covenant symbolism Abraham was reversing the expulsion of Adam. The return toward Jerusalem from east to west represents the hope of restoring paradise on the earth. Even in the Babylonian captivity, the Jews were expelled eastward by Nebuchadnezzar and came back westward with Ezra and Nehemiah. For this reason as well, the three wise men came to seek the baby Messiah from the east.
When our family immigrated to Israel, God surprisingly intervened in my travel plans, and directed me first to fly to Korea, and then to Israel from the east. I sensed God was doing something spiritual, but I didn't understand it at the time. Over the years I have often preached in Korea, as it has been the strongest national church in the Far East. It was clear that the Christians there had a calling, along with other nations, to help spread the gospel across Asia. We hoped that by strengthening the church in Korea, we could help to further the gospel to Asia.
God's timing has the wave of the gospel now in the third world countries bordering Islam (the spiritual "tsunami" of Holy Spirit revival). The wave will then continue to the Arab nations and finally back to Jerusalem as we await the Second Coming of Yeshua. We have been praying for the Islam-periphery countries. One of the most strategic areas is Central Asia. Therefore I happily accepted the invitation to speak at the "Silk Road" conference in Almati, Kazakastan.
Note 3: The vision of bringing the gospel back across Asia has been referred to by some as the "Road to Jerusalem", referring to the three ancient trade routes from China to the Middle East. The northern of the three is known as the "Silk Road" and crosses Kazakastan; thus giving the name for the conference.
The conference was sponsored by Grace Church (Pastor Paul Kim) and several groups of Koreans, including many of our dear friends from there over the years. There were about 5,000 in attendance, mostly Central Asians in their early 20's. The mixture of their cultures was fascinating. Their humility, holiness and zeal were touching. The young people all had intense desire to share the gospel across Asia.
It was a stirring fulfillment of our dreams to watch these young people singing praises to the Lord, dancing with joy, crying out in prayer, studying the Word, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, dedicated to Yeshua, ready to be faithful unto death. They even had a love for Israel, with a growing understanding of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel in the end times (Acts 1:6; Romans 11:15).
Please join us in prayer that these young evangelists will bear a huge amount of fruit and see literally millions and millions come to the Lord in Central Asia and the surrounding nations. (And thank you for your loving support that allows us to minister at key events such as these... We appreciate you.)