This became the cry of the Egyptian believers at the MTM Conference in Luxor, Egypt this past week. God mightily moved in the hearts of these dear people concerning “Living water”, and “The sons of Ishmael.”
The Egypt MTM Ministry Team
“Ohhh … For The Living Water”
Brother Raymond taught a powerful series on “The Ministry of Holy Spirit”, showing how we need to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to boldly preach the gospel. Raymond took us from the; Cup of Salvation in Psalms 116:13, to the Well of Water in John 4; followed by the River of Living Water in John 7:37; and on to Ezekiel 47 where there is swimming in the river.” All these are pictures of the Holy Spirit. Raymond finished with Luke 11: 5-13, giving a very clear picture of the purpose of asking for the Holy Spirit, being not for our own blessing, but for others. “Others, Lord, yes others, Let this my motto be, That when I have lived for others, then I have lived for Thee” !!!
“Ohhh … That Ishmael Might Live”
I taught on Hagar and Ishmael out of Genesis, calling our dear brothers and sisters in Egypt to consider that Ishmael has been blessed. And that God has a special plan for the Sons of Ishmael, which are the Arab nations of today, including Egypt. Understanding that Mohammed, the founder of Islam, was a direct descendant of one of the sons of Ishmael, we looked at the root of Islam beginning with Hagar and Ishmael. “Oh, that Ishmael might live.” This is the cry of Abraham to God for his son Ishmael, when God told him that he would have another son by Sarah.
The story begins in Genesis 12 where the Patriarch Abram moves to Canaan having been called out of his country and given that great promise of Blessing. During a famine he travels to Egypt persuading his beautiful wife to say that she is his sister. Pharaoh takes Sarai into his house and gives Abram many gifts including men and maid servants. God plagued Pharaoh’s house and he ends up finding out that he has another man’s wife. He reproves Abram and sends them away. Then in chapter 15 the Word of the LORD comes to Abram in a vision promising Abram a son of his own bowels. God then initiates a blood covenant established on His own immutability. See Hebrews 6:17-18
In Chapter 16, Sarai suggests to Abram that perhaps God would have him take her Egyptian maid to wife and bear a son by her. Abram agrees and takes Hagar to wife and she conceives. Conflict arises between the women and Sarai treats Hagar badly, so that Hagar runs away. An angel finds her by a well of water and Hagar has a personal experience with the Lord. The Lord tells her to go back and submit (a Muslim is one who submits) promising her a son, multiplying her seed, naming him Ishmael, meaning: “The Lord hears in affliction”. Hagar bears Abram a son and calls his name, Ishmael. Consider how Abram must have loved his only son and taught him about his God. Ishmael grows up being the object of his father’s love and joy.
In Genesis 17, God appears to Abram, renames him Abraham and his wife Sarah, initiates the covenant of circumcision, and promises a son by her saying that the promise would be to Sarah’s son. This is where Abraham makes his plea for Ishmael; “O that Ishmael might live before thee”. So God also pronounces a special blessing on Ishmael, making him fruitful and multiplying him exceedingly making him a great nation. But, clearly establishing the covenant with Isaac! Sarah gives birth to a son and names him Isaac. She weans him and Abraham makes a great feast on that day. Ishmael mocks Isaac and Sarah tells Abraham to “cast out the bond woman and her son”. This cause great grief to Abraham! But God tells Abraham to do as Sarah has said, for “in Isaac shall thy seed be called”. Ishmael would no longer know the love of a father! (Tragic, even to this very day). Hagar and Ishmael are sent away with a bottle of water and a little bread. Ishmael is rejected by his father, losing all his inheritance to Isaac. The animosity between the sons of Isaac and the sons of Ishmael, as well as the conflict over the land of Canaan continues as of today. Hagar runs out of water and put Ishmael under a bush, leaving him all alone, removing herself so she does not need to watch him die. But God “hears the affliction of Ishmael” and speaks to the mother, opens her eyes to the well of water, and she takes water to him and he lives. She takes him a wife out of Egypt. Sons were born to him, Nebajoth; and Kedar, (Isaiah 60:7) and others.
Many Christians are afraid of Muslims and are not taking the water of life to “Ishmael”. The well was there, but Hagar just could not see it. The Christian Church knows about the “well of water of life”, but many would rather let the Sons of Ishmael die of thirst, than to risk going out in the desert to give them water. And the “Cry of Ishmael” continues to rise up to God to this very day. We say we are children of Abraham by faith. Do we hear our Father Abraham’s heart rending cry; “Ohhh, that Ishmael might live”? When will the church wake up and cry out for “the sons of Ishmael” with Father Abraham? Do we … do I really love Ishmael as Abraham did? Ishmael means, “God will hear in affliction”. Egypt is in great affliction! It is our prayer that God will hear the “The Cry of Ishmael, and and speak to the “woman” (the church), so that she would cry out with Abraham for Ishmael. That she would be filled with the “water from the well, and take rivers of living water of life to “The Sons of Ishmael.” The Cry of Ishmael rises up continually as the Muslims prayer call goes out over loud speakers 5 times a day and is heard where the Islamic people are throughout the world. This cry is very earnest. They seek for a God that seems far away. Ishmael was left fatherless. Islam says that God is not a father. Does Ishmael see God as he saw his earthly father Abraham? Just a ruling sovereign existence that shows absolutely no love? Could this be a part of why Muslims reject the idea that God is a Father? And say, “God has no son”? Neither do they know that God loves them.
The Luxor Egypt Full Conference Group
These messages greatly encouraged the 100 or more Believers that travelled the 11 hour ride on the train to Luxor from Cairo. The Pastors and leaders were challenged to take the people deeper into Christ, and many became bold in witnessing to Muslims, which is forbidden in Egypt.
God used MTM to cast a vision into the hearts of these Egyptian believers, of HIS heart for Egypt and the Arabic nations. Bro Raymond opened the well of water, inviting all not only to drink, but become a river of life for others, while Bro Emanuel encouraged Hagar (the church) to open her eyes and recognize the time is now to take that living water to Ishmael (the Arab nations). We realize that Egypt stands at a crossroad politically. Egypt is considered to be the “heart and brain” of the Islamic nations. What happens in Egypt will have effects on the rest of the Arab world (and we see this to this very day).
Egypt is ripe for the gospel as never before and God had MTM in Egypt for such a time as this. In the midst of turmoil and danger we found many open hearts. We believe that God has a special plan for Egypt, according to Isaiah 61:1-7.
The burden of the Lord for Egypt: Isa 19:19 In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.