Revival in Israel is on the way. We can be sure of that because the Bible promises that "All Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:26). That is the banner cry of our ministry.
Yet before all Israel will be saved, there will be 144,000 Israelis who will be saved (Revelation 7:4). And before the 144,000 saved, there will be a remnant of 7,000 (Romans 11:4-5). And before the 7,000, we must do all we can to at least "save some of them" (Romans 11:14, I Corinthians 9:22).
And before having even a few saved, sometimes it feels that we are completely alone ("For I also am an Israelite" Romans 11:1). It all starts with each individual person's decision. Those Messianic Jews who came to the Lord in the late 60's or early 70's remember the experience of "I must be the only one ..."
Revival for Israel, as in any other aspect of the kingdom (Mark 4:26-32), develops in stages. The process here is: one to some to seven thousand to 144,000 to all Israel. The process is in progress already. We are not to sit back waiting idly for a "post-rapture" revival, but to be actively involved now in evangelism, discipleship and congregational planting.
At the turn of the year 2,000, we reached the point of 7,000 believers in Israel. Now we are setting our sights to grow from 7,000 to 144,000. To some that would seem impossible, yet in the 1980's we saw the Messianic movement in the U.S. grow to those numbers, and in the 1990's in the former Soviet Union as well. So we've got two positive testimonies already to build our faith.
By faith we envision 144,000 believers in Yeshua (Jesus) who are Israeli citizens and speak Hebrew. How can we get there? The answer can be found in two words: MULTIPLY CONGREGATIONS. The goal of our ministry is to help messianic congregations multiply around Israel.
Dave Garrison, in his new book Church Planting Movements (WIGT Press, 2004) gives an insightful analysis of massive revivals over the last decade, particularly in Asia. In all those movements he found the common factors of local lay leadership, indigenous evangelism and multiplying home cell churches.
Dave notes that a team of people, which he calls "church planting strategy coordinators," often plays a key role in fostering the revivals. In our terminology, we refer to this as a "five-fold" or "apostolic" ministry team (Ephesians 4:1-16). The concept of training local believers to multiply congregations throughout Israel fits exactly what is on our heart.
For this reason my intention is not to become a pastor myself of a congregation, but to "equip" others to lead their own. This is a transition from being a "player" to being more of a "coach." Yeshua Himself was a revival preacher, but He placed more importance on training the twelve to multiply the kingdom after He was gone. Following this example, Betty and I are looking to invest our lives in 12 young men and 12 young women, to help them fulfill their destinies, and in turn train others.
A pastor focuses on tending the flock, an evangelist on reaching the lost, a teacher on discipling the saints through the Scriptures and a prophet on responding to the Holy Spirit. An apostolic ministry team seeks to combine and coordinate these gift ministries into the goal of multiplying congregations. Planting new congregations is the distinctive mark of apostolic ministry.
The key to multiplying congregations is to train local believers to be able to lead home cells. Some of those are called to be cell leaders within a larger congregation, and others are called to start new congregations. For this reason, our program will focus on a discipleship training center. The goal is to train, send out and provide long-term "back up" for home cell/congregation leaders.
The DTC will include daily prayer and praise ministry in which the prophetic gifts will be encouraged. We will plan strategic evangelistic outreaches, as well as personal sharing with "not-yet-believers." And of course there will be daily teaching and impartation from the scriptures. For each of the trainees, we seek to have a local pastor take charge of the personal mentoring and follow-up.
[Note: Along with these ministries, we must always remember to give to the poor. Revive Israel Minitries is involved in three funds that provide financial assistance to needy believers in Israel. We see this as an essential part of true apostolic ministry (Mark 14:7, Acts 11:3, Galatians 2:10, Romans 15:26, I Corinthians 16:3).]
The vision is for national revival in Israel. The goal is to multiply congregations across the country. The program is a discipleship training center, combining prophetic, evangelistic, pastoral and teaching ministries to produce home cell leaders for the congregations. Yet that is not enough. Because of the particular spiritual warfare concerning revival in the "Holy Land," we need a special degree of backing.
The backing comes from a network of prayer support from believers around the world. Paul prefaced his prophecy that "All Israel will be saved" with the condition that the international community of faith would first receive revelation about the importance of revival and restoration in Israel. With the revelation of the international church concerning Israel, they will certainly begin to pray, and SO or THEN (Romans 11:26) and only then, will the revival take place.
One of the godly benefits of the internet is that it provides a network of prayer, information and unity in His body internationally. It is so important for us to link up with Christians around the world in our weekly email update in order to pray in an informed and accurate way concerning end-time events in Israel.
Simply stated, here's our strategy from the Lord:
Thank you for standing in agreement with us as partners for the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:5-8).