Our calling is to share the message of the kingdom here in Israel and in nations around the world. Yeshua (Jesus) Himself was prophesied to be both a "covenant to the people of Israel" and a "light to the nations" (Isaiah 49:6, 8). Yeshua told us to be His witnesses in "Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
Israelis often travel around the world when they finish army service at the age of 20. We believe this desire reflects a divine destiny to share the gospel even though they don't know it. Isaiah prophesied, "I will set a sign among those who escape; I will send them to the nations ... They shall share My glory among the Gentiles" (ch. 66:19).
Part of our training is to send Israeli disciples out to the nations. This year they will travel to North America, Korea, China, Japan, India, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Switzerland, France, Holland, Germany, England, Italy, Jordan (and through financial support - to Arab Christians in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon). This training and sending of Israeli disciples is a partial fulfillment of the kingdom prophecy, that "out of Zion shall go forth the Law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:3).
The Israel and International mandate is part of the preparation for the Second Coming of Yeshua. He said He would not return until the Jews in Jerusalem cry out "Blessed be He who comes in the name of the Lord" (Matthew 23:39) and until "this gospel of the kingdom is preached in all the world" (Matthew 24:14).
The three-fold cord of 1) International Evangelism, 2) the Restoration of Israel, and 3) the Second Coming of Yeshua has been a common thread in revival movements throughout history.
In order for this mandate to be fulfilled, there must be special saints who have made a connection between Israel and the nations by assimilating the culture, language, identity and history of both nations. Here are some examples:
Ariel Blumenthal is a Jewish believer, who came to faith in Yeshua in Japan, speaks both Hebrew and Japanese, has been part of our team in Jerusalem and serves now in Japan. Ariel has a deep understanding of Japanese culture, and has really become part of their people.
Michael Neil Cohen was ordained as an Anglican priest, while not yet a born again believer in Jesus! He came to faith, was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. His parents had changed the family name from Cohen to hide their Jewish identity. Michael changed it back to Cohen 12 years ago. He now serves in Jerusalem, and also ministers in England and other nations about the Jewish roots of Christianity.
Yoni Yun was a Korean Baptist minister who received a revelation of Israel. He moved to Israel and became a tour guide here. His children were all born in Israel. He speaks Hebrew, and has even translated in conferences for us from Hebrew to Korean.
Andy Ernst is a German speaking Swiss, and son of missionary parents. In his twenties he came to Israel, worked on a kibbutz and learned Hebrew. Andy and his wife Jill have spent time in Israel with our team and are now sharing the message of kingdom restoration and Israel in the German speaking world.
Miguel N. is a Jewish believer from California. He answered a "missions" call to work among Muslims, and then God brought him to Israel where he worked on a kibbutz and learned Hebrew. But he also continued to respond to the original missions call and has spent much time in Turkey sharing the gospel there. There he also met his wife Elise. Miguel speaks both Turkish and Hebrew, and has served in discipleship training and missions both in Israel and Turkey.
Valerie is a native French-speaking Swiss. At the Gateways Training Center in Cyprus, she met her Israeli husband Youval. God has used Youval and Valerie throughout Europe to share messages of hope, restoration and reconciliation.
Shmuel B. is the son of an Ethiopian Messianic family. He served as a fighter in an elite combat unit in the Israeli army, nearly escaping death several times. Fluent in Hebrew and Amharic, Shmuel serves in discipleship, prayer and evangelism both in the Israeli and Ethiopian communities.
Please pray for these special "bridge" people, and many others like them, who contain within their very "personhood" both the restoration of Israel and destiny of the nations.
This month we are featuring a "live report" by two of these good friends who are part of the bridges between Israel and their nations:
SWITZERLAND - Andy Ernst
Our vision is to see Switzerland helping Israel fulfill its national destiny instead of pushing our ideas of a peace process on her.
In 1998 the issue arose of the "dormant" Jewish bank accounts in Swiss banks belonging to Jews who died in the Holocaust. The requests by the Jewish state to receive these assets, were followed by a swell of anti-Semitism in Switzerland. We saw this as part of a curse of not standing with Israel. (See Gen. 12:3) We also saw this as evidence of remaining historical anti-Semitism in this supposedly most neutral and "humane" of nations. Switzerland is famous for watching over the gold from other nations in its banks, but our spiritual calling is to watch over and pray for God's purposes including His purposes for Israel.
There is a small but growing "remnant" of Swiss believers from many diverse denominations who are beginning to stand with the "older brother" Israel by God's grace.
There is a new and growing unity and synergy among many of the Israel-related ministries in Switzerland over the last several years.
ENGLAND - Michael Cohen
Prime Minister Tony Blair has been a staunch supporter of President George Bush's War on terror, but has come under a great deal of criticism from not only the opposition parties, but also his own party as the situation in Iraq goes from month to month, and as British soldiers are killed there as well as in Afghanistan. For Mr. Blair it is clear that the major enemy in the war on terror is the Islamic fundamentalist movement. He has made some strong statements supporting Israel in her recent war in Lebanon. He is now under pressure to stand down, and has said he would do so within a year from now, but the alternatives are weak and less Israel friendly. He says he is a Christian, and attends a Roman Catholic Church with his wife. PRAY FOR HIM TO KNOW THE MIND OF GOD AND NOT BOW TO POLITICAL PRESSURE.
Prince Charles is a major concern to English Bible believing Christians as he has shown an unhealthy respect for Islam, as well as for many New Age philosophies. He will become King of England when Queen Elizabeth retires/dies; and as King he will automatically become head of the Church of England (Episcopal). PRAY THAT HE WILL EITHER RENOUNCE ISLAM AND ESPOUSE THE FAITH OF THE BIBLE OR RENOUNCE THE THRONE.
The Church in England is becoming more and more divided along similar lines as in America: is the Bible trustworthy; is Yeshua God; can we ordain/marry/affirm homosexuality; can we ordain women? There are of course many strong Churches, but not enough. The (very) liberal Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, met recently with the two chief Rabbis of Israel. A very positive statement came out of the meeting concerning the evil of anti-Semitism in the church and the necessity to combat it. This has been described as the most important Christian statement concerning the Jewish people since Nostra Aetate was issued after The Second Vatican Council in 1963. PRAY THAT THE LORD WILL REVIVE HIS BODY IN ENGLAND.
Also in this issue of the newsletter:
|Dan Juster: Jerusalem, The Stumbling Stone|
|Eitan Shishkoff: The Untold Story|
|Marty Shoub: 70 Years Of Prayer|