Love for the Word
by Cody Archer, , Revive Israel
Growing up in a Christian family I attended church regularly and was familiar with Bible stories like David and Goliath, and Daniel in the lion's den. But it wasn't until I surrendered my life to Jesus (Yeshua) at age 21 that I realized I had not read most of the Bible on my own. I hadn't seen the relevance or importance of reading much of the Old Testament. After being baptized in the Holy Spirit I suddenly had a deep hunger to read and know all of God's Word. I read the Bible cover to cover in five months. Reading about Daniel in the lion's den for the first time on my own (without the help of cartoons!) was exhilarating. At times I couldn't put the book down. Since then I have committed time daily to meditate on God's Word and have read from Genesis to Revelation numerous times.
Why is this significant? As our team interacts with believers and travels around the world to teach and preach God's Word, we are amazed by the level of Bible illiteracy among many believers today. More than once I have heard a pastor encourage his congregation to spend five minutes a day in God's Word, because he knows that most are not even doing this.
An overwhelming theme spoken about concerning the end times is deception (Matthew 24:4-5, 23-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). Amos 8:11 tells us that in the end times there will be a global famine of hearing the words of the LORD. Living in the "Information Age" seems to have made us too busy and too distracted to focus on His Word daily, even though it is available to us in more varied forms (digital, audio, etc.) than our forefathers could have imagined. In addition, we are seeing the suppressing of the Bible in public life happening in many Western nations today. Many believers today are not cultivating a lifestyle of reading the Bible regularly, and this will be one of the causes of many being deceived and falling away (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
Of those who are reading, it is often focused on gaining head knowledge instead of being mixed with loving dialogue with the Holy Spirit that leads to deeper intimacy. Or it is by random selection - reading whatever page they open up to that day - and not in a systematic way. Some read only the New Covenant which hinders one from seeing the profound connection and developing story line from Genesis to Revelation.
Share What You Love
We are living in a time when a love for God's Word must be acquired and passed on to the next generation. If we don't do this, we will be tossed to and fro by every wind of false doctrine. History is moving in one direction towards the return of Yeshua and the setting up of His kingdom. There is only one guidebook that will show us how to participate with the King and navigate through the days of tribulation and glory that are before us. May we recommit to being a people who know, love and obey the whole Word of God.
This article was previously published on 26May16 here on the Revive Israel website and on 29May16 here on Kehila News Israel
Love for the Word
by Greta Mavro, , Romans 1:16
The Jewish-Greek Bridge is being rebuilt throughout the historical Mediterranean region in which Paul traveled and preached. This month a team from Gateways Beyond Training School in Cyprus, visited Thessaloniki to serve in the Refugee Camps and also to minister to the Greek Churches. I helped coordinate the activities in Berea and Thessaloniki.
When the team stepped onto the square at Berea (Acts 17:10-11), there were a few Greek men sitting there. Immediately, they called out from afar, "Who are you?" I responded that we were Jews and Gentiles who came to bless Greece. With tears in his eyes, one of them said, "I remember when I was a boy and the Nazis came to take the Jews bound to the synagogue and then to Auschwitz. I still think about it and cry!"
Then we walked to the synagogue where the Berean Greek Jews were rounded up and locked inside for days without food or water - the same place where the Apostle Paul preached almost 2000 years before. As we listened to Evi, a Greek tour guide, passionately retell this story, the whole team fell on their knees and began to cry out to God. Suddenly, the door opened and an Israeli tour group entered the synagogue. Spontaneously, we began to dance together singing "Am Yisrael Chai" (The People of Israel Live!). One of the Israelis reminded us: "Today is Israel's Independence Day!"
We went back to the square to do an evangelistic outreach. A prominent Berean woman came with a freshly baked cake and began cutting and distributing it to the team. She said, "I was watching you from my window and I suddenly felt that I had to bake you a cake and bring it down to you." Moments after that, she gave her life to the Lord! A number of men and women prayed with us. One man who gave his heart to the Lord got healed in his leg. We also had an in-depth conversation with a Greek Orthodox priest who talked about the need for unity between all Christian denominations.
"Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few" (Acts 17:12).
We had a number of outreaches at the White Tower in Thessaloniki. As the team worshiped God, I noticed a Greek woman come and stand next to me. I began to share the gospel with her and saw that she was very hungry for Yeshua. She prayed with me to receive Him with an open heart. Then she told me that she suffered from severe back problems. I prayed with her for healing, but she only received mild relief. After about 15 minutes, I felt led to pray for her healing again. This time I had a vision of a demon holding her back with his fingers. I cast it out in Yeshua's name and the woman at once opened her mouth and let out a deep loud sigh as if something had left her body. Then she cried out: "It's gone! I'm healed!"
Each day the team also went to the refugee camp on the Greek border. Many salvations, signs, and wonders are happening among the Moslem refugees. A Moslem woman I met extended her hand to me to show that her middle finger was crippled and folded up. I prayed for healing and right there before our eyes, her finger straightened out and became normal. Her daughter then grabbed my hand and put it on her head to let me know to pray for her head problems. Immediately she was healed and the whole family took Bibles!
I shared a message in the main Evangelical church on the restoration of Greek identity (as they come into unity with Israel) and many told me that their eyes were opened and that they were deeply touched. One man came to me with tears saying, "I never heard anything like this, especially from a woman preacher! I'm going to tell this to everyone!"
The connection between Israel and Greece is a crucial link in these last days, even as it was in the days of Yeshua’s first disciples, rekindling revival and restoration, advancing the Kingdom of God and hastening the return of the Lord.
This article was previously published on 03Jun16 here on the Revive Israel website
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