Power of the Cross
by Asher Intrater, , Revive Israel

The message of the gospel contains power. If salvation was only legal permission to go to heaven instead of hell, then no essential power would be needed. The power is to change us - to change us from within, to change our character.

"The gospel ... is the power of God unto salvation" (Romans 1:16).

The word for salvation (sozo or soteria) includes defense and deliverance. The power makes us whole; heals us; brings moral purity and the fruit of love.

The power of God can be likened to a kind of spiritual electricity. Electricity has a positive and a negative pole. For the electricity to work, there must be a perfect balance between the positive and negative charge. All the power comes from God through Yeshua (Jesus).

The positive charge is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you" (Acts 1:8).

This power or anointing heals the sick (Acts 10:38), drives out demons (Mark 16:19) and gives boldness to preach (Isaiah 61:1; Acts 4:29). Through this power we can move mountains (Mark 11:23), prophesy (I Corinthians 14:31), bring the kingdom of God into the world (Luke 11:20), and even be glorified (Matthew 17:2, Acts 6:15).

The negative charge is the cross. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we experience the resurrection life of Yeshua; through the cross, we experience the atoning death and sacrificial love of Yeshua.

"To us who are being saved, the message of the cross is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).

The cross deals with the very root of sin in the human race going all the way back to the tree of knowledge (Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29; Deuteronomy 21:22). By the cross our old selfish nature is put to death (Galatians 2:20). The cross changes every curse to blessing (Galatians 3:13); it nullifies lust within us (Galatians 5:24) and the evil influence of society around us (Galatians 6:14).

The cross is a two way street. On the one hand, Yeshua did everything for us. We did nothing. We just receive by faith. It is total grace without any righteous deeds on our part. He takes all of our bad and gives us all of His good in exchange.

Yet at the same time, He calls us to take up our own cross as well. He took up His cross for us. We take up our cross to demonstrate it to others. He showed us sacrificial love; we are to show others sacrificial love on His behalf. The cross means a daily lifestyle of self-denial.

"Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and come follow Me" (Luke 9:23).

We tend toward self-indulgence much more easily than self-denial. Yet denying ourselves and taking up our cross is part of our life of faith. On the cross Yeshua obeyed unto death, even unto pain and humiliation (Philippians 2:8). And through the cross, He calls us to follow His same example (Philippians 2:5). We are to obey unto death as well.

We need to have both the power of the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit. One without the other is imbalanced. The cross without the Spirit would cause lifeless, self-deprecating, religious toil and servitude. The Spirit without the cross would cause superficial, self-centered seeking of supernatural experiences. With both, the power of God produces real results and real change (II Timothy 3:5).

Power of the Cross
by Ron Cantor, ,

In 1995 God used Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram to birth one of the first Spirit-filled Hebrew-speaking-only congregations in Israel. Most of the congregations here ministered in English, or Hebrew with English and/or Russian translation. If there was going to be a breakthrough with Israelis, it had to be in Hebrew.

Praying and reaffirming the elders
In the late 90's Asher and Betty Intrater and Eddie and Jackie Santoro joined with Ari and Shira and the congregation blossomed to over 200 people. (That is a mega church in Israel!) Ari was the pastor, Asher was the preacher/teacher and Eddie and Jackie led a powerful young adults ministry.

Over the past season, Ari and Shira began to realize that they can no longer lead the congregation and oversee the ministry of Maoz Israel. They wanted to pass congregational leadership on to the next generation.

In the beginning of the year Ari and Shira, Asher and Betty and Ron and Elana Cantor met together. Since Asher was sent out to plant Ahavat Yeshua in 2004, he and Ari have remained quite close. During that meeting, they formally asked Asher to take oversight of the congregation. Asher, who helped mentor Ron as a young believer 25 years ago, asked him to assist as the hands-on, day-to-day leader of the elders' team.

The Intraters and Sorko-Rams
taking on new positions
Through Ari and Shira's leadership, God has raised up a group of about twelve couples and several singles that have a clear gift for servant leadership. Asher and Ron have already started working with this young group of leaders to see native Hebrew speakers brought into their ministry gifts and calling.

Over these past few months, the Lord has breathed fresh life into Tiferet Yeshua. Prophetic ministry has been released, and there is a fresh anointing on our worship time. Best of all, almost every week at least one person has publically prayed to receive the Lord! About 25 people have been coming to the service an hour early in order to pray. Asher's zeal for revival has been contagious and there is a sense of excitement to see what the Lord will do next.

One of Asher's core values is team leadership. In just a short time, the elders have achieved a high level of love and unity, and the up and coming leadership team is growing as well.

On Friday, May 3rd, there was a special ceremony to officially transfer the baton from Ari and Shira to Asher and Betty. The main focus of the event was to honor and thank Ari and Shira for 18 years of tireless service in the congregation that God used them to birth.

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