Muslims Coming to Christ in Iran
“Iran today is a closed land with countless open hearts. It is the most open nation to the Gospel in the entire world. Tens of thousands of Iranians are turning to Christ.
“Betrayed by the government, disillusioned with the religion, depressed by the prospects of the future, Iranians when they come to know the Lord Jesus Christ are completely transformed. They proclaim Christ in the marketplace. Entire families, men and women, are coming to Christ.”
To read article:
Israel Police Commissioner Scandal
One of the most prestigious offices in Israel is the General Commissioner of the police. Uri Bar Lev is the nominee to be the next commissioner. After his candidacy was announced, there came an accusation of sexual assault by Doctor Orly Inez, a highly placed woman advisor in the police department. Rumors of sexual immorality within the upper ranks of the police department are being smeared all over the newspapers and television.
This case is one of a series of scandals, having included in the past former Justice minister Haim Ramon, and former President Moshe Katsav. Most sexual abuse accusations involve an inherent problem in that there are usually no witnesses. Thus the case becomes the man’s word against the woman’s word. (The Bible deals with the question of absence of witnesses in Deuteronomy 22:24-25 and Deuteronomy 19:15.)
Interestingly, this week’s Torah portion describes the event in which Joseph in Egypt resists attempted seduction by Potiphar’s wife, who then accuses him of having molested her (Genesis 39). In the case of Bar Lev, there seems no doubt that there was sexual misconduct, whether there was sexual abuse or not.
All of us as disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) are being trained for positions of government in His kingdom. We would do well to learn from the biblical examples as well as from the modern ones. Bar Lev is likely to lose his nomination, whatever the truth behind the story is, just as Ramon and Katsav lost their positions. We need to avoid even the appearance of sexual misconduct, let alone actual immorality or abuse. If we walk in righteousness, we will rule and reign with Messiah (Romans 5:17).
Korean Missile Attack
By Asher Intrater, Song Mansuk, and Kim Yeh Jung
On Tuesday, North Korea fired 176 missiles against South Korea, killing 4 people and wounding 19. It began when Pyongyang warned the South to halt its routine military drills with the US Army. When Seoul refused, the North began firing artillery on the small island of Yeonpyeong, which houses South Korean military installations and a small civilian population of about 1,700 civilians, mostly fishermen. Some analysts believe that North Korea started this crisis in order to turn the eyes of their own people away from troubling internal problems.
There are reportedly some 400,000 evangelical Christians living underground in North Korea; they are persecuted cruelly. Let us lift them up in prayer during this present crisis.
Nadav Ayal, in the Israeli newspaper Maariv, wrote a commentary that there is a logical connection between the nuclear plants in Iran and those in North Korea. When a totalitarian regime obtains nuclear power, it obtains a certain insurance policy for itself. North Korea purposely attacked South Korea. Although South Korea is stronger and wealthier, it must react with restraint. Why? – Because South Korea has a rational way of thinking and does not want to start a nuclear war over this incident.
The world has labored for several decades under a concept that peace would be assured because the great nations with nuclear power would not risk mutual destruction by starting a world war with responses on both sides. That rationale has worked… until now. That view makes an assumption: That the leaders of nations with nuclear power have a minimum level of rational thinking. However, in the case of a dictator like Kim Zong Il or in the case of radical Islamic leaders, the basic assumption of rational thinking is not applicable.
Should Iran invade across the border and take over Iraq, would anyone be willing to take a stand? The scenario at this point would more likely be a volley of statements at the U.N. that the action was “deplorable” and even “unacceptable.”
The world faces a danger in this decade that has never been faced before: weapons of mass destruction in the hands of irrational leaders. In the past, a guarantee of world peace was “deterrence”: Unfortunately, the concept of deterrence is not relevant to leaders who border on insanity or who are brainwashed by religious deception, to whom massive destruction to their own people is not a deterrent.
Rabbi Haim Amsalem
The fourth largest political party in Israel is Shas, the Orthodox religious Sephardic party. One of its Knesset members, Rabbi Haim Amsalem, has started proposing reforms, such as teaching core educational curriculum in their schools, easing restrictions on conversion to Judaism, and sending Yeshiva students into the work field – all greatly supported by the majority of Israelis. By proposing these reforms, Amsalem set himself in opposition to the Shas leadership, who in turn rejected him from their party, calling him an “Amalek,” a “despicable person,” and, as the worst possible insult, even comparing him to “That Man” (Jesus).
Since his proposals would be a benefit to Israeli society and a positive reform to Orthodox Judaism, it would be worthwhile for us to pray for him.
November 23, 2010
MY ISRAELI CHANUKAH SHOPPING LIST
It’s holiday season again in Israel. This time it’s Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication when Israelis spend 8 days remembering God’s miraculous victory, through the hands of Judah Maccabee to defeat the Syrian army and re-claim the Second Temple! To make sure you’re ready to celebrate come shopping with us at the Israeli Shuk (market) as we learn all about Chanukah!. WATCH VIDEO
IRAN’S PARLIAMENT TRIES TO IMPEACH AHMADINEJAD
Iran’s parliament revealed it planned to impeach President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but refrained under orders from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exposing a deepening division within the regime.
Lawmakers also launched a new petition to bring a debate on the president’s impeachment, conservative newspapers reported Monday.
In a report released Sunday and discussed in parliament Monday, four prominent lawmakers laid out the most extensive public criticism of Mr. Ahmadinejad to date. They accused him and his government of 14 counts of violating the law, often by acting without the approval of the legislature. Charges include illegally importing gasoline and oil, failing to provide budgetary transparency and withdrawing millions of dollars from Iran’s foreign reserve fund without getting parliament’s approval.
“The president and his cabinet must be held accountable in front of the parliament,” the report stated. “A lack of transparency and the accumulation of legal violations by the government is harming the regime.”
Authorities have tightened security and arrested members of the opposition to prevent riots and uprisings in response to the subsidy cuts, which economists say will drive up inflation.
The move to remove the president from office marks the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic that parliament has discussed impeachment of a president. Though the legislature is backed by the Iranian constitution, lawmakers can’t drive Mr. Ahmadinejad from office without the supreme leader’s agreement.
One issue on which both camps are broadly united is in supporting Iran’s right to proceed with its nuclear program against the objections of the international community.(Extracted from The Wall Street Journal, 11/22/10)
U.N. REPORT PROVES HEZBULLAH KILLED LEBANESE P.M.
An investigative report by the Canadian television network CBC has unequivocally concluded that Hezbollah was involved in the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
The report said the UN probe had evidence pointing to Hezbollah’s involvement as early as 2006, but initially failed to pursue it. This evidence was supplied by a Lebanese police officer, Capt. Wissam Eid, who was himself assassinated in 2008.
Only in October 2007 did the commission finally order an analysis of Lebanese phone records. Two months later, this analysis produced a list of mobile phone numbers belonging to people apparently involved in the attack, including eight who, based on their cell phone data, had evidently been shadowing Hariri in the weeks before his death.
But despite all the telecommunications evidence obtained by both Eid and the UN, one problem remains: It is not evidence that would stand up in a court of law. Whether the commission will ever succeed in collecting the necessary supporting evidence remains unknown.
In recent months, Hezbollah has taken to claiming that it was actually Israel that killed Hariri.(Extracted from Haaretz/CBC, 11/23/10)
AMERICANS WANT ‘ISRAELI’ AIRPORT SECURITY
Should the US adopt Israeli-style airport security measures? A debate over just that issue has been running at full steam over the past few days due to profound public criticism of invasive security techniques which include a full body search and pat down.
In the past, Americans vetoed the security system used at Ben Gurion Airport claiming it casts suspicion on one sector in an inclusive fashion, namely, against Arabs and Muslims. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained on Monday that the reason US authorities refused to adopt Israeli methods was because Israel has one international airport and we have 450 of them and that makes all the difference”.
And yet, it seems that the American public disagrees. A Washington Post and ABC network poll revealed that 70% of Americans support adopting the Israeli profiling system and its implementation in US airports. (Extracted from Ynet, 11/23/10)
ISRAEL NOW TREATING CHOLERA IN HAITI
Almost a year since an earthquake struck Haiti, killing at least 200,000 people and reducing much of its capital of Port-au-Prince to rubble, authorities in the impoverished Caribbean nation are now struggling to contain a new disaster from spreading.
Over the past month about 1,200 Haitians have died in an outbreak of cholera while thousands more have sought treatment in hospitals.
International aid organizations including Israeli and Jewish groups have rushed into action trying to help the UN bring the situation under control. On Monday the UN declared IsraAID’s clinic in Leogane, a town located about 30 kilometers west of Port-au-Prince, a cholera treatment facility.
Since the announcement, the facility’s Israeli, Canadian and local staff have been preparing for the expected influx of patients by adding dozens of beds and stocking up on medical supplies.
“There’s a large auditorium behind our clinic which we’ve cleaned and filled with beds,” Shachar Zahavi, the head of IsraAID, said on Monday. “The largest medical center in the area is a Doctors Without Borders facility nearby, but UN officials who visited our facility were impressed with our work and designated us to be the area’s second treatment center.”
Since it opened last September, the IsraAid-Tevel center, which is fully funded by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, has treated hundreds of patients for various ailments. (Extracted from JPost, 11/23/10)
WE ARE ONE NEW MAN AND YET let us understand how we are one. (video following)
Rachem (Mercy) has always been one of my favorite Jewish songs. A very moving video you can watch after reading this article. Well, you can skip the article and watch the video but it will make more sense to read this first I add humbly. You can see the cry of the Israelis wanting so much for “Next Year Jerusalem” for peace, for it being their capitol city and to have the entire Temple Mount which is rightfully theirs.
See how the Jewish young cry out to God and watch in amazement with such anticipation and joy. Unlike the Palestinian children so sadly and terribly dressed in war uniforms and weapons crying out for the blood and extinction of Israel and her allies.
God has for this time in history re-established a Permanent Israel for His purposes. His plans are to take place in the Eretz Yisra’el (Land of Israel) in the acharit-hayamim (End Times), to re-establish a holy separated people to Him by restoring the fallen branch, as in the cry of the young and old in Israel, a cry for for Rachem (Mercy). The Jewish as a nation are having the scales fall of their eyes one by one. This video exemplifies the cry of the heart of every Jewish person believing and knowing the same God that we do, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That cry is for the same Messiah that we know to return to set up His Eternal Kingdom. Only The Name has not been revealed to them as a people, a nation. Yet! Ha Shem Yeshua Adonai! Adonai Yeshua HaMashiach-Jesus the Lord and Messiah. There is still the Temple Mount (Mount Zion) to be completely restored to them as well as the original borders from the Nile River bordering Egypt to South to the Euphrates on the Syrian border to the North. Genesis 15: 18-21 gives the map of countries to be taken over: Lebanon, Jordan also parts of: Egypt,Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Those are the borders only God Himself can and will retake in His time.
As the blinders are removed off of the eyes of both the Jews and their cousins the Middle Eastern tribes out of Ishmael and Esau this is a vibrant signal of both ‘Perilous Times’ and the ‘Return of the Lord’, both as our Blessed Savior Messiah and Violent Redeemer, “THE WORD OF GOD“ with Judgment and Destruction proceeding from out of His mouth as a two edged sword. Isaiah 42:13-14, Revelation.19:11-21.
One may ask where is the “Church, The Remnant, The Body of Christ/Messiah” in all of this since once a Jew or a Gentile receives Jesus as their Savior aren’t we all “One New Man” a widely diverse Kingdom within a worldwide system also so diverse as well. Watchmen will note that the extreme diversity still exits among the nations of the world but how similar is the mindset of the educated, industrial countries as if there is one momentum, one fascination, an obsession to become as one on a political and monetary basis thus leading to a world system of morality and spirituality in nature as well. The nature of the Evil One… Abaddon and also the one who carries his nature in order to rule worldwide for a brief period.
Who alone stands against this system whatever form it takes now and in the future? Of course the “Church”the unified “Body of True Believers in Christ Jesus”, Jew and Gentile alike in all things having to do with spiritual matters of following the Lord Jesus, Yeshua Adonai. Branches on the same tree of the same Judaic root; by the Line of Abraham to Judah to King David to Joseph and Mary to our King of Kings, Lord Jesus only doing what He saw his True Father do. So by believing and trusting in Jesus we have been grafted into the Judaic Root set by God for this purpose of ‘one new man’….then we as wild and natural yet fallen branches are all grafted into the line of Abraham. Romans 2:29 “On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal;….” Romans 8:6-8 But the present condition of Israel does not mean that the Word of God is failed (you can say that for today as well). In other words it is not the physical children who are the children of God, but the children (us..Jew and Gentile) the promise refers to who are considered seed.” [emphasis mine]. Paul goes on to quote Hosea 2:23 “Those who were not my people I will call my people;…”.
So we as ‘One’ in Jesus the Messiah are totally without distinction spiritually as Jew or Gentile. We don’t look alike but we have that same ‘look’ in our eyes. We think alike in many ways of love, prayer and adoration. We all have the Bible to read, a love letter of instructions written by God condensed to Ten and then Two major cornerstone commandments. “Love the Lord thy God with all of your heart, soul and mind. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-39 The law will show you your sin, yet if you do all things as these two commandments read then they will show you how to have joy,fulfillment and contentment within the law and the commandments. As Gentile Believers/Christians we are to biblically not do three things as to the law. “….abstain from things polluted by idols, fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.” Acts 15:20. Yet keeping what is instructed us in the scriptures as to righteous living. Remember when this was being discussed there was no New Testament just the Old Testament of God’s testimony of what He instructed on living Godly lives. Please, as a people that have so many church dogmas and traditions remember that physically we are either still Jews or Gentiles (non-jews). Hitler if anyone in modern times proved that!
We as Gentile Christians have formed many non-biblical traditions: Sunday Sabbath, Christmas, Easter, sprinkling baptism, different times for communion and on and on.
What we have discarded are Jewish traditions that Jesus, the Disciples and Paul as Jews still participated in: Temple rites, Shabbat congregational meetings, other laws, and most importantly of all: the biblical appointed times of the festivals and 7th day Shabbat observance. These last two are permanent and eternally set for the Jews. Jewish Believers in Jesus as their Messiah are perfectly secure in continuing these permanent observances for them if they choose to do so and not the Christianized rituals of the ‘church’. They are still Jews fulfilling their biblical love. We as Gentile Believers grafted into the root of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (no other tongue or tribe) should stand by our brothers spiritually as one appreciating what they observe as fulfilling their lives walking, as we, in the Light of God’s holiness and truth. When we error and swing too far to orthodoxy on either side with partition, then we are in sin against our brethren. Can a Jewish Believer come into a Gentile Church on Sunday and eat leavened communion bread (as some churches do) and still be in kinship without any hesitations..yes! Can any Gentile Believer go to a Messianic meeting on Shabbat evening or morning and partake in the singing of the ‘Shema Yisra’el’ as they turn towards the East….most certainly with delight and the joy that brotherhood brings.
Spiritually we are identically one new man and no more separated…. yet physically and traditionally we are still visibly different until the Lord himself sets His foot on Mount Zion and all the gathered tribes of Israel see him ‘Face to Face’. Then we will become as the ‘True Church’ the ‘Gathered Ones from every tribe and tongue’, indistinguishable physically and spiritually; but yet mysteriously as any son or daughter exclusive in our created individual selves, perfected beyond earthly imagination. Thank You Lord Jesus!!!! There is one precursor to this for those who have gone on ahead to Heaven where the transformation of being both physically and spiritually as one takes place. Again Thank You Lord Jesus! Thank You Father God!
This is how we together as Jewish and Gentile Believers fight satan and his invasive hordes upon the earth in this time…a time set in history. Together as one, standing strong against the enemy while loving, caring and appreciating one another for how God Created us each one. The victory is not us overcoming the world around us but us in the midst of a world overcome by darkness and for us to shed the ‘Light of the Truth of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. Then Jesus Himself is the Overcomer through the Holy Spirit directed by God the Father. Amen and Omaine!
Just an added word: I am not a scholar or of a theological degree ( I’m sure you caught that right off ). I just see matters in black and white as I meditate upon God’s Holy Word and ask to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Please watch the video and enjoy.
“For me to live is the Messiah, to die is gain.”
Apostolic Attitude toward Religious Judaism in the Book of Acts
by Asher Intrater
There has been a continuing controversy among the Messianic pastors in Israel concerning our attitude toward religious Judaism and the Law of Moses. There is a small percentage (perhaps about 10%), who believe we should accept everything of Rabbinic Judaism; and another small percentage (perhaps about 20%), who believe we should reject everything of Rabbinic Judaism. The majority are caught in the middle of the discussion.
I have noticed a similar controversy in pastors in churches around the world. A very small number become so enamored with Rabbinic Judaism that they desire to keep all of Jewish culture. A larger percentage is still affected by replacement theology, anti-nomianism (anti-Law), and even anti-Semitism. Many Christian leaders who see a love for Israel and the Jewish people in the Bible also find themselves caught in the middle, and remain somewhat confused.
This controversy can be compared to the Acts 15 controversy 2,000 years ago. There the question was asked whether the Gentiles should be required to keep the Law of Moses. The answer of the apostles, as I interpret it, was that Gentile Christians are free from symbolic ceremonial elements of the Law, but the elements of universal moral Law are still incumbent upon them.
Note: This distinction between priestly symbols and universal morality is not an invention of the New Covenant; it was already expressed by the prophets of Israel. Yeshua taught on the subject in Matthew 9:13, 12:7, 23:23, and Mark 12:33. Yet, the distinction between symbolic law and moral law can be seen earlier in I Samuel 15:22, Isaiah 1:11 and 17, Jeremiah 4:4, Hosea 6:6, Micah 6:7 and 8. My favorite is Proverbs 21:3 – “Doing righteousness and justice is more desirable to the Lord than animal sacrifice.”
In order to provide some background information, I prepared a brief survey of the attitude of the apostles by listing every verse in the book of Acts that concerned Rabbinic Judaism or the Law of Moses. I found 148 verses on the subject: 78 verses contained criticism; 70 verses contained affirmation. There was not even one chapter that did not contain some reference to this issue. As it was significant in the early community of faith, so is it today. What can we learn from this survey?
First of all, we see that there is a balance on the issue. To see Rabbinic Judaism as totally negative or totally positive is not biblical. There are pros and cons. I appreciate Paul’s (Saul’s) summary on the subject in Romans 11:28 – “Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, yet concerning the election, they are beloved because of the forefathers.” There are elements of Rabbinic Judaism that are inimical to the grace of God and the gospel of salvation; yet within Judaism there are elements that maintain the historic faith from Abraham and Moses.
Of the 78 verses in Acts which are critical of religious Judaism, the great majority concern their persecution of Messianic Jews (59) and their rejection of Yeshua (10). Only 9 verses criticized them for legalism or sin. I found no verses that denied the position of religious Judaism as the continuation of the faith of our forefathers.
This is significant on both sides: Do not be deceived. There is an underlying “agenda” in rabbinic Judaism to oppose faith in Yeshua. Those who are not discerning will be weakened by being overly influenced by rabbinic teaching. On the other hand, Jewish belief and practice on issues not concerning the gospel are NOT necessarily rejected by the apostles.
Of the “affirming” verses, the largest category (16) was the statements of the apostles identifying themselves as part of the faith, culture, and ethnic background of the Jewish people. These expressions were voiced particularly when sharing the gospel, in an attempt not to let faith in Yeshua be separated from the people of Israel.
The second category (15 verses) was the attitude of the apostles to the Law of Moses. They saw the Law and the Prophets as the authoritative word of God. They viewed themselves as keeping the commandments and submitted to the prophecies of ancient Israel.
The third area of affirmation (15 verses) was of rabbinic tradition. The apostles did not affirm the traditions as the word of God, yet they made every effort to be respectful to the culture of their family and friends. Another 10 verses spoke of the custom of the apostles entering the synagogue in each city. The synagogue was seen as a valid place of prayer, community, and bible study.
Finally, I found 14 verses that spoke of a certain godliness, faith, and calling within the religious Jews themselves. The fact that they did not yet know the Messiah did not invalidate the degree of righteousness they did have within the Jewish religion.
We are committed to the truth of the whole word of God: Torah, Prophets, and New Covenant. Secondly, we desire to share our faith effectively with those around us. In the recent interviews on Israeli television and newspaper, many of the questions turned to how we in the Messianic community approach issues of Judaism and the Law of Moses, despite the fact that the Israeli media itself is predominantly secular.
As Yeshua and His disciples had to deal with issues of Torah when sharing the gospel with the Jewish people, so do we today. As the gospel goes out again to the nations of the world from Jerusalem, as it did in the first century, we desire our message to have the same kingdom priorities as expressed by the early apostles.
Our approach is to be radical in the work of the Holy Spirit, bold in presentation of the gospel, committed to moral integrity, and balanced in our approach to Jewish religious tradition. We follow in the footsteps of the apostles. Pray for unity on these issues in the Messianic community in Israel and in the international Body of Christ.