April 13th, 2011 by John Paul

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”. Matthew 5:10 (NKJ).

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you”.  Luke 6:27-28 (NKJ).

These commands were put into practice recently in Israel at a hearing of accused attacker Jack Teitel.  Many are familiar with how Ami Ortiz nearly lost his life opening a Purim package in March 2008.  The Ortiz family was targeted because of their open faith in Messiah Yeshua.  The current legal proceedings are to determine if Teitel  is ‘legally competent’ to stand trial.  Almost 3 years to the month of the attack, Ami was in the court room for these hearings for first time face to face encounter.  Leah Ortiz writes about the account that

There were several recesses during the long hours, when Teitel was taken out of the courtroom and then returned, hands and feet shackled, and surrounded by guards. We were forewarned not to approach him or talk to him. When he would come out, we would go near to the door of the courtroom, and Ami would sit on a barrier which is used to keep the media separated from the prisoners, which is in itself pretty high. When he sat on it, his head nearly touched the ceiling, and from that perch and vantage point, he watched Teitel. Ami remained very calm, and took seeing Teitel for the first time in person very well. He said that he felt OK, and it didn’t seem to throw him off his equilibrium to see his attacker.

Suddenly, a recess was called, and Teitel and the guards came out, and proceeded to walk in our direction. I looked at him directly in his face, and for the first time he made eye contact with me. His eyes searched my face for my reaction to him. I just looked at him, and he saw no hate in my face, because I refuse to hate, even though my poor son has suffered and continues to suffer from his hatred and violence. He looked at David the same way, searching his face for a reaction. Then Chaim called out to him, “How did it feel to see Ami Ortiz in Court today?” Chaim said that Teitel turned around and looked at him with a demonic look that chilled him to the bone. He said he had never experienced anything like that stare before.

The impact of this demonstration of the character of Messiah by the Ortiz family hopefully will be realized in all of Israel.  Opportunity for Israelis to see the transforming power of the message of Yeshua exists as this case unfolds.  This case and others that involve ‘harassment’ of individual citizens of Israel by the hands of anti-missionaries has come to the attention of the local secular news.  On the Maoz Ministry blog a 3-part video series has been posted showing the local news segments.  (The Ortiz story is on part 2).    It is encouraging to see the secular station actually use the Maoz film footage.  So not only does following the words of Yeshua get media coverage but a Messianic congregation is seen as a legitimate positive expression of one’s Jewishness.  The conversation of religious tolerance and freedom is disclosed benignly for the Messianic community and malevolently for the anti-missionary establishment.  This is a diametric shift in the spiritual atmosphere in the modern Jewish State witnessed in this generation.  This is new territory for the gospel in Israel.   Moving forward, we can expect to see deeper restoration for the nation as promised in Scripture (Ezekiel 37:26-28), albeit she faces an existential threat from her enemies.  Below is the video mentioned:


[Link to Video]


It is typical for this writer to pray that the Jewish people see their Messiah in the Biblical feasts, particularly Pesach (Passover) and Yom Kippur.   With an increasing volume the light of Israel’s Redeemer will be shown through the believers in ‘erets’ Israel (land of Israel).

 

John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.

Posted in Featured Articles, Israel & The Jewish People, News Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

March 26th, 2011 by John Paul

For seven years there have been anti-messianic demonstrations in front of the home of Polly Sigulim.  Once again, when probing deeper into the life of this widow of 3 sons all who are IDF soldiers we have to ask what has she done to deserve this hostile treatment.  According to the Gur Hasidim she is involved in missionary activity for foster parenting several children whose Messianic parents have passed away.

This is ostensibly because she fostered some children from another Messianic Jewish family when their parents passed away. The Gur hold this up as some kind of proof of missionary kidnapping of children. This was a legal fostering according to Israeli law and in full accord with the wishes of the family. However be that as it may, Israeli law is not always as important to the Gur and other Haredi groups who often hold Israeli civil law as inferior to the law of their rabbinical courts. These rabbinical courts may very well serve their own communities adequately, but their rulings are not legally holding for other Israeli citizens who are from other communities, such as the Israeli Messianic Jewish community.

There were about 100 Arad residents on the side of Polly countering the protesters.  This news clip shows how the protest went.

It was great to see Polly’s neighbors who know her best stand in her support.  But there are ways we can help also even if we do not live in Israel.  It is time for the Body of Messiah, especially in America, to shift their funds from certain aid groups to directly nurture the growth of our Israeli brethren.  Subsequent to 1967, the resurgence of believing Jews in the land has lead to many organizations that not only further the gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus, but also provide humanitarian aid, even to Palestinians.  Would it not be best for the generosity of Christians to be expressed through the ones who can give a voice of eternal hope to the recipient?

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews does not function as a Messianic Jewish group.  The founder is a traditional Rabbi and does not have gospel purposes in mind.  While preparing for this post, I listened to a recent podcast of ‘The Line of Fire’ with Dr. Michael Brown and quest Ron Cantor. They graciously gave attention to this issue and is recommended for the reader.  (The discussion starts at about 1 hour and 19 minutes in the podcast).

So what are the alternatives for Evangelical supporters of Israel?  I’m glad you asked, and we have some suggestions for you.  Make it a matter between you and the Lord and follow His leading.

By channeling our giving to Israel in this manner our hearts and our treasure will be in line with the Father’s will of salvation by his Son Jesus.   The conflicts that may arise by these funds going to the enemies of the gospel will be mitigated.

The import of this is even beyond the physical and natural needs that will be ameliorated.  It is one aspect that leads to the salvation of Israel.  The seminal influence in Israel for this is the Messianic community of believers.  Let us do all we can with our funding of the gospel to ensure this promise even to generations to come.

 

John Paul is is an Associate Editor for Voice of Revolution, overseeing Jewish Issues.

Posted in Featured Articles, Israel & The Jewish People, News Tagged with: , , , , , , ,