July 28th, 2011 by Christine Colbert

More than 67,000 Nigerians made decisions to dedicate their lives to Yeshua and many people experienced healing as a result of mission trips completed by the Isaiah 2 Initiative.

Ron Cantor, an active member of Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv, took a team of young people from his congregation. The Isaiah 2 Initiative has completed two mission trips to Nigeria. To our knowledge, these are the first Israeli Messianic Jewish missionary trips. Ron describes the inception of this vision,

February 14th, 2009: I was in a hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, when the Lord spoke to my heart.

I had just been invited to organize a mass outreach campaign by local leaders from Adamawa State in eastern Nigeria, but I was struggling internally. Something wasn’t right!

As I prayed that morning I felt in my heart that I was not to return to Nigeria alone, but to bring Israeli young people with me so they too could fulfill their call to be a light to the nations and be deeply impacted in the process—returning to Israel on fire!

That was the beginning of our “Isaiah 2 Initiative.”

The young missionaries were touched by the simple way of living they observed throughout Nigeria.

The initiative draws its name from Isaiah 2:3b, “The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

The tribal King of the hosting city, a Muslim, graciously accepted these Jewish believers from Israel.  Cantor states,

It is a tradition in Nigeria that when a visitor comes to a city, he or she is received by the mayor and the tribal king.

The king of Hong is a Muslim, and given the backdrop of Islamic violence against Christians in northern Nigeria, his words were even more powerful.

“You have come to Hong and have answered my prayers.”

A Muslim king was praying that we would bring the Gospel to his city? I didn’t argue with him!
Everywhere we went, we were literally treated like royalty by everybody! The joy on their faces, anticipating our coming to their village with the Gospel, was humbling.

A Nigerian spokesman said he and his fellow countrymen were particularly touched to be visited by people from “the country we have read about in the Bible.”

Among the reports of miraculous healing that resulted from the mission were those of vision being restored to a previously blind woman and hearing to a man who had been deaf.  On one night of the campaign the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was proclaimed as the one and only God — whereby objects and articles connected to superstitions, idols and the occult were publicly burned.

Ron summarizes the trip this way.

By God’s grace we in Israel will continue to focus on preaching the good news of Yeshua to the nations. We believe that as the body of Believers in Israel embraces its role to be a light to the nations, it will release grace on Israelis to confess Yeshua.

Furthermore, there is no doubt that the young Israelis who come on these trips have life-changing encounters. Their boldness to share the good news here in Israel has been reinforced and their faith to believe for miracles strengthened.

For more information on Ron Cantor’s vision for Israel to fulfill her calling as a Light to the Nations, visit http://www.messiahsmandate.org/

Christine Colbert is a writer and editorial consultant who hails from Kansas City.

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

June 24th, 2011 by John Paul


[Link to Video]

Recently Messianic Jew, Ron Cantor, gave an importunate message on the foreign policy of the White House.  Cantor holds both Israeli and US citizenship allowing him to both admonish and redirect the aspirations of the State Department.  He ‘felt compelled’ to deviate from his normal Bible teaching and provide this necessary history lesson which he hopes will get out to the world.   Some highlights from the message are:

  • Quoting Jeremiah 31:8 and Ezekiel 36:24 the foundation of the modern State of Israel is the Lord’s promise to regather Israel and this is based on a ‘covenant of circumcision’.
  • The borders the US administration wants to start with for Israel are NOT borders of peace, or based on natural topography but are where two armies just happened to stop fighting, not a ‘holy grail’ to be assumed.
  • President Truman basically upstaged his own State Department and the US Ambassador to the UN in recognizing Israel as a nation ahead of the process to hand over the Palestine Mandate to the auspice of the UN.  (This took chutzpa on Truman’s part which in retrospect was very significant).
  • The goal of the PLO was to destroy Israel. It was founded in 1964 and at that time Israel did NOT have control of the Golan, Gaza, or Judea and Samaria.  These areas were under the control of Syria, Egypt, and Jordan and provided a great opportunity to make a Palestinian State.  So it is not about a state or borders.
  • Moshe Dayan had a media blackout that allowed the fictitious statements of Abdul Nasser to draw the Jordanian army to attack Israel and subsequently be defeated thus gaining control of Jerusalem and the West Bank.  Five nations were assembled against Israel, with 500,000 soldiers in the 1967 war,  while the total population of Israel was about 2.5 million Jews.
  • President Bush in 2004 understood that these borders were indefensible and would threaten the security of Israel.
  • The speech by the US President  on May 19, 2011 was to be about the support and celebration of democracy and peace in the Middle Eastern countries seeking freedom from despots, but de facto forces Israel to a position which emboldened her avowed enemies, thereby increasing the likelihood of another conflict.

 

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: , , , , , , ,

May 9th, 2011 by John Paul

I find many Christians who support the restoration of the Jewish people to their homeland in Israel also subscribe to the end-time teaching known as the pre-tribulation rapture.  This teaching holds that Jesus will return first as a “thief in the night” to snatch away the Church prior to a hellish reign of terror by a false messiah in the last days. He will then come again with His Church to destroy all satanic rule on this planet and establish the long-awaited Messianic Age.
But have these Christians who hold this view stopped to consider, as I finally did, that this teaching is fundamentally opposed to the heart and soul of Christian Zionism?

I do not know how many of our readers have had the same experience, but I certainly have.  Now it must be stated that any position on theology must be based in scripture first and foremost.  Although spending most of my formative years in a Scofield Bible, within the first year of college I had abandoned Dispensationalism based on a  different look at the texts in the Bible.  But at this point in my life, I was not able to see some of the implications of my beliefs and their impact on the connection to Israel.  Brian Hennessy continues on with his own experience

It didn’t take long to see where the problem lay. At almost every pro-Israel event there would be a time of public repentance for turning our backs – and often our weapons – on the Jews over the centuries. We’d loudly proclaim that “we will never abandon you again.” Either by keeping silent in times of persecution, as so many did during the Holocaust. Or by doctrinally distancing ourselves again through the acceptance of Replacement Theology.

Yet by embracing a rapture theology, aren’t we already planning to abandon them again? And at a time when Israel and the Jews will need us the most? Worse, we crow about our “saving event” without a blush or a word of apology to our Jewish friends. What must the Jews think? No doubt they are grateful for our present support, but I’m sure they won’t be holding their breath waiting for us to show up once the feathers hit the fan. What is wrong with us? Have we learned nothing from our past betrayals of our brothers? Are we just going to be happy-clappy cheerleaders for the State of Israel as long as the skies are sunny? But when dark clouds come will we quickly start looking for the rapture bus to get us out of here – fast?

 

Those are sobering words.  It is a functional disconnect between theology and relationship.  I have said this in conversations with other believers that a “pre-tribulation rapture is anti-Semitic.”  Now, those are strictly my words and this observation took over a decade to develop.  I say it that way to make us think.  A case in point without much personal input is my experience with my father.  He had great RESPECT and love for the Jewish people and it is here where I attribute my ‘nascent Zionism.’  Guess what?  I know my dad was not anti-Jew, but was his theology?  In unpacking some dispensational thought Hennessy reasons

Darby, who is known as the “father of dispensationalism,” believed God has dealt with mankind in different ways in different ages or “dispensations.” Christians belong to the latest dispensation, an age of grace, and are considered God’s “heavenly people.” But the descendants of Abraham – at least those who came before Jesus, plus those who didn’t accept Him as Messiah after He came – belonged to the dispensation of Law and are God’s “earthly people.” The only exception to this rule are Jews who do believe in Jesus. They are counted as part of the Church and those alive at Jesus return can get on the rapture “bus.”

Although he taught that the Church and Israel would always remain separate and distinct, he believed both groups play parallel roles in God’s plan of salvation. And will receive parallel inheritances. That is, he didn’t teach that the Jews had been disenfranchised by the Church, as Replacement Theology taught. But he didn’t see the Church as being a continuation or enhancement of Israel, either.

 

So maybe I can get my dad off the hook by this logic, but how about those who do not believe in dispensationalism but still have the vestige of a sudden rapture, leaving unsaved Israel behind.  If after a thorough look at Scripture you still attest to this view, then I obviously accept that and will not allow us to be divided (Psalm 133).   There was never a scientific study done on my part, but via attendance at Messianic conferences, reading Jewish leaders writings and at one time being an active member in a Messianic congregation I observed a trend that they did not ascribe to this view.

In a recent interview of Ron Cantor, an Israeli believer, on Line of Fire radio, host Dr. Michael Brown briefly discusses this issue.  Cantor states that most Messianic believers , IN ISRAEL, hold to a post-Tribulation paradigm.   (Conversation starts at approximately the 30 minute mark, emphasis mine).  This corroborates my experience.

The point here is to help define the relationship of the Church to Israel and clarify the roles of Jew (even unsaved) and gentile believer.  Also, how do you daily LIVE your life thinking “Any minute I am out of here.”  As opposed to preparing your life knowing you (the Church)  are required to live through Israel’s ‘darkest hour’ for a divine purpose and witness.

So coming into focus the question is “What does it say to the unsaved Jewish person, when we sincerely want them to see the reflection of Messiah in our life, if we hold to this escapist mentality?”  Once again the thoughts of Brian Hennessy:

Therefore, if we are going to be solidly in Israel’s corner as we promised, we can’t also be planning for an early exit. Their fight is also our fight. We must come alongside them, not just as fans, but as family. It doesn’t matter that the majority of Jews do not recognize us or accept us yet as mishpochah. We know it is true! Therefore we have to act in faith and believe we have a stake in this game. The blessings of Israel are something we too will share in if we faint not.

But if we only rejoice over the reestablishment of Israel because it is a prophetic sign that Jesus is coming soon. Or because it is merely an encouragement that if God is faithful to them He’ll be faithful to us. Or because it shows we now reject Replacement Theology, even though we still hold fast to Darby’s Separation Theology – then our Zionism is indeed a hollow shell.

No, we must be in this for the long haul. We must be one with the Jews, come what may, and trust we will rejoice with them at the glorious deliverance our God has promised to perform for us. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for calamity; to give you a hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).

 

 

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

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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.

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