Messianic Pastors in Israel Repent for Their Country and Invite the Messiah’s Return

On this Lord’s Day, friends, I want to share news that stirs my heart deeply.  For those who have studied with me, you know how passionate I am about the Biblical truth that Jesus, our King, will return only when the Jews invite Him back.  How is that, you say?

In Matthew 21:8-9, we find Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, as the crowds shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the Highest!”  They had awaited the coming of their King, but were soon to deny Him as the Messiah, as He was sent to crucifixion.

Two chapters later (Matthew 23:37-39), Jesus weeps bitterly over Jerusalem because He knows His people had just missed the day of His visitation (Luke 19:44).  Here is the Lord’s lament.  Pay particular attention to His final sentence here:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Indeed, King Jesus will not return to put His foot on this earth until He hears His people say, “Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai!”  (In English: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”)

On a trip to Israel, I met a woman named Hermana who ministers at Magdala, a relatively newly-excavated site in the Galilee where Jesus spent some time.  But her ministry also puts her in contact with Messianic pastors and leaders (both Jewish and Arab) throughout Israel.  I receive occasional ministry updates and she recently sent the following.  I want to share it with you because I know your heart will be blessed, as mine was, when you hear the experience she shares.  Enjoy!

I experienced something this week that i don’t have words to describe properly. All I know is that an exceptional privilege was my portion!

For more than ten years Reuven and Benjamin Berger (two Jewish pastors in the land) have had the desire to gather the messianic body to repent on behalf of their nation. For what Reuven described, as the biggest sin: “rejecting our Messiah”. On the fast of Esther, they gathered in Christ Church at Jaffa Gate in the Old City. Several pastors who could not attend, had signed their agreement beforehand.

The worship wasn’t like in congregations – it was synagogue music. Slow and reverent, mourning the condition of their hearts and pleading for mercy. The moment was really too weighty to describe, but my friend Orna Grinman says it was as if the presence of Ancient of Days filled the space. I agree … and the sounds and laments were like keys, turning the locks of heart-doors.

Passages from Daniel, Jeremiah and Nehemiah were read to open the service and Reuven described how Israel has always been God’s inheritance. He spoke about how they first killed the prophets and then Yeshua – the rightful Heir. A solemnity hung over everyone in the church… almost like at a funeral. It reminded me of Zechariah 12 when the nation will grieve over Him whom they have pierced.

Pastors came to the microphone to repent for that which was on their minds. Some wept. Some confessed, “LORD, Your word is true – our nation is rebellious … we have acted very wickedly towards You”. One pastor sounded like his heart was bursting as he wailed aloud. Another buried his face and asked forgiveness for his people’s pride. One pastor expressed renewed shock at the words, “Let His blood be on us and our children”. Everyone begged for mercy.

     

Pastor Avi Mizrachi invited a few women to represent others. One lady from an orthodox background, told how when she was a child, her mouth was rinsed with soap when she dared to say the J-word. She asked forgiveness for the way Yeshua’s name has become a curse in Israel. Other women repented for things deeper than gentiles would understand.

Then Avi invited a humble Arab pastor to the front. He sobbed in identification with his Jewish brothers – affirming that the land belongs to them and thanking God for their allowing them (the Arabs) to live in Israel. Gut wrenching.

Then Benjamin lead us all in communion. The round flat loaf felt coarse on my tongue, and the wine … yes, the wine. Has it ever tasted so sweetly so deeply? It went down wholesomely restoring an ancient brokenness. “Lord, yes – please let Your blood on our heads, but for good. Please wash the curse away, we beg You! Let Your blood now become a blessing for us and our children”.

They announced that the Jewish people have only one King – Yeshua HaMashiach! The leadership went before us in inviting Him back to Jerusalem.

Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai!

Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai!

Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai!

Holy ground, it was

Hermana

IDF Responses following Saturday’s Confrontation with Iran

IDF official: Response to future Iranian violations will be more forceful

Israeli F-16 (photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

As you know, Iran sent a drone into Israeli territory on Saturday, which was shot down by an Israeli Apache helicopter.  The IDF retaliated by taking out the launch site and destroying key facilities on the Iranian airbase in Syria.  Unfortunately, amidst those attacks, an anti-aircraft missile hit an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, causing the pilots to turn the plane back toward Israel and eject.  The jet crashed in the Galilee area but the pilots successfully parachuted to safety.

The IDF has released information and statements regarding the incident, indicating they do not want escalation, but vow to respond even stronger if threatened again by Iran.  Here is information and various statements from IDF officials:

Virtual Visit to Northern Israel

When Israel is mentioned, most think of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.  Others think of the barren deserts of the Negev.  Some may think of the Mediterranean coast.  But, remember, over 80% of Jesus’ ministry happened in the Galilee area.  The northern part of Israel is very diverse in climate and landscape, and very different even economically and socially from the well-known major cities in Israel.

The Jewish nation is roughly the size of New Jersey, yet that diversity in climate (5 different climate zones) and landscape (deserts, mountains, forests, plains) makes Israel very unique.  Let’s take a short virtual tour of Israel’s north, then you tell me….did you ever think about these things?

Enjoy!

What is Hanukkah About?

Ok my friends, jump into your Jewish mindset and let’s talk about Hanukkah!  It is a very festive occasion and commences tomorrow night at sundown.  But exactly what are our Jewish friends celebrating?  Perhaps this will help!

Throughout history Satan has tried to destroy God’s plan by destroying God’s people.  First, he deceived Eve, resulting in enmity with the one God said would crush his head. Later, horrible Haman concocted a plan to eliminate the Jewish people, but God used Esther to reveal the plan that reversed the fate of Haman.  Later, Jews were taken into captivity in attempts to separate them from their land, yet they returned.  Hitler and others made attempts in more modern history to eliminate the Jewish people, but they persevered and survived.

Well, another such attempt was made about 165 years before Christ, when Syrian King Antiochus Epiphanes tried to squash Judaism by desecrating the Temple, erecting idols and forcing Jews to worship them.  When a priest named Mattathias was commanded by Syrian soldiers to sacrifice a pig on the pagan altar, he refused and fled with his 5 sons to the Judean Wilderness. These were the Maccabees, and other Jews joined them in plans to revolt.

Eventually, they led a revolt, making their way back to Jerusalem where they dismantled the pagan altars and reclaimed the Temple.  When it came time to light the menorah and re-dedicate the Temple, they found only one days worth of oil.  How would they accomplish the 8-day celebration?  It would take at least that long to get purified olive oil from the Galilee region to keep the menorah lit.

You may be familiar with the miracle of God multiplying 2 fish and 5 loaves on the shores of the Sea of Galilee to feed thousands of people in Jesus’ time.  But that wasn’t the first time God multiplied provision!  He did so with that single days worth of oil, making it last 8 days!

So, even to this day, the Jews celebrate the same Festival of Dedication Jesus celebrated (John 10:22).  It is called Hanukkah (or the Festival of Lights) and always begins on the 25th day of Kislev and lasts for 8 days.  The Hebrew calendar is a lunar one, so does not align consistently with our Gregorian calendar.  Thus, Hanukkah typically begins in early- to mid-December.  This year, it begins at sundown on Tuesday, December 12.

Why not share this simplified account of Hanukkah with your family:

 

Stay tuned for more fun Hanukkah facts over the next few days, as we honor our Jewish friends by understanding their celebratory feasts!