Netanyahu to Christian Media: “Israel is a Light unto the Nations!”

On Sunday, in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off the Christian Media Summit, which brings together “more than 100 Christian journalists and speakers from around the world to learn about Israel’s Biblical and modern history, and its security challenges,” according to CBN News.

After encouraging the journalists to focus on, and report on, Iran’s persecution of Christians, he took questions from the journalists.  Here is one exchange:

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell: “With all the problems facing Israel, why does Israel feel obligated to reach out with humanitarian aid to the nations?”

Netanyahu’s immediate response: “Because we’re a light unto the nations!  That’s fulfillment of that great prophecy…that’s what Israel is doing!”

Indeed, Israel is a light unto the nations, just as Isaiah the prophet recorded (Isaiah 49:6).  You see, God called Israel for a special purpose.  Genesis 12:3 tells us that the descendents of Abraham are to be a blessing to the whole world.  What does it mean to be a light unto the nations, or to bless the whole world?  How does that happen?

Those are interesting questions, and ones we, as believers in Jesus Christ, would be richly blessed to know and understand!  The world is in a mess, and in need of redemption.  The good news is: Israel is that vehicle of world redemption!

There is so much more that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, would be richly blessed to know and understand.  Together, we will dig into those details during a study I’m teaching on Sunday mornings at Calvary Community Church in Phoenix AZ.  If you’re in the area, join us at 9:00am (Northwest Campus Prayer Room) or 11:00am (Central Campus Room 403).  Info and directions here.  Let’s discover what God has for us through our Jewish roots!

BTW, if you wish to see and hear Netanyahu’s brief speech and Q&A at the Christian Media Summit, you will find it here.

For Zion’s Sake – October 2017

Isaiah 62

In accordance with Scriptural commands to pray for the  peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122) and to give the Lord no rest until Jerusalem is a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62:7), we are turning our focus today to those very commands.  The Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative is a worldwide effort to draw Christians from around the world together in prayer.  The first Wednesday of every month is set aside as the day of prayer.  Today, that falls on the opening of the Feast of Tabernacles!  What a great time to pray for Israel!  (If you are seeing this after the fact, pray anyway!  God is not bound by time!)

Isaiah 62 is our prayer guide and we focus on one verse of that chapter each month.  It is October, so we’ll zero in on verse 10:

Go through, go through the gates,
Clear the way for the people;
Build up, build up the highway,
Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples.

PRAISE: Lord, thank You that You include us in Your glorious plan for Israel.  We respond to Your call to action and we give You praise for the work You will do both in us and for Jerusalem.  Thank You for Your redemptive work.  Amen

PONDER: There is work for the watchmen to do.  The prayers, attitudes and actions of the watchmen help create a thoroughfare for God’s promises to freely move.  There are gates to go through, a way to be prepared, a highway to build, stones to remove and a banner to lift up.  For the Christian, this work involves removing the crushing stone of 2000 years of antisemitism.  We must earn a right to our voice, we must recognize and rectify the harm that has been done in the name of Christ, and we must demonstrate the true face of Jesus the Messiah to the Jewish people.  Israel must know that there is a people who will sacrifice for them – us.  Lord, we pray that we are worthy of this work.

PRAYER:  Specific prayer points are found here.

Thank you for being a watchman on the wall (Isaiah 62:6, Ezekiel 33:1-9), and know that the Lord looks favorably on those who heed His commands to pray for Israel!  Blessings!

Exciting Times in Which We Live!

Friends, significant world events  are taking place at such a rapid pace it is almost impossible to keep up!  By “significant,” I mean relevant to what the Bible identifies as end time events.  Here are a few signs of the times:

  • Following an 8.2 earthquake last week, Mexico City was hit by a 7+ earthquake yesterday.  Earthquakes worldwide are multiplying in frequency and severity. (Matthew 24:7)
  • Sisi-Bibi-1In a stunning public appearance, Egypt’s President el-Sisi met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday in New York  (ahead of the UN General Assembly gathering).  This is historic…and Biblical!  Isaiah 11:16 and Isaiah 19:23-25 tell us that Egypt will be a blessing in the earth, and a friend of Israel.  Read more about this historically significant meeting here.
  • President Trump delivered what many are calling a very strong, anti-globalism speech at the UN.  While the idea of One World Order is growing by leaps and bounds, particularly in Europe, President Trump emphatically touted nationalism rather than globalism and spoke authoritatively about state sponsors of terrorism.  I’m not particularly a Trump fan, but believe he is being used by the Lord to defend certain Biblical principles (such as nationalism) and to shake up the American political system.  Pray for our President.  (Amir Tsarfati posted a very informative 20-minute video regarding Trump’s speech.)
  • Hurricane Maria barreled through already-devastated Caribbean islands.  Indeed, all creation groans as birth pains continue.  (Romans 8:22-23)

We are living in exciting times!  How can I say that?  Because, as believers, God has promised to deliver us, through salvation in Jesus Christ, from the wrath that is to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:9).  So, despite the “signs of the times,” lift up your heads for your redemption draws near!  (Luke 21:29)

PS: We’re talking about these very things in our study, What in the World is Going On?  Other than current events, we’ll dive into the False Prophet, One World Religion, the Antichrist and One World Government in the next couple weeks.  Come join us at either Northwest Campus (9:00 in the Prayer Room) or Central Campus (11:00 in Room 403) Sunday mornings at Calvary Community Church.  (Directions and info here.)

Pictorial Tour of Life in Jerusalem

I have always wanted to “immerse in the culture” of Israel, and I’ve certainly had that opportunity here in Jerusalem for a few days.  With only brief explanations, I’ll allow pictures to tell the story!

In Israel, most road signs are in Hebrew, Arabic and English.  Like this:

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Got the picture?  I bet you don’t!  Here is Reuven St:

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Yes, a mere walkway…replete with cats!  They are obviously afraid of cameras, because only the little guy on the left (in the shade) was brave enough to sit for the photo…making a complete liar of me!  No wonder I don’t like cats!

 

 

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I have found Jerusalem to have many quaint little parks and places to walk, jog, bike or stroll.  Here’s a boardwalk leading past First Station (which I mentioned a day or two ago).  How far does the path go?  Well, on my morning jog I ran to one end of it, but didn’t find the other end.  So the answer is “I don’t know.”  However, my understanding is that it eventually runs into a Palestinian West Bank neighborhood.  I didn’t jog there to confirm!

BTW, if you missed my Jerusalem Traffic 101 video on Facebook, go there and check it out!  Here’s the link!

 

Here are a few shots of my friend’s apartment (where I’m staying):

Driveway and entry.  (Yes, I’m standing in the driveway.  Streets, driveways and cars are very small here!)
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Front patio.  (There was a cat curled up in the bowl on the table when I left this morning!)
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Beautiful, huh!  What’s not to like?
Here is the front door.  Remember, this is an apartment building, so the stairs to the left of the door go up a couple more floors to other apartments.  (And no…the cats don’t enter through that cat/doggie door….at least not on MY watch!!!)

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This was a day of prayer for me, though those who know me, know I can’t be cooped up for long!  Thus, I took long prayer walks through and around the neighborhood, and checked out some of the local shops, markets and sidewalk cafes.  Perhaps I’ll show you more of my “finds” later.

Meanwhile, on this Isaiah 62 Day of Prayer, I found it a privilege to be in the City of God, praying for Israel, the region and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.  For those unaware, ICEJ initiated the Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative, bringing together believers from all over the world in prayers of unison.  The day is still young back home, so I hope you will find time to pray for Israel before your head hits a pillow tonight.  You will find specific prayer points here.

For now, shalom from Jerusalem…and I hope you will stop by again for more action from the Holy City!