Massive Terror Kite!

In a new attempt to disrupt the flow of Israeli life, Hamas sent a massive kite over the border of Israel. While this one was not on fire, it landed on Israeli power lines. The Israeli Electric Corporation sent a team out to deal with the kite, before an electrical fire had a chance to start. A crane had to be used to remove it.

Hamas spends its days and nights inventing new ways to terrorize the children living in southern Israel, and not attempting to help the Arabs of Gaza live a stable, normal life. The terror kites are just their newest invention. Already, over 7,000 acres of Israel’s farmland and nature reserves have been turned to ash.

Leading British MP Honors Terrorist

Jeremy Corbyn (the British equivalent of Nancy Pelosi, the US opposition leader) has long been accused of anti-Semitism and befriending terrorists. He once referred to his “friends in Hamas.” While he has always denied this charge, he is now dealing with a new scandal.

Pictures surface of him laying a wreath “in front of a plaque honoring Black September founder Salah Khalaf, his key aide Fakhri al-Omari and Hayel Abdel-Hamid, PLO chief of security,” and “Another photo allegedly shows Corbyn joining in Islamic prayers at the graveside.” —Breaking Israel News.

Black September is the PLO-connected terror organization that murdered 11 Israeli athletes during the Munich Olympics in 1972. It has gone down as one of the most infamous terror attacks in history.

In addition, a video recently emerged where Corbyn compares the Palestinians under Israel to Europe under the Nazis. However, his popularity continues to grow in recent months.

Palestinian Flags Fly in Tel Aviv

On Saturday night 30,000 Israelis, including thousands of Israelis Arabs (these are not Palestinians, but full Israeli citizens) brought Palestinian flags to Tel Aviv, in order to protest the new Nation State law. We reported on it last week. The purpose of the law is to ensure the Jewish nature of Israel. However, opponents of the law have said that it does not ensure equality to non-Jewish Israelis such as Muslims, Druze and Bedouins.

Critics say that the very fact that Israeli Arabs were waving Palestinians flags shows the deep need for the Jewish State law, that ensures the Jewish identity of Israel into the future. They were shouting, “By blood and fire, we will clear Palestine!”

55 Million Views

‘One for Israel’, an Israeli outreach ministry, records and publishes testimonies of Jewish believers. They recorded my story just over a year ago. Recently, they passed the 55 million views mark. They post testimonies in Hebrew and English. Listen to the media director of ‘One for Israel’, Eitan Bar:

In contrast to ancient Israel, modern-day Israel continues to be on the cutting edge of technology. Studies have shown that we Israelis, are more active on the Internet and social networks, such as Facebook, and YouTube, than any other country in the world.

Pray that God will continue to use One for Israel and other ministries using the internet to reach Jewish people.

Turkey Could Fall

President Trump has called on Turkey to release jailed American pastor, Andrew Brunson. Turkey dug in its heels, refusing to let him go. He is being accused of being involved in espionage, but many believe his captivity is in response to the US refusal to deport a Turkish cleric, accused of being behind the unsuccessful coup.

“Turkey has made it clear that this is a sham trial, and, as indicated by President Erdogan’s multiple demands to swap Pastor Brunson for Fethullah Gulen, Pastor Brunson is undoubtedly a political prisoner behind held as a bargaining chip for Turkey,” — The European Center for Law and Justice

In response, Trump put tariffs on Turkish goods, causing their currency to fall by 45 percent.  Turkey responded with tariffs against the US, but they will have little impact. Hopefully, the sagging economic conditions will cause the Turks to throw out their president—who is seeking to become a dictator.

From Iran to Turkey, Middle East leaders are not used to dealing with a US President with a backbone. In the past, the US has backed down in the face of temper tantrums from overly emotional Middle Eastern leaders. However, Trump has proven that he is willing match their rhetoric, rather than compromise.

Prayer Points

<> Pray for revival in Turkey and Iran.

<> Pray for unity in Israel over new nation state law.

<> Pray for Israel ministries to bear fruit in evangelism.

<> Pray that the winds will direct any terror will blow the kits back on those who send them.

 

 

37 Shares

God did not waste any time in revealing His triune nature to us. It can be seen in the very first chapter of Genesis. The first person to point this out to me was actually an ultra-Orthodox rabbi. His name was Yankel Kranz, and he was the leader of the Lubavitch community in Richmond, VA. The Lubavitcher rebbe or ‘pope’ died in 1994, amidst claims that he was the Messiah.

After telling Messianic Jews for years that Isaiah 53 didn’t refer to the Messiah’s suffering (He will come as a reigning king, not a suffering servant—I was told), suddenly Rebbe Menachem Mendelson Schneierson was the fulfillment. Except, to the shock of his followers, he did not rise from the dead. For years, the Lubavitchers stood watch by his grave, but he did not appear. To this day, some believe he will rise.

“In Our Image”

Rabbi Kranz was a kind man. We met weekly, at my parents’ behest, to study the Scriptures. On one of our first meetings, he pointed out Genesis 1:26:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

“Ronnie,” he said, “this does not prove the trinity.”

Being just a new believer, I was not claiming that it did. I was largely ignorant to the Bible.

“What we see here,” he continued, “is God speaking to the angels. He is not speaking to any Son or Holy Spirit, but the angels.”

What did I know? This was all new to me. Buuuuut…. it got me thinking. Is he right? Isn’t he just repeating what the anti-Messianics rabbis taught him to say?

Dominion

The fact is, Genesis 1:26 is definitely a reference to God’s triune nature. And I can prove it.

Let’s read the whole verse:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen. 1:26-27)

God says to someone, or to some ones, “Let us make man in our image.” So, in their (their being to whomever he is speaking) image, man will be created.

But it could not be the angels. The angels were not given dominion to rule.

“And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Angels, according to Hebrews, are “ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation.” Angels serve us, as believers, in carrying out God’s will on earth. They are not rulers. Therefore, he could not have been speaking to the angels.

Image of God

And it says, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.” In case there was any confusion, He adds, “in the image of God—not the angels—He created him.” So, to whom was God speaking?

Clearly, the Godhead—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—made this decision in complete unity.

One in Hebrew

Even the Hebrew word for one that is recited in the Shema—“Hear O’ Israel, the Lord your God is one”—connotates unity or plurality. To mean one, you could use the work yachid, which means an individual or a single unit. But yachad, as is used here in the Shema, means one in unity. For instance, if you add the prefix ‘be’ to the word, you get “beyachad” —it means together, or more literally, in unity.

If I were preaching on the importance of unity, I would not say that we need to be yachid—a single individual unit—but that we need to be yachad—one in unity.

Let me give you a better example. Yachad emphasizes unity, where as yachid emphasizes singular entity. If I were to say that someone is the one and only something, I would use yachid. But, if I were to say that the elders of the congregation act as one, I would use yachad. God tells the Israelites that He is yachad, not yachid, in the most famous passage in the Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4.

While the triune nature of only true God is complex and difficult for our finite minds to fully comprehend, there can be no question that God is revealing this to us, and He begins immediately in the very first chapter of the book of Genesis.

33 Shares

There is something I didn’t share with you, my dear friend. I meant to, but life is so busy. I think of you guys who get our emails and newsletters, and read our blog as part of the MMI team, so I feel like something is missing between us if I forget to share something with you.

In February, I went to Nepal. The trip was completely spontaneous. Elana and two of our girls, Sharon and Danielle, went there to partner with our dear friends, Troy and Leanna Brewer of Open Door Church and their team. The trip had one week left and they ask me to come. It ended up being a life-changing trip.

Troy is a rescuer. That is simply who he is. His ministry is funding several operations in Nepal where young girls are being rescued from the hands of some of the most evil people in the world. (more on that in part 2)

He is an apostolic leader with the heart of a pastor. I know Troy’s children—the ones in Texas—but on the second day of the trip he said to me, “Ron, meet Shavani—she’s my daughter.” Shavani is Indian—as in from India. Troy is a full-blown country boy from Texas. But I knew what he meant. He took Shavani in when he first began to work with orphans and gave her his last name. She calls him Daddy. She is a beautiful twenty-two-year-old young lady, who just finished flight-attendant school. If Troy and Leanna had not rescued her, who knows if she would even be alive.

Bob and Debbie

On our second day there, we took 10 young ladies to a shopping mall and forced them to shop. You see, these are all girls who have been from abusive situations. They have all suffered chronic incest from a father or an uncle. A couple of them have been rescued from the sex trade industry. They all lived in unbearable conditions. Now, they live with Bob and Debbie. Bob is not his real name. He is Nepali and I guess, at some point, he decided when working with westerners, it was easier to be just Bob.

Debbie is American but has lived there with Bob for nearly three decades. They are parents to these ten girls. Some girls have transitioned out of their home to university. One of them, Anu, was home from university to visit her sisters. You could never guess the circumstances out of which she came. She is bright, cheery, confident and is an amazing artist.

Many of them were skittish about shopping in a real mall. While they had been to the mall, they had never shopped for clothes there. They were each given $50 as a gift from Messiah’s Mandate, from you, and the only demand was that they had to spend it. We were told that many of them would simply save it, if we didn’t make them spend it. It was great to see Elana, Sharon and Danielle taking these girls from shop to shop. They were so happy.

The girls with Bob. On this night they made our whole team a delicious Nepali dinner.

Fell in Love

While I feel that we are called to spend most of our time in Israel—to the point that we have cut back on our trips to the US—I felt drawn to this place. Katmandu is one of the most polluted cities in the world. It is about 6,000 ft above sea level and sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains. There is no place for the soot and pollutants to escape. People walk around with surgical masks on, in order to not breathe in the dusty air. You can see me in the picture at the top with mine.

The people, however, are so warm. We fell in love with them. One family, which Danielle met on the street, took her home and made her dinner. Thanks to the generosity of Troy Brewer Ministries (TBM), the daughter is now in university! And they paid their rent for a year!

Revival in Nepal!

While I love to hear the stories of rescued girls, I was wondering why God sent me there. But then, Bob came to me and shared about the other work they have there—overseeing 70 congregations. I didn’t realize that there is a massive revival all over Nepal. In fact, Nepal has just passed China as the fasting growing church in the world!

In 2001 less than one percent of Nepal was Christian. Now it is over 10%! That means in the past 17 years, well over two million Nepalis have come to Jesus.

Going Back

Elana and I will be going back at the end of September to lead a two-day pastors retreat for 70 pastors. I will be teaching the first day on leadership, and the second day on God’s heart for Israel. I can’t wait!

My airfare and hotel has been covered by TBM—we just need to raise $3,700 for the conference—to bring the pastors and give them room and board. They will come from all over Nepal. Don’t feel any pressure to donate. I don’t want you—our precious friends and donors—to feel that we are always asking for money. Only give if you know God has put this on your heart. I know that God is going to speak to a few to cover the costs. You can give at www.standwithmmi.org by choosing Nepal Pastors Conference. But, again, no pressure. And we going to donate an additional $500 to take the girls from the girls home shopping.

Please be in prayer, as just recently the Nepal government has begun to crack down on Christians. Nepal is now a democracy, since the overthrow of the monarchy over a decade ago. However the government just made it illegal to convert to another religion or to encourage someone to convert.

“Nepali government [has] taken a regressive step as this law severely restricts our freedom of expression and our freedom of religion or belief,” said Tanka Subedi, chair of the national Religious Liberty Forum, to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). —Christianity Today

So these pastors have to choose between obeying the government or obeying the Great Commission. Keep them in your prayers! Oh, and I forgot to mention—Bob is going to turn over this work to another leader soon. His dream is to take his 13 main pastors that he has mentored to Israel before he moves on. I told him that if his 13 pastors could pay for their tickets, we would cover the land portion of the trip. I really want to bless these people. We have a year before they will come, but I wanted to let you know now.

In the meantime, agree with me that the understanding of God’s plan for Israel in the end times would spread through these 70 leaders throughout Nepal. The church is so young there; they have not been poisoned by European replacement theology. We will give them the tools to combat it.

Thank you for standing with us.

 

 

170 Shares

Since I sent out our Middle East Update yesterday, over 150 missiles, rockets and mortars have been fired at Israeli populations centers. There are videos of mothers and children running for cover. Last night during dinner, my phone nearly exploded because of the app that warns me of incoming missiles—one came after another. I could only think of my fellow Israelis in the south of Israel.

Hamas terrorists even targeted our fourth largest city, Beersheba. This is something they have not done since Operation Protective Edge—the devastating 2014 War with Gaza. If you lived in the south, you spent the day—and night—running to and from shelters. And the bombing has continued to today.

The Iron Dome took out 25 of the rockets, but it is not a perfect system. So far, we know of 17 injuries to Israeli civilians. Three homes were hit, including one in Ashkelon, where my in-laws live. Several moms went into premature labor. And countless children will be plagued with PTSD, after what occurred yesterday.

Israel Defense Forces retaliated, targeting 150 Hamas sites. According to an Israeli official, “Hamas has suffered a severe blow—Israel will continue to act with force.”

Housing Minister Yoav Gallant, who works with senior level leaders on the security council, said, “Whatever is needed to protect our citizens and our soldiers will be done, no matter what the price will be in Gaza. Let’s hope for peace, and let’s be ready for war.”

While Israel has the IDF, the Iron Dome and, dare I say, God on our side, my heart breaks for the innocent people of Gaza under Hamas’ control. Hamas has driven their economy into the ground. Wherever you find Islamic extremism, you will find poverty. You don’t find education, but rather indoctrination. Iran is on the brink of bankruptcy, despite its vast oil supplies. Islamic extremism is an evil ideology that imprisons its devotees and those over whom they rule.

Please take some time right now and pray for Israel and Gaza:

  • Pray that God will use this crisis to open the eyes of Israel to her Messiah.
  • Pray for supernatural protection for Israelis in the south.
  • Pray for the innocent ones in Gaza, that they would revolt against Hamas.
  • Pray that those who dig a pit for others (Hamas), will fall into it. (Prov. 26:27)

I know that an advertisement for our 2019 tour will appear automatically on this page. It may seem odd that we would advertise a tour in an article about Israel on the brink of war. All I can say is that Israel is my home. I have no fear. I am abroad now—ministering and celebrating my 30th wedding anniversary—but I wish I was home. I long to be with my fellow Israelis right now.

Until now, all these conflicts have been contained to a small area in the south. But even still, those who have been in Israel during such conflicts will tell you of the grace they experienced—and the joy of standing hand in hand with God’s chosen people. Don’t be afraid—come to Israel!

As we draw closer and closer to His coming, things are only going to heat up in the Middle East. Come Yeshua, come!

 

 

531 Shares

I was reading through the book of Acts recently, and I saw something very interesting in chapter 16. Paul and Silas were falsely accused and thrown into jail. How would you handle that? What would those around you think of your response to being beaten, falsely accused and thrown in jail? And, not just that, they were chained in stocks.

In the natural, outside of the grace of God, I would be screaming, “I am innocent!” I would be terrified and it would be apparent to everyone around me that I was terrified – just by my actions. But Paul and Silas had a very unnatural response to this great injustice.

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25)

First, we see that at midnight they were full of Holy Spirit and worshiping. That, in and of itself, is amazing. They were just beaten with rods, after being stripped of their clothes, and yet, they were focused on the mission and on the man, Yeshua. Like the apostles before them, they “rejoic[ed] because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5:41)

The Prisoners

But look at the end of the verse, “…. and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Yes, beloved, you are being watched! Unbelievers want to see how you, as a believer, react to trials and tribulations. They want to see if you really practice what you preach.

These were criminals. Imagine what they thought when they heard the rabbi and his prophetic friend worshipping God after their beating. They didn’t know if it was real, but they were sure convinced that these two fellows thought it was real. And, then, there is an earthquake.

Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” (Acts 16:26-28)

Isn’t it interesting that none of the prisoners ran away? If you are a prisoner and, suddenly, you are freed, your first instinct is to run! I have never seen a TV show where the freed prisoner didn’t run. But these prisoners were more interested in hearing from Paul and Silas than they were in running. Freedom in Jesus just became more important than freedom from chains.

“Woe is me”

But imagine how different this scenario would have been if Paul and Silas had been in their cells, moaning and crying from the pain. I have, at times, given up on life – over not being able to find my car keys! Much less being persecuted! In fact, it reminds of when I was arrested after blocking an abortion clinic in the early nineties. The police put me in plastic cuffs and, because of a bracelet I was wearing, it cut off circulation in my hand, not to mention it was really painful.

On the way to the police station in a school bus, I asked the policer to loosen the handcuffs, explaining that they were too tight. I can’t remember his exact words, but they were something akin to, “What did you expect when you got arrested?” He looked at me as weak—a soft suburbanite who expected special treatment. I was embarrassed. Yes, I was being watched—and I failed.

But I’ve learned much since that time. Sadly, there are so many who are willing to speak of the glory of God to unbelievers, and then, the minute trouble comes, they collapse. As Proverbs says, “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!” (Pro. 24:10)

Decide Before

We can be proactive and prepare for times of trouble. We can choose now to be like Paul and Silas who, in the midst of their trial, worshiped God at midnight. No one cares how happy we are when times are good. But they are watching to see how we react in difficulty. How we react can be the difference between heaven and hell for those watching.

Those prisoners could’ve run, but they stayed to hear about Paul’s God. The fear of God came upon them as God answered Paul and Silas with an earthquake. God, help me to react like Paul and Silas in times of trouble. You never know when God is about to answer—so don’t give up!

 

 

18 Shares