It is May 14th, 1948—exactly 70 years ago on the Hebrew calendar—and U.S. President Harry Truman comes into the Oval Office. He summons his trusted aide, Clark Clifford, who had been advocating for the President to recognize the soon-to-be declared State of Israel. However, Truman was under tremendous pressure from the State Department to refuse any formal recognition of Israel.

They were convinced that the 34,000,000 Arabs would destroy the 500,000 Jews in a matter of days. To allow Israel to be a nation would be potentially signing the death warrants of a half million people.

However, Truman told Clifford that he was leaning towards recognition, but wanted to wait a few days. Clifford’s heart sank. That would be too late. Boldly, he declared, “Mr. President, if we are going to recognize the country, it’s best we do it immediately.”

Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president and most prominent pre-nation diplomat had become friends with President Truman. Just days before, Truman had received a letter from Weizmann pleading with him for immediate recognition of the new nation. No doubt Truman was thinking of his friend when he blurted out, “Alright Clark, get a formal request for recognition immediately.”

Clifford straightaway called the head of the Jewish Agency to confirm that they were indeed planning to declare independence later that day. “I haven’t the slightest doubt,” came the reply.

“Then send me a letter immediately, requesting United States recognition,” declared the excited Clifford.

Eliahu Elat, the head of the Jewish Agency, was stunned. He was speechless. When he finally found his voice, he said, “I’ll send it by messenger right away.”

But there was a problem—as they were writing the letter, they realized, they did not know the name of the Jewish nation. The Jewish National Council (JNC) in the Holy Land had not yet decided. So they wrote,

“Dear Mr. President,

“I have the honor to notify you that the Jewish State has been proclaimed as an independent republic…”

Harry Zinder was given the letter and told to rush it over to the White House and give it to Clark Clifford.

Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, the JNC had gathered. They were never all in the same place at one time, lest the Arab forces could take them all out in one strike. But this was different—this was the Declaration of Independence. They gathered for a secret meeting in a Tel Aviv museum. They did not even want the British (who still controlled the region until midnight) to know, for fear they would shut it down.

The text of the declaration was with Ze’ev Sherf, who, after taking care of transportation for everyone else, forgot to arrange a ride for himself to the ceremony. He flagged down a car, which refused to take him. However, Sherf would not take no for an answer. On the way, they were pulled over for speeding and had to explain to the police officer that he was carrying the Declaration of Independence text!

He arrived at 3:59. The ceremony started at 4:00pm. They had to finish before the Sabbath. Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion rose to the microphone and the State of Israel was declared!

“The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the Bible.

“After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

Accordingly we, the representatives of the Jewish community of the Land of Israel, are here assembled on the day of the termination of the British mandate over the Land of Israel…hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.”

Israel was reborn after more than 2,000 years.

When news came to the US that the name of the new nation was Israel, Elat sent his secretary to run down Zinder. She caught him before he entered the White House. Zinder, after learning of the name that had been chosen, took out the document, and with a pen, crossed out the words, “the Jewish State” and wrote by hand, “State of Israel.”

President Truman wrote:

“This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the State of Israel.”

You can see in the picture of the President’s response, they did some editing themselves. This shows that the letter had already been written before Israel was declared.

Now, fast forward 70 years. Today, we celebrate 70 years of the rebirthed nation of Israel. Only God could have gathered the Jewish people back to her homeland, and only God could have protected us these 70 years, surrounded by our increasingly violent neighbors.

In honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary, would you considered a gift of $70 to Messiah’s Mandate as we proclaim the good news of the Yeshua to the Jewish people? Ezekiel not only prophesied that God would bring back the Jewish people to her land, but in the very next verse promised a spiritual awakening.

“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezek. 36:24-27)

That sure sounds like receiving Yeshua! And we are seeking breakthrough. Your gift of $70 (or 70 EURO) will ensure that our team is able to continue sharing Yeshua, organizing evangelism training conferences and supporting our congregation, Tiferet Yeshua, in the heart of Tel Aviv. You can give at www.standwithmmi.org or use the address below.

Thank you in advance for loving Israel and standing with us here in the Promised Land.

Sending a Check?
Maoz Israel
c/o Messiah’s Mandate
P.O. Box 535788
Grand Prairie, TX 75053-5788

 

You are not God’s Temple!

Ron Cantor —  April 16, 2018 —  Comments
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Wow, Ron! That was harsh.

I know, forgive me, but imagine my shock on the elliptical machine, sweat running down my checks, meditating on 1 Corinthians 3, when it hit me! Paul is not talking about exercise!

In the passage, the apostle speaks of rewards in heaven, and then suddenly he starts talking about our bodies being the Temple of God. I wondered, how did he get there? It doesn’t seem to connect. I went back and reread the verses, before and after, and noticed a word I had never seen there: Together. And, boom, it hit me!

And how ironic that I was exercising—taking care of the temple, so to speak—when I realized that eating right, not smoking and exercising had NOTHING to do with what Paul was talking about when he said:

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” (1 Cor. 3:16-17)

Now to be clear, in 1 Corinthians 6, he does refer to our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit, in regards to sexual immorality. This is why sexual sins are especially perverse, because the presence of Jesus is inside our bodies.

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Cor. 6:18-20)

This is different than his meaning in chapter three. In chapter six, he says “temples” plural. Meaning, the presence of God dwells in every “individual” believer. But in chapter three, he says, that we, together (plural), are the Temple (singular) of God. He is speaking of the entire body of Messiah as being the replacement for the (soon to be destroyed) Temple in Jerusalem.

Why is this Important!?

Hang with me friends—it is soooo important.

Paul is very concerned about the Corinthians, who are rife with divisions:

“One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas’; still another, ‘I follow Messiah.’” (1 Cor. 1:12)

He then rebukes them in chapter three for this.

“You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not mere human beings?” (1 Cor. 3:3-4)

We think “worldly” means listening to secular music, but worldly in the New Testament sense, means living life in the carnally—anger, strife, division, pride, jealously, etc. The Spirit-empowered believer is called to live on a higher level. Now, if we skip to verse 16 and 17, we will see that Paul was far more concerned about their unity than he was about their diet.

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” (1 Cor. 3:16-17)

The word for you in Greek is plural in v. 16 and 17, hence the NIV adds the word “together” at the end of v. 17 to emphasize that we, the body of Messiah, together, are the Temple of God, not as individuals. When he says that God will destroy the person who destroys God’s temple, he is not talking about smoking cigarettes or over-eating (things I do not recommend)—he is talking about those who cause division!

Causing Splits

In the western world, it is nothing for an elder or associate pastor to split his congregation. How many churches today resulted from a disgruntled leader who left his former congregation to start a new work in the same city? Wounded feelings or pride, can lead us to deception, believing that God has called us to leave and take people with us. In my early years in Israel, I almost did that. Fortunately, I have godly leaders who kept me from doing something extremely sinful. We embraced the one year/different city rule. Either you plant in a different city or you wait a year.

The New Testament speaks regarding the sin of schism or division in the strongest language, “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person.” In the midst of division, people fall away from the faith—others are led astray. Division and splits break God’s heart because they rip apart the body of Jesus.

Sometimes there are legitimate reasons to separate: gross sin, false teaching or a leader who is abusing the flock. But most splits are rooted in pride and hurt feelings.

Years ago, I was involved in a nasty split. Let me say that I am not writing this to cast blame—we were all guilty on some level. Because this was a well-known ministry, the ripple effect was worldwide. The fruit was rotten. Families took sides against each other. Pastors and congregants were divided. Roommates stopped talking to each other. This was why Paul was so upset. I am happy that all the leaders that were connected to that split have been reconciled, but that doesn’t change the fact that the division caused damage to Yeshua’s body.

Unity does not mean Uniformity

In Paul’s letter, he refers to some being loyal to Apollos, others to himself and some to Cephas (Peter). We could take this too far and say loyalty to a group or subdivision of the body of believers is wrong. That is not what Paul is saying here. It is fine that there are Baptists, Assemblies of God or Messianic Jews. There was nothing wrong with the fact that Apollos had a group of disciples that were loyal to him as their leader.  I, myself, am part of Tikkun International—a group of about 40 ministries and congregations that are likeminded.

The issue is not the groupings, but the pride that enters in. Once you start thinking that your team is the best, you have entered a dangerous place. Paul was thrilled that Apollos was bearing fruit—he was not thrilled that some of these disciples were overly loyal to a man and standing in judgment of other leaders or movements. My connection with Tikkun International doesn’t cause me to judge other movements. Rather, I celebrate our unique giftings and callings. I don’t think everyone should be a part of my group. I see people here in Israel who are doing amazing things in the kingdom of God and who are not part of my group.

My friends at One for Israel have produced powerful video testimonies and apologetics. My friend, Israel Pochter, is planting congregations and winning many to the faith. Oded Shonshani is someone to whom I look up, as he leads what may be the largest Hebrew-speaking congregation in Israel. And Chad Holland, someone I once mentored, is doing an amazing job in expanding the work of King of Kings. We can have unity without uniformity, and we can celebrate with work of God in each other.

Conclusion

God hates division—pure and simple! Paul pleads with the Ephesians: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” We must be careful before we speak against a brother or sister. We must make sure that we are being led by the Spirit and not by the flesh. In our zeal for righteousness, we can end up destroying a brother or sister, or more importantly, a young believer. Let’s strive for peace and unity, and yet, never compromise.

 

In Hebrew the word for preaching the good news is mevaser. We have a city called Mevaseret, the female form of the verb. So, I was in the Gospel Mall today on my way to a meeting—meaning I was in the Mevaseret Mall—what better place to share Yeshua! I had to get something quickly. I was in the drug store when I noticed the woman in front of me point to her back, as if she was in pain.

Considering all the little things that happened to get me at that place, I assumed it was a divine appointment.

  • I only came to the mall because I made wrong turn.
  • Once in the mall, I decided to use the restroom first.
  • Then, seeing the long line at the counter, I went to the pharmacy hoping I could pay there, but that didn’t work.
  • I returned to the front and the women between me and the women in pain suddenly decided to go back and shop.
  • And then the women in pain, inexplicably stopped outside the pharmacy(as if God had her waiting for me to pray for her) while I paid for my item.

Clearly I was supposed to pray for her.

I ran out of the pharmacy just as she was finally walking away. “Slicha” (excuse me). “Did you tell the woman at the pharmacy that you have pain in your back?” She said yes. “Can I pray for you? I believe God will heal your back right here.”

She was a little stunned—I mean, who does that? …asking someone if you can pray for them that you don’t even know. But when you are pain.  Curious, she said I could pray.

I asked her if I could put my hand on her back and she said I could. I prayed for her in Yeshua’s name and asked her to check her back.  All the pain was gone! She was in shock. I explained that God healed her back because he wants to know her and for her to know him. She was very grateful and I asked if she could just wait a minute. I ran to the car and got my testimony booklet and Identity Theft—both in Hebrew. I wondered if she would wait.

I ran back in and there she was. She took both items and again thanked me. I explained that God loves her and the healing was just the beginning. He wants more. She had no idea what I was talking about, but now she has all the information she needs! Pray that she reads the materials and finds salvation in Yeshua.

The moral of the story is:

1) Without the healing, the woman, most likely, would not have been interested in hearing about Yeshua. When someone experiences the presence of God, or a small miracle like the healing of their back—they open their heart to hear the gospel. The woman at the well in John 4 was not interested in Yeshua until He, through the Spirit, revealed the secrets of her life. Nathaniel was not at all interested in Yeshua until Yeshua told him that He saw him in the spirit.

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. When Yeshua saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” (John 1:46-49)

2) God gives us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be witnessed for him.

“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

3) We must be proactive about using them, not passive. Take a chance and you will be amazed at how God backs you up. He is more eager to use you, than you are to be used!

As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.” (Acts 9:32-35)

4) There are hurting people out there who need to the truth. We are God’s plan to reach them. There is no plan B.

In this world we are like Jesus. (1 John 4:14)

There is a LIGHT in you

Ron Cantor —  April 2, 2018 —  Comments
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Yesterday I read this verse:

“The light shines in the dark, and the darkness does not overcome it.” (John 1: 5)

Of course this speaks of Yeshua, but do we know that Yeshua lives within us? We are the temple of God. That is, just as the presence of God was in the Temple, He is now dwelling in us. Yeshua said, “You are the light of the world.” And that we are not supposed to hide this light.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven...” (Matthew 5: 15-16)

(Incidentally, it is interesting that he speaks to the Jews, as Israel was called to be a light unto the nations—Is. 42, 49… in some way, the Sermon on the Mount was a reminder to Israel that they were not fulfilling their calling. They had completely separated from the Gentiles at the time of Yeshua.)

Okay, so the presence of the Holy Spirit is living in us, God has called us not to hide it but to let others see the light. We live in a dark world, but we are the light (thanks to Yeshua within us) and this light overcomes darkness. If I light a light, even a small candle in a dark room, the room will be filled with light. The light of God is much stronger than the darkness of Satan.

Do the people you work with see the light in your life? Do you shine the light actively—intentionally? For me, it’s a challenge. But every day I try to remind myself that Yeshua’s presence is in me.

A Young Lady at IKEA

Last week I was at IKEA here in Israel. I talked to a girl who works there. Suddenly I felt to ask her, “Do you know how much God loves you?” She looked stunned and amazed at the question. We talked about it a little and I asked her if I could pray for her. (It was in public). The presence of God (the light in me) really touched her. She pulled away and asked, “What was that?” I told her it was the presence of God andI wanted to bring her a book to read. When I returned she was talking to a colleague about what had happened. Now she is reading my book, Identity Theft in Hebrew.

Friends, we are the only “Yeshua” that many people will ever see. “In this world we are like Jesus.” (1 John 4:17)

How do we let our light shine?

  1. Good works (Matthew 5:16)
  2. Sharing the gospel (Mark 15:15)
  3. Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 3: 1-10, 9: 36-42)

May God will use you today to have a powerful impact in someones life!

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More from ISRAEL! Devotional on the Mount of Olives with Ron Cantor from Out of Zion program on God TV. God’s plan was always for the entire world to know Him!

Posted by Todd White on Sunday, March 25, 2018