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As Force One took off Wednesday from Ben Gurion Airport, ending the President’s 28-hour whirlwind trip to Israel, Israelis were not sure what to make of his trip. After visiting the center of Islam, Saudi Arabia, and the heart of Judaism, Jerusalem, he headed to the Vatican to meet with the Pope.

The Trump Doctrine

With two thirds of his trip concluded, we are beginning to see what may soon be dubbed, the Trump Doctrine. It is worlds apart from the Obama Doctrine. Obama’s first foreign trips were nicknamed the apology tour where he apologized for U.S. arrogance in Cairo, Turkey, and France—to Arabic Newspapers and before the Turkish parliament. He even apologized for the CIA, to the CIA.

He shunned Egypt after the secular military overthrew the radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood. He gave Saudi Arabia the cold shoulder. And then, the unthinkable—he made a peace deal with the notoriously dishonest, state-sponsor of terrorism, Iran. A deal that was criticized by not only the right, but also by many on the left, as being short-sided and extremely naïve.

President Trump is strengthening ties with natural allies, rather than trying to make friends with those sworn to our destruction. He had an extremely successful visit in Saudi Arabia where he signed a $350 billion arms deal with the Sunni stronghold. Not only is this good for the U.S. economy, but it sends a clear signal to Iran that they should be careful.

Symbols over Words

Next, he flew to Israel where he prayed at the Western Wall. This was a powerfully symbolic way of saying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel without actually saying; Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. In other words, he wasn’t there to connect with the Dome of the Rock. Personally, I would have preferred him to be more vocal in his support of Israel and to have announced the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem—as he promised. Nevertheless, he is the first sitting U.S. president to pray at the Western Wall.

Let me clear—announcing the move of the embassy would not have been a wise move politically, but it would have been the right move biblically. President Trump has never been a particularly religious man—though some claim he has had a recent conversion. No doubt, he has reached out to many Christian leaders for advice, but based on his actions this week, he sees the alliance of the United States and Israel as strategic, not covenantal.

A New Coalition

President Trump is trying to build a coalition between moderate Arab states such as Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I must state that none of the states are free of the most radical elements within Islam, but the governments are seeking stability in the region. Saudi Arabia is hardly a secular state and could be labeled as the father of modern radical Islam (Osama Bin Laden, September 11th terrorists), but its government is not seeking (as is ISIS and Iran), a caliphate—a government led by a successor to Mohamed. Internally, they are stuck in the seventh century, but are not aggressors to other nations.

Iran must be stopped. Syria must be stopped. Assad cannot be a long-term solution nor can ISIS. Lebanon is weak, and more and more is dominated by Hezbollah. Hezbollah is both a political party in Lebanon (with one third of parliament) and they have their own army apart from the Lebanese Army. This is extremely destabilizing. Iraq has moved closer to Iran and further from the U.S.

Under former President Obama, the U.S. abandoned Iraq, pulled out our troops too early and allowed ISIS to fill in the vacuum. President Trump’s plan is to build a partnership between the Saudis, Egypt and Jordan, and the Jewish State, Israel.

Even after writing this I saw that this was indeed Trump’s plan was to build good will between Israel and her historic enemies. A Trump official said, “the first step [toward peace] … is to bring relationships that are warm and strong privately and bring them more public and also set forth a common set of principles that everyone wants to abide by.”

This is most likely why, in his seven public appearances here in Israel, he did not mention Jerusalem, settlements, the embassy or a Palestinian state—all trigger issues that would cause tension in building these relationships. I get it. But when will be a good time to tell the Arabs that the U.S. is recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? When would be a time that it would not be a possible deal breaker? And yet, Netanyahu is not going to compromise on Jerusalem. Sharing at Jerusalem Day celebrations, he declared:

“The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty. The correction of a historical injustice that was achieved by the heroism of our fighters 50 years ago will stand forever.”

The question is, where will President Trump—who has many voices counseling him on this—ultimately land on the Jerusalem.

Not All Roses

Now comes the concern. President Trump and Netanyahu clearly have two separate strategies. The U.S. President sees making peace between the Palestinians and Israelis as a first sign to these Arab nations that there could be a peace deal between them and Israel.

“I am truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace and bring new hope to the region and its people.” (TimesofIsrael.com)

Netanyahu, on the other hand, sees it quite oppositely. Peace can only come between Israelis and Palestinians after there is peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. And let’s be honest. How can we even talk about peace between Israel and the Palestinians while Hamas is fully in control of all of Gaza? We cannot make peace with terrorists. And the more moderate Palestinian Authority is still in the business of paying off terrorists.

In light of the U.K. terror attack on Monday night, with President Trump still in Israel, Netanyahu stated the obvious:

“If the attacker had been Palestinian and the victims had been Israeli children, the suicide bomber’s family would have received a stipend from the Palestinian Authority. That’s Palestinian law. That law must be changed.” 

How does President Trump expect Israel to even begin to establish peace with such a culture of murder that the PLO has created?

In his speech in Israel, there was lots of love for Israel, but few specifics. No mention of moving the embassy to the “eternal capital Jerusalem”, as he boldly proclaimed before he was president. For example:

“Through your hardships, you’ve created one of the most abundant lands anywhere in the world, a land that is rich not only in history, culture and opportunity, but especially in spirit. I stand in awe of the accomplishments of the Jewish people.”

Sounds great, but no meat.

Conclusion

From a political point of view, it was a brilliant visit. From a biblical point of view, it fell short. I saw many posts online where people made excuses for the President breaking his promise. “He knows what he is doing…he has more information than we do…he is taking his time.” And therein lies my fear. We all howled over how former President Obama was treated with Messiah-like reverence. Let’s not make the same mistake with President Trump. He is a man and even if God has brought him to this moment, he is still accountable to the voters. That is how democracy works. Our voice is important.

It is up to voters to demand that politicians keep their promises. And even though I would agree that this President has been treated worse by the media than any president I can remember, he can’t blame the media for his not recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital or for not moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

I will say it again—politically, it was the right move. Why upset the Saudis, Egyptians and Jordanians? But viewing this biblically, God gave President Trump an opportunity to please heaven and he missed it. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification. No doubt his trip was originally planned with that in mind so he could recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. I think such a move would have brought favor on him and the United States. Still, it was so much better than Obama. And his visit to the Western Wall was an enormous symbolic gesture. He hit a double, but he could have hit a homerun.

You will arise and have compassion on Zion (Jerusalem), for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come. (Ps. 102:13)

 

 

 

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The Times of Israel is reporting that despite the fact President Trump will arrive in Israel just in time for the 50th Jerusalem Day celebration, he will not, in fact, keep his bold campaign promise of moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv (not our capital) to Jerusalem (our capital).

Breaking Israel News is also reporting the headline: “It’s Official: Trump Breaks Promise to Move Embassy to Jerusalem.”

According to officials, with everyone playing so nice in the Middle East, there is no reason to do something so controversial. Really? Has anyone told the Trump officials that Mahmoud Abbas just named a public square after a cold-blooded Jew-killer?

Earlier this week a square in the West Bank city of Tulkarm was named after Maher Younis, who has been in prison in Israel since 1983 for the killing of IDF soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980. The square, in the Palestinian city located just eight kilometers east of the Israeli [coastal] city of Netanyah, was dedicated in a public ceremony attended by the mayor and other local dignitaries.

Of course, this was only days after Abbas told President Trump that Palestinians teach their children peace:

“Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace. And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security.”

And then he proceeded to tell the president that the Loch Ness Monster actually lives in the Dead Sea and is controlled by the Mossad. Actually, that is more believable than the idea that the Palestinians are teaching their children peace.

Palestinians on TV teaching their children to murder.

Earlier this month, Abbas honored the mother of four imprisoned sons, serving life sentences.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself received her and other relatives of terrorist prisoners at his office last month, and a Fatah leadership delegation visited her at home.

So while the White House honors the words of the Palestinian leader and ignores his actions, they appear to have bought into the very thing that President Trump ran against: placating terrorists in the hope that it will appease their aggression.

Furthermore, we were told that President Trump is surrounded by evangelical leaders who have implored him to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a matter of Biblical mandate. To be clear, this is a bold campaign promise that drew applause from conservatives and no doubt helped him get elected.

The question now is, was that just a bunch of nonsense, aimed at igniting the base to get votes? Or does President Trump have a deep religious conviction regarding Jerusalem? In his defense, there is immense spiritual warfare being unleashed against him to not move the American Embassy or recognize Jerusalem as … oh, how did he put it? Oh yeah, as “the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”

Any President that takes bold pro-Israel steps will face internal resistance. Harry S. Truman was told by the most powerful Secretary of State ever, George Marshall, that if he recognized Israel in 1948 as a state, he would not vote for him in the next election. The pressure on Truman was immense. But still, he recognized Israel and has gone down in history for it. The question is, does Trump have the courage of Truman?

When I interviewed Yariv Levine, Israel’s Minister of Tourism in January, he told me that Trump has the potential to be a King David of sorts.

“I even can say that in many aspects President Trump has the opportunity to become a modern King David regarding Jerusalem….there are no two Jerusalems, as there are no two Holy Lands…Jerusalem must be united.”

He meant that just as David made Jerusalem the capital, brought the Ark of the Covenant from Shiloh to Jerusalem, and prepared the way for Solomon to build the Holy Temple, President Trump has the opportunity to make history regarding Jerusalem, by moving the embassy.

Israeli officials are downplaying the betrayal. “We are talking here about a delay for half a year, so nothing is definite,” Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “I think President Trump will come here and get a feel of what united Jerusalem is really like and I am convinced that he will see that the city belongs to the State of Israel and that our demand is legitimate and important.” But if history is an indicator, Trump, like Bush, Clinton and Obama, has no intention at this point on ever moving the Embassy.

And in case you don’t know the history, Jerusalem became the capital of Israel more than 3,000 years ago when King David conquered the Jebusite stronghold. The Jebusites mocked King David:

The Jebusites said to David, “You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off.” They thought, “David cannot get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.” (2 Samuel 5:6-7)

So, as we are just days away from President Trump’s first official visit to Israel, let me put out a clarion call to prayer warriors, intercessors and prayer groups across the world. PLEASE PRAY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP:

  • That he will not be manipulated by those who say one thing in English and something else in Arabic.
  • That he will be a man of his word regarding Jerusalem.
  • That he will not weigh this decision politically but Biblically.

Make no mistake—eventually all nations, including America, will turn against Jerusalem.

 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)

But it doesn’t need to be now.

It is not for Jerusalem’s sake that I hope President Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy, but for the United States of America. As was said in jest on an Israeli comedy show last night, “Don’t America, Israel is behind you.”


Dear friends, we are outgrowing out space at Tiferet Yeshua and we are “Expanding the Tent”. We are doubling our seating capacity from 150 to 300 and we will start live streaming our services to reach Israelis wherever they may be.

We need your help

We have raised $37,000 of the needed $200,000. You can partner with us here or learn more here. Thank you for helping is Reach Tel Aviv!

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A man attacks you with a knife. His intent is to kill you. Somehow you are able to kill him instead. So to be clear, we have two options: 1) Madman with knife murders you (and possibly others) or 2) You kill him.

This is what happened this weekend in Israel. A Jordanian man came across the border into Israel to kill Jews. Security cameras caught the attack on film

Personally, I find footage like that hard to watch. The idea of a Palestinian or in this case, a Jordanian, terrorist plunging upon you with a knife is terrifying. It is a risk Israelis take every day they leave the house. The terrorist is on top of the Israeli, seeking to stab him to death. The Israeli has one option. Fortunately he was carrying a gun and was able to kill his would be killer.

Now I am sure there will be some who was say, “Well, he didn’t have to kill him.” If only you those folks could have switched placed with our victim to show us how its done. A madman is on top of you stabbing you. Your goal is to neutralize him any way possible. There is no time to think, “Okay, where should I shoot him so he will survive.” By that time, the knife may have found its way into the Israelis heart or other vital organ.

But the Jordanians seem to think calling someone a terrorist is fine if it is ISIS or Al Qaeda attacking Muslims, but one of their own, attacking a Jew is not terrorism—actually to Jordan, it would be the unthinkable self-defense that is the real crime.

Jordan on Saturday said an Israeli policeman’s shooting and killing of a Jordanian assailant as he stabbed him repeatedly was “a heinous crime,” and demanded to receive details about the incident from the Israeli government. “The Israeli government, which is the occupying force, bears responsibility for the shooting of a Jordanian citizen in occupied East Jerusalem which led to his martyrdom,” Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad Momani said in a statement. “The government denounces this heinous crime…and has asked Israel to provide full details about it,” he added (timesofisrael.com)

Reading between the lines, he calls Israel an occupying force, seeking to justify the act, calling the terrorist a martyr. Actually Jordan was the illegal occupier of that same territory from 1948 to 1967 (and was not seeking to create a Palestinian state, but make it part of Jordan), when Israel defeated them in the Six Day War. In addition to the area being Biblical Judea and Samaria—part of ancient Israel, it has served as a buffer zone between Israel and her belligerent neighbors, extending the with of the Israel from the indefensible nine miles in some areas.

Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a quick response saying, “It’s time for Jordan to stop playing this double game,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “Just as Israel condemns terror attacks in Jordan, Jordan must condemn terror attacks in Israel. Terror is terror wherever it is.”

If Jordan wants lasting peace in the region, she needs to warn her citizens against attacking Israelis instead of honoring them as martyrs.

 

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by Moti Cohen

The years go by and Israel is turning 69 already, and she’s the prettiest old lady in our neighborhood. While the countries that surround us are constantly fighting and being destroyed, Israel is at its peak when it comes to development and progress. You can clearly see the hand of God concerning Israel’s progression as a country, all while focusing on building a national home for the Jewish people after 2,000 years of exile.

The story of the cemetery on Trumpledoor Street, in Tel Aviv, tells us of the amazing development process of Tel Aviv as a city, and Israel as a whole. Before Israel was born, most of Tel Aviv’s citizens lived in the Jaffa area. They decided that they should build a Jewish cemetery. While planning the development of the Jewish settlement in the future, they realized they didn’t want the cemetery to take up space where you can build homes, so they decided to build the cemetery a few kilometers away from Jaffa, where the ground was mostly sand.

Over the years, Tel Aviv has grown more and more. Today, the cemetery is located at the heart of a very prestigious neighborhood near the beach area of Tel Aviv. We can see that the first settlers of the city couldn’t imagine how big she would get. Israelis always build cemeteries outside of the city. The only time you find them in the city is when the city simply grew past the cemetery.

Tel Aviv in 1909 when it was founded and Tel Aviv today. (credit to Hananya Naftali)

Nowadays, Tel Aviv has nowhere to grow, space-wise. The cities of Bat Yam, Ramat Gan, Givatayim and Hertzliya surround it, and there is no more vacant land, so what do you do? You start building vertically. Today, in Tel Aviv, there’s a construction momentum of massive high-rises. You can see cranes and construction sites almost anywhere.

We, at Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv, believe that there are two types of progression for Israel as a country. You can find them both in Ezekiel 36: 24-29:

“I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.”

The first part is where God brings the Jewish nation back to its land in Israel after the long years of exile, which is what we’ve been witnessing in the last several decades. The people of Israel began to return to their land through the first Aliyah (immigration) at the beginning of the last century, when only a few thousand Jews were living in Israel. Move forward to today. Now we have around 6.4 million Jews out of the 8 million people who live here, and the numbers are only increasing.

While God is bringing the people of Israel back to their land, we are now witnessing the fulfillment of the second part of these verses. He gives “a new heart, and a new spirit” to the Jewish people, which we can see happening in the congregations of the Messianic Jews.

In Tel Aviv, there are several Messianic congregations, and hundreds of Jewish families who’ve accepted the Messiah Yeshua into their hearts.

We, at Tiferet Yeshua, believe that just as Tel Aviv used to be an empty land filled with sand and is now one of the most developed cities in the world, we will also see it happen spiritually. As of now, there are a few hundred Messianic families living in Tel Aviv and the cities that surround it. Some are families who’ve only recently surrendered to Yeshua. Slowly but surely, we will see thousands of families who follow the King of the Jews.

In the beginning, God brings His people back to His land and builds cities. Inside those cities, He then founds the local Messianic body, which is built out of congregations and home groups, which He now uses to share the gospel with all the Jewish people.

We have received a word from God, that we must focus on three main things:

  • Loving God
  • Loving one another
  • Loving Tel Aviv

We believe that our Independence Day here in Tel Aviv is also a symbol of the spiritual independence our city is going to experience in the future. This independence is freedom from every idol and spirit that comes against the truth of God. It is truth that says that God will give us a new heart and a new spirit; truth that says that יהוה (Yahweh) is God and we will be His people, a free country in our land.

Moti Cohen is an associate pastor at Tiferet Yeshua congregation in Tel Aviv. He lives with his wife Anna and four children in Bat Yam, a growing suburb of Tel Aviv.

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Part 1

When I turned the page (actually, I clicked to go to the next chapter), I found something interesting in chapter 36. There are these two guys, Bezalel and Oholiab, and they are super gifted in craftsmanship and engraving. It says that the Spirit of God had anointed them for this task.

That is not the big deal. The big deal is that Moses takes all the money—all the gold and silver—and he gives to these guys and their team. They are tasked with building a tabernacle.

‘Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary.’ (Ex. 36:2-3)

Several years ago, I met a pastor who pledged to support our congregation. I never saw a penny. However, he communicated to me as if we were buds. Now I am friends with many people who don’t support us financially, but it was weird—it was as if he thought he was supporting us. Money is a touchy subject, so I just continued in relationship with him and never said anything.

After more than a year, I received a message from this pastor. He was so apologetic. Apparently, someone was stealing money. He thought they were supporting us, while a staff member was siphoning off cash. Since then, he has been one of our biggest supporters and cheerleaders.

My point is that in the midst of this great move of God, these men, Bezalel and Oholiab, were completely trusted with the funds. How do we know that they weren’t stealing from the kitty? Maybe good ole Oholiab stuck a few gold coins in his tunic every day. We know he didn’t nor did the other because of what we read next.

‘And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.”

Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.’

According to Exodus 38:24, they gave about one metric ton of gold. That alone—forget the silver, bronze and other elements—would be worth $40,000,000 today!

Now, that is biblical giving and accountability.

  1. The people gave with such zeal and joyfulness that Moses had to give an order for them to stop giving.
  2. And the men receiving the funds were so honest in the fear of the Lord, that instead of giving into the temptation to let the people keep giving, they told Moses about the problem of “over-giving.”

The New Testament equivalent of this can be seen in the book of Acts. In the Hebrew scriptures, God uses elements from the earth to build His Tabernacle and then His Temple. Both times the glory of God comes:

‘Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Ex. 40:34-35)

When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.’ (1 Kings 8:10-11)

This, too, came after supernatural giving:

‘King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.’ (1 Kings 8:5)

Wow! What I would give to be able to have experienced that. But we see the same thing in the New Covenant. This time God doesn’t need gold and silver, but he builds His house with people. In Acts 2, we see the Holy Spirit fall on the 120 in a similar fashion in Jerusalem, causing a revival that would shake the Roman Empire!

And one of the first hallmarks of this revival is… sacrificial giving.

‘They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…’ (Acts 2:45-46)

‘There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.’ (Acts 4:34-35)

The first thing that jumps out at me is similar to what we see in the time of Moses. There was no IRS. No one was checking up on them to make sure the money was spent right. In fact, when two of them in the chapter five lied about how much money they received for a property they sold, they died! The fear of the Lord in the midst of revival caused the people to live in integrity when it came to funds.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in accountability. We are a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and have received their highest rating. Accountability has saved many from giving into temptation. What I am saying is that in the absence of the ECFA, the people were honest.

We can’t get away from it. Revival and supernatural, generous giving go hand in hand. We see it when the tabernacle is dedicated, when the temple is dedicated and when the New Covenant community is birthed and commissioned.