Archives For Faith and Life

A recent report on RT News, reveals scores of former Muslims converting to Christianity in Europe. I recently met with a missionary to Europe who told me of one evangelist from a Muslim background who goes into refugee camps every day. Because of the danger, he asks the Lord to lead him to those refugees who are ready. The results of have been astounding.

One church has grown from 150 to 700 mostly from refugee converts. Last week 80 refugees from Iran and Afghanistan were baptized. In Austria, since January 1st there have been more than 300 applications for baptism and 70% are Muslim background refugees. And a church in Liverpool is attracting over 100 in their Farsi service (language spoken in Iran).

Furthermore, many of these have followed Yeshua into the waters of immersion—making it official to all their friends and family that they have left Islam and now serve Yeshua. One young lady says in the video, “Since I became a Christian, I fear no one.”

Why Now?

One of the reasons for the mass conversations is ISIS. Many of these refugees have witnessed the most horrible atrocities in the name of Islam at the hands of ISIS members. They want nothing to do with that religion.

Another reason is that in Muslim countries the penalty for converting is usually death. In Europe no such laws exist.

Additionally, it is rare that someone can hear the true message of Yeshua in countries like Syria and Saudi Arabia. However, in Europe, they can freely go to a church.

In their home countries, even if they are not killed, they will suffer complete rejection from their families and communities. There is no where else to go. In Europe they are finding new friends, who embrace them fully in the love of Yeshua.

Let’s keep praying for eyes to be opened and more Muslims to find freedom in Yeshua.

“Truly I tell you,” Yeshua replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:29-31)

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Overcoming the “My Ministry” Mentality

There is a phrase that we used in Bible school that I have all but purged from my vocabulary. It is the phrase “my ministry.” We used to ask each other, “What is your ministry?”,  “I think this will be my ministry”. Now, of course, we have unique individual callings, but rarely does someone fulfill that call alone. Yes, when the disciples scattered after Stephen’s death, Phillip goes to Samaria alone, but what is the first thing he does when the Holy Spirit is poured out? He calls for apostolic backup, and those stalwarts, Peter and John, are sent.

Paul worked in Apostolic Teams

We don’t see this concept of “my ministry” in the Bible. The only time it is used is when Paul says, “I magnify my ministry” in his efforts to win Jewish people to Yeshua. He is hardly exalting himself in an egocentric way; Paul was the ultimate team player. He begins his ministry serving Barnabas and the other leaders in Antioch. Then he is sent out as a junior apostle with Barnabas.  As the grace of God grows upon him, he becomes the team leader with Barnabas and John Mark. Later, we see Paul with Silas, Timothy and Titus.

Maybe no congregation was closer to Paul’s heart than Ephesus. He sends for the team of elders, not the senior leader alone, to give his final farewell to them. These are men who he raised up into leadership. He is not threatened by their success, as so many senior leaders are by those under them, but rejoices as they spread the gospel.

From there, he goes to Jerusalem to meet with James? No, to meet with James AND the Jerusalem Apostolic team.

Our Example in Tel Aviv

In our ministry here in Israel, Tiferet Yeshua congregation, we have a team of five couples in Tel Aviv. For several years, I led this team and just recently turned it over to a native-born Israeli—but I am still part of the team. Also, we are in covenant relationship with two other congregations in Jerusalem. Besides this, we have a growing relationship with five Messianic congregations in the Western and Eastern Galilee that have similar core values.

We have just started a brand-new show: Out of Zion on GOD.TV. I am the one who people see on screen, but it is the team that makes it happen. The program would be nothing without our producer Ivan, our cameraman Yigal, our soundman Michael and Ruth who does makeup and so much more. There is also Miriam, in the office. So now, Out of Zion is not MY ministry, it is the Lord’s ministry through which we, the TEAM, have the privilege of serving Him.

Young Leaders Sometimes Threaten Older Leaders

Sadly, some leaders have more of a king mindset. It is THEIR ministry and everyone else is there to serve them. In such a scenario, leaders of substance are rarely raised up. These lone leaders tend to fear men of authority and gifting, and so, they push away others with calling and anointing for leadership. They fear if they allow these leaders more exposure, it will lessen their impact. Consequently, they push them away and these potential leaders often leave in frustration, seeking to work with people where their gifts can be used.

The controlling leader is left with the equivalent of eunuchs or yes-men, who do their bidding. In some cases, he surrounds himself—yes, even in congregational ministry—with hatchet men, to keep young bucks in line. Paul abhors these personality cults and he rails at the Corinthians for saying, I am of Paul or I am of Apollos.

One of the great privileges of my life is to work with men who exemplify this mentality towards ministry. Asher Intrater, Dan Juster and Eitan Shishkoff made a decision in the 1980s that instead of birthing their own ministry, they would make a covenant before God to work together and serve each other. From that commitment, dozens of congregations have been birthed in Israel and the US, not to mention schools and discipleship training programs.

The Power of Synergy

We work in ministry teams where each one has a unique gifting. This is called synergy. The idea is very biblical and it means that the sum of the parts working together is greater than the sum, if they worked independently. Essentially, we, as leaders, can get more done in the kingdom, working in partnership, than we could if we worked alone.

But that takes commitment. It means not quitting when someone disagrees with you. It means embracing humility and rejoicing when your brother succeeds, not just when you do. It means preferring others above yourselves.

So, let’s shed the “My Ministry” mentality, and embrace the Apostolic Team model that we see in the New Covenant.

 

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Post Surgery Update

Ron Cantor —  December 29, 2016 —  Comments

Hey Friends,

Greetings to you during this miraculous season of light! It has been a while since I sent a personal update. Before I do, present subscribers often ask me if they can get a copy of my eBook, “The 15 Most Important Facts About the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict”. I am happy to offer it to you. Please click here to download the book.

Elana and I are in Richmond, Virginia throughout the holidays. I grew up in Richmond and as my parents are getting older, we are trying to spend a bit more time here. We return to Israel in mid-January. In addition to overseeing Messiah’s Mandate, working with our congregation in Tel Aviv, being asked to take on more responsibility within our Israel-based international network (Tikkun), I was writing scripts and filming over 100 episodes for our new TV show, “Out of Zion.” This is in addition to traveling and ministering.

I am not saying this to brag—quite the contrary, I was doing too much and I knew it. I just needed the Lord to show me what should be cut out or passed on to someone else.

Then, a few weeks ago, I traveled to Dallas for a weekend of ministry. We had wonderful meetings, but by the end of the second service on Sunday, I was running out of gas. The next night, we had dinner with some dear friends here in Richmond. I felt a small pain in my stomach at the beginning of the evening. By the time I went to bed, it had gotten worse. I woke up at 2AM in quite a bit of pain that increased until 5AM.

We arrived at St. Mary’s and I had to sit at a desk and give information. Finally, I explained to the dear woman that I was going to fall over if she didn’t put me in a bed, now! She acquiesced. After about two hours of waiting in intense pain, they did a CAT scan. Twenty minutes later I overheard a nurse shout, “Acute Appendicitis,” like she had won the nurses pool! I knew she must be referring to me and that would mean immediate surgery.

The doctor came in just after that and confirmed that, yes, they were speaking of me. I wasn’t thrilled about having surgery, but now that it was diagnosed, they could at least give me something for the pain…and boy, did they.

A nurse pumped something into my IV and within three seconds all the pain was gone. However, it was like a mighty force rushing through my body. I don’t know what it was, but it felt like I was in a car and someone pressed the gas, hard! About ten seconds later, I settled into a wonderful rest until they took me into surgery.

The idea of going under and having someone operate on me is not pleasant. But I was grateful that I didn’t have a week to think about it. In fact, I didn’t have any time at all. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery.

After the grogginess wore off, I was wheeled upstairs and was so happy to see Elana, all my girls and parents there. As the anesthesia wore off, I realized that I had no need to sleep at the hospital as the doctors wanted. Plus, the fellow next to me had pancreatitis—very painful. I wasn’t going to sleep well there. I told the nurse that I wanted to leave, expecting a fight. She checked with the doctor and had me on my way in 30 minutes. I was also concerned about the insurance. We have travel insurance and I had no time to even get permission for the operation. Staying another night would be expensive. Fortunately, the Israel travel insurance company was great. I called them the next morning and they said would pay the bill directly to the hospital.

The result was that I had to cancel the rest of my ministry schedule for December, including a two-week ministry trip to Brazil. My dear friends, Asher and Betty Intrater, made a last-second decision to replace me and Elana, so the folks in Brazil got an upgrade!

I am still in mild pain and have been resting the past two weeks. I hate not exercising and just started walking a couple days ago. And then yesterday Elana and I did a small hike over the James River. I will visit the doctor this week to see when I can resume a normal schedule.
We head back to Israel in January and will be filming a GOD TV special with Ward Simpson and many other guests later in the month, as well as a week of filming Out of Zion. However, we are going to work with a less intense schedule.

In addition, we have enjoyed celebrating Hanukkah all week with my parents and children.
We appreciate your prayers so much! God bless you.

And as this year comes to end, we are blessed that we have been able to pay every staff member and every bill, but that has left us with literally nothing left. We even had to empty our book fund. While we are happy to not be in the red, we could be so grateful if you could make a end of the year donation to Messiah’s Mandate. Thank you so much for helping us to reach the people of Tel Aviv! Go to www.StandWithMMI.org to make your donation.
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Or send your check to:

Messiah’s Mandate
c/o Maoz Israel
PO Box 535788
Grand Prairie, TX 75053

Thank you so much! Our Tel Aviv based team sends blessings!
Until all Israel is saved (Romans 11:26),

Ron Cantor

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Reminding God of His Promise

Ron Cantor —  December 22, 2016 —  Comments

When Jacob is coming back to his own land and knows he will encounter Esau, he becomes afraid and understandably so. Jacob tricked his brother out of both his birthright and blessing. For all he knows, the skilled hunter, will kill him and his family. And that is why Jacob prays. But he doesn’t just pray, he also reminds God of His promise.

It is not that God is forgetful or needs reminding. It is for our benefit, to strengthen our faith in God. This is one of the main reasons that God gives us His prophetic word. So that when everything is screaming, “It’ll never happen!” you can rely on God’s word. Jacob could say, “Okay…it looks like my big bro is going to take me out for what I did, but Lord God Almighty, You told me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will do good with you.’ So, I am going to choose to trust you.”

Reminding God of His word is biblical. I think of one of the most powerful passages in Scripture where the Lord tells us to remind him of His promise.

“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” (Is. 62:6-7)

The Hebrew would be better translated “they will never be silent day or night, those who REMIND the Lord.” The word that the NIV translates as “call” is “Mazkir” which means to remind. And in this case, just like with Jacob, Jerusalem is not living up to her calling, which is to be a “praise in the earth.” Jerusalem has an anointing, a calling to bring blessing to the world. But presently she is the source of great controversy. She is not the City of Peace or “praise in all the earth” and, in the natural, it doesn’t look like it will come to pass any time soon.

Our Israel Tour Group Walks the Walls of Jerusalem as Watchmen.

Our Israel Tour Group Walks the Walls of Jerusalem as Watchmen.

So, believers from around the world serve as “watchmen on the walls”. The Lord says to these watchmen:

  1. Remind me of my promise to Jerusalem.
  2. Give me no rest until I do it.

Okay, that is Jerusalem…but let’s return to the personal—to Jacob’s experience. Jacob was being tested. God was sending him in a very scary direction. In the natural, it was a direction that could bankrupt him in every way. His wives could be abused. His children could be enslaved. So in this insecurity, he reminds Yahweh— “You told me to do this and it would end up good, so I am trusting you.” And in so doing, Jacob’s faith is strengthen. In the end, Esau greets Jacob as a brother, not an enemy. The Lord gives Jacob great favor with his brother.

So, what are you facing today? Is the Lord leading you into uncharted territory? Is it scary? Remind the Lord of what He promises—both His personal prophetic word to your heart and the plethora of promises in His word.

For me, just this morning, I was with a friend. God has a great call on his life and opened a mighty door. But there are few Esau encounters before him. We were able to find courage and strength in the Lord, by remembering the incredible prophetic confirmation that led him down this road. We recounted some of them to remind us, “God is with us, there is nothing to fear, the battle is the Lord’s.” No, the Lord had not forgotten, we needed reminding!

So let me encourage you not to give up. God has a plan. Remind Him of His promise to you.

Dear friends, we also know that God has set us on this path in Israel. We are seeing great fruit at Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv. More and more of our folks are reaching out, feeding the hungry and meeting the needs of the poor. God has opened a supernatural door for me to be on Television around in the world through “Out of Zion” on GodTV.

I want to invite you to stand with us as we continue to minister from the Holy Land. Your year-end tax-deductible gift can change lives and have an eternal impact in the restored nation of Israel. Just go to www.standwithmmi.org to partner with us. And send in your prayer request so our team in Tel Aviv can pray for you.

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Or send your check to:

Messiah’s Mandate
c/o Maoz Israel
PO Box 535788
Grand Prairie, TX 75053

Thank you so much! God bless you from Tel Aviv, Israel!

 

An amazing thing happened the other day!

We were filming the fourth episode of a series on the Six Day War for #OutofZion, when I began to read a powerful and long quote from Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who gave an amazing speech as Israeli Soldiers took Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in 1967. Suddenly, I felt God’s presence in a powerful way. Deep emotion welled up and I spoke with passion. We were in the Western Wall Plaza and a small crowd formed around us. While we had already filmed three episodes, this was clearly different.

When I finished speaking, I noticed an Orthodox family. The father told me how powerful the message was and asked me if I would come give sermons at his Orthodox synagogue. He said that had been looking for someone to bring messages. He hung around while we finished a small video clip. After I finished, I thanked him for his encouragement but told him, “You might not want to invite me to share sermons, as I am a Messianic Jew. I believe Yeshua is the Messiah.”

He responded, “You just lost a job.” And then added I could still do t’shiva—repentance and become orthodox. I told him I repented when I found Yeshua and added that it was nice to meet him.

The point is that he and his family felt the presence of God, but his bias towards Yeshua quickly closed him off. Of course that is why I wrote Identity Theft—so people like him can see that believing in Yeshua is perfectly Jewish.

Yigal, one of our cameramen, said that it reminded him of when the people said of Yeshua, “he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” Of course, it wasn’t me, but any New Testament communicator under the anointing would have been just as effective. It is the Presence of God.

Please pray for him and his family.

Here is the quote I was reading as the first Jewish soldiers entered the Western Wall Plaza towards the end of the Six Day War:

“I am speaking to you from the plaza of the Western Wall, the remnant of our Holy Temple. ‘Comfort my people, comfort them, says the Lord your God.’ This is the day we have hoped for, let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation. The vision of all generations is being realized before our eyes: The city of God, the site of the Temple, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the symbol of the nation’s redemption, have been redeemed today by you, heroes of the Israel Defense Forces. By doing so you have fulfilled the oath of generations, ‘If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning.’ Indeed, we have not forgotten you, Jerusalem, our holy city, our glory. In the name of the entire Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora, I hereby recite with supreme joy, Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has kept us in life, who has preserved us, and enabled us to reach this day. This year in Jerusalem – rebuilt!”

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