Archives For Israel

New Buzz about Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as early as next week, has Israelis excited

There are four key moments, three in the past and one in the future, where it would have been (or will be) perfect timing for President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital and move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Most nations do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and place their embassies in Tel Aviv. The Czech Republic recently recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but like all other embassies, hers remains in Tel Aviv.

Trump Backs Down

In the week’s leading up to the 50-year anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification, there was much excitement that President Trump would fulfill his bold campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem and move the US Embassy to the capital. That was the slam dunk moment. Prophetically it made perfect sense. The unlikely president, shows his leadership and Cyrus-like favor to Israel, by taking this very bold step. For Bible believers, this would have blessed the heart of God and brought blessing on Trump’s administration and the nation.

“Absolute Baloney”

But as we got closer to the eve of May 23rd, Jerusalem’s anniversary, reports began to leak that Trump had changed his mind. Indeed, he did not recognize Jerusalem or announce an embassy move. Many Trump supporters claim that this was all planned out with the Israeli government. Some have said that Netanyahu himself warned Trump that the timing wasn’t right. I can tell you, this is absolute baloney. Some folks will spin anything Trump does or doesn’t do, because of a unhealthily loyalty to the Trump brand. They feel that if God helped get him in power, we owe him blind loyalty. “You don’t know what he knows,” I have been told. (And, by the way, neither do you!) But I do read the papers and Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders were none too happy regarding the about-face.

“Israel’s consistent position is that the American embassy, like the embassies of all countries with whom we have diplomatic relations, should be in Jerusalem, our eternal capital.” —Netanyahu’s office after Trump decision not to move embassy. “Maintaining embassies outside the capital drives peace further away by helping keep alive the Palestinian fantasy that the Jewish people and the Jewish state have no connection to Jerusalem,”

Don’t get me wrong, Trump is Good for Israel

Yes, Netanyahu put on a nice face for the public, recognizing that Trump is an extreme makeover from the contentious relationship he had with Obama. Obama and his team seemed to have a love affair with evil regimes (Iran, Muslim Brotherhood, etc) and even made excuses for why people join ISIS (they just want jobs!). He viewed Israel with disdain. Despite my disappointment with the reversal of this key campaign promise, I recognize, Israel is in a much better place with President Trump than we were with President Obama or, YIKES, a President Hillary.

Talked-out of it

In the weeks leading to Trump’s visit to Israel to commemorate 50 years of a reunited Jerusalem, he fully planned to make good on his campaign promises. It was a no-brainer and would have quelled his critics who were mad that he didn’t do it immediately after his inauguration. He was waiting for the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem.

The ousted Steve Bannon, who was urging Trump to move the embassy immediately, puts the blame on the embattled Jarod Kushner.

Bannon, they say, lobbied Trump aggressively to move America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but was blocked by Kushner. And, according to three Bannon allies, Bannon pushed a tougher line against the Palestinians than Kushner did. In May, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House, Bannon stayed home. “I’m not going to breathe the same air as that terrorist,” Bannon texted a friend.

Good for Bannon!

Kushner, who understood that his already impossible job of negotiating peace between the Palestinians (who celebrate murderers and are in cahoots with Hamas, who wants to destroy the Jewish nation) and democratic Israel, would only be more difficult if his father-in-law president recognized Jerusalem and moved the Embassy. The White House put out this statement saying, that they didn’t relocate the embassy to Jerusalem in order to “maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians,” something Trump has called “the Ultimate deal”. But this ultimate deal, according to Scripture, will be brokered by antichrist!

[The antichrist] will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. (Dan. 9:27)

Many scholars believe that this covenant will between Isreal and the nations. The Temple will be rebuilt and then in the middle, the antichrist will desecrate it.

[The antichrist] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thes. 2:4)

In other words, that is not a deal you want to be making. But I digress.

And then we must ask: Is it a coincidence that Mr. Kushner, who aggressively opposed God’s will regarding Israel (Yes, I think it is safe to say that it is God’s will that Jerusalem be recognized as Israel’s capital) now finds himself under investigation with a state’s witness (Gen. Michael Flynn) ready to testify against him?

Balfour

The second no-brainer date was the recent 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a document put forth in 1917 by the British government which became international law at the 1920 San Remo Conference. It called for the establishment of a Jewish state in historic Palestine (at the time the word Palestine had no Arab ethnic connection.) (more info: video)

November 29

The third date that would have been a slam dunk was the 70th year anniversary of the United Nations vote for Partition (more info: video)—they would take the 20% of land that remained of Palestine (Great Britain gave 80% of the land, promised to the Jews in the Balfour Declaration, to the Arabs in 1922 creating the first Palestinian Arab homeland, now called Jordan.) and create two more states, one Jewish and one Arab. Though the Arabs rejected it, it set the stage for the May 14, 1948 Declaration of Independence in Israel. That date passed last week.

May 14th, 2018—Independence

If Trump truly plans to move the embassy, and I believe he wants to, May 14th would be ideal, as it will be the 70th anniversary of Israel’s comeback as a nation. A people walked the earth for 1900 years without a country, but God watched over us and brought us back to our own land.

Hold the presses!

Maybe dates are not important to the president, as rumors are swirling that the United States is prepared to fulfil half the promise as early as next week!

US President Donald Trump is considering recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, officials said Thursday, adding weight to reports that have been circulating in Israeli media. The announcement would be a way to offset a likely decision delaying his campaign promise to move the US Embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv, the US officials said.

The reports say that Trump still plans to move the embassy,

but also mindful that doing so could set back his aim of forging a long-elusive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, who claim part of Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual state.

Either way, this is an issue that will come up every six months, as congress passed a law that Bill Clinton signed, which says that every six months the U.S. president must sign a waiver to not move the (already built) embassy or there will be severe consequences. Had Trump not so boldly declared his intention to move the embassy, this would not be such a big deal. But because he made this such a HUGE part of his campaign, every six months you will see this video posted below, when he emphatically proclaimed at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, that Jerusalem was Israel’s eternal capital and the embassy will be moved to Jerusalem.

Cyrus: the verdict is still out

We elected Donald Trump because he was not conventional. But favoring a failed peace process over a bold promise to bless Israel, the most hated nation on earth, is by definition: conventional. And if the Cyrus prophecies (see what I wrote here) are true about the President, then a modern-day Cyrus would most definitely recognize Jerusalem and move the Embassy. Cyrus was the unconventional dictator, by allowing the Jewish people to go home and rebuild their wall, city and temple.

Come on Mr. President, be that Cyrus! We are praying for you!

 

 

 

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More and more Israeli believers are having an impact on all aspects of society. Last month, to my surprise, I was asked to interview Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister for GOD TV. The largest tour company in Israel is owned by a Messianic Jew. I just got an email from a Messianic friend who is working inside one of Israel’s larger political parties. And a few years ago, musician Shai Sol told the entire country that Yeshua is the Messiah when she appeared on the television show, The Next Star, a reality singing competition.

Last week, another Messianic Jew appeared on that same show and wowed the judges. Tslil Goldman is a very quiet, humble young lady. In fact, she turned the show down initially.Though she has a voice like an angel, she only wanted God’s will.

During the pre-audition interview, they were asked what it means to be a Messianic Jew. Her father Yariv gently, but boldly stated, “It means Jews who believe both in the Tenakh (the Hebrew scriptures) and that the Messiah that we, as a nation, long for—He has already arrived—Yeshua, from the New Testament.”

The Goldman family has been in our congregation for several years. And Tslil told us she was not really interested in trying out. The show’s producers contacted her last year, but she said ‘no’ because it didn’t feel right, as if God might not want her there.

They called her again this year, so she started wondering if maybe God was opening a door. She knows that God has called her to music and worship. As she prayed, she didn’t receive a clear ‘no’ or ‘yes’ from God, so she decided to go to the audition and simply put it in the Lord’s hands.

But once she was accepted to the auditions, she started questioning things; as the reality (no pun intended) of being on the show hit her, she was tempted to back out.

A lady from the program called Tslil to interview her (as they do with every participant). She and Tslil ended up talking about Yeshua for about an hour and a half. The lady kept asking more and more questions about Messianic Judaism, and said that “everything made sense” to her and “that’s what she was looking for” all her life. She actually said she believed, but never met anyone else who does, too.

Michael Elady, who works with us here at Messiah’s Mandate, was there to encourage Tslil and even wore a T-shirt from a local media outreach ministry, One for Israel.

After the conversation, a sense of relief came upon Tslil, and she thought, “Wow, God is already using me in this TV program. It feels right.” After Tslil’s audition aired, a ton of people contacted her about her faith, interested in these Messianic Jews on TV. This was a very different response than what Shai Sol received just a few years earlier. She was mocked online and attacked in the streets of Ashdod. Of course, Ashdod is a very religious city that has a history of persecuting Messianic Jews.

Tslil went out on stage before some of Israel’s most successful singers and, probably, more than a million viewers. Every judge chose her and much of the public, also. This show uses a combination of both the judges having a vote and viewers at home. Israel pushed her over the top, even before the last judge voted!

Now the competition begins. But Tslil’s focus is not on winning fame and fortune, but spreading the name of Yeshua. Keep her protected in your prayers.

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As we get closer to the next Christ at the Checkpoint conference, a conference dedicated to convincing people that Israel is an illegitimate, oppressive and unbiblical nation, it is important to take a fresh look at their claims, that the New Testament changes the land promises to Israel. Dr. Gary Burge, a proponent of Fulfillment Theology (just like Replacement Theology—the Jews have been replaced by Church), believes:

“the Holy Land is now the whole world and is no longer the privilege of an ethnic few [Jews]. In a word, the New Testament is globalizing the blessing of Abraham; earlier it had been tribal and local, now it is global and universal.” (From COCP 2014)

Proponents of Fulfillment Theology teach that all of the Old Testament promises to Israel are fulfilled in Yeshua (hence the name, Fulfillment Theology). Classical Replacement Theology teaches the Church has replaced Israel, whereas now they are saying it is Yeshua who takes Israel’s promise.

This time around it is not the Church that replaces Israel and takes over all her promises in scripture but in fact Jesus. He fulfills in His life and redemptive work all the promises that God ever made to the Jews; even the promise that Canaan would be the everlasting possession of the Jewish people! (Malcolm Hedding)

Burge teaches that when God spoke of Abraham’s seed, it was only a singular seed promised to Yeshua and not to all of Abraham’s physical descendants through Isaac.

The problem with Burge’s approach is that he doesn’t deal with passages that completely contradict his theory.

1, In Genesis 13 we find this passage:

“All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” (Gen. 13:15-17)

Notice a few words: offspring, forever, and the phrase: dust of the earth.

First, it is true that offspring in Hebrew is seed or zerah, which is always in the singular form, even when used in plural. But the very next verse says that his seed, that inherits the land of Israel, will be “like the dust of the earth,” meaning a whole lot of people. It seems that Burge bases his supposition on one verse, Gal. 3:16, that I deal with in depth, here.

We see this in Genesis 15 as well.

“Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Gen. 15:5)

So Abraham’s offspring is clearly more than one person. I know Dr. Burge has a Ph.D. but we can read. And then, later in this chapter, during the same event, God says:

“To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates— the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites,Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.” (Gen. 15:18-21)

The descendants of v. 18 are the same offspring of v. 5, who will be numbered as the stars in the skies—too many to count. So Burge’s claim that the promise of the Land was to Yeshua alone, makes no sense. God is promising it to himself? No.

Secondly, this promise of land to Abraham’s descendants is forever—not just until the Messiah comes. The Hebrew is ad olam and it absolutely means “forever”.

2, In Burge’s book, Jesus and the Land: The New Testament Challenge to “Holy Land” Theology, he was criticized for failing to deal with key end-times passages that place the Jewish people in their own land at the coming of the Lord. Ezekiel speaks of the dry bones coming to life. Who are these dry bones that come to life? The Lord tells Ezekiel, in v. 11, “These bones are the people of Israel.

Zechariah speaks of the Lord returning to Jerusalem to fight for Israel in chapter 14. (Just a note, if all the Old Testament promises to Israel were fulfilled in Yeshua two thousand years ago, what do you do with all the end-times prophecies?) Zechariah 12 talks about all nations coming against Jerusalem. We can see that happening in our lifetime, yet Burge teaches that there is no future Jerusalem.

3, Even if you discount every Old Testament verse that points to Jews in Israel, in the end times (of which there are a plethora), by coming up with some crazy idea that God was secretly referring to something else, we see Yeshua Himself warning end-time believers that when the anti-Christ takes over the Temple (2 Thes. 2:3-4), “let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Judea is in Israel.

Yeshua seems to think that there will be an Israel when He returns. And how can the anti-Christ desecrate the Temple in Jerusalem (Dan. 9:26), if there is no Jerusalem? According to this verse, he destroys the city. What city? Without a doubt, Jerusalem, as Zechariah 14:1-2 confirms. The two witnesses of Revelation 11, prophecy in the same city, “where also their Lord was crucified” (v.8), a clear reference to Jerusalem. And Revelation 16:16 speaks of the armies of the world gathering in the valley of Har Megiddo (Armageddon), smack dab in the middle of Israel.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the idea that the promises of the land of Israel to the people of Israel were fulfilled on the cross, goes against God’s clear promise to Abraham and his seed, plural (stars of the sky, etc.). It ignores all the Old Covenant prophecies of the Messiah returning Israel and contradicts the New Testament’s clear claim that there is an Israel in the end times.

Beyond that, it goes against our common sense. God said that He would bring the Jewish people back to their own land in the end times. If he did not mean that specifically, then how in the world could the Jewish people, who wandered for 2,000 years, remain a people and even come back to their own land and create one of the most prosperous countries on earth, in the midst of her mortal enemies? Do you think we are stupid?

The fact is that the theology coming out of the Christ at the Checkpoint conference is not sound at all, but manipulates Scripture to get a desired outcome: Israel is not a fulfillment of prophecy. This conference is a political conference disguised as a theological one.

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By Moti Cohen, Associate Pastor, Tiferet Yeshua Tel Aviv

The good news is that Yeshua’s gospel is spreading in Tel Aviv. The better news is that there are people who accept the gospel, give their lives to Yeshua, are willing to go through water and Spirit baptism, and dedicate their lives to the Lord!

The Witness of an old Friend

Leah* came to Tiferet Yeshua about three months ago, and she was immersed this week at the Yafo beach. She came together with Miriam, one of our members. When I asked Leah what drew her to the congregation, she said that a few months prior, she met Miriam on the street. Leah and Miriam had known each other for many years, but they hadn’t seen each other in a few years. The reunion with Miriam left a strong impression on Leah. Leah remembered that Miriam had a pretty rough life, and that she had been through more than her fair share of trials. She always saw Miriam as a sad woman who was just trying to survive.

At their reunion, to Leah’s surprise, Miriam was just full of joy. Leah saw a transformed woman. Miriam immediately shared her faith in Yeshua with Leah, and told her how He changed her life completely.

Moroccan Israelis

Born 60 years ago in Tel Aviv, Leah’s family left Morocco a few years after Israel’s independence. Moroccan Jews are one of the larger immigrant communities in Israel. She had a very traditional, Jewish family (a family that observes the Jewish holidays and customs, but not to a religious extent). At a very young age, she was already divorced with two children. She had to raise them completely alone. In addition, she was a chronic cigarette smoker, and she was dealing with unceasing coughing and a hole in her lung.

Leah would occasionally come to our congregation’s gatherings in Tel Aviv and she received a lot of love from our congregation members. She saw that her new friends had faith and values that “provoked her to jealousy” and caused her to reexamine the meaning of life. Of course, the teachings in the congregation about destructiveness of sin, forgiveness of such sins, the love of God, repentance and freedom, caused Leah to ask questions.

Miriam was a great help to Leah, as they met several times each week. She taught her about the Lord from the scriptures and watched movies about Yeshua with her. Finally, it all came together for Leah and Miriam prayed with her to surrender her life to Yeshua.

She could be my mother

I was very excited to hear Leah’s testimony. This is a Jewish woman who came from a Sephardic background (Jews who come from Arab countries like Iraq and Yemen), who surrendered to Yeshua. This gave me a lot of hope for my own family. There’s a barrier of blindness subduing the Sephardic ethnic groups. They were exiled to Muslim countries from Spain in the 15th century. They were exiled for not converting to political Catholicism—thus, the false representation of Yeshua left them closed to His true purpose.

When a 60-year-old woman like Leah surrenders her life to Yeshua, it feels as if my own mother is surrendering to Yeshua. Miriam’s testimony gave hope to a lot of people who pray constantly  for their families. The kind of hope that says even older people from the Jewish Sephardic groups are capable of accepting the gospel and giving their lives to Yeshua.

Time to get wet!

One day, Leah came to me at the beginning of our weekly meeting and told me that she had a dream. In the dream, she saw herself being immersed in water, and through that dream, she realized that it was her time to go through this action of faith.

We took some time to study the foundations of the faith together and the meaning of water immersion. This week, several of us in the congregation arrived at Jaffa beach. This is the same beach where many Jews were most likely immersed in Acts, chapter nine. Leah grew up in Yafo, and it was very symbolic that she specifically chose to be immersed there and make her declaration of faith. Leah wore white Moroccan clothing, and she was completely filled with happiness and joy—something that had escaped her for so many years. We asked that as she was immersed in water, so would she also be immersed in the Holy Spirit.

Leah went into the water and came out glowing. When I looked at her face and her eyes, I saw a woman who was filled with love for God. We rejoiced, worshiped and thanked God for this moment!

Please continue to pray for Leah, that she would have the strength and power from above to completely stop smoking and receive complete healing for her lungs. Furthermore, dear friends, keep our families in your prayers. So that not only us, but also our entire households would come to believe in the Messiah of Israel. Amen.

*Leah is not her real name

Israel’s mandate to exist comes from heaven, as communicated to Abraham, Joshua, Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others. But Israel also has a legal right to exist. In 1917 Great Britain, before she had defeated the Turks in WWI, sent a note from Lord Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign minister, to Lord Walter Rothschild, the leader of the British Jewish community. He promised that if Great Britain won the war, they would seek to create a Jewish Homeland in the very place of her ancient homeland.

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

After the victory, Great Britain was given ‘Palestine’ in 1920 at the San Remo Conference by the League of Nations (soon to be United Nations). The San Remo Conference adopted the Balfour Declaration as part of Britain’s ‘Mandate over Palestine’. In other words, the only legal body (under heaven of course) that could authorize the establishment of a Jewish country, did so.
Here, I share a short teaching on GOD TV’s Facebook page about the Balfour Declaration.