Archives For Isaiah 2

In short, I had two experiences, one in September and the other early on election day, whereby I felt the Lord clearly tell me what would happen on Election Day and why.

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by Gil Afriat, Tiferet Yeshua Senior Pastor and Moti Cohen, Tiferet Yeshua Associate Pastor

On October 26th, the Knesset Finance Committee, chaired by ultra-orthodox Knesset member, Moshe Gafni, unanimously denied our petition to receive tax exempt status as guaranteed by law for our congregation, Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv. Our petition was considered along with that of a non-profit belonging to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

For years now, we have been in the process to receive tax exempt status (article 46) so that our members who subsidize the congregation with their monthly tithes can receive tax reimbursement at end of the year. Article 46 is a right that all religious organizations in Israel and the West enjoy, whether synagogues, churches, mosques, or Buddhist temples. Tiferet Yeshua’s request went through the proper channels of the Tax Authority which granted us “proper standing” status which, according to the law, entitles us to tax exemption.

However, from the moment our article 46 petition arrived at the Finance Committee, it has been in limbo because, according to Finance Committee chair Moshe Gafni, Tiferet Yeshua will receive article 46 rights “over my dead body.” The Supreme Court and the Tax Authority have repeatedly sent our case back to the Finance Committee for re-evaluation, where it is continually denied. The reason? We are Messianic Jews. If we were willing to register our non-profit as a Christian church, no one would bat an eye. However, because we dare to continue calling ourselves Jews, since we dare to assert that we are Jewish followers of a Jewish Messiah, we are denied our rights under the law.

We were not surprised by the Finance Committee’s decision chaired by ultra-orthodox parliament member Gafni who has made it his mission to discriminate against us on religious grounds. Gafni did an excellent job in preparing the committee members to vote against us, despite the recommendation of the Tax Authority to grant us tax exempt status. The flash-point issue that unified the committee against us was the “conversion of minors”. Spurious allegations were made that we aim to “convert” minors, which is against the law in Israel. Tiferet Yeshua completely abides by the law in regard to minors and financial coercion to faith, and the committee produced no concrete evidence to the contrary.

Finance Committee Chairman Moshe Gafni, who led battle against Jewish believers.

What was surprising for us about the vote was the fact that all of the Finance Committee members, from the left to the right of the political spectrum, joined together to unanimously vote against us. The decision against us brought together extreme ultra-orthodox parties with moderate and even liberal parties from the opposition, parties which are ordinarily at odds with each other. It is particularly surprising that parliament members from the opposition voted against us, like Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid, a well-known firebrand against the ultra-orthodox religious parties. In truth Yair Lapid would not be seen in public with Moshe Gafni—but so deep is the deception about Messianic Jews and our motives, that he teamed up with an arch rival to condemn us.

Lapid made a special effort to come to the session in person to express his opposition to Messianic Jews. We fully expect to be labeled “dangerous missionaries” by the ultra-orthodox, but it was a bit of a shock for us to hear liberal politician Yair Lapid label us “a danger to Israeli society”. There is very little real religious persecution here in Israel, and we are thankful to be living in the only real democracy in the Middle East. However, this vote in the Finance Committee against our congregation reminds us that religious discrimination is alive and well in Israel, even beyond what we imagined.

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid made special effort to join with political enemies to hurt Messianic Jews.

Congregation Tiferet Yeshua is comprised of Israeli citizens to whom the State of Israel and the people of Israel are dear to their hearts, law-abiding citizens who fulfill their civic duty to the State, serve in the military and pay taxes, in contrast to the ultra-orthodox who do not serve in the army, spend their time in religious schools subsidized by the State, and are currently breaking the law en masse by flouting covid-19 restrictions. We see a reflection of spiritual hostility in this vote, and we know that our battle is first and foremost spiritual. We want to emphasize that our main goal as a congregation is to bring glory and honor to our Lord Yeshua here in Israel, which is far greater in importance to us than being granted article 46. God is sovereign and will take care of all our needs as long as we faithfully follow Him in love. We will continue to petition for our rights and would appreciate prayers for us in those efforts.

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.“

~John 15:18-19

 

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Everyone seems to have an opinion about masks–and that is good. But my goal is to bring Israelis and others to Yeshua—not argue about masks. If I am more passionate about my opinion on the effectiveness of wearing a mask (to the point of calling people nazis and threatening them with bodily harm) than I am about reaching people with the message of salvation, my priorities are not in line with God’s. 

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This is Saeb Erekat and he has been the top negotiator for the corrupt Palestinian Authority since the 90s. He has COVID-19 and was in critical, but stable condition. May God touch him and reveal the truth to him!

But there is another point to be made here. I want you to see the difference between Israel and the Palestinians, Syrians, Iranians, etc. You see Mr. Erekat is now run of the mill Palestinian.

Erekat, 65, has been one of the Palestinians’ most recognizable faces over the past several decades, serving as a senior negotiator in talks with Israel. He was also a senior adviser to late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Times of Israel)

After contracting Coronavirus, his suffered complications. But instead of going to a Palestinian hospital (and probably dying because they have invested in terror instead of their people) he was taken to a hospital in Jerusalem after the Palestinian Authority requested that Israel save his life. Israel is giving him top medical care.

Erekat, who was rushed to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem two days ago, was being supported by an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine, as well as a ventilator.” (Times of Israel)

Over the years this man has attacked Israel, sowed seeds of division, supported Arafat and he is a #BDS supporter. He once accused Israel on the international stage of murdering 500 Palestinian civilians, when it fact, it was 50 terrorists, after a suicide bombing during a Passover celebration that murdered 30 Israelis and injured 140 others. The IDF went into the city of Jenin to get the terrorists…and they did.

But as he found himself in poor health, Mr. Erekat asked to be taken to an Israeli hospital—the enemy! And we took him. And he is getting great healthcare. With one lung and having survived a heart attack, things are not looking good for him. But thank GOD that he has “enemies” who are fighting to save his life, so he can continue to spread hate against Jews.
This is why I love my country! And really, let’s pray for his survival.

“Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?'” (Ezek. 33:11) Turn Saeb! Turn!

 

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Obama came to power and promised a new beginning. He went to Egypt in 2009 and proclaimed a new beginning between the Arab world and the West. He apologized for American arrogance. For this he received the Nobel Peace Prize. But in reality we got Benghazi and ISIS, whom he mocked as the JV terror team.

Trump says all the wrong things, he is a bull in a china shop, he goes off script and can be tone deaf in sensitive situation. Yet, he was the one who defeated ISIS and is bringing Arab states to the peace table.

Obama felt that his unique position, being raised in the midst of Muslims, spending much of his childhood in Indonesia, would give him the ability to relate to the Muslim world in a way that no US President before him could. It makes sense, but it didn’t work at all. They saw him as weak.

Trump, on the other hand, has very little experience with Muslim culture, but he is the one who brought Israel and UAE together (and some say, Bahrain and Oman are on the way) to sign a peace treaty.

There is a lot I do not like about President Trump. But he gets results. I would love to see his demeanor change, but I cannot deny results. No one expected a peace treaty between Israel and several nations, and yet, he did it. We could talk about the economy too. No, he is not as smooth as President Obama, but he took the Obama stagnant economy and turned it into one of the best ever. Of course, Corona changed that a bit, but no one anticipated that.

So, I will be voting again for President Trump; not because I am in a Trump cult, but because I can’t argue with results.

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