****A trail to follow****

This post is written by a member of the Messianic community in Israel or guest contributor. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Kehila News Israel.

A trail to follow

Eitan Shishkoff 

Mar 11, 2017

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Let’s face it. We all want to see God move in miraculous ways. After all, wasn’t that Yeshua’s calling card? Wasn’t that the apostles’ validation of the gospel message? And what about the prophets of Israel? Didn’t they portend the outpouring of the Spirit with signs and wonders in the last days, leading up to the long-awaited return of our Messiah King?

I believe the answer to all these questions is YES. But other questions arise. How can it happen today? How can it happen in Eretz Yisrael, where skepticism regarding the possibility of Yeshua being the Messiah is still the norm? Is there a guide book, an instruction manual?

Reading Acts chapter five this morning I was caught off guard by the straightforward account of signs and wonders being done through the hands of the apostles (Acts 5:12). I began to search for clues that would point to the conditions leading to such a powerful and effective demonstration. Here are a few markers that I found in the account of how Yeshua’s faithful disciples lived in this land – that give us an unmistakable trail to follow.

Miracles in Acts: Some Factors

One Heart:

They were in the temple compound “in one accord” (Acts 5:12). This theme is seen often in Acts. The Author is telling us something. He releases His wonder-working power when we rise above our insecurities, offenses, and personality quirks to unite as one in His heart.

High esteem from the locals (Acts 5:13):

It’s certainly not that we are to seek popularity, but I read this as relevance. The apostles made a positive impression on the Jerusalemites, who were likely tired of religion and hungry for reality. This is a timely cue for us, especially in Israel where religiosity is ever-visible.

Compassion for those suffering (Acts 5:15-16):

The sick were brought into the streets, and people came from the surrounding cities with those who were diseased and tormented by demonic spirits. “… and they were all healed.” This knocks me out. No wonder the early believers saw such a dramatic harvest.

They freely proclaimed Yeshua as “Prince and Savior” (Acts 5:31):

This is what they were persecuted for doing, forbidden from doing, yet continued to do. Placing Yeshua front and center is not some formula. It is the holy calling we’ve been given. Teaching in His name was central throughout the Acts epoch. We cannot improve on what they did, nor uncover a superior key to releasing the acts of God’s heart. Our people must know that we are following the Rabbi from the Galilee who literally fulfilled what the prophets said about Him many centuries before.

Multitudes of believers were increasingly added to the Lord (Acts 5:14), as the outcome of God’s healing, liberating activity among the people of Israel in the first century. Now, 20 centuries later, it is time for the re-activation, the re-awakening of the same in-breaking. Recently during a Shabbat worship service a young leader began declaring what God wanted to do in the lives of people who are hurting, discouraged, sick, or finding themselves in a dark place. Instead of shifting to the next, normal portion of the service, we were invited to wait upon God and to take action. People began standing up. Some came forward for prayer. Others left their seats to pray for those nearby. The presence and love of the Lord were palpable. One Israeli first-time visitor repented and received Yeshua while all this continued. I wept, experiencing the overwhelming care and intense compassion of the Savior for His flock.

In Israel we long for the expanded, authentic activity of God’s Spirit – healing, delivering, and transforming lives in the name of Yeshua the Anointed King. In fact, knowing that the Lord’s announced intention is to manifest Himself in this land before His visible return, leaves us satisfied with nothing less. As is also clear in Acts, one of the keys to opening these gates of God’s activity on earth is prayer. So, I cannot conclude this article without asking you to actively, frequently agree with us:

Father, you promised to graciously pour out Your Spirit so that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:28,32). We give ourselves wholly to You, opening our lives that Yeshua may live freely through us, taking us into His realm of supernatural love, touching and changing the people we encounter.”

This article originally appeared in Oasis Newsletter March 2017 and is reposted with permission.






Eitan Shishkoff

Eitan Shishkoff


Eitan is the Founder and Executive Director of Tents of Mercy Network of Messianic Congregations is Northern Israel. He's a published author, having written "What About Us?", which answers the question about







****Seeking the kingdom first***

Seeking the kingdom first

First Fruits of Zion Staff 

Feb 22, 2017

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People in a crowded train station in search of their destination.

Yeshua wanted to teach His disciples to rely on God’s provision rather than their own frantic efforts. He contrasted them against the idolatrous, non-Jewish world. The pagans prioritized mammon and expended all their energy fretting over the pursuit of materialism: “All these things the Gentiles eagerly seek” (Matthew 6:32).

Unlike the idolaters who consume their years seeking after material goods, the disciples of Yeshua should seek the kingdom of heaven. He told His disciples to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (6:33). After all, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things … and all these things shall be added” to the one who seeks first the kingdom and God’s righteousness (6:32-33). Clement of Alexandria transmits a similar saying of the Master not known from Gospels: “Ask for the great things, and God will add unto you the little things.”

What does it mean to seek first the kingdom?

The “kingdom” is the kingdom of heaven, i.e., the Messianic Era. Recall that the Master introduced the Sermon on the Mount with an ominous warning, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). To seek the kingdom first means to prioritize attaining the reward of entering the kingdom—i.e., the resurrection of the dead and the Messianic Era.

What does it mean to seek “His righteousness”?

In Matthew 5:20, Yeshua contrasted the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees against the type of righteousness necessary for entrance into the kingdom. The rest of the sermon describes the righteousness that surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees—the righteousness of God—an application of God’s Torah that internalizes His righteous standard. To seek God’s righteousness means to apply His Torah as Yeshua explained it in the Sermon on the Mount. That’s what the Sermon on the Mount is all about: the instructions for seeking first the kingdom.

If a disciple will set aside anxiety over materialism and instead apply his or her efforts toward entering the kingdom and practicing God’s righteousness, the person need not worry, the LORD will supply him his material needs.

  • Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)

  • Do not worry about tomorrow’s trouble, for you do not know what the day will bring. Tomorrow may come and a man will be no more so he has worried about a world which never belonged to him. (Talmud, b.Yevamot 63b)

  • It is sufficient for trouble to come at its time. (Talmud, b.Berachot 9b)

This article originally appeared on First Fruits of Zion and is reposted with permission.





First Fruits of Zion Staff

First Fruits of Zion Staff


First Fruits of Zion specializes in the study and teaching of Scripture from its historical, linguistic, and cultural context. Using the latest scholarship, ancient Jewish sources, and extra-biblical literature, we present a Messianic Jewish reading of the Bible and early Jewish-Christianity. We do this by publishing books, ebooks, magazines, journals, study programs, audio and audio-visual resources, and presenting new material through seminars, conferences, and guided Israel tours.


All are welcome to post comments below. Please view our Comments Policy. If are you interested in writing for KNI, you may submit articles to admin@kehilanews.com or Apply to be a Writer.







To the fourth generation and the time of the judgment of God

Elhanan ben-Avraham 

Feb 23, 2017

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A hurricane seen from space

He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.” – from The Ten Commandments (Ex. 34:7)

Let no one deceive you, for that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:3

How long is four generations? When God addressed the old and childless Abraham telling him he would have a son, He also told him the future of that one seed. That child, Isaac, would multiply into a nation and be held in captivity in a distant land. Then God would visit that nation in “the fourth generation”, which was four hundred years (Genesis 15, 17), when YHVH would judge that nation and its idolatrous gods. That was the prediction of the exodus of Israel from Egypt that would occur 430 years later. The reason given for the four hundred year hiatus was that the iniquities of the nations of Canaan had not yet come to fullness, which would culminate in the fourth generation. At that time Joshua (after an additional forty years due to Israel’s disobedience) would enter the land and bring judgment to those peoples as they continued unabated in their corruptions and sin (which are enumerated in the Torah). It was the time of the fullness of those nations.

That principle was later codified in the Ten Commandments, which says, “for I YHVH your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” In other words, iniquity un-repented-of is cumulative and increasing until the fourth generation- four hundred years- at which time divine judgment is forthcoming.

Is there an historical pattern that may be observed to each fourth generation? First, Israel itself was formed in the fourth generation: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes of Israel. We see in the Biblical history that the first temple in Jerusalem was constructed by King Solomon four generations after the Exodus, in 967BC (1 Kings 6:1). Then we see the temple and Jerusalem destroyed by the Babylonians in 486BC, at the end of a similar period from the completion of the temple. From the return of the Jewish people from the Babylonian exile in 386 BC and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the foundation for the second temple under Nehemiah, it is at the end of the fourth generation that the Messiah would come to Jerusalem (see the prophecy of Daniel 9), and the destruction of the second temple in 70 AD. In his Antiquities of the Jews XII:322, Josephus says in approximately 80 AD that “the desolation of the Temple came about in accordance with the prophecy of Daniel, which had been made 408 years before.”

These events were spoken of by Israel’s prophets well before their occurrences, each admonishing the people to turn from their iniquities lest judgment befall them. In each case the prophet’s warning was ignored, and the judgment became historical reality. Ezekiel was told to lay upon his left side for three hundred ninety days, each day representing one year of the iniquity of Israel, and to prophesy the coming judgment, if repentance was not forthcoming (Ezekiel 4).

Still later, the Muslim Ottoman Empire ruled the Holy Land from 1517 to 1917- four hundred years- when it was conquered by the British, a time that Jews were returning to the ancient land after a 2000-year exile. In 1948 the nation of Israel was re-born three years after the devastating holocaust of the Jews in Europe.

Is there something that we might learn in our own days from these past events and the pattern of their having occurred? It may be said that America, the freest and most prosperous and blessed nation of the modern world, founded on Judeo-Christian values, is now nearing its fourth generation. The first colony established was Jamestown in 1608, an economic enterprise by the British Empire. But if one counts from the Pilgrims’ landing at Plymouth for the sake of religious liberty in 1620, a group of dedicated people who profoundly influenced the foundations of what was to become the United States of America, we approach the fourth generation, making 2020 the four hundredth year. In either case it is the fourth generation Biblically, based on the pattern of Abraham.

The great changes in America that have transpired in just the last generation are remarkable. Many things that were not only unheard-of but unimaginable in the 1950’s are fast becoming daily fare of normality in the 21st century. That includes the forced lawful recognition of same-sex marriage, casting off the age-old and essential definition of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman, and thus the re-definition of family. It would also include the rampant use and legalization of drugs, abortion as a form of birth control, and widespread accessibility to the most rank forms of pornography, the breakdown of family and great increase in divorce, regular mass murders, all being a renunciation of inherited Godly values. Many are they who have spoken out of the need to return to those values. And the great power of America (though with an astronomical national debt), especially through the media and the granted freedom of expression, has greatly influenced nations around the planet in this decline.

Yeshua (Jesus) spoke of a time which would be “at the time of the fullness of the Gentiles (nations)”, when the salvation and knowledge of God would have been heard around the world, and then would return to Israel (Luke 21:24, Romans 11:25). For the first time in two millennia of dispersion, the Jewish people have not only their own nation again in the ancient Land of Israel (a phenomenon unparalleled in history), but many are coming to re-examine the Jew Yeshua, and seeing him as the promised Messiah. At the same time we are witnessing in our time a real decline in the formerly Christian world of the West, the casting off of Godly morality for an atheism of hopelessness, especially in Europe, where Islam is increasingly filling the religious vacuum. We hear daily of outrages throughout the world, threats of nuclear war, and the vicious chaos and violence of perennial unhappiness in the Muslim world, especially Iran the cradle of the Islamic Revolution since 1979, and their hatred and unceasing threats of destruction to the West. The proliferation of sophisticated weaponry has cast a pall of fear and anxiety across the world’s population.

The planet seems to be a gathering hurricane, and we here in Israel are at the eye of the storm. We all watch daily as truth and history are twisted and distorted in an effort to divide the Promised Land in two, forcing two nations onto this tiny piece of real estate, and that in the name of a peace which is in no way guaranteed to arise from such a division, judging from the daily rhetoric of the Muslim world (including our immediate neighbors the Palestinians). But we are also aware of the prophetic Biblical picture before us of a time that God would gather all nations down into the valley of Jehosaphat (which is the Hebrew for “the judgment of God”) for their iniquities, including the dividing of God’s land ( Isaiah 14:2), the historical Land of Israel (Joel 3, Zechariah 12-14, Ezekiel 36-38, etc.). It is the approaching time of the milo hagoyim– the fullness of nations.

It is in God we trust.




Elhanan ben-Avraham

Elhanan ben-Avraham

Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published two illustrated books of poetry, and painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.






This post is written by a member of the Messianic community in Israel or guest contributor. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Kehila News Israel.

A mother, a teacher, a nation’s schools prepare for war

Joni Koski 

Feb 23, 2017 And Marts 8

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Israeli school children from the Yuvali haNegev school in the Bnei Shimon regional council, southern Israel, participate in a drill as air raid sirens sounded throughout Israel as part of a nationwide drill for the educational system. February 15, 2016. (Photo: Flash90)

“We are Israelis – you know war is going to come, it’s just when and what magnitude!”

This is what mother and high school teacher Dana Dickenson, a Messianic believer from Haifa, told KNI as Israeli schools were running, for the first time, a comprehensive initiative to prepare children — and their parents — to study from home in the event of war.

The children have a set time to go online and complete the tasks set for them by the teachers, no excuses, Dickenson explained. They can even use smart phones, which most school age children have these days.

“The experiment worked. In fact we found that the children responded very well and almost everyone completed the tasks we set them,” she said. “We kept it as simple as possible and made sure that the parents were aware of what was happening.”

The system is not without flaws. Dickenson said there is no way of confirming the children did their own work without copying from each other. Some schools, however, have online learning systems that allow for individualized monitoring and assessment.

Dickenson explained that the program started last year on an individual basis, but this year is mandatory for schools across the country.

“The children are not told that it is war preparation, just that it is preparation for emergency situations,” she said. “We do not want to make it unnecessarily scary, although between the teachers we discuss the situation fully. We explain to the children that we are a high-tech nation and that this is a new innovation.”

“It worked very well for one day, but I do not think the children could sustain the discipline of working from home over three weeks,” Dickenson told us. “They need the structure of the school environment. I believe more in the ‘old school’ approach.”

Dickenson said this type of training does not make her unduly fearful as a teacher or a mother. She knows how to keep her family safe in times of war and takes them to her mother’s bomb shelter. Many Israelis have grown up through one war or another. Even the children can become cynical when it comes to war and try to lighten the stress with humor. One child at Dickenson’s congregation prayed during wartime that a missile would hit his school over the weekend, when it was closed, so he wouldn’t have to go back.

Dickenson was a student in 1991 during the First Gulf War when she had to carry her gas mask with her everywhere including to school. More frightening was the the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

“There were missiles 24/7!” she recalled.

Then, during the last Gaza war in 2014, the frequent sirens drove her stress levels up again.

“But when you start sitting on the staircase with the neighbors, you start to laugh about it: Six families at 3 a.m. on the staircase is ridiculous,” she said. “Then you get passed the stress.”

These days, Dickenson said, people trust the government less even when it gives the okay for children to go back to school after a round of rocket attacks.

“As a parent I would be concerned whether the teacher would remember my child when they all have to run for the bomb shelter,” she said. “People find their own ways of coping and try to make their own preparations.”

“For non-believers it is perhaps more terrifying, but I don’t know how much more,” Dickenson shared. “We have some confidence because we are believers. We know God is in control!”

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust’
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.’”
Psalm 91:1-16






Joni Koski

Joni has worked in education and management and has been a writer for Kehila News Israel since 2016. He holds an MBA, as well as teaching qualifications. He lives in the north of Israel with his family.


All are welcome to post comments below. Please view our Comments Policy. If are you interested in writing for KNI, you may submit articles to admin@kehilanews.com or Apply to be a W








The Indestructibles: The courage and confidence of God’s children

One For Israel Staff 

Feb 15, 2017

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Is all hell breaking loose? How concerned should we be? The Bible tells us not to be afraid over a hundred times, but how can we “laugh at the days to come”, as the woman of Proverbs 31 can with such dignity and courage when we don’t know what’s coming? As the days get darker, we must learn how to win this battle of our own hearts and minds in order to truly be a light that shines brightly in the darkest night.

The Bible commands us not to be afraid and if God can command it, we can obey. The Yeshua way is a higher way, and the only way up onto that path and into that rarified air is by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Understand that you are indestructible

Psalm 68:20 is an interesting verse about death. The Amplified Version has it like this:

“God is to us a God of deliverances and salvation; and to God the Lord belongs escape from death [setting us free].”

Our God is “The God of Salvations”, “The God of deliverances”… “The owner of exits from death” (or the issues of death, or deliverances from death). He’s in charge of death – the “issues of death” belong to him, as the King James puts it. Although he can prevent it or provide escape, clearly, God doesn’t always rescue us from physical death. We all die sometime. But even then, he’s holding the whole matter of death in his hand. He can even save us from the power of death itself, so that death is not the end for us.

Here’s another one:

“We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. And God does not take away life, but devises means so that he who is banished may not be an utter outcast from Him.” (2 Samuel 14:14)

This ‘means’ that God has devised is the greatest gift that we could ever receive; a powerful antidote to the fear of death. We need to appropriate this gift, and offer it to others. Our savior, Yeshua the Messiah, has beaten death itself, and taken away its sting. We will live with God forever!

Now more than ever, the world needs to know that those who terrorise with the threat of death cannot overcome those who know that they cannot die.

On one hand most of us who believe are so familiar with the fact that we have eternal life that we are almost blasé about it, but on the other hand, we tend to live our lives as if this life is all that there is! We get overwhelmed with panic, fear, envy, despair… the hope of glory has seeped away and we shuffle along with the rest of the crowd obsessing about matters of this world. This should not be!

We must understand that we are eternal. If we are saved by Yeshua, we are indestructible, and we will live forever with him in glory. Nothing and no one can alter that fact – no one can ultimately destroy the real, eternal, created and beloved you.

In Matthew 10:28 Jesus tells us, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Whatever may happen to our temporary bodies (which Paul describes as a mere tent to camp out in while we are on earth for this relatively short time), our soul is safe in the hands of God, if we have given our lives to him. The same cannot be said for the perpetrators of evil, unless they repent. This is a powerful message for a frightened world, and we need to be ready to share it both in our words and the way that we live.

Whatever is in your future, God is there too, and he is in charge

We cannot know our future, and we are warned against all witchcraft style attempts to peer into it, but we can be pretty sure about a few things: We will die the first death at some point (unless Yeshua returns first), we will suffer, and God will always be an ever present help in times of trouble. He is waiting for us in our future too. We must understand that Yeshua PROMISED that there would be suffering.

King David wrote in Psalm 34, “The righteous man has many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all”.

David knew a thing or two about troubles, and frankly, so does anyone who follows hard after the Messiah. But the reason that the Proverbs 31 woman  (Ishat Hayil, as we call her in Hebrew – the woman of valour) can laugh at the future is because she knows that whatever it holds, God is there too. Our Saviour is aware of every day that we will encounter in the future and he is also there, ready to meet us and help us – whatever we have to face. This should give us great courage, because he’s pretty powerful.

“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

Yeshua understands our tendency, encouraged by the enemy of our souls, to gaze into the future and worry about it. But this is a waste of time and energy – these things may very well not even happen to us! Fear tends to be related to future events that have not yet occurred, or imagining someone else’s trouble might come upon us. But even when we look at believers who really are facing death, we see God’s extraordinary grace undertaking for them in the most amazing ways. God gives them courage and capacity to stay faithful to the end. Remember the story of the four Christian boys who refused to deny Yeshua? “We love Yesua [the Iraqi name for Jesus], we have always loved Yesua, Yesua has always been with us”, they insisted. After one last attempt to terrify the boys into submission, the ISIS terrorists realised that they were never going to change their minds, and all four were killed. Similarly, other believers have called out even in praise at their final moments. These heroes will be greatly honoured in glory. If he can do it for these saints, God can help us in such circumstances too, if they ever fall upon us. Which they might well not.

Yeshua wisely commanded us not to emote about things that haven’t happened yet – save your energy for dealing with what you’re facing today. As he rightly said, there are troubles for each day and we are far better off concentrating on those, rather than projecting into the future. This requires faith, but with the same kind of discipline with which we jettison other sinful and inappropriate thoughts from our mind, we can reject temptations to spend time and energy thinking and worrying about what might or might not happen. God has given us new mercies every day, and enough grace to cope with what is in front of us. Faith leaves tomorrow in God’s hands, and believes in God’s power to help us with whatever we are facing today.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34)

Love and fear do not mix

God is utterly powerful, and his plans never fail. All of earth’s history is seen and known by the Alpha and Omega, the Author of Time, and all our days are written before one of them came to be. And Our Father, who loves us passionately, is in charge. We know from Scripture that things will get increasingly hairy, but also that God knows every hair on our heads. His love for us is immense! He sees the whole picture,

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

With our lives surrendered to our all-loving God, we know we are in safe hands. We can be certain that we are ultimately and eternally secure in his care. We can know that whatever trials come our way, they have been permitted by our sovereign God, and he will not waste any of our pain or suffering. This can release us to rest as we trust God to take care of us, and in his plans for our future. Meditating on his perfect love drives out our fear.

Because love and fear do not mix, we similarly need to choose whether to relate to others with love or fear. When Yeshua commanded us to pray for our enemies, he knew that we would have to adjust our outlook, and see them more from God’s point of view as we bring them to his throne. Fear can be replaced with compassion, since we know that God is just, and those who are committed to the path of evil have a horrific eternity ahead of them.

Love and fear do not mix. So what will we choose to let our hearts be full of?

This article originally appeared on One for Israel and is reposted with permission.





One For Israel Staff

One For Israel Staff


ONE FOR ISRAEL strives to be the leading organization in sharing the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah with Israeli Jews and Arabs in the Hebrew language. Our staff is comprised of both Jewish and Arab Israelis, with the shared belief that true peace in the Middle East can only come into existence under Yeshua.


his post is written by a member of the Messianic community in Israel or guest contributor. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Kehila News Israel.

Maybe it’s time for some new glasses

Eric Tokajer

Feb 18, 2017

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Many years ago, I watched a movie entitled My Cousin Vinny, which stared Joe Pesci as a lawyer from New York who was defending his nephew who was being tried for murder in Alabama. During the trial, Pesci’s character was cross-examining a witness, an older lady who was wearing very thick glasses. As a part of the questioning, Pesci asked the witness how her sight was and she responded that with her glasses on her vision was pretty good. Pesci then took a tape measure and walked about 75 feet from the witness and asked the witness to tell him how many fingers he was holding up. After providing an incorrect answer, Pesci walked up to the witness and said, “Maybe it’s time for some new glasses.”

I was thinking about this scene while I was listening to some American prophecy preachers proclaiming their interpretation of the events, which are described in the eschatological books of the Bible. Each preacher shared their thoughts on what would be coming upon the earth and the events that would lead up to the “Tribulation” and the “Return of Messiah,” known by many as the “Rapture.” The more I listened to those men, the more I began to realize that for the American body of believers, “maybe it’s time for some new glasses.”

Why, you may ask? Each of these men who were considered experts in the fields of prophecy had based their entire eschatological foundation upon the Scriptures as they relate to the United States of America. They failed completely to even consider that every book of the Bible and every event that takes place in those books are written only from the viewpoint of the nation Israel. Israel is the center of all Biblical text and of the understanding of all Biblical text. If you shift the focus from Israel and the Middle East to any other location or nation you will always come to errant conclusions about the fulfillment of the prophetic statements found on the pages of the Scriptures.

One clear example is found when considering those who proclaim that the Body of Messiah will be removed from the earth before the beginning of the Tribulation. This is a popular position for American theologians. I would ask those teachers to please try preaching that position to the believers in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon or Egypt who are daily being martyred because of their unwavering faith in Yeshua as their Messiah. It would be impossible to convince those of such a great testimony that what they were going through was not to be considered the Tribulation simply because they don’t live within the geographical coordinates known as the United States of America.

When one reads the Bible and takes its words out of the context of the geographical boundaries of the Promised Land and its surrounding neighbors, the distortion is even greater than the distortion caused by the incorrect eyeglass prescription worn by the witness in the movie.

It is only when the worldwide body of Messiah decides that it is time to get a “new pair of glasses,” which will allow them to view the Bible within the context of the Bible itself, that we will begin to understand and see the signs of the times.






Eric Tokajer

Eric Tokajer


Rabbi Eric Tokajer is the Publisher of The Messianic Times, an international Messianic Jewish newspaper, which includes news from the worldwide Messianic community, Israeli current events and analysis, opinion pieces, book and music and film reviews, informative articles and a directory of Messianic Jewish congregations.






Do we believe in “three gods” as the rabbis claim?

One For Israel Staff 

Feb 5, 2017

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There’s a rumor going around that the New Testament supposedly teaches a belief in three gods.

To begin with, it’s important to understand that this false rumor does not exist by accident. It is based on deliberate brainwashing that has been promoted for 2,000 years, and its purpose is to present the New Testament as pagan. For example, see the false statement of Rabbi Daniel Ballas on the “hidabroot” website, where he claims that believers in Jesus believes there are three different gods: “According to their belief, the creator of the entire universe is nothing but three gods.”

But no, we absolutely do not believe in three gods!

God is ONE, as the Prophet Isaiah said: “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.”

Now check this quote out:

“The mystery in the word YHWH: there are three steps, each existing by itself; nevertheless they are One, and are so united that one cannot be separated from the other. The same Holy and Ancient One, appears as three heads within one, and He is the head elevated three times. The Ancient Holy One, described as three and also the other lights, which are delegated from His source are included in the three.”

Sounds like a Christian quote?

Well, it’s NOT….

This is a quote from the most prestigious book in rabbinical mysticism – straight out of the Jewish book of The Zohar.

But wait, there is more….

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

Did you notice that God’s name appears three consecutive times? The Jewish Zohar explains that the expression “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one”, is actually three who are one:

“Only through faith, in the vision of the Holy Spirit, the mystery of the audible voice is similar to this, for though it is one,  yet it consists of three elements: Fire, air and water.”

The truth is, that the Jewish book of The Zohar goes in great depth into the subject it calls “Haraz de Shlosha” – “The Mystery of the Three”, about the nature of One God with three dimensions\persons. The Zohar refers to God as to three heads, three spirits, three ways of appearance, three names, and three shades of interpretations that describe the divine nature.

It would be interesting to know if Rabbi Daniel Ballas intends to blame the Jewish book of The Zohar as being a “Pagan Christian” book?

We cannot, and probably should not place God in a lab in an attempt to understand exactly who or what He is. He said in the past: “I am who I am.” And through Isaiah, He said: “My thoughts are not your thoughts.”

If, as human beings, we were able to fully understand God with our human minds, then we probably would not fear Him. We cannot worship a god that our mind is able to fully contain. While we can never fully understand God, it is still possible to find many clues throughout the Hebrew Scriptures (OT) that testify to His character.

To begin with, God is not made of matter, He is abstract. Yet, he can manifest Himself in material forms, whether it’s in the form of a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire, or as the Angel of God, or in the form of the Messiah. The Hebrew Scriptures describe God as One who sits up above, and at the same time, in the Temple. At the same time, He fills the prophets with His Spirit; and all of this, while His Glory fills the entire universe. Can you see how complex God is in the forms  and places in which He manifests?

In Isaiah 48:16, God says:

“Draw near to me, hear this:
from the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
from the time it came to be I have been there;
And now the Lord God has sent me, and His Spirit.”

Is God saying that YHWH sent Him together with His Spirit?

Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

Does God speak of Himself in plural form?

We can go on and on, and spend long hours quoting more verses throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, the writings of the Jewish sages and of course from the New Testament, that indicate that One God manifests Himself in three different persons. But you already got the idea.

God, who loves the humanity which He created, appeared to us in different persons. One of the forms in which God showed Himself to us, is in the form of the Messiah. He took on flesh, and demonstrated His love for us by suffering with us and for us. He sacrificed His own life on the cross so He could take our sins upon Himself, not so we worship Him out of fear of legalistic religious compulsion, but because we are grateful for His love and for what He has done for us.

This article originally appeared on One for Israel and is reposted with permission.




One For Israel Staff


ONE FOR ISRAEL strives to be the leading organization in sharing the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah with Israeli Jews and Arabs in the Hebrew language. Our staff is comprised of both Jewish and Arab Israelis, with the shared belief that true peace in the Middle East can only come into existence under Yeshua.








This post is written by a member of the Messianic community in Israel or guest contributor. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Kehila News Israel.

A new dawn for Israel and Bible translation

Institute for Biblical Languages & Translation 

Jan 30, 2017

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“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ’ ” – Zech. 8:23

69 years after the creation of Israel, we are now at crossroads in the history of the Messianic body and its impact on the global Church. It is almost impossible to fathom that just a few decades ago, the number of believers in the land could be counted on a few hands, and now this number has multiplied several times over, with thousands, if not tens of thousands of believers living in Israel today.

Not only this, but a higher percentage of these believers today more than any point in history are growing up with a native knowledge of Hebrew, studying and learning the Hebrew Bible at school, at home and in their congregations from a young age.

It may come as a surprise to find out that of the world’s 7,000+ languages, only 8% of these have a full Bible, (Tanakh & New Testament), and of the languages that have a New Testament, 1,188 have no Tanakh and no active work to translate one!

This is a startling figure, as we think of the depth of understanding of God, the culture of discipleship that was cultivated through the nation of Israel, the prophets, the Psalms, the rich moral and spiritual lessons from the forefathers, the Exodus, and the Kings and Israel’s eventual exile.

Today, for the first time in history, hundreds of believing young people are graduating from schools, colleges and the army with a secret treasure in their pocket that could transform the Global Missions Movement. It is not one they have earned by any special merit, or necessarily one that they have fought for (although in the case of the children of Olim, the opposite might be the case!)

However they have received it, this treasure is one for which new believers the world over are crying out, one for which they are desperate and starved. It comes in the form of their language. For whatever reason, God chose for His Word to be passed to us through the medium of the Hebrew language. And today, the Messianic Body in Israel naturally has the closest access. My 8-year old son, through no special work of his own, has a more natural feel of the language of the Hebrew Bible than some of the best Biblical scholars outside Israel!

This may not have come by choice, and it certainly may not be deserved, but neither was any of our election, calling or salvation. Yeshua said of the faithful servant:

Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? […] Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Luke 12:42,48

There is real global Bible poverty in existence, entire peoples and nations starving for the Living Bread, while believers in the West are over-satiated with more Bible versions than we can count. This is no less of an injustice than the physical poverty that we see.

We are over-filled with the Word, while over 4,000 language groups merely have scraps.

It is time for a change, and the Messianic Body in Israel can be at the center of this. With some training, Hebrew speakers, young and old, can commit to the task of serving with the language they have in their back pocket. They can take this language and serve on the mission field as language consultants.  They can teach translators the intricate nuances that are contained in the text. With native Hebrew speakers on a language project, the work of translation that currently takes 12-14 years can be reduced dramatically, accelerated by the presence of a living reference book!!

For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem
. Isaiah 2:3

God’s Word is clear that the word will go out from Zion. This may have happened once already, but it is time for this to happen again.

A new day is dawning for the Messianic Body in Israel. This is a day when we are called to serve the nations as well as those within our midst, a day when we are called to participate in the Great Commission in ways that we may never have imagined:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt 28:18

Translation agencies around the world would willingly receive a new influx of passionate Hebrew experts, ready to bring their ‘five loaves and two fish’, ready to see that multiplied to feed thousands upon thousands.

Are we ready to answer the call?

If you want more information on how you can be trained to serve in the area of Bible Translation or Biblical Hebrew Teaching, please visit http://iblt.ac, and sign up to receive further info.

To support the movement by sponsoring students or through a one-off or regular donation, visit http://4220foundation.com/give





Institute for Biblical Languages & Translation

Institute for Biblical Languages & Translation


The Institute for Biblical Languages & Translation (IBLT) is a program of 4.2.20 Foundation. IBLT supports and resources existing Bible translation initiatives as a learning and research center, training mother-tongue translators in biblical Hebrew and native Hebrew speakers as translation consultants. The Institute is working strategically to accelerate the training process without loss of quality, drawing from both the expertise of premier institutions and programs and the unique context and culture of the Holy Land.








This post is written by a member of the Messianic community in Israel or guest contributor. The opinions and views expressed are solely those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Kehila News Israel.

What did Yeshua look like?

Howard Bass 

Jan 30, 2017

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Cover of TIME magazine on August 15, 1988.

God was manifested in the flesh, and great is this mystery! When you imagine and think of what Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ looked like as a man, what images come to your mind? Most of us have seen many different paintings and drawings of Messiah done by many artists throughout much of the history of the last two thousand years. There have been many actors who have played the part of Jesus in plays and movies. We see Jesus dressed in various styles of clothing; His skin color in varying shades of darkness or lightness. His hair is nearly always thin and straight – but maybe it was black, thick and curly — and a length that most people would consider “long”. His eyes are sometimes black, sometimes blue. We would probably picture Yeshua as being physically strong, but not muscular: He walked a lot of miles (kilometers and furlongs), and He had the strength of the Son of God to pull up Peter from deep water while He Himself was standing on the water!

What does the Word of God have to tell us about the appearance of Yeshua of Nazareth when He was here the first time as a flesh and blood Man? Not too much, really. Jesus belonged to the tribe of Judah, born of a Jewish mother in Israel, situated on the western edge of Asia in the Middle East of today. The apostles and writers of the New Testament accounts say virtually nothing about His physical appearance – whether of Himself or compared to anyone else. (They speak much about His excellent and perfect moral character and conduct!) As the son of David, was He ruddy and good-looking, like David (1Sam 16:12), or like the “beloved” in the Song of Songs (5:10)? Yeshua probably had a beard. The prophet Isaiah tells us that “He has no form or comeliness, and when we see Him, no beauty that we should desire Him.” (53:2)

Jesus, being the perfect Lamb of God who alone sacrificed Himself for our sins, would have been without blemish or defect, both physically and spiritually (Lev 1:10; 21:17-23; 1Sam 16:7; Heb 4:15). In that Jesus pleased God His Father in all things because He loved Him (Jn 8:29), we can be sure that He did not tattoo His body or style His hair in strange ways like the heathen do (Lev 19:27-28; 21:5). Yeshua would not have intentionally balded Himself. For YHVH God has called His people to be holy, because He is holy.

Speaking of hair, is there anything in the Bible which sheds light on the length of Messiah’s hair? As mentioned above, when people are asked to describe Jesus, almost always one of the first things they say is that he had long hair.  But did He?  Nazarites had long hair when they were under the vow (Num 6:1-5), but Yeshua was not a Nazarite (nazir נזיר) in the legal sense.  Yeshua drank wine and grape juice (Lk 7:34; Mk 14:23-25).  Yeshua is the Nazarene (netzer  נצר) (Mt 2:23), the chosen Son of David who is greater than David’s son (Is 11:1; Lk 20:41-44). The Holy Spirit – the same Spirit of God who conceived Yeshua in Mary’s womb and with Whom He was filled the whole rest of His birth and life, and Who rested upon Him at His baptism – inspired the Apostle Paul to write in his letter to the Corinthian believers (1Cor 11:14) that long hair on a man is a dishonor to him. Surely the Holy Spirit is not going to be calling long hair on a man dishonorable if the Lord Jesus Himself had long hair!

In addition, the Old Testament tells us by the same inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the priests of YHVH God are not to shave their heads, nor let their hair grow long and disheveled, but to keep their hair well-trimmed (Ezek 44:20; Lev 21:5). Yeshua came to fulfill the Word of God His Father. He did not come to annul but to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, and this will be fully accomplished during the Millennial Kingdom of God on the Earth when Israel – as a people and nation – comes into the New Covenant (Jer 31:31-34) at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We, who have already entered the New Covenant by faith through the blood of Messiah, and have already received the gift of salvation through the forgiveness of our sins by God, are all priests chosen and sanctified unto the Lord. In so far as it is possible with us, we are to make choices which please our Father in Heaven, who has shown such love for us, and not take advantage of His grace to look like, dress like, behave like those who do not know Him and Yeshua whom He sent. This is true for males and females. All things may be lawful for us, but not always helpful or worthwhile (1Cor 6:12-13; 10:23-24). Our concern should be: how will my example bring honor to God our Father, to Jesus our Lord and Savior, and to the Holy Spirit.

Yeshua/Jesus is the Son of Man (Ben-HaAdam) (Lk 21:36). What did He look like when He was here?  No one today really knows for sure, but the clues which have been revealed to us through the Bible do help us to clarify certain points. Although Yeshua came as the Seed of Abraham and of David – an Israeli Jew – He is also “Everyman”. He knows and understands every person – male and female of every status and color – from any tribe and ethnic group, and every person from any place at any time can relate to Him as the One who is theirs and they are His (Gal 4:4-7).

This same Yeshua – now seated and described in glory at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty (Hagvurah) in the Heavens (Rev 1:12-18; 5:5-6) – still today either inspires or antagonizes millions of people. Who is Jesus/Yeshua to you (atah)? What does He look like to you? (Ps 45:1-4).

This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, July 31, 2005, and reposted with permission.





Howard Bass


Howard Bass is the congregation pastor/leader of Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua's Inheritance) in Beer Sheva, Israel.






The rabbis claim that Jesus was a false prophet who incited the people of Israel and lead them astray into idolatry. They base this on what is written in Deuteronomy 18:20: “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.” This verse says that a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods should be put to death, and that such prophet is considered a false prophet. Rabbi Menashe Yisrael, while referring to this verse, claims that Jesus, “Deteriorated to idolatry, bewitched, incited and caused Israel to sin.”

The early rabbinical literature painted a picture in which the disciples of Jesus worshiped three different gods, and therefore today, they accuse Jesus, his disciples, and us, of believing in three gods. But anyone who will read the New Testament for themselves will come to the conclusion that the truth is quite the opposite, as we explain here.

Jesus and his disciples always pointed to the God of Israel, to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and commanded them to worship Him and only Him. Jesus always pointed everyone to his heavenly Father, to the God of Israel; through the miracles he performed, in the things he said, and in the way he lived. He lived, died and rose from the dead in order to glorify God, and he did so as a Jew. He didn’t cause anyone to worship idols; on the contrary, He turned all who followed him towards God. Many gentiles who were worshiping other gods and pagan practices came to believe in the one God of Israel. And today, thanks to Jesus, the God of Israel is known in thousands of languages and dialects throughout the world.

In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 15 and in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 5, Jesus performed signs and wonders before the people of Israel; he healed the lame, the crippled, the blind, the mute and did many other miracles. When the people saw the mute speaking, the lame walking and blind seeing, they all were filled with awe and began to sing and praise… who? The God of Israel. Why? Because they linked Jesus and the miracles they saw him do to the God of Israel. Also the things that Jesus taught when he spoke to the people always glorified the God of Israel.

Below are a few examples:

Jesus said: “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 5:16) or

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 5:44-45) or

Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt. 6:9-10)

Isn’t it ironic that today, this Jewish prayer is considered as the Catholics’ prayer!? The Kingdom and the desire of his heavenly Father were central in Jesus’ life and work. He always paved the way to the God of Israel, and not to some foreign pagan idol. Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn. 14:6) Jesus turned anyone who came to him, to his heavenly Father, to the God of Israel. The Messiah is the way to get to our heavenly Father. Thanks to Jesus, gentiles, former idolaters and many pagans forsook their idols and began worshiping the God of Israel! This fact, that suddenly thousands of gentiles who are not Jews, are worshiping the God of Israel, is proof that Jesus is indeed the Messiah; The Old Testament prophesies that one of the main roles of the Messiah was to bring faith in the God of Israel to all the nations. And that is exactly what Jesus did.

The rabbis might forbid reading the New Testament, or even having one in your house, but those who dare to check it out for themselves find that the New Testament does not suggest worshiping several gods, or indeed any form of idolatry. Neither does it seek to invent a new religion. As the people of Israel, who live in the daily reality, sometimes we can be so focused on ourselves and on what the rabbis say that we forget the promise that God Himself gave to our father Abraham in the book of Genesis: The promise that the Messiah would come through his seed and would be a blessing to all the nations of the world – to all the peoples, and not only the Jewish people.

In Genesis 12:3, God says to Abraham “and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” God’s vision was always to reach all nations, not just one people. Today, the more religious you are, the more distant you get from the gentiles, but God chose the people of Israel, so that through them he could reach the rest of the nations. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has now reached all the nations, thanks to Jesus the Messiah.

See for example Pliny, Governor of Bithynia in minor Asia during the first century. Pliny wrote to Emperor Trajan that he was executing a huge number of men, women and children who were no longer willing to bow to Trajan’s statues, since according to him, they now believed in the God of Israel… because of Jesus. When you read the things that Jesus’ Jewish disciples said, as documented in the New Testament, you see the exact same message: Through Jesus the Messiah, both Jews and Gentiles can nurture a close relationship with the God of Israel. Did you know that in the New Testament, there are more than 1,200 references to the God of Israel; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? The point is clear: Jesus the Messiah turned ALL people to worship the God of Israel.

Think about it, Jesus was the only prophet who walked the earth who efficiently fulfilled his role to bring people closer to the God of Israel. Thanks to him, millions of Gentiles love the God of Israel, serve and worship him, and all that, in the name of Jesus – the Jewish Messiah. The problem is that the rabbis prefer to keep the power in their hands; they love the control and the right to tell everyone what to do and how to live, even if it means that they need to conceal the Messiah from you, under the pretense that he is a false prophet.