The miraculous restoration of Jerusalem in 1967

One For Israel Staff 

May 23, 2017

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The iconic 1967 photo of Rabbi Shlomo Goren holding a Torah scroll as he leads the first Jewish prayer session at the Western Wall since 1948, following the unifification of Jerusalem (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

For the first time in over two millennia, since before the Roman conquest, Israel regained control of Jerusalem 50 years ago this year. As controversial as the 1967 Six-Day War still is with all the subsequent fallout, the sheer number of “coincidences” that happened show that these events have God’s fingerprints all over them. Many miracles were reported over the duration of those six days which led to a highly improbable victory (a repeating theme in the history of both modern and ancient Israel). Yeshua’s words were coming to pass.

In the weeks leading up to the war, Israelis were growing increasingly concerned as Egypt, Jordan and Syria formed a military alliance, and began moving aircraft into position for attack. The Israelis knew that they were vastly outnumbered compared to the combined forces of Iraq and the allied Arab neighbours both in forces and equipment. So many Israeli deaths were expected that all of the public parks in Jerusalem were designated as cemeteries by the rabbis in advance. A grim joke was circulating among Israelis; “The last one to leave, please turn out the lights!” They were anticipating another genocide of devastating proportions. Some who had put their faith in Israel’s Defence Forces as their “Messiah” understood that all things considered, they were not going to win this war. The odds were stacked far too highly against them. However, what actually happened caused many Israeli atheists to doubt their own atheism.

Miscommunication, mishaps and miracles

Having only a quarter of the air force of their opponents, early on the 6th June, Israel sent 200 plans towards Egyptian airbases in order to reduce their great advantage. Despite efforts to fly low enough to avoid detection by radar, the planes were spotted by the Jordanians, but the coding frequencies had changed just the day before, and so the message never got through. The attack was a complete surprise. Israel was able to take out half the Egyptian air force, and gain a chance at survival.

From inexplicable paralysis coming upon troops of Egyptian soldiers to peculiar unexploding bombs landing and perching on piles of Israeli munitions, accounts of miracles of those six days are many and varied. Scores of such stories have been catalogued in the documentary series, “Against All Odds, Israel Survives”. Michael Greenspan, a seasoned journalist, presents eyewitness accounts and commentary by high-ranking government officials, generals, soldiers, historians and foreign leaders telling the remarkable stories of Israel’s miraculous victories.

In one episode, an Israeli who was fighting for Jerusalem later became friends with one of the Arabs he had been fighting against. He had always wondered why, when there were only 9 Israeli soldiers with a few 16 bullets left between them, the multitudes of Jordanian soldiers didn’t take the opportunity to finish them off? Hundreds of them had just dropped their weapons and ran away, shouting “Ibrahim! Ibrahim!” He asked his friend what happened that day. As the Israeli soldiers were wishing one another luck and saying their final goodbyes, the Arabs before them suddenly saw a vision of Father Abraham behind them, telling them in Arabic to drop their weapons and surrender to the Israeli soldiers! They were so terrified by the apparition that they ran off, shouting the name of the prophet.[1] The military correspondent for Haaretz newspaper in the analysis of events concluded that, “Even a non-religious person must admit this war was fought with help from heaven.” [2]

God’s hand at work

“The Six Day War was a huge moment of seeing God’s Hand intervene on behalf of the Jewish People,” explains Joel Rosenberg. “That’s what was so extraordinary, that you had this moment where Arab/Islamic leaders were saying we’re going to throw the Jews into the sea and it looked like another holocaust was immanent. Suddenly, in six days, the Jewish people defended themselves, destroyed their enemies, tripled their land; recaptured control of Jerusalem for the first time in 2,000 years and on the seventh day they rested.”[3]

Moreover, these deeply significant events in Jerusalem seem to have been a catalyst in the spiritual realm, as many revivals and movements that broke out in 1967. The Jesus Movement saw approximately one million people come to faith as it swept the United States of America, many of whom were Jewish. It was one of the biggest waves of Jewish people coming to faith that the world had ever seen, and many of them moved to Israel helping to pioneer ministries and congregations, many of which are still here today. Similarly, there was a huge renewal movement in the English church at that time, and among some Catholics too, where dry, dusty religion was brought back to life. And is it a coincidence that all this happened in 1967, a year of Jubilee?

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
    we are glad.

Psalm 126:1-3


[1] Bill McKay: Against All Odds (July 31, 2011)
[2] HaTekufa HaGedola, Rabbi Menachem Kasher, Chap. Sichu B’chol Niflaotav, p. 445, 5761 edition
[3] CBN: Israel’s 1967 Miracle, Chris Mitchell, June 05, 2007

This article originally appeared on One for Israel, May 21, 2017, and reposted with permission.

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One For Israel Staff

One For Israel Staff

http://oneforisrael.org

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.

 

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After rocky two weeks, German president affirms ‘special’ bond with Israel

Kehila News Israel Staff 

May 9, 2017

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President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem on May 7, 2017. (Photo: Flash90)

After a diplomatic row between Israeli and German officials in recent weeks, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier reassured Israeli leaders that the bond between the two countries was “an honorable and special relationship.”

“The foundations [of the Israeli-German] relationship are so broad that I think they can endure some turbulence like that taking place in the last 14 days,” Steinmeier said in a meeting with Israeli President Rueven Rivlin.

Relations turned chilly over the past few weeks when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel after the visiting diplomat insisted on meeting with organizations critical of the Israeli government.

“Diplomats are welcome to meet with representatives of civil society but Prime Minister Netanyahu will not meet with those who lend legitimacy to organizations that call for the criminalization of Israeli soldiers,” the Prime Minister’s Office said at the time.

Steinmeier, who is not scheduled to meet any controversial groups during his visit, said trust and understanding between Israel and Germany should result in no limitations.

“I believe that we can and should be able to lead an open and honest dialogue with one another, and to my mind, need no new rules,” he said. “We should not impose any restrictions, we should have the trust that friends like we are will be able to interpret what they hear in the right way.”

Gabriel met with Breaking the Silence, an NGO that collects anonymous testimonies from IDF soldiers on alleged human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and B’Tselem, another group that deals with human rights issues and campaigns against Israeli settlement building.

The German government provides millions of euros to political advocacy NGOs in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, to organizations that promote anti-Israel BDS and “lawfare” campaigns, anti-Zionism, a “one-state” vision, antisemitism, and violence.

“German funding to organizations like B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence is a small part of the problem; the government also provides money to radical organizations that delegitimize the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality,” According to Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor. “This controversy is an opportunity to hold a serious dialogue between elected officials to solve the problems arising from the paralleled European links with Israeli political groups and NGOs.”

Although many Israelis are critical of B’Tselem, the Israeli NGO has exposed cases in which Israeli soldiers have eventually been found guilty of crimes against Palestinians.

Steinmeier met Rivlin Saturday night for a beer and then visited Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on Sunday. He said that Germany has an obligation to stand by Israel due to its Nazi past.

“We Germans brought upon ourselves incomprehensible blame. At this place the memory becomes pain, mourning and shame. By taking responsibility for what happened we stand by Israel and [together] work for a common future,” Ynet reported him as saying.

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Kehila News Israel Staff

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The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.

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New Zealand announces it plans to restore diplomatic relations with Israel

Amir Tsarfati 

May 6, 2017

 

 

New Zealand has announced that it intends to restore diplomatic relations with the State of Israel.

New Zealand’s recently appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee announced that he had sent a formal letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu in which he expresses New Zealand’s commitment to “get back on track” in its relationship with Israel.

Brownlee stated on the letter “I’ve sent a letter to Mr. Netanyahu yesterday firstly congratulating them on their national day but expressing a desire for the Israeli-New Zealand relationship to get back on track and to do that by recognizing that we’ve got synergies and innovation and agriculture and various other things like that.”

Israel recalled its ambassador to New Zealand in December of 2016 after New Zealand voted in favor of United Nations Resolution 2334, deeming Israel’s presence in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as illegal.

UNESCO voted in an additional anti-Israel resolution on Tuesday, the newest resolution denying Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. Following the voting in of the resolution, which was held ironically on Israel’s independence day, Israel announced that it would hold $1 million from annual payment to the United Nations. Each year Israel pays $12 million to the United Nations.

Netanyahu confirmed the withdrawal of funds stating on Wednesday, “UNESCO again passed a delusional resolution regarding Israel’s status in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years. I very much appreciate the across-the-board unity of almost all political parties in rejecting this absurd decision. I would also like to say that this systematic harassment has a price. In wake of the resolution, I have instructed Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem to deduct $1 million from the funds that Israel transfers to the UN. Israel will not sit by while the organization calls for the denial of our sovereignty in Jerusalem.”

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, May 5, 2017, and reposted with permission.

Amir Tsarfati

Amir Tsarfati

http://beholdisrael.org

Amir is the founder of Behold Israel and lives in northern Israel. He has been invited to churches, prophecy seminars and conferences around the world, to teach on current events in Israel in light of Bible prophecy. Since 2004, Amir has been consultant to various law enforcement agencies and seminars on homeland-security issues.

 

 

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The wages of terrorism according to the Palestinian Authority

Kehila News Israel Staff 

Apr 29, 2017

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Jamil Tamimi, 57, who stabbed and killed British student Hannah Bladon in Jerusalem on April 14, 2017, is brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court after his arrest. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The British newspaper Daily Mail published an article describing how Jamil Tamimi — a terrorist who murdered a British student in Jerusalem — will receive thousands of shekels from the Palestinian Authority as a salary.

On Tuesday, British Member of Parliament Joan Ryan, the chairperson of Labour Friends of Israel, called on Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to get the Palestinian Authority leader to condemn the murder and make assurances that no such salary will be paid.

Hannah Bladon, 21, was a theology and archaeology student at the University of Birmingham who came to the Hebrew University as part of a student exchange program. She gave up her seat on the Jerusalem tram for a mother with a baby, a selfless act which cost the young girl her life. The 57-year-old terrorist got on the light rail and stabbed Bladon in the back numerous times, fatally wounding her. Despite the immediate evacuation to hospital, medics were unable to save Bladon’s life.

Tamimi, a non-Israeli resident of Jerusalem, has a criminal record and was known to be mentally ill. He was convicted of sexually abusing his daughter in 2011, but most recently was in a psychiatric hospital where a number of suicide attempts were recorded. After the murderous attack, he told investigators he felt he had nothing to lose and that he bought a knife and boarded the tram. He saw a soldier with a weapon on board and chose to attack the young girl hoping to be shot dead by the soldier. The Israeli court has ruled the terrorist fit to stand trial over this killing and will be treated as a terrorist by the Israeli justice system.

Ofir Gendelman, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official spokesman, tweeted: “Not only didn’t PA president Abbas condemn Hannah Bladon’s murder, but he’ll reward the Palestinian attacker who did it with a monthly salary.”

Itamar Marcus, director of the Israeli monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch, explained that terrorists or their family qualify for a “salary” from the PA.

“According to Palestinian law, anyone imprisoned for ‘resistance to occupation’ receives a salary,” he said. “According to the PA, 100 percent of the suicide bombers, soldiers, shooters, and bulldozers are included in this category and receive salaries.”

The Daily Mail article on Sunday stated that the UK sends 25 million pounds to the Palestinian Authority in aid every year and that British taxpayers’ money has been used to pay “salaries” to convicted terrorists. The terrorist is expected to receive a salary of 800 pounds a month from the PA, which receives 25 million pounds a year from the kingdom, as aid money paid from tax funds.

“If you are British and pay taxes, know that your money is going to fund a body that funds convicted murderers,” said senior IDF spokesman Avi Mayer.

In her letter to May, Ryan urged that the PA suffer financial sanctions if President Mahmoud Abbas failed to condemn the murder and stop payment to the terrorist.

“I am a strong supporter of international development spending but British taxpayers will rightly not understand if our aid money goes to a body which pays obscene ‘salaries’ to those who murder British citizens,” Ryan wrote. “I have been calling for the UK government to get a grip of this for the last 18 months. The Palestinian Authority needs to be told in no uncertain terms that unless it stops paying salaries to terrorists who murder innocent people – British, Israeli or any other nationality – our aid to them will stop until they get the message.”

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The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.

 

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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.

Why does Israel mark Holocaust Remembrance on a different day?

One For Israel Staff 

Apr 24, 2017

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A ceremony held at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. April 23, 2017. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The world marks Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27th January, the date that Auschwitz was liberated. But in Israel, we mark it on 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, fixed in the Jewish calendar, which is usually sometime in April or May, but it changes from year to year. Why are they different?

“Yom haZikaron laShoah ve-l’Givora” – “Remembrance Day of the Holocaust and of Heroism”

The name of this event we have in Israel points to the reason for the alternative date. You can see why the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was chosen for International Holocaust Day, but in Israel, it is the anniversary* of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising that is the date of significance: more than just remembering the Holocaust, we also remember the heroism that was displayed.

74 years ago, on 14th Nisan (which was 19th April in 1943) the Jewish people who had been trapped in the Ghetto by the Nazis decided to rise up and fight. Some 400,000 Jewish people had been locked into a small area of Warsaw, unable to leave, without provisions and starving to death. They were few in number against the might of the Nazis, but still, they heroically held their enemies at bay for four long weeks. This is remarkable when we think that the Nazis conquered the whole nation of Poland in 28 days, but they couldn’t break the resistance of the weakened, starving, Jewish prisoners for the same length of time. Unfortunately, eventually the Jewish fighters were overcome. They refused to surrender to the bitter end. A total of 13,000 Jews were killed, about half of them burnt alive or suffocated. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising took place between 19th April and 16th May 1943, and was the largest act of Jewish resistance during the horrors of the Holocaust.

What many people do not realise is how many Jewish people believed in Yeshua at that time. There were approximately quarter of a million Messianic Jews before Hitler’s rampage, and many of those trapped in the Warsaw Ghetto were Messianic believers, They have also left great legacies and stories of heroism from this ugly episode of history.

In his paper, “Heroes of the Holocaust: Poland, the Warsaw Ghetto and Yeshua”, Dr. Mitch Glaser writes,

“The achievements and witness of Jewish believers during the Holocaust and especially in the Warsaw Ghetto are essentially unknown to most present day Jewish believers. We stand on the shoulders of these heroes of the Holocaust – the Jewish believers of the Warsaw Ghetto – and their story, as much or as little as we know, must be told”. (To read them, click here)

How do we mark the day in Israel?

Jewish days go from sunset to sunset, so Yom haShoah starts the evening before, with an official ceremony at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. The Prime Minister, the President, and six survivors are present to light a memorial candle to honour the six million who were killed. Public entertainment is prohibited, with restaurants, bars and so on closed until the sun sets the following day. At ten in the morning, a siren wails across the country, and everyone stops what they are doing to stand in silence and remember. Traffic comes to a standstill as cars stop dead in the middle of the road, wherever they are, and drivers get out to stand in remembrance.

In 2010, a new Yom haShoah initiative was started which has become increasingly widespread in Israel, called “Zikaron BaSalon“. Zikaron BaSalon means “memories in the living room”, and involves a group people gathering to listen to the stories of a Holocaust survivor in the lounge of someone’s home. The event consists of three parts: a Holocaust survivors’ testimony, creative expression in response, and open discussion.

The founders explain, “Alongside formal events, Zikaron BaSalon offers a new, meaningful and intimate way to commemorate this day and address its implications through discussions at home among family, friends and guests. It is a unique and authentic tradition of people gathering together to open their hearts to the stories of the survivors, sing, think, read, talk and most importantly- listen.”

I went to my first Zikaron BaSalon event last year, where some 30 people had gathered in my friend’s home – neighbours, colleagues, friends, people from the Messianic congregation, exchange students and family members – all collected together to hear first-hand accounts of what a lady called Rosie had experienced, and the effect it had had on the family. A sign was up in the apartment block, inviting anyone who wanted to come and hear her stories, and there were similar events happening in living rooms all across Israel. People responded with poems they had prepared, and a song, and shared their own thoughts long into the evening. As time goes by, we have fewer and fewer people left who actually experienced the Holocaust, and survived to tell the tale. It is right and proper to give them our full attention, and really listen to what happened to them, and the repercussions that continue to this day.

Heroism and Hope

I like the fact that Israel emphasises the heroism that often gets forgotten in tales of the Holocaust. The end of the official ceremony also involves the singing of Israel’s national anthem, “Ha Tikva”, which means “The Hope”. The people of Israel were brutally decimated, but not destroyed. They continue to live, to grow, and be a blessing to the world in many different ways – Israel is constantly offering new technology, agricultural developments, and medical breakthroughs that bless to the nations. As we are coming up to Israel’s Independence Day in a couple of weeks, another big reason for the difference in timing becomes apparent. The country of Israel was reborn out of the ashes of the Holocaust, and it is good to be aware of the connection. And since God has restored his people to their land like dry bones coming back to life, the number of Jewish people who have also received the breath of God, his Spirit, continues to grow. There is hope. God is faithful to his people Israel.

Words to Israel’s national anthem, “HaTikva”

Hebrew

Transliteration

English

 כל עוד בלבב פנימה

נפש יהודי הומייה

ולפאתי מזרח קדימה

עין לציון צופיה

עוד לא אבדה תקוותינו

התקווה בת שנות אלפיים

להיות עם חופשי בארצנו

ארץ ציון וירושלים

Kol od ba’le’vav p’nima,Nefesh yehudi ho’miyah.

U’lefa-atei mizrach kadimah,

Ayin le’Tziyyon tzofiyah.

Od lo avda tikva-teinu,

Ha’tikvah bat sh’not al-payim

Lih-yot am chofshi b’ar-tzeinu

Eretz Tziyyon v’Yerushalayim.

As long as within our heartsThe Jewish soul sings,

As long as forward to the East

To Zion, looks the eye –

Our hope is not yet lost,

It is two thousand years old,

To be a free people in our land

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

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

*Editor’s note: In establishing Holocaust Remembrance Day the desire was to have it fall on the anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, 14th Nisan. But since this is the eve of Passover it was decided to move it to 27th Nisan, which is eight days before Israeli Independence Day.

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One For Israel Staff

One For Israel Staff

http://oneforisrael.org

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.

 

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.

 

 

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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.

The baffling tale of Balaam and his donkey

One For Israel Staff 

Apr 19, 2017

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If you find this story bewildering, you are not alone. So many confusing aspects bombard my brain as I plough through the curious incident of Balaam and his unusual mule. Let’s not even start with the talking animals – I have so many questions before we even get to that! Why is a diviner talking to and hearing from God? I thought they were de facto in cohoots with the other side? Why does God appear to change his mind about whether or not it’s ok for Balaam to go? Four times? Why does this man who seems intent on obeying God get portrayed as a baddie even through to the New Testament (2 Peter 2:15, Jude 1:11)?

There are amazing parts to the story too – Balaam ends up giving some seriously powerful prophecy. Numbers 22-25 are packed full of amazing Torah treats just waiting to be unwrapped.

The story of Balaam

The people of Israel are trudging their way from Egypt and are getting close to the Promised Land. They very politely request passage through sovereign territory from the Edomites and then the Amorites, but in both cases, they are refused, and then attacked. However, the people of Israel defend themselves and win, and then capture the territory. With Edom and the Amorite territory unintentionally under their belt, Israel presses onwards. The King of Moab, Balak son of Zippor sees them coming his way and panics. He thinks he knows what might work… there’s a magic man called Balaam who is in touch with the gods… perhaps he could come and put a curse on the Israelites? Balak sends his top people with a fabulous cash incentive to see if Balaam was up for the cursing challenge. And here is where it gets confusing.

Balaam is a well known diviner, and sorcery is forbidden by God. Yet he seems to be confident that he hears from God, and concerned to do what God says. God tells Balaam not to go, because the people of Israel are to be blessed, not cursed. So Balaam obeys – he refuses to go and assures Barak’s men that it’s not a matter of money.

But maybe it is.

Because Balak sends back higher ranking men with a more tempting offer, and it seems to have done the trick, because Balaam goes back to check with God – are you sure I can’t go? Then God, strangely, it would appear, relents. He gives Balaam permission to go, but only to say what he tells him to say. So Balaam sets off, with permission. But then he is stopped in his tracks, by the Angel of the Lord no less, and his donkey refuses to budge and explains why. With words. The whole incident is highly irregular, which really should be a heads up for all concerned.

Balaam says, “I won’t go then, if you don’t want me to”, but yet again, rather bizarrely and seemingly contrarily, God gives him permission to proceed. What is that? Does God mind him going or not?

Balaam continues to meet Balak and is unable to utter a negative word over Israel, and instead blesses them three times over, with some amazing prophetic words to boot.

Head scratching stuff

A key verse to help us unlock the whole saga is Numbers 23:19.

“God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes his mind!
Does He speak and then not do it, or promise and not fulfill it?”

On the one hand, it seems that God has changed his mind (several times over) but on the other hand, when we look at what God says in the first place, he has been utterly consistent.

God’s words to Balaam right at the start were these:

“Do not go with them! Do not curse them, for they are blessed!” (Num 22:12)

God initial statement is this: The people of Israel are not to be cursed, but to be blessed. God is intent on protecting Israel from curses and invocation of evil, and making sure that they are blessed. That is his statement, and he DOES NOT BUDGE. Not once do we see him wobble or fail in this regard. He protects Israel from curses and evil pronouncements, and he maintains their blessing and covering the entire time. He said it, he promised it, and he made sure that it was done according to his word, consistently.

YET. Yet… there is the issue of free will. And this is why we have the back and forth tussle with Balaam. God has made his heart, his intentions and his will known to Balaam, but he still gives Balaam permission and freedom to act in opposition to his will.

So far, so good. But then what’s with the donkey getting held up by the Angel? Was it ok for Balaam to go, or wasn’t it? What about Balaam’s concession and offer to return?

I think here God is showing not only Balaam but also the reader (you and me) what he really wants in this situation, and what he really thinks. He is not keen. Balaam gets the message, and does offer to go back, but he doesn’t really want to. And this is the thing.

What we want, our desires, are extremely important to God

God will not crush our freedom, and he will accommodate our choices. God has his own desires, loves, passions and purposes, and he will share them with us and invite us to join him. But he will not force us. He gives us permission to go our own way and do our own thing, but make no mistake, God’s ultimate thoughts, plans and purposes will not be thwarted.

Balaam’s desire to go and get the riches were accommodated, but ultimately the people of Israel were blessed, not cursed, just as God said in the first place. God creates room for our choices, but he will not allow us to usurp his overarching purposes. Even the Ishmael / Isaac story shows us that God does exactly what he intended to do in the first place anyway. He is not derailed. He ploughs on with plan A.

Balaam gives the appearance of obedience and submission, but his actions show that he does not really care about the revealed heart of God. God has told him what he thinks and how he feels, but Balaam does not share God’s concern for the people of Israel. He is more interested in the cash. He pays lip-service to God’s will, but he does not want to turn back at all. He is not interested in the fate of Israel.

This story shows us the extraordinary interplay that is constantly at work in the universe between God’s sovereignty and our free will.

If Balaam had correctly perceived what God was saying in the first place (I love Israel, and I want to protect them and bring only good to them) then Balaam wouldn’t even have had to check a second time if it was ok to go and curse them. The minutiae of the “go/don’t go” debate is laughable when we listen to God’s initial pronouncement. Balaam was looking for God’s permission, but God wants us to agree with and to join him in his will, not begrudging obedience.

We might stress about decisions and discovering God’s will in certain situations, but often God has laid out his heart and his purposes already. Have we really paid attention to what he’s already said?

Despite all of God’s protection of Israel from supernatural evil, Balaam showed the King of Moab how he could trick the people of Israel into idolatry, and that was their downfall, because God would not override Israel’s free will either. Still, some amazing pronouncements were made from the mouth of Balaam, and this miracle of reversed curses was logged in Israel’s history as a wonder and sign of God’s great blessing (Joshua 13, 24, Nehemiah 13).

God’s purposes for Israel prevail

God was intent on preserving Israel not only because he loved them (although he does, very much) but also because it was through Israel that he would come into the world as the Messiah, and accomplish salvation for all – both Jews and Gentiles. Balaam unwittingly utters these Messianic prophecies:

“He crouches like a lion or a lioness— who would rouse him?
He who blesses you will be blessed, and he who curses you will be cursed.” (Num 24:9)

“I see him, yet not at this moment. I behold him, yet not in this location.
For a star will come from Jacob, a scepter will arise from Israel…” (Num 24:17)

The Messiah to come was the seed among the people of Israel, so fiercely guarded by God. The parallels with Jacob’s own blessings to Judah are unmistakeable. We often refer to this story to say that God can use anyone to speak his word – even a donkey! But we see that he also used the crooked diviner, Balaam, which is just as great a miracle, and also the famously stiff-necked people of Israel.

God will accomplish his purposes for Israel and the world, and he will not force anyone against their will. Rather he shares his heart with us and invites us to join him as he works in the world. God’s promises to Abraham continued on, and cursing or blessing Israel will come back on the deliverer. God has chosen to work through Israel, and is not one who uses people and then discards them – his love and concern for Israel continue today, as do his purposes.

Freedom is expensive

Balaam’s charade of obedience was disingenuous. His heart was miles away from God’s. If we know God’s will we should not try to wriggle around it, because he will allow us the freedom and permission to go our own way, but it will not be good. This brings sorrow not only to us, but also to God.

Freedom costs, as any veteran can tell you. Our freedom to choose costs God dearly. It cost him the life of his one and only Son, our Messiah Yeshua. But without freedom, there can be no love. God in his love will not override our freedom, and will accommodate our bad choices. It is a price he is willing to pay. But he longs for us to freely come into agreement with his will and for our hearts to grow to match his heart.

These two statements are true: What we want is really important to God and significant in the universe, but ultimately, God’s will prevails.

I love this verse from the Psalms, whenever I’m in a dilemma:

“Teach me your way, O LORD; I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name.” (Ps 86:11)

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

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One For Israel Staff

One For Israel Staff

http://oneforisrael.org

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.

 

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

 

 

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Israel continues to treat wounded Syrians

Karen Faulkner 

Apr 15, 2017

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Israeli president Reuven Rivlin visits Syrians wounded in the civial war in Syria and being treated at a hospital in the Northern Israeli city of Nahariya. April 09, 2017. (Photo: JINIPIX)

Although Israel and Syria have regarded each other as enemies since 1948, seven more severely wounded Syrians were admitted to Israeli hospitals last week.

Since 2013 Israel has treated a reported 3,000 Syrian civilians injured in the civil war that continues to rage next door to the Jewish state. The Times of Israel reported that on Thursday night last week, an IDF medical corps unit met a further two children, four women and one man waiting at the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights. Two of the patients were in such bad condition that a helicopter was called for to rush them to hospital, while the remainder of the group of seven were hurried into armored ambulances and driven into northern Israel for intensive care.

Syria was one of the armies Israel faced during its 1948 War of Independence. Syria has never recognized Israel as a state, the two nations have never had diplomatic relations and Israel generally prohibits its citizens from traveling there.

Nevertheless, as the civil war has raged on just a short distance from Israel’s border with Syria, Israeli soldiers on patrol of the area have come across wounded civilians and have felt compelled to help. Since 2013, it has become an almost nightly occurrence for Syrian wounded to come to certain spots on the border with Israel to be taken to receive treatment.

Captain Aviad Camis, deputy chief medical officers of the Golan brigade, told reporters in January that the army is doing everything it can to save the lives of the Syrians brave enough to seek help from Israel.

“Some of the stories stir your emotions. When children come, as a father, it touches me personally,” Camis said.

Another IDF spokesman, Lt.Col. Peter Lerner, said the IDF’s guiding principle is “sanctity of human life.”

“The humanitarian efforts are focused in providing medical aid to the Syrians in need,” he said. “When our forces see men, women and children in need, they see it as their moral obligation and professional responsibility to lend a helping hand.”

The Ziv hospital in the northern Israeli city of Safed has taken in hundreds of Syrian patients since 2013.

“Everyone has the absolute similar color of blood. It’s bleeding people, suffering people, and if I can help, I must help,” the hospital’s chief orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Alexander Lerner, has told reporters.

In light of Syrian President Basher Assad’s recent resort to the use of chemical weapons against his own people, an attack highlighted in KNI and in light of President Trump’s air strike on a Syrian airbase in response, Israel is preparing to receive even more wounded Syrians.

It is extraordinary that these wounded come to Israel for care after having been taught their whole lives that Israel is their enemy. Remarkably, the tragic circumstances under which the Syrians have come has resulted in dramatic changes to their perceptions of Israel and the Jews.

“In the past we used to know Israel as our enemy. That’s what the [Assad] regime used to tell us. When we came to Israel we changed our minds, there is no enmity between us,” said one young Syrian man being treated at Ziv. “In the end we discovered that our regime is the enemy of us all.”

Related articles:
Israel to take in 100 Syrian orphans
The Joseph Project donates medical aid to Syrians
Raised to hate Israel, Syrian refugee’s website thanks Israel

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Karen Faulkner

Karen Faulkner recently completed a Master's degree in Human Rights and Transitional Justice at Hebrew University, Jerusalem. She made Aliyah in 2006 and lives in Jerusalem.

 

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Today, I met with Egyptian President el-Sisi in Washington

It was a fascinating discussion. Here’s a brief update.

Joel C. Rosenberg 

Apr 6, 2017

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President Trump meets with Egyptian President al-Sisi (Photo: screenshot)

Today, I had the honor of participating in a two-hour meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

His Excellency addressed a group of Middle East experts at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Georgetown district of Washington, D.C. He made some introductory remarks and then took our questions for the next 90 minutes. Afterwards, rather than bolt to another meeting, he graciously spent another twenty minutes or so greeting each participating and chatting with us individually.

The conversation itself was held under what are known as “Chatham House Rules,” so I’m not permitted to quote what was said. But in the coming days, I’ll share my observations of President el-Sisi, his meeting with us, and his meetings with President Trump and senior administration officials and Congressional leaders.

For now let me just say that I was very encouraged by what I saw and heard.

First, as a novelist and a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, I found myself deeply humbled to be included in such a meeting. Indeed, as I quipped to one of my colleagues at the meeting, it’s quite something to meet the leader of Egypt on the eve of Passover and enjoy the experience. But I certainly did.

Second, as an Evangelical, I found it very helpful to hear directly from a world leader whose country has played — and will continue to play — such an enormously important role in Biblical and prophetic history. The Bible is clear, especially in passages like Isaiah 19, that God had a deep and abiding love for the people of Egypt, and a great plan for their future. Please join me in keeping President el-Sisi and his family and advisors — and the nation of Egypt — in your prayers at this critical time.

President Trump holds a joint press conference with King Abdullah at the White House, April 5, 2017 (Photo: screenshot)President Trump holds a joint press conference with King Abdullah at the White House, April 5, 2017 (Photo: screenshot)

Likewise, please keep Jordan’s King Abdullah, Queen Rania, their four children and the people of Jordan in your prayers. His Majesty has been in town for the past several days and today held extensive meetings with President Trump. I watched their full Rose Garden press conference on line and found myself deeply encouraged by the obvious strengthening of U.S.-Jordanian relations.

It has, of course, been a dramatic week in the Middle East with one of the worst chemical weapons attacks in Syrian history. At least 69 people — and possibly 100 or more — are dead, including many children, and hundreds more were wounded by the unconscionable use of sarin gas by the Assad regime.

It is clear that the Assad regime will employ all manner of wickedness to stay in power. It is also clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin and the ayatollahs of Iran fully support and enable such evil as they try desperately to keep their ally Assad in power.

The Trump administration needs to formulate its policy quickly and take bold and decisive action to make sure no world leader thinks he can use weapons of mass destruction and America will do nothing.

President Trump has, of course, repeatedly made the case that he will fight and defeat radical Islamic terrorism. To his credit, he is working hard to revitalize badly strained U.S. alliances in the Middle East, even while committing more troops and resources into the field. Progress is being made, especially in Iraq, but much more must be done.

  • On Monday, President Trump welcomed President el-Sisi to the White House for the first time, and held extensive discussions focused on rebuilding U.S.-Egyptian relations. (see video from the Oval Office — see transcript here)

  • Today, as I mentioned, Mr. Trump welcomed King Abdullah, our most faithful Sunni Arab ally. The two men held several hours of strategic meetings, and conducted a Rose Garden press conference (see video here — see transcript here).

  • President Trump warmly thanked both leaders for their alliance with the U.S. He thanked them for their active and bold leadership in fighting ISIS and other terrorist groups, and for their determination to help the Israelis and Palestinians try to find peace.

  • I’ll provide more analysis on all these developments and trends in the days ahead.

This article originally appeared on Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog, April 6, 2017, and reposted with permission.

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Joel C. Rosenberg

http://www.joelrosenberg.com

Joel C. Rosenberg is a New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of 10 novels and five non-fiction books, with more than 3 million copies sold. He is also the Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.com), a non-profit educational and charitable organization he and his wife launched in 2006 to mobilize Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, according to Genesis 12:1-3.” He and his wife have four sons. They made Aliyah in 2014 and now live in Israel and the United States.

https://kehilanews.com/2017/04/06/today-i-met-with-egyptian-president-el-sisi-in-washington/

 

 

 

 

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.

The tomb of Jesus: Gravediggers’ disappointment

One For Israel Staff 

Apr 16, 2017

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The Garden Tomb outside the city walls of the Old City in Jerusalem (Photo: Flash90)

Headlines and pictures with an ancient bone box, carved with the name of Yeshua appeared lately, in the wake of the Israel Antiquities Authority’s decision to let reporters have a sneak peak into their warehouse of ancient treasures. Could it be that they had found the bone box (ossuary) of Yeshua of Nazareth? Back in times gone by, the ancients would lay bodies in a tomb, and later collect the remaining bones into a box as long as the femur called an ossuary.

However, this Yeshua ossuary headline is not really connected to our saviour and friend, Yeshua the Messiah, as you might expect. The celebrated box that whipped up so much excitement was discovered to have come from a completely different century, and it was established that no link could be made with the world famous carpenter who split time in two. Many such ossuaries have been discovered, and there are some 30 with the name of Yeshua carved upon them. It was a very common name at that time.

“Today we can reconstruct very accurately many, many aspects of the daily life of the time of Christ,” archaeologist Gideon Avni of the Israel Antiquities Authority affirms, but he added that they had nothing connected to the person himself [1].

If only Yeshua’s bones could be found, all those wild theories about him rising from the dead could be finished! But we are supremely confident that those who are looking for his remains are never going to find them.

Unmoved By Stone

There has also been considerable excitement about the completion of $3.5 million renovation work in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where it is thought that Yeshua was crucified and buried. The nine month renovation was the first carried out since 1810, and dug further down than anyone had gone since the third century. On 22nd March, there was the inauguration ceremony, to which thousands of clergy and pilgrims, Christian, Muslim and others, all attended. Both of these developments have caused great interest in different ways, but neither comes any closer to finding any trace of Yeshua himself.

He’s not there! We can assure you! He is sitting at the right hand of the Father.

However, controversy still runs riot over the exact place of his (temporary) burial place. The two main contenders are the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden Tomb, both of which have had some very good reasons to think that it could have been there, but they are two very different sites, as anyone who has visited them can tell you.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is about as unholy as can be, with several Christian groups (Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian and others) scrambling for ownership of various parts of the building, so at loggerheads with one another that the only person they can all trust with a key to the place is a Muslim man called Adeeb Joudeh. Adeeb’s faithful family has been entrusted with the key for generations in the complete absence of accord between the denominations over the years.

Not-So-Holy Sepulchre

One of the last things Yeshua asked from his Father was that his followers would be one, so that the world could see that God has sent him. This church makes a complete mockery of the idea of unity between believers, and is the exact opposite of the witness to the Messiahship of Yeshua that he prayed for. It has even been known for violence to break out between the religious groups, if you can fathom it.

A jarring symbol of this discord is a ladder from renovation works in the eighteenth century which was left on a window ledge (which belonged to the Greek Orthodox) but rested against an Armenian owned window. Since there is no communication between the warring factions, that ladder could not be moved! It has been there as a stain on the name of Yeshua for centuries, and is in every photograph of the church available. Can you imagine what the Jewish and Muslim people of Jerusalem must think about Jesus and his followers from this spectacle?

It is certainly possible that Yeshua did indeed die in where the church of the Holy Sepulchre stands today, and that his body was laid there. The church is inside today’s city walls, but those walls were not there in the time of Yeshua. It could be the right spot. Church tradition going as far back as we know believes it to be there, and it would not be uncharacteristic for Satan to do his worst at that location if it really was the place of his resounding defeat.

Mistaken for a Gardener

The site of the Garden Tomb is the polar opposite – the peaceful, beautiful, and humble environment points to the person of Yeshua and what he accomplished at calvary more than all the candles and incense dispensed by pompous-looking priests elsewhere. The gospels tell us that the tomb was in a garden, and that Mary mistook Yeshua for the gardener! It all takes us back to the first mention of a garden in the Bible: The Garden of Eden. This is no accident.

The ancient Jewish tomb was discovered in 1867, right next to a rock formation that had already been identified as looking an awful lot like a skull. The place was outside the city walls by a thoroughfare, to the north of the city. An ancient winepress and huge water cistern found close by indicated that the area had once been a rich man’s garden, and the tomb itself was much as the Bible described – cut out of rock with a weeping chamber, a burial chamber, and sealed with a rolling stone.

But recently it has been confirmed that the tomb where it is thought Yeshua’s body may have been placed was carved around 500 years before the time of Yeshua, meaning that it would in no sense be considered a “newly hewn” tomb, carved out for Joseph of Arimathea as the New Testament describes (Matt 27:60). Still, as the staff at the Garden Tomb always emphasise, in a way it doesn’t really matter if it was the exact spot or not – the point is that he is not there: He is risen!

He is risen indeed.

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

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One For Israel Staff

One For Israel Staff

http://oneforisrael.org

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.

 

All are welcome to post comments below. Please view our Comments Policy. If are you interest

 

ed in writing for KNI, you may submit articles to admin@kehilanews.com or Apply to be a Writer.

 

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The mystery of the golden calf

Eric Tokajer 

Apr 1, 2017

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Illustration from a Bible card published 1901 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Two weeks ago the section of the Torah that was read in synagogues around the world included the making of and worshipping of the golden calf.

They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. – Exodus 32:8

While we all know that this event was a low point in the history of Israel, what many don’t know is that this same text also includes one of the most amazing demonstrations of G-D’s grace shown in the Bible. The focus is so often placed on the making and worship of the golden calf, the breaking of the tablets, and Aaron’s famous line,

“…So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.” – Exodus 32:24

While these events are very important, in reality, they each only lay the groundwork for a wonderful foundational principle that is established within this portion of Torah. To lay the groundwork for the principle, we must look at the context. First, the people of Israel have been redeemed from slavery in Egypt, they have travelled through the wilderness and are surrounding Mount Sinai and have been waiting for Moses to return from meeting with G-D on the Mountain. In Exodus Chapter 20,G-D began to speak the Commandments from the Mountain to all of Israel, but after speaking only a few (what became known as the Ten Commandments), because of great fear, the people asked G-D to stop speaking to everyone and tell Moses the Commandments and let Moses tell them to the people.

Then, Moses climbs up the Mountain and receives the Commandments from G-D and the people are waiting for Moses’ return. When Moses does not return quickly enough, the people ask Aaron to make a god to replace Moses. Hence, the Golden Calf is made. G-D then tells Moses to return to the people because of this great sin of idolatry. Moses intercedes on behalf of Israel, G-D relents as a result, and Moses journeys down the Mountain. Upon hearing the noise of the people and seeing their actions, in anger, Moses breaks the Tablets of Covenant.

Yet, with all of this action and excitement, the main part of the story within the portion has not yet taken place. It doesn’t happen until two chapters later when Moses meets with G-D again and writes the new set of Tablets. This new set of Tablets is different from the first and one of the differences is vitally important for those of us who believe in Yeshua and the New Covenant.

When writing the commandment concerning having and worshipping no other gods on the replacement set of Tablets, the wording is as follows:

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. 17 Thou shalt make thee no molten gods. – Exodus 34:14

 Notice verse 17 states, “make thee no molten gods.” In chapter 20, there is no mention specifically of molten, yet here it is very specifically added. Why? Because a principle is being established. For most it remains a mystery overshadowed by what they consider the major events of the text. This principle is so powerful that, once learned, it is life changing.

Why add the clarification of “molten” to the commandment, “Have no other gods before me?” There are two reasons and both are significant, especially for believers in Yeshua.

The first reason is that this verse is added as if the event of the Golden Calf had never happened. In other words, the text does not read, “Thou shalt make thee no molten gods AGAIN.” Simply by adding this line, G-D is demonstrating His absolute forgiveness of Israel for their sin. In one sentence, G-D let the people know that as far as He was concerned the Golden Calf incident never took place. This is the same way He treats our sins: once repented of, they no longer exist.

The second reason is that the new tablets are the perfect example of the New Covenant. Although we have sinned and committed idolatry against G-D, He has made a new covenant as proclaimed in Jeremiah 31:32,

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord.

The second set of Tablets and the wording upon them is one of the most powerful examples of the forgiveness of G-D in Torah and its relationship to the New Covenant. Take time to read Exodus chapter 34 and compare the words on the Tablets to the words of Exodus chapter 20, while also considering the words of Jeremiah 31:32 and Hebrews 8.

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Eric Tokajer

Eric Tokajer

http://www.messianictimes.com/

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

https://kehilanews.com/2017/04/01/the-mystery-of-the-golden-calf/