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Because the vision of JCFI is to raise a greater awareness of Israel in the churches of Johnson County, we want to connect you to some of our friends who work to bless Israel.

This month I want to share with you a Hebrew Root teaching from a Messianic Pastor in the Land !

The Tabernacle vs. Golden Calf 
 
At JCFI, one reason we seek to raise a greater Israel awareness is for the Biblical insight and depth that comes through the study of Hebrew roots. For instance, a key to good hermeneutics is understanding Biblical connectivity through linguistics and phraseology. When Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life," Jewish listeners would have easily connected His statement to the declaration in the Old Testament by God that He is the "I am." Furthermore, they would have linked this title to the provision of manna (bread) for the Israelites in the wilderness. So, Jesus was declaring that He is the "I am" who provided for them as they left Egypt and is still their provision for today. So, enjoy this next Hebrew roots "nugget."
 
The Torah tells the story of the golden calf in juxtaposition to the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle represents God's way of doing spirituality. The golden calf represents man's way of doing spirituality. God and Israel were both striving for the same end: They were each attempting to create a medium whereby Israel could worship God and celebrate their relationship with Him. Their methods of accomplishing that end were very different, though.
 
The golden calf was a poor substitute for the glory of the Tabernacle. The Torah tells about the work of making the golden calf to contrast it against the work of the Tabernacle.
 
When Aaron made the calf, he did not yet know that God had chosen to make him the high priest over Israel. When the people asked him to make an idol for them, he took the role of priesthood himself. If he had waited for Moses to return, he would have learned that God had chosen to install him as a priest in the Tabernacle.
 
The people did not know that God had ordered them to raise a contribution of gold and precious materials for the building of the Tabernacle. If they had waited, Moses would have told them. Instead, Aaron told them to donate the gold of their jewelry for the idol.
 
The people were to fashion the furnishings of the Tabernacle of gold. Instead, Aaron fashioned the idol "with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf" (Exodus 32:4). The people were to build a bronze altar for burnt offerings and a golden altar for incense. Instead, we read that "he built an altar" (Exodus 32:5) for the idol. The people were to offer burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar in the Tabernacle. Instead, we read that the people "offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings" (Exodus 32:6) to the idol. The Tabernacle was to be a resting place of God's divine, invisible presence. Instead, the people made a visible, idolatrous representation of God. All the things that Israel desired, God had already planned to give them.
 
A girl from a poor farmer's family was ready to be married. Her father promised to find a match for her. He set out for a distant city to find a suitable fellow. In his absence, she grew impatient. She was lonely, and she felt that she needed someone to provide for her. Rather than wait for her father to return, she married the crass and ignorant son of a local farmer. The day after the wedding, her father returned with the match he had found: A wealthy, handsome, and well-educated young noble. Imagine the girl's shame and disappointment.
 
Patience really is a virtue. 
It is always better to wait on God !

 

WHAT HAS ISRAEL DONE FOR YOU LATELY?
(Top 5 Ways Israel Helped the World in 2015)
 
Most of the mainstream news regarding Israel is related to conflict, but year after year Israel punches far above its weight in a wide range of other areas. Sadly, far too little of that receives significant media coverage. 
Here are five top ways Israel has helped the world in 2015: 
  1. Israel continues to aid the victims of Syria's civil war both by granting entry to those in need of urgent medical care and by sending aid teams to refugee camps throughout Europe. 
  2. Israeli intelligence played a key role in thwarting a massive ISIS terrorist attack in Germany in Nov. 2015. 
  3. Israel was one of the first on the ground and provided a disproportionate amount of assistance when an earthquake ravaged the nation of Nepal. 
  4. Israel fed the entire population of Vanuato for a full month after a tropical cyclone devastated the tiny island nation last March. 
  5. Israel leads in the battle against the global water crisis by providing innovative solutions to over 150 nations where water is far too scarce. 
Of course, this list is by no means comprehensive. Despite Israel's tiny size, minuscule population and lack of significant natural resources, it routinely contributes disproportionately to the good of the international community. (Israel Today) 

What about words such as Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Atomic Structure, chemotherapy, megahertz - concepts that changed the world? What about psychoanalysis, Bayer Aspirin, modern banking, Hollywood? 

So much of the modern world's inventions, discoveries, art, entertainment, psychology, philosophy, mathematics, chemistry, economics, are, Jewish.

PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM ! 


BOH Logo with text
Bridge of Hope Update... 
We Are Growing ! 
                  
One way JCFI raises awareness of Israel's role today is through building a Bridge of Hope (BOH).  A Bridge of Hope is a "bridge" built between a Church or organization of Johnson County and a Congregation, Home Group, Faith-Based Organization, or Individual within Israel. At JCFI we currently have 24 Congregational BOH's and 5 Organizational BOHs  that are up-and-running with MANY in the process. The BOH project is blessing people both in Israel and here in Johnson County as it provides connection through fellowship, prayer support, educational exchange, and more.  (Click  HERE  for more info)

We would love to hook you up!  I am Skyping almost weekly with those in the Land who are eager to link up in a "sister" relationship with a congregation or organization in Johnson County.  Be in prayer for us as we establish new connections with ministries in Israel that desperately need our support and prayer.   
If your church would like to know more about becoming a BOH to a congregation in Israel, click  HERE or contact me by phone at 817-556-1061 / by email at bentley_kevin@sbcglobal.net.

  Let's build a Bridge together as we stand For Israel!

            
              
A Testimony from the Land

In the process of raising awareness of Israel in Johnson County, I would like to help you get better acquainted with a few Believers in the Land. Alon Tamir leads a small home group of Believers on a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee. For several years now, Alon has been connected in a Bridge of Hope with Pastor Zane Mitchell and Deeper Life Christian Fellowship in Cleburne. Please, enjoy Alon's personal testimony and commit his life, family, and ministry to the Lord in prayer!

"I was born in 1965 on Kibbutz Ashdot Yaakov near the Sea of Galilee. (A kibbutz is a 
Alon Tamir
com munal settlement in Israel, typically a farm). I grew up as an atheist, though with a Zionist, communist kibbutz ideology. My first memory of any contact with the God of Israel was one evening as I was walking through the kibbutz. I felt a presence around me, and strangely Psalm 23 came to my lips.
 
I was a very lonely teenager who was thirsty for Truth and never satisfied with just "fitting in" with society. I was not okay with just living my life according to the ways of the kibbutz. So, after my military service, I decided that I wanted to become a musician. I bought a bass guitar and began to play with a band. Two years later, I left the kibbutz to play with local bands in Tel Aviv.
 
It was at this time that I met my wife Anne. We moved to Belgium, her birthplace, and were married in 1990. Europe was kind to me, but there was still a void in my life that needed to be filled. I began looking for Truth in science and philosophy. I read every book in French, English and Hebrew that I could find, looking for Truth. I did not find all the answers to my questions in science and grew tired of philosophers worshiping their own minds, so I began to study human, and especially Jewish, history. However, at the same time, I delved into new age and paranormal literature. I did discover that the spiritual world is real, with both good and evil dimensions.
 
During one of my visits back to Israel, I "borrowed" a Bible, complete with the New Testament, from a kibbutz. I discovered as I read it that my 3000-year-old Jewish heritage was discussed in detail. I began attending some meetings with Christians and one day saw a book in the library of a Catholic theology teacher titled, "Jesus, the Rabbi from Nazareth." It was authored by a Jewish, French writer. Though he did not believe in Yeshua, the verses from the New Covenant and the personality of Yeshua touched me deeply. I felt illuminated for 3 months after reading it. I had a revelation in the desert and decided that the Bible is the Word of God. But, there was no person for me to talk to and explain to me what was happening. For the next 7 years, I wasted the grace and gifts given to me, just continuing to play in bands.
 
I struggled with doubts and old beliefs until the day when my best Israeli friend in Belgium gave his life to Yeshua. He told me that he was anointed with the Holy Spirit and that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel. I told him that I believed Yeshua to be the best candidate for the job but God was going to have to tell me that. I read several of Derek Prince's books, prayed a sinner's prayer, and ask for God to reveal to me His Truth.
 
Then, one day, while working in my studio, I had a visitation of His Holy Presence. I cried out for forgiveness, and I understood what Yeshua had done for me. I gave my life to Him, and the void in my life was filled by His personality and love. Two years later in 2008, we sold everything and came to live in Israel, where my wife also gave her life to Yeshua and was baptized in 2009.
 
Today, we have a home near Alon's parents on the kibbutz. The Lord has been discipling us through His Word, teachers, and fellow Believers in the Land. Sometimes, the process is painful as we experience deeper levels of healing and dying to self.
 
Through our testimony, two of Alon's family members and another family on the kibbutz came to Faith. We now lead a small home group, preparing to take part in the revival we believe is coming to our region. Israel is not a believing country, and life is tough here. Still, we feel blessed to be here as we follow "derekh hamalek," or the way of the King.  This is the name of my band, who sings the Word of God to the people of Israel!"
 
Alon & Anne Tamir.

  Until we are all ONE! (Eph.2:15) !


HEAVY RAINS HIT ISRAEL FROM NORTH TO SOUTH

Stormy weather hit the country Mon. morning 22 Feb. 2016, from north to south, with significant flooding in the southern Ein Gedi region as well as in Safed. The rainfall in Safed, in the Northern District of Israel, broke all records with 18 hours of non-stop rain and no less than 70 mm of rain - about a fifth of the total amount that has fallen from the beginning of winter. The Sea of Galilee's water level rose by 1.5 centimeters and stabilized Monday morning at -212.65 meters. Some 3.85 meters are missing in order to reach the red line, meaning a full Sea of Galilee. Mount Hermon will remain closed to visitors following a day of snow, strong winds and fog. (Ynet) 

Please continue to pray for abundant showers during February and March and for the Sea of Galilee to be filled.

Recom Reading List Logomended Reading

This month JCFI encourages you to get a copy of:

by Alfred Edersheim (One of the best known and important references on the life of Christ)


Hebrew Helps
As we work to build a greater awareness of Israel in Johnson County and continue to connect to Believers and Jews in the Land, we are often ask, "What does that word mean?".  So, each month at JCFI we will ad to a glossary of terms to help broaden our Hebrew vocabulary. Please, enjoy this Hebrew Help and contact us with any definitions you think we should ad.


This month's Hebrew Help definition is:
 
Zayith (zay' yith)    
Olive tree; olive.  Origin of uncertain derivation.
 
HERE  to learn more about the Biblical significance of  the olive tree 

Previous Month's Definition

Kohen  or Cohen (kohain) 
A man who offered sacrifices and performed other religious rituals at the Temple in Jerusalem. The kohanim were descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses. The priests were mostly from the Sadducee sect of Judaism. See also "Levite."

Click  HERE  t o see the entire Hebrew Help Glossary!   


Read this month's 
FEATURED ARTICLE

Partakers of the Root



HOW CAN I STAND FOR ISRAEL?
 
Since the Banquet, many have ask me, "What can I do for Israel?"  While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, here are a few suggestions I hope you find useful:

1. Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (Psa.122:6)
    "For Zion's Sake I Will Not Be Silent" by Rebecca Brimmer is an excellent guide on
    prayer for Israel. Click HERE for more info.

2. Learn more about Israel-related ministries
    There are wonderful Israel-related ministries doing a great work to support Israel. Click HERE to learn more about a few of them.

3. Learn more about the Hebraic Roots to Christianity
    The Bible often takes on deeper meaning in the context of its Hebraic Roots. The
     Ancient Hebrew Scroll project at the CHF is a testimony to this fact. There are
     numerous writings about Hebraic Roots. A good place to start is the book by
     D. Thomas Lancaster entitled Grafted In.  

4. Take a trip to Israel     I've been blessed to travel to Israel many times.  It has
    changed my life. I baptized my daughter, Lauren, in the Sea of Galilee during my trip
    there in 2011. She had accepted Jesus as her Savior 3 days before we left. This
    should be at the top of any bucket list!

5. Be an Israel contact person for your church
    The vision at JCFI is to increase the awareness of Israel within the churches of
    Johnson County. Maybe you could support your pastor by volunteering to be the
    church's Israel contact person for JCFI. 

6. Build a Bridge of Hope
    Speak with your Pastor / Church Leaders about building a BOH.  Feel free to
    contact me for more info by phone at 817-556-1061 or by email  at                                 bentley_kevin@sbcglobal.net.


Kevin Bentley, JCFI Director
2 North Caddo Street, Cleburne, Tx 76031
817-556-1061