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 am privileged to introduce you to
David & Rivkah
As Believers, we have all been called to take the Gospel into the "highways and byways" of life. However, few like David and Rivkah are willing to go to the darkest of alleys as well. They need our prayers and support !
There are places on the globe where missionaries must blend into the culture just to stay alive as they share the Good News. There are hundreds and likely thousands of Believers in places like Iran and China who look like ordinary citizens. In reality, they secretly work to build relationships in hopes of that one opportunity to talk about Jesus. They risk their lives daily.
However, there are few people (and until last week I did not personally know of one) who are willing and capable of living among Hasidic Jews so that some might come to know that Yeshua is the Mashiach (that Jesus is the Messiah). David and Rivkah have taken a very costly yet bold stand for the Lord in Brooklyn as they live kosher among Hasidim while serving Jesus as their Savior. My hope today is that you might learn a little more about their ministry, commit to pray for them, and even be mindful of how you might support their efforts.
You might ask, "What is so difficult about their mission?"
So, here is a little history about the Hasidim Community in New York.
The Hasidim are a group of the Orthodox Jewish population thatbegan in the 1700's by a leader called th
e Baal Shem Tov or "the Master of the Good Name".
He was a spiritualist, who sought to bring Judaism to the masses through encouraging people to a simple faith base
d on a set of rules. He was at times considered to be almost divine and an interm
ediary between them and G-d. There are many different kinds of Hasidim, but they all share a similar dress code of a long black coat, some kind of black hat
, a white shirt without tie, and usually long curly strips of hair from the sides of the head called Payot or Payos. They believe in reincarnation, making it a very
eastern style of religion. They came to the USA (primarily to New York) in 1947 and began increasing in number just after World War II in large
There is a desperate need to share the Gospel among them, as there are only a handful of Believers (5 we know of currently). These Hasidic groups are usually deemed as too hard to reach and extremely resistant to the Gospel. As a result,
are few believing workers among them. We have a calling to the Jew first, in Romans 1:16, and also in Romans 9:1-3. Paul too had much passion for reaching his fellow Jews. The arguments Jesus had with the Pharisees are very similar to the arguments we have with them today. In fact, they trace their roots to the Pharisees, where Jesus began his mission.
The Hasidic community is desperately poor. Many are too poor to even afford simple Chanukah gifts for their children and live in small apartments with 12- 15 children. The men pray and study most of the day, while the women raise a household. They are usually very warm and kind people, except when it comes to Jesus (Yeshua) !
David and Rivkah describe their vision:
"We hope to see the Jewish Messiah restored to the Jewish People so that the power of G-d for salvation [Romans 1:16-17] may be demonstrated through the establishment of believing Hasidic congregations throughout New York City and around the world.
The top five projects that we are working on through 2017 are:
1) the planting of a Hasidic-friendly Congregation,
2) a 24/7 Prayer Wall for the Hasidic Community within the next six months,
3) Holiday Outreaches by giving out gifts with tracts,
4) Charity Bags For the Sabbath,
5) Personal Discipleship with Hasidic believers and evangelism within the community.
This endeavor will continue until every Hasidic person has a chance to hear the Gospel.
We would love for you to
partner with us and to have the opportunity to share in more detail
the vision that has been laid on our hearts and the work being done in the Hasidic world for the Good News of Messiah.
1) Joining the 24/7 Prayer Wall, 2) Making a one-time donation for Holiday outreaches, or 3) Committing to monthly financial support that will enable us to be on the mission field full-time and to plant a congregation in the Hassidic community. We look forward to connecting with you in the near future."
David & Rivkah
Israeli Leaders Urge Jews To Read the Bible
Have you heard that Israeli leaders are urging Jews to read through the entire Bible (Tanakh or Old Testament)?
You probably haven't heard this in the mainstream media, but Israel's most senior leaders are urging the Jewish people to read through the Bible, the whole Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter.
Can you imagine President Obama or any other U.S. leader calling on American people to read through the Bible? Neither can I.
Given the general trend here in Israel towards secularization, this is quite a surprising yet thoroughly encouraging development. I'm sure many of you are skeptical, but it really is true. Here's the latest.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off the new school year here by encouraging children to rediscover the Word of God and Biblical roots of their Jewish heritage.
"First of all, the study of the Bible,"
he said in August. "Knowledge is a critical word. We want to give it [knowledge of the Scriptures] to every child in Israel, Jews and non-Jews as one, religious and secular. This is the basis of the new world, and the basis of Israel as a strong nation in the world."
The Netanyahus organized their first home Bible study group in December 2011, as I
at the time. In so doing, they carried on a tradition first begun by David Ben Gurion and later by Menachem Begin but rarely repeated by other Israeli premiers. Their stated goal was to set an example for the nation and to
"perpetuate a love of the Bible."
Meanwhile, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and several government officials have launched something they call the "929 Initiative."
This is a wonderful and worthy effort to encourage all Israelis - even the most secular and non-religious among us - to read one chapter of the Jewish Scriptures a day, every day, until they have read all 929 chapters.
Rivlin and his colleagues kicked off the $12 million initiative in December 2014. Since then, they have been encouraging Israelis to continue reading verse by verse, chapter by chapter through the full Hebrew Bible or "Tanakh" until everyone finishes together in the summer of 2018 for the 70th anniversary of the prophetic rebirth of the Jewish State.
There is a pretty impressive and sophisticated website dedicated to the project, with Israelis of all kinds, from a wide variety of backgrounds, writing articles on what they think about the Bible verses they are reading. There is also an app that helps Israelis remember what chapter they're supposed to read each day and help them mark their progress.
I especially wanted to bring this all to your attention as we celebrate Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles. Why?
Because in the Torah, Moses commanded the people to read th
rough all the Scriptures in their entirety every seven years. Sadly, this is a c
ommandment many if not most of my fellow Jews
have forgotten, or never were aware of in the first place.
Then Moses commanded them, saying, "At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 31:10-12
I'm grateful to Netanyahu and Rivlin and to the other Israeli leaders who are calling our people back to reading the Bible cover to cover. Will you join me in praying that more Jews (and Gentiles) heed their call?
Thanks so much, and Chag Same'ach - happy holidays from Israel!
Kehila News Israel
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 29 Congregational BOH's and 5 Organizational BOHs that are up-and-running with
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
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 email@example.com.
Let's build a Bridge together as we stand For Israel!
New Beginning for Messiah's Mandate
Messiah's Mandate is an outreach arm of Congregation Tiferet Yeshua, a Bridge of Hope partner with Pastor Troy Brewer and Open Door Church.
This month marks an exciting new beginning for us at Messiah's Mandate. For many years Messiah's Mandate was simply the name that Elana and I used for support for our ministry in Israel. However, we are now a team of 9 people! But that has not been reflected in our monthly mailing. It still appears that MMI is merely the 'ministry of Ron', when it is the outreach arm of Tiferet Yeshua.
Three years ago one of our team members Moti Cohen, who has served as both associate pastor and youth leader for more than a decade at Tiferet Yeshua, came to me. He said he felt that God wanted to expand MMI into something much bigger. I knew he was right, but timing is everything and NOW is the time.
From now on you will see articles from at least four team members, all who are serving on the ground in Israel, all Hebrew speakers and all lovers of Yeshua. Ministry in Israel is reaching Israelis -- it is disciplining Israelis and helping new Israeli believers to build their lives. When I moved here in 2003 I pledged to Asher Intrater, who oversees Elana and me, that our communication would reflect what we are
doing here -- not merely news from Israel.
I have always believed in the concept of team ministry over my ministry.
This is the biblical model. We rarely see folks ministering alone in the New Covenant and God gave five different leadership/equipping gifts to the body of believers in
And our team is excited to have kesher (connection) with you. When I shared with them about this expansion, every one of them was eager to participate. So, it is my pleasure to present to you the first edition of Messiah's Mandate Monthly-News and Articles from the Tiferet Yeshua ministry team.
Now more than ever we need our partners to stand with us in prayer and support. And I want to be clear -- each one of the MMI team is making an impact in Israel. I can't think of more exciting soil to sow into -- young people rebuilding the Body of Messiah in Israel. For 1,900 years we were dormant-in the ground, nearly dead. But God has raised us up again. In 1948 when Israel became a nation there were only 25 documented Messianic Jews in the country. Now there are 18,000 and over 150 congregations!
Thank you my dear friends. Shalom from Tel Aviv!
Until we are all ONE! (Eph.2:15) !
ONE NATION'S CAPITAL THROUGHOUT HISTORY
For more than 3,000 years, Jerusalem has played a central role in the history of the Jews, culturally, politically, and spiritually, a role first documented in the Scriptures. All through the 2,000 years of the diaspora, Jews have called Jerusalem their ancestral home. Jews in prayer always turn toward Jerusalem. When Muslims pray, they face Mecca. The Old Testament mentions "Jerusalem" 349 times. "Zion," another name for Jerusalem, is mentioned 108 times. The Quran never mentions Jerusalem even once. Jews end Passover Seders and Yom Kippur prayers each year with the words: "Next year in Jerusalem." The Arab rulers who controlled eastern Jerusalem through the 1950s and 1960s demonstrated no religious tolerance. That changed after the Six-Day War in 1967 when Israel regained control of the whole city. One of Israel's first steps was to officially recognize and respect all religious interests in Jerusalem.
In spite of God's word, and thousands of years of Jewish history connected to Jerusalem, in a blasphemous move Thurs. 13 Oct. 2016 in Paris, UNESCO passed a Palestinian-backed measure that denies a Jewish connection to the Old City of Jerusalem.
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)
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
with any definitions you think we should ad.
This month's Hebrew Help definition is:
Goy (goi - regular plural goyim)
gentile or nation. Goy is the standard Hebrew biblical term for a nation. The word nation has been the common translation of the Hebrew goy or ethnos in the Septuagint, from the earliest English language bibles such as the 1604 King James Version and the 1530 Tyndale Bible, following the Latin Vulgate which used both gentile and nations. The term nation did not have the same political connotations it entails today.
Long before Roman times it had also acquired the meaning of someone who is not Jewish. It is also used to refer to individuals from non-Jewish religious or ethnic groups, when used in this way in English, it occasionally has pejorative connotations. However, many people do not see the term goy as any more or less offensive than the term gentile. However, to avoid any perceived offensive connotations, writers may use the better-known English terms gentile or non-Jew.
Previous Month's Definition is
Zebach (zeh' bakh)
1. Sacrifice (sacrifice, sacrifices of righteousness, sacrifices of strife, the covenant sacrifice, the passover, annual sacrifice, thank offering)
o see the entire Hebrew Help Glossary!
To the Jew First: What does it mean & Why does it matter?
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