Ortiz Follow Up
I just got off the phone with David Ortiz. Amiel had 6 pieces of metal removed from his eyes but is now seeing 20/20. All of the doctors are saying that his rapid healing is a "miracle." Please continue your prayers. Amiel is still in much pain physically and suffering emotionally as well.
On Friday Ma'ariv (Israel's second largest Hebrew newspaper) did a 3-page full spread article on the Ortiz family, which was quite fair and showed the vicious lies of the "anti-missionaries" who attack Messianic believers.
Police have a clear lead on the person who planted the bomb as he was photographed on a security camera. However, as yet they have not arrested anyone. Keep praying that the man himself and those who helped plan it will be brought to justice quickly.
The story of the bomb attack on Amiel is opening opportunities to share the gospel all over the country. This week I was able to share with an orthodox Jewish man who expressed an interest in Amiel's condition. (Please pray for "JJ.") David told me about an Israeli believer who had kept his faith secret but after hearing about the attack on Amiel, said he is going to share boldly. Boldness in response to persecution is just what the Lord is looking for (Acts 2:29, Revelation 12:10-11).
Another interesting response is unity within the body of believers. We know that the persecutions are against all of us. Congregations are starting to pray for one another without distinction of theological background. In a strange way, the persecution is bringing us together in unity, creating boldness in witness, and causing us to pray more.
Supreme Court Case
Much of our staff attended the Supreme Court case last week representing twelve Messianics against the Interior Ministry. We are thankful to Calev Meyers, who has led the battle for civil rights for believers in this country. An important victory and precedent was established.
The case was not meant to and did not change the current laws. The current law forbids a Jew who has changed his religion from immigrating. Unfortunately the law sees us as having given up our Jewishness and our right to immigrate (which, of course, disagrees with everything we believe in).
This case established two precedents: 1. A Christian who marries an Israeli believer can receive citizenship, 2. A Messianic believer whose father is Jewish, but whose mother is not Jewish, can also receive citizenship.
(The reason for the second point is ironically, that according to rabbinic tradition, only the mother determines Jewishness; therefore, a believer whose father alone is Jewish is considered non-Jewish and therefore did not "change" his religion. Then he receives citizenship because of being a "descendant" of Jews, although not Jewish himself in their eyes.)
The Interior Ministry had been wrongly discriminating against these two groups of people, and the new precedent has put an end to that. Although it did not change the status of Messianic Jews in general, it did stop this injustice, and therefore was a significant victory. Any step forward for us before the Israeli Supreme Court has great spiritual importance.
Jewish people all over the world celebrate Passover (Pesach) this week. According to rabbinic tradition, the most important principle of the Passover is that "In each generation every person must see himself as if he went out of Egypt in the Exodus."
When Yeshua (Jesus) was on the Mount of Transfiguration, He talked with Moses and Elijah about things that were about to take place in Jerusalem. Luke 9:31 – Moses and Elijah appeared in glory with Him there and spoke of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
That was the time of His "departure" from the earth. The word for "departure" here in Greek is exodus ("Ex" as in exit - to go out, and "odus" as in odyssey - a journey). Exodus is of course the word used for the people of Israel departing from Egypt at Passover (Hebrews 11:22, Exodus 12-14).
There is a spiritual parallel between the exodus of Yeshua and the exodus from Egypt. The slaying of the Passover lamb is a foreshadow of the crucifixion of Yeshua; the crossing of the Red Sea is a foreshadow of the resurrection. Yeshua was crucified on Passover day. He was resurrected on the same day and at the very hour that the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea: shortly before dawn on the morning of the third day after the Passover (John 20:1, Exodus 14:27).
God staged the crossing of the Red Sea as a theatric demonstration of the resurrection. At the resurrection, Yeshua led thousands of souls out of hell to travel with Him up to heaven. The people of Israel in Egypt symbolically represent the dead souls. At the crossing of the Red Sea, they leave death into life, led by the Angel in the pillar of fire (Yeshua in His pre- birth form). Yeshua led the children of Israel out of Egypt on the same day and in the same way as He led the souls of the righteous out of hell.
New Covenant immersion (baptism) is a spiritual re-enactment of the death and resurrection of Messiah; the crossing of the Red Sea was a pre-enactment of the same. In both cases, we pass through the water as if we ourselves were participating in the event.
As the Exodus was the image of the first coming of the Messiah, the Conquest was the image of the Second Coming. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt as Yeshua led us out of death. Joshua led the children of Israel to conquer the promised land, as Yeshua will lead us to ocnquer the kingdoms of this world. (The seven shofars of the Revelation are parallel to the seven shofars at the fall of Jericho – Revelation 11:13.)
Yeshua was present at the Exodus as the Angel inside YHVH's cloud (Exodus 3:2, 4; 14:19, 24). He was present at the Conquest as the Commander over YHVH's Armies (Joshua 5:13-15). It was not Moses who split the Red Sea, but Yeshua - as that Angel. It was not Joshua who conquered the Land, but Yeshua - as that Commander. There is a perfect consistency from the Exodus to the Conquest to the Crucifixion to the Second Coming.
God spoke to Yeshua on the Mount of Transfiguration of what He was about to do in that generation. Today He is speaking to us about what He is about to do in our generation. Yeshua's first coming was parallel to the Moses generation. Our generation is parallel to the Joshua generation. To succeed as a Joshua generation, we must have a Joshua attitude: full of faith for victory in the end times, to "take the Land," to conquer the giants of this world, and to establish Yeshua's kingdom on this earth.
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Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.