News Update, Feast of Trumpets
In Israeli elementary schools there are 144,361 students entering the first grade. Of those, 40,243 are Arabs in Arab-speaking schools; 26,169 are students in ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) schools; 77,949 are in schools with government sponsored curriculum. Both the Arabic and the Haredi schools are primarily non-"Zionist" in their world view. Loyalty to the State of Israel and the history of the modern Zionism are not included as core subjects.
The remaining students in public schools include a spectrum of secular and religious, left and right wing. According to Maariv investigative reporter, Ben-Dror Yemini, there has been a systematic infiltration of "politically-correct," pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist curriculum materials for the public school classes. .
If we add together the Haredi schools, the Arab schools, and the "radical left" agenda in the public schools, we see that a majority of the first grade students in Israel this September are entering into an educational curriculum that is primarily anti-Zionist. The danger is that in another twelve years, the majority of high school graduates will have been indoctrinated not to serve in the Israeli army, not to contribute to the Israeli work force, and not to support a Jewish-Democratic state.
Most Israelis are not impressed with another photo opportunity summit in the United States concerning peace talks. On the other hand the Netanyahu and Abbas governments are in a stronger, more stable bargaining position than any two Israeli-Palestinian governments have ever been.
Is Netanyahu simply stalling for time? ("As long as we're talking, we're not killing one another.") Is he planning a diplomatic strategy against the Palestinians in order to explode the talks? Is he simply succumbing to pressure from Obama against his will? Or is he serious about a two-state, "end-of-conflict" solution? Only time will tell.
I think Netanyahu is serious in his intentions to come to a peace settlement that will include territorial concessions. Whether he will be able to, and whether that would be a positive action, are questions open to debate. Some Christian supporters of Israel do not see that the majority of Israelis just have no interest in having government control over 2 - 3 million Arabs.
Biblical prophecies indicate that there will be alternating periods of peace and war; that at the end, there will be a united international attack against Israel; and after that apocalyptic war, the Messianic kingdom will be established on the earth. Ultimately there is no peace without Yeshua (Jesus). Political solutions are partial and imperfect.
Romans 13 and I Timothy 2 indicate that the role of government is to maintain a society that is stable and secure in order that the gospel of the kingdom can be shared most effectively. What conditions in the Middle East would most facilitate the spread of the gospel and the kingdom of God (Matthew 10:23; 24:14)?
An anti-missionary conference is being planned for Tuesday, September 14, at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem. The conference is a joint effort of several ultra-Orthodox streams. The concept of "missionary" is quite confused and perverted in the eyes of religious Jews. The word "missionary" to them is equivalent to the word "Nazi." Legally it is defined by two criminal activities: 1. bribing a Jew to change his religion by means of monetary compensation, and 2. baptizing a child (under 18) without consent of his parents.
The conference most likely has three primary aims. The first is to raise money for the anti-"missionary" missionaries. The second is to convince Jewish organizations not to receive money from Christian Zionists (a goal that we are not necessarily opposed to). The third is to stop all efforts of evangelism to our people. This third goal is what brings them into conflict with us.
Please pray with us that
Feast of Trumpets
This week commemorates the Feast of Trumpets (incorrectly called Rosh Hashanah by many). The Torah (Leviticus 23:24) gives little instruction other than to blow trumpets. Throughout the Old and New Covenants, trumpets are a symbol of prophetic warning, particularly concerning the wars of the end times, and the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.
There is a deep connection between the Feast of Trumpets in the Torah and the Seven Trumpets of the Book of Revelation. The Revelation Trumpets warn of the disasters leading up to the Second Coming of Yeshua. The 7th Trumpet gives the final prophetic revelation of the plan of God (Revelation 10:7); the kingdoms of this world will be transformed into the kingdom of God and the Messiah (Revelation 11:15).
As the shofars are sounded, let us pray for prophetic revelation concerning the kingdom of Messiah for both Israel and the Church.
Israeli-born actress, Natalie Portman (of "Star Wars" fame), stars in a new film about ballet dancers in New York, called "Black Swan." In this film she performs an erotic lesbian scene. Portman was quoted as saying the scene terrified her but she felt compelled to do it in order to keep the part. Is this young actress (28), known for being somewhat modest, simply selling her body and soul to be successful in the Hollywood world? Pray for her salvation.
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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.