©December 13, 2013 Revive Israel
Israel and the Church
By Asher Intrater
In Romans chapters 1-8 Paul deals with the plan of salvation for individuals. In chapters 9-11 he writes of God's sovereign plan for Israel and the nations. He saw that, according to the prophecies, Jerusalem would soon be destroyed and Israel sent into an extended exile. He also saw that the gospel was spreading across the nations and churches being formed.
This was a dramatic turning point in the development of the kingdom of God. What could this mean? Where would it lead to? Paul came to see the mystery that the international ecclesia would continue to grow until the "fullness of the Gentiles" is realized (Romans 11:25); and this would followed by a restoration of Israel that would culminate in "all Israel being saved" (Romans 11:26).
These two concepts – the fullness of the Gentiles and the salvation of Israel - have enormous significance. They are foundations of the kingdom of God, predicted in the Torah and predestined from the beginning of time. When Dan Juster, Eitan Shishkoff and I started Tikkun International, we chose as a vision statement, "The Dual Restoration of Israel and the Church."
The salvation of Israel may be seen as far back as Moses' blessing in Deuteronomy 33:29 – "Israel… a people saved." The fullness of the Gentiles may be seen in Jacob's blessing of Ephraim in Genesis 48:19 – "…the fullness of the Gentiles." (The Hebrew phrase here: הגויים מלוא, is the same as that of Romans 11:25.)
The Apostle Paul did not just “invent” such concepts. Paul's writings on Israel and the nations are rooted in scriptures going back to Genesis and Deuteronomy. The plan of God is consistent and builds upon itself from beginning to end.
By Elhanan Ben Avraham
A main attraction this fall at the Israel Museum has been a rare masterpiece by one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance –Botticelli’s – 'The Annunciation'.
This magnificent, frescoed mural painted long ago and far away in 1481 has been carried to the halls of the Israel Museum to be viewed by the people of Israel. It is as if the angel Gabriel has once again come to Jerusalem to announce to the Jewish virgin the birth of her child who shall be known as the Son of God.
Next to the fresco were the timeless words from Luke chapter one, describing the visitation in Hebrew and English translation. I watched as both secular and religious Jews stood and quietly read the annunciation, a beautiful text unfamiliar to most Jews, who have never opened the pages of the New Testament. It is the power of Art.
I beheld in awe the great beauty of the painting, the deeply moving expression of compassion on the face of the angel, the profound stirring of the soul expressed in the face and gesture of the virgin Miriam, the delicate harmonies of color and unique and dramatic perspective and depth of composition by the master artist.
Nadaf's Son Attacked
Greek Orthodox priest, Gabriel Nadaf, from Nazareth described how he and his family have been receiving death threats, incitements, and verbal abuse since 2012 when he first began to call for Arab Christians to enlist in the IDF and integrate into Israeli society. “If you want to go in the path that is right, then you know they will incite and attack you, but if you don’t do it – who will?”
Pray with us for the Nadaf family; for protection, the recovery of their son and for others to rise up and stand with them.
This week Nadaf's son was brutally attacked and hospitalized. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu referred to the attack at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, saying that Israel will not tolerate threats of physical attacks against Christians, Muslims, and Druse who “want to link their fate to the State of Israel and serve in the IDF."
It's a Girl!
We are happy to announce another birth among our Revive staff. On Saturday evening, Esther Gavriela Smilovici was born to her proud parents, Jeremiah and Rachel. Esther was born early and only weighing 2 kg (4.4 lbs). Pray that Esther will grow quickly, and for Rachel's recovery from a long labor.
Red Sea to Dead Sea
The Dead Sea has been depleted in recent years by almost one meter per year. This week in Washington, an agreement was signed between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority for an ambitious water-sharing project. The plan includes building a large desalination plant and a 180 kilometer pipeline to pump water from the Red Sea into the Dead Sea. Raising the water level at the Dead Sea will likely cause a boom in the tourism business for the area.
Usually Jerusalem receives a light snow fall once or twice a year of just a couple of centimeters.
As we write this, we are in the midst of the heaviest snowfall in Jerusalem in recorded history (over 70 years). Snow is up to knee level and continuing. What a blessing!
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