©12 December 2014 Revive Israel Ministries
Prophecy and the Middle East
By Asher Intrater
In order to build a biblical framework for interpreting current events in the Middle East, it would be correct to examine the perspectives of the ancient prophets of Israel. Those prophets often spoke of God's will concerning "political" events in the Middle East.
There is a wide range of viewpoints within the prophetic scriptures, which may confirm or contradict many political views today. On one side (perhaps the extreme right), we find Joshua. In his generation, the Israelites were commanded to kill all the inhabitants of Canaan and conquer all the land.
On the other hand (perhaps the extreme left), we find Jeremiah. In his generation, God passed judgment on Israel; the nation was destroyed and the people exiled. Neither the Joshua or Jeremiah model fit all the circumstances of the Middle East today. (In the time of the early apostles, who preached in the generation leading up to the destruction of the Second Temple, the context of the prophet Jeremiah was quite relevant.)
There are other varying viewpoints. Amos called for justice on social-economic issues. Jonah was sent to preach to a Gentile nation. Isaiah described the coming of a spiritual kingdom with a divine Messianic king. His teaching might be comparable to an "evangelical" type message today. Daniel had visions of angels fighting wars over nations that would affect history for hundreds of years.
Particularly relevant for the Messianic community today are the prophets who spoke to the remnant in Israel after they returned from the exile in Babylon. Their message was one of encouragement to keep building the nation, both spiritually and materially, despite the attacks of evil around them. Among those prophets were Zechariah and Haggai.
We who have received the Holy Spirit today, through faith in Yeshua, may be seen in some ways as a continuance of those early prophets. As the Messianic remnant in Israel today, we feel a certain spiritual identification with that remnant who returned to the land in the time of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.
Yet we must be careful when looking at ancient Scriptures and comparing them to ourselves. We must consider the full range of perspectives in both the Gospels and the Prophets before we choose any one particular aspect to identify with. The writings of the Israelite prophets have a renewed significance for us today in the light of current events in the Middle East.
From Generation to Generation
By David Ben Keshet
Leadership teams from Tents of Mercy and Revive Israel met again last week. We represented over 7 congregations from central and northern Israel. This is a second generation expression of the covenant connection among Asher, Eitan and others as part of the Tikkun family of ministries.
We sense a spiritual stream trickling down into the next generation, of open honesty, humility and hunger for more of God, as our joint networking expands. We pray for the "the hearts of the fathers to be turned unto the sons" (Malachi 4:6).
We all wrestle with similar theological and cultural issues we confront in Israel. One item that came up was the role of Torah (Law) and Jewish culture in the life of Messianic Jews in Israel.
Another issue was the critical transition of young believers in the mandatory army service years (18-21), and their high rate of "dropout" from Israeli congregations. We began to perceive on a national level, that this age group is strategically vital for the future of the remnant in Israel. Please pray with us for anointing to disciple and challenge and love on these young believers.
By Betty Intrater
Last month Asher and I, together with Elihana, had the opportunity to travel to Brazil for 2 weeks of teaching and ministering. In addition to the fact that it was summer in November, we found Brazilians to have "warm climate" personalities: friendly, hospitable, affectionate, and sociable. The believers are expressive and warm in their worship and fellowship as well. Although there is not a lot of knowledge of the Jewish roots of the Church, there was much openness and desire to learn.
The first explorer who "discovered" Brazil was Pedro Alvares Cabrel, who led an expedition to Brazil shortly after King Manuel I of Portugal declared all Jews must convert to Christianity or leave the country. Although impossible to document, it stands to reason that many of the early settlers were Jews, and therefore many Brazilians are of Jewish descent.
Elihana, who accompanied us, grew up in Brazil. She became a professional musician at a young age, performing original worship songs on television. Unknown to us she produced a CD entitled Revive Israel. She has a dynamic personality and was well received as she ministered in music at the churches we visited.
Two highlights of the visit were a young Israeli exchange student who attended the messianic congregation in Rio with us, and a young Iranian couple we met on a site seeing excursion. We entered a deep conversation with them on faith (they are moderate Muslims) and exchanged emails.
The Fire of Pentecost through History
This is part two of the message "Crossing from Death to Life." Asher speaks about the connections between Israel receiving the law at Mount Sinai in Exodus 19, the Holy Spirit being poured out at Mount Zion in Acts 2 and believers today receiving the fire of the Holy Spirit. To watch, click HERE!