Oasis Newsletter

Oasis Volume 13, Issue 5


Can you feel a sense of anticipation in the air? An awe?  An excitement mixed with a little dose of dread?

A countdown is in progress. “T” minus only a limited amount of time until a great fire is kindled. This feeling is referenced and especially highlighted this month. The 15th  of  May  marks  the  climax  of  the  counting  of  the seven weeks (50 days) from the firstfruits celebration of Passover. This Feast of Shavuot is also called the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. We are to do this countdown at this time (Deuteronomy 16:9 and Numbers 28:26).

There has already been a firstfruits down payment. The countdown is leading up to the full deal. Forty days after the firstfruits resurrection, Yeshua  left  the  scene (Acts  1:3).  Peter  and  James  and  the  gang  had  to  wait only  10  more  days  to  complete  the  countdown  of  50 days, for the full deal, THE outpouring. For most of us the countdown is longer.

What are we expecting to happen?

We are in what feels like an agonizingly slow process of being  awakened  personally  and  corporately  from  the numbing slumber of the daily grind and the droning buzz of pervasive resistance. We are being awakened to this life of expectation, to this hunger for more, to the realization that we do not have to settle for life as usual. God’s plan is  to  fill  us  with  something  completely  different,  with the fluid of transcendency, with the nature of otherness, with  the  Spirit  of  Holiness.  That is where He dwells, on a different plane, in a different reality.  He desires to impose His reality upon ours. He longs for His kingdom to become more and more manifest here. Yeshua said, “I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled”(Luke 12:49, GNB)!

Let the fire fall!?

On the 50th and final day of the countdown, His disciples “were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…”(Acts 2:1-4).

What  followed  was  an  unprecedented  breaking  in of  God’s  kingdom  reality:  Miraculous  proclamation in  unknown  languages.  Conviction.  Signs.  Healing. Wonders. Thousands swept into a community of unity with all things in common. “Then fear came upon every soul…” (Acts 2:43).

Isn’t this what we are hoping will happen?

Yet we also note that in the midst of the greatest revival the earth had ever known, there is a warning in fine print, a little caveat…the HolySpirit is Holy. He brings a fire that burns what is not of Him. Ananias and Sapphira were consumed in this community of fire. When they insisted on lying, the level of God’s presence in power and holiness was such that it came to light immediately and was judged with mortal finality.

Torah promise of God’s Glory is also a warning: DON’T PLAY WITH FIRE!

We  see  these  two  outcomes  of  God’s  manifest  presence throughout  the  Book:  supernatural  kingdom  blessing  on  the  one hand, and holy judgment of sin on the other. One of these passages is Leviticus 9-10, in which God gave Moses instructions on how to prepare the people in anticipation for the glory of the Lord appearing in the new Tabernacle. Atonement was to be made for the sins of the priest-leaders. Atonement was to be made for the sins of the people.

When Moses and Aaron had finished appropriating the sacrificial atonement, they went before God’s presence, then “came out and blessed  the  people.  Then  the  glory  of  the  LORD  appeared  to all  the  people,  and  fire  came  out  from  before  the  LORD  and consumed the burnt offering…”(Leviticus 9:23-24).The people saw it, shouted and fell on their faces.

Fire is exciting.

Fire is also dangerous.

Two of the priests then had a spontaneous idea to do something with the incense fire that God had not instructed them to do. In their  presumption  they  did  not  distinguish  between  holy  and unholy.  The  level  of  God’s  presence  in  power  and  holiness  was such  that  fire  consumed  them  (Leviticus  10:2).  His  judgments may not be what we expect. We see in a very limited way, and our capability  of  judging  is  very  limited.  God  sees  the  whole  picture from  beginning  to  end  –  all  of  mankind,  all  of  history.  And  His judgment is righteous and ultimate.

How do we become holy?

It’s interesting that the process of being made holy, set apart or “sanctified,” is a central part of traditional Jewish prayers: “Blessed are you  O Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has made us holy…”

Wanting to be wholly set apart for the life of God does not bring us  to  nervous  insecurity.  It’s  the  opposite.  With  confidence  we commit ourselves into God’s hand.

“But now the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah and the power of God’s Spirit have washed you and made you holy and acceptable to God.”(I Corinthians 6:11, CEV)

“May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being – spirit, soul, and body – free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.” (I Thessalonians 5:23, GNB)

May we live in this anticipation. May we cooperate as God prepares us during the countdown. May we cooperate as God washes us and makes us holy.




God  must  have  quite  a  sense  of  humor: A  former  Soviet-Muslim  named  Vakif  is leading  the  Messianic  Jewish  congregation “Netzer HaGalil” in Upper Nazareth. The article below is taken from a recent interview with Vakif.

I was not  born  Jewish.  I  grew  up  in  a nominally  Muslim  family  in  a  region of  the  Former  Soviet  Union  (FSU) called  Tatarstan.  After  Communist  travel restrictions lifted slightly in 1973, my parents moved the family to Siberia to seek economic stability. There I met my wife Tatiana who is of Jewish lineage. At the time my Muslim background  and  her  Jewish  roots  had virtually no significance for us. In 1991 we moved back to Tatarstan to take advantage of an agricultural land opportunity and start farming.  I  had  never  farmed.  Even  though I  worked  hard  and  enjoyed  it,  we  could not  pay  back  the  loans  we  had  taken  for farm equipment at very high interest rates. I  despaired  as  the  reality  of  our  condition sunk in, and prayed a desperate plea, “Help me” to a power I did not know!

In  1997  in  the  middle  of  our  terrible financial  plight,  various  family  members began  to  believe  in  Yeshua.  I  was  opposed to this, and decided to visit these religious meetings  to  make  sure  they  were  not  too detrimental  for  my  family.  On  my  second or third visit, I fell to the floor in conviction and  said,  “This  is  what  I  want.”  God  soon performed a miracle, and the bank wrote off our farm loan!

We went back to Siberia where I spent many months unemployed. Much of this time  was  spent  reading  the  Bible.  I  felt strongly that I needed to be immersed in water.  The  day  following  my  immersion, I  miraculously  received  a  highly desirable  position  as  an  electronics  and measurement technician.

Israeli  believers  from  Haifa  came  and spoke at our church, encouraging those with Jewish  ancestry  to  make  aliya  (immigrate to  Israel).  My  wife  Tatiania  was  deeply touched  and  wept  for  days.  We  began  to consider making aliya. I fasted for 3 days and  then  heard  a  very  clear  voice  inside saying “What, you’re still here?!”

Within less than a year we moved, landing in Israel in late 1999 with our 2 teenage children, but  with  no  money,  no  friends,  no  extended family, and not knowing the language. I only had one contact when we arrived. It was Leon Mazin’s* telephone number.


In  2005  Netzer  HaGalil  Congregation was started in Upper Nazareth by Leon Mazin and several families as an affiliate of the Haifa congregation Shavei Tzion (part of the Tents of Mercy network). When the congregation was established, they rented a small facility in the  industrial  area,  and  recently  remodeled the interior. From  early  on,  Netzer  HaGalil  has  had a  humanitarian  food  ministry,  distributing basic  food  items  each  week  to  dozens  of economically  challenged  households  in Nazareth.  Congregational  leader  Vakif  says, “We want to lend a helping hand, letting our actions speak louder than our words and even before  our  words.  This  basic  expression  of concern has had a spiritual impact on those who  are  the  recipients  of  the  food.  We  are also  planning  a  children’s  music  outreach program.” In addition to regular weekly prayer and  worship  services,  and  a  home  group  in the  nearby  town  of  Migdal  HaEmek,  the congregation also conducts a teaching course for new believers.



Vakif relates: “I don’t know of anyone who came to  God  who  did  not  have  problems. But then we see things beginning to change. We  see  that  the  people  are  coming  more and  more  with  an  expectation  to  receive from God. And we are seeing an increase of fellowship connection among us. Also, people are  developing  a  connection  to  the  Biblical, Hebraic roots of their faith, for example the celebration of the feast of unleavened bread with all the symbolism of Passover.”

Many new immigrants from the Former Soviet  Union  (FSU)  have  settled  in  the Nazareth  area.  Although  they  have  Jewish ancestry, for most the connection with Jewish life  and  the  Bible  had  become  extremely minimal  after  decades  of  Communist  rule. Some  had  even  been  Russian  Orthodox Christians  in  the  FSU,  and  are  confused as to how they can resolve that with living as  Israelis  in  the  Jewish  homeland.  Vakif explains,  “When  they  are  exposed  to  us, suddenly they see that faith in Yeshua is not irreconcilable  with  Jewishness.  We  read the Torah portion weekly and celebrate the Biblical Jewish feasts. Recently some visitors have been surprised to discover that we are really living as Jews.”

At this time in Nazareth there are many Arab  churches  but  only  two  Messianic Jewish  congregations.   Please  join  us  in praying for a permanent facility for Netzer HaGalil  Congregation.  This  is  significant. Unlike in other towns in the Galilee such as Capernaum, Yeshua was not received by the ancient Jewish population of Nazareth, though He lived here most of His life. We want to change that history. *Leon  was  (and  still  is),  a  pastor  in  the  Tents of  Mercy  network.  Vakif  found  work  in  a factory  and  also  began  serving  with  Leon  in the Haifa congregation and then the Nazareth congregation.  Since  2010  Vakif  has  served  full time as pastor of the work in Nazareth.


Songs of Longing on Israeli Radio

Occasionally we hear a “crossover” song on Razel2secular Israeli radio –  from  religious  Orthodox  Jewish  singers,  into  the  Hebrew  secular mainstream.  One  such  singer  is Yonatan  Razel, whose  songs  are being  played  on  secular  radio  stations.  His  songs  and  others  like them reveal the heart hunger in this nation, and a yearning for the God of Israel. The heartbeat you hear in these songs is not a national sense of “God, save us from those pesky Iranians wanting to wipe us off the map,” but rather a more deeply personal chord from the innermost being of the composer. The lyrics speak for themselves:


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