- Gods Heart in the Last Days
- Drawing Forth Water with Joy
- Shalom Dear Friends...
- Cold Weather Brings Youth Together
- Download January Newsletter
God’s Heart in the Last Days
End of the Age Harvest
What is on God’s heart as history careens toward the climax of this age? I believe that the first thing on His heart is the lost condition of His human children everywhere. Yeshua speaks elsewhere about the harvest, using this image to describe the end of the age (Matthew 13:39). The Lord declares that He “…desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The Messiah was sent to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). And we are likewise sent by Him, just as He was sent into the world by the Father (John 20:21; 1 John 4:17).
The unfathomable breadth and depth of God’s heart for mankind—for every living soul—is what brought His Son to this earth. Yet His saving activity continues through us as His messengers, His agents. Can we begin to identify with the intensity of God’s longing for every man, woman and child on every continent to come to Him, to be forgiven, to be born into His kingdom, to be adopted? To be gathered together into his “barn” as ripened, harvested wheat?
Inextricably connected with God’s passion for the harvest, is His heart to unite all of us together in Messiah (Ephesians 1:10). Listen to one of Yeshua’s last prayers. In it He links our capacity to make Him known (sowing seed unto harvest) with our Heaven-granted brotherhood. He prayed “…the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one. I in them and you in me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them as you have loved me” (John 17:22,23).
Is there a key to this brotherhood that God is so intent on establishing? Several. But for me, a prime example of restored brotherhood is the account of Jacob meeting his brother Esau. Some 20 years had passed since Jacob deceived his father and stole Esau’s first son blessing. Now a repentant Jacob bows seven times before Esau. That was an act of faith and a gesture of true humility. Jacob, using a posture of servant-hood rather than defense, demonstrated with eloquence beyond words, that he was serious about restoring true brotherhood.
In Psalm 133 the psalmist likens our brotherhood to the priestly anointing and to eternal blessing. I believe that restored brotherhood by means of Messiah’s shed blood is at the top of God’s last days agenda. He wants to show the world HIS peace plan, HIS remedy for war and oppression.
May these twin passions of our Father—the Harvest and Brotherhood—motivate us and guide our priorities as we consider how to live in the last days. – EITAN SHISHKOFF, Pastor Emeritus, Tents of Mercy
Drawing Forth Water with Joy
And in that day you will say:
“O Lord, I will praise You;
Though You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.
2 Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song;
He also has become my salvation.’ ”
3 Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation.
4 And in that day you will say:
“Praise the Lord, call upon His name;
Declare His deeds among the peoples,
Make mention that His name is exalted.
5 Sing to the Lord,
For He has done excellent things;
This is known in all the earth.
6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!” (Isaiah 12:1-6 NKJV)
Life was different then and yet, if we take this analogy and apply it to our lives today and how we approach God, there is much to be learned. In essence, life today is easier and yet we still struggle. No matter how much we strive to satisfy our physical needs, even those which are basic for every day life, we will not be filled. We will only find true satisfaction through the spiritual side of life.
What we read within these verses refers to the Presence of God and the filling of the Holy Spirit. We need to go to the source of water with excitement (John 7:37-39), and then with joy we will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3).
The word “ge-oot” translated “excellent things” (Isaiah 12:5) can also be translated “swelling of the sea” (Psalm 89:9). When I read it this way and think of the filling of the Holy Spirit, I can go to the source with great excitement expecting sea-swelling tsunami of the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Let us remember this when the trials of this life distract us, when the enemy throws everything he’s got at us in an attempt to keep us from going to the well with excitement and anticipation to draw water from our source, Yeshua. – GUY COHEN
Shalom Dear Friends,
During the entire year of 2018 we have been sharing about various projects that our congregation and ministry have implemented. We are grateful to the Lord for our team, co-workers and servants with whom He has surrounded us (some of whom are pictured in the accompanying photos).
We have sought to fill the empty niches in the surrounding Israeli society through deeds done in the name of Yeshua the Messiah.
In our ministry, we have never felt led to carry out “aggressive” evangelism. However, Yeshua’s commandment, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” is always relevant and on our minds, with the understanding that we follow it according to our gifts. Our projects at “Return to Zion” Ministry include a lot of humanitarian activities. We are reaching out to old people, to those who are ill and to those who have suffered greatly in their lives. Some of those whom we serve went through World War II, including the Holocaust and the concentration camps. We are also ministering to those who are very weak, who have just arrived in the Promised Land and have not yet been able to “wipe off their tears.” In some ways it would be very easy to manipulate these people since they are weak. (We ourselves were in that same position of being brand new, vulnerable immigrants 25 years ago.) However, we decided to fulfill the commandments of the Torah and Yeshua to “help the needy” as an independent commandment, honoring the freedom and free choice of each person, obeying the Scripture that says, “Let your right hand not know what your left hand is doing.”
When we began doing this, we suddenly saw that people are not blind; they see who we are and the Name in which we do the work of ministry. The old people and the new immigrants—including parents whose children study at our Music and Art School—have participated with joy in many “Return to Zion” initiatives. Many of them have heard the Good News—not from “professionals,” but from ordinary members of the “Return to Zion” congregation. These members have testified of how Yeshua revealed Himself, and shared about their beliefs, telling what the Almighty and His Son Yeshua have done in their lives.
The truth is that most often it is the good testimony of a person living for the glory of God, at least during the initial stage, that brings life to the Gospel much more strongly than any professional presentation and exegesis. And then each one must make his or her own choice. Those who know the truth and enter the new covenant find peace with God. I am sure this is what the commandment of the Lord “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations” means.
You, our readers and intercessors who partner with us and are interested in knowing about our ministry and projects, are an indispensable part of our every success. We are praying for you, your needs and your families, and we are asking you to continue partnering with “Return to Zion” Ministry.
The past year has been an interesting time of sowing and reaping. We are grateful to God for those who received HIS Shalom—HIS peace, and who dedicated their lives to the Heavenly Father. We believe and pray that we will see even more in the coming year.
“Sow righteousness for yourselves,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until he comes
and showers his righteousness on you.”
Leon and Nina Mazin
Cold Weather Brings Youth Together
Cold and rainy. That’s the weather that came with the Hanukah Katzir – Harvest Youth Camp, which took place December 7-9 in the beautiful Golan Heights. In a weird way, the weather actually helped the camp have a feeling of togetherness, with everyone being relegated to indoor activities much of the time. In addition we did also have two very fun outings – going bowling with the whole camp, and visiting an old weapons depot in a kibbutz that was kept secret for over 50 years, from the time of the first settlers in Israel! During the three days together, we enjoyed extended times of worship in the presence of God, teaching from local leaders, fellowship and fun. We had daily small group meetings to study the Word together, discussions, and meditation on the Word of God.
Healing from Hatred
The camp was focused around the theme of Truth – What is truth and where do you find it? Our speakers touched on different aspects of truth, what defines it, where to find it, how the enemy lies, and how to put these understandings into daily practice. Teens responded powerfully.
During the second evening, one of our leaders shared his testimony about being delivered from hatred towards his father. The next day, one of the teens in the camp came to the stage to share how this testimony spoke to him. One of our small group leaders prayed over him, and the Lord brought healing and deliverance to his heart from deep anger and hatred towards his own father. Another young woman came to one of our leaders and asked for help with this subject, because her hatred is so strong for her father she doesn’t even feel like she can turn to God with it.
Changing the Trajectory of Young Lives
First-time camp counselors shared how they were deeply touched during the camp, and by serving the youth. Teens talked about coming to the camp discouraged, and being encouraged and strengthened. We saw God move during the small group discussions each day. Camp counselors repeatedly said they could have kept going longer in the small groups because the teens were engaged. Some of the teens are continuing to write their counselors asking questions, requesting prayer or counsel. Please continue to pray for the youth who attended the camp, for God to guard what He did in their hearts – the healing and deliverance, the personal encounters with the Holy Spirit, the quiet moments that can change the trajectory of a young person’s life. These young ones are precious in his sight.
We are so grateful for the young-adult counselors who come on a volunteer basis each camp to help serve the next generation. Please pray for blessing over the camp counselors. They are the most important part of pulling off these camps. Without them we could not do what we do. They include university students, newly-weds, and others recently released from the military or still serving.
Thank you for your prayers for this camp, and concerted prayer for our next one – during Passover in April 2019. – Joel Jelski