- The Preparation and the Harvest
- Passover Events
- The Temporary, the Calamity, & Eternity
- Download June Newsletter
The Preparation and the Harvest
Shavuot is God’s reward and response to His people.Shavuot (The Feast of Pentecost/ Weeks) comes at the time of the spring wheat harvest, and the fields are full of golden, ripe wheat all around the Galilee right now.
Reaping the first fruits of the produce of the Land is the result of preparation, hard work and expectation. The yielding of the fruit has always been God’s response. Proverbs 16:1 says, “The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” The heart’s preparation before the Lord yields His reward and answer.
Just as the land needs to be plowed and cultivated to bring forth the “fruit” from the sown seeds, so our heart also needs preparation to experience spiritual harvest.
On the day of Shavuot, the Holy Spirit came as the fruit from the time of Yeshua’s preparatory ministry. Even after His earth-shaking resurrection, He spent another period of intensive training to teach His disciples. “…during forty days…speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
Only after that final preparation, did He assemble them in Jerusalem with the command “to wait for the Promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). Preparing the heart precedes revival through the power of the Holy Spirit!
This specific event of Shavuot 2000 years ago marked not only the first big revival through the Holy Spirit, but also the time of the Great Transition – the transition from Yeshua to the Holy Spirit. Yeshua in His life on earth was God’s fullest representation, “…He who has seen Me (Yeshua) has seen the Father…” (John 14:9). Now it is the Holy Spirit Who carries that role. Without the Holy Spirit there is no New Covenant faith. Without the Holy Spirit you cannot see God the Father and Yeshua the Messiah.
As such, we cannot attempt to do anything significant in the Kingdom of God if we ignore the Holy Spirit. That is why we at Tents of Mercy have devoted many weeks leading up to Shavuot to this crucial subject. Yes, we are a community that is centered on Messiah, connected to our roots (Romans 11), and serving our city with humanitarian initiatives, and we are also contending for the full expression and display of the Power of the Holy Spirit. We are soberly aware that without the Holy Spirit fully at work, we cannot make a dent for the Kingdom of God here in the Galilee. For that move of the Holy Spirit we are preparing.
The Holy Spirit works in your life through your thirst and expectation. Here are some of the related points on which we have been focusing:
- Pray. . .
- Live in purity. . .
- Be full of gratitude. . .
- Read & exercise the Word. . .
- Be humble & empty yourself of pride. . .
- Have a spirit of unity. . .
- Enter worship daily. . .
- Be a servant . . .
We believe a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit is coming to usher in a great harvest that will touch many communities and generations here in Israel especially in the Galilee area. Would you join us in prayer and preparation? Happy Harvest Feast! – Avi Tekle
Passover Events Hosted by Return to Zion
It is customary to carefully and thoroughly prepare for Pesach, by removing bread and any other form of leavening from our homes according to the Lord’s instructions: “let no leavened bread be seen among you, or any leaven, in any part of your land” (Exodus 13:7). The sundown of the 14th of Nisan marks the beginning of Pesach, and as such the whole family gathers for a festive dinner known as the Pesach Seder. This special gathering includes a collection of the stories and prayers passed from generation to generation, through thousands of years of remembering the awesome miracles the Almighty did for His people – bringing us out of Egypt, the house of slavery.
In the holiday of Pesach, we can find it all: history and traditions, love and justice, miracles, faith and hope for what is to come. In the pages of the Torah we can find countless prophecies about Yeshua the Messiah who was to come and become the perfect Lamb, the perfect Sacrifice and Atonement for our transgressions. Adonai’s plan of salvation was accomplished when His only Son gave His life on the cross on Pesach day to bring redemption to His people and to all nations from the slavery of sin. Just like centuries ago, when the blood of the lamb on the doors of our Jewish ancestors saved them from the Angel of Death, likewise now, the blood of the Lamb (Yeshua) sanctifies all those who choose to believe in Him.
Festive Pesach Dinner for Holocaust Survivors
With this in mind, the Return to Zion Messianic Congregation considered it an important time to help those in need and to bring some joy to their lives. On April 23rd, the congregation held a festive Pesach dinner in honor of Holocaust survivors, with the help and support of the “Beit Sar Shalom” Ministry.
In addition to the friendly, relaxed atmosphere and festive dinner, everyone who came (about 70 people) received a heart-warming gift from the organizers of the event and a heartfelt blessing from above to hold on to.
This holiday of Pesach has an even more significant role for Holocaust survivors. These special people who have passed through the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust can deeply identify with Pesach, as they have personally experienced and thus truly understand the meaning of the word “slavery.” For them, more than anyone else, it’s important to pray that Yeshua will heal the wounds of their hearts and bring the miracle of salvation and true deliverance to their lives.
Welcoming New Immigrants to Israel
In the same period, the Return to Zion team followed up with an event held especially for new immigrants (olim) in Israel, with the main theme being “Passover – A Feast of Deliverance.” Fifty new immigrants came, many of whom heard for the first time the story, traditions and true meaning of Pesach and the central role of Yeshua in it. In order to provide the participants with a better understanding and visual material, the coordinators prepared a PowerPoint presentation covering all the materials being discussed. The event came to a close with an invitation to join a 6 week ‘Aleph’ (the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet) Course. This course aims to ease their integration into the Israeli society and to provide them with a better understanding of the Tanach (the Hebrew Scriptures) and of the history of their ancestors. This way, all those interested get the chance to dig deeper into spiritual matters and to get a better picture of the Jewish roots of the Bible.
At the event, the new immigrants were warmly invited to join the discussion and to ask questions or request clarification about any points that they did not understand. The ensuing discussion was very lively and dynamic, and it raised the interest of many of them to search for answers to the questions that they are scared to ask, such as the meaning of life for man on earth and the nature of the world to come. Following the Pesach event, seven of the participants took this curiosity even further and decided to join the Return to Zion Shabbat service. A family that immigrated to Israel just five days before the event, asked for a Bible. The elders of the congregation assisted them with all their inquiries after the service and had some quality conversations with them.
Lastly, the new immigrants were also invited to contribute if they felt like doing so, by helping to unload the trucks containing humanitarian aid supplies. These returning exiles play a key role in the salvation of Israel as a nation and in the return of Yeshua, and that is why it is crucial to pray for them and to support them. Adonai has promised “…I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land” (Ezekiel 36:24).
Care for the Needy and Children Suffering from Cancer
One other activity that the Return to Zion Ministry was very involved with, was helping the needy of the population in the city of Haifa, cooperating together with various social workers and with the Welfare Ministry. In total, 120 people received food baskets and Pesach supplies in order to facilitate their ability to better enjoy this holiday season with their family and loved ones. Additionally, the team also paid special attention to the local hospital and provided food baskets and delicious treats to 30 children suffering from cancer, with the hope of bringing a glimpse of joy to their days.
A Collective Call to Prayer
Whether it’s Holocaust survivors, children sick with cancer, the needy or simply new immigrants looking to start anew in the Holy Land, they all are in great need of prayer and support, both spiritual and moral. Prayer has the power to transcend the dimensions of time, space and matter and is the engine that keeps the body of Yeshua running. The Return to Zion Ministry will continue its activities to support these groups of people, and to offer them not just material aid but also the opportunity to choose to begin a new life through the One who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
The Temporary, the Calamity, & Eternity
Yes, we will face troubles and danger, but the question is how does the believer deal with fear? (The answer to this lies partially in Psalm 91:1-16.) If the fear in the world enters our hearts, it distances us from God. No matter where we live, we see a world system in which fear, manipulation, money and selfishness rule.
However, let us not forget Elijah the prophet who complained that he was alone until God replied that there were 7,000 more that worshiped Him. Why is this important? No matter what we see in this world, we are not alone. Although the enemy is trying to cut us down; greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world.
When this is our point of reference, that bitter root of fear trying to enter our heart, is removed. It is fear which keeps us from moving forward especially in our walk with God. We are so grateful for examples in history and even today, of people so immersed in the Spirit of God that even though they may have suffered and died; they saw light through darkness.
Are we capable of seeing light when terrorist missiles are flying above our heads and war is all around us? History names many martyred in Yeshua’s name. Is our faith strong enough not to deny Yeshua when we are persecuted? Is our faith based on living a comfortable life, or on His death and resurrection? Is He living in us? What is the believer’s reward in time of trouble? The trust and hope that accompany a life lived in Yeshua.
When everything around us fails, we can be secure in Him and pray not out of fear but out of trusting in Him. This must be our lifestyle now before calamity strikes – living, walking and being in relationship with Yeshua. Knowing how to listen to the Spirit of God even when bomb sirens are sounding. Now is our time to enter in, walking in love which knows no fear. – Guy Cohen