- Why the Heroic Extremes?
- Rage and Eruption
- Wise, Beautiful, & Innocent
- Beneficial Side Effect
- Download March Newsletter
Why the Heroic Extremes?
By Eitan Shishkoff
Do we get it?
Believing in Him is only the beginning. There is SO much more, something exceedingly personal, immediate — moment-to-moment. In Exodus 19:4, God says to Israel: “You saw what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” This word “myself” caught me by surprise.
“What a minute, Father. You mean to tell me that you’ve brought me out of sin and self to bring ME to YOU? This term you’re using, “myself,” is such a personal description. First, it tells me that you want to be close to me, that you’ve chosen me for genuine relationship—to be more than a “believer”—to be your child. It also tells me that your intent in freeing me from my own version of Egyptian bondage, in going to heroic extremes to rescue me…is to be WITH you, to experience the closeness that is your desire.”
Have we yet grasped that God designed us to BE with Him? To be in full, active, person-to-person relationship?
Speaking about the purpose of the mercy seat, in Exodus 25:22, the Lord said “And there I will meet with you and I will speak with you.” This should blow our minds. It should be the basis for a much deeper, more impactful understanding of our Creator’s purpose in giving each of us life.
The Reason we Exist
The unfolding of God’s purpose for us can only take place when we prioritize BEING with Him. Our activity, our service for Him is good. He calls us to do good works. However, what He tells us in Exodus takes precedence and requires continual refreshing in our priorities. This is true especially now, when the external, threatening conditions of the world around us clamor, competing for our primary attention.
Our destiny—the reason we exist—is to know God intimately, daily, conversationally. The first people, Adam and Eve, heard the Lord walking in the Garden in the cool of the day coming toward them to talk with them (Genesis 3:8).
Is this not exactly what the Lord later told the Israelites? “There (at the place of atonement) I will meet with you and I will speak with you.” All along, our Father’s desire has been to walk with us and to talk with us.
This longing of God’s heart is movingly displayed in Yeshua’s story of the prodigal son. The father LONGED for his wayward son to return. And when the lad finally came home, his father showered him with forgiveness, blessings, and birthright. Why? Because the dad’s primary desire was to BE WITH his son and to share life with him.
We are told in the Book of Romans that we have been adopted as sons and daughters of God. Does this not bring home the message of us being earnestly WANTED by God? Does that not change our view of ourselves and of life in this challenging world?
Yes, He brings us to Himself. He wants to meet with us and to speak with us daily, continually.
Do we get it?
Rage and Eruption
By Guy Cohen
One night, recently, I was awakened and I sensed two words – Rage and Eruption. These words were in English even though I am not a native English speaker.
I found this interesting since I was planning to teach on Revelation 16. There we read of God’s wrath upon mankind and on the earth, including the waters, the sun, the atmosphere, and the very air we breathe. The eruption and deluge of destruction are the judgment of God poured out against His own creation – man and earth.
“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.’” (Revelation 16:1)
We see in Revelation 16 that many will not come to their senses even as cataclysmic judgment is falling. Many still will not humble themselves, repent and receive Him. Many still refuse to listen. If we look at the period of the plagues in Egypt, we can see a very similar situation. Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, even as plague after plague was visited upon him and his people. The difference is that mankind becomes our own pharaoh. Mankind is not willing to release themselves from the spirit of stubbornness which resists God. We see this power of evil mentioned in Revelation 16 and how it controls mankind already today.
“They cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify Him.” (Revelation 16:9)
It never ceases to amaze me how, no matter what, there are those whose hearts remain stubborn and refuse to turn to God.
It is as if nothing He does is ever enough to win over some hardened hearts. When God brings punishment, as even a good earthly father sometimes does; men ask where His love is or claim that there is no God. In the eyes of the world, we, as believers in Yeshua, are strange. We, having given Him a place in our hearts, are called to be different, to be a light and to separate from the things of this world.
Let us heed the warning of Hebrews 12:25, “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, how much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven.”
The End of the “Plague” or just the Beginning?
The reason for this teaching is that I see 2022 not to be the end of plagues, but just the beginning.
Why? I believe we have yet to learn the lessons of this period of testing. Through this plague called COVID, there was the opportunity for men’s hearts to be turned to Yeshua and for believers to join in unity in prayer and intercession, asking God for breakthroughs in this and other areas. However, for the most part, men’s hearts have been distanced from God and sadly, some congregations have divided and dispersed.
In the days to come, may we witness a real change in heart. May we stand together as believers in Yeshua, claiming God’s promises from Psalm 91 for His protection over our households.
May no fear, pestilence, plague, or disaster come near your tents.
Wise, Beautiful, & Innocent…
By Leon Mazin
In the Torah portion, “Chayei Sarah (The life of Sarah)”, the original Hebrew text says that Sarah lived for “one hundred years and twenty years and seven years”. In Hebrew, her age is described in that way. (Genesis 23:1)
Commentators say that at the age of 127, Sarah was as wise as a woman who had reached one hundred years, as beautiful as a 20 year old, and as innocent as a seven year old.
Celebrating Twenty Years
Therefore, twenty years can be seen as the age at which one attains beauty and perfection. I have the pleasure of informing you that Shavei Tzion was founded 20 years ago. The congregation is celebrating its 20th anniversary and it is a truly a beautiful community! I want to thank all our dear friends – those from far away and those nearby. We are tremendously grateful for your generosity and partnership with Shavei Tzion.
I remember a call from a friend who asked, “What will you call the congregation?” The name that came to my heart was Shavei Tzion – those who (like my family, from the Diaspora) have returned to Zion having heard the Voice of Heaven!
We started out as a small evangelism project sent from the Tents of Mercy Congregation to nearby Haifa, helping new immigrants settle in their new homeland. Through these immigrants we spontaneously emerged as our own congregation – “Return to Zion.” With God’s help, we increased and grew strong!
Allow me another quick Hebrew lesson… When Noah blessed his sons, he said, “May God expand/multiply Japheth.” (Japheth in Hebrew means Beautiful/Propagating). Our congregation has been privileged to spread the good news to many. Online broadcasting from Shavei Zion has been providing instruction and pioneering a new style of worship to Messianic congregations here and in other countries for over ten years. The online audio-visual library of our “Oasis-Media” site contains thousands of lessons and sermons built up over 20 years. The impact has been significant, teaching Jews the Jewish context of belief in our Savior Yeshua, not rejecting their Jewish identity but, on the contrary, returning them to the roots of their forefathers.
For the last five years we have not had to advertise to find the needy people we support through our humanitarian programs. Word about us has spread far and near – that there is help for all who come to our door. We can barely cope with all the requests that we receive, but we thank God that we can be His hands of mercy for many of those who are Returning to Zion!
We ask you to pray for the Grace of God to be upon us, that we may continue doing what we believe the Lord has entrusted to us.
- New homegroup for Alpha course graduates.
- New Hebrew homegroup.
- Anointing and leading from God for our youth group.
- A prompt roof repair of our building.
Peace and blessings to you and your loved ones in Yeshua the Messiah.
Beneficial Side Effect
You know how every pill these days comes with a long list of potential adverse side effects?
Well, the unwelcome stir and restrictions around COVID brought a beneficial side effect to the sour tasting “medicine” of Israeli lockdowns. These gave an impetus to Tents of Mercy and other related Israeli congregations to improve our connection with congregants and partners through the help of YouTube – an unexpected boon.
Please take a peak at any of the 47 Tents of Mercy Hebrew worship sessions with English-language, short-exhortation sermon segments, and our related YouTube channels below. “Dropping by” on the Web is sure cheaper than coming to visit us on a guided tour, and easier than getting past airport health officials 😉
Please click to visit and subscribe, and let us know what you think.
Tents of Mercy – Congregation in Haifa Bay
Oasis Media – Shavei Tzion Congregation in Haifa
Tiferet Yeshua TLV – Congregation in Tel Aviv