- From 1948 to 2018: What’s the Big Deal?
- Where is the Lamb?
- Eagle Project 2018
- "Kelim" - Equipping for Destiny
- Download June newsletter as a PDF
From 1948 to 2018: What’s the Big Deal?
Constantly in the news, grabbing headlines out of all proportion to her land mass or population, Israel seems to provoke an emotional response—either deep respect or deadly hatred.
Now, in a bold move that is drawing both protest and praise from around the globe, the United States is moving its embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s now and forever capital. This dramatic change, which brought the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, took place exactly seventy years after David Ben Gurion declared Israel’s independence as a nation-state—a homeland for Jewish people everywhere. Hearing the hue and cry of voices opposing the placement of a foreign embassy in the capital city, one cannot escape the irony. Every nation on earth is expected to choose its capital city and govern its people according to its own laws and customs. But when Israel welcomes the establishment of America’s diplomatic offices in Jerusalem, known to all as its national capital, this is considered an outrage. Why?
To answer this peculiar question we must return to the Hebrew Bible. Here, the ancient prophets foresaw the illogical and venomous response to Jerusalem. Here, we view the phenomenal saga of Jerusalem’s early choice by God, her impressive growth during the reigns of David and Solomon, her destruction at Babylonian hands (witnessed and described by Jeremiah), the exile and return of her inhabitants (recorded by Ezra and Nehemiah), and the prediction of a yet longer exile (prophesied by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea) to be followed ultimately by the miraculous resurrection and restoration of the people to Jerusalem and all Israel.
Both the disproportionate focus on Israel and the outrage over Jerusalem were predicted 2500 years ago.
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:1-3).
Authority that Supersedes Human Governments
The nations of the world cannot comprehend the meaning of Israel and her capital city, Jerusalem. Why? It is because they don’t recognize God’s authority. Without the concept of a sovereign, divine Authority that supersedes human governments, the idea that God has declared His choices, values, and plans sounds absurd.
“Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed…He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision…‘Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion.’” (Psalm 2:1-6)
Our destiny is to welcome Yeshua back to the very city in which He was pierced for our transgressions, His back shredded for our redemption. Anticipating His arrival transforms our daily routine into preparation for the ultimate coronation. Despite our foibles, God has involved us in this history-forming process. Our role is as intercessors, persevering in agreement with His plans.
“I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6,7)
This is a year to celebrate, and to rededicate ourselves to preparing the way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3). – Eitan Shiskoff, Pastor Emeritus
Where is the Lamb?
Several years ago my wife Terri and I noticed an interesting aspect of one of most famous passages of Scripture in the Torah. It is a passage which Jewish people know well. It is the story of Abraham and Isaac when God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah. Abraham immediately chose to obey. Being a prophet of God (Genesis 20:7) Abraham knew that Isaac would somehow be restored to him. As they ascended the mountain, Isaac was carrying the wood for the fire, and asked his father, “Where is the lamb?” Abraham replied: “God will Himself provide the lamb for a burnt offering.”
But, as it turned out, God did not, on that occasion, provide a LAMB. He provided a RAM. So then we ask, “Where is the lamb God said He would provide as a substitutionary sacrifice?” “Where is the Lamb of God?” The answer, of course, is that Yeshua is the substitutionary sacrifice, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, as John the Baptizer proclaimed in the Gospel of John 1:29.
So, at Passover this year we decided to print these Scriptures and give them out to the people of our congregation, and to unbelieving friends and neighbors. We wanted them to consider this question which they have never noticed before – the same question that Isaac asked his father: “Where is the lamb?”
We are now printing the Scriptures in tract form, to be handed out with an actual, stuffed figure of a lamb, to emphasize and continually remind readers of the question. We will also make it available to other congregations. Just today, the pastor of the largest Messianic congregation in Israel saw it and wanted copies for his people to hand out.
It’s a hit, and it’s all about the Lamb of God!!!
“But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ Then he said, ‘Look, the ﬁre and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’” (Genesis 22:7) “And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’ So the two of them went together…” (Genesis 22:8) “Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.” (Genesis 22:13)
ABRAHAM WAS A PROPHET OF GOD. HE SAID GOD WOULD PROVIDE FOR HIMSELF A LAMB. GOD PROVIDED A RAM, NOT A LAMB.
QUESTION: WHERE IS THE LAMB GOD SAID HE WOULD PROVIDE? WHERE IS THE LAMB OF GOD?
“He was oppressed and He was afﬂ icted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)
“And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, ‘Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?’ But He kept silent and answered nothing…” (Mark 14:60-61a)
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29) – Eric Morey, Founding Elder
Eagle Project 2018
We are in the middle of preparations for the Eagle Project 2018!
In August of this year, more than twenty young adults from eight congregations around Israel, will participate in this year’s Eagle Project, a discipleship program that takes place in Norway. We strongly believe that, by investing in our youth, we will establish a strong foundation for future generations of leaders and servants in the body of Messiah.
We invite you to partner with us so that we can bear much fruit together in this endeavor. We have many plans for this youth project to help enable our young participants to become God’s key instruments for influence and change in the future.
This endeavor requires significant funding as well as other resources. We are also aware of spiritual opposition as we reach out to these precious young people, for the enemy knows the power of the youth (1 John 2:14).
Where we need assistance:
Prayer: Perhaps you would feel led to pray for the project on a weekly or daily basis, on your own or even in your home group and congregation.
Gifts: Perhaps you would like to bless these young adults with items such as Bibles, bags and trip items. Most of the young people will have just finished their army service and would appreciate your caring through small presents.
Funds: If God puts it in your heart to provide financial support, you are welcome to donate to the project. If you have never heard about the Eagle Project, please read the latest article posted on Kehila News or the archived article in Tikkun from September 2016.
by Evgeni Stanukevich
“Kelim” – Equipping for Destiny
Sometimes we as believers invent words. Like discipleship. We don’t actually see this word mentioned anywhere in Scripture, yet we have received it as a Biblical term, and its meaning is definitely in God’s heart. So what does it really mean?
It means more than becoming a follower of Yeshua. It means becoming like the One we follow, “God-likeness.” That is our destiny. (Luke 6:40, I John 3:2)
This year at Tents of Mercy we have been focusing on discipleship deeply and seriously. We are concentrating on mentoring and equipping the different groups of our community – from the youth, to the young adults, to the young couples, to the mature couples. Much of the first half of the year was spent reviewing “God-likeness” from various angles. Then we took different groups to do focused weekend equipping retreats. One such group was the young couples. In mid- February, 15 couples gathered near the Sea of Galilee for a marriage seminar weekend. Those days were a time of refreshing insight and vision for a “God-like” marriage. (See photo)
Now we are working with the young adults, ages 18-30. These young believers carry a great promise of revival, yet they are facing some intense struggles. Some of their challenges are caused by army service, living in a highly secular society or just being the target of an enemy who does not want the realization of God’s promises for their generation (Psalms 24:6-10). We are certain that with the right tools, this generation will be used by God to bring revival to Israel. So we are starting a year-long program called “Kelim*” for young adults, which will include four weekend retreats. It will begin in July and continue through March of 2019. We will be equipping in four essential areas: walking with the Lord, identity, calling and relationships.
It is amazing! Although there were many people whom Yeshua complimented for their faith, knowledge, or good deeds, yet He only commissioned and sent out those whom He discipled. That says a lot about God’s heart for training for “Godlikeness.” In order to fully realize our gifting, calling and destiny we must not bypass, but rather grasp the opportunities God provides for training and equipping. That is why we also feel led and inspired to focus on equipping the next generation for their promising destiny.
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (I John 3:1-3). – by Avi Tekle
*Kelim is a Hebrew word meaning “instruments” or “weapons” in Biblical Hebrew and “tools” in Modern Hebrew.