State of Religious Freedom in Israel – 31 May 2014

In the wake of the ‘writing on the wall’ at the congregational home of Yeshua’s Inheritance Congregation, Donna Diorio, of IsraelPrayer, has written an update article wrapping up some recent events from a perspective of watching developments over many years:

http://israelwatcherasecondopinion.blogspot.co.il/2014/05/the-state-of-religious-freedom-in.html

For readers unacquainted with the lawsuit referenced by Donna, you can read our update reports on them beginning with this post from 2007:

http://streamsinthenegev.com/lawsuit/lawsuit-update-initiation-of-suit-9-feb-2007/

The Writing on the Wall – 23 May 2014

Yesterday morning, offensive writing offending religious sensitivities was found spray painted on the wall surrounding the property used by the Messianic congregation, Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua’s Inheritance), in Beer Sheva.   This is known as a “price tag”, property attacks of incitement against those whom extremists oppose, usually against Palestinian Arabs and against Christians.

Six months ago, during a Jews For Jesus evangelism campaign in Beer Sheva, Jewish teenage yeshiva students, with their rabbi, were filmed defacing the same property, but the police refused to take any action against them.

Here is an article in the English edition of HAARETZ online newspaper about the current obscenity, which may have been to express their attitudes towards the visit of the Roman Catholic Pope to Israel this coming week:

http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/1.592439?v=8C4355BD3CDBBC7715EFABCE19D9E289

One day they will know better who Yeshua/Jesus really is.  May God forgive them now, for they still do not know what they are doing.

At The Crossroads Conference in Jerusalem – 20 May 2014

Last week, from May 13-16, the second bi-annual “At The Crossroads” conference was held in Jerusalem at Christ Church inside Jaffa Gate.  The conference did not focus on either politics or theology, but on carrying out the Great Commission in a triangular region in the middle of the Earth inspired by the Word of God in Isaiah 19: 23-25:  the highway from Egypt to Assyria (the whole area of its former empire), with Israel in between as the bridge of peace.

In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.  In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the Earth, whom the Lord (YHVH) of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

The participants were mostly former Muslims who have come to faith in the truth of Messiah being Yeshus/Jesus.  They were Kurds, Turks, Egyptians, Iranians, Algerians, Arabs; and also at the conference were some Israeli Jewish and non-Jewish believers, including Arab Palestinian.  It was an exciting time of praise and worship together, with testimonies of how God, through the truth of the gospel, has changed lives and hearts and minds.  There were some exceptional messages of understanding what God is doing, and of how Abraham is such a father figure to us all.  The name “Israel” was spoken freely, despite some of the participants risking their lives to be in Israel at such a conference.  The sponsor and host of the gathering is the CMJ (Christian Mission among the Jewish People), and was held at the oldest Protestant church building in the Middle East.

You can read some reports of At The Crossroads by journalist Charles Gardner here:  http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24620/Default.aspx?hp=article_title

Here is the CMJ report of the first conference in 2012, including the conference resolutions as to its intent and purpose:  http://www.cmj.org.uk/downloads/atthecrossroadsconferencereport.pdf

Dates To Remember

Times and seasons have a way of stirring the memories, both personal and collective. Depending on what they may signify, the reactions and anticipations may vary among individuals or nations, or among those joined together through religion or faith. Below are some historical markers that are beginning to converge to draw attention to a watershed, perhaps. Both friend and foe are taking notice.

Oct 31, 1517 – Reformation Day, which gave the Bible back to the people that they may be saved by faith alone in God and His Word
1517 – Turkish Ottoman Muslim Empire begins rule in the Holy Land, the land of the God of the Bible

1882-1903 — First Aliyah (Immigration wave), following pogroms (riots) in Russia in 1881-1882

Aug 29, 1897 – First Zionist Congress in Basle, led by Theodor Herzl, who prophetically understood the times that the Jewish people needed to seek “a publicly recognized legally secured homeland”
http://www.herzl.org/english/Article.aspx?Item=544

June 28, 1914 – the assasination of Austrian arch-duke in Serbia, the catalyst for the declaration a month later of what became WW1, ending on Nov 11, 1918; “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”

Oct 31, 1917 – ANZAC/Lighthorse Beer Sheva Charge victory over Ottomans in break-through victory towards return of Jewish people back to Land of Israel, and of ending 400 years of Ottoman rule in Holy Land, and 400 years to the day of the Reformation; British War Cabinet approves text of Balfour Declaration
http://www.lighthorse.org.au/famous-battles/world-war-one/famous-battles-the-battle-at-beersheba

Nov 2, 1917 – Balfour Declaration of intent of British government to establish a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine; “It shall come to pass in that day that [YHVH God] shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left . . . . He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the Earth.”
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/the%20balfour%20declaration.aspx
(here is a site devoted to regretting the Balfour Declaration: http://www.balfourproject.org/ )

Dec 11, 1917 – Jerusalem surrendered to British General Edmund Allenby and the Allies from Turkish Ottoman control
http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/node/6131

Apr 25, 1920 – San Remo Resolution ratified by post-WW1 Allied Powers, legally sanctioning the establishment of the Jewish people back in the land of their fathers
http://www.cfr.org/israel/san-remo-resolution/p15248

Aug 12, 1922 – League of Nations establishes British Mandate in Palestine, authorized to carry out San Remo Resolution (which legally sanctioned the intent of the Balfour Declaration)
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp

Sept 1, 1939 – Sept 2, 1945 – World War II

Nov 29, 1947 – UN Partition Plan for Palestine, offering both Jewish people and Arab Palestinians states. Israel accepted what for them constituted “a publicly recognized legally secured homeland”; the Arabs rejected, and prepared for war (Israel’s Independence War, 1948-49); 430 yrs since the restored promise of salvation and righteousness by faith in YHVH God and His Word, and of the Ottoman Islamic control of the Land of Israel
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/un%20general%20assembly%20resolution%20181.aspx

May 14, 1948 – State of Israel as the re-established homeland for the Jewish people proclaimed by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, in accord with the legal status conferred by both the League of Nations and the United Nations; the British Mandate ended day before
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/declaration%20of%20establishment%20of%20state%20of%20israel.aspx

Jun 7, 1967 – Capture of Jerusalem in Six-Day War, unifying the city in Israeli Jewish hands (70 years after 1st Zionist Cong; 50 yrs Jubilee since Balfour Declaration)

Dec 9, 1987 – First Intifada (Arab uprising) begins, lasting seven years, leading to Oslo Accords between the State of Israel and the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), signed on Sept 13, 1993

Sept 29, 2000 – Second Intifada begins, inconclusively ending in a truce on Feb 8, 2005, and leading to the Gaza disengagement on Sept 12, 2005

2014100 years since start of WW1

201570 yrs since end of WW2

2017500 yrs since the Reformation; 120 yrs since 1st Zionist Cong; 100 yrs (double Jubilee) since Beer Sheva Charge, the Balfour Declaration, and the capture of Jerusalem by Gentile Christians; 70 yrs since UN Partition Plan; 50 yrs Jubilee since capture of Jerusalem by Israeli Jews; 30 yrs since beginning of 1st Palestinian Intifada (“breaking the yoke; horse shaking off the rider”)

2018100 yrs from end of WW1; 70 yrs of Israel’s re-established nation-state

202880 yrs since Israel’s re-establishment as homeland for the Jewish people

20?? – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Dates to Remember

Times and seasons have a way of stirring the memories, both personal and collective. Depending on what they may signify, the reactions and anticipations may vary among individuals or nations, or among those joined together through religion or faith. Below are some historical markers that are beginning to converge to draw attention to a watershed, perhaps. Both friend and foe are taking notice.

Oct 31, 1517 – Reformation Day, which gave the Bible back to the people that they may be saved by faith alone in God and His Word
1517 – Turkish Ottoman Muslim Empire begins rule in the Holy Land, the land of the God of the Bible

1882-1903 — First Aliyah (Immigration wave), following pogroms (riots) in Russia in 1881-1882

Aug 29, 1897 – First Zionist Congress in Basle, led by Theodor Herzl, who prophetically understood the times that the Jewish people needed to seek “a publicly recognized legally secured homeland”
http://www.herzl.org/english/Article.aspx?Item=544

June 28, 1914 – the assasination of Austrian arch-duke in Serbia, the catalyst for the declaration a month later of what became WW1, ending on Nov 11, 1918; “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”

Oct 31, 1917 – ANZAC/Lighthorse Beer Sheva Charge victory over Ottomans in break-through victory towards return of Jewish people back to Land of Israel, and of ending 400 years of Ottoman rule in Holy Land, and 400 years to the day of the Reformation
http://www.lighthorse.org.au/famous-battles/world-war-one/famous-battles-the-battle-at-beersheba

Nov 2, 1917 – Balfour Declaration of intent of British government to establish a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine; “It shall come to pass in that day that [YHVH God] shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left . . . . He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the Earth.”
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/the%20balfour%20declaration.aspx
(here is a site devoted to regretting the Balfour Declaration: http://www.balfourproject.org/ )

Dec 11, 1917 – Jerusalem surrendered to British General Edmund Allenby and the Allies from Turkish Ottoman control
http://www.colonialfilm.org.uk/node/6131

Apr 25, 1920 – San Remo Resolution ratified by post-WW1 Allied Powers, legally sanctioning the establishment of the Jewish people back in the land of their fathers
http://www.cfr.org/israel/san-remo-resolution/p15248

Aug 12, 1922 – League of Nations establishes British Mandate in Palestine, authorized to carry out San Remo Resolution (which legally sanctioned the intent of the Balfour Declaration)
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp

Sept 1, 1939 – Sept 2, 1945 – World War II

Nov 29, 1947 – UN Partition Plan for Palestine, offering both Jewish people and Arab Palestinians states. Israel accepted what for them constituted “a publicly recognized legally secured homeland”; the Arabs rejected, and prepared for war (Israel’s Independence War, 1948-49); 430 yrs since the restored promise of salvation and righteousness by faith in YHVH God and His Word, and of the Ottoman Islamic control of the Land of Israel
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/un%20general%20assembly%20resolution%20181.aspx

May 14, 1948 – State of Israel as the re-established homeland for the Jewish people proclaimed by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, in accord with the legal status conferred by both the League of Nations and the United Nations; the British Mandate ended day before
http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/declaration%20of%20establishment%20of%20state%20of%20israel.aspx

Jun 7, 1967 – Capture of Jerusalem in Six-Day War, unifying the city in Israeli Jewish hands (70 years after 1st Zionist Cong; 50 yrs Jubilee since Balfour Declaration)

Dec 9, 1987 – First Intifada (Arab uprising) begins, lasting seven years, leading to Oslo Accords between the State of Israel and the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), signed on Sept 13, 1993

Sept 29, 2000 – Second Intifada begins, inconclusively ending in a truce on Feb 8, 2005, and leading to the Gaza disengagement on Sept 12, 2005

2014100 years since start of WW1

201570 yrs since end of WW2

2017500 yrs since the Reformation; 120 yrs since 1st Zionist Cong; 100 yrs (double Jubilee) since Beer Sheva Charge, the Balfour Declaration, and the capture of Jerusalem by Gentile Christians; 70 yrs since UN Partition Plan; 50 yrs Jubilee since capture of Jerusalem by Israeli Jews; 30 yrs since beginning of 1st Palestinian Intifada (“breaking the yoke; horse shaking off the rider”)

2018100 yrs from end of WW1; 70 yrs of Israel’s re-established nation-state

202880 yrs since Israel’s re-establishment as homeland for the Jewish people

20?? – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Record May Rainfall in All of Israel – 9 May 2014

Israel experienced a rare nation-wide lightning and thunder storm, pouring record amounts of rainfall, accompanied by hail, going back to 1920.  On Wednesday night, May 7, the storm began, continuing through much of the day on Thursday.   The Negev region suffered flash floods and stranded hikers and tourists.

In the Negev, May is usually a dry month, following the rainy season of the Israeli winter.   This winter was exceptionally dry throughout much of the country, and the rainfall of the last two days was more than January and February combined!  The roads into and out of the southern-most city of Eilat were closed due to flooding.  Beer Sheva received app. 36 mm of rain; Arad 44 mm!

You can read a fuller account, with a video of the falls at Ein Gedi across from the Dead Sea, in this news article from the English version of HAARETZhttp://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.589491

Israel’s Independence Day – 6 May 2014

Tuesday, May 6, is Israel’s 66th Independence Day.  Millions of Jews suffered, were murdered, died in the Holocaust; tens of thousands more have died in the wars from the inception of the re-establishment of the Jewish people back in their homeland; hundreds are memorialized for their deaths since 1860 as they ‘returned to Zion’.  All of this human tragedy and valor as a price in order to be redeemed from the lands of exile, scattered around the globe, after 1900 years, and to be free as a people in their own  land.  And yet. . . .there is still no genuine and lasting peace, freedom, nor true independence.  These can come only from God, and specifically from the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob — Yehovah, Possessor of Heaven and Earth.

No man can save himself, at any price.  He needs the right man who has legal rights of redemption, and is capable and willing to pay the price required.  Redemption is always from a negative state to a restored and improved positive situation than the original condition had been.  For example, we who know Jesus/Yeshua as Lord and Messiah, have not been forgiven of our sins just to continue on as before.  This might seem “good enough”.  But no!  We have also received the indwelling of God’s own Spirit to purify us, and have inherited eternal life and the Kingdom of God with the Lord!   Far better!  The eternal life is not a return to the original ‘Paradise’, the Garden of Eden, as good as that might seem:  the serpent, the devil, was there, as was the forbidden fruit to frustrate mankind from the beginning.  The New Heavens and New Earth for the redeemed will be perfect, with all futility removed and no thing to mar them forever.  Far better!

When we fellowship in the Lord’s Supper, we remember our redemption and the price paid for it.  But it is not something merely factual:  we remember with love and thanksgiving our Redeemer and Ransomer who gave Himself as the human seed of Abraham, that all who believe — whether of Abraham’s natural covenanted family or not — receive the unimaginable greater benefits which come with salvation, bought with the price of the blood of the Son of God crucified.  Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ is the New Covenant:  He is the Lamb slain; His is the blood.  God has raised Him from the dead and given Him glory.  He is Israel’s Hope.

We were slaves to sin and death; now we are free to righteousness and life.  A return to God through Jesus, and knowing the Father and the Son  — and being known by the Lord:  this is true peace, liberty, and independence.