RIPE FOR HARVEST – 26 Jan 2012

(quoted from Arni Klein, Klein Fax, 20 Jan 2012)

Most of you will remember the court battle in Beer Sheva between the Messianic believers and the orthodox community.  In the natural,one might say it didn’t turn out well considering all the time, energy, resources, prayer, and heart that was sown during those days.  We generally expect victory to look a certain way.  As we perceived it,that battle was not really about right and wrong or our reputation.   Our hearts’ desire was that the souls imprisoned by a cultish religious structure would be freed.

Over recent months the darkness of the orthodox system has been front-page news.  The cover has been pulled back revealing their intolerance of any one different as being quite ugly and surprisingly violent.  Could it be that we are witnessing an unexpected face of victory?  Rather than this spirit being bound, it is being given more freedom so all might see it as it really is.  Many have long been at the edge of this community unable to take the step out to the freedom their heart longs for.

Beloved, this is a strategic time to focus our prayers on those that are hearing the Lord calling.  May this exposure be the push that gives those that really do love the truth the strength and conviction to make the break.

JESUS CHRIST, THE FRIEND OF WOMEN – 27 Dec 2011

In recent days and weeks, certain sects within the ultra-orthodox Jewish religious community, especially in Jerusalem and in Beit Shemesh, have openly displayed their utter contempt towards women.  This manifests a similar spirit seen in Islam, and is also the attitude of the antichrist. (Dan 11:37; 2Tim 3:3)  This contemptible behavior is in accord with the prayer in the Talmud (the sacred oral law and tradition of rabbinic Judaism), in which the men thank God for not making them women!

The Law of Moses, with all its seeming inequalities between males and females, nonetheless elevates women to a far higher status than in the laws and customs of the gentile nations of those times.  In the New Testament, brought in with the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ, God further elevated the status and dignity of women, seen in numerous verses and passages throughout the gospels and epistles.  There are still differences in matters of priorities and service, but males and females are completely equal and loved in God’s estimation, and both are being converted into the image of the Son of God.  All are priests of God in Messiah; the Body of Christ is the Bride of the Lamb; husbands are admonished and commanded to love their wives as themselves.

The Gospel of Luke especially shows the Lord Jesus as a friend of downtrodden women, downcast women, widows, even of fallen and sinful women.  His whole manner and attitude towards women was one of utmost respect and mercy.  The Holy Spirit lifts the head of women to a station of honor, in which they do not need to feel less than men and put down, but can find their fulfillment in that for which God created and redeemed them to bring honor and glory to the LORD first of all, and to their husbands, if they are married. (Prov 31)  The contempt of darkened religious perversion of the love and truth of God toward women has no place in the heart and mind of men who also know the love and humility of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who comes as the Lamb of God.

May many Jewish and Muslim women begin to look to the true God of Heaven and Earth for their joy and hope of salvation from the oppression, subjugation, and hatred which they suffer under, and find their liberty and dignity in the Lover and Healer of their souls.

THE TEMPLE OF GOD

Tisha b’Av/9th of Av

The Temple is a:
House of God– a dwelling place for the Father and his family
Throne room – King of Righteousness
Seat of judgment — Judge of Righteousness
Holy Place – glory and worship of God

Dt 12:11-14   the place where YHVH God chooses to make His Name abide.  There you shall bring all [of your offerings].
Josh 18:1; Ex 25:40   the Tabernacle – made according to the Heavenly pattern – set up in Shiloh      (for almost 400 years)

2Sam 7:1-7,11,13   David wants to build YHVH a house; God says that He never spoke a word about that to anyone from the tribes of Israel.  The Son of David (not Solomon nor a son of Solomon, but of Nathan Lk 3:31) will build a house for God’s Name, and His throne will be established forever.
2Sam 24:16-25; 1Kg 3:15   Jerusalem the chosen place for the altar of sacrifice to YHVH

1Kg 5:5; 8:27   Solomon directs Hiram to build a house for the Name of YHVH God; the Shechinah Glory was in that Temple, which cannot contain the fullness of the God of the Universe!

Jer 26:6   YHVH declares through Jeremiah that He will destroy the Temple and Jerusalem

2Kg 25:8-9; Jer 52:12-14   the first Temple – the House of YHVH – burned and destroyed by Babylonians in 586 BC

2Chr 36:22-23   Cyrus, King of Persia, commanded by YHVH God of Heaven to let Israelis return to the Land of Israel and build another House of YHVH in Jerusalem

Hag 2:1-9   new Temple built, not as glorious as the first:  the Shechinah Glory was not there!  Destined to be greater than the first temple and to be filled with the glory of YHVH:  Yeshua was there!

Zech 7:4-7; 9:18-19   no more fasting for believers in Messiah on the 9th of Av (the fifth Hebrew month), or in the month of Tishrei (the seventh month); all of these mentioned fasts(and in the 4th and 10th months) have to do with the destruction of the Temple, and the Babylonian invasion and captivity; Messiah Yeshua has brought days of rejoicing instead of mourning

Mt 24:1-2   Jesus prophesied the destruction of the 2nd  Temple, which occurred in 70 AD

Jn 2:19-22   Jesus Himself the Temple in His own body

Mt 12:6   Jesus greater than the Temple

1Cor 6:19-20   born-again believers are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are to glorify God in our     body and in our spirit; sacrifices of thanksgiving, of praise; our bodies a living sacrifice

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Dan 9:27; Mt 24:15; 2Thes 2:3-4; Rev 11:1-2   the antichrist perverting the Temple of God

Ezek 43:4-12; Mal 3:3   millennial Temple in Jerusalem in the Land of Israel, God’s dwelling place in the midst of the children of Israel, Levites offering sacrifices in righteousness

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Rev 21:1-4,22-23   no physical Temple in the new heavens and new Earth, for YHVH God of Hosts and the Lamb are its Temple.  The glory of YHVH God fills His new creation; God will be all in all!

Surveys and Commentary – 5 Apr 2011

In recent days there have been interesting items in the news and opinion pages, which we as believers in Israel would do well to heed as realistic attitudes.  One is a survey of Israeli young people; the other a couple of paragraphs of an insightful commentary by Caroline Glick.  She found it pertinent to express her views about Messianic Jews in her article concerning a Jewish problem.

In an article published April 1 in the online JWR (Jewish World Review), “Jewry’s Jewish Problem”, Caroline Glick, whose commentaries I generally find to be very incisive, makes use of her perception — and that of most Jewish people everywhere — regarding Messianic Jews to make her point.  Here is an excerpt from the article:  

According to the AJC and Brandeis surveys, less than ten percent of American Jews tend to accept the Arab line against Israel. Given the wall to wall support for Israel among American Jews, why do American Jewish organizational leaders refuse to do what their members want them to do? Why are they taking Jewish communal funds to finance activities and causes that are offensive to the Jewish community? Why are they pretending that the call to end communal funding for anti-Israel activities is a call for an abrogation of free speech?

To get a sense of how unprecedented this is, it is useful to consider the American Jewish community’s response to Jews for Jesus. While Reform and Orthodox rabbis agree on almost nothing relating to Jewish laws and practices, since the emergence of Jews for Jesus in the 1970s, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis have been unified in their rejection of the Christian missionary group’s protestations of being Jewish.

Everyone understands that while Jews have a perfect right to change their religion, they have no right to force the Jewish community to accept Christians as Jews. That is they have no right to change the definition of Judaism to include people who worship Jesus. So-called Messianic Jews falsely call themselves Jews to undermine the community from within. But no Federation feels compelled to invite a representative of so-called Messianic Jews to proselytize on stage as part of a panel discussion in order to “welcome multiple voices.” Hillel organizations have rightly refused space and funding to Messianic Jewish groups.

But today, American Jews find themselves helpless when a marginal group of anti-Zionist Jews demands —like the Messianic Jews of their day—communal funding and space for their anti-Israel activities.

The anti-Zionist groups make the same arguments as the Messianic Jews. They call themselves pro-Israel even as they engage in activities aimed at harming, defaming, weakening and delegitimizing the Jewish state. They claim that refusing them communal funds constitutes a violation of their free speech rights.

Yet while communal leaders did not hesitate to call the so-called Messianic Jews’ bluff, they cannot find the way to expunge anti-Israel groups from their umbrella organizations. The explanation for this behavior apparently is apparently social. Federation leaders don’t mind disappointing evangelical Christians. But most of their friends are leftist. Consequently, the perceived social cost of taking action against groups like Theater J, J Street, B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence and Jewish Voices for Peace is too high for many American Jewish leaders to bear.

As a present election of grace, we Jewish believers in Jesus are a proof of God’s faithfulness to His covenant promises to His people, and we establish the truth that Jesus says He has come to fulfill all that is written in Moses and the Prophets.  We are not here to impose His Kingdom before the time, but rather to call people out to Him now, and be spared the wrath to come.  What the Jewish Israeli apostle to the Jews preached to all the people of Israel after he was baptized by the Holy Spirit at Shavuot/Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago still remains the essential message of God to His largely unrepentant people.

The other article of interest shows the attitudes of young Israeli people to what they perceive as the most important issues facing the county:

A survey carried out by a German foundation finds Israel’s youth has become more nationalist and does not expect peace. Some 1,200 Jewish youths and 400 Arab youths (not from the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas and not between the ages of 18 and 21) were polled. The survey shows that a third of Jewish youth in Israel say Judaism is the most important goal for the State of Israel – up from only 18% a year ago. Only 14.3% of Jewish youth said democracy was Israel’s most important objective. Over 40% of the Jewish youth identify politically with the nationalist parties, with another 20% expressing solidarity with the “moderate” right-wing. Only 11.5% identify with the left-wing. Among Arab youth, 35% said they “don’t know” their political affiliation – approximately four times more than in the Jewish sector.  Some 41% of the Arab youth said their most important goal was to build a happy family, and 3% said it was to contribute to society.  Among Jews, it was 65.5% and 8.5%, respectively. Nearly three-quarters of Jews felt that security concerns must “always” or “nearly always” take precedence over ideals of democracy if they clash. (INN)

There is a revival of religion and nationalism around the world.  When these two combine —  together with fear, envy, and hatred — an explosive and unprecedented outbreak of violence can be expected.  May the Lord help us “be still, and know that He is God”.

ISRAELIS BECOMING MORE RELIGIOUS – 13 Sept 2010

Greetings in the goodness of our God.

It is still summer, and not only is Israel still not saved, but the summer-time-clock has ended, and we are back on standard time.  With all the different time zones and arbitrary time changes, Yeshua knew what He was saying when He said that we can not know the day and hour of His coming!  Praise God that He knows how to keep His own time!!

An interesting survey taken by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics was published today in the Israeli newspapers, which shows that more Israelis are becoming more religious.  Less than half the population – 42% –  (according to survey statistical measurements ) consider themselves secular.  Most of those surveyed say that they have become “more religious” than they had been before.  The survey broke down the Jewish people into 5 categories:  ultra-orthodox; religious; traditional-religious; traditional, but not religious; secular.

Just yesterday, I was speaking with a new believer about how there is religious revival all around the world in all the religions.  Acts 17:26-31  “And [God] has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the Earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own [Greek] poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’  Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.  Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.  He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from among the dead!”

True and full repentance and revival comes when people come back to the living God Himself, and this is only through His Son, the Lord Yeshua Messiah/Jesus Christ.  There are many ways to come to Jesus; but there is only one way to come to the Father.

The verses quoted above gave me another way of thinking what it means to take the gospel “to the Jew first, and then to the Greeks” (which is the actual Holy Spirit inspired word in the text, not ‘Gentiles’), or that the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation to the Jew first, and also of the Greeks”.  Not everyone necessarily meets or knows or has an opportunity to witness to an actual Jewish person, or to a Greek.  But everyone — and every believer — does know in their own cultures those who are “religious”, and who think that they are more righteous than those who are not; and also those who “philosophize” and “politicize”, who consider the creation and possibility of “gods” or “a god”, but have no “Rock” to stand on.  (I am speaking very generally here.)  It seems that those to whom the gospel first goes are to these “religious, whose righteousness is of law”, and to those who think on “eternal” things, but do not have a rudder to keep them on a steady and clear course.  These “Jews” and “Greeks” have a sense of a “Judge”, a concern for accountable government,  and a hope to attain the world to come by their “good works” and traditions, and by their “good ideas, worldly wisdom, and politics”.  Each in some measure have a fear of God, even if He is unknown to them personally, but hope that should He actually exist, that He would find favor with them.

But even the actual Jewish people have to repent and be born-again through saving faith in Yeshua; even Cornelius — a God-fearing [Roman] military man —  had to learn the way of salvation through the God of Israel’s Messiah for the Jews, and also for the “good person”; and Paul felt the unction to reveal the true and personal God to the Greeks who only knew of Him as a rumor.  And the issue has to do with Jesus coming again to judge the world in righteousness!  Hallelu-Yah, say all the saints! 

Turning to religion is a step in the right direction for some people, and a falling away for others.  The religious spirit is opposed to the liberty which comes to those whose faith is anchored in the truth of the gospel.  The gospel is neither Jewish nor Greek; it is neither religious nor political nor military; it is neither right nor left.  May we see many more of the Jews and of the Greeks, and also of those “who were not initially invited”, come into the Father’s house!

This week, the Jewish people are preparing for the holiest day of the year in Judaism — the Day of Atonements.  In the survey, most of the Israelis, including the secular, go to the synagogue on that day, if they ever go at all.  My family did the same as we grew up in Conservative Judaism in the U.S.  Let us pray for their eyes to be opened, and their hearts to be stirred.  In the wonderful sovereignty of God and the authority which Yeshua has over His own countrymen, the Book of Jonah is read in the synagogues on Yom Ha-Kippurim (The Day of Atonements)!  Yeshua said that Jonah — a prophet from the Galilee —  is the only sign He would give them to prove who He is!  Our Lord and God reigns, even in Israel!

God bless you all, and praise Him that our names are already written in the Lamb’s Book of Life in Heaven!

Lawsuit Update – 17 May 2010

We are still waiting for Judge Iddo Ruzin to deliver his verdict on our case.  It is possible that he has already decided and posted it in the mail, or it may be that he is still deliberating on it.  In any case, we hope to receive his decision in the coming days.

This may be a good time to say plainly that we have not gone into this suit as a civil liberties issue, nor on the basis of Israel being a democratic country.  There are many who would deny that Israel is a full democracy, nor do we want to defend the right of ‘sinners’ to parade themselves as a ‘basic civil right or liberty’.  It is no sin to be born Jewish or Arab or black; it is not a sin to be Israeli, Korean, or Mexican; it is a sin for any person to break God’s holy and righteous laws, and the laws of a society which have been enacted to protect the general welfare of its citizens, residents, strangers, and aliens.  We know that it is the righteousness of God to believe in Yeshua/Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God.  For the Jewish people as a whole, that is the unforgivable sin!

Democracy has served certain countries well; it is not suited for  others.  The Word of God tells us to pray for all in authority who rule over us; He does not differentiate between forms of government in this commandment for believers in Messiah Yeshua.  God’s government, though, is not a democracy, however much freedom He gives to those under His rule and authority.  God’s government is a KINGDOM, with the Lord Messiah as the KING, which Yeshua has come to restore…and will restore at the appointed time the Father has set for His coming again.

Interestingly, Laodicea means “rule by/of the people”, or, “democracy”!  It’s inherent and fatal flaw — it’s ‘original sin’ — ultimately brings forth compromise and indifference to truth and moral absolutes, and places God OUTSIDE its borders.  Democracy ultimately insists on rule by, for, of the PEOPLE (whatever that may mean) — not by, for, of YHVH GOD.  In this generation, we see the foundations of civil society broken up; ungodly people ‘lording over’ the people; unrighteousness increasing rampantly:  all this on so-called grounds of ‘basic human rights’ and ‘free and democratic elections’, no matter how many do NOT vote, or how ignorant the voters, or how many empty political promises are made, or how corrupt the system.  The enemy of righteousness and peace takes advantage of this falling away (apostasy) when discernment is at a low level, and when the means to hold the flood back are greatly weakened or lacking altogether.

This generation prides itself on its great knowledge and technological brilliance.  Man’s view of itself and his achievements are not quite the way the God of Heaven and Earth assesses reality.  (Look again at the letter of Jesus to His church in Laodicea.)  In the book of Daniel, the image of King Nebuchadnezer’s dream depicts the historic Gentile kingdoms, qualitatively descending  in value from the head down to the feet, until the Kingdom which shall not pass away knocks the whole thing down from underneath.  In God’s estimation, this last non-cohesive clay-mixed-with-iron kingdom of our generation before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in great power and glory to re-establish the Kingdom of God in this world is the LEAST, the POOREST in quality and value!

We did not go to court to perpetuate or to affirm or to take over a world system which is against YHVH and against His Anointed One!  We went to battle for the honor of the name of the Lord Yeshua and of those who believe in Him in connection with the legitimate right for us to lawfully assemble together to worship together on privately owned property — all in accord with the existing laws of the State of Israel, whatever kind of nation it is deemed to be — against those who have disregarded these laws, acted illegally to hinder us from doing so, and then publicly belittled both the event and us who believe.  What we were doing is legal; what they did is not.  Had they done what they did against us against Muslims at a mosque, rather than being in a beit mishpat (court of justice), they would have found themselves in a beit kevurot (a graveyard).  Had what they did against us been done against Jewish people in a synagogue anywhere else in the world — especially the western, Christianized world — there would have have been public outcries by the victims, and a reasonable expectation, even insistence, that religious and political leaders denounce such anti-semitic incitement, acts, and violence.  But here, in Beer Sheva — the City of the Fathers —  and throughout Israel, there has been a virtual news cover-up and no visible intervention by public officials to express their regret over the infringement of our ‘rights’ of religious freedom.

Our battle is not carnal, but spiritual, and will not be won by any arm of the flesh, but only by the Arm of the LORD of Hosts!  We are salt and light in the world, and are to impact it for righteousness sake, for the gospel’s sake, for the Kingdom of God’s sake, for the name of Yeshua’s sake.  If, as a result of our lawsuit, it helps to strengthen the freedoms we do enjoy under the form of government we do have, praise the Lord.  It may also result to serve further efforts to restrict our liberties as believers in Yeshua here in Israel, as was done against Daniel in Babylon, and against Mordecai and the Jews in Persia.  In the world there is tribulation, but praise God, Yeshua has overcome the world!  Harassment and persecution will not end yet as a result of our lawsuit, but more people may come to realize the love of the truth, and call upon the Name of the only One who can deliver and save.

Lawsuit Update – 8 Apr 2010

Greetings in the name of Yeshua, who is and who was and who is to come!

This is a reminder to please remember to continue in prayer for the outcome of our lawsuit against Beer Sheva’s Chief Rabbi Yehuda Deri, and against the anti-Messianic organization, Yad L’Achim.  Our next and “last” scheduled appearance before the Judge Iddo Ruzin is next week on April 15 at 11:10 that morning.

We have submitted to the judge and to the two defendants our position regarding what we expect from them in issuing a public apology for the violence and unpleasant ways during their illegal demonstration and trespass against our congregation on December 24, 2005, and in doing all that is in their power to do to prevent any such recurrence of illegal acts against believers in Yeshua in the future.  We have also stated that we will continue to act within the laws of the State of Israel, as we have done all along.  (Should laws be changed to work against the gospel even more, then we will, of course, in the love of the Lord and by the power of His grace, do our utmost to honor Him and, if necessary,suffer for His name’s sake.)  We walk in the footsteps of those who have gone before, and we follow the Lamb wherever He leads us.

Their responses to the judge and to us is expected by Sunday.  If there is anything I can update you on before the day in court, then I will.  Your prayers and other tangible support through coming together as one Body around this case have been a source of much hope, and I pray that none of us will be disappointed in whatever verdict of the God of all encouragement.  It is not certain that the judge will give his decision next Thursday, and he customarily has up to 30 days following to make his judgment known.  How the Israeli general public will know anything is still a question.

And once more, let us remember:  This lawsuit is not against Israel or against the Jewish people. It is not to be used in any way to foment or promote anti-Israel or anti-Jewish actions or reactions. It is already known through the Scriptures that Israel at present is opposed to the good news of God, so we are not out to make them an enemy. Nor is our legal action intended to be used by any other minority or religious groups in Israel to encourage or affirm anti-Israel/Jewish sentiment. For the sake of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, Israel and her people are beloved by God the Father for His honor and glory, and for the honor and glory of His Son.

Thank-you for your part in carrying this case through to its end for the righteousness of God to rule, and for many in Israel who have fallen to repent and believe the gospel, that they may rise again to serve the living God!

For the peace of Jerusalem above to be upon you already, even as we look to that day when the Jerusalem that now is will know her peace in Messiah our Lord,
Howard

Lawsuit Update – 10 Mar 2010

Shalom upon you!  (Shalom aleichem!)

My apologies for not being able to get this out sooner, since I know that many of you were and have been praying for our day in court yesterday.  Also some of you even called, or SMSed, or sent e-mails, and we are very encouraged by such attentive support.

Up to about 30 also met at Ha-MaKoM for worship and intercession during the course of the court session, which went on till about 1:00pm.  Once again, the defendants displayed a disrespect for the court and for the entire proceedings by showing up late or not at all.  This is the attitude taken by the religious authorities in other cases involving believers in Yeshua here, that the authority of the civil courts are not fully recognized, if at all.  (I would say that believers, who find themselves in court over legal matters in any country, need to be careful not to show contempt of court, since we are commanded to submit to the civil authorities, and not to curse our rulers.)

I still stand amazed how little bearing false witness (perjury) seems to carry much weight in court.  Maybe I am myself pre-judging, but ‘oaths’ to tell only the truth go unchallenged when lies are clearly stated as if true.  Again, I thank God that we have and Advocate in Heaven who intercedes for us!  That we have Someone to call upon who is the Righteous Judge of all the Earth, and who is also the only one who forgives sin, that people would fear Him.

God honors human beings, whom He created in His image and likeness.  Each one, even those who will be sent away from His presence forever, will stand before Yeshua face-to-face for His righteous judgment.  In our present case, the judge has said that the defendants do not even have to show up in court for our next session (April 15), only to be available by telephone!  To me, this only strengthens the attitude of belligerent people to disrespect the legal system.

I am very thankful that yesterday’s proceedings ended with us (including me personally) being able to state our position once again, just as we did at the outset of the pre-trial hearings — but this time before the Judge in the courtroom — that we are willing to accept a public apology from the two defendants, rather than ‘demanding’ from the Judge a verdict that he is unable and perhaps unwilling to give.  I truly felt the Holy Spirit give me a peace that this is our way of seeking to show His way:  “In wrath remember mercy”.  Whether or not the sides will be able to come to an agreement that satisfies each of the parties is still uncertain.  Should the defendants not appreciate the grace being shown by not judging themselves, our Father in Heaven knows how to deal with wayward children who would be His children, and He knows how to deal with those who are determined not to submit to His holy and righteous ways for true peace.

Here, I want to please ask that any reports you may receive about the case not be taken as ‘official’ until you have heard from me or from our lawyers.  If not, there is potential for mistaken analyses, or for misinformation being used as if accurate, and could also be used against us, or be used to suggest that we are not holding ourselves to the standard we would expect from others.  In the event any of you have received reports before this one, here is a clarification by our attorney, and if any of you have used previous information, please correct whatever you may have passed on to others or posted on blogs or websites:

“. . . After completion of the closing arguments by the respective attorneys, the court asked whether there was still any possibility of concluding the dispute by agreement. This led to various discussions with the attorneys for the different parties in the lawsuit, during the course of which we, on behalf of the plaintiffs, pointed out that we want a public apology from both of the defendants. The judge encouraged all of the attorneys to try to meet together (but did not order us to do so) to work out language agreeable to all parties, to which the court would give validity as a judgment. In the absence of agreement, each of the parties would submit a proposed text to the court. A further hearing was set for mid-April for the purpose of trying to conclude the matter without the judge rendering a decision. If agreement cannot be reached, he will issue his judgment after that.

There was no “order” to “Rabbi Deri and Yad L’Achim to issue a public apology to the Messianic congregation within 10 days or suffer more court costs”. Nor does the record reflect any warning to “Yad L’Achim against further violence”. . . .

We need to be careful about reporting what took place and what was said in court and stick to what appears in the transcript. The case is not over until it is finally over and [unauthorized] statements . . . can end up hurting us. . . .”

God bless you all, and may He find us faithful and in the faith,
Howard and Randi

Lawsuit Update – 28 Feb 2010

Hag Purim sameach!  The God of Israel continues His sleepless watch over His people. . .and because of such sovereign grace and power, we are not consumed but prevail!  Hallelu-Yah!

Next Tuesday, March 9, at 9:00, in Beer Sheva Court Shalom, 4th Fl, Room #44, our scheduled last appearance before Judge Iddo Ruzin takes place in our lawsuit against Beer Sheva Chief Rabbi Yehuda Deri and against the organization Yad L’Achim.  Alex Artovsky, their director for the department, The Struggle Against The Mission, is scheduled to testify, after which the three principal attorneys will present their closing arguments before the judge, who will then have up to 30 days to give his verdict in our civil suit.

The courtroom is very small, holding at most 20 people on a first-come basis.  For Hebrew speakers who would want to be in the court, it is advisable to be at the court building by 8:15; the building opens at 8:30.  Go up to the courtroom and be in a position to enter when it is possible.  We do not know whether friends of our adversaries will also want to attend the hearing, but, again, it is on a first-come first-in basis.  In any event, we do not want any provocations on our part, whether inside the courtroom or outside.

For those who do not want to, or can not, enter the proceedings, but would like to still join directly into events, please participate in the prayer and worship gathering at Ha-MaKoM.  Whether present or absent, we would all very much appreciate your remembrance of us in your thoughts and prayers before the Throne of Grace that morning.  Our hope and trust is in our Heavenly Advocate and Intercessor, even as He works through each of you and us simultaneously.  (Wonderful, isn’t it!?)

Although our case has been in process for three years now, and arises out of the illegal events from more than four years ago, I believe the over-riding sovereignty of Yeshua has been at work.  It is interesting that it is the time for Yad L’Achim to give testimony, now that more light has been shed in their works of darkness, “Jewish terrorist” Yaakov Teitel’s active involvement with them, and the Jerusalem Institute of Justice letter to the Attorney General to outlaw and to dismantle the organization.  YHVH, God of Hosts, is aiming at His target from within His people, with the intent that more Israeli Jewish people be set free to hear, repent from unbelief, and to believe unto salvation in the glad tidings!

Some specific prayer points until the verdict is given:

–for our lawyers, Marvin Kramer and Kevork Nalbandian, that they know how to question Artovsky, and in a manner acceptable to the judge in his courtroom, and that the closing  arguments will be convincing to Judge Ruzin to aid him in ruling in our favor

–for Judge Ruzin, that he would pay attention to not only what he hears and sees, but to intangibles that help him to discern who is of the truth and who is not; that God would  strengthen his heart to rule sufficiently in our favor that the two defendants will know and feel that they have been held accountable to existing law, for him to fear God more than man or devil

–for the unholy alliance between Rabbi Deri and Yad L’Achim is broken; that they would not be able to trust each other, even if they continue to have similar objectives

–REMEMBER:  This is a spiritual battle; no arm of the flesh can defeat a spirit. . .it will simply find another outlet until Yeshua Himself puts away the evil one and evil-doers.  But in the meantime, we can submit ourselves to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from us.  We are called to be salt, light, and a fragrance of Messiah in the world, ant to believe the Lord to use us to help set people free in a redemptive way.  We have a prophetic gifting and calling to speak on God’s behalf and to call people to repentance and to righteousness from the sin of unbelief in Yeshua for Who He Is.

–for the Lord’s intervention to make known to the general Israeli public the issues in these lawsuits by believers against those opposing our legitimate liberties–that our case will have a positive effect upon the believers in Arad, and in other cases now proceeding, such as Pnina Conforti, the Ortizes, and before the Attorney General

–that no matter the verdict, if we have believed and supported this lawsuit to be obedience to the Lord in this particular situation, then that we accept the verdict as also being His for His own purposes beyond our own knowledge and understanding.  If the verdict seems favorable to us, that we guard against pride in whatever form it may try to uncover itself; should we feel that the judge ruled in an unjust way against us, that we would commit it to Him who judges righteously, and guard against criticism against any of us.  The devil wants to sow discord amongst brethren, and, if he can not defeat us one way, he will subtly and craftily look for another way to make us fall to the dishonor of ourselves and especially of our Father in Heaven and the Lord Yeshua, in whose name we trust and whose name is upon us.  When Yeshua was crucified, even His closest companions and chosen vessels to proclaim Him to Israel and to the world, all thought that He had lost and that their hope had been in vain.   Let us, too, learn to let God work through the appearance of defeat (if that should be the case) to show, in truth, that He has won!

Shalom upon Israel, and we thank-you and bless you for your support in the battle,
Howard