Happy Hanukkah from Israel!

As we celebrate Yeshua, the Light of the World, we pray for our fellow Israelis who need the light of God in their lives!

Maoz Israel’s purpose is to spread and share the light and love of God with every Israeli - until all Israel knows their Messiah!

Please watch a special Hanukkah greeting from Shira:

There is still time to bless Israel this year! You have until midnight December 31st if you want to receive tax credit for 2014.

THANK YOU for standing with Israel!

May the light of Yeshua shine through you!

IstandwithIsrael.com

Ark in the Negev is a Messiah-based discipleship ministry for Israeli women (Jewish and Arab) overcoming life-controlling problems such as drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, and abusive relationships.

Jewels of the Ark is a special project, where the women of the shelter make original one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, acquiring jewelry-making skills. The jewelry is then sold and all the proceeds go to support the Ark center.

This year, IstandwithIsrael had the privilege of helping with this project.

For more about the jewelry go to: http://www.arkinthenegev.com/shop/

By David Lazarus

A new generation of Arab and Jewish followers of Jesus met together last week to strategize on how to “turn Israel upside down.”

Two hundred and sixty Messianic Jewish and Arab pastors, youth leaders, evangelists, Bible-school teachers and ministry leaders gathered for a three-day council to discuss, study, pray and work together to effectively bring the word of God in power to Arabs and Jews throughout the whole Land of Israel.

These seasoned men and women of faith embody decades of labor proclaiming the Gospel to local Arabs and Jews. Most have given up everything to preach Messiah to their unbelieving Muslim and Jewish families and friends. Despised because of their faith, they have lost jobs, suffered rejection and endured multiple other hardships, yet their passion to bring the Good News to their people remains unquenched.

“We will keep preaching and teaching the Word of God until it changes the people of Israel,” declared one leading pastor. “We must be willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel and keep going no matter what happens. God will accomplish His will through the power of His word.”

With tensions now raging in Jerusalem and across Israel, it was astonishing to witness firsthand the deep friendships between these Arabs and Jews. Even the cold-blooded murders in a Jerusalem synagogue that took place on the final day of the gathering could not separate these godly men and women from their warm fellowship in Messiah.

In fact, the cowardly acts of terror and violence still raging in Jerusalem only served to move them to stand even stronger together and compelled them to more boldly declare the life-giving Word of God to both Muslim and Jew.

A regular theme throughout the gathering was the need to understand God’s prophetic word concerning the Last Days.

Scriptures related to the Second Coming of Messiah were studied. There are many signs that we are living in the latter days, particularly the return of the Jewish people to their biblical land, and the leadership of the local congregations in Israel discussed the need to prepare God’s people for the Messiah’s soon return.

All agreed that time is short, and the peoples of this land, both Arab and Jew, must hear the Word of God now.

It was mentioned that some local leaders are not teaching or preaching about the Second Coming. They do not want to stir up controversy or division over what can be a difficult subject.

While there remains much debate in Christianity and among Messianic Jews as to what exactly will happen around the Second Coming of the Lord, all were in agreement that He is coming, and that the Gospel much be preached in boldness, especially in Israel, before it is too late, for He comes this time in glory and in judgment.

According to many New Testament scriptures, the return of Messiah should unify believers, inspiring them to ready themselves in purity and holiness. It is seen as a cunning ploy of the enemy to cause so much confusion and division concerning the Last Days and Messiah’s return.

The leadership of the local Arab and Jewish congregations in Israel prayed for unity of faith in the Messiah’s return and boldness to tell others of His coming Messianic kingdom, the only real solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the peace of Jerusalem.

David Lazarus is Senior Pastor of the Beit Immanuel Congregation in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Our Children’s School Set on Fire

admin —  December 7, 2014 — 1 Comment

By Shani Ferguson

Last week our children’s school was set on fire by religious Jewish extremists. The first grade classrooms were severely damaged.

We are thankful that our daughter’s cubby drawer survived the flames, but are saddened by the overall damage. It is not the first time the school has been at the center of controversy. Jews and Arabs study there together and more than once school staff has arrived in the morning to graffiti of “Death to the Arabs” and “No to coexistence”. It is strange to me that this location would be chosen to protest, since the Arabs who go to school here come from families who clearly do want to live in peace even if they have differing opinions on life. These are Arab families who are a part of Israeli society. Many of them work respectable jobs as doctors, professors and lawyers and desire the same life for their children. But racism has always been blind and ignorant.

Many of the parents arrived to show support and some of the junior high and high school students made posters that said “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.” The event was front page news and even Jerusalem’s mayor arrived to tour the damage and declare backing for the school and its vision.

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Signs read: “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.”

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Jerusalem Mayor Nir Birkat show his support of the school

As I dropped my daughter off this morning in the school bombshelter which is being used as the new classrooms while they renovatethe first grade classrooms, I walked by a few of the older Arab students. They were speaking in Arabic but I could make outthat they were quoting the spray painted messages.

“Jews wrote death to the Arabs,” they said. It made me so sad to hear them say this. Jews didn’t write this. A few ignorant people who happened to be born to Jewish families and were taught by some crazy Jewish rabbi wrote this, and they will be prosecuted by Israeli law when they are caught.

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Bomb Shelter – Our Daughter’s Temporary Classroom

By Shani Ferguson

Winter in Israel is my favorite time of year. It’s the only time we actually get decent rain and it’s cold enough for me to wear my cozy jacket. It also seems like social tensions are usually eased and the atmosphere seems more relaxed. Jews and Arabs are desert creatures over here, and the rain has a calming effect on us all. Unless it doesn’t. Like this fall/winter season.

It’s a long story – as it always seems to be – but a few months ago, a Palestinian Arab employed as a construction worker in Israel used a tractor to flip over an entire public bus.

Then the car attacks began. Several cars on different occasions ran off the road running over pedestrians killing several people, including a three month old baby. The attacks were so inspiring to the Palestinian community that political cartoons began to emerge with images encouraging Palestinians to run over more Israelis and even naming specific members of the Israeli government. Some Arabs in neighborhoods near our home in Jerusalem condemned the violence, encouraging their brethren to live among us peacefully. But others took to the streets with riots.

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Aside from the usual “occupation” rhetoric, this uprising has taken up the cause of defending the Temple mount from the prayers of Jews and Christians. Most people don’t know that today only Muslims can pray where the Jewish temple once stood. Jews and Christians can only come as close as the Western Wall. Muslims are working themselves into a frenzy stating someone is trying to change the status quo.

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With striking similarity to the case in the US city of Ferguson, a peak in riots came when CCTV cameras showed a young Palestinian Arab man of 22 years, attacking a police van with a knife and then police emerging and fatally shooting him. Police explained they only intended to neutralize his ability to attack them when they shot him. The man collapsed, and police immediately took him to the hospital, where he died from his wounds. Unfortunately, the only part of this story the Muslims in that neighborhood cared about is that the infidel, Zionist police shot and killed one of their own. The details don’t matter. Well, except the fact that they are ever proud of their martyrs. (Note: I only compare the massive reaction to both cases, not concluding where justice lies)

The fact that Islamic radicals have come in to Ferguson to encourage the chaos is sad because most won’t realize the fight is no longer over Mike Brown or injustice to blacks, but over Islamic infiltration and domination. It’s not the first time parallels can be seen between what happens in Israel and what happens in other nations depending on how they respond to Israel’s plight. (See article “The Apple and the Storm” at Yeshuaisrael.com) From the good to the bad, so goes Israel, so goes the rest of the world. It’s why we encourage you to be involved with what happens in Israel, because it does affect your life.

The current upheaval in Jerusalem affects our family differently than during the usual conflicts with Gaza and Lebanon and Syria. When missiles are fired, we hear a siren. Bomb shelters are available throughout the city and in our homes. These street attacks that have taken place in the past month are the worst kind of attack because there is no warning. Its location is random. Its target is random. It shows no mercy. Young girls, babies and grown men have all been killed in the past months.

In the Middle East, it is called an Intifada, or uprising. We’ve had it twice before, both in my lifetime. The last Intifada where thousands of Israelis were killed resulted in the erecting of the security barrier between Israel proper and Palestinian towns. This hurt the businesses of many peaceful Palestinians, but it effectively shut down the Intifada because Palestinian terrorists could not physically get themselves and their bombs to Jewish-populated areas. However, there are two groups of Arabs in Israel, the Palestinian Arabs who live in the Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank) and 1 million Israeli Arabs who live all throughout Israel proper. The terrorists were coming from Judea and Samaria. The battle since the security wall was erected has been over the minds of the one million Israeli-Arabs who enjoy Israeli citizenship and all the benefits that come with living in a modern democratic state – including living on this side of the security wall. Could Islamic radicals convince them to turn against Jews they live among? I believe most won’t. But each one that does can cause pain and death – and tarnish the name of other Israeli Arabs who are just looking to live their lives.

The outward unrest is merely a symptoms of the underlying battle for the heart and soul of the Arab and Jewish people. The spiritual adversary of all that is good and true is raging at the fact that God has promised to save this entire nation. As the enemy sees this day draw near his fits grow in fury. But he cannot change what God has already written down. All Israel shall be saved. We are here to witness this and partake in the process!

Kobi and Shani Ferguson are Co Founders of Yeshua Israel Ministries in Jerusalem. Visit their website at www.yeshuaisrael.com

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Terror Strikes Jerusalem… Again…

admin —  November 18, 2014 — 1 Comment

2380_53969225969_9583_nBy Katy Sorsher Smith

It has been a morning of horror in Jerusalem.

At around 7am, two Palestinian terrorists, citizens of Israel and carriers of Israeli State IDs, armed with knives, axes, and firearms, entered a Jerusalem synagogue at the Har Nof neighborhood, where dozens of worshippers were in the middle of morning prayers, and started shooting into the crowd and stabbing those who were in close range.

In this horrible, carefully planned massacre, four people were murdered and eight others wounded. As I’m writing this, one of the wounded is still fighting for his life. Four more people have serious injuries.

Both terrorists were shot dead after coming out of the synagogue during a gunfight, which developed between them and the Israeli police. Two police officers were wounded.

The pictures I’m watching on TV from inside the synagogue are horrifying. Blood-stained floors and tallits (prayer shawls), chairs scattered during the chaos… that’s all that was left in this house of worship, which is now full of police and officials investigating the terror scene.

Israeli security personnel  search a religious Jewish Yeshiva next to a synagogue, where a suspected Palestinian attack took place, in Jerusalem,

This is by far the worst act of terror against Israelis in the last few years. During the last five weeks, random attacks in Jerusalem (and other areas in Israel) have been taking place in which Palestinians decide to use their vehicles or heavy machinery as weapons against innocent civilians.

This terror attack, however, is different.

The weapons used for the attack were machete-like knives and cleavers – similar to those ISIS uses in their videos. The fact that two terrorists were involved shows this heinous act was planned. The timing of morning prayers, when the synagogue is usually filled with up to 80 worshipers, also shows panning. Some analysts say this act was more like those committed against Jews in Europe.

Many Israelis are now asking, is this the beginning of a Third Intifada? Unfortunately, whatever name you choose to give this sudden spike in terror attacks, they are happening and will probably continue to happen.

Palestinian and Hamas leaders are openly encouraging their faithful to continue the uprising. Multitudes of young Palestinians filled with hatred for the Jewish people from childhood see it as their ultimate goal and honor to die as a martyr, taking as many Jewish lives with them as possible.

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With several generation of Palestinians being raised on incitement and false claims, on promises of returning of Jerusalem and the lands that once belonged to Palestinian people through a Holy War (jihad) and resistance, on brainwashing that death is more honorable than life, can there ever be an end to terror against Israel?

Through the gloomy picture that is being painted daily on the streets of Israel, I can still confidently say, YES!

For God’s promises stand forever. His faithfulness is sure. He will deliver Jerusalem. He will save Jacob out of this trouble. He will redeem Israel even when all nations come against it.

But for now, the battle rages, and we are asking for your prayers.

Pray for those who lost their loved ones today. May the Lord comfort them and show His face to them, covering them with His love and grace.

Pray for a quick recovery for all the wounded.

Pray against fear among Israelis.

Pray for divine protection for God’s chosen people, His chosen city, Jerusalem, and His firstborn nation, Israel.

Was Matthew a False Prophet?

admin —  November 17, 2014 — 1 Comment

Ron CantorBy Ron Cantor

In Matthew 2:23 the gospel writer makes a confusing claim. He suggests that Yeshua’s going to live in Nazareth was a fulfillment of an Old Covenant prophecy:

[Joseph] went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that [Yeshua] would be called a Nazarene. (Matt. 2:23)

 

Anti-Messianics have sought to use this verse to confuse young Jewish believers, by claiming that the New Testament is false. After all, there is no prophecy from the Hebrew Scriptures that claims that Yeshua would be called a Nazarene… Or is there?

First of all, what is a Nazarene? In the context of the Matthew verse it would be someone who lives in Nazareth. However, one must look deeper to see the wordplay—something that was very common in Hebrew literature.

The word for Nazarene that is use in the Hebrew New Testament is natsri (נַצְרִי). The root of this word is natsar (נַצַר). From this root we get the Hebrew word netser (נֵצֵר). And a nester is a branch.

With this information, let’s see if there is anything regarding a Branch and the Messiah in the Hebrew prophets:

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” (Jer. 23:5)

“In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.” (Jer. 33:15)

“Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.”
(Zech. 3:8)

“Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD.’” (Zech. 6:12)

Ok problem solved, right? Not exactly, you see in all these verses the Hebrew word for branch is tsemach (צֶמַח), not netser. In Modern Hebrew tsemach means plant, but since virtually every English translation of the Bible uses the word branch for tsemach, we can be quite sure that branch is the proper meaning in the Old Covenant. So despite being two different words with the same meaning, it could still be a clever wordplay between the name of the city and the Messianic prophecies:

  • Yeshua is from Nazareth,
  • So he is a Nazarene (natsri),
  • Which is the same as netzer (branch),
  • And the prophets spoke of a tsemach (branch) coming forth to be the Messiah and King.
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Well, that is enough for me to see that Matthew was referring to these prophetic passages when he said that Yeshua would be called a Nazarene according to the prophets. But isn’t there even one verse that uses the same word netser for branch and refers to the Messiah? Yes!

One of the most famous Messianic prophesies of all is in Isaiah 11:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch (netser/נֵצֵר) will bear fruit. (Is. 11:1)
 

So if we had any doubts about Matthew’s use of the word natzri meaning branch, they should be definitely be put to rest. And most scholars believe that Matthew had the deepest knowledge of Old Covenant prophecies. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology states, “Matthew has a special fondness for the Messianic prophecies in Isaiah and other prophets.” It is noteworthy that they point out Isaiah from all the prophets, the book where we find the branch/netser verse.

Scholars agree Matthew was writing to Jews. He uses prophecy from the Old Covenant 62 times. It makes no sense to add the verse about the Nazarene, if it wasn’t clear to his Jewish readers what he meant. If he is making it up to hoodwink his readers, he has no need with 61 other prophecies. It would only cut at his credibility. Clearly he was referring to Isaiah 11:1 and possibly the other verses that we mentioned as well.

An interesting footnote is that the same root is used in the verb l’natser (לְנֵצר) which means to guard, to keep, to maintain. Yeshua was the only human that was able to l’natser the Law of Moses completely. So not only is Matthew not mistaken, who quotes Yeshua as saying that He “came not to destroy the Law of Moses, but fulfill it” (Matt. 5:17), he also comes across as brilliant in his ability to write in such a way that was very common in his day, and do it masterfully.

2380_53969225969_9583_nBy Katy Sorsher Smith

I am writing this blog in Israel’s most southern point – the beautiful resort city of Eilat on the Red Sea. The weather is beautiful and sunny. The air is clear. The sea and the views are gorgeous, and I can actually see Jordan, Egypt and even Saudi Arabia in the distance. You can’t help but get inspired.

The reason I’m telling you where I am is because each time I visit the Red Sea, it reminds me of the great Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt – accompanied with great signs, wonders and miracles. Being here makes all the promises of God to Israel and the Jewish people tangible and real. God has not forgotten His people. He has been faithful to this land and this people for many generations, and He continues being faithful for He never changes.

It is a miracle that the State of Israel still exists. It is a miracle that surrounded by enemies on every side, it is flourishing and growing. No, we are not a perfect millennial country. We are not better than any other nation. Our people struggle just like everyone else and face the same issues rooted in sin. But the fact that we are still here proves that God exists and that Israel is still the apple of His eye. It testifies that Israel has a place in His plan for mankind, and that He will protect His firstborn forever.

Knowing this about God and about Israel renews my strength to keep working for Israel’s salvation and God’s Kingdom. I hope it renews your strength as well.

That said, Israel needs your prayers. We need your prayers. I believe that even though there’s great distance between believers in different countries (and even within the same country), PRAYER is what UNITES US as one body.

PRAY for Israel. PRAY for her protection from enemies within, and those who surround us.

PRAY for our leaders – PM Netanyahu, the Knesset, IDF and Police commanders and others who make decisions which affect us.

PRAY for our soldiers, who are keeping us safe day and night.

PRAY for salvation for the people of Israel – Jews, Arabs and other “strangers dwelling among us.”

PRAY for the Messianic believers and Arab Christians to be a bright light to this nation – in ministry, in the market place, and wherever they can make a difference.

PRAY for the Lord to remember His promises to Israel and look favorably on us.

PRAY that the people who are called by the Lord’s name will humble themselves and turn back to the God of Israel with their whole hearts, so that He can hear from heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land.

PRAY for the Lord to bless Israel’s friends. PRAY especially for your country’s government – that they will stand with Israel and support her.

For the Lord has promised to bless those who bless Israel.

Podcast Episode 077

administrator —  October 23, 2014 — Leave a comment
Play

Ron Cantor and the Maoz Media team bring you the 77th and FINAL episode of the Maoz Israel Report Podcast!

Please tune in for a personal update from Ron on this final episode of the Maoz Israel Report Podcast. Thank you to all of our faithful listeners and we are blessed to have been able to share with you these past 2 years direct from Tel Aviv!

Don’t hesitate to be in touch with Maoz Israel Ministries, Messiah’s Mandate, and Tiferet Yeshua Congregation:

www.maozisrael.org

www.messiahsmandate.org

www.reachtelaviv.org

Podcast Episode 076

administrator —  October 1, 2014 — Leave a comment
Play

Ron Cantor and the Maoz Media team bring you the 76th episode of the Maoz Israel Report Podcast!

Ron and Tal share the latest updates from Kehila Tiferet Yeshua, news from the Middle East and the importance of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at the UN this week, and the threat of Replacement Theology.

SHOW NOTES:

This broadcast of the Maoz Israel Report Podcast is brought to you by Maoz Israel Ministries and Congregation Tiferet Yeshua

Maoz Israel Report

Ron’s Riding Around Tel Aviv—Sponsor Him!

Netanyahu’s address to the 2014 UN General Assembly

Messiah’s Mandate

2015 Israel Tour:
www.roncan.com/israel15

Click here to get Ron’s free ebook

Contact Ron: ron@cantorlink.com
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