©March 10, 2012 Revive Israel
Christ at the Checkpoint
excerpt from Daniel Juster
A small contingent of Messianic Jews attended the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem this week. As Messianic Jews we were warmly received and invited to share our perspective.
The conference had an overwhelming emphasis on the injustices suffered by Palestinian Christians and Muslims in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Those testimonies are credible and painful. The checkpoint is a case in point. Israel needs checkpoints to prevent terrorists and others without work permits from entering Israel west of the green line. However, it is not necessary that the people be herded daily through checkpoints, waiting for 3 hours, to be able to get to work 30 minutes away by 6:00 A. M.
The persecution of Christians by Muslims and the dangers of radical Islam was a minor theme compared to the above. It should be noted that Israel ended the occupation of Gaza only to get Hamas, missiles and suicide bombers. This is not emphasized adequately.
Some Palestinian Christians find it difficult to talk about the election of the Jewish people and their return to this land as from God. However, they are seeking to practice the Sermon on the Mount and to share the Holy Land with the Jews. They emphasize a non-violent response as the way to address the issues. A spirit of love was very present in the conference.
The conference gave two plenary slots to Messianic Jews and one to Wayne Hilsden, pastor of King of Kings Assembly in Jerusalem. Wayne presented a brilliant and sensitive case for the continued election of the Jewish people and their return to the Land as a biblical fulfillment. Some had a very negative reaction, but most seemed to be listening and weighing what Wayne said. [To view message click here.]
The Messianic Jewish contingent had significant dialogues with three of the main proponents of anti-Christian Zionism. This included Dr. Gary Burge, of Wheaton College; Dr. Colin Chapman, Anglican professor; and Vicar Dr. Stephen Sizer. In two of the cases, there was agreement that Romans 11 promises the hope of Israel’s restoration and grafting back into her own Olive Tree.
[Editor's Note: There is a wide range of views among Arab Christians from more pro-Israel to more anti-Israel. One who did not attend the Checkpoint conference said, "It is unfair to have a conference that is anti-Israel. Perhaps we should have another that is anti-Islam. That's the main problem."]
By Asher Intrater
If one buttons up a shirt and starts with the correct button, then all the others will end up in the right place. If one starts with the incorrect button, in the end, all the buttons will be in the wrong place. So what is the "first button" of the Bible?
The whole Bible starts with Genesis 1, in which God creates the physical universe. It is good; and with Man in the Garden of Eden, it is very good. The last chapters of the Bible (Revelation 21-21) describe a new heaven and new earth.
If we do not see physical creation as good, then we will interpret the end of the Bible as un-creating what God created. If we do have the first chapter or "button" correct, then we understand the end of the Bible as a restoration of all things (Acts 3:21), a regeneration (Matthew 19:28), a resurrection of nature (Romans 8:21), and a renewal of the "heavens and earth" as in Noah's days (II Peter 3:5-13).
The Bible ends with God and Man enjoying fellowship in the renewed heaven and earth, with everything in God's plan for both heaven and earth coming together in Messiah Yeshua (Ephesians 1:10, Colossians 1:20).
What about the "first button" of the New Testament? Matthew 1 describes the genealogy of Yeshua, emphasizing His descent from King David. God promised David that his throne would last forever (II Samuel 7:13, 16; Psalm 89:3-4) and increase over the whole earth (Isaiah 9:7; 49:6; Luke 1:32-33).
If we miss the first button of the New Testament, describing Yeshua as the Son of David, then Yeshua will never fulfill His destiny as the King of the Jews (John 18:37); never inherit the nations (Psalm 2:8); never bring peace to the earth (Luke 2:14); and never restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6).
The Bible has a consistent and coherent plan from beginning to end. Let's get all the buttons right, from the first to the last. They all fit together in Yeshua (Jesus) who is the Son of God and the Son of David (Romans 1:3-4), the alpha and the omega, the first and the last (Revelation 1:8)
By Ariel Blumenthal
Many thanks to those of you who joined with us for this special day of prayer last Wednesday!- 12 solid hours of intense prayer and praise; with anointed intercession for Israel, the Middle East, and the nations of the world.There seemed to be a special emphasis in the Spirit praying for Arabs, evangelism among the Muslims, and for the nations of the earth.
It was kind of a fulfillment of Isaiah 56:7-8: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. Thus says the LORD, who gathers the outcasts of Israel: I will gather others to him, to those that are already gathered to him.”
There we were, Israeli Messianic Jews (the gathered “outcasts” of Israel), assembled in our prayer room, along with international guests, and all of you joining us around the world ("other gathered ones”). It truly was a day of "a house of prayer for all nations.
Intense fighting raged this weekend between Israel and Gaza. Israel foiled a major terrorist attack and killed Zuhair Qaisi, leader of the "Popular Resistance Committee." Gaza responded with over 100 missiles fired into Israel. For full report, including a rare video of Israeli Air Force destroying the terrorist attack, see Jerusalem Post article here.
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