July 2006 Light of Zion Newsletter
Shalom Dear Friends,
We agree with the writer of Hebrews about you: "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them." (Hebrews 6:10) As you, our friends, have helped us and helped needy believers in Israel, your acts of love will not be forgotten. Thank you!
As we write, Israel faces intense pressures that are mounting daily, if not hourly. Many of you have asked how to respond in prayer and other ways to the escalating Arab/Palestinian conflict, in view of the many opinions, often contradictory, expressed by leaders in the body of Messiah. We want to share a summary of the prophetic perspective we believe the Spirit has shown us.
Prophetic Perspective of Israel's Dilemma
Romans 10:1 says, "My heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved." We believe the priority of the Holy Spirit concerning Israel is that she repent, turn to the God of her fathers, and be saved. Therefore, it is God's desire that the Church be praying and laboring toward revival in Israel. The motivation of our ministry in and to Israel is the salvation of the Jewish nation, propelled by God's unconditional love.
Israel's land boundaries are extremely important to God; thus, they ought to be extremely important to the Church. But land boundaries, though important, are not the priority. The priority is Israel's repentance, revival and salvation. Much of the Church has made land the center of its focus in standing with Israel. Perhaps that is because Christian Zionists can more easily gain favor with Israeli officials by advocating Israel's retention of its land. But that is not the biblical priority.
According to the Scriptures, Israel's obedience to God (or lack thereof) is a key factor determining the extent to which she retains possession of the Promised Land. Whether or not she physically possesses (all) the land, she still retains the unconditional promise of owning it in stewardship for the Lord. Israel is not beyond God's judgment. At times, we are chastened for disobedience by the removal of land. At the same time, any nation that has taken land away from the Jews has historically been even more severely judged. As the world continues to press Israel toward creating a Palestinian state bent on her destruction, God's judgment on the world will follow.
At present, Israel is largely a secular nation that does not accept or acknowledge her calling to serve God and the nations. The streets of the Holy Land are filled with the same sins of idolatry, rebellion and immorality as those of Western nations. At the same time, the majority of religiously observant Israelis can be cruelly anti-Messianic, fostering outright persecution of Jewish believers. In summary, Israel is not in right relationship with her God, Who will not be mocked.
Some Christian and Israeli Messianic leaders propose that the country's sin has reached such levels as to mandate the loss of land as a form of judgment. We feel this position, though not entirely wrong, must be balanced and tempered by three key prophetic realities.
First, the Scriptures prophesy that God would re-gather and re-establish the Jewish nation, as He has done this past century, while we are still mostly in a place of spiritual unbelief. (Ezekiel 36-37; Zechariah 12-13). This means that our possession of the land is not entirely contingent on our obedience. Second, God has reserved for Himself a remnant of Israeli Messianic Jewish followers of Yeshua who live to make intercession for the whole nation. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more through these faithful ones. Third, Israel's land conflict with her Arab/Palestinian neighbors is ultimately a showdown of the gods---Allah versus Adonai. God must prevail for His Name's sake, that He be magnified in the earth. Ultimately, He will not permit Allah to prevail---and millions of Muslim souls to remain eternally separated from their Creator.
Mature, Messiah-like love for Israel in these last days acknowledges the fact of her sin. This acknowledgement does not flow from a critical spirit that can open a door to anti-Semitism. It comes with weeping for Israel's repentance and revival. May our response be like that of the prophet Jeremiah, who laments, "My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed..." (Lam. 2:11)
Since her inception, the re-gathered Jewish nation has endured terror, war, and world disfavor. Battle weary at heart and largely bankrupt of faith, Israel finds herself lost and confused in her efforts to resolve the unresolvable. How she needs renewed faith in her God! He is jealous for her; He alone is her Answer and Hope.
We urge you to pray with us that in their distress, our people will seek the Good Shepherd. (Hosea 5:15) Ask Him to make her "Valley of Achor ['Trouble'] a door of hope" (Hosea 2:15) Bless Israel with the greatest blessing of all through your unconditional love, prayers and support: the gift of salvation. As the Prince of Peace is welcomed into hearts and homes in the Holy Land, true and lasting peace will result.
House of Prayer in the Negev
As you know, our house in the Negev is dedicated to intercessory prayer to the end that Israel be saved. Worship and ministry directly to the heart of God opens the heavens for an outpouring of His Spirit. Israeli believers continue to meet in the house several times each week. We've shared how the Lord has impressed us of the strategic importance of the Negev. Recently, the international Jewish community, as well as the Israeli government, have recognized the significance of this region. 2006 has been declared the "Year of the Negev." "Project Negev 2015" will develop and transform the Negev Desert into bustling towns and farms, utilizing natural resources heretofore untapped. Israel has just created a government office dedicated to developing the Negev. May the desert bloom to God's glory.
Sandy on Israeli TV
Sandy has been on American Christian radio and TV for several years. The Lord has just opened the door for her to appear twice this month on nationwide, secular Israeli TV. She's scheduled to be a guest on Jewish Voice, a Messianic show now broadcast in Israel through international Christian TV. Please pray with us that there be much fruit for the kingdom and that hearts will open to Yeshua through these shows.
Remembering the Poor
This September-October, we both plan to be in Israel for the feasts of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Tabernacles). We will be bringing funds for needy Israeli believers. If you wish to contribute to these funds, please designate your gifts with a separate note. 100 percent of such designated gifts go to the poor. All gifts to Light of Zion are fully tax deductible in the US.
Thank you for being part of the ministry and helping with ongoing expenses.
May God bless you and keep you, may His glorious face shine on you, and may He keep you always . . .
In His Shalom,
Kerry and Sandy Teplinsky