Help us please!
This is an urgent message! I want you to know that I am extremely concerned about the growth of antisemitism around the globe. Read More about Global Antisemitism » It makes me heartsick! To think that my Jewish people are being persecuted just because they are Jewish is horrifying.
I know you feel the same way!
There is no doubt in my mind that my Jewish people living in many countries, including America, are being subjected to a new form of antisemitism that is focused on the modern state of Israel and generated by radical Islam. This new hatred of God’s chosen people is particularly vicious and has led to the deaths of many innocent Jewish victims . . . and non-Jewish people as well.
The tragic shooting in France in January of this year is just one illustration of what is taking place. One of our staff members has put together a detailed list of antisemitic acts across the Middle East and North America. We have included a copy for you with this letter, so please read it so you can better understand the scope of this growing antisemitism, and then pass it along to others.
I am hoping you will join us as an active prayer partner in asking God to protect His chosen people and to put a stop to antisemitism, which is now growing fiercely around the globe.
TIME IS SHORT
We believe it is the time for the Church to speak with one voice in support of the Jewish people. We are praying for a more intensified, loving and sensitive witness to go forward, as Jewish people are looking for help and hope during these difficult times.
We have an increasing sense of urgency to reach Jewish people with the Gospel.
I was recently in England, where a survey was done indicating that 48% of the Jewish people in the UK believe that Jews have no future in England. Of course, the root reason for this is the recent radicalization of many British Muslims – hundreds of whom have traveled to the Middle East to fight alongside ISIS. I have also met with our Chosen People Ministries director in France, who is very concerned about the virtually out-of-control growth of antisemitism there. In response, French Jews (France has the third largest Jewish population in the world – more than 500,000!) are leaving France and fleeing to Israel – for their lives.
Some years ago, a Jewish prosecutor in Argentina had evidence that the Argentine government was trying to hide the fact that they knew it was Iranian agents who blew up the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. When this prosecutor was about to bring charges against the current president of Argentina, he was murdered in cold blood.
My wife is from Argentina and there are still hundreds of thousands of Jewish people living in this great South American capital. Yet, the Jewish community in Argentina is living under the dark, menacing cloud of antisemitism!
I have said before and believe it with all my heart that antisemitism is from the pit of hell.
THE DEVIL HATES THE JEWISH PEOPLE!
When God called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees and promised that his seed would become a great nation, possess the land of Israel and that God would use the nation of Israel to bless the world, the Jewish people became public enemy number one in the kingdom of Satan!
Antisemitism is Satanic, whenever or wherever it has occurred in history, up to and including the current, destructive acts being performed by Jihadist Muslims.
What action should we take as followers of Jesus the Messiah, who loved, died for and wept over His people? Can Christians simply allow antisemitism to remain unchallenged?
We cannot . . . we must not . . . as followers of the Jewish Messiah we cannot stand by silently while His kinsman according to the flesh are hated and murdered.
Please join me in taking action today!
I grew up thinking that Christianity was hostile towards the Jewish people. But now I know that true Christians love the Jewish people. In these increasingly troubled times, we have a unique opportunity to show our Jewish friends that we love them and, more importantly, that Yeshua loves them!
There are three ways we can raise our voices together in the name of Jesus to tell the world – especially those in our government – that we consider antisemitism an offense towards God and destructive for our society, as it encourages the deepest and darkest evil resident in the human soul.
I have enclosed two petitions for you to sign, which we will send to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, to make them aware of the fact that there are Christians in America who want to serve as our country’s conscience regarding the Jewish people.
As followers of Jesus, we find antisemitism completely unacceptable, ungodly and un-American.
We hope to send tens of thousands of these petitions. Somebody has to do something – NOW! So please Click here to sign the petition!
Additionally, I would like to ask you to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and of the Jewish people, beseeching the Lord to intervene and put a stop to antisemitism. And as you pray, thank the Lord for His everlasting promises to the Jewish people. And then after you pray, remind fellow believers you know – in your church, Bible studies and ministry teams – to pray for the Jewish people, that God would keep them from harm.
3. A Loving Witness
Please consider giving a generous donation to the work of Chosen People Ministries as we share the Gospel with Jewish people around the world.
We are already developing strategies to help reach French Jewish people who are fleeing France. They are going to need a lot of help when they arrive in Israel. We have established a “virtual help desk” that will serve these new immigrants to Israel, as well as present the Gospel to them.
We are hoping that God will use this terrible persecution of French Jews – driving them to Israel – for His glory by giving us new opportunities to speak to French Jewish immigrants about the Lord.
We have translated Isaiah 53 Explained into French, and we will be working to get copies of this book into the hands of French immigrants to Israel. It has been almost impossible to reach Jewish people in France because the church is quite weak and there are not many missionaries to the Jews in France!
Your support is desperately needed to make projects like this a reality, as we need to build a website in French, train staff to minister to French Jews in Israel, advertise the online help desk, print books, and much more.
In light of the bloody history between Christianity and the Jewish people, would it not be wonderful for the Church to step forward in support of and with love for the Jewish people at a time when so many are anti-Israel and anti-Jewish?
I cannot wait to show these thousands of petitions, signed by Christians all across our great country, to Jewish seekers I speak to about the Lord. I know it will have a powerful impact on them for the Gospel.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this letter. Please sign the petitions, and remember to pray and give generously. Through these actions, Jewish people will know that true Christians are against antisemitism and the Gospel will go out to Jewish people in power and truth . . . and in love!
Yours for the Jewish people,
P.S. We are doing all we can to reach Jewish people during these dark days, but some of our missionaries are not able to raise their full support. Can you help? Whatever the Lord leads you to give will keep our missionaries on the field and the Gospel proclaimed in power. Thanks so much for loving the Jewish people, the Jewish Messiah, and Chosen People Ministries.
New Members Class in London Messianic Congregation
Daniel Nessim, who has labored patiently to plant a Messianic congregation in the Jewish section of London known as Golders Green, is pleased to begin his first set of New Member classes. He reports, “It is an exciting step, and people clapped when the announcement was made at our last meeting. We will soon be appointing our first leadership team. This is part of our goal, to help this Chosen People Ministries’ congregation onto its own two feet and to empower every member to play their part in the body. We also will be able to renew our ministry’s lease in Golders Green for another year or two. By working and living in the Jewish world we have good opportunities to talk to Jewish people on a regular basis, and we want to keep that up.”
Messianic Ministry Expanding in Russia and Ukraine
Boris Goldin, based in Florida, is a Russian believer who sometimes returns to his country of birth as a missionary. Partly through his efforts, Chosen People Ministries is expanding in four new cities: Sevastopol and Rostov in Russia, and Kherson and Mariupol in Ukraine. There, we are seeing the formation of new Messianic congregations or small groups that want to work with us. Please pray for strong and healthy contacts with those new affiliates of the ministry. Also, through the support of ministry partner donations, Chosen People Ministries has been able to send financial resources to buy medicine and food for elderly Ukrainian Jewish people who have been unable to relocate during these difficult times.
Ukrainian Families Find Warm Welcome in Israel with Chosen People Ministries
Neriyah A. has given much time and effort to help four Ukrainian families relocate in Israel after fleeing the war zone. He writes, “We not only met them in the airport, but also found and furnished the apartments for them, thanks to donations from the congregation. These people have attended our congregational meetings and some of them have already received the Lord. Before the Passover, we are planning to baptize 15 people. Please pray for more leaders that can help in our congregation. On a regular basis we have about 70 adults, plus children. Now, we need a bigger sanctuary.”
Wife of Israeli Believer Follows Husband in Faith
Maxim Katz, whose gift of reaching Holocaust survivors in Israel is truly blessed, reports that the wife of a survivor who came to faith not long ago has now taken the same step. Uncertain for some time as to where she stood, her prayer was that she might have the faith that her husband does. The Lord has answered her prayer! Maxim writes, “She attends the congregation with her husband and we are awaiting warmer weather to perform her baptism.”
Witnessing to Israelis with a Korean Accent
Did you know that Korean Christians have an especially warm heart for Jewish people and for Israel? Veteran staff member Doug P. now has the joy of training a group of Korean Christians about how to share the Gospel with Israelis! The group will be all ages…children, high school, college and adults. They are going to Israel in August for 10 days for the express purpose of sharing the Gospel. Doug is teaching them, especially the children, to sing Israel’s national anthem. For training the adults, he is using the first two chapters of his book, How to Share Jesus in a Jewish Way, which has already been translated into Korean.
Essential Truths Accompanying Salvation
In chapters 54-57, Isaiah examines several essential truths accompanying Messiah’s atonement for all humanity. These wonderful revelations enable us to rightly grasp the extent to which the Lord calls each believer into an ever-deepening relationship of covenant love.
ISRAEL ELEVATED TO THE PLACE OF WORLDWIDE BLESSING - ISAIAH 54
Messiah’s redemption, accomplished in Isaiah 53, now has application, first, to the nation of Israel, then to the individual believer. God’s relationship with Israel is unique; no other nation has experienced a similar covenantal relationship with God. Israel’s dwelling is compared to a tent that is being enlarged (Isa. 54:2).
Living in a tent signifies Israel’s pilgrim journey on earth. God’s severe judgment on Israel is viewed as “but for a moment” (Isa. 54:7), compared to the glory that is to come afterward. Many Gentiles will be surprised to discover that Israel will occupy a leading role among the nations of the world according to Isaiah’s predictions (Isa. 54:3).
AN APPEAL TO ALL PEOPLE TO COME TO GOD FOR SALVATION - ISAIAH 55
God’s word is full of gracious appeals. The only requisite is a burning thirst (Isa. 55:1; Jn. 7:37; Rev. 22:17). Here is a general appeal to the entire earth (Isa. 55:1-7). Messiah promised that the one who drinks the water He gives will never thirst again (Jn. 4:14).
The appeal stresses the truth that salvation cannot be purchased, but received only by God’s grace (Isa. 55:1-2; Eph. 2:8-9). Many people are not aware of God’s grace, seeking to earn or pay for that which will never satisfy (Isa. 55:1-2). Such are exhorted to “listen carefully” to God’s promise of a “new, everlasting covenant” presented in Isaiah 55:3 and stressed by the writer of Hebrews (Heb. 10:16-18).
MORAL OBLIGATIONS IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S REDEMPTION - ISAIAH 56
Whether the person is Jewish or Gentile, the exhortations of chapter 56 toward justice and morality apply to all who seek to serve the one true God. Salvation always brings with it the obligation of godly living.
The calling of the Gentiles (Isa. 56:6) in that future day emphasizes a note of universality. While there is no Temple today, one is reminded that the Lord cleansed the Temple twice in His ministry on earth. Isaiah 56 tells of a universal worship center to be called, “...a house of prayer for all people” (Isa. 56:7; Mt. 21:13).
A CONTRAST OF THE WICKED AND JUST MAN - ISAIAH 57
“The wicked are like the troubled sea…there is no peace, says my God, to the wicked” (Isa 57:20-21). Terrestrial kings and rulers are frequently susceptible to pride and arrogance, but the great Sovereign of heaven dwells with the humble believer (Isa. 57:15).
The contrite and lowly spirit of God’s children stands in antithesis to the apostate and proud attitude of the wicked, who must repent to avoid facing an eternity of separation from our loving Creator.
The pronouncement of peace
by Isaiah to those far and near (Isa. 57:19) sounds identical to the teaching of Ephesians 2:14 concerning the fact that Messiah made peace by His atoning work. He preached peace to the near (Israel) and the far (Gentiles) and broke down the “dividing wall” between them (Eph. 2:14).
Have you found peace with God?
A Brief History of ISIS
In light of the global attacks of the last few months, most people are somewhat familiar with the group ISIS. The acronym has become synonymous with violence, terror and bloodshed. As they continue to advance their cause in the Middle East and beyond, we need to better understand who they are.
ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and is also known as ISIL or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. By the end of June 2014, ISIS renamed itself the “Islamic State” as it proclaimed the creation of a global caliphate.1 Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, their leader since 2010, declared that he was the new caliph and as such, was now ruling all Muslims. To date, the introduction of a new caliphate has been far from welcome by various Muslim countries. ISIS, ISIL and IS are all mostly synonymous.
ISIS was founded in 1999 by the Jordanian extremist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Within five years, al-Zarqawi’s new group chose to associate themselves with Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. They are considered to be Islamic extremists, Islamists or Jihadists, closely linked to the concept of Jihad or “struggle.” Various similar groups, such as the Taliban, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah have also made the news for decades, but ISIS appears to be in a league of its own.
By early 2014, Al-Qaeda officially dissociated itself from ISIS, and the new group became a self-sustained entity. Al-Qaeda refused to be held responsible for ISIS’ actions which they deemed to be “too extreme” in some cases.2 ISIS has proven to be a growing force to be reckoned with. They have lived up to their barbaric reputation. They continue to advance in the Middle East, spreading their grip on a terrified, ill-prepared region.
ISIS follows a very extreme form of Islam known as Salafism (in Arabic al salaf al salih means the “pious forefathers”). It promotes violence and bloodshed to establish and maintain qur’anic hegemony through a very strict adherence to the Qur’an and Shari’a law. ISIS adheres to an apocalyptic theology and believes that the Mhadi or “guided one” will soon arrive and redeem Islam. ISIS has declared jihad against all infidels. That includes westerners, Christians and Jews. But it also includes any other “Muslims” who do not pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the new caliph, such as Hamas.
ISIS has taken less than 18 months to establish their barbaric reputation.
While they are still described as a terrorist organization, they are also known as a militia that is well trained in guerrilla warfare. They have shown great organizational skills from a military standpoint. This is unusual for a group of this sort where corruption, chaos and military inadequacy are usually the norm.
Their recent beheadings, rapes and live burnings are done to intimidate and almost paralyze the world into an inability to respond appropriately. Additionally, they are very astute in using the social networks and the internet to spread their propaganda of terror, as well as recruit fighters all over the world.
ISIS represents a brand of Islam that knows no boundaries to its violence. It continues to attract members in various countries around the globe who go to the Middle East to train and then return to their respective countries to attack their own communities. The lack of moral equivalence between a group driven by an ideology worshipping death and a world valuing human life is always going to be a challenge.3
1 A caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة khilāfa) is a form of Islamic government led by a caliph (Arabic: خَليفة khalīfah –– a person considered a political and religious successor to the prophet, Muhammad and a leader of the entire Muslim community. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate
ISIS and the End Times
One of the most shocking aspects of the rise of ISIS, particularly with regard to the horrifying murders it has committed, is the pure, unadulterated hatred that has accompanied these gruesome acts. Where does it come from? The secular media hasn’t a clue. It says, if only ISIS members weren’t so poor; if only they had more jobs. However, if we look deeper, we will soon discover that ISIS views Judaism and Christianity as religious competitors that must be silenced through any and every means possible. Only one worldview can emerge victorious—and according to ISIS, the final chapter of history must end in victory for Muhammad.
The Maze of Islamic Eschatology
Islamic eschatology is difficult to understand and sure to confuse those who have little or no knowledge of religious systems in general and Islam in particular. This is why many are puzzled about the motivations of ISIS. Some members may simply be driven by the desire to inflict harm and pain on others, but most are committed to a certain theology that shapes their present and future.
The recent execution of 21 Coptic Christians can shed some light on ISIS’ motivations. In the video released on Sunday, February 15, 2015 the phrase “They supplicate what they worship and die upon their paganism,” appears on the screen as the men are lowered to their knees. This puzzling assertion holds a clue as to ISIS’ understanding of end-times prophecy and attitude toward Christianity. For ISIS, the presumed Christian veneration of the cross is evidence of the corrupt nature of Christian theology. In fact, Christianity is viewed as a threat to ISIS’ dream of the establishment of the future caliphate (Islamic government) and the authority of the Mahdi (Islamic messiah).
It might come as a surprise, but Jesus is a central figure in the end of days in Islamic theology. However, in their way of thinking, Jesus’ role is to put an end to all religions other than Islam. Of course, this is not the Jesus of the Bible. It is the Jesus of Islamic conception.
Arming Ourselves with the Truth
There are some amazing parallels between Christian, Jewish and Islamic end-time scenarios. All recognize a final confrontation between the forces of evil and the forces of righteousness. Islam and Christianity see a role for an Antichrist-like figure and acknowledge the importance of Jesus.
The differences, however, far outweigh the similarities. A
Jesus who stands for the destruction of Jews and Christians? Unthinkable! A Christ who returns to establish the caliphate of Islam? Not according to the inspired Jewish prophets!
Believers are facing grave challenges today from ISIS. We must first and foremost arm ourselves with the knowledge that our scriptures provide in order to combat falsehood. We must also understand the kind of battle in which we are engaged. As the Apostle Paul writes, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
Finally, we must acknowledge that ISIS is not well understood by the West. We must reckon with the motivation that sanctions gruesome killings and a variety of criminal activities all in the name of a religious belief that may be as fervently cherished as that of the most convinced Christian and observant Jew. This is in fact what makes ISIS so dangerous, as they are driven by their theology. And if anyone can understand this—we can!
We must pray for the peace of Jerusalem. If ISIS has its way, it will stop at nothing to either destroy or take over Israel. Neither Isaiah nor Jeremiah ever named ISIS specifically, but they do say enemies would surround Israel, and this is apparently coming true in even more alarming fashion. As the second coming of the Lord looks closer and closer as the predicted future unfolds before our eyes, let us pray, but also prepare our hearts for the difficult times to come by drawing close to the Lord. Let us also do all we can in these days to proclaim the truth that there is salvation in no one other than Jesus the Messiah. This is true for Jewish people and non-Jews, whether they follow Hinduism, Buddhism or Islam.
We worship a Savior who loved us all so much that He died for our sins and rose from the grave, conquering death. We serve an all-powerful God and we should not fear the future. We should look ahead knowing that what was foretold will come to pass. Our responsibility is to be His vessels of mercy and grace to all—to the Jew first and also to the Gentiles—including ISIS!
The Jews of Iraq
Nowadays, there are literally just a handful of Jewish people living in Iraq, too old or poor to contemplate departure. Iraq used to be one of the centers of Judaism, with Jews living side by side with their Iraqi neighbors. Jews in Iraq after the Babylonian Exile created rabbinical academies and compiled the Babylonian Talmud, now a very important guide for Jewish religious life.
The Jews of Yemen
There are around 400 Jews left in small villages in Yemen. They keep to themselves, worshipping and living as Jews. Once a thriving community, most Jewish people immigrated to Israel in about 1950. Those who stayed behind soon faced hardships. Yemeni Jews speak Aramaic for religious services (instead of Hebrew) and have kept their rich heritage. In Israel, the Yemeni Jewish community has added greatly to society.
The Jews of Iran
The Jewish community of present-day Iran (formerly Persia) is one of the oldest in the world, reaching back to the Babylonian Exile. Muslim rule beginning in the seventh century spelled second-class citizenship for Iranian Jews. Today, Iran’s Jewish population is about 8,000 – the second largest in the Mideast. This comes as a surprise to many, given the open enmity that exists between Iran and the State of Israel.
The Jews of Syria
Jewish people had already lived in Syria for over 500 years when the Apostle Paul made his life-changing journey along the Road to Damascus. Before 1948, the Jewish community numbered about 40,000. Today, that number has dwindled to fewer than 100. The establishment of the Jewish State resulted in rioting, murder and the destruction of Jewish synagogues, some as old as 2,500 years. Thereafter, the Jewish community was subjected to harsh restrictions.
Source consulted – Jewish Virtual Library –