Shalom in His grace! I hope you have already found 2014 to be a fruitful time for you and your family! Your Mission to the Jewish People is busy moving into the Brooklyn Center, conducting the Isaiah 53 Campaign in Israel, and much more.
More than 10,000 people have responded to the ads we placed all over Brooklyn on billboards, bus shelters, subway stops and online. About 1,000 people requested the Isaiah 53 Explained book and hundreds have watched the evangelistic movies and testimonies on the website Isaiah53.com. What is most gratifying to me is the number of religious Jewish people who have ordered the book and called the telephone number on the advertising. We have already had many conversations with those who have shown an interest in Jesus!
Our Isaiah 53 advertisements were displayed on buses in Jewish neighborhoods
May I tell you a quick story about the Isaiah 53 Campaign in Brooklyn? It is typical of the exciting opportunities the Lord is giving to us at this time!
One evening, an Orthodox Jewish man called and said with an urgent voice that he only had a half hour to talk, as his wife had just left the house and he did not want to discuss Isaiah 53 while she was there. This is fairly typical of religious Jewish people who are considering Jesus - they want privacy because this is such a volatile issue for them, especially in the home.
His call came in at about 9:30 at night. The person who received it, a Chinese student and missionary to the Jewish people attending our Charles Feinberg Center in Brooklyn, then called a member of our follow-up team, who immediately phoned the Orthodox Jewish man. They had a half-hour Bible study on Isaiah 53, going through the passage verse by verse in Hebrew. The Orthodox Jewish man had some fantastic questions and was very open to the Lord, but after a half hour said, "I've got to hang up, as my wife is coming home."
We want you to pray for him, but cannot give you this person's name. You see, our publications are regularly read by the "anti-missionaries" who are trying to keep us from bringing the Gospel to the Jewish people in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn - especially through our new Center and through the Isaiah 53 Campaign.
So, please pray for this man and for the dozens of others who have also responded with a deep interest in the Gospel.
Daniel Fuchs - One of the Heroes
As you can see, our staff is very dedicated, and if it weren’t for the intervention of another dedicated missionary a long time ago, I may never have been a part of this great Mission. Dr. Daniel Fuchs, a former president of Chosen People Ministries, is one of my true heroes of the faith. Please allow me to explain.
I remember my first meeting with Dr. Fuchs. I had just come to faith in Jesus the Messiah in 1970 as a young, Jewish, drug-dealing hippie living in San Francisco! I knew so little about the Bible and about my new faith, but I knew that Jesus was the Messiah and that I was going through one radical change after another... especially having grown up in a more traditional Jewish home in New York City.
Dr. Fuchs was what we call "a child of the mission." His mother had become a follower of Jesus under the ministry of our founder, Rabbi Leopold Cohn. Daniel was raised in the Mission and eventually became the director of what was still in the early 1960s known as the American Board of Missions to the Jews. He served our Mission faithfully for many years and always had the reputation of having a sensitive heart for the missionaries on the field. It is because of his love for our missionaries that we have named our Under-Supported Missionary Fund in his honor.
I knew God had called me to the ministry. Through my association with the Northern California branch of Chosen People Ministries and the director of this work, Martin (Moishe) Rosen, who later became the founder of Jews for Jesus, I eventually met Daniel Fuchs in New York City. I visited Dr. Fuchs to ask him for a scholarship to attend Bible college.
I was literally scared to death because I was such a "newbie." But I when met his wife and secretary, Muriel, she was so gracious and kind as she ushered me into Dr. Fuch's large office in the building Chosen People Ministries owned at the time on West 72nd Street and Broadway.
When I met Dr. Fuchs for the first time, he reminded me of my grandfather! He took my hand, prayed for me, and asked me what I needed. I told him about my desire to serve my new-found Messiah Jesus and to attend Bible college. Almost immediately, he said, "Of course we will help you." I went to Bible college and never had to worry about tuition because Chosen People Ministries and another small Jewish mission with which I was working at the time helped pay my tuition.
I think if Daniel Fuchs had known I would one day become the president of the Mission, he would have probably been alarmed. At the time I asked for the scholarship, my hair was still long, I had a big thick beard, and I even dressed up in my best overalls to meet him that day in New York City!
But he was a man of vision and faith, and I experienced firsthand his love for everyday missionaries to the Jewish people.
The Jerusalem Messianic Center
We have some fantastic new staff members working with Chosen People Ministries who are trying to raise their support. But as you can imagine, the younger Jewish missionaries to the Jewish people do not have many opportunities to reach their goal. Many of them are in the same position I was in - without family members who were willing to help me pursue the calling the Lord had placed upon my life, or a ready-made network of individuals and churches to call upon for assistance. Some of our new missionaries have it even harder - some of them cannot possibly raise support in the United States because they do not even speak English! They live and serve in Israel, Russia and other countries.
But you can help them! We hope to raise $250,000 this year for the Daniel Fuchs Under-Supported Missionary Fund.
Would you consider giving a generous gift and perhaps even pledging a series of gifts over the course of the year to help support our under-supported missionaries? They are dedicated, on fire for Jesus, and willing to be on the front lines of Jewish missions in the United States, Israel in other countries around the globe - but they cannot do it without your help.
You might think of your gift to the Under-Supported Missionary Fund as an investment or sowing seed money in the lives of these new staff members who are already working hard to raise the support they need to serve the Lord through Chosen People Ministries.
Would you help me help these dedicated servants of the Lord?
Your gift of $100, $1,000, or whatever the Lord enables you to give will help keep these new staff members on the field. So thank you for considering a gift to Daniel Fuchs Under-Supported Missionary Fund, and I pray that the Lord will bless you for blessing the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3).
Your brother in the Messiah,
Dear friend of the Jewish people,
Shalom from Brooklyn - the "other" holy land! For more than 120 years, Chosen People Ministries has been diligent in remembering the importance of bringing the Gospel to the Jew first. The first week of January is a great time to reemphasize this calling.
I love this tradition and want to continue it, so allow me to share a brief portion of the message I gave at the conference held last fall at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan, entitled The People, the Land and the Future of Israel. We are already working on producing the book, which should be released sometime in the next nine to ten months.
Pastor David Epstein, Senior Pastor of the historic Calvary Baptist Church in New York City, speaks at the conference last fall.
To the Jew First (Romans 1:16)
Let me tell you why I believe Paul penned the well-known words in Romans 1:16,
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
By understanding this passage, we will better appreciate why the Bible teaches that the Jewish people still have a key role to play in God's unfolding plan for all humanity!
The reason why Paul believes the Gospel should go out to the Jewish people first is founded upon his understanding of the events of the last days. When Romans 1:16 is viewed from this perspective, the urgency of Jewish evangelism becomes evident.
As my good friend and conference participant Joel C. Rosenberg says, "Humanity is headed towards a Romans 11:25 future."
For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery - so that you will not be wise in your own estimation - that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved...
You cannot separate what Paul writes in Romans 11:25-27 from Romans 1:16. The Apostle's admonition to bring the Jewish Gospel to the Jewish people first is based on his understanding that in the very last days, the turning of the Jewish remnant to Messiah will bring about the second coming of Christ.
The Greek word used by Paul and translated as "first" implies a priority, rather than a sequential order of events. This word is also used in Matthew 6:33, where the Lord Jesus reminds us to "seek first the kingdom of God." The kingdom of God should always be a priority in our lives, even as we seek other things. In a similar way, reaching Jewish people with the Gospel must be a priority concern for all who know the Lord Jesus as their Savior, but not to the exclusion of reaching non-Jews.
We placed our Isaiah 53 ads on New York City Transit Buses
with routes in Jewish neighborhoods
What Would Paul Do?
Paul, called to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, focused his ministry on reaching non-Jews with the Gospel message - but this did not lessen his concern for the salvation of the Jewish people.
Wherever Paul went in his ministry among the Gentiles, he also preached the Gospel to the Jewish people living in that area (Acts 13:13-52; 14:1-5; 18:7-11; 19:8-10). He would regularly make sure that this was his first evangelistic effort in a particular city before he spoke to the Gentiles.
Paul's actions in the Book of Acts reveal his understanding of what he penned in Romans 1:16. His theology was enacted in his own strategy for missions, and this is why we should follow suit.
The Apostle's argument would be as follows: If Jewish people believe in Jesus, then Jesus the Messiah will return. Therefore, Paul argued that if the church desires to witness the second coming of Christ, the Jewish people must be evangelized.
Based upon the above, the church cannot think of Jewish evangelism as just simply evangelizing "another people group." The Jewish people have been tagged with a theological import unlike other peoples. This emphasis needs to be respected, and therefore the Church must make Jewish evangelism a priority in light of Romans 1:16.
Steps You Can Take in the New Year
I believe there are certain steps we should take in light of the Bible's clear teaching that links the second coming of Jesus to Jewish evangelism!
Pray for the Jewish People in 2014
Your Mission to the Jewish People needs your faithful prayers in 2014! As King David wrote, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem;" adding a promise, he said, "they will prosper who love you." So please pray for us as we open the new Messianic center in Brooklyn. It's incredible to see the interest that religious Jewish people now have in Jesus!
Also, continue to pray for our twenty-plus staff members in the Holy Land, especially now as we continue our ministry through the Hebrew-language Isaiah 53 Campaign that is just getting underway in this country of more than six and a half million Jewish people. Please pray there will be great responsiveness!
Witness to Jewish Friends and Neighbors
I would love to send you a free copy of Isaiah 53 Explained - the centerpiece of our Isaiah 53 campaign - to give to one of your Jewish friends. You can either order one at www.Isaiah53.com. If you give us the name and address of your Jewish friends, we will send the book directly to them. Either way - we want to help you share the Gospel with your Jewish friends and neighbors.
Generously and Faithfully Support Jewish Missions
Our founder, Rabbi Leopold Cohn, and his son, Joseph, used to encourage Christians to begin the New Year by giving a generous gift to Jewish evangelism through Chosen People Ministries. I hope you will consider putting "shoe leather" to Romans 1:16 and giving the first fruit of your missions giving to support the work of reaching Jewish people for the Lord Jesus. It is even a great tradition to instill in the hearts and lives of your children.
You might also approach your local church to consider doing the same. Giving a generous New Year's "to the Jew first" gift to Jewish evangelism would be a tremendous help to us, as oftentimes giving is quite low in January.
So please consider giving a special New Year's gift to reach Jewish people for Jesus!
Thank you so much for your prayers in support of Chosen People Ministries - we believe that 2014 is going to be an amazing year because of the increases in our staff, the opening of the Brooklyn Center, our continuing Isaiah 53 campaigns (especially in Israel) and so much more that I do not have time to describe! We are positioned as never before to impact the Jewish community with the message of the Gospel.
Our Brooklyn Messianic Center will be fully open for a number of thriving ministries in 2014
But we cannot do this without your help and active participation. This is a partnership, and on behalf of our global Chosen People Ministries staff, I want to thank you for helping us bring the message of the Jewish Messiah to the Jew first... and also to the Gentile!
If you would like to give online, you can visit www.chosenpeople.com/donate to send your gift. Happy New Year, and may the Lord bless you and your family in 2014!
P.S. I will share some further thoughts from my upcoming chapter in the new book based on the The People, the Land and the Future of Israel conference. If you would like to hear the entire sermon, please visit videos.chosenpeople.com and enjoy the entire event! And feel free to pass this site along to your friends!
Shalom and Happy Holidays!
I do hope you have a joy-filled holiday celebration this season!
We are reaching Jewish people for the Babe from Bethlehem in seventeen countries around the globe. We are thrilled to see Jewish people opening their hearts to the Messiah!
The Chosen People Ministries family remains very grateful for your continuing prayers and generous support.
May the One who fulfills the Messianic promises of the Hebrew Scriptures be with you and your family this coming year!
Your brother in Yeshua our King,
President, Chosen People Ministries
Repentance and New Life in Messiah
Vladimir Pikman, the director of Chosen People Ministries' work in Germany, tells a moving story about a Jewish businessman who engaged him in conversation at a wedding celebration they were both attending. "I have everything," the man said. "Other people envy me, but nobody knows how miserable my life is. I am such a sinner."
After patiently listening to the man's sorrowful story, Vladimir told him the Good News of the Lord's forgiveness. When Vladimir asked him if he was willing to start a new life with the Messiah, he gave a confident "yes" and prayed to receive the Lord! Please pray for him, as he grows toward maturity.
Surprise Invitation Leads to Jewish Faith Decision in Israel
While visiting a Messianic congregation led by a friend of his, Eugene Lempert, who serves with Chosen People Ministries in Israel, was suddenly invited to give the message, without any warning beforehand. Praying for God's help, he accepted the challenge and spoke on God's timing in the life of believers - and particularly for his fellow Israelis. The question and answer session that followed became quite lively!
Later that evening, at dinner with the friend and his family, Eugene learned that one participant had brought an unbelieving relative to the service - and that he had prayed to receive the Lord after the message!
Searching Woman Finds Faith Through Messianic Ministry
Not long ago, congregational leader Michael Herts was introduced to Karen.* Karen was searching for God, and shared with one of her friends that she planned to visit a local synagogue. The friend, who is a believer in Jesus, suggested that Karen visit the Messianic congregation Michael leads in Virginia. After the service, she told Michael how powerfully his message had impacted her.
The next week, Karen came by herself, and before long, she prayed with Michael and his wife, Debbi, to receive the Lord. Please pray as Michael and Debbi follow up and help Karen grow in her new-found faith.
First Spanish-Speaking Jewish Evangelism Conference in Miami
David Sedaca, Special Assistant to Mission President Mitch Glaser, coordinated the first conference in Spanish on "Evangelizing the Jewish People in the Last Days." Held November 1-3 in Miami, this event was the fruit of dozens of church meetings and special events raising awareness among Christians for the need to reach Spanish-speaking Jewish people with the Gospel. David also made appearances on several radio stations and television networks in South Florida, speaking on the need to bring the Gospel to "the lost sheep of the House of Israel."
Chosen People Ministries received the sad news that Irina N. (last name withheld for safety issues), the wife of staff member, Henry, and mother of teenagers Adi and Magda, passed away on November 10th in Israel after battling cancer.
Irina has been used of God in powerful ways to touch many hundreds of lives as she served at her husband's side in Ariel as part of the congregation he leads, ministering to many women and children. She was a greatly gifted musician and used her skills by leading others in worship and training many children - including her own - to play the piano. Chosen People Ministries' President Dr. Mitch Glaser writes, "I will remember Irina as a sweet, gentle soul who loved the Lord and her family and served her Messiah with remarkable dedication and faithfulness."