Dear Friends of "Or Tzion,"
shalom and hag sameach (happy holiday) from Israel in the Name of our Lord Yeshua. In Him all the chagim (festivals) of Israel find their fulfillment. Rosh Hashanah (head of the year, or New Year) is now past (when I began this letter, it was still two weeks away). Special preparations are made for this high holiday. In the supermarkets tart apples are stapled into big heaps, and jars of honey of every size and shape fill the shelves. Wines for every taste and beautiful gift-baskets are placed on sale. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah people eat pieces of apples dipped into honey prefiguring a "sweet" new year, and exchange the wines and gift-baskets as tokens of a merry heart over the bountiful blessings of God.
Here and there one could hear men practicing on the shofar. The blasts need to be clear and sharp for the Feast of Trumpets (another Name for Rosh Hashanah) and the following ten days of awe, until the last trumpet blast at sundown on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). It is a very special time in Israel, a mix between festive joy and reflective somberness. Wrongs will be righted, offenses repented of and forgiven. The haredim (ultra-orthodox) prepare well ahead of time. Already during the forty days preceding Rosh Hashanah they go on a partial fast, similar to that of Daniel: they don't eat any meat or pleasant foods and delicatessen. Each morning at dawn they gather for prayers of repentance.
Many Messianic Jews believe that it were these forty days which Yeshua spent in the wilderness fasting and praying after John's baptism of repentance. They believe His ministry officially began on Rosh Hashanah, the trumpets warning of the coming judgment made irrevo-cably final with the last trump on Yom Kippur. It certainly would make sense in view of God's calendar, seen that the end of the age of grace will culminate with the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets ending in the last trump. Then only Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) will await its final fulfillment at the end of the Messianic Age.
My Visit in the States
This year's visit was different. I believe it began a new era in my ministry. It was sort of a resurrection. "Or Tzion" had been blossoming before the Lord said it was time to move to Israel. I had waited ten years for that move. It required giving Him back all we had: family, friends, house, furniture, cars, job, securities -- and ministry. Some thought we were missing the Lord because it required letting go of a growing ministry. I, on the other hand, believed like Abraham did: what G-d promised He also would do. And if it took a resurrection.
My original purpose for this trip was to attend the week-long Homecoming Celebration at Christ For The Nations in Dallas, of which I am an alumni of 1978-80. I had no message... I thought. I was wrong. The Lord gave me teachings to more clearly illustrate to the Gentile believers how they figure in the citizenship and inheritance of Israel. As long as they continue to regard themselves as separate from Israel, as Gentiles who do not belong and will only figure as part of Israel AFTER the return of Messiah, they are in danger of falling victim to the deception.
The people of G-d walk by the obedience of faith, whether originally Jews or Gentiles. We cannot walk in a partial obedience, believing and acting upon one part of G-d's Word, but neither believing nor acting upon another part of G-d's Word. Either you ARE fellow-citizens and co-heirs of and with Israel, or you are not. If you are indeed IN Messiah, then you also are IN Israel. You cannot be in Messiah, but outside of Israel. Messiah is the very heart and nucleus INSIDE of Israel. If you are in Him, then you are also in the commonwealth of Israel.
I strongly encourage you therefore to obtain the tapes with the two illustrations and receive a true blessing from the Lord by means of them. Do not think you already know it all. Otherwise the Lord would not have such an intense concern for you to lay hold of this truth, and then walk in obedience to it. Believe me, beloved friends, the danger NOT to fully understand is far greater than you realize (see "... Misleading Influence").
The second teaching centers on the events preceding and following the Jericho-Gaza-First Agreements. The events are placed vis-a-vis the Word. The accuracy of fulfillment is striking. I also define in a condensed form the doctrine and aim of Islam. It helps you to understand better the true nature of the Arab/Israeli conflict. I summarize the latest agreements and give a short biography of Yasser Arafat and of those men in power with him over the area of autonomy. The true aims of Arafat become evident through reference to his recent speeches.
I apologize to those of you who have not been promptly served and had to wait an unduly long time for your requests to be fulfilled. I hope in your forgiveness. I am praying to the Lord for dependable and faithful fellow servants to help "Or Tzion" fulfill its ministry honorably and to His glory and praise.
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