In This Issue:
Monthly Report: November 2013
Cheshvan - Kislev 5774
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By Shira Sorko-Ram
The world’s most prestigious newspaper, the New York Times, recently produced an article predicting Israel’s soon-coming demise.
Written by an illustrious University of Pennsylvania professor, Ian S. Lustick, he carefully outlined the reasons he believes Israel will disappear.
His logic is impeccable. From man’s perspective, there is no way Israel will be able to forever fight off those who want to destroy her. In fact, in the 46 years I have lived in Israel, I have watched almost the entire world turn against Israel.
Yes, there are still a few friends. Very few. The U.S., Canada, Australia with its new prime minister. Then there are a few fair-weather friends - off and on as the wind blows.
But how can a nation of seven million Jews continue to fight off the whole world?
Professor Lustick ticks off his reasons with brilliant insight. On second thought, you don’t have to be a genius to see the insurmountable obstacles to peace facing little Israel surrounded by 23 Arab states filled with jihadists.
Yet most democratic nations are in denial as to Israel’s genuine vulnerability. On the other hand, the Islamic and autocratic regimes like Iran - simply believe Israel’s destruction is on its way. Time is on Islam’s side.
As Lustick sees it, for 30 years every American president has enthusiastically brought his entire might and influence to the Middle East in order to “solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Only one time was there a tiny window for a possible breakthrough - in 1993 - with the Oslo agreements.
That Accord provided for the creation of a Palestinian interim self-government, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). But the “insurmountable obstacles” were left for later. Nothing ever came of it.
The obstacles are well known. Palestinians demand:
Will this happen? Of course not. If only one of these hurdles existed, there would never be a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
I must quickly admit that Israel does have some non-negotiable demands also.
Practically speaking, the Palestinians would have to agree to allow Israel Defense Forces to be stationed along the borders of a Palestinian state to keep terrorists from crossing into a new Palestinian state in order to infiltrate Israel.
Secondly, the Palestinians would have to pledge to make peace with the Jewish state, once and for all, and renounce all further demands in the future.
THE INJUSTICE OF IT ALL
But that’s not all. There are numerous other issues that are equally impossible to solve to the satisfaction of both sides. Here is an incomplete list.
CONCLUSION: NO PEACE TREATY
For just some of these reasons, the professor whose article appeared in the New York Times has come to a reasonable conclusion: The time for a peace treaty creating “two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security, is past.”
He lays the responsibility for this calamity, unsurprisingly, at the feet of Israel, which because of its government’s obstinancy is producing “isolation, emigration and hopelessness.” Lustick suggests that Israel will have to give up its “Zionism dream” of being a Jewish state, and just melt into the Middle East. He writes: “Israelis whose families came from Arab countries might find new reasons to think of themselves not as ‘Eastern,’ but as Arab.”
Lustick then drifts into lalaland, suggesting “masses of downtrodden and exploited Muslim and Arab refugees, in Gaza, the West Bank and in Israel itself could see democracy, not Islam, as the solution…”
Lustick forgot that earlier in his article he had explained that one of the reasons for the inability to create two peace-loving states is that “strong Islamist trends make a fundamentalist [under Sharia law] Palestine more likely than a small state under a secular [i.e. democratic] government.”
Hence the question remains. Why would both Israel and the Palestinians agree to another round of emotionally-draining talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when both sides know there is absolutely no chance of a peace agreement?
The answer is so very simple. Both Israelis and Palestinians fear the loss of financial help from the U.S. and the EU, not to speak of the world’s disapproval if they don’t enthusiastically and vigorously engage in peace talks.
But back to Professor Lustick’s warning that the Jewish state at some not-too distant future is about to disappear.
HUMAN WISDOM SAYS ISRAEL IS FATED TO DISAPPEAR
Lustick is right! According to human reasoning, Israel is on its way out. It’s one thing to have 42 million armed Arabs working towards your demise. It’s still another to have 1.6 billion Muslims whose Koran says to kill the Jews. It’s even a greater threat when the entire United Nations continuously bashes Israel by passing resolution after resolution against Israel’s “apartheid state” designed to brand her a parasite nation.
But when almost all of the Western democratic states - Europe, Scandinavia, and sadly even Great Britain - stand against Israel and launch serious sanctions to choke off her economy, the peril is undeniable.
But alas, that is not all. When Israelis watch the United States, the number one world power and Israel’s most faithful ally, weakening as a nation before their very eyes, reality says hope seems lost. But God!
WHY DID GOD REPEAT HIMSELF SO OFTEN?
I used to wonder years ago, why God repeated Himself so many times through His prophets saying in the last days He was going to bring the Jewish people back to their homeland. Declaring he would save, heal, and deliver them. He would open their eyes. He would forgive their sins. He would heal their backsliding. He would make them strong against their enemies.
There are literally hundreds of such Scriptures. As I heard an amazing Orthodox Rabbi say last night at the Eagles Wings’ Day of Prayer in Jerusalem, “The Bible is more powerful than the New York Times!”
The reason for this repetition is obvious. God did not want us to miss his intentions for Israel. Without God’s miraculous intervention, without His protection, without His promise to preserve Israel from her enemies, there is absolutely no hope at all.
WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL’S SALVATION?
Here in Israel we see a nation of Jewish people who are yet far away from their God and His Word. In the midst of this spiritual wasteland, the Messianic Jewish believers are giving their lives to see our people come to salvation. We don’t see it yet. Well, perhaps we see a cloud the size of a man’s hand. But you can be sure that it is entirely a walk of faith. Strong faith.
So we are greatly encouraged when we see how year after year, God protects this nation against all odds. As it was when Yeshua the Messiah told a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven. The Pharisees didn’t believe He had authority to do that. But then Yeshua said, “Which is easier, to say ‘your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
If God has been displaying His amazing power by preserving the modern state of Israel through countless wars, physical and verbal attacks from every side, and from the determination of the world body to sanction her out of existence - then we know He will forgive Israel’s sins and the day will surely come when “all Israel shall be saved.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES OR THE BIBLE? YOU CHOOSE
And the LORD will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, that they may dwell there and possess it.
Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.”
He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance.”
For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.
And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers.
And it shall come to pass that just as you were a curse among the nations, Oh house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong.
View this video clip on the “Palestinian Conflict Myths” from Jerusalem Institute of Justice. Outstanding.
Pastor Paul is one of a multitude of Chinese Christian leaders who has a burning desire to see his nation converted and brought into abundant life in this world and everlasting life in the world to come.
He founded a church in 2003 and then sent his young leaders out to start more churches - and today he has 40 growing churches bringing the Gospel to his people - the Chinese!
He also has connected with many other pastors in his area, understanding from God’s Word that our Lord loves unity.
Most of all, he understands that the first and foremost act of obedience to bring forth a harvest in his land is a strong network of prayer.
One day a fellow pastor urged him to go to the All Nations Prayer Convocation in Jerusalem lead by Tom Hess. At first he thought, “Why go to Jerusalem? I’m working in the harvest field in China, and that’s where my heart is.”
But he attended the conference in 2008 and his heart was stirred. However, when he felt God prompting him to come to Jerusalem every year, he said he felt shocked. “I will obey,” he said, “but I don’t know why.”
Ariel Blumenthal (Left) prays for Pastor Paul together with Ari Sorko-Ram and a Chinese Christian who has endured much persecution.
After attending the conference for the next two years, he began to understand that Israel is very important in God’s plan and, indeed, for the salvation of China.
He began to read everything he could find on Israel in the Chinese language. Books like Don Finto’s Your People Shall Be My People: How Israel, the Jews and the Christian Church Will Come together in the Last Days began to open up before him a huge horizon. (You can order Don’s book here.)
He devoured the Bible, now seeing the Jewish connection that runs from Genesis to Revelation. He also heard about Christians in the West giving donations to non-believing Jewish organizations, some of whom actually fight against the Messianic Jewish believers. Instead, he felt stirred to help the local Body fulfill its purpose in the land.
Pastor Paul explains the spiritual journey he underwent: I thought deeply about the new awakening concerning Israel that I saw happening around me among my Chinese fellow Christians.
I developed a profound desire to go deeper with my understanding of God’s plan for Israel. Most of all, I wanted to connect with the local believers. In 2011, I and my tour were in an Arab hotel in Jerusalem praying and struggling to understand what God was saying to us.
I knew that I wanted to do something that would enable China to bless Israel.
This verse shouted its message to me:
Go through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people;
Build up the highway!
Take out the stones,
Lift up a banner for the peoples!
I felt God was telling me to host a conference in Jerusalem between Chinese pastors and local Israeli Messianic Jewish leaders. I was shocked. Absolutely shocked.
I said, “But Lord, I am an unknown pastor. I am not famous or rich. I don’t even know any Messianic Jews in Israel! God, you could use someone from Hong Kong, or from Taiwan - some famous father in the faith.”
But then I said, “Lord, I have faith. I will obey and I know you will open the door.”
The very next day I met a Messianic Jewish couple, Noam and Debra, who worked for the believing tour company, Sar El. A further shock - without Debra knowing my struggle with the directive from the Lord, she simply said to me, “God will use you to organize a conference here in Jerusalem.”
I left to catch my plane and entered the airport heading towards my airline check-in counter. As I walked, I happened to glance at a man sitting by the side, looking at his iPhone messages. I recognized him although I didn’t know his name. But I remembered I had met him for two minutes at a prayer meeting some time before in Tel Aviv, hosted by Tom Hess.
Something leaped in my spirit. I went over and introduced myself, reminding him where we had met. He was Ari Sorko-Ram. He began to tell me his vision for the local Body of Messiah. He told me how he had begun studying Chinese a year before.
I had brought with me an offering of about $2,000 from my churches, but hadn’t known what to do with it, because until that day I hadn’t met any Israeli spiritual leaders. I had been feeling sad that I would be taking the offering back to China!
Now, I felt that I was to give Ari that offering. Of course he was very surprised! As we talked, I told him, “I want to organize a conference next year between Chinese pastors and Israeli Messianic leaders.”
The Chinese Christians know how to sing pray and dance. And they do it with all their hearts!
Ari looked straight at me and said, “I can help you. You have met the right person! In fact, I will adopt you! I feel like the Lord has said to me to adopt you.”
I didn’t know what the word “adopt” meant, and perplexed, I stopped to look it up in my Chinese-English dictionary!
Ari continued, “I know the Israeli leaders here in the country. I can help you organize a conference.”
Back in China I shared with my elders the story. We prayed and God gave me this plan - to create an alliance of Chinese Christians who will pray for Israel, who will love Israel, who will build a bridge between Christians in China and Israel’s Messianic Body, and who will help Israel and China realize their destiny.
We held three conferences in China last year to bring the knowledge of God’s plan for Israel to our people. I also visited Israel several times, and found the Messianic leaders I met excited about such a conference.
In 2012, some 100 Chinese and I came during Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) and at our first conference we met with a number of Israeli pastors.
This year, 150 Chinese leaders interfaced with 80 Messianic Jewish leaders. We prayed, worshiped, and gave Israelis opportunity in small groups to share their vision and their work in the land. I was amazed at the connections being made - even though it was through translators!
Next year, we are planning for somewhere around 100 Israelis and 200-300 Chinese pastors and leaders to meet, again during the Sukkot Holiday.
Yes, I am amazed what God has done with an unknown pastor like myself. Through divinely directed encounters, God has begun to build a bridge between the Christians in China and the Messianic Jewish leaders of the land of Israel.
In the city of Sderot, right on the border with Gaza, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America acquired a warehouse to stockpile humanitarian aid. American businesses are donating millions of dollars of all types of goods which the MJAA then ships to Israel for free distribution to Israel’s neediest.
Last year Maoz partnered with MJAA’s Joseph Project by donating $50,000 to outfit the Sderot warehouse with commercial shelving, a fire-proof sprinkling system and a fork lift.
Ari Sorko-Ram visits one of Joseph Project;s 40 distribution centers serving Israel's needy.
This warehouse will serve six important distribution centers covering the entire southern area of Israel. However, Joseph Project lacks a truck to transport the goods from Israel’s ports to the warehouse, and from the warehouse to the southern centers in cities such as Beersheva, Arad and Eilat.
Maoz and its partners have the opportunity to provide this $90,000 truck - with only $45,000! The reason? Because another MJAA donor offered to match our gift. Thus $45,000 will purchase a $90,000 truck! Let’s do it!
What if you could change the world - for Israel, for the Jewish people, and at the same time for your loved ones - with a gift that costs you nothing now?
What if we told you that anyone can afford to make this gift?
What if we could show you how to make your greatest gift ever to support God's Chosen People through Maoz Israel Ministries?
Would you do it?
It is as simple as including Maoz in your will. When you do, you will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.
"Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren..." Proverbs 13:22 (NLT)
In the US and Canada call Christy Wilkerson: 800.856.7060
In Great Britain call Dan Delap: 0208.692.2831
Dear Maoz Partner,
Last year we wrote to you about the need for commercial shelving to be placed in a warehouse acquired by the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America’s Joseph Project.
The warehouse is situated in Sderot, southern Israel, a city attacked by Hamas with more than 5,000 rockets. The MJAA had asked if we would write you, our Maoz Partners, about supplying this warehouse with commercial shelving.
The cost was $50,000. But the MJAA told us they had a contributor who promised to match our gift with another $50,000!
You met this opportunity with joy and enthusiasm, supplying all the shelving, and a mandatory sprinkling system and even a forklift to store the supplies.
And the MJAA was able to receive another $50,000 which went to help transport tons of supplies from the U.S. for families in Israel who are thrilled to receive all kinds of necessities from diapers to clothes to food staples.
All these products are given by American businesses to the Joseph Project - which then pays for the shipping, storage and distribution to 40 centers here in Israel.
Here is a testimony sent to the MJAA Joseph Project from a new immigrant who is a single mom from Russia:
When I looked for a job, I could not get work in my profession and had to take a job as a cleaner. So I clean 13 hours a day and have two different companies that I work for, one in early morning, and one in the afternoon to evening. It is long hours, but this is the only way I can pay the rent and bills. One salary is not enough to get by in Israel. It is not easy, but it gives me peace, as I can depend on these jobs to pay our rent, utilities, and food and my son Boaz’s education. For other things, like clothing for the two of us - the (Joseph Project) aid center was there for us, also with furniture and household goods. Otherwise, we simply would not have them. The aid center is a necessity for families like us. We bless them, and all who donated to help us... As for the future, I still hope to go back to working in my own profession.”
Now we have another opportunity to partner again with the Joseph Project by helping them buy a truck which will bring the containers from the ships to the warehouse and then deliver these goods to the distribution centers throughout Israel’s south.
The truck costs $90,000. When our Maoz partners invest $45,000 towards this truck, another MJAA partner promised to match this sum and the truck will be purchased.
Yes, Maoz Israel Ministries is centered in Tel Aviv to bring the Gospel to our city and our nation. We continue publishing books (11 in the pipeline at the moment), supporting Congregation Tiferet Yeshua, and hosting national leadership training conferences.
And we are convinced our greatest opportunity to reach the lost sheep of Israel is through our Hebrew Language Internet Evangelism we are pioneering in Tel Aviv.
But we will always have time to help the poor. Our partners want to see Israel saved and cared for - both body and soul.
Your support in purchasing this truck will bless many thousands of Israelis who will be able to take advantage of this assistance offered by the Messianic Community with the help of our Christian friends.
Your partners in blessings Israelis, body, soul and spirit!
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram