.; A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to ..praying .. for the restoration of Israel
David’s Comment: Its All About Covenant
Nehemiah 1:5 And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
Ever since I began to read the Bible after my transformation from Athiest to Messianic Believer 30 years ago, I have based my faith on the fact that YHVH, the GOD of Israel, is a covenant making, covenant keeping God. If you do not have a covenant based relationship with the GOD of Israel, you are ‘outside of the camp.’ Israel and the Jewish people only exist today because GOD entered into a covenant relationship with Abraham 4000 years ago. In keeping with His covenant with Abraham, YHVH delivered Abraham’s descendants from slavery in Egypt at Passover about 3800 years ago. Since Passover time about 2000 years ago, Jews and non-Jews who have believed that Yeshua of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, have enjoyed the benefits of being in a covenant relationship with the GOD of Israel, the ultimate benefit being the promise of eternal life in His Kingdom.
Most Christians have been aware that their relationship with GOD is based on the ‘New Covenant’, but over the last 19 years as I have ministered in the nations, I have come to realise that most people do not really know what a ‘covenant’ is. To really receive the full benefits of our relationship with GOD, we need to really understand the full implications of what ‘covenant’ means. I have written about covenant before (see the section on Covenant in http://www.out-of-zion.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Back-to-Biblical-Basics.pdf ) but as we celebrated the Passover ceremony last week, I became aware of two dynamics of covenant that I did not know before, and I want to share these with you.
The New Covenant was initiated at the Passover Yeshua celebrated with His disciples the night before He was crucified. As He raised the 3rd cup of the ceremony (called the Cup of Redemption) He blessed it with the Hebrew blessing and then He said ” this is the Cup of the New Covenant in My blood.” About 20 hours later He died on the cross and the blood that poured from His cut and pierced body sealed the New Covenant, opening a new way to come into an intimate relationship with the Father in Heaven. When we celebrate communion in our congregations or homes, we sometimes refer to it as a ‘covenant meal’. And that is exactly what it is !?
The Passover Seder we were at last week was led by Australian Bible teacher Kelvin Crombie who spent many years studying and teaching at Christchurch Guest house and centre in Jerusalem. The first new thing that I learnt as Kelvin led the Seder was that in ancient times, whenever 2 parties entered into any kind of covenant, once the terms of the covenant were set and agreed upon, the 2 parties sat down and shared a meal together. Now I see a much higher level of importance of celebrating the Lord’s Supper as being an absolute reconfirmation of our covenant relationship with YHVH.? It is also important that we be reminded each time we share the ‘covenant meal, of the benefits of the covenant.
Kelvin also shared that most covenants are made between a strong and a weaker party. In such a situation, the stronger party is responsible for the well being of the weaker one. In our covenant relationship with GOD, there is no doubt who the stronger and the weaker parties are. Israel still exists today (in spite of the Devil’s 4000 year history of trying to destroy it) because GOD is bound to ensure the future of Israel by the covenant He made with Abraham. Likewise we in the New Covenant can also enjoy the benefits of GOD’s promises.
The other important thing I learnt at the Seder was that in Bible times, the parties of the covenant often exchanged their garments. In 1 Samuel 18:3 King Saul’s son Jonathan enters into a covenant with David the shepherd boy. David’s robe was simple and probably soiled from his work with the sheep, while Jonathan’s armour was that of the son of a king. In verse 4 we see Jonathan and David exchanging their garments. Is this not a wonderful picture of what happens when we enter into a covenant with the GOD of Israel, sealed by the blood of His Son Yeshua, there is an exchange of garments. In the New Covenant, our sin-soiled garments are exchanged for Yeshua’s righteous robes.
As we participate in the Lord’s Supper from now on, let us give thanks to our Father in Heaven and remember that He is seeing us wearing His Son’s robe, and let us stand strong in faith as we remember the benefits of His covenant promises.
The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel. Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom …… David & Josie
This Weeks News Items
1. Terror Victim Dies After Knife Attack in Jerusalem
A British tourist in her mid was murdered by an Arab terrorist Friday afternoon in a stabbing attack inside of a light rail train in Jerusalem. Two others, a pregnant woman in her early 30s and a man in his early 50s were injured during the attack. MDA first responders say the pregnant woman was knocked down during the attack and suffered injuries to her stomach, while the man was injured while attempting to flee the attack. The attack took place inside a north-bound light train near the Old City?s Jaffa Gate just after 12:45 Friday afternoon. Authorities say the murdered woman was roughly 25-years old. Paramedics attempted to stabilize her condition while she was transported to Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital. Despite their efforts, doctors at Hadassah were forced to declare her death Friday afternoon. The terrorist responsible for the attack has been neutralized and taken into custody. Police have identified the murderer as Jameel Tamimi, a 57-year old Arab resident of Jerusalem from the Ras al-Amud neighborhood. Please pray for the family of the woman who passed away and for the 2 others who were wounded.
2. PA Raises Financial Support of Terrorists Geller Report April 2017
In defiance of the USA, which is demanding that the Palestinian Authority completely stop financial rewards to families of terrorist ?Martyrs? (Shahids), the PA is now raising the payments to the ?Martyrs’? families. These PA payments include lifetime monthly allowances to families of suicide bombers, and other murderers who were killed during or after committing their crimes. After years of international condemnation of the PA, the United States Congress recently proposed The Taylor Force Act to cut off financial aid to the Palestinian Authority because of these payments to terrorists and their families. When Taylor Force, an American citizen, was murdered last year in Tel Aviv, American legislators were incensed to learn that the family members of the dead terrorist would be rewarded with lifetime payments – thus benefiting from American financial aid. Lets pray that this defiant move on the part of the Palestinian Authority will be penalized by withdrawal of all financial aid that comes from Western governments and their taxpayers.
3. Car Ramming Terror Attack Near Gush Katif Times of Israel News April 19th
An Israeli man was lightly wounded in a car-ramming attack near the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank on Wednesday, the army said. The driver of the vehicle was shot and fatally wounded by IDF troops who were on the scene, a military spokesperson said. A spokesperson for Jerusalem?s Shaare Zedek Medical Center said the Palestinian assailant was brought to the hospital in critical condition after receiving treatment on the scene by military medics. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving to the hospital, an army spokesperson said. The identity of the assailant was not immediately known. A photograph from the scene posted on social showed a car with a Palestinian license plate. Medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service treated the injured the 60 year old Israeli man, who suffered a head wound after being hit by the car. Please pray for the full healing for the victim of the attack.
4. Israel Treating Wounded Syrians Kehilah News April 17th
Although Israel and Syria have regarded each other as enemies since 1948, seven more severely wounded Syrians were admitted to Israeli hospitals last week. Since 2013 Israel has treated a reported 3,000 Syrian civilians injured in the civil war that continues to rage next door to the Jewish state. The Times of Israel reported that on Thursday night last week, an IDF medical corps unit met a further two children, four women and one man waiting at the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights. Two of the patients were in such bad condition that a helicopter was called for to rush them to hospital, while the remainder of the group of seven were hurried into armored ambulances and driven into northern Israel for intensive care.
Syria has never recognized Israel as a state, the two nations have never had diplomatic relations and Israel generally prohibits its citizens from traveling there. As the civil war has raged on just a short distance from Israel?s border with Syria, Israeli soldiers on patrol of the area have come across wounded civilians and have felt compelled to help. Since 2013, it has become an almost nightly occurrence for Syrian wounded to come to certain spots on the border with Israel to be taken to receive treatment. It is extraordinary that the wounded come to Israel for care after having been taught their whole lives that Israel is their enemy. Remarkably, the tragic circumstances under which the Syrians have come has resulted in dramatic changes to their perceptions of Israel and the Jews. ?In the past we used to know Israel as our enemy. That?s what the Assad regime used to tell us. When we came to Israel we changed our minds, there is no enmity between us,? said one young Syrian man being treated at Ziv. ?In the end we discovered that our regime is the enemy of us all.? Lets pray that many more Syrian people will come to know that they have been lied to and that Israel is not their enemy.
5. Hamas Official: Hamas Not Interested in Another War With Israel Times of Israel News April 19th
A senior Hamas official said Thursday that the Gaza-based terror group is not looking to start another round of conflict with Israel. ?We are not seeking a war and are committed to the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire as long as Israel is,? said Khalil al-Hayya, who was elected the deputy leader of the group?s executive committee in Gaza in February. His comments came at the end of an hour-long speech that generally addressed problems in Gaza caused by disputes among Palestinian factions. The remarks come after several weeks of raised tensions between Hamas and Israel, particularly over the assassination of a senior Hamas leader that the group blamed on Israel. There have also been several rockets fired from Gaza into Israel and IDF retaliatory strikes. Israel has fought three major rounds of conflict with Hamas since the terror group seized control of Gaza from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas?s Fatah group in 2007. The Hamas deputy leader argued that sustaining the ceasefire is in Hamas?s best interests as it is the most ?useful? way of allowing the rebuilding of Gaza after the destructive 2014 war, reducing the suffering of Gazans, and giving Hamas time to ?build our strength in order to attain liberation.? Lets pray that Hamas is serious about maintaining peace between Israel & Gaza.
6. Arab Cancer Patient Caught Smuggling Explosives into Israel INN News April 20th
Israeli authorities on Wednesday morning intercepted material used to manufacture explosive devices hidden inside spools of medical material at the Erez Crossing, the Shin Bet announced in a statement. According to the statement, the material was located during the security check at the crossing in the luggage of two sisters who are residents of the Gaza Strip. The two women had been approved to enter Israel for the purpose of receiving medical treatment for cancer, which one of the two sisters suffers from. An initial investigation indicated that the explosives were sent by Hamas and that the group was planning to carry out terror attacks in Israel in the near future, the statement read, adding that the material was destroyed by a sapper of the Southern District police force. ?The terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas, continue to exploit the humanitarian and medical assistance provided by Israel to the residents of the Gaza Strip in order to perpetrate terrorist attacks in Israel.? Please pray that the world hears about this shocking attempt to cause terror to the people who are helping treat her cancer
7. Record Number of Tourists Enter Israel Israel Ha Yom News April 14
A record-breaking 739,000 tourists entered Israel in the first quarter of 2017, adding 5,000 new jobs and injecting 4 billion shekels ($1 billion) into the country’s economy. According to new data from price comparison site HotelsCombined, there was a 157% increase in hotel bookings from Hong Kong compared to last year. Hotel bookings by Italians were up 139%, South Africans 134%, South Koreans 116% and Finns 116%. The site noted that bookings by both Spaniards and Austrians increased 78% and that Turkish bookings increased 12% compared to last year. The sharp increase in tourism comes despite the strengthening shekel, which serves to make Israel an especially expensive tourist destination, financial daily Globes reported. Let’s pray that even more tourists make plans to visit Israel this year and every year