Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Dear friend,

Shalom and Happy New Year from Chosen People Ministries! We are praying that 2018 will be an amazing year of hope and promise! We are excited about reaching Jewish people with the Gospel in new ways in the new year!

We have developed some powerful new ministries in the United States and abroad—especially in Israel! We now have more than twenty workers in Israel and three centers (Jerusalem, greater Tel Aviv, and the Galilee). We are continuing with our children’s camping programs, a ministry among Holocaust survivors, outreach through our Isaiah 53 Hebrew-language campaign, and much more! Our center in Ramat Gan (a suburb of Tel Aviv) opened in 2017, and it is already a bustling hub of ministry activities designed to meet the spiritual needs of young professional Israelis and their families.

Also, I am proud to report that our work in the “other Holy Land,” Brooklyn, continues to grow. The five boroughs of New York City are home to more than two million Jewish people and have the highest concentration of Jewish people in the world outside of Israel. Five years ago, we did not have a presence in Brooklyn, but by God’s grace—and the support of our generous Chosen People Ministries extended family—we are now ministering in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn! Here is an encouraging comment from Robert W., our Brooklyn branch director:

Recently we met with Sarah,* a former Hasidic woman living in Brooklyn. She has walked by our Feinberg Messianic Center building countless times, often enraged by our presence, but, through friendship, the Lord began to soften her heart. We met with her, prayed with her, and rejoice to share that Sarah has prayed to receive Jesus as her Messiah!

Thank you for your faithfulness which makes the labor of the Gospel possible! We hope to see the seeds sown in 2017 bear fruit in the New Year.

A New Survey

In December, the United States again formally acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and initiated the process of moving the U.S. Embassy to the biblical and historic capital of the Holy Land. Israel’s neighbors and their supporters around the globe disagree with this pronouncement.  The violence within Israel has been limited, but unfortunately, an innocent Israeli young man lost his life in a knife attack. We need to keep praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6)!

This past summer, Chosen People Ministries, along with Joel C. Rosenberg, helped design and support a survey conducted by LifeWay Christian Resources called “Evangelical Attitudes Toward Israel.” The results were released in early December at a press conference held in Washington, D.C. The survey results were discussed by The Jerusalem Post, Jewish News Service, The Forward, The Times of Israel, CBN.com, Christianity Today, Religion News Service, and forty-plus news outlets.

We were happy to see that 69 percent of the respondents are positive towards Israel, though that number seems to be going down among younger Christians. When asked about the modern rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948 and the re-gathering of millions of Jewish people to Israel, 80 percent of respondents said these events were fulfillments of Bible prophecy that show we are getting closer to the return of Jesus Christ, and 20 percent said these were simply interesting geopolitical events.

Sixty-six percent of evangelicals believe that Israel’s existence, security, and prosperity are things they should support. On the other hand, 23 percent of Bible-believing Christians said that the Palestinians should be allowed to create their own sovereign state, while 31 percent disagreed, and 46 percent were not sure! That is a massive amount of uncertainty for such a crucial question.

This uncertainty should be a signal to those who love the Lord to think through what the Bible says about the city of Jerusalem because knowing what the Bible says about Israel is so important at this moment. Israel needs the support of born-again Christians. My chief concern at the moment is for the future because younger Christians are undecided about their views on the modern State of Israel.

Your Mission to the Jewish People hopes to continue influencing the Church with great resources and communications intended to form a deeper love for Israel and the Jewish people among Christians.

What Makes Jerusalem So Special?

Do most Christians believe that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel? Most of us do not think of these questions in our daily lives, but, in the coming months, I believe it will become more relevant for us as the process of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem begins.

We should love and support Jerusalem and the State of Israel. Why? Because God promised the land of Israel to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:1-3). Again in Genesis 17:7-8, the Lord confirmed His promises to Abraham and his seed:

I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

His promise would include Jerusalem, of course, which King David declared as the capital of Israel when he moved his throne to the city and brought the Ark of the Covenant back to the holy city! Chuck Swindoll, in his wonderful book about the life of King David, writes,

With his headquarters in Jerusalem, David finally had the limitless reign he had been promised as God’s anointed leader. He had great power and great blessing from God. (2 Samuel 5:6-12)

We also know that the greater son of David, Jesus the Messiah, will rule on the Davidic throne in Jerusalem when He returns and fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 9:6-7. In that day, the Messiah will reign as King in fulfillment of the promises God made to King David through Nathan the prophet (2 Samuel 7:8-17).

We Should Love Jerusalem Because Jesus Loves Jerusalem

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because He loved the city where the Temple of God stood (Luke 19:41)! He also showed compassion for Jerusalem, predicting that the Temple would be destroyed because His chosen people were rejecting Him and the Jewish people would suffer at the hands of the Romans (Matthew 23:37-39).

Jesus’ words unfolded exactly as He said they would. Two generations after His death, the Romans tore apart the Temple stone by stone, destroying the city and exiling the nation for two millennia (Luke 21:21-24). The next two thousand years were a grim time for Jewish people, as they were dispersed from their land and subject to the hatred and cruelty of Gentile host nations.

Today, many Jewish people pray for the Messiah to come and restore His throne in Jerusalem, ending the two thousand year exile and bringing about a reign of peace. Yet, most Jewish people do not yet realize that this very Messiah they pray for is Jesus! When the Jewish people as a whole (or at the time of His return) say, “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord,” Jesus will return (Matthew 23:39, Romans 11:25 ff.). What an exciting promise!

The events of the twentieth century, the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948, and the regathering of (most of) the Jewish exiles from the four corners of the earth show us that this time is close at hand.

As 2018 unfolds, help us put Jerusalem and the promises the Lord made to the Jewish people at the forefront of our attention. Together we will look forward to the amazing things God will do this year through Your Mission to the Jewish People!

I am especially excited about our work in Israel, but also about our work in many countries where young Israelis travel after their army service. We are now reaching Israelis in New Zealand, Argentina, Germany, and New York City!

And remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you” (Psalm 122:6).

This peace can only come through the Prince of Peace, Jesus, who longs to live in the hearts of all who call upon His name!

In Him,

 

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President of Chosen People Ministries

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Our Message is Simple: Jesus is the Jewish Messiah – For All

Dear friend,

Shalom and Happy New Year! Thank you for your prayers and support for Chosen People Ministries throughout 2017! This year begins our 124th year of ministry. We are excited about what God has done this past year, and we are anticipating what He will do in 2018. 

Throughout the last year, millions have watched the evangelistic videos we produced in partnership with brothers and sisters in Israel. Our online campaigns have introduced us to thousands of Jewish people who want to know more about the Lord. We have had wonderful conferences, our Messianic congregations around the globe have been growing, and I recently attended the wedding of a young Israeli believer we led to the Lord in Brooklyn. 

We have touched the lives of more Jewish people for Jesus than ever before in our 123 years of ministry! And we could not have done this without your partnership—so thank you on behalf of our staff family.

Yet still…most Jewish people do not believe in Jesus! Chosen People Ministries exists to be God’s instrument in changing this.

Have you ever wondered why Jewish people tend to reject Jesus as the Messiah?

There are many reasons, but let me share with you what I believe is the main reason Jewish people do not generally believe in Jesus.

Jewish people reject Jesus today because they believe that if they accept Jesus, they will no longer be Jewish. 

Underlying this objection is the question of whether being Jewish means following a religion or belonging to an ethnic group. The answer to this is yes! Jewish people intertwine religion and ethnic identity and the two are really impossible to separate. 

As a Jewish person, I was raised to believe that my ancestors would rather die than renounce being Jewish; unfortunately, becoming a “Christian” was seen by most Jewish people as meaning you were “no longer Jewish.” I was raised with stories of Jewish martyrs who refused to become Christians to save themselves during the time of the Crusades or other periods of persecution, such as in eastern Europe. These were powerful stories about Jewish people who chose death over conversion.

You see…NOT believing in Jesus was—and continues to be—viewed as an act of Jewish loyalty!

But the number of Jews who believe in Jesus is growing significantly and appears to be far larger than we thought during the past decade, according to recent surveys we have done of Jewish communities in the United States and Israel.

Yet, this objection of losing your Jewish identity is still number one! Jewish people also do not believe that God can become a man or that God is three in one. However, most Jewish people are not driven by their theological beliefs.

Telling My Grandparents

I remember when I told my grandparents I had become a believer in Jesus. They could not understand why. They genuinely believed that I was a spiritual traitor to my people and never talked to me again. That hurt! But, I understood why—because they left Eastern Europe to escape from the persecution they experienced by alleged Christians. 

My parents’ generation felt this same way and so do most of my peers. Add in the Holocaust, which Jewish people generally believe was caused by Christians, and you can see why your Jewish friends do not want to talk about Jesus.

Is the above true? Do you need to leave your Jewishness at the door when you believe in Jesus? The answer is NO! The Bible in many ways teaches the opposite, since when a Jewish person believes in Jesus they, in fact, become the Jewish person God has always wanted them to be! 

After all, Jesus is the Jewish Messiah for all! 

I am Jewish and so is my wife. We raised our children to be Jewish, to celebrate all of the Jewish holidays, to love Israel, and to identify with the Jewish community. Creating the Jewish people was God’s idea…just ask Abraham when you see him (Genesis 12:1-3)!

Change is in the Air

But, let me tell you the good news. Most of the Jewish people I talk to about the Lord often seem to know a Jewish person who is a believer in Jesus. The presence of Messianic Jews, like myself, and the fellowships and congregations Chosen People Ministries and others have started around the globe have changed the landscape of Jewish evangelism. 

I believe we are in a new season of Jewish openness to Jesus as we move toward the day, described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 11:25-26, when “all Israel (who are alive at the time) will be saved.” 

The Testimony of Christians Who Love and Support Israel

I am also grateful for Christians who love and support Israel. According to a recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research, which we helped sponsor, the number of Christians who support Israel is more than 70 percent and even higher for those ages 45 and up! This is very encouraging news, but I am also concerned because the same study revealed that this support is declining among the younger generation of Christians. We are doing a lot to educate younger Christians about the Jewishness of Jesus, their Abrahamic heritage, and the ways in which Scripture continues to include the Jewish people in God’s plan for the ages.

Plans for 2018

We are preparing twenty-plus additional video testimonies of Jewish believers in Jesus that we filmed in the fall. This will give us almost one hundred beautiful testimonies of Jewish people who have found the Lord. We have also partnered with other ministries to develop an online video discipleship course based on the Sermon on the Mount for new Jewish believers and seekers. We continue to see incredible interest in Israel, especially among younger Jewish seekers, and we have sent more than 2,000 Isaiah 53 Explained books in Hebrew to Israeli seekers within Israel this past year. We hope to double that number in 2018 as we invest more money in Facebook ads in Hebrew, English, and five other languages!

Will you please pray with us for these efforts to reach Jewish people with the Good News of Jesus? The Gospel goes out online through social media, and from person to person through our staff evangelists and congregations. We are especially excited about the opportunity to expand our ministries in Tel Aviv, the most populous city in Israel, and to take on a few younger Israeli missionaries to develop these ministries.

 

Blessings in 2018!
Your brother,

 

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President of Chosen People Ministries

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The Christmas Story begins in the Book of Genesis

Dear friend,

Shalom and a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you! 

We celebrate two great festivals of deliverance and joy during December. One of the holidays is observed by Christians and the other by Jewish people. There is some crossover today as, once in awhile, I find a Christmas tree capped with a Jewish star or see a Jewish person with a Hanukkah bush in their home! 

Sometimes this is done to ease the tension of a mixed marriage by bringing the holidays together for the sake of the children. Rarely is there recognition that, at its root, Christmas is a Jewish holiday and Hanukkah finds its ultimate fulfillment in Yeshua, the Messiah, and Light of the world.

Believe me, it is not easy to persuade the most ardent adherents that the above is true, but when recognized, it brings a greater delight and joy to each of the holidays. Let me explain by reminding us of the story of both holidays, beginning with Christmas.

The Christmas Story Begins in the Book of Genesis

Where does the Christmas story begin? Most people would answer correctly—in the Bible. However, they would begin the story with the wrong Testament by jumping right in with the birth of the Messiah! The story, in fact, begins much earlier. The story of Christmas begins in the Old Testament as far back as the book of Genesis. The first promise of a redeemer is found in Genesis 3:15:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Moses tells us that God would one day deliver mankind from sin and death, from disobedience, and from all the evil and human hardship that came about as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve. This deliverance would come through the seed of the woman who, in the process of destroying the serpent, would bruise his heel—not with a mortal wound but painful nonetheless. 

The wounding of this son of Eve points to Jesus who bore our sin. He was born of a woman, innocent, perfect, and without sin. His death may be viewed like the bruising of the heel, painful but not fatal since He rose from the dead. In Yeshua’s rising from the dead, He proved that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had accepted His sacrifice for sin. Later on, in Isaiah 53, we read these words,

“All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him.”

We are all sinful and we all need a Savior. We are unable to save ourselves because we have inherited the disobedient nature of our “parents,” Adam and Eve. All praise be to God who sent His Son to die as the solution for our sins—for both forgiveness and transformation!

This glorious story of redemption begins with the first sin because God’s grace has been available from the very start to all those who would receive it! The drama of redemption unfolds throughout the Old Testament Scriptures.

In Genesis 12, we discover that God calls an elderly couple, Abraham and Sarah, to be His bridge of grace to a broken and sinful world. Their descendants, the Jewish people, were chosen for the sake of those who were not part of their own community and who ultimately would be used by God to bless the world: “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).

Eventually, these blessings to the world would come through one descendant of Abraham, the Messiah Jesus, and through Him, the world would receive the blessings of redemption.

But, how would the one promised in Genesis 3:15 be recognized? The Scriptures begin filling in His qualifications. The first one is that He would come from one particular tribe of Israel. He would be from the tribe of Judah, the fourth-born son of Jacob. As Moses describes, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples” (Genesis 49:10).

Even the rabbis of old recognized that the name Shiloh was a reference to the Messiah and Redeemer promised to Israel and the nations. These promises shaped the expectations of the Jewish people so that when the Messiah came He would be recognized by His people.

The qualifications for the Messiah continue as the Bible tells us that He would also be a Son of David. This was promised through the prophecy of Nathan to King David:

“When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever… Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-1316).

David thought he would build a house for God—the Temple—but instead, God created a house for the king assuring him that one of his descendants would sit on his throne forever. 

The Savior would be a Jewish man, a true prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15) who dies for the sins of both Jews and Gentiles (Isaiah 53, Psalm 22) and rises from the grave as the all-powerful Son of God “…who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4).

Christmas is the drama of redemption fulfilled through the Jewish Messiah, and the story does not begin in the New Testament but is rooted and grounded in the Hebrew Scriptures. This is why I believe Christmas is a Jewish holiday! 

Salvation is of the Jews

Jesus made a profound comment in the Gospel of John when speaking to the well-known Samaritan woman: You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22).

What did He mean? The answer is simple. Jesus let the Samaritan woman know that salvation has its origins in God’s promises to the Jewish people, but the blessings that come through the Jewish Messiah would extend to all who want to have a personal relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This salvation has “Jewish origins” but is available to all who believe!

In a similar way, Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday celebrating the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks and their wicked king, Antiochus Epiphanes, also points to this same Savior. Did you know that the observance of Hanukkah is mentioned in the Bible?  In John 10, the Apostle writes,

At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me. (John 10:22-25)

The Messiah took this occasion to reveal Himself to His people and, in so doing, He was telling the Jewish hearers that there is a salvation coming that is far greater than the one won by the Maccabees on that first Hanukkah. In fact, the lights lit for this holiday are designed by our tradition to remind us of the miracle that kept aflame the eternal light in the Temple. There was only enough oil to last for a day, but it lasted for eight days. The story may or may not be true, but when a Jewish person sees the glow of the Hanukkah candles, they are reminded of His power to deliver His chosen people from destruction! 

As a Jewish follower of Jesus, when I see the beautifully lit Hanukkah menorah, I am reminded of the One who claimed to be the Light of the world (John 8:12) and through whom we all have redemption from sin and the hope of everlasting life.

I hope you will enjoy the brief Bible studies on various Messianic prophecies and that they will encourage your heart. I also pray that you might share some of these prophecies with your Jewish friends who look forward to the great deliverance to come but who do not yet know that the Messiah, predicted in the Hebrew Scriptures, has come and His name is Yeshua—the Savior of the world.

Have a great holiday season and remember to pray for Your Mission to the Jewish People as we reach His chosen people in dozens of cities across the Americas and in seventeen other countries around the globe! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah,

Yours in the Messiah,

 

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President of Chosen People Ministries

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What can we do while we wait for Jesus to return?

Dear friend in the Messiah,

Shalom! I just returned from a quick trip to Israel to plan some of our ministry events in honor of the seventieth anniversary of the formation of the State of Israel. Can you believe it? What a difference a few years makes.

I wish I had been alive in 1948 to see the formation of the modern State of Israel. Really, I am jealous of everyone who was there at that time and who believed that one day God would indeed bring the Jewish people back to the land of Israel. The horrors of the Holocaust were still just being uncovered at the end of World War II in 1945. I still meet soldiers who entered the concentration camps and made these gruesome discoveries. Most of these elderly heroes can barely keep from weeping whenever they talk about these horrific events.

For those Christians who watched the early films or heard the reports of what the Nazis had done in slaughtering six million Jewish people, the biblical promise of Israel’s restoration seemed more improbable than at any other time.

But, out of the ashes of the Holocaust God raised up the modern State of Israel, and who could read their Bibles and not see this as one of the great miracles of our modern day?

I believe the return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and the birth of the State of Israel is just a first and magnificent step in God fulfilling His covenants and promises to the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3, 2 Samuel 7:14ff., Jeremiah 31:31-35).

The presence of the modern State of Israel energizes our faith and helps us believe that God will one day keep all His promises to Israel and the nations!

Many Christians travel to Israel and are sometimes disappointed because Israel today is quite secular. Of course, there are hundreds of thousands of religious Jewish people living in Israel today and a growing Messianic Jewish movement of perhaps 25,000-30,000 followers of Jesus.

We are thrilled to see the way God is moving in Israel and drawing Israelis to His Son—but the number of Jesus-followers in Israel today still only constitutes fewer than 1 percent of the population. This is why we are so grateful for our staff around the world who have dedicated their lives to reaching Jewish people everywhere with the life-changing message of the Gospel!

 

ISRAEL IS NOT THE ISRAEL GOD DESTINED HER TO BE!

This is exactly what the Scriptures teach us about the last days. In Ezekiel 36, the prophet speaks of a future return of the Jewish people to the Land after having been scattered among the nations. He says that God Himself would initiate the return and that the Jewish people would return to the land of Israel in unbelief.

The prophet writes,

Therefore say to the house of Israel, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land.’ ” (Ezekiel 36:22-25)

I am often asked whether or not I believe the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of prophecy and my answer is a resounding yes. Thoughtful Bible students usually respond and ask, “How can Israel today be the fulfillment of prophecy when the Messiah has not returned and the Jewish people living in Israel are generally not following the Torah and not believing in Jesus as Messiah?”

My quick response to this very good question is to say that this is exactly what God promised through the prophet and, unlike any other previous generation, we are seeing God’s word come to a very specific fulfillment.

What’s next? According to Ezekiel, the next two items on God’s timetable will be the spiritual restoration of the nation of Israel and then the physical restoration of Israel.

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:25-28)

I envision these next events taking place at a future date—at the second coming of Jesus! We can be certain that as sure as God brought Israel back to the land, God will also pour out His Spirit upon the Jewish people. He will turn them to Himself through His Son as He returns to establish His kingdom. Jerusalem will be His capital and Jesus will reign as sovereign over both His Jewish and non-Jewish followers, and in that day His promises to the Jewish people and the nation’s will be fulfilled.

I believe that this is what the Apostle Paul predicted when he wrote to the Roman believers, “Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!” (Romans 11:12).

And again, “For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15).

Knowing the future He has planned for Israel and the nations—what should we do about it today?

The Apostle Paul also tells us in Romans 10,“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).

Would you join Your Mission to the Jewish People in preparing the nation of Israel for the second coming of the Messiah? We can partner with God by sharing the Gospel with the Jewish people in Israel, North America, and across the globe! This is our mandate today.

As Paul writes,“I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous” (Romans 11:11).

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Yours in the Messiah,

 

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President of Chosen People Ministries

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Raise Your Voice on Behalf of Israel and the Jewish People

Shalom!

I am thankful to report that we had a very fruitful High Holiday season of ministry! Chosen People Ministries continues to grow and we thank you for your prayers and financial support which make our work possible! And yet, as I write this letter, my heart is heavy.

RAISE YOUR VOICE ON BEHALF OF ISRAEL AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE

Israel became a nation in 1948—just a few years after the horrific discoveries of the death camps. To this day, I still meet soldiers who discovered the camps: the buried bodies, and the survivors barely clinging to life. Soon after the simple phrase “six million” became well known. Some people wonder, “Was it really six million Jewish people who died? Despite Holocaust deniers, the evidence is overwhelming that at least six million Jewish people died at the hands of the Nazis.

I believe it is fair to say that the modern State of Israel grew out of the ashes of the Holocaust. Next year, thankfully, and against all odds, we will celebrate the 70th anniversary of modern Israel.

A CONCERN FOR HOW THE CHURCH VIEWS ISRAEL

My chief concerns for Israel today are her safety and the well-being of all those who live in the Promised Land. But I am also deeply concerned about the way my brothers and sisters in Messiah—the Church— view Israel and the Jewish people today.

In the church today, are two fundamental views regarding Israel and the Jewish people.

STILL PART OF THE STORY

The first view is that God still has ongoing favor for the Jewish people—favor that was established with the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3) and reiterated in the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:14ff.). His plan also unfolds in the books of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-35) and Romans (Romans 11:11-29).

This view holds that the Lord will return one day, His feet will rest upon the Mount of Olives and He will conquer the enemies of Israel (Zechariah 12:10, 14:3ff). Next, He will establish a literal throne in Jerusalem and rule as the Messianic son of David.

NO LONGER PART OF THE PLAN

The second view that many born-again Christians hold is that the Jewish people rejected Jesus in the first century and, because of this, God no longer has a role and plan for the Jewish people. Adherents to this view do not see a literal expression of the various covenants where God promises the Jewish people that they would dwell in the land in peace and that Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, would reign on His glorious throne in Jerusalem—the capital of His kingdom.

There are wonderful and godly Christians on both sides of this fence!

As a mission to the Jewish people, we simply cannot be silent on these issues. I am hoping that the resources we are providing will increase awareness in the Body of Messiah of the ways the Bible describes God’s relationship to Israel and the Jewish people.

Yours in the Messiah,

 

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President of Chosen People Ministries

 

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Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah?

Answering Common Jewish Objections.

Dear friend in the Messiah,

Shalom in His grace. Every October we produce an evangelistic newsletter that you can share with your Jewish friends. The title of this year’s newsletter is pretty straightforward – Is Jesus the Jewish Messiah? and subtitled: Answering Common Jewish Objections.

I believe that the number one reason why Jewish people do not believe in Yeshua (Jesus) is because they believe they would no longer be Jewish if they accept Him. Of course, nothing can be further from the truth! When a Jewish person becomes a believer in Yeshua, he or she is simply embracing the Messiah we have been waiting for over thousands of years. Our Scriptures and tradition teach us that every Jewish person in the world should follow Him when He comes.

Chosen People Ministries was founded in 1894 by Rabbi Leopold Cohn, a native of Hungary. Rabbi Cohn traveled to the United States to seek a better life for himself and his family. He heard a sermon by a Polish Messianic Jew who was preaching the Good News of the Messiah at a Dutch Reformed Church in Manhattan. After months of discussing the Scriptures with this preacher, Rabbi Cohn accepted Yeshua as his Messiah.

He was ostracized in his Jewish community and even his wife threatened to leave him. However, God was merciful and she also came to know Yeshua as her Messiah. Together, Rabbi Cohn and his wife traveled back to Brooklyn where they established the work of Chosen People Ministries, which I have the privilege of leading today.

I am so grateful that someone took the time to speak with Rabbi Cohn about Yeshua and patiently answered his questions. I meet many Jewish people who have questions about God, the Messiah, and the Bible. I enjoy engaging in these conversations. Like the wonderful man who answered Rabbi Cohn’s questions, at Chosen People Ministries we really have all the time in the world to speak with or write to anyone seeking the truth.

We want to help you share the Gospel because we know that God is going to use you powerfully in the lives of the family and friends you love and pray for. If you send us the name of your Jewish friend – we will send them a free copy of this wonderfully evangelistic newsletter. If you would like extra copies, please let us know. Click here, or call 212-223-2252 and just ask!

I Found Shalom

We have produced more than 60 Messianic Jewish video testimonies that you will find on the website, ifoundshalom.com. We are doing testimonies in French, Spanish, Russian, and recently created one of our video testimonies in the Yiddish language! This site is a wonderful tool that you can use in sharing the Gospel with your Jewish friends that provides living examples of Messianic Jews from every walk of life who know and love the Lord.

As you can see, Your Mission to the Jewish People is doing all we can to reach out in creative ways to reach Jewish people with the Gospel. You know that we cannot do this without your prayers and support.  

Warmly in our Messiah,

Mitch

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The Feast of Tabernacles

Jesus, Himself  is the fulfillment—He is God in the flesh who tabernacled among us.

Shalom,

It is hard to believe another year has passed! The Fall Feasts are upon us, and Jewish people all around the world will soon begin to celebrate the New Year (Rosh Hashanah), the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)—the three great Fall Festivals described in Leviticus 23:23-44.

We believe that each of the Festivals points to Jesus in one way or another, and this is wonderfully true of the Feast of Tabernacles! This Feast, in particular, carries a rich meaning for both Christians and Jewish people alike.

Yeshua the Messiah and the Feast of Tabernacles

Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) is the fulfillment of all the Jewish Festivals, and this includes Sukkot. First of all, we understand that Jesus Himself is the fulfillment of the Festival in that He is God in the flesh who “tabernacled” among us. As John wrote,

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

The Greek word John used for “dwelt” is skene, a word that refers to the pitching of a tent. The image is easy to grasp—through the incarnation, God pitched a tent, which was His flesh, to veil His pure glory. Jesus pitched His tabernacle and dwelled among us for a short sojourn until the day He returns to reign as King. The incarnation was a foretaste of the experience of God’s glory we will enjoy when the kingdom is established on earth. In that day, the Messiah will be King over all, and both Israel and the nations will bow to Him as their sovereign Lord.

…so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11)

In the 7th chapter of John, we see that Jesus Himself celebrated the Festival and, in fact, He used the celebration to make one of the most profound announcements regarding who He is. Specifically, it was on the seventh day of the Feast, called Hoshana Rabbah. This day is also known in Judaism as the last Day of Judgment. It was customary at that time for the Jewish people to send a choir of Levites and a priestly orchestra to the pool of Siloam to gather water in giant urns, which were then brought back to the altar.

They would march around the altar crying out Hosheanah—“Lord save us…Lord save us,” many times over. They would then pour the water from the urns at the base of the altar. This ceremony symbolized the future hope of the Jewish people—looking forward to the day when God would pour out His Spirit upon the people of Israel in fulfillment of Joel 2:28-29:

It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind: And your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

According to Jewish tradition, these events were expected to take place when the Messiah appeared on the earth. This “pouring out” was foreshadowed in the Temple by the pouring out of the water at the base of the altar. The water drawing ceremony, as it was known, was a portrait of the day when God would send His Messiah and His Spirit, and the Jewish people would become alive spiritually as they had never before.

Jesus understood the traditions associated with this great day of the Feast, and He knew this was the last opportunity on the Jewish calendar to repent of sins and be cleansed. It is a common misconception that Judaism teaches that the Books of Life and Death are sealed at the conclusion of the Day of Atonement; however, Jewish tradition dating back to the first century tells us that the judgment, which determines one’s fate for the year, is actually finalized on Hoshana Rabbah—literally, the great day of salvation.

It was at the high point of this ceremony when Jesus rose up and cried out:

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39)

Clearly, He was telling the crowds He was the Messiah, and that the Spirit of God is now being poured out, and that He is the living water. Those who drink, or believe in Him, will never thirst again! The Jewish people had a chance to find forgiveness of sin at the conclusion of the High Holiday cycle, and that moment had arrived—the way of salvation was through faith in Him!

It is safe to assume that Jesus’ declaration was heard by many Jewish people that day, because Sukkot is one of the three biblical Festivals which required all Jewish males to travel to Jerusalem from around the world.

The Future Sukkot

We will also see the Feast of Tabernacles fulfilled in the Kingdom period when the nations will be commanded to come up to Jerusalem and celebrate the Feast (Zechariah 14:16-19). If not, the prophet tells us that a drought would come upon those who disobey. We may assume that this is speaking of God literally withholding water, but also refers to a spiritual drought as those who do not follow the Lord also do not enjoy His favor and goodness.

There is a final unfolding of this great Festival which is described by the Apostle John who writes,

And I heard a loud voice from the thrones saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among men and they shall be His people and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, crying, or pain, the first things have passed away. (Revelation 21:3-4)

We believe God will fulfill the kingdom promises to the Jewish people and establish the throne of Jesus in a literal and renewed Jerusalem. But that is not the end of the story—there is more to come. Ultimately, the whole earth will become the Sukkah booth of God, and He will reign for all eternity. As Paul describes,

When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:28)

This is a description of heaven, as after Jesus reigns as King over Israel and the nations for what many believe is for a literal thousand years (Revelation 20:1-5), the events described in Revelation 21 and 1 Corinthians 15 will take place. First, He literally fulfills His promises to Israel based upon the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3), and then the eternal reign of the Triune God is established forever.

I hope this gives you a whole new perspective on why the Feast of Tabernacles is also called the “Season of Our Joy.” What can bring greater joy than remembering how God tabernacled among us, while also looking forward to the day when He will be with us forever?

The Gospel and the Middle East Conference

There is much to learn about the present and future of Israel and the nations! This is why we have planned a major conference on biblical prophecy to study these very issues in the Scriptures! It is critical for us to look at current events through the lens of the Bible.

Speaking of which, I have some good news: we still have some room for you to join us at The Gospel and the Middle East conference scheduled for October 13-14 in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex! This is going to be an exciting opportunity to hear speakers like Joel Rosenberg, Darrell Bock, Craig Blaising, and others from the Chosen People Ministries staff. We are also bringing in speakers from Israel, and we will hear testimonies from former Muslims who know the Lord and love the Jewish people.

The conference will be an incredible time of exploring what the Bible teaches about Israel and the Middle East, but it will also be a time of celebration as you hear directly from those who minister in Israel about how God is moving in the Holy Land! We are grateful for our co-sponsors, Dallas Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, so please join us if you are able! The registration information is on the enclosed card, or you can register online at thegospelandthemiddleeast.com.

Thanks for your prayers and faithful financial support as we share the Good News of Jesus the Messiah with Jewish people around the globe!

Enjoy the remainder of the newsletter, especially the information about Jewish views of the end times. I pray you have a blessed High Holiday season. Please remember to pray for Your Mission to the Jewish People and for the many outreaches we are having at this time all around the globe.

In Him,

Mitch

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