Monthly Archives: March 2016

A New Haman Has Risen

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Dear friend of the Jewish people,

Shalom in the great name of our Messiah!

One of my favorite Jewish holidays has always been Purim—the biblical Feast of Esther (Est. 9:22). The holiday is observed on the 14th day of the Hebrew month Adar, which corresponds to our solar calendar date this year on March 24. The celebrations last for a full day, but remember, the Jewish day begins the night before and concludes at sunset; therefore the Festival begins on the evening of March 23.

There are many reasons why I enjoy Purim (a Hebrew word which means “lots”). But perhaps the foremost reason why I love Purim is because I am Jewish and if the evil Haman had succeeded, I would never have been born! On Purim we celebrate the survival of the Jewish people, usually against greats odds and far more powerful enemies.

We Are Still Here!

In fact, this pattern of deliverance is such an important part of the Jewish story. As my good friend Dr. Michael Rydelnik, who teaches at Moody Bible Institute, humorously summarizes: “They tried to kill us, we won and so—we ate!” On Purim we celebrate by eating special baked goods called hamantaschen—sometimes referred to as “Haman’s hat” or “Haman’s ears”! These are wonderful pastries with various types of fruit and poppy seeds enfolded into a very buttery and delicious cookie.

The Scroll of Esther

The main event of the Purim celebration is the reading of the Book of Esther, called in Hebrew, the Megillot Esther, the Scroll of Esther; and oftentimes a play based upon the story is used to entertain and educate both children and adults alike. Jewish people are at their most creative in putting on these plays and use different themes each year to keep the story interesting.

I am sure there will be plenty of Purim plays with a Star Wars theme this year! The plays are supposed to be fun and are not viewed as irreverent as they do tell the great story of God’s deliverance of the Jewish people from the hateful hands of Haman.

Second Purim

There is also a phenomenon in Jewish history called the second Purim. These events are not widely known, but perhaps you can already understand why Jewish people created them. A second Purim refers to an instance, aside from what was recorded in the Book of Esther, when the Jewish people were saved from imminent destruction.

The enlightening description of second Purim on the website Jewishgen.org concludes,In a few fortunate cases, the danger (facing the Jewish community) was suddenly removed, or the dreaded law was inexplicably abrogated. Then, that community would commemorate each anniversary of the happy change by observing a “Second Purim,” a festival, which mimicked the original Purim, which marks the deliverance of the Jews of Persia from the evil machinations of Haman. Historians have listed some 90 “second Purim” anniversaries observed by various Jewish families and communities, beginning with the early Middle Ages.1 

There were even times throughout Jewish history when the enemies of Israel selected Purim as the day they would attack the Jewish people. There was an instance during the Holocaust period when Purim became a day of slaughter for a local Jewish community.

It seems that both the Jewish people and enemies of Israel understood the symbolic value of the story of Esther.

New Hamans Arise in Every Generation

There are new Hamans on the world scene today seeking the destruction of the Jewish people. Israel is under attack and antisemitism is on the rise. We understand that ISIS and all forms of Islamic extremism seek the destruction of Israel. In fact, the existence of the modern state of Israel is actually opposed by almost every manifestation of Islam—
though various brands of Islam exercise this antipathy in different ways. Some are more violent than others.

The rise of global antisemitism has begun to permeate our society and is often subtly wrapped in the guise of an anti-Israel position. We see this virulent form of anti-Jewish behavior actively engaged on our college campuses today.

Unfortunately, this anti-Israel spirit can easily cross boundaries and align itself with an anti-Jewish position, even flowing into the lives and ministries of good Christians and churches seeking to bring the Gospel and comfort to those viewed as suffering injustice.

Let’s face it—there is a lot of propaganda and noise bombarding our culture through the media. It is hard for everyday sincere people to distinguish between what is true and what is false.

As followers of Jesus the Jewish Messiah for all, and as those who believe the Bible, composed by primarily Jewish authors, we should be sympathetic to the Jewish cause.  Historically, most true Christians have been pro-Israel and pro-Jewish without being anti anyone else…but today winds of change are in the air and therefore it is important to reread what the Bible says about Israel and the Jewish people. Unfortunately, we see a growing anti-Israel movement within the church today that also shows the telltale signs of an historic anti-Jewish position as well.

God Is Faithful to His Promises

As followers of Jesus the Messiah we understand that God still has His hand on the Jewish people! This is why we have a long history of second Purims, where we celebrate God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people.

May I summarize the remarkable promises penned in Jeremiah 31:35-37?

The Jewish people will not be destroyed until they fulfill all God intended them to do. God is not yet finished with His chosen people (Rom. 11:29).

The above rests upon the foundational passage in the book of Genesis when God promised Abram that He would bless those who bless the Jewish people and curse those who curse them.  We also see in this passage that God promised to bring blessings to the entire world (Gen. 12:3) specifically through the Jewish people. God created the Jewish people to be a bridge of blessings and revelation to the nations.

These truths of Scripture are clear to me and are a great foundation for our understanding of God’s plan and purposes for the Jewish people!

Happy Purim! I pray the Lord will guide us as we try to understand our times, stay true to the teachings of the Scriptures and remain faithful to our Messiah, Deliverer and Lord!

In Him,

Mitch


1  http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/Piotrkow/pit237.html

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Digital Media Campaigns – Evangelism in the 21st Century!

Dear friend,

Shalom! I have waited to write to you to let you know that we have recently completed a successful Shalom Florida online evangelistic campaign. We used the two evangelistic websites Chosen People Ministries developed. One is a site sharing the personal testimonies of Jewish believers in Jesus entitled I Found Shalom, and the other is our Isaiah 53 site.

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We had about 2,000 people a day visit our sites, which is really terrific!

We used Facebook ads that focused on reaching the elderly Jewish people and baby boomers living in Florida as our point of contact. These folks are very difficult to reach for a variety of reasons. Most have never heard about Jesus the Jewish Messiah, are negative towards the Gospel and live in gated communities that are so very difficult to penetrate with the Good News!

Our wonderful team of Florida-based missionaries, working out of our Boynton Beach center,
are calling and visiting those who responded to the ads. We have already mailed thousands of copies of the evangelistic book, Isaiah 53 Explained, and a booklet called I Found Shalom, which is a collection of testimonies that corresponds to the information on the website.

The follow-up takes time, coordination and great personal effort, but is worth everything we investeven if only one Jewish person comes to faith in Jesus the Messiah!

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Greg, one of our Florida workers, recounts an incredible story of God’s grace in a Jewish man’s life:
I had a lengthy evangelistic visit with a Jewish man, Terry,* who had ordered the book. He was curious, but he also had a lot of objections, and I thought he was not open to the Gospel. About one year later, his Jewish believing daughter called to tell me of her father’s sudden death. However, she told me that a few months before his passing he had accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. She said to me, “My dad went to church because you said something ​he could not refute about Isaiah 53 speaking of Jesus.”

So, please pray as these types of conversations are taking place.

And Beyond Florida…
One of the reasons I was so confident that the Florida outreach would be successful is that we have held campaigns in a number of different communities throughout the year. For example, we focused on Dallas some months ago and had some great responses. One of our new staff members, Travis, was able to connect with quite a few of the Jewish people who gave us their contact information. He reports:
I had multiple phone meetings with a Jewish man named David* in Houston. David was one of the most open seekers we spoke to during the campaign as he had actually been attending Christian Bible studies for some time before we connected with him. He had a very clear hunger for the Lord. At one point he said, “I’ve been fellowshipping with Christians for over a year now, and I think Isaiah 53 is a crucial chapter. The Spirit is drawing me!”

Travis adds,
David’s only objection was that he did not sense the presence of God in his life in the way he wanted. I am praying that God would bring him deeper into a relationship with Yeshua so that he can experience the personal relationship with God he is seeking. 

Please pray for David.

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​​Isaiah 53 in Israel Too!
Gabriel G., one of our faithful young workers in Israel, oversees the Isaiah 53 online campaign there. He is encouraged by what God is doing through the clear message of the Gospel found in this great chapter…and I am sure you will be as well.

At the end of the second year of the campaign in Israel, we have sent out more than 500 Hebrew copies of Isaiah 53 Explained!

1401PZLW-Is53-Explained-book-coverGabi writes,
Israelis ordering Isaiah 53 Explained are as diverse as the country itself. Religious and non-religious Jewish Israelis, men and women, university students and businesswomen, Arab-Israeli Muslims along with Arab-Israeli Christians have all ordered the evangelistic book! Advertisements on Facebook and YouTube are the main source for Israelis to learn more about the previously unfamiliar chapter of Isaiah 53 and order the book for free.

Conversations range from a simple interest in the historical person of Jesus to deeper conversations on the need for forgiveness through Messiah. Along with people ordering books for themselves, there have been dozens of Israeli believers who have ordered copies for friends and family members.

I had a conversation with Gefen* who lives in Ashdod. After she ordered Isaiah 53 Explained I contacted her by phone and she told me that she recently came to believe that Jesus is the Messiah! We are working to connect Gefen with a local congregation so that she can grow in her faith.

Sarah* is a religious woman and both of her children attend religious school. Sarah shared that she does not want her children to only understand the Bible in one particular way. Instead, she wants to expose them to other interpretations such as the belief in Jesus as Messiah! Please pray for Sarah that she will become more open-hearted to the Gospel.

We Are Partners in this New and Creative
Evangelistic Ministry

You can help by praying for this outreach.

Your support is also needed.

We can get an evangelistic book into the hands of a person for only $10, which includes the printing and mailing of the book, as well as the ad costs. This is far less expensive and more effective than using other forms of media such as radio and television.

Additionally, online ministries work especially well with Jewish people who would rather consider Jesus in private, as exploring the Gospel is often misunderstood by the friends and family of Jewish people. I am sure you understand this!

Would you consider sponsoring books for five people—only $50or by God’s grace $500, which allows us to put 50 books into people’s hands and to follow-up? Perhaps you can sponsor our sending 500 books for $5,000! Whatever the Lord leads you to give will help and we will be grateful for your faithful and generous partnership.

I believe we can send out more than 100,000 books this year to non-believers, Jews and Gentiles, as well as Christians who would like to give the book or booklet to a Jewish friend…if we had the funds. We are going to move in this direction—because the TIME is NOW…and after years of experimentation, trial and error, we finally know how to initiate these campaigns.

1603PZLW_Latkes-Outreach-DSC2503I believe this is the greatest opportunity for Jewish evangelism we have had in decades…and I do not say this lightly!

We have also had more than half a million people watch the Messianic Jewish testimonies on our I Found Shalom website and even more on the website of our partners in Israel!

Your prayers and support are the bedrock for these online outreach campaigns! We are ready to reach out and make personal contact with those who respond but we need your partnership.

Thanks for caring!

Blessings in our great Messiah,

Mitch Glaser

P.S. We will send you a copy of the book Isaiah 53 Explained for your gift of $50 or more. I know you will enjoy reading about this great prophecy of our Lord’s passion.

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