Category Archives: Messianic Jewish

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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More and more Jewish people will turn to Jesus as we draw closer to His return!

Dear friend,

Jewish people around the globe are open to Jesus, and you and I have the unique opportunity today to be a part of the future God is preparing for our world…by reaching out to the Jewish people with the message of the Gospel!

The Apostle Paul, put it this way,

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. 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 11:11-12)

God is not and will not be finished with His chosen people! Israel was chosen to fulfill a holy destiny which was promised to the patriarchs and prophets. One day, Jesus the Messiah, the greater son of Abraham, will rule and reign on His rightful throne, in accordance with Isaiah 11:9, “for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord.”

God called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees and promised to create a nation that would bring truth, blessings, and light to a dark and sinful world.

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; 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)

God chose the Jewish people to be His bridge of redemption to a broken and sinful world!

I also believe, unfortunately, this great calling upon the Jewish people is the cause of antisemitism—past, present and future! When God chose the Jewish people to bless the world, the devil made the Jewish people his enemy. History records the devil’s plots and schemes to destroy the Jewish people and prevent these promised blessings to the nations from taking place!

The Egyptians, Babylonians, Medes, and Persians, along with the Romans and Greeks, all tried to destroy the Jewish people and prevent the coming of the Savior of the world!

Satan was behind Herod’s plot to murder the Jewish children and murder the Messiah before He had a chance to fulfill His ministry! We also see the devil’s hand behind the persecution of the Jewish people throughout time, including the Russian pogroms and the Holocaust.

Nonetheless, God has preserved His chosen people throughout the centuries, enabling the Jewish people to withstand Satan’s fury!

The devil’s nefarious efforts have come to naught because of God’s faithfulness and power. The Jewish people cannot be destroyed because God’s plan must go forward! This includes the first coming of Jesus, and His awaited second coming when He will reign as King over a redeemed Israel and the nations of the world.

And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. (Zechariah 14:9)

We see sparkling signposts of promise reminding us of the bright future He has planned for all who believe!

May I quickly share a few of these signposts to encourage your hearts and motivate you to pray for the Jewish people and the peace of Jerusalem?

End-Times Stirrings in Israel Today

In Romans chapter 11, the Apostle Paul explains the Jewish rejection of Jesus by taking his readers back to the terrible days of apostasy during the time of Elijah. Paul acknowledges the fact that many Jewish people turned their backs on the Lord, but he argues that the Lord has also preserved a remnant who is faithful to His Word.

In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. (Romans 11:5)

I would extend this principle to our day as well.

I recently returned from Israel where the modern Messianic movement is growing in remarkable ways! There are literally thousands of Messianic Jews in Israel today! Many of these men and women were born in Israel to believing parents.

These godly, dedicated, Hebrew-speaking young Israeli believers are fluent in Hebrew, have served in the Israeli army, and were raised in first generation congregations in Israel by parents who became believers in the 1960s and 1970s—many of whom paid a dear price for standing for Jesus in Israel.

What a bright star of hope it is to see these young people dedicated to the Lord and willing to stand for Jesus amongst their fellow Israelis!

Your Mission to the Jewish People has 25 staff members in Israel and we have planted a half dozen congregations in the Holy Land. We are also mentoring and training many of these young people, helping them grow in faith and service for the Lord. These are exciting times for God’s work in the Holy Land!

We are working with dozens of young people in Israel, holding international conferences for Jewish and Gentile young adults who are concerned for Jewish evangelism, hosting global conferences of Russian-speaking Jewish leaders, and training a new generation of young leaders through mission trips to reach Israelis in New Zealand, India, South America, and, of course, Israel.

We are also training young people at our Charles Feinberg Seminary program in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn!

The Future of Jewish Evangelism

Would you join us in investing in the future of Jewish evangelism?

Paul tells us that there will be a massive turning of Jewish people to the Lord prior to the second coming of Messiah. In fact, Paul predicts that the entirety of the Jewish people who are alive at this incredible time will come to faith in Jesus.

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written…. (Romans 11:25-26)

Some interpret this turning of the Jewish people to be a cataclysmic event that takes place in a moment, and perhaps this is true of the final moments of this movement, but I see this movement of Jewish people in the last days to be progressive.

More and more Jewish people will turn to Jesus as we draw closer to His return.

I believe this is one of the great signs of the soon return of the Lord and we are beginning to see this movement of Jewish people coming to Jesus in Israel, the United States, and in many countries around the globe. How exciting and encouraging to see God at work in drawing a remnant to Himself today.

I believe this growing remnant is a sign of the good things to come!

Next Steps and a Prayer Request

Please pray for the salvation of Jewish people—especially as we see the day of His return coming closer!

We have also just completed an amazing two weeks of evangelism in Brooklyn, and our staff is busy following up on the dozens of Jewish people we met on the streets who are seeking the Lord. Please pray for the follow-up of Shalom Brooklyn.

Thank you so much for your love and sacrifice!

Your brother in Jesus,

Mitch

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Global Conference on Russian Jewish Church Planting

MitchGlaser_Portrait copyShalom!

I have exciting news:

Our fourth global conference on Russian Jewish church planting will take place on September 14-17, 2016.

Let me explain why this conference in Warsaw is perfect for honoring the past and affirming the bright future we have because of Jesus!

  • Before the Holocaust, Poland was home to the largest Jewish community in Europe.
  • Poland today still values its rich Jewish history.
  • Chosen People Ministries was at work in Warsaw before the Holocaust and touched the lives of many Jewish people for the Lord.

We expect more than 100 Russian Jewish believers to attend. These dedicated people who are leading or planting congregations in the former Soviet Union, the United States, Canada and of course, in Israel!

Over the last 25 years, thousands of Russian Jewish people have come to know Jesus as their Messiah and Lord!

Because of 70 years of atheistic communism in the USSR, Russian Jewish people often have a strong cultural and ethnic identity as Jews, but know little about God, the scriptures, or the Messiah.

Today we find that Russian Jews are hungry to know more about the Lord.

Since the fall of the USSR, 1.5 million+ Russian Jews returned to Israel — and most believers in Israel would say that 60% of the Messianic Jews within Israel speak Russian as their mother tongue!

Your Mission to the Jewish People is a vital part of this movement: evangelizing, discipling, planting congregations and raising up leaders among the Israeli-Russian Jewish believers.

In fact, the director of our Israel work is a Ukrainian Jewish believer who found Jesus in Israel!

Israel has provided wonderful opportunities and a new start for Jewish people who have come to the Holy Land from areas of the world where they were persecuted. And many Russian-speaking Jewish people bless Israel with their advanced degrees, expertise in the arts, technology, medicine and many other skills.

Other Russian Jewish people are elderly and in desperate financial straits, relying on welfare as many are too old to work and unable to learn Hebrew with adequate proficiency to continue their professions.

With your help, we’re providing food, clothing, enrichment programs and so much more. Many of those we reach are Holocaust survivors. Our being there for them opens their hearts to Yeshua.

War-Torn Ukraine
We are also working intensively in various areas of Ukraine and in Moscow where we have begun two Chosen People Ministries’ Messianic congregations. Just this summer:

  • We sponsored 14 services at Purim and Passover, attended by about 500-600 people.
  • At the same time, we visited 179 Jewish families to distribute food.
  • We launched three new “Fellowship groups” in 3 different cities: Kherson, Belaya Tzerkov, and Sevastopol.
  • We funded humanitarian aid for disabled people, widows, elderly and needy Jewish people.
  • 16 Jewish people became believers and began to attend to local Messianic congregations.
  • And one new congregation in Chernigov was started.

The Future Is Bright for Russian Jewish Evangelism
As you can see, the Lord is doing a great work today among Jewish people! And your support makes all this, and more, possible.

The Russian Jewish Leadership Conference in Warsaw will greatly enhance our vision and work.

Yours in Messiah,

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President

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Jewish People Jewish Way

Dear friend,

For a number of months I have wanted to tell you about the great work being done by our Messianic congregations. Let me first tell you what a Messianic congregation is, in case you are unfamiliar with this wonderful illustration of the body of Messiah.
A Messianic congregation is an expression of Jewish life and culture joined with all the richness of knowing Jesus as Messiah and Savior! A Messianic congregation functions like a good, solid church and offers Bible training for children and adults, outreach and evangelism programs, fellowship for all ages and is a caring, Jesus-centered community where Jewish and Gentile believers can grow in the Messiah!

congregation

We have also found that Messianic congregations are wonderful tools for evangelism. As you know, most Jewish people view the Gospel as traditionally “un-Jewish” and most, including my own family, feel they need to give up their Jewish identities to follow Jesus. This is not true, but a common perception because of the centuries of persecution by so-called Christians.

This is why we have seen so many Jewish people give their hearts to the Lord at our congregations and why Jewish visitors do not feel compelled to ask the question, “Can you be Jewish and believe in Jesus?”  They see the answer before their very eyes in the worship, style of service and the music and are able to focus on the purity of the Gospel of grace and consider the most important question: “Is Jesus the promised Messiah?”

A number of our Chosen People Ministries missionaries have either planted or serve as the leaders of congregations. Click here to read their stories about what the Lord has taught them about their ministries.

How You Can Help Chosen People Ministries’ Congregations

There are many ways you can partner with Your Mission to the Jewish People in our congregational ministries! First of all, you can pray—for the congregations, the leaders and for the Jewish communities they endeavor to reach.

You might visit a congregation if one is nearby. You can look on our website for a list of Chosen People Ministries’ congregations and I know that our leaders would love to have you visit them! Then get word out to your church and Christian friends that there is a good place to bring the Jewish people with whom they are sharing the Gospel.

May I also bring one particular need before you? We have a growing dynamic Russian-language congregation in Tel Aviv that has struggled to find a place to meet that is large enough to house their congregation and children’s work. We had to help them rent a hall for their ministries, which includes weekly services, children’s work, a ministry to drug addicts and abused women, counseling and much more! Chosen People Ministries committed $6,000 per month to help them pay for rent.

As you know, Tel Aviv is one of the most expensive cities in the world and actually the rent is much more, but we split the costs with another Messianic congregation.

Would you give generously to help these dear brothers and sisters in Tel Aviv? Your gift of $60 or even $600 would be so helpful this month! If you are able to consider taking on a month’s rent or half a month’s rent—that would be so encouraging.

Thanks for caring and for helping us support the ministry of Simchat Yeshua (the Joy of Jesus) congregation in the heart of Tel Aviv!

May the Lord bless and keep you!

Mitch

Seder_Plate_4fa4725514b40_100x100P.S. For your gift of $250 or more we would be happy to send you a beautiful Passover plate made in Israel. You can use it for a Passover Seder yourself or display it in your home as a reminder to pray for the Jewish people who so desperately need to discover the true Passover Lamb.

 

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Reaching Jewish People for Messiah

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Shalom and Happy New Year!

We are one year closer to the return of Jesus! And in light of current events I bet you just want to get up and shout along with me…“even so, come Lord Jesus!

We begin 2016 with our eyes turned to the Lord, hearts filled with faith and a myriad of concerns for our country, the nation of Israel and for the legacy we leave to our children and grandchildren.

We will face challenges this year, which include the unraveling of our most cherished values, ISIS, and the clear and present global danger presented by Islamic extremists who seek the destruction of all we hold dear. These are times of great desperation for the Jewish people, as antisemitism is growing globally and the rise of personal terrorism attacks in Israel is becoming a “new normal” for Israelis.

We begin the New Year in something of a kosher pickle! But, the Good News never changes and Jesus is still the SOLUTION to life’s deepest and most difficult problems and we need to constantly learn how to trust Him!

So, more than ever—the work of bringing the Gospel to the Jewish people needs to continue—in full force.

A Vision for 2016
One of our staff members asked me to write a letter sharing my vision for Chosen People Ministries for the coming year, and I am more than happy to do this. I hope it will help you pray and know how to invest your giving to Your Mission to the Jewish People this year.

Let me give you a quick overview of our plans for 2016, and you will see how important people are to all that we believe God wants us to do!

Continuing What We Are Doing
My greatest hope for the New Year is that by God’s grace we can continue the good work we have been doing in 2015! We have dedicated and well trained missionaries who are serving the Lord in more than a dozen cities in the U.S. and in 15 other countries around the globe! My hope and prayers for our team is that the Lord will bless their everyday efforts in evangelism and discipleship and that their families will remain safe (especially those in Israel and France) and wholesome.

My hope is that the families of Chosen People Ministries’ staff will be blessed and protected and that the children of our staff members would grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus.

With this in mind, let me share with you some of my additional hopes and goals for 2016!

Israel
We will continue to reach Israelis wherever they travel after their service in the army: India, New Zealand, South America and even New York City! These young people are very open to the Lord. We now have a permanent work in New Zealand and actually own a backpacker facility that is constantly filled with 40-plus Israelis with whom we are able to talk to about the Lord.

We have built a great team in Tel Aviv now as well so we can follow up on those we meet around the globe when they get home to return to “normal life” and go to college, get jobs and start their post-military lives.

We will expand our ministries among Holocaust survivors living in the Holy Land as well through visiting them, taking them on trips and providing food staples through our distribution centers around Israel. We cannot speak about Jesus when we are providing food, etc., however, we do build relationships with people in this way, and it is wonderful to see how they initiate the discussion about faith.

By God’s grace we recently baptized five of these elderly Israelis.

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We will begin a new ministry in two larger urban suburbs in the greater Tel Aviv area that are currently without a witness for the Lord. So far, we have placed three full-time young couples in these areas to reach younger Israeli families, whom I believe will be the building block for the future church in Israel.

The names of the “urban suburbs” are Ramat Gan and Givatayim. We are trying to rent a storefront on the main commercial street as a center for our activities but so far, we have not found an Israeli landlord that will rent to us! But, we know that God will provide.

The Charles Feinberg Program
We have had a blessed few years training new missionaries to the Jewish people through our fully accredited seminary program that is a partnership between Chosen People Ministries and Talbot School of Theology (part of Biola University). We rejoice with our 14 graduates and continue to recruit those who are led by God to serve in Jewish missions.

As you might know, we purchased and renovated a former Jewish funeral home in Orthodox Brooklyn and have been using the center to house the seminary, as well as our new congregations planted in the heart of this community of almost a million Jewish people.

By God’s grace, we have no debt on the building and therefore the funds donated to the Feinberg Center go towards running the Center and to the ministries housed in the Center!

We hope to recruit a dozen new students (twice the usual number) for the Feinberg seminary program this year and to expand this wonderful ministry by developing online courses as well.

Online Ministries – The Daniel Project
We have created an online evangelism team at our New York City headquarters that we call the Daniel Group! We chose this name based upon the prophecy of Daniel 12:4,
But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.

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We believe we are in the end times and…let’s face it…the web has transformed the way we learn and has made knowledge available to everyday people as never before. This includes the Gospel! We are able to tell people about Jesus—in ways our forefathers never dreamed of. The web has transformed Jewish evangelism work in the same way that air travel transformed missionary work in general.

We are living in wonderful days of opportunity.

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Chosen People Ministries now has two major evangelistic websites and I hope you will visit each of them. We have Isaiah 53 and I Found Shalom.

The Isaiah 53 site focuses on offering the evangelistic book Isaiah 53 Explained that is now in eleven languages! I Found Shalom has approximately 40 video testimonies (and growing) of Jewish believers in Jesus of every age and walk of life.

We also have translated the Isaiah 53 site into Hebrew, Russian, Spanish and now French.  These languages cover more than 90% of the Jewish population in today’s world.

We will soon create sites to match some of the other book translations—including our latest…Farsi. This will become the key strategy to reach the hundreds of thousands of Iranian Jews scattered throughout Israel, the United States, England, etc. with the Gospel.

We have learned how to use Facebook advertising to find the sites Jewish people search and have had more than 1,000 Jewish people order the Isaiah 53 book and the booklet we offer on the I Found Shalom site!  I have not seen anything like this in my 40-plus years of Jewish ministry.

We will expand these online evangelistic efforts beginning with a special outreach in southern Florida, the home of the third largest Jewish population in the United States, during the months of January and February!

We also plan to expand these online ministries to Russia, the United Kingdom and Australia this year. Our follow-up teams are busy calling the interested and visiting those who want a more intensive witness. However, what we have found is that most of the Jewish people responding to our websites are hearing the Gospel for the first time! So, we are prayerfully and patiently reaching out to these folks and we are further developing ongoing evangelistic e-blasts that we are sending to these seekers each month.

Can you tell I am excited? Because the web allows for some anonymity and enables a Jewish person to move at their own speed in seeking the Lord, it is almost as if the web was built for Jewish evangelism!

All About People
The most important tool God uses to reach Jewish people is people! The Good News is most powerful when preached person-to-person and heart-to-heart. Jewish seekers—like Gentile seekers—respond to the love, warmth and transformed lives of individuals, as people all need people.

Please continue to pray for all of these efforts, that the Lord will bless the work and that Jewish people everywhere will hear the Gospel and come to know their Messiah!

May I ask you to give generously this month so that we can recruit, train and deploy the dedicated, Messiah-focused people we need to do His work among the Jewish people?

Thank you for joining me by investing your prayers, support, love and encouragement in the staff of Chosen People Ministries!

Your brother in the Messiah,

Mitch

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Preparing for Passover

We are getting ready for Passover! The holiday begins on Friday, but preparations are moving full steam ahead.

During Passover, the Jewish community refrains from eating leaven and eat what is known as matzah during the eight day holiday, as Moses and the nation of Israel fled Egypt in haste, not having time for our bread to rise and so we eat unleavened bread as a reminder of our leaving Egypt in haste.

Matzah

Matzah (unleavened bread) is eaten during Passover

For seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a foreigner or a native of the land. You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread (Ex 12:19-20).

As the Jewish community prepares for Passover, each family removes leaven from the home and stores – especially in heavily Jewish areas remove leavened products from their shelves. Then, during a ceremony called Bedikat Chametz, immediately before the first night of Passover and the first Passover Seder, we conduct a final search for leaven throughout the house, gather it together and throws it all out or burn it, symbolizing the house is purified or kosher for Passover.

Paul uses this understanding of the Jewish practice as the background to his statement in1 Corinthians 5:6-8.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Messiah our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

The community of Corinth evidently demonstrated a tolerance for gross immorality. Paul compares sin to leaven and commands the congregation at Corinth to clean out the sin from their midst in the same way the Jewish community removes leaven from their homes during Passover. Just as leaven permeates an entire lump of dough, sinful behavior affects the entire life of an individual and congregation. If the congregation at Corinth did not deal with the wicked behavior in their midst, then this behavior would defile the entire community.

When my wife makes challah, the traditional Jewish Festival bread, she puts a small amount of yeast into the dough. This small amount of yeast makes the entire loaf of challah leavened. In the same way, sin affects the entire life of a person. We cannot compartmentalize our lives and isolate sin to a particular area. Sin in one area affects all areas of our lives. We deceive ourselves when we think the small or hidden sins in our lives will not creep it’s way into our entire soul. Even the small and hidden sins will permeate and corrode our entire being.

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long.

For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide;

I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:3-5)

Therefore, we should pursue righteousness, since our Messiah has removed the chametz, leaven, from our lives. Rabbi Saul (the Apostle Paul) describes those with leavened lives as depraved and wicked, but reminds his readers that those who are pure in motives and upright in character behave as if they are without leaven. The person free from leaven does not have a hidden or secret life. The preparation for Passover reminds us of the unrighteous behaviors we tolerate in our lives. If we tolerate immoral thoughts or actions, they will begin to affect our spiritual lives and ultimately destroy our soul.

We only deceive ourselves if we think that what we look at on the Internet, watch on television or do when others are not watching will not have any affect upon our spiritual life. We simply cannot behave badly towards our spouse or children, be dishonest in business or mean to at work if we are serious about honoring God. If we are going to have a healthy spiritual life we cannot tolerate our hidden and secret sins…the ones we only we know about, as the Lord knows them too1

In the spirit of Passover, let’s remove sin from our lives, so that we are kosher for Passover and can experience the joy that only godly obedience, in light of the redemption we have through Yeshua, can bring to our souls.

Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; For the man of peace will have a posterity. But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.(Psalm 37:37-38)

For more on Passover click on http://tinyurl.com/no7r8l8

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Filed under Jewish Holidays, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish, Passover