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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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Young Men and Women are Answering the Call to Jewish Missions

Reflections on Dr. Feinberg

May I share some of my reflections on Dr. Feinberg, who was one of my heroes in the faith? This is one of the reasons I chose to attend Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California after graduating from Northeastern Bible College in 1974. There was only one person in the entire world with whom I wanted to study further—and that was Dr. Charles Lee Feinberg.

Dr. Feinberg was something of a legend among the young Jewish believers who came to faith during the turbulent days of the “Jesus Movement” in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Most of those believers were hippies… and I was one of them!

My parents brought me up in a traditional Jewish home in New York City, and I came to faith in Jesus when I was 19 years old while traveling around Northern California. It was not only me, but many of my Jewish friends became believers too! Most of us were the only believers in our families, and we thought that we were completely alone. We did not know of any rabbis at the time who were believers in Jesus, and we were hungry for leaders and role models with a more traditional Jewish experience who had come to faith. We were regularly accused of becoming believers in Jesus only because we did not know enough about Judaism, and we needed someone to help us speak to our parents and community leaders!

Dr. Charles Feinberg became the role model and spokesman we were seeking.

Dr. Feinberg was trained as a rabbi and eventually earned a Ph.D. in Archaeology at Johns Hopkins University. He was in one of the first graduating classes of Dallas Theological Seminary, then stayed on to teach Hebrew and English Bible at that institution for a number of years before he moved west for an exciting new role as Dean at the new and growing Biola University (formerly known as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles).

As I mentioned before, the Jewish community at the time constantly questioned the validity of our testimonies. Oftentimes, we were accused of actually rejecting Judaism, and abandoning our people and our Jewish heritage by believing in Jesus. But we knew that we had not rejected Judaism—we had simply accepted Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.

We discovered that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was real and that the Bible was true. This meant that being Jewish was ordained by God, who had created the Jewish people for His own purposes. We were Jews because God made us Jews, and we knew that we needed to better understand our own identity and the Lord’s plan for our people and for us!

Dr. Feinberg loved the Lord and loved his students. I remember going into his office to talk many times during my first couple of years at the seminary. Usually, I had some problem with the way he had graded one of my papers, but most often he was not all that interested in talking about academics. Dr. Feinberg would first ask about my family and about my ministry. Then, like a Jewish grandfather, he would take my hand, hold it warmly, and begin praying for me, for my family, and even for my ability to accept the grade that he would not change!

Dr. Feinberg came to faith through Chosen People Ministries, which was known at the time as the American Board of Missions to the Jews, and he became an instrumental presence in the growth of the Mission. Some of his books, including his superb commentary The Minor Prophets, began as a monthly Bible study in The Chosen People magazine, to which he contributed regularly. He wrote many Gospel tracts, sharing both his testimony and arguments from Scripture for Jesus being the Jewish Messiah.

He wrote these tracts in English, Hebrew, and even in Yiddish. His classic work, Premillennialism or Amillennialism, which was his thesis at Dallas Theological Seminary, is still one of the finest, most coherent, and well-argued polemical works ever written about the future role of Israel in the plan of God.

Dr. Charles L. Feinberg demonstrated in both his life and his ministry that one could be Jewish and believe in Jesus. He loved the Lord, he loved his Jewish people, and he loved our Mission—Chosen People Ministries. And it was in his honor that we dedicated both the seminary training program and the Feinberg Messianic Center in the heart of Orthodox Jewish Brooklyn.

The Seminary Program

This unique program prepares individuals from every walk of life who sense God’s call to enter into full-time Jewish ministry. The curriculum includes the study of Hebrew, Greek, rabbinic literature and theology, biblical studies, theology, church history, and areas of practical theology.

The Charles L. Feinberg Messianic Jewish Center in Brooklyn, NY

The Charles L. Feinberg Messianic Jewish Center resides in a 14,000-square-foot facility that includes seminary classrooms, dormitories, a 10,000-volume library, and is home to two Messianic Jewish congregations—one English-speaking and one Russian. Located in Midwood, Brooklyn, the Feinberg Center is a hub for evangelistic outreach and discipleship among the neighborhood’s dense Orthodox and Russian Jewish populace. The Center is also an ideal place for Feinberg students to study, worship, and gain valuable experience reaching Jewish people with the Gospel of Jesus.

Studying Jewish theology was always something I wanted to pursue, but did not think it was possible to do it from a Messianic perspective. My education from the Charles Feinberg Program is preparing me for the ministry I’m called to—in the most hands-on way.
– Jessica, Jamestown, NY

Students are immersed in the Jewish community where they live, as they study and serve in ministry among the Jewish people in New York City. Another student, who graduated from Moody Bible Institute, writes,

My name is Joel, I’m 30 years old and from Long Island, NY. Living and studying at the Feinberg Center has greatly improved my ability to build relationships with Jewish people that eventually leads to a comfortable atmosphere for witnessing to them as a trusted friend. I find that my Jewish neighbors are genuinely interested in what I believe and why, and this opens a big window for Jewish ministry.
– Joel, Long Island, NY

Charlotte, a recent graduate who came to us from Vero Beach, Florida, comments,

The Feinberg program has stretched me in so many ways, strengthening my walk with the Lord and giving me an in-depth training for Jewish ministry. The Jewish people are distinct from every people group in the world and have very specific theological, cultural, and historical objections to Jesus. It is imperative to be able to address these objections, and the Feinberg program does just that. Students learn biblical and modern Hebrew, Rabbinic Literature and Theology, and Jewish History in addition to the standard seminary curriculum. I am currently on an outreach to Israeli backpackers in India and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Feinberg program’s superb training. I am also blessed to graduate debt-free thanks to the generous subsidies provided by Chosen People Ministries, through supporters like you! I can’t thank you enough! My time here has been a blessing!
– Charlotte, Vero Beach, FL

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Help Israeli children learn about Yeshua

Dear friend,

Shalom in His grace. I am writing to you from Israel where I am visiting our dedicated staff who are serving the Lord in the Holy Land. We currently have 24 missionaries and administrators working in Israel-—most of whom are Israelis, and we are so thankful for the growth of our ministries in Israel!

As you may know, our Israeli staff host a number of children’s camps each year. Just a few weeks ago, I was told of a tremendous opportunity we have to reach Jewish children in the Holy Land.

Our Camp Director, Maxim Katz, and our Israel Director, Michael Zinn, asked me to provide sponsorships for the growing number of children who want to attend our Messianic camps but cannot afford the costs since they come from poor immigrant families. Many of these kids are from unbelieving homes. Even so, their parents have given us written permission to teach them about Jesus through our camping programs. This just amazes me!

I asked Maxim to tell me in his own words what his team of youth workers has planned:

Our children’s ministry is growing. Each year we have children’s camps; two of them take place in Israel on Passover and the other on the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the fall. In each camp we have around 130 people including the leadership team and children from different congregations throughout Israel.

All our camps are in Hebrew with translation into Russian for those who need it. The camps also give an opportunity to continue to work with the youth who are going to join the army, who are currently serving or have just finished their service. They help to prepare the program. We meet during the year to pray, have fellowship, and create the program together. We cooperate with nine congregations in Israel who bring their children and leaders to the camp. 

During the summer time we take 40-50 Israeli children to Poland where Polish Christians are eager to help us by providing the location and the staff for the camp, which incredibly reduces our costs! This brings together children from Russian Jewish families from Israel, and children from Germany and the former Soviet Union. The program is a joint Chosen People Ministries venture and volunteers come to help us from all around the world. 

We are happy to say that recently 30% of the children come to us from non-believing homes.

The demand to attend the camps is great, and we are planning one additional camp in Israel this fall for 85 kids and 35 leaders.

What an amazing opportunity we have to bless these Israeli children! We hope and pray that their young hearts will be open to receiving the Gospel, if not now, then when they grow up. We are currently raising funds to provide these children with sponsorships to attend our Messianic camps. August is a difficult financial month for most ministries and local churches, but I believe God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in Messiah. (Philippians 4:19)

In the name of our Messiah,

Mitch

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God Keeps His Promises

The modern state of Israel is simply the resurrection of the nation God created through Abraham.

 

Shalom in the Messiah,

I wish I had been alive on May 14, 1948!

I cannot imagine what it was like for Bible-believing Christians to see the Jewish people reestablished as a nation in the land of Israel. I would imagine that believers who heard the announcement on the radio or read about it in the newspapers probably thought about some very specific passages in the Old Testament, which promised that the Land of Israel would be the possession of the Jewish people. For example,

The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” (Genesis 13:14-17)

On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates….” (Genesis 15:18)

“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.” (Genesis 17:8)

Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: “If this fixed order departs from before Me,” declares the Lord, “Then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.” (Jeremiah 31:35-36)

“I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord. (Ezekiel 37:14) Continue reading

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The revival of the Gospel in Israel

Dear friend in the Messiah,

Shalom! I never thought I would have the joy of writing to you about the incredible discipleship and training opportunities we have today among Israeli young adults! I remember my first trip to Israel in 1976, while still in seminary, and there were only a few hundred Jewish believers in Israel. Well, times have changed and the Lord has worked in great power to touch the lives of thousands of Israelis. In fact, we are now seeing what I call a “second generation” movement of Israeli young people coming to the Lord and dedicating their lives to serving the Lord!

This is why your Mission to the Jewish People has initiated a special training and mentoring program among this new wave of young Israelis, which we call Living Waters.

Let me tell you about our Living Waters mentoring program in Israel!

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