Tag Archives: Messiah

Reaching Wandering Israelis after Military Service 

Thank you for taking a few moments to read our current issue of the Chosen People Ministries newsletter. Through our newsletters and other publications, we try to keep you up to date with what is happening within the Jewish community, the State of Israel, and with Your Mission to the Jewish People.

TEL AVIV UPDATE

We deeply appreciate your prayers and support. I want to update you on the new Messianic center in Greater Tel Aviv. We continue to work on two tracks. First, we are now in the fifth month of raising funds for this new facility in the greater Tel Aviv area, which is home to about four million Israelis! Second, we have started construction on the buildout of this commercial space in a brand-new building. We have to add walls, floors, heating and air conditioning, and bathrooms . . . well, you get the picture! This new space will house our Bible studies, weekly outreach events, a café, concerts, future congregational activities, and so much more.

We could not be more excited about the future as openness to the gospel, especially among younger Israelis, is moving like an unstoppable wave across the country. We are doing all we can to make our Messiah known and discipling those who come to faith.

Please pray and join us in building a future for the Messianic movement in Israel through your generous support. There is more information about how you can give toward the new facility at the end of the newsletter.

ALL ROADS LEAD TO TEL AVIV

Over the past few years, we continued to see the common cultural practice among Israelis of traveling the world after serving in the Israeli military. Thousands of young people explore other countries and cultures, and Your Mission to the Jewish People established youth hostels and teams of staff and volunteers to meet these wonderful young people. We show them the love of Jesus the Messiah through hospitality and by creating a home away from home during their travels. We are now meeting thousands of young Israelis outside of Israel and proclaiming the good news to them as they tour. Once back in Israel, we invite them to meet others with similar experiences and spend an evening or attend a reunion event at our current rented center in the greater Tel Aviv area.

We serve this wandering Israeli population in New Zealand, Japan, other parts of Asia, Australia, and the United States. We provide a place for them to stay or connect with Jewish believers in Jesus and Christians who love the Jewish people and invite them into their homes. We proclaim the gospel in both word and deed; and we generally do not say much about the gospel until they ask—which our Israeli guests often do! Of course, we provide Hebrew New Testaments and other resources for them to read if they are curious. We simply offer unconditional love, good food, a listening ear, and prayer as requested.

As you would imagine, while we extend this level of kindness, the younger Israelis want to learn more about our motivation. In a world so filled with anti-Israel (and often antisemitic) activities, we stand out to them because of our love, and they want to know why we care. We tell them about our belief in what the Bible teaches about God’s love for Israel and the Jewish people and, most of all, the love God offers through His Messiah—Jesus!

STORIES OF GOD’S WORK AMONG TRAVELING ISRAELIS

Beit Samurai (“House of the Servant”) in Tokyo, Japan, is our newest hostel. Our team there has already received dozens of Israeli visitors and reported several amazing stories. Here is just one of them:

Ori* and a friend of his stayed at Beit Samurai for a few days. He planned to go to New Zealand. He mentioned one of his friends in Israel was Messianic. Sensing his openness, one of our staff invited him to have lunch together before he headed to the airport. As we waited for our food, he suddenly asked, “So, how do you explain ‘Messianic’ and Yeshua to Jewish people?” Our team member was a bit stunned. Not only was he open—he was asking directly to hear the gospel.

After listening to our staff member’s testimony and hearing about encounters with Yeshua within the Messianic faith and community, Ori asked if there was a Messianic congregation he could attend. He also expressed a desire to read the Bible for himself. Our missionary invited him to attend services with him when he comes back to Japan. Since he is going to New Zealand, he also connected him with a Messianic congregation there.

This staff member gave Ori a copy of Isaiah 53 Explained, which he gratefully received. Through our Chosen People Ministries global network, staff put Ori in touch with Yitzhak,* a Messianic leader in Auckland, New Zealand. They connected right away. Ori asked for a copy of the New Testament to read, so Yitzhak gave him a Bible. The following week, Ori came back to Yitzhak with another Israeli. Yitzhak also told him the full gospel of Yeshua. This Israeli also decided to stay with Yitzhak for the next several days.

Our network of hostels and homes welcoming traveling Israelis also expanded to Taiwan in 2020. During the past three years, we have built Beit Simcha (“House of Joy”), a hosting network in ten cities around Taiwan, connecting many families and teams from different churches to participate in the Israeli backpacker ministry. God is wonderfully using the network as His cords and bonds of love to draw Israelis to Messiah (Hosea 11:4). In one home alone, we hosted 140 Israeli backpackers and families. Many continued to visit other Beit Simcha homes and kept hearing the gospel while traveling around Taiwan. We have heard numerous testimonies from Beit Simcha partners.

Planet Zula in New Zealand, however, is one of our oldest and busiest hostels. It is still the center of a vibrant ministry. A few months ago, our staff there sent us this story:

During one of our weekly Monday evening Bible studies, one of our Israeli guests joined us. We always have lively discussions, and he jumped right in and asked amazing questions. Afterward, he and our Israeli volunteer dug deeply into the Hebrew Bible for hours. The next morning, when he came to say goodbye, his face was shining as he told us he now had a completely new understanding of the New Testament. He realized how the Old and New Testaments fit together—and demonstrated by interlocking his hands. He expressed his desire to read the New Testament and took one of the free copies we offer.

Hosting traveling Israelis has proved a fruitful ministry for several years—and shows no signs of slowing down! On the contrary, we plan to continue expanding this hospitality network to other places. 

*Names changed.

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Bringing the Light of the Gospel to Tel Aviv

We are now moving ahead rapidly with the new Tel Aviv Messianic Center. The plans are complete, the permits are coming through, and the workers are beginning to build out the empty 4,000-square-foot concrete shell. Our general contractor is an Israeli believer, and it is comforting to know we have someone leading the charge who is both good at his job and prays as he works!

Once finished, the building will be beautiful. The auditorium, or sanctuary, can hold about 130 people. In addition, we will be able to set up tables and chairs for 100 people to enjoy fellowship dinners, holiday celebrations, and our monthly Sabbath dinners. We will also have ample space for Bible studies and children’s rooms.

Our current rented center, which is less than half the size of the new space, is known for its excellent coffee bar, where most gospel conversations take place during events. The new café layout will have an enlarged area where dozens of young people will be able to sit, drink coffee (an Israeli pastime), and talk about the Lord! When we move into the new center, it will be an even more prominent place to gather and talk with espresso in hand.

Like the older rental, our new center will also provide a follow-up location for Israelis who have traveled around the globe after their army service. These young travelers go abroad and return to Israel after their overseas adventures. We envision the new center as a place of many happy reunions for those who traveled to faraway places like New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, and even the United States, where they met Chosen People Ministries staff and godly volunteers who hosted them in their homes. We will continue the conversations they started while they were traveling. Our team is always ready to reach them with the gospel!

DEDICATION TOUR OF NEW CENTER

I recently returned from Israel, where I had the joy of walking through our new building site with the architect, contractor, and our leader in Israel. As we previewed the empty space, we imagined the voices of children singing and laughing and adults passionately worshiping the Lord while quietly praying for the salvation of friends and loved ones.

I prayed over the new center and would appreciate your joining me in asking the Lord to fill this new place with His Spirit and glory! Let me remind you we are planning a new center dedication tour to Israel in December, which coincides with the Festival of Dedication—Hanukkah!

The tour will include eight days on the ground. On one of those days, we will light the Hanukkah menorah in the new center and dedicate this facility to the Lord. You will find more information by going to www.chosenpeople.com/dedicationtour/. It is not too early to register, as we only have room for thirty-nine people.

The plan for the tour is to arrive in Israel on December 6 and leave on December 15. Hanukkah begins the night of December 7, but we want to be ready for the festivities and allow some time to get over our jet lag! We will enjoy the warm, golden glow of lit menorahs rising over the entire nation of Israel as millions of Israelis celebrate the same feast Jesus observed (John 10). It will be a little chilly and not very crowded at that time of year in Tel Aviv, and we will all be in a celebratory mood as we praise God for the new center and for all He is doing among Israelis.

MAKING GOOD PROGRESS

Thank you for your support and prayers. We are now more than 65 percent toward our goal of raising $6,500,000 to pay for the building, renovation, furniture, etc. We know the Lord will provide the additional $2,500,000 because He is merciful, generous, mighty, and loves His chosen people more than we ever could!

God made promises to the Jewish people, which He will certainly fulfill. We believe this new center is one tool the Lord will use to turn the nation to the Messiah.

THE GREAT COMMISSION

I know you are familiar with the Great Commission, but let me clarify how our outreach to the Jewish people is a central component of our fulfilling the Great Commission. After all, we would never want Jewish evangelism—reaching Israelis and Jewish people like me living outside the land—to become the great omission of the Great Commission!

Matthew records Jesus telling His disciples,

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
(Matthew 28:18–20)

There is a link between the Lord’s command to go and make disciples of all the nations, the Great Commission, and what I refer to as the great mandate found in Romans 11:11. Paul wrote, “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.”

These two great gospel threads flow seamlessly in the apostle Paul’s writings, and I hope it will be the same for you.

Paul also reminds us the salvation of the Jewish people is a vital part of God’s divine strategy to reclaim His world and place it under the dominion of His Son! According to Paul, the salvation of Israel in the last days is the final human step leading to the second coming of Christ. The Messianic Jewish apostle wrote in Romans 11,

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, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” “This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” From the standpoint of the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
(Romans 11:25–29)

Jewish evangelism is the gateway leading to blessings for the nations.

Paul previously told the Gentiles the turning of Israel and the return of Christ would bring about God’s blessings for the Gentiles. “Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! . . . For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead” (Romans 11:12, 15)?

God chose the Jewish people for a unique role, and one day, this assignment for Israel will become even more evident as the end-time remnant of Jewish people repents, and the Lord returns (Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 9:6–7; Acts 3:19ff.).

Gentile believers have a critical role in the second coming of Messiah, especially by sharing the gospel with Jewish people!

Another critical passage revealing God’s heart for the Jewish people is Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

Jewish evangelism must never become one of the side jobs of the churches. Paul reminded the Romans to prioritize Jewish evangelism when the gospel was just beginning to spread in the early church. Therefore, including the Jewish people in our evangelistic planning is critical.

God chose the Jewish people to be a bridge of redemption to the world by providing the Scriptures and the Savior Himself, who was born of a Jewish virgin. The Jewish people brought the message of eternal life to the Gentiles. He now calls upon the Gentiles to bring the message back to the original messengers!

Reaching Jewish people for Jesus should be an intentional strategy for every Christian and every local church because God loves His chosen people and because the second coming of Christ depends on Jewish evangelism. God calls us to live today in light of tomorrow, as Jesus could return soon—and then our evangelistic work will be done.

Thanks for caring about the salvation of the Jewish people. May the Lord give us many fantastic opportunities to reach our Jewish friends and families for the Lord. Thanks for standing with us!

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Yeshua the Messiah: A Prophet Greater than Moses

Thanks for taking a moment to catch up with Your Mission to the Jewish People, especially during the Passover and Easter season when the connection between the Old and the New Testaments is so clear. During this time of year, we see the death and resurrection of Jesus foreshadowed in the Old and gloriously fulfilled in the New!

In this issue, we explore the relationship between two of our greatest Jewish biblical heroes—Moses and Jesus. It is fascinating to consider how these two centerpieces of our faith spoke about one another: Jesus referred back to Moses, while Moses pointed ahead to Messiah. Indeed, the Bible describes both Moses and Jesus as prophets. The tremendous messianic prediction in Deuteronomy 18 is probably familiar:

The Lord said to me, “They have spoken well. I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.” (Deut 18:17–19)

This prophet will speak God’s last word for humanity; therefore, we must obey him!

THE IMPORTANCE OF MOSES FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE

I grew up in a traditional Jewish home in New York City. My religious training was Orthodox, and I knew Moses was the most important Jewish person who ever lived. He was greater than David, the prophets, and even Abraham! God gave the Law on Mount Sinai through Moses, and in almost every version of modern Judaism, Moses is the central figure of the Jewish faith. For Jewish people, no one is more important than Moses.

We learn, especially those raised Orthodox, the Messiah will come and be a great leader, but he will not necessarily be more significant than Moses himself. You might ask if Jewish people believe Moses is more important than a future Messiah. In the down-to-earth, everyday understanding of Judaism, the vote would be very close!

Because of this view, the following words of the writer of Hebrews may have struck a discordant note, even back then, in the hearts and minds of whoever read this brief treatise:

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. (Heb 3:1–6)

Judaism also tells many stories about the greatness of Moses; he is Moshe Rabbeinu, our most excellent teacher of all time—or so most Jewish people think! According to the very words of Moses himself, however, there is more to his story of redemption.

JESUS’ SUPERIORITY TO MOSES IN THE NEW COVENANT

The writer of Hebrews argued more explicitly than the passage in Deuteronomy for the superiority of Jesus and the New Covenant He inaugurated. Hebrews 3:1–6 describes how Jesus would in all ways be superior to Moses, especially verse 3: “For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house” (Heb 3:3).

Hebrews 11 also reveals this point of Jesus’ superiority. The author took us on a tour of the “Heroes of Faith,” biographical snapshots of previous giants of the faith. The author focused on their faithfulness and achievements, underscoring the entire premise of the book of Hebrews.

The argument of Hebrews is simply this: Jesus is superior to all those who came before Him. He is better than the angels, Moses, the Levitical priests, and even the high priest. He also provides a better rest, a better sacrifice, a better covenant, and a better hope!

However, by asserting Yeshua is better, the author does not suggest the angels, the patriarchs, Moses, the Levites, and the Old Testament are no longer valuable! Instead, it means Yeshua is God’s ultimate revelation for the world’s blessing:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. (Heb 1:1–3)

The apostle John also records Jesus mentioning Moses while speaking to Jewish people who were still trying to make up their minds about Him and His claims:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (John 5:39–40, 45–47)

Jesus certainly believes Moses wrote about Him and urges His listeners to consider Moses’ words. These passages in Hebrews and John summarize the relationship between Jesus and the Hebrew Scriptures, and how the New Covenant fulfills the Old Testament. The Old Covenant and the great saints listed in Hebrews were part of the plan of God, which ultimately led to the glorious fulfillment in the Messiah Himself.

JESUS, THE PERFECT LEADER

I. M. Haldeman, a fiery Baptist preacher who pastored the First Baptist Church of Manhattan for forty years and was a great friend of Chosen People Ministries, wrote about the uniqueness of Moses and how he foreshadowed the Messiah Jesus:

The life of Moses presents a series of striking antitheses. He was the child of a slave, and the son of a queen. He was born in a hut, and lived in a palace. He inherited poverty, and enjoyed unlimited wealth. . . . He was educated in the court, and dwelt in the desert. He had the wisdom of Egypt, and the faith of a child. He was fitted for the city, and wandered in

the wilderness. He was tempted with the pleasures of sin, and endured the hardships of virtue. He was backward in speech, and talked with God. He had the rod of a shepherd, and the power of the Infinite. He was a fugitive from Pharaoh, and an ambassador from Heaven. He was the giver of the Law, and the forerunner of Grace. He died alone on mount Moab, and appeared with Christ in Judea.1

I would love to have heard this powerful and passionate pastor preach these words! What a beautiful description of the greatness of Moses’ character.

Moses himself told us someone like himself would appear one day as the ultimate leader of the Jewish people. Though Moses was a great political, religious, and military leader,

this meek and humble prophet pointed to an even greater Jewish leader—the Messiah Jesus. Though he may not have had a complete understanding, Moses pointed to a greater prophet—God Himself enwrapped in flesh, proclaiming a greater exodus through His finished work on Calvary. Jesus offers a greater revelation of divine truth to Jewish people and Gentiles and invites us all to obey His words.

Jesus is God’s final word of grace, salvation, and hope for a dark and sinful world.

Yeshua is the perfect leader. Moses himself understood the limits of his humanity. He was superb but far from perfect. He brought the Israelites closer to God, and he brought God closer to the Israelites. But Yeshua brought a better and permanent salvation through His once-for-all sacrifice for sin and triumphant resurrection from the dead. He also provided an eternally durable and glorious New Covenant for Israel and the nations of the world (Jeremiah 31:31–35).

The Passover prophetically portrays this New Covenant, which foreshadows the work of Messiah as the perfect lamb whose blood was shed and smeared over the doorposts of our hearts, enabling us to enter the very presence of God Himself forever (John 1:29).

Moses was a great leader whom God used to reveal His plan and purposes for the Jewish people, but he pointed to someone greater than himself. We now know this greater One has come, and His name is Yeshua, the Savior of the world. We celebrate this salvation during Passover and Easter by remembering the exodus led by Moses, who paved the way for eternal salvation for all who believe in Jesus.

The One greater than Moses has come, and His name is Jesus the Messiah!

Have a blessed Passover and Easter season. Remember to pray for and spread the good news to those who first brought the message of salvation to you—the Jewish people!

1 Quoted in Arthur W. Pink, Gleanings in Exodus (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1981), 16.

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God Is at Work in Tel Aviv!

I just cannot stop thinking and talking about our Messianic center in Tel Aviv!

After all these years of ministry, I am thrilled to see Chosen People Ministries participating in this outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon a new generation of young Israelis. They love the Lord and need a stable place to gather.

We can count the number of Messianic congregations within the greater Tel Aviv area on one hand! There is almost no place for these dedicated young disciples to go and bring their not-yet-believing friends to hear the gospel in a friendly and inviting atmosphere.

We were looking for a permanent home for years—somewhere these younger believers could enjoy preaching, Bible teaching, congregational life, community meals, evangelistic lectures, outreach concerts, and more.

The Lord is using your generosity, sacrifice, and prayers, which enabled Chosen People Ministries to purchase this wonderful new property in Israel. We are so grateful for you!

THE EARLY JESUS MOVEMENT

I experienced a tremendous sense of awe once before in my own journey with Jesus. Today’s movement of younger Israelis reminds me of those days!

I became a believer in San Francisco in November 1970, at the height of the Jesus movement. It was a true work of the Holy Spirit, especially in the hearts of the many Jewish people like me who came to faith then! Maybe you were saved during the Jesus movement or experienced the surge of spiritual growth in the United States in those days. It was spectacular!

But it was also very messy. It seemed at the time there was a lot of evangelistic outreach because the Spirit was moving. Yet, lots of new believers who were not well discipled fell away from the faith.

Chosen People Ministries was active during the Jesus movement, proclaiming the gospel and helping young Jewish believers like me grow in our faith. Chosen People Ministries even paid my way through Bible college, and we continue to help Jewish believers receive solid theological training today.

We even have students in Israel studying the Word of God in preparation for full-time ministry in the land!

The current movement in Israel feels a lot like what happened in the early 1970s in the United States. In fact, several of today’s Israeli Messianic leaders became believers through the Jesus movement during their post-army travels! Now, many of those coming to faith and serving the Lord in Israel are the sons and daughters of Israeli believers who became Jesus-followers during the revival in the 70s.

This older generation of sacrificial, Hebrew-speaking saints planted congregations, created children’s camps, provided biblical education programs for pre- and post-army soldiers, and held Bible teaching conferences to train the next generation of Israeli believers! Most of these ministries continue to this day.

The future in Israel is bright, and I am beginning to see how passages like Romans 11:25–29 will come to pass! We are living in exciting days, and we can be part of God’s work in the land through encouraging and supporting this movement of the Holy Spirit among young Israelis.

Because of this growing community of young Israelis coming to faith, we are buying a larger center where we can continue our outreach. We have outgrown the center we now rent!

TEL AVIV MESSIANIC CENTER UPDATE

By God’s grace, we have raised a little more than half of what we need to pay for the building. The overall cost, including the renovation, will be about 6.5 million dollars. We are trusting the Lord for the rest.

Just writing about this new outreach center brings a broad smile to my face.

Did you know more than four million Jewish people live in the greater Tel Aviv area? There are few Messianic Jewish facilities where people of all ages who love the Lord can meet, worship, and study the Scriptures.

By purchasing this center, we will add a significant amount of ministry space where it is so desperately needed. Our current center is only 1,600 square feet. We have been bursting at the seams, and the new center is two-and-a-half times the size of the old.

Here is one of many remarkable stories from a staff member in Israel about what God is doing:

Recently, a Jewish teacher for a Japanese Language Studies program in Israel came to one of our events at the Tel Aviv Messianic Center. During the event, I had a good conversation with her about our faith in Yeshua and gave her a copy of the New Testament and the book Isaiah 53 Explained.

After the event, we remained in contact. We conversed online and when we met again recently, she said: “I started to read the New Testament, though I was always taught that it is an antisemitic book. But when I read this book, I realized it talks about love, forgiveness, and the sanctity of life. Now I understand that I, and our people, have many misunderstandings about Yeshua and His teachings.”

This Israeli woman still has not accepted Yeshua into her heart, but we continue to keep in touch with her and pray she will receive Yeshua as her Savior.

Thanks again for standing with Your Mission to the Jewish People in reaching the chosen people around the world—especially in the Holy Land.

TEL AVIV MESSIANIC CENTER DEDICATION

I want to invite you to the dedication of the new Tel Aviv center in December of this year. Though it may not be finished when we dedicate it, I believe we should be close!

In December, the whole country will be lit up with menorahs for Hanukkah! The season makes me think of Jesus, the Light of the world, whose light shines brightly in the darkness and even more so in the land of His birth (John 10:22, 8:32). May our center also shine brightly to the people of Israel.

During this dedication trip, we will enjoy worship almost every night. We will praise God for His goodness and hear the testimonies of young believers on fire for the Lord. I believe it is going to be a crucial moment in all our spiritual journeys and a joyous time of thanksgiving to God.

It is not too early to sign up. Just visit chosenpeople.com/dedicationtour to find the details and reserve your spot.

Thanks again for all you do to stand with Chosen People Ministries. Together, we are reaching the almost seven million Jewish people living in Israel today.

PASSOVER IS UPON US!

As the apostle Paul reminded us, “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7).

As we approach the Passover season, our thoughts once again focus on the Lamb of God, Jesus the Messiah, who takes away our sin and the sin of the world (John 1:29). He died a cruel, undeserved death. Isaiah 53 foretold the Messiah would bear our sorrows, our grief, and our sins. He endured them at Calvary so you and I could live in the power of His resurrection forever.

This is the gospel message we will preach at our new center in Tel Aviv. It is the same message we have proclaimed day in and day out at our rented center.

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Antisemitism Today

Thank you for taking a moment to read our latest news! We appreciate your interest in what God is doing among the Jewish people and through Your Mission to the Jewish People today! We deeply value your prayers and support. 

TEL AVIV UPDATE

I want to update you on the new Messianic center in Tel Aviv. We are working on two fundraising tracks right now. First, we are only in the third month of raising funds for the purchase of this new Messianic Jewish outreach center in the greater Tel Aviv area—home to about four million Israelis!

Second, we are beginning construction on the build-out of the center as this new commercial space will house our Bible study classrooms, weekly outreach lectures and concerts, young adult activities, a café, and hopefully future congregational activities! The entire area is new, so we will need to renovate the interior space by adding walls, flooring, heating and air conditioning, bathrooms, and more.

We could not be more excited about the future as we are finding a new openness to the gospel in Israel, especially among younger Israelis. It is like an unstoppable wave moving across the country, and we are doing all we can to disciple those coming to faith.

Please pray and join us in building the future of the IsraeliMessianic community through your prayers and generous support for the new center. On the back of this newsletter, you will find more information about how you can give toward the purchase and renovation of the property.

Thank you again for your prayers and support. We can only get it done with your partnership!

ANTISEMITISM KEEPS JEWISH PEOPLE FROM BELIEVING IN JESUS

As you continue reading the newsletter, you will quickly discover this edition focuses on the alarming and deeply tragic increase in antisemitic incidents in the United States and around the globe. This trend dramatically impacts our efforts to bring the gospel to the Jewish people today. Generally speaking, Jewish people blame Christianity for antisemitism.

Unfortunately, one of the most frequent and negative Jewish responses to the gospel is not driven by differences in the interpretation of Scripture or Jewish tradition but by the past and present experiences of Jewish people with Christianity and the church as an institution.

I remember when I told my grandmother I was a believer. She accused me of joining the side of those who persecuted Jewish people. It was incredibly difficult to convince her otherwise. She immigrated to the United States from Belarus because she experienced pogroms, and later the Nazis murdered her entire family for being Jewish. She thought those men and women were Christians! I cannot blame my grandmother for feeling this way, as she did not know any better. She judged what she thought was Christianity based on the actions of so-called Christians.

Is this claim against Christianity accurate? Historically, it is certainly the perception of the Jewish people. Still, I cannot imagine how true Christians who love the Lord and believe the Bible could hate the Jewish people. It has not been my experience since I accepted Jesus a half-century ago. On the contrary, I found true Christians love the Jewish people and do not persecute anyone! If more of my people had genuine Christian friends, they would immediately discover those who persecuted Jewish people—especially in Europe—are different from those who name Jesus as Lord today.

Jewish people still hold Christianity accountable for the crusades, the pogroms of eastern Europe, and even the Holocaust. Without question, some in the past who called themselves Christians mistreated the Jewish people. This truth is a blight on the history of Jewish-Christian relations. Some Christian leaders spoke and wrote harsh words against the Jewish people in the earlier days of the church. These ideas tragically influenced Christian attitudes toward the Jewish people for centuries.

John Chrysostom (354–407 ce),1 who was considered a church father and the “golden-mouthed preacher” (chrysostom is Greek for “goldmouthed”), wrote a series of eight sermons called “Against the Jews.” In one message, he wrote:

Certainly it is the time for me to show that demons dwell in the synagogue, not only in the place itself but also in the souls of the Jews. . . . Do you not shudder to come into the same place with men possessed, who have so many unclean spirits, who have been reared amid slaughter and bloodshed?. . . Must you not turn away from them since they are the common disgrace and infection of the whole world? Have they not come to every form of wickedness?2

There are many other examples from the writings of the early church fathers as well as later pillars of Christianity, including Martin Luther. They were flawed men who did a lot of good but also mischaracterized the Jewish people in ways leading to what is often called “Christian antisemitism.” This history caused the Jewish people to view Christianity—and therefore the gospel—as a threat rather than a lifeline to salvation.

THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF ANTISEMITISM

The real issue is much more profound; we must look at the Scriptures to understand it.

Our current dilemma begins in Genesis 12:1–3 and the Lord’s covenant with Abraham. By God’s Spirit, Moses penned this promise, “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” (Gen 12:3).

From the moment God made Abraham His friend, the devil chose Abraham and his descendants as enemies. After all, Satan understood God would one day save the world through the death and resurrection of a son of Abraham. He also knew the Jewish people would one day repent and call upon Jesus, leading this same Savior to return to reign as king.

When Israel acknowledges Jesus as Messiah (Romans 11:26), all the plans of the ultimate heavenly rebel will fail. Therefore, from the moment of Abraham’s call, the devil tried to hinder God’s plan by moving heaven and earth to crush Abraham’s descendants.

THE SOLUTION TO ANTISEMITISM

The apostle Paul urged the Gentile followers of Jesus to tell Jewish people about Jesus by demonstrating His love in word and deed. For Paul, this lovingkindness would cause the Jewish people to be jealous of the Jewish Messiah living in the hearts and souls of Christians (Romans 11:11–15).

Paul wrote in Romans 11:11, “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.”

Therefore, we must ask ourselves why Jewish people often perceive Gentile Christians—whom God gave a primary role in reaching the Jewish people for Jesus—as seeking their harm.

We know the enemy works especially hard at turning all of God’s people against each other. One of those ways is to mobilize the same people God called to bless the Jewish people to do the opposite. This sabotage is his failing effort to keep the people of promise from recognizing their Messiah and thus destroy the plans of God for the ages.

We can stand against the evil one by reversing his evil plan. We can make Jewish people jealous and bring the blessings of the gospel to His chosen people.

We can be part of His effort to reverse the curse. By fighting antisemitism, we challenge the devil’s cosmic plot to undo what God created for the world’s redemptive good.

Therefore, Your Mission to the Jewish People wants to encourage you to oppose antisemitism vocally and publicly when you see it. We are the solution to the problem of antisemitism, which is destructive and keeps Jewish people from considering the gospel.

Together, we can make a difference in changing the mindset of many Jewish people about the gospel. Through simply being ourselves and living as authentic believers, we will show Jewish people the gospel is not antisemitic but rather Jewish in nature. As Jesus said, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22).

I am sorry to say antisemitism is rising in the United States and around the globe. It is time for Christians to take a stand and oppose antisemitism whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head. We do this not simply because antisemitism is wrong and satanic but because we love the God who created the Jewish people and the Jewish Messiah. We want to see Jewish people come to faith in Jesus the Messiah.

1 John Chrysostom (354–407 ce) was the most distinguished church father of the East and one of the most virulently anti-Jewish preachers. Born in Antioch, he was baptized in 373 ce and ordained a priest in 384 ce. He delivered his eight sermons (homilies) “against the Jews” during his first two years of preaching in Antioch (386–387 ce).

2 John Chrysostom, Against the Jews, Homily I, VI, 6–7, accessed February 2, 2023, https://www.tertullian.org/fathers/chrysostom_adversus_judaeos_01_homily1.htm.

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The Importance of Jewish Evangelism Today and Tomorrow

We are excited about all God is doing in 2023! We will soon release a new animated gospel video for Jewish not-yet-believers based on my book Isaiah 53 Explained. We worked on this new evangelistic tool for more than a year. Once we complete it, you can download the six-minute animation and keep it on your phone as a resource to use when explaining the gospel to a Jewish friend! I think you will love it. It will also be a great help in explaining this profound prophetic portion of the Bible to our next generation of evangelists!

Since the publication of Isaiah 53 Explained, we have given away or sold more than a quarter million books in sixteen languages, including Hebrew, Spanish, French, and Farsi. With great excitement, we are now translating the book into Yiddish, the language most ultra-Orthodox Jewish people read, write, and speak.

We have some great Yiddish public advertising planned for this spring, online and in person as well. The population of ultra-Orthodox Jewish people worldwide is growing, as the religious Jewish community has an abundance of children, more than non-religious Jewish families. We want to reach these zealous and beloved Jewish people with the gospel.

A few weeks ago, I toured the Hasidic Jewish areas north of New York City. You would not believe the numbers of new homes, large synagogues, and parochial schools (Yeshivas) for the children. It is overwhelming. We know very few believers in Jesus among them, and we are fervently praying for a spiritual breakthrough in this most rapidly growing segment of the world’s Jewish population.

We are praying many will consider the messianic claims of Jesus and put their trust in Him for the forgiveness of sins.

WHY IS JEWISH EVANGELISM CRITICAL?

The apostle Paul dedicated three entire chapters of the book of Romans to his “kinsmen according to the flesh” (Romans 9–11). Allow me to reflect on these chapters with you for just a moment.

Let us begin with the end, as I believe Paul teaches the next great spiritual event of world history will be the second coming of Jesus.

Ready or not, He is coming again!

Paul wrote in Romans 11:11–12 (with emphasis added),

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!

Notice how emphatically Paul wrote—“May it never be!” According to the totality of Scripture, God will not allow the Jewish people to fall away completely and become unchosen! Though many of my people—as I am a Jewish believer in Jesus too—did not recognize the Messiah at His first coming, this unfortunate rejection led to “riches for the world.” Paul explained to his readers how, when the Jewish people finally believe in Jesus, this end-times event will be “riches for the world,” and “life from the dead:”

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

LIFE FROM THE DEAD!

Give this phrase a moment to sink in. The Jewish acceptance of Jesus as Messiah will release resurrection power for the world!

In Scripture, resurrection, or “life from the dead,” is the realization of our hope; it is the completion of God’s story of redemption. It points to Messiah’s return and rule over every nation on the face of the earth. It means healing for the nations. Weapons transformed into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4). Lambs lying with wolves, and children leading lions (Isaiah 11:6). An earth filled with the knowledge of God (Isaiah 11:1–10). No more crying, no more pain, and death swallowed up in life everlasting (Revelation 21:4).

The apostle Paul tied this glorious future to the second coming of Jesus and then tied the second coming to the end-time repentance and faith in Jesus among the Jewish people.

In other words, when the Jewish people turn to Jesus, Jesus returns.

Therefore, both secular and religious Jewish people will hear the gospel and turn to the Lord. Praise God, it is already happening, as many Jewish people today are becoming believers in Jesus—literally tens of thousands of the world’s fifteen million Jewish people are GIVING THEIR HEARTS TO JESUS THE MESSIAH.

OUR CALL TO REACH JEWISH PEOPLE

But how will the Jewish people hear the gospel? We must not allow Jewish evangelism to be the great omission of the Great Commission.

According to Romans 11:11, the Gentile believers today have a considerable role to play by making Jewish people jealous of the Jewish Messiah living in their hearts.

Your Mission to the Jewish People exists to equip and help send those willing and able to proclaim the power of God for salvation “to the Jew first” and also to the Gentile (Romans 1:16).

We are especially working within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community as our staff in general has a deep passion for the salvation of religious Jewish people.

Here are some other ways our staff is reaching out to

the most religious segments of the Jewish community:

  • Our staff in New York City and around the globe regularly sets up book tables with Jewish-oriented evangelistic literature in a variety of Jewish neighborhoods and on campuses.
  • Recently, one of our European missionaries went door-to-door in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.
  • One of our missionaries constantly distributes our gospel information cards advertising our websites like “IfoundShalom.com” and “Isaiah53.com” among young Orthodox Jewish students.
  • Another one of our staff took the opportunity to chat with a young ultra-Orthodox Jewish man in Brooklyn about Jesus. The young man listened intently when our missionary quoted Jesus: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

By the grace of God and your support, we are expanding our reach among the most unreached communities!

OUR PARTNERSHIP

This year brings with it many opportunities for you to partner with us in ministry, prayer, and support. Whether you join us in person on a mission trip to Florida, New York City, or Israel, or want to remain at home and support our ministry through your prayers and giving—we need you!

I was born in Brooklyn and had many religious Jewish friends. Many of them genuinely spent their lives seeking the Lord but missing the Messiah! I know many Jewish people who are secular, of course, but they still seek spirituality and a greater connection to God. Your Mission to the Jewish People has a tremendous opportunity to touch the lives of Jewish people who are sincerely seeking a new relationship with God but do not look to Jesus as an option. We desperately want to change this and make the Messiah Jesus more accessible to Jewish people. We are doing this online and in person through our congregations as well as street and campus ministries. Additionally, we show His love through acts of kindness, children’s camps, outreach concerts, and ministries meeting the needs of both soul and body!

At this moment, we are planning a global campaign to reach the ever-growing community of ultra-Orthodox Jewish people around the world. They speak Yiddish, whether they live in New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, Montreal, or Tel Aviv . . . so materials in one language can reach hundreds of thousands of Jewish people.

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Filed under evangelism, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish

Tel Aviv: Gateway to Israel

Shalom in His grace, and again, Happy New Year! I pray 2023 will be a year of joy and peace for you and your family in the Prince of Peace! I do not know about you, but I have this incredible sense of forward motion these days in many areas of life. I find myself filled with hope, excitement, and expectation in the Lord. I am so encouraged—especially by the many young adults who are standing strong for the Lord in the United States and Israel!

Do you have a few moments for some inspiration from the Word of God?

I love the time-tested passage in Philippians 1:6, where Paul wrote,

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. 

This is one of my favorite future-oriented verses. I also appreciate the well-known passage found in Lamentations 3:22–23:

The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

I enjoy pairing this passage with verses 31–33,

For the Lord will not reject forever, for if He causes grief, then He will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness. For He does not afflict willingly or grieve the sons of men.

Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet,” understood both suffering and hardship yet still wrote these passages. Not only did he endure persecution from those Israelites who disliked his prophetic message, but he watched as the Babylonians devastated his dear Jerusalem and exiled his people. Yet, Jeremiah found ways to trust the Lord during life’s greatest difficulties.

The apostle John penned some of the most encouraging and comforting words in the Bible in Revelation chapter 21:

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”
(Rev 21:3–5, emphasis added)

We have a bright future—today and for all eternity. Thankfully, the day is coming when all our suffering will vanish! Can you imagine one day like this—never mind all eternity!?

Knowing the future prepared for those who love Him means we can rejoice in hope each day. The Lord enables us to approach every moment of our lives with joy in our hearts because of His finished work on Calvary.

HOPE ABOUNDS

May I sneak in one more verse? Paul wrote, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

I hope you are hopeful!

May I explain why I am so excited these days about God’s work among the Jewish people and for the work of Chosen People Ministries? I pray this update will give you the opportunity to pray for me and for Your Mission to the Jewish People.

AN OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT UPON YOUNG ISRAELI PEOPLE

I am happy to report God is working powerfully today in Israel among young adults. I may have briefly mentioned this previously, but I want you to better understand why we have been looking for a new property in Tel Aviv.

I have not seen anything like this moving of the Spirit in Israel in all my years of ministry!

Let me give you a little bit of the historical background. My first trip to Israel as a believer was in 1976 while I was still in seminary. I traveled to the Holy Land that summer with a Messianic music team. We traveled throughout the country, meeting believers and singing at various venues, congregations, and a few kibbutzim—Israeli collective farms. I may have met half the believers in Israel after three weeks of ministry! Our movement was soooo small!

The Messianic Jewish movement in Israel was certainly not flourishing as it had been years earlier in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. I have research to demonstrate, throughout Eastern Europe, particularly between World War I and World War II, there was a powerful movement for the Lord up until the Holocaust.

I would describe this as a massive movement of the Holy Spirit whereby thousands upon thousands of Jewish people came to faith during these three decades.

Then, tragically, the Nazi boot stomped out the entire movement.

But we worship an all-powerful Messiah who raises the dead! The Lord began doing a powerful work among Jewish people in the late 1960s, early 70s, and even into the 80s. I was one of those who came to faith in Jesus in those early days. Along with young Jewish people from the West and North America, quite a few Israelis traveling the globe after their service in the army also came to the Lord. Most returned to Israel and began sharing their faith with their fellow Israelis. Quite a few new Israeli congregations started as a result, and today in Israel, there are between 140 and 160 congregations scattered throughout the country.

THE LORD IS ON THE MOVE IN THE HOLY LAND

I love these young Israelis—mostly second-generation believers growing up in godly homes, attending Israeli schools, serving in the military, and well-discipled because of the excellent work of the congregations, camping programs, and young adult Bible conferences sponsored by Israeli leaders.

We sponsor four public meetings in Tel Aviv each month, and the most recent one I attended had twice as many young adults as could fit into the space! So, we have sadly begun turning people away and even limiting our invitations.

These young, on-fire believers are bringing their not-yet-believing friends. Many come in their army uniforms, and I cannot tell you how exhilarating it is to speak to a group of twenty-somethings who are desperately hungry for the Word of God.

LET THE CHILDREN COME TO ME

In our current rented center, we are also inadvertently neglecting another group in the greater Tel Aviv area due to lack of space—the children. We will now not only be able to create an auditorium seating 125–140 people in the new facility, but we will also have children’s classrooms on the second floor as the new space is a two-story property, allowing us to simultaneously hold the main adult service and children’s classes!

Can you see why I am hopeful? God is doing a new and wonderful work in Israel, and we can be part of this movement through our prayers, support, and enthusiasm.

Allow me to give you a few specific prayer points you can share with your family, Bible study, and church:

  • Pray for the growth of the Messianic community in Israel. May God continue to raise up strong disciples and leaders for the harvest.
  • Pray for the many faithful leaders and full-time workers of missions like Chosen People Ministries and others who are so faithful and dedicated to working with these young people—we need more help!
  • Pray God will provide the resources for us to complete this center by the end of 2023. Our goal is to have the funds and available supplies (a genuine concern and need for prayer), so we can dedicate the facility in December 2023.
  • Pray for the Chosen People Ministries staff at our current Tel Aviv center. We are now nine families and individuals strong, and the Lord keeps adding to our team. Eventually, we will need the resources to support these younger believers and provide for their theological training as well. We are growing!
  • Pray especially for the Chosen People Ministries leadership in Israel. Please pray God will give our leaders health, strength, energy, and joy in the midst of this movement of the Holy Spirit.

I cannot thank you enough for your generous support and interest in reaching Jewish people in the Holy Land, especially in the greater Tel Aviv area.

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Filed under evangelism, Israel, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish

Outreach in Tel Aviv

Chosen People Ministries began a dynamic ministry among Israelis in the greater Tel Aviv area in 2017. This outreach focuses on presenting the gospel to younger Israelis—most of whom recently served in the military. These young adults are the sons and daughters of Israeli believers who came to faith in the past twenty to thirty years. 

What is amazing about this ministry is we now have a second-generation movement of the Holy Spirit; previously, we barely had a first! Godly parents raised godly children, and these young adults are at the core of our ministry. More than this—they are the FUTURE. These young people are enthusiastic, bold, and willing to tell their friends about the Lord. 

The programs at our current rented center in Tel Aviv are thriving! We sponsor up to four special events each month. Some of these include concerts, Sabbath dinners, and evangelistic lectures. In addition, we host regular Bible studies and much more throughout the month. 

At the moment, we are able to accommodate between fifty and sixty young adults at our events. These “on fire” young people are joining these events and bringing their not-yet-believing friends . . . and we are running out of room! 

To keep up with this growing move of the Spirit, we need a larger facility in Tel Aviv—a place where we can serve the Jewish people in this highest-populated area in Israel for many more years to come. Additional space will allow us to continue to fulfill the Chosen People Ministries mission statement: to pray for, evangelize, disciple, and serve Jewish people everywhere and to help fellow believers do the same.

We found a permanent facility with the potential to meet the needs of our growing ministry. The new space is a 4,000-square-foot space in a mixed commercial and residential building with ninety condominiums. 

Next door, two new large properties are being built with apartments for another 200 families. We will be surrounded by Israelis who have never heard the gospel message! 

We are very grateful for this opportunity because it will give us a presence among Israelis in this important community. God opened this door, and we invite you to come alongside us on this journey to expand His work in Israel.

We Found a Permanent Facility!

The Tel Aviv Messianic Center (“the Center”) will be the hub of Chosen People Ministries’ mission efforts in the greater Tel Aviv area. It will include space for a Messianic congregation, a gospel café, concerts, and young adult outreach gatherings. Additionally, we will host Bible studies, children’s events, public lectures on a wide variety of topics, and ministries to elderly Holocaust survivors. Most importantly, this new space will allow us to develop our community-based activities designed to demonstrate the love of the Messiah Jesus to Israelis. 

This facility is only a seven-minute walk from the border of downtown Tel Aviv, and over the next half dozen light rail stops there are about a million Israelis with no place to hear the gospel, meet believers, or comfortably explore questions of faith. 

Our experience over the past six years of ministry at our now-outgrown rented center confirms our conviction: this area is ideal!

The Importance of Messianic Centers

Owning property in Tel Aviv raises our visibility and makes our statement to the public more powerful: Jesus is Jewish! He is the Messiah, and there are multiple thousands of Jewish followers of Jesus in the Holy Land today. 

There are additional advantages to owning our own property. Permanence is essential for Chosen People Ministries to develop longer-term relationships with the Jewish community. Jewish people will view us as a stable part of their neighborhood. A permanent place for our ministry in Tel Aviv strengthens the idea that Messianic Jews are part of a substantial Jewish movement and should be taken seriously. Building lasting relationships with the Jewish community is critical for evangelism, discipleship, and congregational life. 

Additionally, Messianic believers and ministries in Israel often experience opposition. In fact, the religious Jewish community asked our current landlord to stop renting to us. He has supported us thus far but explained to our Tel Aviv staff how he will be in a difficult situation if the resistance keeps us. He has other businesses, which can be impacted by the unfriendliness. This scenario would be true anywhere we rent in the greater Tel Aviv area. So, you can see, if we want to build a lasting testimony in a particular place, it would be far better to own than to rent as we will be less vulnerable to conflict.

Timeline

Since the facility is raw space, we anticipate the buildout will take twelve months from the time we begin construction. Delays in Israel can come about for various reasons, including social unrest, difficulty in securing materials and workers, as well as the possibility of opposition to our gospel efforts by religious groups trying to prevent our work.

Chosen People Ministries—Israel

Israel is the centerpiece of our global strategy in reaching Jewish people with the gospel! There is only one Israel—the heart of Jewish identity, hopes, and dreams throughout the centuries. Today, more than seven million Jewish people live in the Holy Land. Our Tel Aviv Messianic Center will serve an area where more than 50 percent of Israelis live, work, and raise their families. 

Chosen People Ministries began serving in Israel in the 1930s under the name Beit Sar Shalom (the House of the Prince of Peace, from Isaiah 9:6). Over the past thirty years, we have grown and now have more than two dozen staff members serving with Chosen People Ministries in Israel—and have planted several congregations. We serve the aging Holocaust survivor community of almost 200,000 Jewish people. We conduct children’s camps throughout the year, and we are active in personal evangelism and discipleship as well as digital/web-based evangelism. 

In 2006, we purchased and dedicated our Jerusalem Messianic Center, which serves as Beit Sar Shalom’s headquarters in Israel and is constantly busy with a wide variety of outreach gospel activities.

Our currently rented outreach center in Ramat Gan is home base of an amazing movement of the Spirit among young adults through concerts, dinners, evangelistic lectures, and ministry to children and entire families. By God’s grace, we will now be able to move this already-thriving ministry across the street to a new and more permanent Tel Aviv Messianic Center, doubling our ministry space for an exciting new phase to expand God’s work. 

Local Partnerships

There are very few places for larger groups of Jewish believers to gather in Israel, and our center will provide space for other ministries to use for their outreaches in the greater Tel Aviv area. We plan to make the facility available to the body of Messiah in Tel Aviv for their use as well.

In Israel today, we are not simply reaching Jewish people for Jesus—we are helping build a national body of believers. The church in Israel is growing like never before. This larger and more permanent facility presents us with a perfect opportunity to expand our outreach in the greater Tel Aviv area and to enable like-minded ministries to do the same.

Together We Will Rise and Build

Nehemiah told those opposing his plan to rebuild the walls of the ancient city: “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build” (Neh 2:20). 

This challenge transcends the centuries and remains relevant today. 

Please join us in our vision to build the Tel Aviv Messianic Center. 

We value your prayers, enthusiasm, and financial support. 

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Filed under evangelism, Holocaust Survivors, Israel, Jewish Christian Dialogue, Jews and Christians, Judaism, Messianic Jewish

Helping Suffering Ukrainians

We are celebrating our 129th year of proclaiming the gospel among the Jewish people worldwide! For me, it is a great honor to lead this historic mission to the Jewish people started by Rabbi Leopold Cohn in 1894. 

Chosen People Ministries means so much to me and Zhava. My wife came to faith through young adults trained to witness to Jewish people by a Chosen People Ministries missionary at the very Jewish high school in Los Angeles she attended. I will be forever grateful for this Chosen People missionary and the young evangelists he trained! 

In so many wonderful ways, I am a debtor to the Lord and to Chosen People Ministries! Paul understood this great biblical truth so well when he wrote, 

I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise” (Romans 1:14, NKJV). 

As a young man, barely 19 years old and as a brand-new believer, Chosen People Ministries paid my way through Bible College. The missionaries who were part of the New York area work at that time helped disciple me in the Word of God, and I am thankful for their personal and devoted care for me and my walk with God. Especially as at the time my family did not understand my newfound faith and I desperately needed the support of more mature believers . . . Chosen People Ministries provided all this for me at a crucial time in my life. 

It is a privilege to do the same for so many others in more than twenty-five cities in the United States and Canada and in twenty-one countries around the globe. I am so glad we can continue the Rabbi’s vision of bringing the gospel to the Jewish people—my people—in so many new and relevant ways without changing the eternal message of the gospel. I cannot tell you how many thousands of people, even millions, have watched the Messianic Jewish testimonies found on http://www.ifoundshalom. com. If you have not seen them, please watch and make sure you view my testimony on the site. It will help you appreciate what I write when you see the power of God’s deliverance in my life! 

Helping Suffering Ukrainians 

I am excited about all God is doing through Your Mission to the Jewish People today. Yet, at the same time, it grieves me when I remember the plight of war-torn Ukrainian families—especially in the midst of a dramatically cold and severe winter. 

During January, we like to remember the words of the great Jewish apostle who wrote, 

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). 

We believe the gospel is “to the Jew first” and also to the Gentiles. This ministry strategy is of great practical importance to our mission, especially during these terrible and tragic days of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. We are doing all we can, especially during this deadly winter, to bring food, warmth, and spiritual hope to thousands who are suffering. 

This crisis has been ongoing for about a year, with no clear end in sight. Your generosity enables us to invest thousands of dollars in relief work each month in Ukraine and other places refugees have fled, like Poland, Germany, and Israel. 

Let me summarize what we have been able to do because of your prayers and generosity. 

Every month since the war began, we have sent aid to a network of Messianic Jewish congregations in Ukraine. We have served these congregations for more than thirty years! They are dependable, hardworking people whose lives are war shattered. Without our help, some of these dear brothers and sisters and their children would barely be making it. Knowing how winter, with freezing temperatures and shorter days, greatly exacerbates the hardship of life in Ukraine, we organized a winter relief fund some months ago to prepare for these harder times. 

These resources help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters receive everyday necessities like flashlights, winter clothing, heaters, generators, and sleeping bags. Due to Russian attacks, electricity is unreliable throughout the country. Heating and water are also scarce, especially in eastern Ukraine. In addition to winter supplies, we continue to provide funds for basics like rent, food, and medicine. 

One of our Russian-speaking Israeli staff members visits Ukraine and Poland several times a year to aid the relief efforts. He recently helped a church in western Ukraine organize a three-day retreat for refugees from Mariupol, a city hit hard by the fighting. The program includes walking in the mountains, playing games with the kids, relaxing, and studying the Bible. One man who attended went four days without drinking alcohol and just told us he has decided to quit drinking! He needs to take the next step and receive Jesus as His Savior, which will bring unimaginable healing to his heart, soul, and family. 

Project Promised Land 

More than 30,000 Ukrainians immigrated to Israel since the war began. Israel also received tens of thousands of immigrants from Russia, who oppose the war and Putin’s increasingly restrictive regime. Many of these newcomers arrive with little more than the clothing on their backs. 

Through Project Promised Land, our staff in Israel are hard at work helping the new arrivals settle into Israeli life. We distributed gift cards totaling thousands of dollars for groceries and other essentials. We also serve these refugees by assisting with government paperwork and organizing free tours of biblical sites. Hundreds of people participated in these tours. A few have come to faith and have since connected with local Israeli churches. 

Our staff hosted a three-day conference for families who recently arrived from Ukraine and Russia. The time together greatly encouraged these children and families who endured so much. We also regularly welcome these immigrants to Sabbath meetings and other events at our Jerusalem and Tel Aviv centers. Through these programs, our team embodies the love and compassion of Jesus, which leads to opportunities to proclaim the gospel. 

The Difference You Made 

I want you to know how much your support means to the thousands of Ukrainian lives we touched over this difficult year. There are so many stories I could tell, but here are two brief testimonies from the leaders of Ukrainian Messianic congregations we are helping: 

We are a Jewish Messianic Community in the city of Zhytomyr [near Kyiv]. We are grateful to God and Chosen People Ministries, as well as to our brothers and sisters who have raised finances to buy warm clothes and everything we need to get through winter. We are grateful to the ministry for having been able to send the funds necessary to help in this difficult time. May God bless and cover the needs of your hearts for the riches of His glory. Amen. 

Another congregational leader in Kharkiv writes: 

We want to thank Chosen People Ministries for monthly financial support during this difficult moment of life in Ukraine. We thank God for your work, prayers, special attention, and understanding of the whole situation! 

Unfortunately, the crisis is not over. No resolution is yet in sight, and we are still in the early days of winter. The coming months will be difficult with scarce heating and unreliable electricity throughout Ukraine. 

We request your prayers as we seek to tell Ukrainians about the healing work of Yeshua. Thank you, again, so much for your partnership. We could not do our work without you! 

And now some late breaking news! 

We are also purchasing a building in Tel Aviv. This property will provide more than twice the space as our current rental for our gospel events designed for both young and old. Since the new building was bare, we are now in the thick of renovating the property so it will be ready for our ministry programs. In the coming weeks, we will tell you much more about our exciting plans for our new Tel Aviv Messianic Center and how you can support the creation of a Messianic Center in Tel Aviv. 

Thanks for investing in the salvation of Jewish people in Israel, Ukraine, and around the globe! 

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Why we are excited for 2023

We are excited about all God is doing at the start of 2023—especially in the Land of Israel.

Your prayers and sacrificial support are critically important as it is impossible to find local funding enabling our Israeli team to preach the gospel in the Holy Land! One day we hope the work of the gospel by native Israeli evangelists will be self-supporting, but we are simply not there yet.

Israel has very few local congregations and less than 1 percent of Israelis are followers of Jesus . . . but we are making progress!

A New Messianic Center in Tel Aviv

We are especially excited to tell you we are purchasing a facility in Tel Aviv! The activities and events at our current Tel Aviv center are overflowing—mostly with younger Israelis who love to hear the word of God preached and are looking for a safe and attractive venue to bring their not yet saved friends and loved ones!

May I encourage you as the Lord leads to pray for and contribute to this growing ministry in Tel Aviv? At this moment, we are bursting at the seams! Just imagine how much more we could do with a space two-and-a-half times the size of our current rented facility!

Together, we can be part of the future predicted by Paul in Romans 11!

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: “The Deliverer will come from of Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” (Romans 11:25–26)

I believe we are moving quickly toward this great day of redemption, and the salvation of Israelis is a major step in preparation for His return. Clearly, the remnant Paul describes in Romans 11:5 will increase as we draw closer to the Second Coming of Jesus.

The Costs for the New Tel Aviv Center

The total cost for this new facility is $6.5 million. This figure includes the build-out, as the property is bare. By God’s grace, we currently have raised $3 million to be used for the purchase and development of the new center.

We need an additional $3.5 million.

I will keep you posted on our progress toward the $3.5 million goal in the months ahead.

So, how do you eat the proverbial elephant (who by the way is unkosher!)? One bite at a time. Your gift, whatever size and however long you take to give it over the next twelve months, will make all the difference in the world and help us own the new Center without debt so we can use all future funding directly for the day-to-day ministry and operational expenses of the Tel Aviv Messianic Center.

The Enthusiasm of Our Israeli Staff

Our staff serving in Tel Aviv are enthusiastic! This one testimony says it all!

A couple of months ago, a young believer brought a not-yet-believing friend to one of our events in Ramat Gan. Though he had met believers many times, he was resistant to prayer. This day, however, was different. One of our staff noticed that he seemed upset. So, she approached the young man and offered to pray for him in Yeshua’s name. He gratefully accepted. Shortly afterward, another staff member—who did not know someone had already prayed for him—came over to him. This staff likewise spoke with him and prayed with him. Later, while the young man was sitting outside, a third staff member made the same offer of prayer. At one event, three people on our team independently prayed with this person about three distinct concerns. His joyful acceptance of prayer is a significant step for him. He has been to a few Messianic events and services, so our team prays he will soon recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

Grateful for Your Partnership

Thanks for caring, and we look forward to all the Lord will do in the future to bring His chosen people, in His chosen land, to His chosen Messiah . . . for all!

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