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Finding Hope in the Faithfulness of God

There are times in the lives of all believers when they may face doubts and discouragement. No matter what the reason for one’s disappointment, the Bible offers guidance as well as examples of others who have experienced the same. But today, we can find considerable encouragement not just in the biblical stories of the Israelites of old, but in the story of God’s faithfulness to His people throughout history, even up until today.

The Faith of Our Fathers

The Puritans were so encouraged by the story of the ancient Israelites that they took from it direction for themselves. They yearned for freedom from their “bondage” of persecution at the hands of the corrupt state church, just as the ancient Israelites had been freed from slavery in Egypt. So, the Puritans crossed their “Red Sea,” which was the Atlantic Ocean, and arrived on the shores of their “Promised Land,” upon which they founded a nation built on religious freedom.

Later, the African slaves in America also found great comfort in the Bible stories as they saw parallels to their own experiences. They felt their enslavement was much like that of the Hebrews in Egypt, and their exile and captivity like that of the Jews in Babylon. Therefore, the stories of Daniel and Moses gave them great hope of deliverance so they sang songs like “Didn’t my Lord deliver Daniel” and “Go Down Moses.” Their hope of freedom was expressed in the black spiritual “Pharaoh’s Army Got Drowned.”

A God's Faithfulness to Abraham

The 11th chapter of Hebrews highlights various biblical characters who believed God and acted accordingly, and it has brought encouragement to believers for generations. The Apostle Paul urged the discouraged believers of the early church to learn from their fathers who, with faith and patience, inherited the promises (Hebrews 6:11-12). He then specifically pointed to Abraham as an example of one who patiently endured until he obtained the promise.

Paul’s message is clear - God is a faithful God. Just as He fulfilled His promises to Abraham, we can trust Him to fulfill His promises to us. We receive strength and courage from the stories of those who went before us and who patiently endured in faith before they saw the promises fulfilled.

But let’s take a closer look at Abraham. While Abraham did live to see the fulfillment of God’s promise of offspring, other promises had not yet been fulfilled when he died. For one thing, Abraham lived as a foreigner on the land God promised him. It did not become the “possession” of His descendants until some five hundred years after his death.

God had also promised Abraham that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed. That fulfillment only took place some 1,500 years later when the atoning death of Jesus purchased salvation for every person who would receive it.

God is Still Fulfilling Promises

God is still fulfilling His promises to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and that realization should bring great encouragement to all of us. For, just as God promised Abraham that his descendants’ possession of the Promised Land was forever (Genesis 17:8), He later explained that their right to live on the land was based on their relationship with Him (Deuteronomy 29:24-28). It is truly a holy land for a holy people.

If they sinned, their sin would be punished with exile; they would be removed from the land God had given them. But God always promised a return to their land, and the spiritual restoration of His people. Psalm 89 confirms that although He would punish their sin, His lovingkindness would never be withheld, nor would His faithfulness ever fail. “My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips” (vs. 34). Israel’s promised inheritance and restored relationship with God was a sure thing.

Christians should find great comfort in knowing that although God allows His children to suffer the consequences of sin, using that time to teach us and correct our ways, that we can have an expectant hope of return to His presence and His goodness in our lives!

So, in times of discouragement and doubt, remember the return of the Jewish people to the land God promised to Abraham, exactly as foretold by the Hebrew prophets thousands of years ago. We can find hope in this amazing demonstration of the faithfulness of God.


Susan M. Michael is US Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.  Her writings can be found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog” 

 


The Privilege of Partnering with God

God in His sovereignty has chosen to partner with man in the execution of His will. What a humbling and convicting thought that is! He is certainly not limited by man, and can execute His will quite on His own, yet He has elected to work through and in partnership with us.

C.S. Lewis once wrote concerning this partnership with God: “For He seems to do nothing of Himself which He can possibly delegate to His creatures. He commands us to do slowly and blunderingly what He could do perfectly and in the twinkling of an eye.“ 1

This helps to explain why God formed and chose the nation of Israel to partner with Him in His plan of world redemption. The Church was then birthed and commissioned to go to all the peoples of the world to deliver, in the power of His Spirit, the good news of this great redemption that had been bought on their behalf. What a privilege to be part of this magnificent plan.

But, Christians are also invited to partner with the Jewish people and help them. God has regathered His people back to their ancient homeland, as the Hebrew prophets foretold. As a result, they have found themselves on the front lines of a battle to physically destroy them, and of a spiritual battle that the Church needs to wage on their behalf.

Partnering in Prayer

Isaiah 62 is clear that this battle is the Lord’s and He will surely complete what He has begun. Nevertheless, He has placed watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem to intercede continually before Him. Nowhere in scripture does one find a better example of partnering with God in prayer than Isaiah’s description of watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem.

6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, 7 And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7). God will complete His work but we are given the responsibility of praying it through!

Comforting whom He is Comforting

God is also seeking those He can use to comfort His people, Israel. Only when one learns that for centuries Christians despised and persecuted the Jewish people, does one understand the importance of the ministry of Christian comfort to them.

In Isaiah 66:13 the Lord says He will comfort Jerusalem “As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you.” In chapter 40 He calls others to partner with Him: “’ 1Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ Says your God. 2 ‘Speak comfort to Jerusalem’” (Isaiah 40:1-2). The Bible tells of other ways Christians can partner with the Lord on behalf of His people.

Blessing whom He is Blessing

A familiar passage to many is Genesis 12, in which God promises Abraham that He will bless him, and will bless anyone else who blesses him. Likewise, those who curse Abraham would be cursed. Unfortunately, this verse is often quoted so glibly it sounds as though the emphasis is on the return blessing for the one who blesses.

Instead, the point is that God Himself was blessing Abraham, therefore, a person’s participation in this blessing demonstrated they were siding with God’s choice of Abraham and His plan of world redemption. To oppose, or curse, Abraham was to oppose God Himself. All mankind is invited to partner with God by blessing the descendants of Abraham and God’s plan to use them to “bless all the families of the earth” (verse 3)!

Providing Practical Assistance

God is also inviting Christians to provide practical assistance to the people of Israel. The scriptures indicate that gentiles will help in the regathering of His people to their homeland (Isaiah 49:22), will join in building up Zion (Isaiah 60:10), and will bring the wealth of the nations to His people (Isaiah 60:11).

The scriptures could not be clearer: God is seeking a people who will partner with Him in prayer, interceding that His purposes in Israel and the earth be fulfilled. He is also beckoning those who will comfort His people Israel, bless them, and practically assist them. What a privilege to be partnering with God.


Susan M. Michael is US Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.  Her writings can be found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog” 

Footnote:

1C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night and Other Essays (New York: Harcourt, Harvest Books), pp 8-9.

It is now Sunday in the Middle East

'When Saturday is gone, one will find Sunday,' is an old, Christian Arab proverb that expresses their fear of sharing the terrible fate that has befallen the Jews. In other words, “when the Jews are persecuted, it is as inevitable that the Christians' turn will come next, as it is that Sunday will follow Saturday.”

This proverb has also been used to threaten both Jews and Christians, such as on the eve of the 1967 Six Day War with Israel when Muslims chanted “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.” 

A Prophecy Fulfilled

There is no longer a need for this proverb. It has become a prophecy fulfilled. Just as the Jews were driven out of Muslim lands in 1948, Christians are now suffering the same fate.

The only difference is that the Jewish refugees had a place to go: the newborn state of Israel. Iraqi and Syrian Christians are the second largest Christian population in the Middle East after Egyptian Copts. They are now fleeing the barbaric forces of various Islamist factions and have nowhere to go.

When the Saturday People Fled

The Jewish population in the Middle East (outside Israel) and North Africa has declined from some one million in 1945 to less than five thousand today. While not all of them fled their homes as refugees, there were plenty of them who did. The situation was so bad that the front page headline of the New York Times on May 16, 1948 read: “Jews in Grave Danger in all Moslem Lands.”

Many of these Jewish communities had existed for some 2,600 years since the exile of the Israelites by Assyria in 722 BC. Over the centuries they moved throughout the region with the largest communities existing in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and Libya. In the 1920s, 40% of Baghdad was Jewish.

Even so, Jews in the Middle East were often treated as second class citizens under Islamic laws of dhimmitude—the physical, economic, and societal submission of Jews and Christians to Islam. This submission of minorities permeated Muslim culture, so when the Nazi movement swept the area in the 1940s it was a deadly combination resulting in brutal pogroms and massacres in 1945.

It all came to a climax when the sovereign Jewish state of Israel was created in 1948, on land that had previously been under Islamic rule. Jews were seen as traitors, many had to flee, and others were expelled. Houses, businesses, and valuables were left behind and plundered. But at least they now had a place to flee.

Some 680,000 Jews fled Arab lands and lived in tents and huts in Israel. Israel had little money and infrastructure to care for the immigrants, but after a few years they were not only able to build a new life, but they helped develop the Israeli Defense Forces to defend themselves and generations to follow. 

Saturday is Gone

It is now Sunday in Iraq and Syria where many churches lie empty and destroyed. Thousands of Christians have been massacred; hundreds of thousands have fled. The ancient remains of the tombs of Daniel and Jonah have been destroyed by the jihadist group ISIS that is carrying out a barbaric campaign of ethnic and religious cleansing.

The Book of Acts tells us that there were Christians living in Damascus before the Apostle Paul had converted to Christianity. The Apostles Thomas and Thaddaeus brought Christianity to Iraq, making these Christian communities among the oldest in the world. Many Iraqi Christians are ethnic Assyrians who still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

However, for the first time in 2,000 years, the city of Mosul—encompassing the site of the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh where the Prophet Jonah preached—now has no Christians. It is safe to estimate that at least two thirds of Iraqi and Syrian Christians are now displaced and in need of urgent assistance.

First, 2,600 years of Middle Eastern Jewish civilization was destroyed. Now, 2,000 years of Christian history in Iraq and Syria is being erased, with very little hope of a future.

The biggest question on the mind of these Middle Eastern Christian communities is not the typical “why is this happening?” It is “why are the Christians in America not helping us?” They feel very alone, and abandoned by the western Church.

Refugee Tent for Jesus

A recent picture of a refugee camp in northern Iraq showed one tent with Arabic writing on the top of it. The translation reads: “Jesus is the Light of the world.”

Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad, has another picture of a refugee camp in northern Iraq where some of the members of his congregation are now camped. Knowing it is the Christmas season, his congregants have erected a refugee tent for Jesus.

Refugees are near to Jesus’ heart; He and His parents were refugees in Egypt when He was a baby. But, these refugees are especially dear to Him because they are suffering persecution for their faith in Him.

While Jesus is busy comforting and encouraging the refugees, where is the western Christian world? It seems to be fat and happy, in a very deep winter’s sleep.  

What You Can Do

At the very least, families and churches should make donations towards food and blankets for the refugees. The ICEJ is collecting donations for reputable ministries working on the ground, if you do not already know of one. The ICEJ also issued a letter to over 90 heads of state around the world urging them to speak up and to take action to help the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.

That letter as well as this article should be circulated to all elected officials representing you in Washington, DC. Few of them know what you now know. The ICEJ is happy to speak with anyone to brief them on the situation.

Put yourselves in the refugees’ place. You would also be praying for food, a blanket, and a place to go. Be an answer to someone’s prayer today.

 


Susan Michael serves as the US Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

The Big Lie

The “big lie” is an expression coined by Adolf Hitler to describe his propaganda technique of telling a lie so colossal that no one would believe someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” He first described this concept in Mein Kampf (German for "My Struggle"), the autobiographical manifesto outlining his plans for ruling Germany.

Hitler proposed that the big lie is credible because the broad masses are less likely to fall for a small lie. This is due to the fact that they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their minds to fabricate colossal untruths, so they would not believe others had either. In other words, Hitler understood that the masses saw the world through rose-colored glasses tinted by their own basic honesty and their assumption of that same trait in others.

CONVINCING THE PEOPLE

Propaganda was the tool Hitler would use to convey the big lie and get the support of the masses. Successful propaganda would speak to their emotions more than to their intellect, be limited to a very few points, and would harp on slogans. He said that the repetition of simple slogans was necessary because the receptivity of the masses is very limited while their power of forgetfulness is enormous.

Hitler’s words ring with a chilling truth. In spite of how evil his plan was, he knew how to get it past the people. When he became the Head of State in Germany, Hitler implemented his strategy precisely. He fabricated the “big lie” of the evil Jew causing Germany’s troubles, and he used propaganda to prepare the way for their final extermination. It worked.

TIMELESS STRATEGY

Hitler’s strategy is still working today, just not in Germany. It is the Arab masses that are now being sold the big lie and worked up into a propaganda-fed frenzy. Mein Kampf was translated into Arabic back in the 1930s and has been one of the all-time best sellers throughout the Muslim world since.

It is no coincidence that Muslim leaders, such as Iran’s Supreme Leader, have adopted Hitler’s strategy. They are propagating the “big lie” of the evil Jews (particularly Israelis), using emotionally charged slogans and anti-Semitic cartoons to get the support of the people, and preparing the way for the final annihilation of Israel.

Anti-Semitism is now at epic proportions throughout the Muslim world where conspiracy theories run rampant and all types of lies are believed about Israel and the Jewish people. There is no better example of this than in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinian leaders can be heard rejecting any historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel (as chronicled in the Bible and backed up by archeology), denying there was ever a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, and claiming Moses and Abraham were Muslims while Jesus was a Palestinian.

THE APARTHEID FABRICATION

One of the most effective campaigns based on complete fabrication is that Israel is an Apartheid State. The accusation is a serious one, claiming that the world’s one and only Jewish state is racist, with institutional discrimination and military occupation of non-Jews. The proponents call for the international community to impose boycotts and divestment in order to pressure the evil Israelis.

The inspiration for this campaign comes from the dismantling of South Africa’s Apartheid regime in 1994 after several years of protests and the imposition of international sanctions. So the goal of the campaign against Israel is the same: that one day she too will be dismantled.

The only problem is that in this case the accusation is just not true. Admittedly, the Arab minority in Israel has special challenges over and above the usual minority difficulties due to the security situation. However, Israeli Arabs study in universities with Jewish students, shop in the same malls, take the same buses, run their own political parties with members in the Israeli Knesset, have become famous athletes, have won Miss Israel competitions and even served as a Supreme Court Judges.
Israeli Arab, Salim Joubran, served on the Supreme Court panel that upheld the rape conviction for President Moshe Katzav. He also served as Chairman of the Central Election Committee, overseeing the hotly contested 2015 national elections that resulted in Netanyahu’s Likud party victory.

Clearly, this is not an apartheid state. Nevertheless, many university students around the world are being taught this slogan as though it were fact.

The problem is that what comes after the “big lie,” catchy slogans and anti-Semitic cartoons will be attempts at extermination—whether on a small scale or mass one, such as Iran threatens to do to Israel. This is why the lies must stop.


Susan M. Michael is US Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.  Her writings can be found at www.icejusa.org/susans-blog” 

Say to the South, “Do not keep them back!”

Numerous prophecies have been fulfilled over the last century, but one of the most exciting is Isaiah 43: 5-6. In that passage, the Lord is speaking through the prophet Isaiah, declaring that He will bring the descendants of Israel from the east, the west, the north, and the south.

5 Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—

(Isaiah 43:5-6, NKJV)

The partial return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland after the first exile took place under the Persian Empire and was largely from the northeast. We read about it in the books of Nehemiah and Ezra. However, Isaiah 43 describes perfectly the second return of the Jews to their homeland which took place after being dispersed to the ends of the earth over a period of 2,000 years. This return to the land, known today as Aliyah, has taken place over the last 150 years and includes several waves of immigration.

The earliest waves of Aliyah back in the 19th century emanated from Russia. But, once the modern State of Israel was founded in 1948, a large wave of immigrants came to Israel from the Muslim world. They were called Mizrahi, or “Eastern,” Jews. Almost overnight the majority of Israel’s population was from “the East.”

Then, in 1989-1990, the world witnessed the amazing moment when the Iron Curtain fell and the Jews of Russia were allowed to immigrate to Israel. After years of persecution, and even imprisonment for wanting to move to Israel, it was as if the Lord said to the land of the North: “Give them up!” Over the next decade a wave of some one million Jews left the land of the North for Israel. Today, one in five Israelis are Russian speaking.

This brings us to the wave of Aliyah from the South. The very existence of Ethiopian Jews is extraordinary, but the story of their journey to Israel is nothing short of a miracle. In spite of poverty, civil war, and dictatorial governments, some 100,000 Ethiopian Jews, claiming descent from Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, have now come home to Israel.
 

Now is the Time
 

The final wave of Ethiopian Aliyah is now in progress following the Israeli government’s approval for the absorption of the last 9,000 Jews from Ethiopia. But the process will take years and they face increasing danger as escalating conflicts in the region put them at great risk.

Anti-government demonstrations, ethnic conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia where the Jewish Ethiopians live, and fighting in nearby South Sudan where some Ethiopian Jewish refugees are stranded is causing instability and limiting options.  There is also a severe drought which some predict may be followed by severe floods this fall.

Because of the worsening security situation, the Jews waiting in transit camps for their departure to Israel are in what some have called “mortal danger.”
 

Bring Them Home!
 

Christians today have the privilege of not just watching prophecy being fulfilled, but of being a part of it! In Isaiah 43, the Lord says that He is the one who will bring the Jews back from around the world. Then, in verse 6, He commands us to, “Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.”

That verse is a clear directive to bring the exiles back to their homeland! In response, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem is helping to bring these precious Ethiopian Jews home to Israel.
 




Susan M. Michael is the US Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.  The ICEJ has helped over 120,000 Jews to make Aliyah. For information on how you can help go to www.icejusa.org/ethiopia.


 

Your Invitation

I want to share with you something very important for the days in which we live and that I believe will be a blessing to you.

American Christians are in great need of encouragement. Many are fearful, some are angry, and most are distraught over the direction our world is taking. As dire as some things may look, we need to understand God is doing great things in the world today, and that should not only give us great hope but cause us to want to get involved!

God is busy fulfilling His Word and He invites you to be part of it. To recognize God’s hand at work we only have to visit Israel where we quickly learn from visiting the biblical sites and viewing archaeological remains that the history and stories of the Bible are absolutely accurate. Archaeological finds only affirm the Bible and have never contradicted it.

Prophecy Is Being Fulfilled!

We also see prophecy fulfilled in Israel and realize how true the Bible is, because God has regathered His people back from the north, south, east and west, just as He promised He would (Isaiah 43:5–6). Though we look through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12) and do not always know how to interpret prophetic portions of Scripture, once they have been fulfilled—as in the life and ministry of Jesus and now in the return of the Jews to their ancient homeland—we see how accurate those prophecies are, down to the smallest detail.

The Bible is true! God is sovereign! And while we often shake our heads over current events, He sits on His throne and reigns over the nations (Psalm 47:8). Indeed, He laughs at the nations and understands they are powerless before Him (Psalm 2:4).

The Days in Which We Live

We actually live in some of the most exciting days in history. We have the privilege of not just watching ancient prophecies be fulfilled, but to participate in their fulfillment!

God has raised His hand a “second time” and regathered His people back to their homeland as Isaiah 11:11 predicted. To accomplish this, the last of the Islamic empires, the Ottoman Empire, had to be dissolved. For 1,400 years one Islamic empire after another had ruled the entire Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Minor. But, the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I and divided up, giving Great Britain control of the region known as Palestine.

A Christian Zionist, Lord Balfour, secured the backing of the British government for the establishment of Jewish sovereignty in Palestine. The Balfour Declaration became the policy of the British Mandate which was approved by the League of Nations and the San Remo Conference, paving the way for the legal establishment of Israel.

If you were living in the 19th century, would you have had the faith to believe that God could wrestle the little land of Israel out of the hands of the mighty Islamic empires that had ruled it for 1,400 years? What an amazing move of God in world events in order to fulfill His promises to Abraham and his descendants. When God is ready to move no earthly power can stop Him.

God Has Raised a Banner to the Nations

Many ask why, if God is behind the establishment of Israel, the nation has so many troubles? The media’s obsession with tiny Israel seems so unfair and brings much pressure on Israeli leaders to act contrary to the nation’s best interests. But this attention is also a fulfillment of Scripture.

Isaiah 11 goes on to say that in the regathering of the people to their homeland, God is raising a banner to the nations. God is using Israel to proclaim His faithfulness to the nations. He wants the world to know that His Word is true and He is faithful to fulfill it. That means there is a blessing for those who bless His people and support His choices and plans, but there is also judgment for those who oppose His people.

If the Jewish people had returned to a quiet existence as a tiny nation of less than seven million, on a small piece of property the size of New Jersey, how could they become a light to the nations? How could passages of Scripture like Isaiah 60 be fulfilled that predict kings will be drawn to the light over Israel, that the wealth of the Gentiles will be brought up to Jerusalem, and that the nation that will not serve her will suffer judgment?

The attention of the nations has to be upon Israel for them to see God’s banner proclaiming He is a faithful God and His Word is true. 

Jesus Predicted This Day

Jesus predicted this day would come in Luke 21:24 when he said that Jerusalem would be “trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Two thousand years after Jesus spoke those words, Gentiles no longer rule over Jerusalem and it is under Jewish sovereignty. For centuries the Jewish people prayed to return to Zion only to be faced with continued persecution and the impossibility of Jewish sovereignty over their ancient homeland.

When God is ready to move, however, nothing can hold Him back! The nations are just a drop of water in a bucket, or a small speck of dust, before Him (Isaiah 40:15). He moves them as He wishes. Thus, in 1980 when the nations stood against Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, God moved and sovereignly established an embassy in Jerusalem to represent those who support it! Let me tell you the story.

In the late ’70s, there were a number of Christians living in Jerusalem for various reasons who met regularly to pray for Israel. There were two different issues they prayed about and felt the Lord leading them to act upon.

First was the need to begin celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. While the church worldwide was very aware of the first two feasts of Israel—Passover and Pentecost—they were largely unaware of the yet unfulfilled Feast of Tabernacles. That is because this feast was forward looking in that it celebrated the establishment of the rule of God on earth. It was also the only feast prophesied to be celebrated by Gentiles in the Messianic Era (Zechariah 14:16).

These visionary Christians visited with the Chief Rabbi of Israel to get his advice on how to celebrate the Feast. As they were leaving his office he called them back and said that because Gentiles were beginning to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles he could “hear the footsteps of Messiah coming!”

Taking God’s Banner to the Nations

As preparations were being made for that first International Christian Celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles held in September of 1980 and attended by some 1,000 Christians from more than fifteen countries, something seemingly unrelated was brewing. The Israeli government had declared Jerusalem to be the eternal and undivided capital of the State of Israel and most of the embassies located in Jerusalem had packed up and moved out of the city in protest.

So, it was at the first Feast of Tabernacles celebration that these Christian leaders seized the moment and announced they did not support what their governments had just done and were, therefore, opening an International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem to represent the millions of Bible-believing Christians who understood the significance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people and stood with Israel at that moment.

While the founders may not have entirely understood the connection, in hindsight it is phenomenal to see that out of the first Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles an organization was born to go out into the nations and build an understanding of this feast and bring the nations up to Jerusalem to celebrate it. We do not claim to be the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy that the nations would celebrate the Feast, as that will be fulfilled in a future era, but we are practicing for it!

The ICEJ now has branches in 86 countries and reaches into more than 120 countries with the message of Christian support for Israel.

Representing You in Jerusalem

While this work amongst the nations is important, the ministry of the ICEJ is first and foremost a ministry of comfort and support to the people of Israel. We are the hands and feet of many praying Christians like yourself who want to bless Israel but are unable to do so on their own. We connect the global church to Israel and to God’s passion for Israel.

We do this in various ways. One is by helping the Jewish people return to their homeland—what is known as Aliyah. Isaiah 49:22 and 60:9 predict Gentiles would assist in this return and through the ICEJ you have the chance to be part of fulfilling those prophesies.

Isaiah 60 also predicts the wealth of the Gentiles will be brought up to Jerusalem. Remember that Isaiah wrote this prophecy at a devastating time for Israel when Gentile empires were in the process of taking over Israel and dragging their riches away. But, some 2,500 years later, the Jews are back in their land and Christians all around the world are blessing them and sending financial assistance. What a privilege to be part of the fulfillment of this prophecy!

The ICEJ also has an extensive humanitarian aid program throughout Israel where we bless the needy and care for those who have little hope. This ministry of practical assistance coupled with our partnerships with institutions throughout Israel are a way for Christians to help build up Zion just as Isaiah 60:10 indicates: “foreigners shall build up your walls.”

The ICEJ is here to partner with you in the work God is doing. He spoke thousands of years ago about the days in which we live. We read about them in the Bible and have very clear directives as to how we can be involved.

An Urgency in this Hour

I need to be honest with you. We cannot fulfill this great calling without your help.

Israel needs your support more than ever! As the United Nations is seeking to rewrite the Bible and deny any historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority government is planning to get the UN to support a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.

Israel needs us to galvanize voices from many nations to stand against these types of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel maneuvers.

Anti-Semitism is rising all over the world and in Europe alone is at pre-WWII levels. The Jewish people need our help. We must sound the alarm about this evil ideology and stand against it.

Iran continues to threaten to wipe Israel off the map while they pursue the nuclear weapons capable of doing so. They are arming both Hezbollah in Lebanon with more than 100,000 missiles pointed at Israel, and Hamas in Gaza with more sophisticated and longer-range rockets than ever before.

In light of such evil threats, we need to make sure the people of Israel know that millions of Christians around the world love and support them. There are so many Israelis who are either unaware of this support, or have little understanding of it. In reality, our support is proof that God’s Word is true and He is faithful to fulfill it. Our love for the people of Israel renews their hope in God!

Our ministry to the people of Israel gives them strength to go on in the face of international pressure, growing worldwide anti-Semitism, and increasing threats of war from Iran. They need your encouragement more than you know.

Our Commitment to Israel and to You!

The ICEJ has been blessing Israel for some 36 years now and we plan to continue doing so until Jesus returns! We are an organization, not any one person’s ministry, and therefore we are already on our third generation of leaders and are here for the long-haul.

Our staff is also committed to serving the people of Israel no matter what. Not one staff member left Israel when Saddam Hussein launched thirty-nine scud missiles at Israel in 1991, nor during the wave of suicide bus bombings in 2000, nor during the recent knife attacks in the streets of Jerusalem. Even at risk of their life—and that of their children—they have stood in solidarity with the people of Israel.

Our commitment to you is to faithfully represent your love and support for the people of Israel and to bless them on your behalf. We are your hands and feet serving and loving the people of Israel.

We will also represent you with integrity and financial transparency. We are accredited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) proving that we are doctrinally sound, with an independent board, and operate with financial integrity and transparency. Our financial statements are available through our website, as well as Charity Navigator which has given us a three- out of four-star rating.

I say this because not every ministry operates with this level of integrity and transparency! So, we invite you to partner with us in confidence and be part of this great end-time work God has called us to.

Increasing Our Impact Around the World!

The ICEJ’s vision is to reach all of the world with the banner proclaiming the truth of God’s Word about Israel and His faithfulness to fulfill it. We do not want to reach just 86 nations, or 120 nations, but every nation on earth. And we need to have an even greater impact on the nations we are already operating in—including the USA.

We also need to reach all of Israel with the message of Christian support so Israelis are encouraged and filled with hope. To do this we need to increase all of our outreaches and partnerships in Israel so we are touching the lives of more Israeli people.

AND TO DO THIS WE NEED YOU…

We so appreciate your faithful partnership with us in prayer and financial support. Your gift this month of $50, $100, $200 or more will enable us to continue our important work for Israel on your behalf.

But I want to also ask you to consider a special year-end gift to undergird our work as we approach a new year. We are being asked to make commitments now to projects in Israel and for Israel that we do not have the funds for. While we trust God to provide for this ministry, we need your help to be able to say “yes” to these requests. We just hate saying “no.”

And, may I be so bold as to ask you to please make a commitment of increased support in 2017? If you are already a regular supporter, we ask you to increase your level of support and become a Covenant Partner (at least $360/year or $30/month), an Ambassadorial Partner (at least $1200/year or $100/month), or a Builder of Zion (at least $2500/year or $210/month).

This Thanksgiving we will be lifting up thanks to God for your faithful prayers and financial support. We value your partnership and know that we cannot do this important work without you. We are your representatives to the people of Israel, and they are so blessed when we tell them of your love, prayers and support for them.

Please give your best gift today! We have much to do together!

For Zion’s Sake,

Susan Michael

Susan M. Michael
US Director

 

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