Was Baptism Originally Jewish?

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Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 9.52.39 PMA Jewish man called Yochanan was baptising people in the Jordan River in first century Israel, including his cousin who would later become world famous: Yeshua of Nazareth. Many Jewish people responded to the call of this Jewish man to immerse themselves in the river as a sign of repentance, and a desire to get right with God. Some of the Pharisees were also among them. Did Yochanan invent baptism at this time? Or was it part of Jewish tradition and practice before that?

Yes, yes it was.
And the Hebrew word for an immersion pool built for this purpose, “mikveh”, also points us in the right direction in understanding deeper meaning in the practice.

Tu Bishvat: Happy Tree Day!

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Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 1.19.38 PMThis Monday is "Tu Bishvat", which is a day to celebrate and plant trees in Israel. A sort of “Tree Appreciation Day”, if you like. One of the trees that is most prominent in Israel at this time of year is the almond tree, which packs a Biblical punch as it crops up in several places throughout the scriptures, with great significance.

The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.

 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” (Jer 1:11-12)

Martin Luther King Jr and Israel

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Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 1.17.46 PMToday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States of America, which is always on the third Monday of the year, to mark his birthday on 15th January. He was an amazing man who passionately fought for freedom and justice for those who were oppressed due to their race, and he believed that “an alliance between Jews and Blacks was fundamental to Civil Rights progress”[1].

However, his appreciation and support for Israel and the Jewish people did not prejudice him in any way against the Palestinian people, for whom he also sought justice and prosperity. Like the Prince of Peace, Dr King showed great love for both the Jewish people and the Arab people, and was not afraid to say so.

The Vatican Vetoes Mission to Jews

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Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 4.00.15 PMLast month we saw some interesting developments in relations between the Catholic church and some Orthodox rabbis. At the beginning of December, the Vatican issued a document entitled, “The Gifts and Calling of God are irrevocable”[1], in which it officially rejected “supersessionism” or replacement theology (the idea that the church has now taken the place of Israel) and stated that God’s covenants with Israel are still valid.

At the same time, in early December, a group of Orthodox rabbis signed an official document affirming Christian brothers and sisters, and even honouring Yeshua as one who strengthened the Torah of Moses! [2]

But as encouraging as these developments may seem on the surface, the need to call Yeshua Lord and Messiah for the Jewish people as well as for the Gentiles was sadly sidestepped by both documents. The Vatican rejected mission to the Jewish people, and the rabbis welcomed Jesus, but not as God’s means of salvation.

"Hineni": Here I am. Send Me!

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Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.01.23 PMThere is a powerful word in Hebrew that sums up three words in English. The word is “Hineni” (הנני), which means “Here I am!” But you’ve got to watch out how you say it, because it is a way of expressing total readiness to give oneself - it’s an offer of total availability.

2016 Jewish Evangelism Report by ONE FOR ISRAEL

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Jewish Evangelism

 

2015 was perhaps the most fruitful year in Jewish Evangelism since the first century!

What else did we do on the evangelistic side of things during 2015?

- During 2015 alone we have been in touch with more Israeli seekers (mainly Jewish) than in all of our ministry's previous years combined.

- During 2015 we've seen more Israelis come to know the Lord than in all of our ministry's previous years combined.

- We have produced the second volume of the magazine "Finding" which answers objections coming from the orthodox anti-missionaries' magazine (which, incidentally, is called "Searching").

- Anastasia joined our team! :) (creative, research and content).

- We've been video-interviewed twice by the popular news network "Walla".

What's coming in 2016?

- We are currently working on a new series of 25 apologetic videos talking about faith in light of science and answering atheistic objections to faith in God. (Just finished recording, now in post production, to be released during the 1st half of 2016).

- We will re-design and re-build our entire platform of evangelistic websites to be more user-friendly and mobile-responsive.

- We will develop a new series of videos explaining the messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Bible, showing how they point to Yeshua (Jesus).

 

The Mysterious Case of Moses' Parents

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Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 12.48.54 PMDo you know the names of Moses’ parents? Probably not, I’d venture. And there’s a reason for that. They are somewhat shrouded in mystery, and revealed only later on, with a scandalous punch. But the message of Moses’ family background is one that brings great hope to us all as we march into the new year.

As Moses can tell you, sin in our past and in our families before us need not hold us back any longer in slavery - God is a God of new beginnings!

 

What a Year 2015 Has Been!

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Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 4.23.27 PMWow that was an intense year, wasn’t it? In human terms, we seem to be further away from peace than ever, but when it comes to God’s Kingdom, the advances have been breathtaking! Revival has been sweeping through the Middle East in unprecedented ways, and it has been a great joy for us in ONE FOR ISRAEL to see God’s hand at work through our ministry and in our land. It would be hard to believe we would see all of this even just one year ago!

ONE FOR ISRAEL's Statement - Messianic Jews on "Walla! News"

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walla news messianic jews one for israel“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Recently, one of the largest Israeli news corporations, “Walla! News” released two video interviews with us (out of five produced) on the subject of Messianic Jews and faith in Yeshua (Jesus).

As expected, "Walla! News” received intense threats from some within the Rabbinic Ultra-Orthodox community who banded together, threatening to sue the company because of the exposure "Walla! News" provided to the name of Yeshua and to Messianic Jews.

Hanukkah is a Housewarming Party

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Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 2.13.18 PMWe are half way through the eight-day Hanukkah festival. Many people think of it as a festival of light, which blurs with every other festival of light found in so many cultures and faiths, but the history of the festival and the stories that surround it are quite interesting.

Leviticus 27 has laws on how a person can dedicate their house, and in Israel housewarming parties are called “Hanukkat Beit” parties - “dedication of the house” parties. The Hanukkah story is of a housewarming party for the ultimate house. Here’s an interesting twist on the story that goes all the way from the dedication of the second temple, through the reclamation of that temple from the Greeks, and right up to 1917...

A Hanukkah Miracle!

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12346332 10153310846930745 295213710657026674 nThe largest media company here in Israel called us a few weeks ago, saying that they had noticed our material online, and that they wanted to work with us! They proposed to create a 12-24 episode series comprised of short videos interviewing us on a variety of subjects with adjoining articles about Messianic Jews. The series will be promoted on their media platform, with links to our evangelistic websites! Isn't that amazing?!

Why Did Bondslaves Have Their Ear Pierced?

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Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 4.02.42 PMThere was a song we used to sing about God piercing our ears as a mark of willingly becoming a bondslave, according to the process laid out in Deuteronomy 15. At the time, I was going through a protracted debate with my parents, who felt I was not old enough for pierced ears, so I really liked that song, and sang it defiantly. I did not understand it then, but that particular part of the Torah was not about jewellry. The meaning of this ear-piercing ritual that God outlines in the law is much more profound than I could possibly have imagined.

The instructions for making a regular slave into a bondslave are laid out twice in the Torah: Exodus 21, and Deuteronomy 15. As a rabbi once pointed out to me, it is highly interesting that right after the Ten Commandments, when God launches into his law, this the very first thing he says:

Did Yeshua Lose His Temper?

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Screen Shot 2015-11-29 at 11.38.12 AMIt sure seems like Yeshua was having a bad day when he marched down to cause mayhem in Jerusalem by turning tables in the temple, blasting a fig tree along the way. Was he just in a foul mood? Did he get up on the wrong side of the bed? What was going on there?

It’s easy to miss it, but I think we are given a clue in one particular verse as to what was Yeshua’s intentions were, and what led up to those events. We can discover that far from being random or impulsive, every word and deed of Yeshua was delivered with precision and intent.

Effecting Change When You’re Effectively in Babylon

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Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.49.12 PMDo you feel more and more that you can empathise with how Daniel and his friends must have felt in Babylon? Under an ungodly regime, fighting a constant push to compromise on matters of faith, with our young ones being taught things contrary to God’s word, and the realisation that we’re very much in the minority?

We are not the first ones to experience this situation, and the Bible gives us a great deal of wisdom about how to cope and behave from saints who have walked through it before us, under much worse conditions, and survived. In fact, not only did they survive, but they were able to affect powerful change on the whole regime.

Pray for Paris and Take God's Antidote for Fear

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The rise of ISIS and their ominous black flag creeping up around the world is unnerving people everywhere. Is all hell breaking loose? How concerned should we be? The Bible tells us not to be afraid over a hundred times. So how do we look these unspeakable horrors of death in the eye without buckling to fear?

God wants us to be fearless. And we could be. It is not necessarily easy to dispose of fear in our lives, but it is possible with God. The Bible commands us not to be afraid and if God can command it, we can obey. In the current climate of terrorism and disaster, it is very easy to get drawn in by alarmist articles and reports that whip us up into an outraged frenzy, subversively motivated by fear. This is absolutely not what God wants for us, and it is no way to be the light to the world that we should be. The Yeshua way is a higher way, and the only way up onto that path and into that rarified air is by the power of the Holy Spirit.

What Does The Word "Hebrew" Mean?

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Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 7.33.54 PMAbram was called “Abraham the Hebrew” in Genesis 14:13, which is the first time that the word is used in the Bible. Where did this term come from, and what does it mean?

The word "Hebrew" in the Hebrew language is עברי (Ivrie). The root letters are used to mean cross over, or pass through. Today in Israel, we can use the word to talk about moving houses, transgressing laws, going through some difficulties, crossing the road, crossing over a river, and so on. Traversing, passing, or crossing over, essentially. In the Bible, it seems to have primarily referred to those who traversed rivers. The symbolic meaning of this should not be lost on us who love the Word of God!

Faith must be biblical

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studying-menashe-wannabejewIn the period following the destruction of the temple, the Jewish religious leadership faced a serious problem. Unlike the first Diaspora, which would last for seventy years, according to God’s revelation through Jeremiah, there was now no prophecy with a specific time limit and Jeremiah 31 was ignored! So how do you maintain Judaism while admitting that God is rejecting your sacrificial system, without a temple and without the Messiah?

Stories of Hope Amidst the Chaos

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Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 1.51.09 PMFor those who have been praying for Marike (pictured), the Dutch believer who was stabbed on a bus last week, we are happy to report that she is smiling again and on the road to recovery. Not only that, but hundreds of Jewish and Arab believers met together on Saturday to worship the Messiah together in unity, and yet more Israeli new believers were baptised at the weekend, publicly declaring their faith in Yeshua!

These are very dark and difficult days for Jews and Palestinians alike, but, as the Psalmist said, “If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you”. (Ps 139:11-12) The light is still shining in the darkness, and the darkness will never be able to overcome it.

Christian Survives Stabbing Attack in Jerusalem

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Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 11.40.37 AMOne of the victims of a terrorist attack on a bus yesterday was an elderly lady who loves the Lord. This tall, kind, Dutch woman moved to Israel many decades ago, rented a house in Jerusalem, and took care of lots of Palestinian orphans and children from difficult backgrounds. Marike had raised many of these precious children and was just quietly going about her life, but yesterday she took bus in Jerusalem, only to be stabbed repeatedly in the chest.

I MET MESSIAH

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ONE FOR ISRAEL is a ministry-initiative of native-born Israels (Jews & Arabs one in Christ!) on the forefront of high-tech evangelism, proclaiming salvation in Jesus to Israel, raising up leaders and equipping them with the tools they need to transform Israel with the gospel of Messiah! ONE FOR ISRAEL is perhaps the only place in the middle east where true peace can be found - in Jesus!

2000 years have passed since the first Jewish followers of Yeshua proclaimed the gospel in Jerusalem. The gospel went forth from Zion to Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. Our generation has seen not only the prophetic rebirth of the modern state of Israel but also the miraculous spiritual re-birth of thousands of Israelis who have recognized the ONE of whom Moses and the Prophets wrote. The circle has been completed, and the good news of Messiah is being proclaimed once again from Zion. One For Israel is reaching and discipling the current and next generation of followers of Messiah. Using innovative methods and technologies, we are sending God’s Word out again from Zion throughout the world proclaiming the gospel of Messiah.
More about us? Click Here for our official visual and informative PDF

 


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