MATTHEW 23:13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
Ever since the days of Messiah, the Rabbis consider themselves the gospel’s greatest enemy, blocking the message of the gospel from Israel, not allowing Jewish people to hear about the free salvation offered to them in the death and resurrection of their Messiah.
However, today things have changed! We no longer have to bring spiritual messages via the rabbis, we can now go around them!
DESERT SCENES WITH CAMELS OR TECHNOLOGICal ADVANCEMENT?
When you think of Israel, maybe you imagine a desert scene with camels grazing, people who live in tents and ride donkeys to work. But modern-day Israel is… well, VERY modern! We love technology, and we are one of the pioneering countries in the world when it comes to the high-tech industry!
Here are a few compelling statistics which emphasize the particular relevance of Internet outreach in Israel:
Allow us to elaborate:
- Over 99% of all Israeli households are connected to high speed Internet connection. This is higher than any other European country (PwC, August 2012). Internet access is available at work, school, coffee shops, beaches, malls, parks, buses, and city-wide in certain cities.
- Smartphones enjoy cellular and internet (data roaming) reception almost all over Israel, while data is free.
- In Israel, for every 100 persons there are 122 computers. In fact, Israel has the highest person-to-computer ratio in the world. And according to comscore (2011), Israel is the leading country in the world (alongside Canada) for hourly time spent online… TWICE the amount of the average American!
- Israel comes in first world-wide in the amount of time spent on average on Facebook and YouTube. Social media is huge in Israel! About 97.6% of all Israelis between the ages of 13-34 have a Facebook account and actively use it. Even the largest protest in the history of Israel was organized via Facebook (A great reminder to follow our Facebook page!)
- Israel is 2nd in the world in relation to smartphones owned per person. Singapore is 1st, with only 3% more (a country which manufactures so many of them, while Israel doesn’t).
- Israelis spend 70% of their smartphone time not in order to call their family and friends, but in order to surf the Internet.
In other words: while you eat and sleep, we Israelis are surfing the web online 😉
With that in mind…
Taking all of what we explained above into consideration, we believe that there is no greater way in Israel to share the Gospel of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) than via the Internet. Why?
- There are many social stigmas in Israel associated with Yeshua and the Gospel with roots reaching back over 2000 years. For example, what happens when a missionary gives a pamphlet to a Jewish Israeli on the street? The Israeli’s immediate reaction is to think about the Pope, Crusades, Inquisition, Pogroms, the Holocaust and acts of anti-Semitism made against the Jewish people in the name of Jesus by so-called Christians in the past 2000 years. This is further complicated by the fact that Orthodox Rabbis have been feeding lies to our people for centuries regarding who Jesus is and His relevance and the relevance of what He did for the Jewish people. They teach that Jesus and the New Testament are all about betraying and hating the Jewish people. These stumbling blocks are not something that a simple pamphlet given on the street can properly address.
- As a Jewish Israeli, you would not want your friends or family to see you reading the New Testament (or any “Christian” material) in public. Over the Internet however, you can explore for yourself with complete privacy, and for as long as you need, in order to come to the right conclusion (which for Jewish Israelis usually takes months!).
- We are able to develop meaningful relationships with the seekers who come to our websites. We always make an effort to turn these relationships into an “offline”, face-to-face relationship, connecting them with a local congregation\church in their area.
- There is something about being in front of a computer screen that gives people the freedom to share their deepest feelings with us. When you write under a fictitious username, you can say what you really think & feel… you can talk about your struggles and be real without people judging you or even knowing who you are.
- In light of all the above – the Internet is the best way for young Israelis to explore for themselves without any obstacles. What better way to reach the next generation than to meet them where they spend all the time anyways – online. It is a safe place for them to explore about the truth for themselves. After all, young adults are the most open to accept the Gospel. Also, young believers can (and do) use our Hebrew websites as a great point of reference to share with their non-believing friends..
- There is a very active and well-funded anti-missionary organization in Israel operated by Orthodox Jews. They are doing everything in their power (including violent and many illegal acts) in order to stop us and stop the Gospel from being spread in Israel. They operate their own websites which put down the New Testament, Yeshua (Jesus), and everyone who follows Him. Our websites counter their lies.
Here is how we at ONE FOR ISRAEL share the Gospel
We run about 10 different websites, focusing on different segments of Israeli and Jewish society. Here are a few of them:
Jewish Professionals Video Testimonies
During 2015 alone, I MET MESSIAH videos were viewed over 10,000,000 times!
www.imetmessiah.com – The I Met Messiah Project is a partnership between ONE FOR ISRAEL and Chosen People Ministries, which is based in New York. We came together to produce this on-going project in order to proclaim how Yeshua brings powerfully transformative change into the lives of all those many who accept Him as their Messiah – Jews, specifically.
So many Jews both in Israel and around the world have never heard of Jewish people who believe in Jesus. For thousands of years, rabbis have insisted that this is a paradoxical impossibility. See for example the words of Rabbi Aaron Moss from the Chabad movement, who answered the question, “Can a Jew believe in Yeshua?” in the following way: “A Jew can believe in Yeshua, in the same way that a vegetarian can enjoy a steak.” Also, in his response regarding the Messianic Jewish movement he wrote: “This is a movement of non-Jews, who pretend to be Jews by presenting themselves with Jewish names.” Without noticing, Rabbi Moss repeated one of the greatest lies of the Inquisition: the lie that a person must deny his Jewishness to be loyal to Yeshua. Through this video series, we challenge these claims head-on with the incredible testimonies of Jewish professionals who believe in Jesus.
Though it’s a little-known fact, there has always existed a remnant of Jewish people who believe in Yeshua. The Messiah was born a Jew and the first believers in Him were Jews. The first messianic community was Jewish, right here in Israel. Even during the holocaust, in the lines to the concentration camps there were many Jews who believed that Yeshua is the Messiah. You might not be aware of it, but throughout the world, there are large communities of Jewish believers in Yeshua (an estimated half million Jewish followers of Yeshua in the U.S. alone). In Israel, there are hundreds of communities and home fellowships of Messianic Jews. Through this series, we let them tell their own story – a story the rabbis have been trying to suppress for generations.
We hope you will find these testimonies to be encouraging!
Israeli Video Testimonies (in Hebrew)
Alongside the I MET MESSIAH videos, and because Israel is the leading country in the amount of time spent watching videos on YouTube, we saw it fit to create interactive and engaging content for Israelis, in Hebrew to watch online by compiling a series of amazing testimonies by Jewish & Arab Israelis who have come to know their Messiah.
Answering Rabbinic Objections to Yeshua
If you get to know Israelis at the mall (or Hebrew speakers anywhere), this is the website you want to share with them!
www.messiah.co.il is our largest website for dealing with “Jewish apologetics”– answering the objections from the Orthodox Jewish Rabbis. This site is geared more for the religious and traditional Israeli. We’ve produced over 50 short videos answering approximately 100 objections, as well as over 300 articles answering further objections and sharing the gospel to a Jewish mind. At messiah.co.il we show how the rabbis have kept Jesus a secret for over 2,000 years. We even quote ancient Jewish sources to show that the Old Testament prophecies which we refer people to were interpreted in the past just as we interpret them, today – as being about the Messiah!
This is also the first time in history someone is stepping out publicly against the Jewish Orthodox Rabbis, forcing Israel to deal with “the elephant in the synagogue:” Yeshua (Jesus)!
Part of this project is available in English at:
Largest website with more than 300 scientific and academic articles
www.igod.co.il is our largest website for dealing with apologetic and is basically geared more for the secular Israeli. The website was built with an apologetic approach in mind, mainly geared towards people who have a critical approach toward the gospel, whether they come from secular, religious or atheistic backgrounds.
The website presents approximately 300 scientific and academic articles on various subjects with two main schools of thought in mind, “Greek” apologetics and Jewish apologetics. The former answers questions such as “Where was God in the Holocaust?” and “If Yeshua is the Messiah then why have so many Jews been murdered in His name?”. The latter aims at answering more philosophical and scientific questions such as “If God is real then why does He let children suffer?” or “How can creation be taken seriously when evolution has been proved correct?”. Dr. Michael Brown, Dr. William Lane Craig, Josh McDowell and Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum are just some of the writers whose articles appear on the website. All of these articles are arranged into six different categories to make them easier to access.
It is also possible to contact us via the website with questions, order various books including a copy of the New Testament – without charge, watch videos, enjoy our blog that is updated weekly and also converse with us via our Q&A Forum.
The New Testament in Hebrew
The NT in Hebrew – available free online as text, as an downloadable MP3, or as a smartphone app
You may ask, “Why do you need a New Testament website? Can’t you just go to the bookstore and buy one?”
Unlike western countries, where you can grab a copy of the New Testament in any bookstore with any translation, it is nearly impossible to buy a New Testament in Israel. It comes as a surprise to some, but you won’t find any Hebrew New Testaments in Israeli bookstores. The reason being that no Israeli wants to hold the book which is thought by most to have been a main source of trouble for the Jewish people over the ages.
On our website you can read the New Testament, download it in mp3 format, and download an app for your iPhone or Android device (Smartphone \ Tablet) to have while “on the go”, or simply order a hard-copy of the New Testament in modern Hebrew at no cost! This takes a book that is typically inaccessible to Israelis and makes it available in almost every format they might want.
Visitors to our New Testament website will immediately notice the switching banner on top, which shows a different verse from the New Testament every few seconds. This comes as a big surprise to Israelis because they expect the New Testament to say things such as “Kill the Jews” or “Jesus hate Israel,” but instead they see verses about God’s love and about how the New Testament is the most Jewish book they’d ever read.
Radio Agape – Messianic Radio from Israel
The one and only radio station in Israel for believers in Yeshua (Jesus)
Radio Agape.fm is the one and only internet radio station based in Israel for believers in Yeshua (Jesus) and for those who seek Him! This is one other tool in ONE FOR ISRAEL’s toolbox to spread God’s love and truth. We launched it in 2013, and it’s now operating under the direction of Moti Vaknin. The station has Messianic music from mainly local but also international artists in Hebrew and English. With our program partners from around the world, we air in-depth teachings of the scriptures in Hebrew and English from a Hebraic perspective, along with encouraging segments from the scriptures. We are continuing to develop more programs and materials to bless our listeners in Israel and around the world.
The radio is available for listening via the Radio Agape website, the One For Israel Facebook page, via satellite radio (North America only), via the TuneIn app for iPhone and also our Android app.
THE BEST WAY TO BLESS ISRAEL IS WITH JESUS
So we have all these great and important videos, but how do we draw Israelis to the website and to watch them? We advertise with Google, YouTube and Facebook – meeting them where they are, so they can learn for themselves with confidentiality!
For each $1 you donate and designate for ‘Evangelism’, we can expose 3-7 Israelis to the gospel! For example, if you give $50 a month, 150-350 Israelis will be reached with the gospel of Messiah every month!