You may well know the verse when Yeshua tells Peter, “the gates of hell shall not prevail” against us (Matt 16:18). But have you ever noticed that it’s an odd thing to say? Are we being attacked by gates? What a strange picture! Or perhaps we are not understanding who is doing the attacking…. Gates are for defence, not attack. Yeshua is saying that the enemy will not be able to stop the Kingdom of God and the power of the gospel. When we come against the kingdom of darkness with the liberating truth of Yeshua, we can break down the doors and set the prisoners free, and he will not be able to stop it. His efforts to protect his territory and keep people captive will ultimately fail. God’s kingdom is surely advancing here in Israel, but we want you to know about some recent attempts keep people imprisoned, and away from the truth.
Good news is going out from Zion!
We estimate that through One For Israel’s Hebrew websites, videos and other evangelistic outreaches, we have reached up to one million Israelis over the last year. That’s 1/6 of the Jewish population here in Israel. We are seeing many results and we receive news of people who have seen, heard and believed on a regular basis. People are coming to faith, getting baptised, and joining the body of Messiah at a pace that is amazing us all! Moreover, we are not the only ones sharing the gospel and seeing fruit – it’s happening all across the country, and congregations are growing. God’s harvest among the Jewish people is well underway.
The harvest is being gathered
While it used to be unusual to hear of Jewish Israelis coming to faith, it has become absolutely normal to see new faces in congregation each week old, young, from backgrounds of crime or from religious Jewish upbringings, some in scruffy clothes, or still wearing a traditional kippa and prayer shawl.
Even just this morning we heard that someone was talking with an Orthodox Jewish friend who had come across one of our videos and that it had totally changed his understanding and beliefs, and that he really wanted to start reading the New Testament. We are hearing these testimonies all the time, and it is only the tip of the iceberg – who knows how many more are having these spiritually transforming experiences that we don’t get to hear about?!
So we are not surprised that we are now facing opposition, but we would ask you to stand and pray with us.
One of the main ways that we reach Israelis with the gospel is by paying to have our videos feature as adverts at the beginning of YouTube clips and also on Facebook. Many thousands have seen the message of Yeshua as a result of these adverts. So in an attempt to stop us from reaching Israelis online through media, the religious anti-missionaries announced on their Facebook page that they have hired lawyers to try and force YouTube and Facebook to take our video advertisements down! This is like a gate, trying to keep Israel from the message of the Gospel. But let’s pray that these gates will not prevail.
The group is called “Yad L’Achim” (which means “Hand to the Brothers”) and they see their role as protecting the Jewish people from the “idolatry” of believing in Yeshua. Much like Saul of Tarsus believed he was serving God by persecuting the followers of The Way, these modern-day Pharisees believe they are doing God a favour. In some areas of Israel they curse and harass believers, have stormed into their congregations during baptisms, revoked licenses for Messianic businesses, and spread outrageous lies about believers and our faith. They are now trying to raise enough support from the religious community to force YouTube and Facebook to take our adverts down.
But the truth is that we are encouraged. They are obviously panicking because these videos are causing so many people to realise that Yeshua is the Messiah and follow him! Another wonderful encouragement is that one man who recently came to faith used to be part of this group, Yad L’Achim. But now he stands with us, gladly worshiping Yeshua as his Messiah. God can save anyone!
This is our prayer, and we invite you to join us: Pray that their tactics would fail and come to nothing, but more than that – pray for more members of Yad L’Achim, the anti-missionary organisation, to come to faith. Pray that they, like Paul, would have an encounter with the Messiah that would change their lives forever.