The Word: “…The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet begun to rule, but they receive power as kings for one hour, along with the beast. They have one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are called, chosen and faithful will overcome along with him.” (Revelation 17:12-14)
For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honour, though you do not acknowledge me. (Isaiah 45:4)
Pointers for prayer: Gives thanks to the Lord that He brings about ministries to stand in the gap for Israel. As Christian Friends of Israel continues to celebrate its 30th anniversary, please do pray regarding the upcoming UK conference (see below).
Iran remains one of the world’s most prolific sponsors of terrorism, therefore this week I ponder on just why Obama expects Iran to stop once they have a nuclear deal? These are indeed uncertain times, and as the pressure in the Middle East increases, surely, we must have been called for such a time as this to stand with Israel and intercede on her behalf (Esther 4:14). Please continue to pray for the safety of all who dwell in the land of Israel.
A Chosen Calling
David A. Hollinger of the University of California, when writing a review of the book ‘A Chosen Calling – Jews in Science in the Twentieth Century’ by Noah J. Efron wrote, “Scholars have struggled for decades to explain why Jews have succeeded extravagantly in modern science. A variety of controversial theories—from such intellects as C. P. Snow, Norbert Wiener, and Nathaniel Weyl—have been promoted. C. P. Snow hypothesized an evolved genetic predisposition to scientific success. Wiener suggested that the breeding habits of Jews sustained hereditary qualities conducive for learning. Economist and eugenicist Weyl attributed Jewish intellectual eminence to “seventeen centuries of breeding for scholars.” …Rejecting the idea that Jews have done well in science because of uniquely Jewish traits, Jewish brains, and Jewish habits of mind, historian of science Noah J. Efron approaches the Jewish affinity for science through the geographic and cultural circumstances of Jews who were compelled to settle in new worlds in the early twentieth century… This provocative work will appeal to historians of science as well as scholars of religion, Jewish studies, and Zionism.” The book is, for a simple man such as I, quite ‘heavy going’ in parts, but it was also refreshing to read an account of an amazing people, that without doubt, have not only survived a tumultuous recent 20th century of Jewish history, which saw not only a methodical campaign to wipe out Europe’s Jews, but also the rebirth of the nation of Israel, in which the Jewish nation continues to witness hatred upon hatred, and attack upon attack, yet miraculously blesses the world with all they produce in the computer and technology world, along with incredible advances in the medical world and bringing relief to worn torn countries and those who have suffered natural disasters.
I’ve often wondered how it is that scholars have struggled for decades to explain why the Jewish people have succeeded extravagantly in modern science etc. when a non-academic man with a very simple faith such as me can come up with the answer? And how is it, that fellow Christians, who read (I presume) the same Bible as me, cannot see in the Word of God, the clear prophesy’s regarding the times we live in, with prophesy being fulfilled regarding Israel before our very eyes?
I was encouraged to read Chuck Cohen’s latest ‘Watchmen from Jerusalem’ report (Issue #3, 2015) in which Chuck writes, “In these crucial days, the Lord’s challenge to the Church is, Do you really believe what the New Testament believes about the Old? Historically, Scripture in the NT refers only to the ‘Old Testament’ – the Tanach. Therefore, if believers have the NT’s opinion of the Tanach, most doctrinal disagreements about Israel could be resolved.” Chuck continues, “Paul writes, All Scripture [the Tanach] is God-breathed, and profitable for doctrine… (2 Tim. 3:16a). Since all the Tanach is profitable for doctrine, how dare the Church entertain the blasphemous doctrine of replacement or fulfilment theory? Why is the land of Israel’s restoration to the Jewish people a problem when God promised it to them over 200 times in Yeshua’s bible? Why call Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea ‘the occupied territories’ when they are specifically named as places to which God restores His people (Ps. 147:2; Zech. 8:7-8; 12:2-3; Jer. 31:5, etc.)?” To read Chuck Cohen’s full report, go online here.
In the above Scripture of Isaiah 45:4, God calls Israel “my chosen”. And chosen they most certainly are. Maybe that is too easy an answer for C. P. Snow, Wiener, and Weyl et al. Yet God will always prove Himself faithful to the nation and people of Israel. And He will continue to bless them as they bless the world as they succeed extravagantly in modern science etc. But God has also chosen the true Church, and raises up ministries such as Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) to ‘bless back’ Israel.
In the first Scripture above from Revelation 17:12-14, it looks at a time when ‘the Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are called, chosen and faithful will overcome along with him.’ The recent Christian Friends of Israel conference in Jerusalem was in many ways a testimony to just how those who have been called and chosen to CFI over the past 30 years have indeed been faithful and overcome many battles to get to this point. Here in the UK, we are also indebted to Derek White who was the founder of CFI UK. We also owe a great deal to the faithfulness of those who have led CFI UK since: Roy Thurley; Rod Valentine; Geoffrey Smith, and of course our present Chief Executive – Jacob Vince (never mind all the staff, Reps, Trustees, volunteers and supporters). We are also greatly indebted to the founders and Directors of CFI Jerusalem – Ray and Sharon Sanders, who have faithfully served the church and the nation of Israel this past 30 years in the Land of Israel (incidentally, I will be touring with Sharon in the UK during the last two weeks of October. I’ll keep you posted with the dates and venues soon). I for one was very emotional to see the laying on of hands from the Jerusalem Trustees as Ray and Sharon passed on the Directorship of CFI Jerusalem to Stacey and Kevin Howard at our recent conference in Israel.
God chooses special people for what I believe is such an important ministry to stand in the gap for Israel, and all these people are very special to Israel, and special to those who tirelessly work with them. But they are most special to the Lord God, Who called them to their privileged yet often difficult ministry. A chosen calling? Most certainly! But as we turn another corner, how we need every one of you who stands with us, to continue to be faithful in your calling of supporting CFI, so that we may battle on in these uncertain times.
A landmark deal that should trouble the world
These are indeed uncertain times, and as the pressure in the Middle East increases, surely, we must have been called for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). As you may be aware, I’ve been away on annual leave, however I was still very much aware of the need for prayer as the very dangerous move regarding the negotiators had reached what is being called “a landmark deal aimed at reining in Iran’s nuclear program” – which came following talks that spanned 20 months. The agreement, a focal point of U.S. President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, appears set to reshape relations between Iran and the West, with its effects likely to ripple across the very volatile Middle East. Having watched the news coverage on the UK’s ITN News, who reported a very good and balanced report, I was very alarmed, though not surprised at the result.
Representatives of Iran, the United States and the other nations involved in the talks held a final meeting in Vienna on Tuesday July 14, 2015 and Obama held a press conference the following day to address questions on the agreement. However, Obama, making what could be his most outrageous deal in his presidency to date, praised the deal saying the agreement met the goals he had in place throughout negotiations. Obama stated, “…After two years of negotiation the United States together with the international community has achieved something that decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” However, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu angrily lambasted Obama and went on to state that “Israel is not bound by the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers”, adding that it will always defend itself against Tehran, which “continues to seek its [Israel’s] destruction.”
“From the initial reports received, it is already possible to say that this agreement is a historic mistake for the world,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded when asked about the agreement reached in Vienna. “This agreement and what it means endanger many countries including, of course, Israel,” Netanyahu said. The Israeli Prime Minister’s anger is of course very understandable, as the Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel. Of course Iran funds Hezbollah, who are today threatening Israel with its Iranian backed missiles. Netanyahu went on to state, “Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. As Prime Minister of Israel, I would like to make it clear: Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability.” However, as Obama scolded his critics, telling them to read the Iran Nuclear agreement before they criticized it, as Israel National News’ Mark Langfan points out in his report, one doesn’t have to read far into the 159 page report to understand the extent of Obama’s security issues against Israel, the United States and indeed the free world. In fact, Mark Langfan states, “one only has to read the first operative paragraph on page 7 of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), announced on July 14, 2015, but not actually signed by any of the parties (including Iran) to realize that Iran is not even contractually “signed” on the JCPOA in contrast to other Nuclear Arms treaties, such as START. Reading the first paragraph, one quickly realizes that all of what Obama piously claims to be Iran’s Nuclear ‘obligations’ under the JCPOA are actually entirely voluntary measures and not obligatory.” To read Langfan’s report with quoted proof from the JCPOA click here.
And so, under this new deal of Obama, Iran is not actually obligated to do anything, meaning that Iran can never be in “violation” of JCPOA because all of Iran’s requirements are voluntary. As the Daily Telegraph pointed out this week, “trusting Iran to stop terrorism is like inviting an arsonist to join the fire brigade!” This nuclear deal is likely only to intensify Iranian support for global terrorism as the lifting of sanctions on Iran will result in a windfall of cash for the Iranian treasury, which could reach $150 billion in the first year, and in past decades, states supporting terrorism feared retaliatory operations by the West, such as the US attack on Libya in 1986. The Iran deal of course will also boost Russia’s arms industry and make it possible for Russia to replace its older aircraft with newer stealth models. Due to the deal approved by the U.S., the allies and by Russia, the arms embargo on Iran will “officially” be lifted in 5 years. But the rush to sell arms to Iran has been on for some time and defence companies from Europe along with the Russians, Chinese and North Koreans have been flocking to Tehran offering their wares. The biggest single need for Iran is fighter and bomber aircraft. There have been many reports that Iran has already made deals with China and Russia, but there are bigger deals still to come. That’s because until now Iran did not have the cash. The nuclear deal will pour cash into Iran most of which will be spent on arms.
I was quite annoyed on hearing that BBC World Service recently interviewed an Israeli minister who cited Iran’s threats against Israel as an explanation for Israeli opposition to the Iran deal. The BBC interviewer then said: “But you’re not under threat by Iran. Nobody in Iran has threatened you for a very long time. You‘re harking back to a time when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened Israel directly.” Yet as Honest Reporting rightly state, the truth is quite the opposite. Just a few days before the interview was aired, millions of Iranians took to the streets, some burning Israeli flags and chanting “Death to Israel.” One official threatened to wipe Israel “off the map.” Iran has made clear that its foreign policy objective — the destruction of Israel — remains unchanged. Honest Reporting are encouraging people to contact the BBC by signing their petition.
The very fact that the former Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had for years publically stated Iran would wipe Israel off the face of the map; the very fact that their current leaders still proclaim these threats, along with denying that the Holocaust ever happened, and taking into account that Iran remains one of the world’s most prolific sponsors of terrorism, why on earth does Obama expect Iran to stop once they have a nuclear deal? If your neighbour had been threatening to kill you for a decade or more, and you suddenly realised that he had required a new gun permit, would you leave your door unlocked and not take a plan of action? War clouds could once again be darkening the skies over the Middle East.
More opposition to Jews and Israel
I have to confess, I’m not a great fan of ‘on line’ petitions, however I do realise that there seems to be more and more need. Recently, we needed to highlight and pray against the demonstration/rally against the Jewish people at Golders Green in London by neo-Nazi supporters. Now, on Saturday 15 August 2015, the Merseyside Jewish Representative Council are calling on Sir Jon Murphy QPM, Chief Constable of Merseyside Police to exercise his powers to restrict the planned Neo-Nazi demonstration in Liverpool. If you want to find out more and help the Jewish community in Liverpool, click here.
Along with this, the Palestine Solidarity group were off on yet another campaign, this time targeting a sporting event to further its extremist campaign. The U18 International Festival of Lacrosse will take place between 28th and 31st July 2015 with the venue of the event being the University of Edinburgh. With over 30 groups participating in these two events which includes an Israeli team, how is it that the PSC can target teenage girls representing Israel by playing in this international lacrosse tournament? The Scottish PSC should hang their heads in shame! Again, to find out more, click here.
30th Anniversary Conference of CFI UK
As you may have seen if you receive CFI’s Intercessor Prayer Update, the 30th Anniversary Conference of CFI in the UK is being held on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th September at the Kings Centre, 27 Edison Road, Eastbourne BN23 6PT. If you haven’t got a registration form already, you can download one. Click here to download the brochure or click here to download the booking form. Alternatively, you can contact our Head Office on 01323 410810 and ask them to send you one. Please do complete the form NOW and send it in.
This year CFI have a new venue and new admin costs etc. so it would be really good if the CFI Office staff knew how many people expect to be at the Conference. This year the conference will focus on the significance of Israel to the Church in three respects: biblically, historically and today. As Fiona mentioned in her prayer update, it will be an inspiring conference with Dr R Kendall Soulen from the US and Rick Ridings from Jerusalem both speaking. Dr R. Kendall Soulen is the author of ‘The God of Israel and Christian Theology’ (1996) and a visiting fellow at St Andrews University (Scotland). Rick Ridings has served for many years as chairman on the CFI Jerusalem Board. He and his wife Patti lead “Succat Hallel” (Hebrew for Tabernacle of Praise), a dynamic, 24/7 community of worshippers and intercessors from five continents, drawn together to stand as watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem. I will be leading the worship on guitar along with my son Matthew on drums and two other friends of ours who are great musicians. Also there will be the usual excellent bookstall available and other Israel supporting ministries will be there. So please do come and support this important event as we give thanks to the Lord God for the 30 years of ministry of CFI and blessing Israel.
(Middle East Report Correspondent)
Sources: Unless stated, personal sources throughout Israel, Christian Friends of Israel UK & Jerusalem, Israeli Embassy London, The Jerusalem Post, i24news.tv/en/ & Israel National Radio