ONE MORE TIME

As the secular year comes to a close, many Believers are recommitting themselves to pursuing God with all of their might, to be more fervent in prayer, and to diligently seek to be a blessing to others in the coming year.

One true test of our walk with God is living a Spirit-led life in the midst of a secular world.

A Jewish family in Israel.
Think on These Things
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”  (1 Timothy 6:6)
If we need a new start in life, or if we desire a new beginning in 2017, Israel is one of the best places to find inspiration.
Here in the Land, we could dwell on the negatives: the wave of terror, the threat of ISIS, the high cost of living, the secular godless people in the Land, the Arab-Israeli situation, the increasing international pressure on Israel to divide Jerusalem and desist in building houses for Israelis, the persecution of Messianic Jewish Believers …
Our list could go on and on.
But why focus on the negative when we can choose to say, “Baruch HaShem” and praise God for all the wonderful and amazing things He has done in the reborn State of Israel, which has only existed since 1948, just after the Holocaust.

This Chasidic Jew is wearing a shtreimel (fur hat)
while reciting Psalms at the Kotel, also called the
Western (Wailing) Wall.
In the War of Independence in 1948, Israel’s enemies outnumbered her four to one!  And yet she triumphed because God miraculously intervened!
Even today, the Jewish people of Israel are surrounded by hostile neighbors 60 times their population!  And yet, Israel continues to thrive.
Here at Bibles For Israel, we feel truly blessed to have our ministry headquarters in Israel and the opportunity to serve the Lord as we minister to our Jewish brothers and sisters throughout the Land, not to mention having Yeshua (Jesus) in our lives and the assurance of Eternal Life!
We are also grateful for the support of people like you!
And we thank God daily for you as we remember His blessings and the ways He is supernaturally providing for this ministry.

Israelis celebrate Israel’s Independence Day
New Beginnings: Remembering Who He Is
“Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced.”  (1 Chronicles 16:12)
According to the Bible, we are all called to remember.
Here in Israel, most of our national holidays are days of remembrance recalling tragic events:
  • Holocaust Memorial Day remembers the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust.
  • Yom HaZikaron (Day of Remembrance or Memorial Day) honors all the fallen soldiers and terrorist victims.
  • Tisha B’Av remembers the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem.
While it is important to keep these events alive in our memory, perhaps it is even more important to look back at the ways God has blessed us, saved us, healed us, helped us, and provided for our needs.
Thankfulness is one of the keys to living a blessed life, and we will not be thankful if we fail to reflect on His blessings.
“From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing.”  (Jeremiah 30:19)
An Even Greater Miracle
Since the first coming of Yeshua (Jesus), God is performing His greatest supernatural intervention in the nation of Israel right now before our very eyes!
During the time of Moses, God miraculously parted the Red Sea and delivered approximately 600,000 Jewish men out of that one nation.  If we include women and children, the exodus population was likely 2.5 million.  (Exodus 12:37)
In the last 68 years God has brought over 3,000,000 Jewish immigrants from 70 different countries back to their Promised Homeland of Israel by land, water, and air!
Samuel, this is an amazing miracle that fulfills so many Bible prophecies, which the Hebrew prophets uttered so long ago.  How many have longed to see their fulfillment and, yet, our generation is privileged to live in this prophetic time period!
“‘However, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them.’  For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.”  (Jeremiah 16:14–15; see also Isaiah 43:5)

Chairman of the Jewish Agency Nathan Sharansky (left), a prominent Israeli
politician, human rights activist, author and child chess prodigy, was also a
Russian Refusenik, one who was refused permission to emigrate to Israel.
Upon application for an exit visa, Jews in Russia were fired, jailed or exiled.
Sharansky spent 8 years in prisons and a Siberian labor camp.
Who would have believed, even 25 years ago, that over a million Jews would come out of Russia into the Land of Israel, fulfilling the prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah?
At that time, it was a Communist country and no one could leave!
While today we take the return of Russian Jews to Israel for granted, it is a miracle and the fulfillment of prophecy.
Despite all odds, over 1.2 million people have come from the former Soviet Union, resulting in a 20 percent increase in Israel’s population.
The last state-organized aliyah (literally, going up) of over 9,000 Falashmura (Ethiopian Jews who were pressured to convert to Christianity in the 19th and 20th centuries) was approved. They are expected to all come here by 2020.

Ethiopians disembark from a jet that brought
them from Addis Abba to Israel during
Operation Solomon.
Other campaigns brought home 7,000 Ethiopian Jews with Operation Dove’s Wing in 2013; 14,000 with Operation Solomon in 1991; and 8,000 with Operation Moses in 1984.
This, too, is in fulfillment of end-time Bible prophecy.
“In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people — those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt; in southern Egypt, Ethiopia, and Elam; in Babylonia, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands.”  (Isaiah 11:11)
In the last couple of years, record numbers of Jews have made aliyah to Israel from the Ukraine (due to instability caused by war) and from France (due to rising anti-Semitism and violence).
Seven hundred Jews from Brazil have come home and received their Israeli citizenship in 2016.
Thirty years ago there were 3.5 million Jews in the Greater New York Area and only three million here in Israel.
Today, there are about 2 million Jews in New York City and over 6 million here in Israel!
Surely these are signs that we are in the end of days, approaching the return of the Messiah.

Jewish pioneers in the Holy Land (1930–1940)
A New Beginning for the State of Israel
“Who has ever heard of such things?  Who has ever seen things like this?  Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?  Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.”  (Isaiah 66:8)
The Prophet Isaiah asked, “Can a nation be born in a day?”
As unbelievable as it seems, the answer to that question is a resounding yes!  The nation of Israel was born in one day on May 14th, 1948.
Today, Israel is made up of Jews from about 70 different nationalities.  Nine out of every 10 Israeli citizens are either a first or second generation immigrant.

A street musician serenades passersby on Ben Yehuda Street
in Jerusalem.
Furthermore, the survival of the Hebrew language and Jewish culture is absolutely incredible considering the fact that it generally only takes about two generations in a new country for the language of one’s country of origin to be forgotten.  Israel was dispersed to the nations for an astonishing two thousand years!
Before Israel became a state in 1948, God raised up a man by the name of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who resurrected Hebrew as a spoken language in the late 1800s.
At that time Hebrew was only used in synagogues and for religious purposes. Today, however, Hebrew is once again the spoken language of the people here in Israel.  Even Arab Israelis speak Hebrew.

Eliezer Ben-Yehuda helped resurrect Hebrew as a living language.  He
believed that the revival of the Hebrew language in the Land of Israel could
unite all Jews worldwide.  Today, even Arab Israelis speak Hebrew.
The Desert Blossoms
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. …The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.”  (Isaiah 35:12)
The People of Israel are living a modern miracle of God!
Even the land of Israel itself is experiencing revival.  Israel has the highest per capita percentage of agricultural production.
The Prophet Isaiah said that the wilderness will blossom and rejoice once again, and that the glory of Carmel and Sharon will come to the Arava (desert).  (Isaiah 35:1–2)
This prophecy is being fulfilled literally as the crops once grown in the fertile northern Carmel and Sharon regions of Israel are now also being grown in the southern Negev Desert.
The world has struggled with the problem of desertification over the past 60 years.  The reverse trend is happening in Israel.  Israel’s deserts are actually shrinking as they produce olives, grapes, pomegranates, and other crops.

Kibbutz Ne’ot Smadar in the Negev has almost 10 acres of organically
cultivated vineyards, deciduous trees, olives, date plantations and an herb
garden.  It operates a boutique organic winery and produces a variety of
cheeses from fresh goat milk.
Streams in the Desert
“Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.  The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs.”  (Isaiah 35:67)
Isaiah prophesied that water would “gush forth” in the wilderness and streams would flow in the desert.
This is good news since the Negev covers at least 55 percent of The Land.  That’s about 4,700 square miles (12,000 square km).
This desert is rocky with dusty mountains, crater-like makhteshim (box canyons), wadis (dry riverbeds that bloom briefly after rain) and deep craters.
The word Negev (Modern Hebrew) is Negheb in the Hebrew Scriptures.  It comes from a Hebrew root meaning dry and is also used in Scripture for the direction south.

Makhtesh Ramon: Located at the peak of Mount Negev, Makhtesh Ramon
is the world’s largest makhtesh (box canyon), and it is known as the
Grand Canyon of Israel.
Several years ago, a man approached the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) with what seemed to be a crazy scheme to dig for water in the high plateau area of Ramat HaNegev.  He was turned down.
This plateau area is between 370 and 520 meters above sea level with extreme temperatures in summer and winter.  It gets 100 mm of rain per year.  The soil is considered inferior and partially salty.
Undeterred, this man invested his own money to dig 600 meters underground.  He said that when he finally hit the underground aqueduct, the water gushed 60 meters into the air!
Today, at this Ramat HaNegev site, dates, pomegranates and grapes grow next to a lake.
We are now even seeing successful fish farms, quite often Tilapia, established in the Negev.  Fish farms in a desertnow that’s incredible!

Negev Desert
Hidden Treasure
“They shall call the people to the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck [yanak-nurse] of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hidden in the sand.”  (Deuteronomy 33:19)
It has been said in the past that the only natural resource Israel possesses is the Jewish mind.  This is simply not true anymore.
In 2010, Israel discovered 122 trillion units of natural gas off the Mediterranean Coast.
And due to the ingenuity of Israel’s desalination water plants, more than a quarter of Israel’s water supply for its citizens is desalinated.
This means that not only will Israel be independent for her oil, gas and water needs in the near future, but also she might even become an exporter of these precious resources to the world.
In fact, an Israeli company opened the “largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere” near San Diego, producing 190 million liters of water daily to aid in California’s historic drought.  (JPost)

David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, publicly pronounced
the Declaration of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv.
Can These Bones Live?
“And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way.”  (Isaiah 35:8)
Isaiah speaks not only about the physical revival of the land, but also a spiritual revival of the people.
All the prophets of God promised a spiritual restoration for Israel that will be even more exciting than this amazing physical resurrection of the Land.
The prophet Ezekiel said that after God brings us out of the nations and into our Land, He will cleanse us from our filth, our sin, and our idols — and He will sprinkle clean water on us, and we will be clean.  (Ezekiel 36:25–28)
One of the most dramatic prophecies of this restoration is the vision of the valley of dry bones:
“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!  This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.  I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.  Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”  (Ezekiel 37:4–6)

The Miracle of Aliyah: Chairman of the Jewish Agency Nathan
Sharansky (right) jokes with new olim Alexander Vog (second on the left),
a French fencing champion, and Reinie Gemart (far left), who is from
Turkey, after they received Israel IDs at a Jerusalem ceremony for 600
new arrivals.
Today, we are the people who have come to life as the Nation of Israel, from all four corners of the earth.
But we still need the breath of God—His Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit)—to breath spiritual life into the Jewish nation through our Messiah, Yeshua, who has said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”  (John 11:25)
The struggle over land in Israel is not, as is commonly assumed, a violent dispute over property lines; rather, it is a battle to establish the sovereignty and integrity of the Bible—the Word of God.
A great number of the prophecies of the Bible are coming to life in our day.  As the secular international community and religious groups are confronted with this, it is difficult for them to accept.
Neither can they easily accept the fact that the Lord is returning and the Jewish People will be saved.
Still, the return of the Lord does not represent the end of the world as we know it so much as it does represent a new beginning filled with promise and hope.
As 2016 winds down to a close, please help Bibles For Israel finish on a strong note and prepare for a successful New Year of sharing Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah in 2017.
One of our ministry partners will match (which will double) every dollar that you give before Midnight December 31.
Rev Samuel F Sarpong
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