Volume. XXIII, No. 50
Sunday, 07 June 2009


The Changing Face of the Nation of Israel


Based on figures from Israel\'s Central Bureau of Statistics, it predicts that by 2030, Arabs and ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Jews together will compose close to 60 percent of Israel\'s elementary school population and about 40 percent of eligible voters (Source: Haaretz Newspaper in Israel). Although the predicted figure comprises both Arab Muslims and ultra-Orthodox Jews, it is clear that the latter group will have a stronger and more vibrant growth in the next 20 years, if the prediction is correct.  This is on the basis of statistics provided by the same agency abovementioned: the average number of births for each ultra-Orthodox woman is 7, and the average number for Arab Muslim women is 3.9 (Source: Haaretz Newspaper in Israel). Certainly, the demographic composition of Israel is changing. In my opinion and from an Eschatological and Biblical prophetic point of view, the phenomenal growth of Jewish Orthodox believers is God’s way of preparing the hearts and minds of our dear Jewish friends to embrace Jesus as their Messiah and is also an urgent call for Christians to pray for the conversion of the Jews.

The word “ultra” to the Jewish Orthodox Judaism is comparable to the word “fundamental” to evangelical Christians today. According to Wikipedia, “the Haredi or Chareidi Judaism [or ultra-Orthodox Judasim] is the most theologically conservative form… In non-Jewish circles, it is sometimes referred to as Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, a term never used by those involved, who use the word aredi or other expressions instead. Haredi חֲרֵדִי)) is derived from charada, meaning fear or anxiety, which in this context is interpreted as "one who trembles in awe of God". Apostle Paul says in Rom 11:25-27: “25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” No doubt, the Word of God prophesied that one day that all Israel shall be saved – the question is when and how?

With the declaration of Independence of the nation Israel on 14 May 1948, the eschatological prophecy has entered into a new chapter, for the people of Israel have providentially and miraculously returned to the Promised Land having undergone nineteen centuries of Diaspora – never before has a nation in human history achieved this feat! Nearly forty years before the Great Dispersion took place in AD 70, our Lord prophesied: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.” (Matt 24:32; cf. Mk 13:28-29; Lk 21:29-30). The “fig tree” our Lord mentioned is without a doubt in reference to the nation of Israel (Hosea 9:10; Jer. 24:5) and her return to the Promised Land is explicitly prophesied in many passages in the Old Testament of God’s gathering back of Jews from all over the world (Isaiah 66:8; Ezekiel 20:33,34; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Isaiah 11:11-12) in His divine guidance and protection (Isaiah 43:5-6,21; Psalm 107:2-3), of her buying back the land (Jeremiah 32:44), of her reviving of Hebrew language (Zephaniah 3:8), currency unit (Ezekiel 45:12-16), city names (Ezekiel 36:11,  24) and of her restoration of material prosperity (Isaiah 26:6; Isaiah 35:1-2 ), and above all, the revival of the Jewish religion as aforementioned and as witnessed in our generation! The stage has been set for the nation of Israel to turn to their Messiah as the political and spiritual ground works have been providentially put together. rAbout 50 years before Israel’s independence, the prophecy of Israel’s return was to man impossibility – but to the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob everything is possible, for nothing is too hard for the LORD (Gen 18:14)! Arguably, the independence of the nation of Israel as witnessed in 1948 has pushed forward the eschatological timeframe of her last and ultimate spiritual revival closer. By that time, she will confess Jesus as her Messiah as Apostle Peter proclaimed – “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” (Matt 16:16) 

What should be our duties as Christians in these perilous yet eventful last days? Our duty is to pray for the conversion of the Jews along with all other ethno-linguistic groups in the world. Writing to the gentile Christians in Rome, Apostle Paul pleads, “Brethren, my heart\'s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved (Rom 10:1)” Aren’t most if not all of us gentile in flesh as the Romans? If it was the duty of Roman Christians during the first century to pray for the conversion of the Jews, aren’t we also obliged to pray for our dear Jewish friends that they may recognize Christ as their Messiah in the twenty-first century? The answer is an emphatic yes! Moreover, in a sense, we owe the gospel truth to the Jews because first of all, as Paul asserts, unto them were committed the oracles of God (Rom 3:2). Second, according to the flesh our Lord is of a Jewish lineage (Rom 1:3) the Greater son of David. Third, some people during the Great Tribulation will be indebted to the Jews who would play a major role during the Great Tribulation as the hundred and forty-four thousands men mentioned in Rev 14:1-5 as mighty witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ, nevertheless salvation belongs to the Lord and unto God alone be the glory! 

Conclusion:

The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the covenant keeping God, the Great I AM is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8)! He is the same faithful God who we worship and the Great and Mighty Saviour who will keep His promise to Israel, His people, and save them as a nation in time to come. As God is preparing the hearts and minds of our dear Jewish friends to turn to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who is already come, let us, the spiritual descendents of Abraham and of Israel (Gal 3:7, 4:31) pray for conversion of God’s people Israel along with other nations and ethnic groups until the return of the King of kings!  

Pastor Weng


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Sis Marion Chan

All members & regular worshippers are encouraged to join and regularly attend at least one Neighbourhood Bible Study group. Please see Elder Michael Lee for details.

23rd Anniversary Thanksgiving Service Invites on literature table. Please take one.

Please note: Men’s Fellowship will now be held on second Saturday of the month.

 

Looking Ahead

23rd Anniversary Thanksgiving Service, 28 June. Speaker: Pastor Ki.

VBS 6-10 July, Speaker: Bro Hai Seng Lim

AFG & YAF Retreat, 16-18 July.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Ps (S’pore/Cambodia); Dn David & Sis Giok Yeo (Country SA); Bro Raphael Ng (Brisb/Adl); Sisters Margaret Hooper (HK), Vanessa Tan & Peng Ha Yeo (Adl); & Audrey Yeo (Swan Ridge/Adl); & all others who have arrived safely.

Baptism & Membership Transfers conducted by Ps Ki last Lord’s Day & new Hope BPC members

Church activities: Chinese Ministry; Joy & Maranatha Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; Ladies’ Fellowship; YAF Share & Prayer.

Daily mercies, protection & guidance.

Much needed rain over last few days.

 

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi; Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Swee Liang Ng, Mr Yeom; Grandpa Ki; Auntie Oei; Sisters Mabella Booth, Lai Kheng Cheong, Nita Chong, Annie D’Mello, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Choon Fong Lee (Evangel BPC - KL); Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Sally Teng, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; & others in affliction.

Missions - Cambodia (Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry in Phnom Penh & Kandal Province; Rev David Koo & ministry in Sihanoukville), Pastors & believers in Laos, Pakistan & India; Kuching Ministry (Teo family).

Special Prayer: Bro Surish Dharmalingam - for health & financial support for his family & ministry in Vientiane & Siem Pang, Cambodia.

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry & VBS Speaker (July) - Pr H S Lim

Pastor & Sis Myung Ki - future ministry in New Life BPC, London; UK visa application.

Pastor Ki’s ministry in Cambodia, 6 - 9 June.

Journey mercies: Ps Ki (S’pore); Bro Winston & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam (Toronto); Sisters Margaret Hooper (cruise SEA); & all others who are travelling.

Pastor Weng: family & ministry in Hope BPC.

Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Heah, Judy Li & Corinne Teng.

God’s comfort, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.

Hope Fellowship (S’pore): Sisters Sophine Bai, Amanda Fu, Gillian Ong & Serene Wong.

Bro Max Opaskiatikul serving the Lord in MV Doulos

Bro Richie Hornung’s mission (Cebu)

Job security during this recession.

Sis Aranka Rejtoe in-patient in RAH.

Fellowship Exams - Bro John Wong (July)

Year 12 Exams - Bros Joshua Chung, Ming Khai & Jason Teng

University Exams & Assignments

 

 

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