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Lessons From the Red Sea

One of the most fascinating demonstrations of God's unmatched power is the biblical account of the parting of the Red Sea. Today this vast body of water is home to all types of living creatures and coral reefs, and is a hot spot for divers and marine scientists. But do you know why some archaeologists call it the Reed Sea?

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Christians to Show Support for Israel at D.C. Summit

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) is headed back to the nation's capital for its fourth annual Washington Summit July 20-22. Some 31 leaders from across the country will address issues critical to the Holy Land and give updates on recent developments in Israel, the Middle East and Washington, D.C.

CUFI founder John Hagee and Dennis Prager will host a Night to Honor Israel service during the event, and attendees will meet with members of Congress to discuss their support for the embattled country.

With Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad making constant threats to "wipe Israel off the map," organizers say Christians must unite together.

"There is no time to waste. The enemies of Israel are the enemies of America. They are the enemies of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These enemies have drawn the battle line. If a line has to be drawn, then draw that line around both Christians and Jews."

To register for the Washington Summit or to get information about the event, click here.

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Revealing Yeshua to the World

The first time Yeshua (Jesus) came to earth, He gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin. When He returns, He will come at the head of a mighty army, the conquering King who will fight against and destroy evil.

Our Lord fulfilled more than 300 Old Testament prophecies. He also fulfilled prophecies like this one, from the Babylonian Talmud. According to the story, a Rabbi met the Prophet Elijah, and asked him, "When will the Messiah come?"


"Go and ask him yourself," Elijah replied. "Where is he sitting?" the Rabbi asked.
"At the entrance [or the gates of the city]," came the reply. "And by what sign may I recognize him?" "He is sitting among the poor lepers."


Like most of the prophecies I list at the end of this article, this one pictures the Messiah as the suffering servant who is rejected and mistreated for the sake of His people.


There are so many other ways Yeshua fits this description. He could have been born in a palace. Instead, he came into the world in a barn, surrounded by smelly animals. He could have been surrounded by servants who were there to respond to every whim. Instead, He said, "Foxes have holes and the birds of air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head" (Luke 9:58).


He could have called down thousands of angels to fight for Him when He was arrested, but chose instead to humbly submit Himself to those who wanted to take His life (Matthew 26:50-54). Author Josh McDowell calculated the odds of Jesus fulfilling only eight of the Messianic prophecies as 1 out of 1017 (a one followed by 17 zeros).

To put this into perspective, it's like covering the entire state of Texas with silver dollars two feet deep, marking one of them and having a blind-folded person pick the marked one, at random, the very first time he tries. One mathematician figured out that the odds of one man fulfilling 60 of these prophecies would be one out of ten to the 895th power.


When I first came to saving faith in Yeshua (Jesus), I was amazed to see how His life reflected the history of Israel. More accurately, I was amazed to see how the history of Israel reflected the life of Messiah. I learned that looking at the history of Israel is like looking into a reflection of Yeshua Himself. I see His life mirrored in the seven Festivals of the Hebrew calendar-these are holy days to the Israelites.

Paul tells us in Colossians 2:16-17 that each of these special days were appointed by God to reveal the Messiah to the world as part of God's great plan for His creation: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.


It amazes me to think that every year, millions of Jews all over the world celebrate these holy days that point so clearly to Yeshua (Jesus), and yet they don't understand the real significance of what they're doing. For some, the light is coming on, as my brethren are exposed to the truths found in their own Torah and their hearts and lives are flooded with joy! For this, I am so grateful.


Here are prophecies that were fulfilled the first time He came to earth.

Yeshua:
· Was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
· Was born to a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
· Was called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1).
· Was rejected by His own (Isaiah 53:3).
· Is the stone the builders rejected, which then became the capstone (Psalm 118:22-23).
· Is the gentle King who entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).
· Was betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9).
· Was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13).
· Was accused by a false witness (Psalm 35:11).
· Healed the blind, deaf, lame and dumb (Isaiah 35:5-6).
· Bore our sicknesses (Isaiah 53:4).
· Was spat upon, smitten and scourged (Isaiah 50:6; 53:5).
· Was hated without a cause (Psalm 35:19).
· Was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5; Zecharaiah 12:10; Psalm 22:16).
· Suffered for the sins of many (Isaiah 53:10-12).
· Died among criminals (Isaiah 53:12).
· Was thirsty during His execution (Psalm 69:21).
· Had His garments divided among those who cast lots for them (Psalm 22:18).
· Cried out, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Psalm 22:1)
· Was buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9).
· Was resurrected from the dead (Psalm 16:11-10; 49:15).

 

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Waking Up to Iran


In recent weeks, the world seems to have finally awakened to the true nature of Iran's Islamic regime. First, Iran's leaders appear to have stolen a presidential election on behalf of their preferred candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Then they brutally cracked down on those who protested the theft.

Rather than admit that the protests are an expression of Iranian dissent, these leaders have made the absurd claim that foreign agitators, primarily British, are responsible.



Finally, a young woman named Neda Agha-Soltan was shot and killed while observing the protests last week. As beautiful Neda died—her terrible final moments captured on video—the world's illusions about Iran seemed to die with her.



It is good that the world finally recognizes the true nature of Iran's regime. But it is simply inexplicable—and inexcusable—that it took so long for the world to wake up. While Neda's death is indeed tragic, she is hardly the Islamic Republic's first victim.

The hands of Iran mullah's drip with blood. The fact that much of this blood is Jewish and American should not make it any less meaningful, or any less shocking.

As we all know, Iran funds, trains and arms the two terrorist groups most committed to Israel's destruction, Hezbollah and Hamas. Iranian support enabled Hezbollah to attack Israel in July 2006 and force over 350,000 Israelis to flee their homes as Iranian-supplied missiles rained down on Israel's northern cities (and killed over 40 Israelis).

The Iranians have since rearmed Hezbollah with missiles that can reach almost all of Israel's major population centers. Iran has also been Hamas' main external source of support and has enabled and encouraged Hamas attacks on Israel. Iran is now making every effort to supply Hamas with long range missiles that can reach Tel Aviv.



Of course, Iran has hardly limited its violence to citizens of the Jewish state.

Iranian-backed Hezbollah is widely believed to have been responsible for the 1983 bombing of our marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 299 American soldiers. On May 30, 2003, Judge Royce Lamberth of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, found Iran legally responsible for providing Hezbollah with financial and logistical support that helped them carry out this attack.

Likewise, Iran's Hezbollah proxies have been linked to the 1996 attacks on the Khobar Towers barracks in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. soldiers. More recently, our government has linked Iran to the Iraqi insurgents who have killed U.S. troops in Iraq.



In July 1994, the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was bombed, killing 85 people and injuring hundreds. Most of the victims were Argentinean Jews. On October 25, 2006, Argentine prosecutors formally accused the government of Iran of directing the bombing, and Hezbollah of carrying it out. It is for these reasons and many others that the U.S. State Department has repeatedly labeled Iran the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.



Those who have suffered most under Iran's regime, of course, are the Iranian people themselves. During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980's, thousands of Iranian boys and teenagers lost their lives after they were forced to run into Iraqi minefields and machine gun fire in repeated "human waves" until a path was cleared for tanks to advance.

Thousands of Iranians have been arrested, beaten and even executed for their political views. Members of Iran's Jewish community have been falsely accused of spying for Israel, Iran's Bahai community faces terrible persecution, and Iranian teenagers have been hung for being homosexuals.



Despite this long record of terror and bloodshed, much of the world and even our own administration continue to view Iran as a legitimate regime, one that can be reasoned with. For some reason, it took an Iranian clamp down on its own people to penetrate the world's complacency about Iran in a way that this prior record could not. Better late than never.



But this reality raises a concern. Will the world's recognition of the Islamic regime's true nature be as short lived as it has been belated? When the shock of Neda's death fades, will the world remember her and the thousands of other victims of this regime whose violent deaths were never caught on tape?

When Ahmadinejad claims that he wants nuclear power for peaceful purposes, will the world remember his lies about this election and about the protests that followed? We hope the world will remember. But we must do everything in our power to remind all who will listen of these facts lest they forget.

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Did Obama Edit History?

Even four weeks later, President Barak Obama's Cairo speech is still reverberating in Washington, D.C. To his credit, the president used the speech to shatter an ugly myth when he confronted Holocaust denial.

But unfortunately, President Obama's speech actually reinforced other dangerous myths about Israel's history and the true obstacles to peace in the Middle East.

Last Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stepped up to set the record straight. And last week, two Democratic senators—Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey—added their voices to the chorus of correction. Taking on a popular president from your own party is never easy. It is therefore of great significance that these two Democrats felt the need to clarify that when it comes to the specifics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the president does not speak for the party. read more

Meeting God at the Winepress

In biblical times, a winepress represented joy, singing and rejoicing. Farmers would harvest their grapes, place them in a pit hewed from a rock called a winepress, and crush the fruit to get the juice. They would use the grape juice to make wine and serve it at weddings, dinner and other gatherings. But according to Isaiah, the winepress is also symbolic of God’s wrath. To learn more about the ancient winepress, click below to watch the video. read more

Israeli Basketball Player Selected in NBA Draft

The Sacramento Kings selected forward Omri Casspi at the 23rd pick of the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft held in New York City's Madison Square Garden last week. The 6-foot-9-inch 21-year-old is the first Israeli ever to be drafted by an NBA team in the first round of the selection process.

Casspi watched the draft from his home in Yavne so he could share the experience with his family. read more

Messianic Judaism Recognized in Israel and Elsewhere

The Messianic Action Committee (MAC) led the fight against two proposed laws meant to make Messianic Judaism illegal in Israel, and both of these proposals failed to become law in the land. Now, the MAC (under the name Action Committee for Messianic Judaism in Hebrew) has been officially recognized as an Israeli not-for-profit organization. This means that the government of Israel now officially recognizes Messianic Judaism!

This is really incredible news! Now, because Messianic Jews have stood their ground, Israelis will be faced with a decision. Is whatever type of Judaism they practice (or don't practice) more true than our form of Judaism—Messianic Judaism?

Recently, several books have been published describing Messianic Judaism in a rather positive light. A new book, written by a rabbi and yet to be published, describes Messianic Judaism as a branch of Judaism. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw a sketch of a seven-branch menorah that included our brand of Judaism along with Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist. read more

Poll Shows Israelis Losing Trust in Obama

The latest poll of Israeli public opinion shows that a mere 6 percent of the Jewish population consider President Barack Obama to be a friend of Israel, down from 31 percent a few weeks ago.

According to the Smith Research poll conducted for The Jerusalem Post, exactly half the people surveyed believe Obama's administration is more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli, and 36 percent said the policies were neutral. read more

A View From the Top

Standing atop Mount Olive, I got a panoramic view of Jerusalem and the Old City during my pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I could see the Temple Mount, the City of David, and the “pinnacle” or the place where the Bible says Satan told Jesus: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you’” (Luke 4: 9-10, NKJV). To see the Holy City, click below to watch the video. read more

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