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Israel & Christians Today

Biblical understanding about Israel

May 21, 2014

Bringing the gospel of the kingdom to Asia

Christians for Israel International organized its second Bi-annual Asian Teaching and Training Conference in Cebu, Philippines on 8th and 9th May 2014.Fifty-three Christian leaders from Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Australia, Germany and Netherlands gathered at Hotel Bellavista in Cebu, the second-largest city in Philippines, for two intensive days of teaching, fellowship and prayer.

Expanding the Christians for Israel network in Asia

Christians for Israel has been ministering in Asia for over ten years. Our mission is to raise understanding in the churches in Asia about God’s faithfulness towards Israel and the Jewish people, and to encourage Christians to support the . Christians for Israel now has official representatives and national affiliates in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines and India. In addition, a number of visits were made in 2013-4 and are being planned in China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, East Timor and Japan.
 “This conference has changed my life. I am so happy that I was part of this. I want to introduce this teaching in my own country”.
- Rev. Dr. Suan Za Pau, Senior pastor of Word of Hope Church and General Secretary of the General Council of the Assemblies of God of Myanmar.

Asia is one of six world regions in which Christians for Israel is active. The other regions are: Europe, Americas, Central/West Africa, East/Southern Africa, and Australasia/Pacific.

Following the conference, a number of the key national leaders met for a day of prayer and strategic planning. In subsequent days, Willem Glashouwer Andrew Tucker and Rev. Aristarkus Joel Tarigan visited many churches in the Cebu province, reaching hundreds of young people with the message of God’s love and faithfulness.

Exciting new teaching resource for the churches

At the outset of the conference, Wilson Ng (CEO Atikiara Corporation, Malaysia, and Regional Coordinator - Asia, Christians for Israel) introduced the new Why Israel? Teaching Series – a 10-module package containing a book, DVD teachings and Study Guide. In this series Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer systematically explains the relationship between Israel, the church and the nations. This resource is intended for personal and group study, and will be launched in several languages worldwide in the coming months.

Expounding the word of God in the context of world events

In a series of inspiring seminars, Rev. Willem Glashouwer (President, Christians for Israel International) taught systematically from the Bible about God’s love for Israel, the seven eternal and unconditional covenants with Israel referred to in the Hebrew scriptures, and God’s promises concerning the restoration of Israel and the coming of Messiah. These covenants with Israel form the basis of God’s plan of salvation and redemption for the whole world. Rev. Glashouwer also spoke of the blindness and deafness of Israel, that – as the Apostle Paul taught us (Romans 11) - was imparted by God in order that the Gentiles could be brought into God’s Kingdom, and will be removed when the “fullness of the Gentiles” has come in.

According to Glashouwer, the church’s adoption of “replacement” or “supercessionist” theologies over the centuries has led directly to the persecution and killing of Jews. A deep guilt lies on the church – to quote the author Michael Brown, “our hands are stained with blood”. “The main reason for this has been faulty thinking about the Kingdom of God”, explained Glashouwer. A number of early church fathers, under the influence of Greek (Hellenistic) thinking, rejected the teaching of the Hebrew prophets that God would establish His kingdom of peace and righteousness on earth, and replaced it with a notion that the Kingdom is in heaven, separate from the earth. According to Glashouwer, this misrepresents the teaching of Jesus and the Apostles, who fully embraced the idea elaborated throughout the Old Testament that God would one day “restore the Kingdom to Israel” (see eg. Acts 1). The gathering of the Gentile church was not intended to replace Israel, explains Glashouwer, but to expand and complete God’s great work of redemption of the world in which Israel remains central.

Harald Eckert (Chairman, Christians for Israel International) laid the Biblical foundations for a correct understanding of the relationship between Israel, the body of Christ and the nations, and God’s purposes of judgment and grace concerning the nations. Israel was called “out of the nations” in order to be a blessing to the nations. It is God’s desire and purpose to bless nations of the earth – but only if they accept God’s established order of things. The election and calling of Israel is not intended to benefit Israel, but as God’s means to ensure that all peoples will learn to do the will of God on earth. “The nations will know that I, the Lord, sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst for evermore” (Ezekiel 37:28).

Referring specifically to the relationship between Germany and Israel, Eckert described the work of intercession, repentance, reconciliation and redemption in Germany in recent decades. Eckert emphasized that Christians are called to be priests and prophets, and central to this is our own relationship with the Jewish people, and the attitude of our nations towards Israel and the Jewish people. In recent years, many Christians in Germany have sought to intercede and achieve reconciliation by commemorating the 70th anniversary of key events in the Second World War, commencing with the 70th anniversary of the infamous Wannsee Conference (1942) on 20th January 2012. In this line, Christians for Israel has partnered with Ebenezer (Operation Exodus) and European Coalition for Israel (ECI) to launch the Global Prayer Call – a worldwide 100-day period in 2015 of prayer and fasting for our nations in respect of their relationship with Israel.

Andrew Tucker (Executive Director, Christians for Israel International) explored the historical and legal background to the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. Factual misconceptions and misrepresentations of historical facts have negatively influenced the way Christians look at Israel and the Jewish people. Contrary to popular belief, the Jewish people are no strangers in the Middle East. In the millennium before Christ, the Jewish people established and developed most of the towns and cities that are now so significant (eg. Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Haifa). The Jewish people are the only nation that has ever had a kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital. In the two millennia since the destruction of the second temple and the dispersion of the Jews into the diaspora (70-135 AD), the Jews have been a significant minority group throughout the Middle East, and have always maintained a presence in the land of “Palestine”. The immigration of Jews in significant numbers in the 19th century was a natural return to a land with which they had a deep historical, religious, spiritual, and cultural connection. The non-Jewish residents of “Palestine”, on the contrary, constituted a mixture of many different ethnic and religious groups, many of which had only a superficial connection with the land. All of this was recognized in the decisions of the Allied Powers at San Remo in 1920 (ultimately resulting in the modern states of Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon) and the Mandate for Palestine, acknowledging the right of the Jewish people to establish their national homeland in Palestine, and laying the legal foundation of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

Tucker then examined some key developments since 1948, in which Israel has increasingly become isolated on the world stage. Two main factors have been influential – the rise of Islam worldwide, and liberal/secular thinking in the west. The establishment by the Arab nations of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964, and its continued recognition as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”, demonstrates the ongoing refusal of the Arab world to acknowledge the right of the Jewish people to exist as a nation. Following Israel’s success in the Six Day (1967) and Yom Kippur (1973) wars, the nations of Europe effectively entered into an alliance with the Arab world, now popularly known as “Eurabia”, in which the creation of an Arab state of Palestine has been the key strategic goal. Together with many Non-Aligned nations, the members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC – established in 1974) have been able to dominate voting patterns in the UN General Assembly. Ignoring pre-1948 historical realities and legal commitments, many mainstream churches and NGO’s have pressured governments to deny the connection of the Jewish people with Jerusalem and the “West Bank” territories, and undermine the legitimacy of the state of Israel. International law is being used as a weapon in this debate.

Concluding the conference, Conrado Lumahan (National leader, Christians for Israel Philippines) summarized the reasons why Christians should support Israel and the Jewish people. These include the fact that Jesus is a Jew, all of God’s promises to and covenants with the Jewish people are “irrevocable”, and that Gentile believers in Jesus are “grafted in” to God’s relationship with the Jewish people.


“The teachings at this conference have opened my eyes to God’s great plan with this world. I believe it is harvest time for the church in Indonesia. Many are coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Of the population of 250 million, we estimate that about 30% are Christians. Over 100 of the 560 members of Parliament are Christians. The Holy Spirit is doing a great work. The completion of the great harvest is closely connected with the restoration of Israel. I have visited Israel twice, but never really understood the significance of the Jewish people. I am so grateful to God that He has revealed these things. I feel more equipped to carry out my work as a pastor in Indonesia.”
- Rev. Aristarkus Joel Tarigan, Jakarta, Indonesia

“This conference has changed my life. I am so happy that I was part of this. I want to introduce this teaching in my own country”.
- Rev. Dr. Suan Za Pau, Senior pastor of Word of Hope Church and General Secretary of the General Council of the Assemblies of God of Myanmar.

“I have been attending these conference for a number of years, and every time I am amazed to learn new things. We seem to go deeper into God’s word. This conference has renewed my hope of Jesus’ coming, and it encourages me to be even more diligent in sharing this message with my fellow Christians.”
- Paul Jung, accountant, Christians for Israel representative in Korea, and representative of Korean Israel Bible Institute (KIBI) Australia.

 “The teachings at this conference have changed my life. Every pastor in India needs to hear this teaching about the Kingdom of God. The church in India must understand God’s purposes and the times we are living in, in order to be ready for the coming of Jesus. I believe Christians for Israel has a special anointing to bring this message into the nations. I am excited to be a part of this movement.”
- Rev. Deeven Kumar, one of four Christian leaders attending the conference from India. Rev. Deenan is Senior Pastor of Rock Church in Hyderabad, India, and leader of Rock Church Ministries which has over 1500 churches in India, four Bible colleges, New Life centres for 200 leprosy patients, and orphanages caring for more than 5000 children throughout India.

“I am so thankful to God for the systematic and deep teaching we have received. It has opened my mind, and stirred up my heart and soul, and I am determined to take this message into my churches.”
- Rev. Elpidio Taboclaon, District Superintendent of the Assembly of God, Philippines

“I have been pastoring and teaching for over 14 years, and have been to many conferences. But this conference was absolutely unique. It has completely changed my perspective about Israel and the kingdom of God. I want to ask forgiveness of God because I have had a wrong theology as far as Israel and the Jewish people is concerned. As a result of this conference, I now have a mandate and responsibility to teach the people of my nation about these matters. I have been seeking the Lord for His vision. As a teacher in a Bible school, I have a heart for the young people in my nation, and so I intend to introduce this teaching into our Bible School curriculum.”
- Rev. Evangelina M. Garcia, Minister of the Assembly of God, and Board member of Luzon Bible College, Philippines.

“I am so encouraged by the testimonies I have heard at this conference. I believe it is essential to work closely with Israel and the Jewish people. It is not enough to know about Israel, we also need to connect with and support the Jewish people practically.”
- Trevor Fong, Director, Omega Tours and Travel, Singapore  

 Representatives from Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines
 Harald Eckert, Willem Glashouwer with representative from Philippines
 Wilson Ng, Conrado Lumahan and his wife, Andrew Tucker



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