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Israel & Christians Today

Biblical understanding about Israel

April 4, 2017

Jerusalem, Heart of the World

Leadership Forum 2017 - A time to meet friends, think and share together about how to reach more Christians around the world with our message about Israel. That was what our Forum in March in Jerusalem was all about. But this year’s Forum had an additional purpose, as the city of Jerusalem was reunited as Israel’s capital fifty years ago.

From over 35 countries, more than 80 people made their way to the Holy City. All of them are committed to teach in their country’s churches about Israel, on behalf of Christians for Israel. This can be a very lonely job, and from time to time also heavy, sometimes even dangerous. Therefore, the Christians for Israel 6th Biennial Forum is a place of encounter, encouragement and education, by and for the leadership of Christians for Israel.

Jerusalem Declaration

This year’s Forum was marked by Jerusalem. There is no other city in the world that makes so much sense as Jerusalem. Much is said about it, both positive and negative. Therefore, in a personal meeting, we handed over to the President of Israel, the Jerusalem Declaration. It says that Israel does not exist by the grace “of the United Nations (...), or Christianity, or Islam. Israel exists by the grace of God, who made an everlasting covenant with Israel.

Therefore, on behalf of thousands of Christians worldwide, we declare that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the Jewish state of Israel, and it is the city of God which waits for the rightful King of kings and Lord of lords, the Messiah of Israel who will take His seat on the throne of His father David - and His Kingship will know no end.”

President Rivlin warmly welcomed us and stated that he has a long history with Jerusalem, as his family settled there in the beginning of the nineteenth century. “We came to return to our homeland (...). Many of the Jews who came returned to Zion, not just to the land of Israel, but to Jerusalem”, Rivlin said. He also made it
clear that he believes that this is the place where they expect Messiah will come.

Words of Encouragement
The Forum provided opportunities for many speakers, including historians, rabbis, pastors and journalists. Christians for Israel representatives were able to share news about what is going on in their country and how they commit themselves to share about God’s plans and purposes in their nations.

Celebrating 25 years First Home in the Homeland

Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer (President C4I International) shared a Bible study in which he stated, “God did not choose a people, He created a people. When God told Abraham that he would have a son, Abraham said not only that this was not possible, but that it was not necessary, because he already had a son, Ishmael. In spite of this, God gave him the son that He promised, Isaac.”

Leon Meijer, Chairman of Christians for Israel International said, “We are Christians. We know that our words haven’t worked over the centuries. Therefore, we must use actions instead of words. Show what your beliefs are. And if you’re being asked, tell them why you’re a Christian. Do not evangelize - think of all those words that did not work - but remain honest about what you believe.”

Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs spoke about the philosophy of Jerusalem from a Jewish religious view, “The name which Jacob gave to Jerusalem was House of God, Isaac called it a field, and Abraham called it a mountain. The first Jewish temple is mentioned in the Bible as a mountain, the second as a field and the next temple as a house. Jacob had no home and went from place to place. And yet he is connected to home, by the third temple. Isaiah says: “Let us go to the mountain of God, to the house of the Lord. For the Word of God will go forth from Jerusalem. On that day, this conference will no longer be necessary. Everyone knows that they should be in Jerusalem,” Jacobs said.

Celebrate Jerusalem
Part of the Forum included a festive reception, called Celebrate Jerusalem, where we could meet our friends from Israel.

Oren, Deputy Minister of Diplomacy at the office of the Prime Minister, stated, “I speak to all kinds of churches - churches that often understand little about Israel - who visit us in the ministry - thank you that you made it possible for Israel to exist. You came more than a hundred years ago to this country, you took care of developing this country, you made the Balfour Declaration possible, and now you are here in the state of Israel.”

Rabbi David Portowicz of the Jaffa Institute is probably the longest lasting friend of Christians for Israel. He said, “Toda Raba - thank you!”

He completed these words with a wonderful explanation of their profound meaning that goes far beyond a quickly said ‘thank you’.

The evening ended with the priestly blessing by Chief Rabbi Eliezer Simcha Weisz of the Emek Hefer region.

Marijke Terlouw
Christians for Israel 
The Netherlands

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