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Israel & Christians Today

Biblical understanding about Israel

June 27, 2017

C4I Italy organizes “Shalom Jerusalem” conference in Rome

Christians for Israel’s Italian affiliate - “Cristiani per Israele” – organized an impressive conference in Rome on Saturday 24th June in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in June 1967. The meeting was hosted by Communidade Evangelica Internacional Zona Sul church in Rome, led by Rev. Fernando de Franca.  

Cristiani per Israele leaders Edda Fogorollo and Chiara Canciani, together with Berhanu Workineh and their team, did an amazing job to organize this conference – the first of its kind in Rome. Attended by about 300 participants from all over Italy, this conference was the fruit of years of hard work raising interest in God’s prophetic word regarding Israel and the Jewish people. This is very significant, given Rome’s historical connection with the Jewish people – that has not always been a positive one. It were the Romans who destroyed the Temple in AD70, and in AD135 put down the Bar Kokhba uprising, resulting in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Jerusalem and the dispersion of thousands of Jews into the Roman diaspora. The Emperor Hadrian wiped the name of Judea and Israel off the map, replacing them with the designation “Syria Palaestina” – thus laying the ground for the current misuse of the name “Palestine” today to erase all Jewish connection with East Jerusalem and the Jewish towns of the “West Bank”. The Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Romans to remind the Gentile Christians in Rome not to look proudly on the Jewish people, but to remember that the Gentile believers have been grafted as “wild branches” into the olive tree in which the Jewish people belong as the “natural branches” (Romans 11). In this light, the Rome conference can be seen as a prophetic act to restore the gospel of the “Kingdom of heaven” to the churches in Rome.

This word has been fulfilled:
"Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them." (Psalm 126:5-6)

Conference room of the 2017 "Shalom Jerusalem Conference" in Rome

Israeli Vice-Ambassador Dan Haezrachy opened the meeting, expressing the thanks of the Israeli government for Christian support and friendship in a time in which the existence of the State of Israel is under increasing attack. Rev. Fernando da Franca spoke passionately of the need to preach and depend upon God’s word. “God’s word is 100% reliable. He will fulfill all that He has promised.”

Israeli Vice-Ambassador Dan Haezrachy, Chiara Canciani and Edda Fogarollo.

Senator Lucio Malan encouraged the participants to express their concerns about Italian government policies regarding Israel. For example, the Italian government recently approved massive investments by energy concern ENI in Iran – that maintains its intent to destroy Israel. Senator Malan condemned the tendencies of Israel’s enemies to deny historical realities. “We must defend the historical validity of both the Old and New Testaments. The presence of the Jewish people in the land is in fact one of the greatest proofs of the truth of God’s word”. On a more positive note, in May 2017, Italy was one of only ten nations to vote against a UNESCO resolution condemning Israel’s unification of Jerusalem. Malan: ”This was a result of many people expressing their objections to Italy’s earlier votes in support of similar resolutions, as well as fervent prayers.”

Rev. de Franca and Dr. Magdi Cristiano Allam

Rev. Willem Glashouwer (President, Christians for Israel International) reflected on the 500th anniversary of the reformation. He emphasized that 400 years of rationalism in Europe have resulted in lack of faith in the truth of God’s word. Combined with the theological blockades in the hearts and minds of Christians, this has resulted in an inability to understand the current affairs in the Middle East. “The church again needs a deep reformation. We need to change the roots of our replacement and fulfilment theologies that have crept in over the centuries. It is time to stand on the authority of God’s eternal covenants with Israel. God is a faithful God, who does what He says. He is restoring Israel, in order to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth when Jesus returns”.

Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer and Rev de Franca

Prof. Edda Fogarollo (Chair, Cristiani per Israele) gave an impassioned and detailed presentation on the troubled historical and spiritual relationship between Rome and Israel – starting with the Maccabees, and with its deepest point the destruction of the Temple in 70AD and the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Jews in 135 AD, the renaming of Judea as “Syria Palaestine”, and the destruction of Jewish connection with the land. 

Andrew Tucker (Executive Director, Christians for Israel International) spoke about the prophecies of Zachariah 12, who describes Jerusalem in the end times as a “the cup that sends the surrounding peoples reeling”. This is exactly what we are witnessing today - it is Israel’s neighbors who are time and again sponsoring United Nations and UNESCO resolutions rejecting the reunification of Jerusalem, and demanding its re-division and the establishment of “East Jerusalem” as the capital of the claimed “state of Palestine”. Similarly, Jerusalem is an “immoveable rock” – no matter what the nations try, they cannot defeat or divide the city. There is no doubt that the nations will “gather against Jerusalem”, in all likelihood on the basis of United Nations resolutions. But the Lord Himself will intervene to protect His people and destroy Israel’s enemies.

Andrew Tucker, Edda Fogarollo, Rev Willem J.J. Glashouwer, Marianne Glashouwer, Marie-Louise Weissenböck, Albert Veksler, Israeli Vice-Ambassador Dan Haezrachy and Rev de Franca

Prof. Magdi Cristiano Allam, former Muslim, and journalist and politician, gave his personal testimony of how he came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Europe is being threatened by radical Islam. It is time for the Church to awake, and to defend our civilization based of Judeo-Christian values.

The conference finished with a wonderful concert of Israeli music by Birgitta Johanna Lundvall from Jerusalem.  

Celebrating 50 years of a reunited Jerusalem

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