Promoting Yeshua to Jews living in Israel
By Anton Heyns
Hazor'im (www.hazorim.org) is an initiative recently established by Calvary Coastal Fellowship, a Calvary Chapel in Silverdale (North Auckland), New Zealand.Hazor'im is Hebrew for "they that sow". Israel is a field that, in terms of producing a crop for her Master, has lain fallow and barren for nearly two thousand years; fallow because few have been sowing and barren because there has been no rain.Israel, having rejected her Messiah, was overrun by Gentiles in 70 AD and 135 AD. They were driven from the land that God had given them through their father, Abraham. God had warned them, through Moses:
.... the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other... Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, "If only it were evening!" and in the evening, "If only it were morning!"-because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see - Deuteronomy 28: 64-67.
Since that scattering the Jews, have suffered such persecution and persistent hatred and degradation at the hands of the Gentile nations, notably and inexplicably from those that would call themselves "Christian", that it is a horror even to contemplate their history.However during all of this time, many of the natural descendants of Abraham have been blind to the saving grace of Yeshua, their Messiah, the One who came, first and foremost, to save “the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6; cf. 15:24; Acts 2:36; Hebrews 8:8 & 10 etc).These are difficult things to fathom; that God can love His people, yet treat them so. Yet there is hope. He promised to return them to the Land:
I will show the holiness of my great name... For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land... I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God - Ezekiel 36: 23 - 28.I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers... Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved - Romans 11:25 -26.
When, oh merciful God, will this relief come? When will you restore your people to the land? When will you lift the blindness?people to the land? When will you lift the blindness?Well, many of them are now back in the land after 2,000 years. The whole world knows this (and burns with indignation!). No other nation that has been deprived of its homeland, has ever maintained its identity for more than 300 years; not so with Israel; Why? It is because God has decreed it so to be.
Zechariah tells us (in chapters 12, 13 & 14) that Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling to all the nations and that all the nations will be gathered against Jerusalem, that Israel will look upon the One whom they had pierced and mourn for Him, that He will fight for her as in the day of battle and will stand on the Mount of Olives.Surely, surely we see that time fast approaching.
If Israel is to recognise the One whom they have pierced, how will they do so without having been told about Him; that He is Yeshua, their Messiah?
Paul recognised this need and, in Romans 1:16 pointed out that the church's priority is to take the gospel to the Jew first. The church has largely neglected this commission for most of the last 1800 years. Hence there is a tremendous backlog to make up.
The main tool that Hazor'im will use is the material provided by Messiah Comeswww.messiah.com.es an innovative web site, set in a background aesthetically appealing to Jews and containing teachings, by leading Hebrew Messianic scholars, on some of the prophetic writings of the Old Testament, proving the Messiahship of Yeshua from the Tanach.
Hazor'im is planning to send teams of short-term evangelists to Israel, armed principally with Messiah Comes business cards that point to the web site, to spread the good news.
Teams will be under the very able leadership of Mark van Niekerk, a man with a deep knowledge of God's Word concerning Israel and considerable experience evangelising in Israel. Mark has recently been in New Zealand presenting talks on the urgency of this work and calling for volunteers. Twelve fellowships were visited on the North Island and the response was overwhelming, with close to a hundred believers offering to go to Israel over the next few years.
Tours of 3 weeks at a time are planned. Workers will receive training in relevant theology, some history, Jewish culture and evangelism to Jews, before leaving for Israel. The tours will include visits to biblical sites of interest.
Hazor'im is a particular ministry with a particular calling, which has the support of, amongst others, Moriel Ministries, Ariel Ministries and Celebrate Messiah.The first tours are planned for around May and September 2011.Truly, the word is out and God is moving. If He is stirring you to serve in this way, you are invited to make contact by e-mailing Anton Heyns: email@example.com
About the author
Anton Heyns is a barrister employed by the New Zealand Police, having immigrated from South Africa with his family in 2005. While practising law in S.A., he also had a busy life pastoring a church and being involved in evangelism (with a particular focus on the motorcycling fraternity). In N.Z., Anton has established and is pastoring Calvary Coastal Fellowship in Silverdale, near Auckland. It is only recently that Anton has been strongly stirred to become involved in evangelism to Jews, particularly in Israel, which has led to the founding of Hazor'im.