Promise to Possession

Sandra Barris who I'll present to you in

a moment is a woman who exemplifies the

love for Israel she is a Jewish woman

educated and you know grew up in a an

Orthodox Jewish home and she is a Jewish

believer she's not a Christian she

adheres to the faith of the Jewish faith

of Israel but she has a particular

relationship with the Christians through

an organization that she heads

Christians for Israeli communities that

correct CFO I see and it's a partnership

organization that is Jewish in origin

and and in composition of its leadership

but also cooperates with Christians all

over the world to support communities in

Israel especially communities that find

themselves in those borderlands

sometimes called settlements a very

controversial concept unnecessarily

controversial I would say because it

really deals with the Jews recovering

land that God has decreed upon them as

their as the property of the of the

Jewish people through eternal time and

yet you know the many Jewish people are

find themselves in these communities

seen as sort of intruders and invaders

and it causes a lot of conflict all over

but there are communities there that

need the love of Christians like us who

love Israel support Israel and she's

here to speak to us about the nature of

her work and I hope that you know in the

future Lion of Judah will become more

and more involved in that missions work

and I hope that her being here this

morning will advance us toward that goal

now let me say something you know I told

Sandra that I would take a couple of

minutes before I introduced her fully to

share with you something about you know

our position as a line of Judah whose

name by the way congregation Lion of

Judah which is a name that I believe

the Lord gave me through that dream that

I had off the Lion of Judah many many

years ago and I encoded in our name a

lava forest on a particular relationship

with Israel that is slowly unfolding and

becoming more and more realized and will

continue to become more and more

realized during my sabbatical which has

you know just the ended a couple of

weeks ago you know the Lord spoke to me

about the need of our congregation to

[Music]

read if not redefine but really to

re-emphasize some of the things that we

believe as a congregation to revisit

some of the pillars of our beliefs and

you know some people might say well the

pillars of our theology are of course

the divinity of Christ is virgin birth

is death on the cross his resurrection

his ascension is coming again the unity

of Christ as a means of salvation these

are truly yeah they are the basic these

are the pillars the postulates of our

faith but you know there are other

things as well that I believe make up

what I think is a healthy Christian

spirituality in our time in this modern

times that we live and they may not seem

as important but they the way the

position that you adopt toward them I

think defines in a way your relationship

with many other aspects of the Bible

prophecy and salvation and other things

they may not seem but but by virtue of

how theology you know it's made up of

interlinked beliefs things that are

related to each other I believe that the

posture that we hold toward Israel has

it is an indication of the of the

ultimate and that may be controversial

to you of the ultimate health and

wholeness of our faith and that's why I

feel many times as a pastor I have the

the obligation to alert us to water

position should be toward Israel and we

know that the Apostle Paul speaks in

Romans I think chapter 11 about the the

fact that you know by Israel we are

blessed God is not through with Israel

God is a dealing with Israel no kinds of

ways and I'm going to make believe that

Sandra is not here so that I'm not

addressing her at all I'm addressing

these beliefs that we have you know that

God is working in and the Apostle Paul

is very clear on our loving Israel and

seeing God's special plan with that

nation throughout the ages we believe

that you know God called the man Abraham

establish a covenant with him we are

linked to that covenant through Christ

it was a continuation of that covenant

and we believe that you know God call

this man and call this seed into a

special relationship with him you know

Israel is a chosen people and God makes

it clear in the prophets make it clear

that God did not choose Israel because

of its justice or its righteousness

Israel has been a rebellious nation even

according to their own prophets and

according to the Old Testament and you

know there are many Jews even now we

realize and believe that Israel is not

what God wants it to be completely

Israel is a secular nation and there are

places in Israel that might as well be

Europe and so on but God loves Israel

has a special plan and has a special

love for Israel that is unique and the

Bible says also that we bless Israel we

will be blessed and if we curse Israel

as so many nations are doing these days

you know they will be cursed and Israel

is a beleaguered nation in other words

it is a nation that is surrounded on all

sides by powerful nations that hate

Israel and would want to destroy it and

kill it their sworn enemies of Israel no

amount of argument no amount of

appeasement will change a visceral

hatred that these nations have toward

Israel Israel has tried I mean if you

read the history you will see Israel has

given land and Israel has done all kinds

of things to try to you know establish

good relationships and we have seen that

any time Israel concedes anything or

gives anything it is used just to attack

more and to hate more there are many

nations that don't even acknowledge the

right of Israel to exist Israel is a

nation the size of Rhode Island it is

surrounded by men

nations and even that little piece of

land that has been given to them which

by the way it was an unfair distribution

which should have been much bigger but

the Jews in their desperation to have a

land of their own back in the 1940s

accepted that little piece of land which

is so much smaller than what the Lord

gave it to Israel through Abraham and I

think anybody who knows scripture and

and when you enter into the ethos of

scripture when you when you get into the

mentality that is there in the Old

Testament and in the new in many ways

you have to realize that you know God's

relationship to the Land of Israel is

something very unique and very sacred

and very mysterious it's not just you

know inches of dirt that can be

negotiated back and forth something very

sacred about the way God relates to his

people regarding the land that he gave

them and I out said that not even the

Jews have a right to give away their

land or to negotiate it it is something

that is beyond any generation of a Jews

to deal with and we should be respectful

of that all these other nations they

have many many resources and they have

many people advocating for them the Jews

are very few people who advocate for

them and I think our love for Israel our

advocacy for Israel our respect for

Israel our defence of Israel should be

passionate and that should not be subtle

I believe in nuance I believe in

subtlety in many things but I think

Israel requires a very strong love a

very unambiguous love on the part of us

Christians we have God knows we have

done enough to destroy any kind of

affection that might exist between Jews

and Christians we have made every effort

to persecute them and and and it's not

we I mean Christians depends who who

adopts the name of Christian there's a

lot of people certainly Hitler was not

Christian and Nazi Germany was not

Christian in it in their essence and in

their nature but they call themselves

that just as many people you know

there's no unfortunately there's no no

right to say what what is Christian or

what is not it's not a legal thing you

know anybody

call themselves Christians but the fact

they see is that Christians like Martin

Luther and others you know have

persecuted Israel and have been guilty

of anti-semitism we this generation

should be very very clear on our love

for Israel and as a church we need to

double down on that doctrine on that

belief because I think it is important

more important than ever and I hope I

will have time because I know that what

I'm saying is can be controversial to a

few of you and it requires a lot of

detail and you know just working through

these things and I hope to do that at

some point as I do other doctrines and

other beliefs that we hold to but for

this morning I do want to declare that

this church is committed to Israel and

that we love this that nation of Israel

and I encourage you to read the Bible

from Genesis to Revelation in the light

of God's unique love for that nation and

the call of Scripture for us to defend

and love Israel as I say it's not a

perfect nation no nation is especially

one that is facing such complex issues

as this or a look at our own nation we

make a mess of them even more even less

complex things than Israel does so it's

not perfect but I believe that it is

worthy of our support and our blessing

and so this morning with that as a

prelude I invite uh Sandra she won't be

as controversial as I am I am the pastor

here so I I can afford to do that but

she's a gracious woman who was born here

in the United States educated in an

orthodox home left all kinds of

privileges he's a graduate of a Columbia

Law School and of Columbia University

has an undergraduate degree as well went

to Israel to ally herself with her

nation has been working there

sacrificially living in the frontiers of

lands that are very very much right now

in struggle and she as I say she

straddles he works with both Jews and

Christians and does a tremendous job we

have great affection for her give her a

good hand and Sondra come forward and

she will talk to us about a few things

let me just say that there are some

materials up behind there as well about

her about her work and she'll tell you

ittle bit more about them some of them

are to be purchased that some on the

right hand side of the table there and

others are free for the taking and we

will

see her people pretty soon we go back to

Israel in February and we'll be working

with them as well in some tassel Sandra

thank you for being here welcome and

it's a joy to have you with us

so you're among friends god bless you

good morning everyone does everybody

have this brochure yeah okay wonderful

all right now one more thing of business

before I start I represent as pastor

said I represent an organization called

Christian Friends of Israeli communities

it's actually very unique I'm not

Christian myself but it is truly a

partnership between Christians like

yourselves all over the world who love

Israel and Jews like myself who are

actually living in Israel we'll talk

about more about that soon but I would

like to pass her on a sign-up sheet

because we have regular emails and snail

mail that go out with information and

inspiration from Israel so I hope you'll

choose to get on our list and I'll start

this around thank you very much okay so

let me start by just giving you a little

bit more of a background about myself

thank you Pastor for introducing me so

graciously I as pastor said I was born

here in the United States I grew up in

Cleveland Ohio I'm an Orthodox Jew

always was and what that means is that I

mean there's a lot of Jews and I'm sure

here in Boston many of you have

encountered Jews and there's all kinds

Orthodox Jews are people who take their

Judaism very very seriously study the

Bible adhere to the commandments we

believe for example that when God said

you need to rest on the Sabbath that's

relevant in 2018 every bit as much as it

was relevant at Sinai so we do that

yesterday the Jewish Sabbath of course

is on Saturday and I did not work and I

didn't go to the movies but we went to

synagogue and enjoyed meals and rest and

spiritual gathering and that is what the

Sabbath is so that just you know one

example and what that also means though

is that from a very young age I studied

the Bible I

went to a Jewish school not a regular

public school and I learned how to read

Hebrew before I learned how to read

English in kindergarten we learned how

to read Hebrew we only learned how to

read English in first grade even though

my native language is English I grew up

in an American family Jewish family but

my parents both had been in the United

States since they were children for me

therefore what I want to try to express

to you is why would somebody like me

growing up in the United States speaking

English I went to college here went to

university went to law school I had an

excellent job on Wall Street why would I

pick up and leave all that behind to go

to Israel you know many people can say

oh I understand why the Russian Jews

wanted to go to Israel because they were

living in Russia and they had a lot of

problems and financial difficulties and

persecution okay

but why would someone from the United

States who had it all so to speak I'm

not sure it's all but you know and the

way people usually look at why would I

pick up and go to Israel in fact I

decided to move to Israel before I had

ever even visited Israel for the first

time when I was 13 years old I was

exposed more and more to this idea of

Zionism and the modern State of Israel

and all of a sudden I realized that that

same Israel that I had read about in the

Bible and had been exposed to since I

was five years old by reading you know I

read about Abraham and Isaac and Jacob

and Joshua conquering the land and you

know if you read the Hebrew Scriptures

you can't help but notice that Israel

the Land of Israel is one of the main

characters and so much of God's promise

to the Jewish people is surrounding the

Land of Israel

so I suddenly realized that that young

teenage age that wait this land of

Israel thing it's not just something

that is back then in Bible times it's

today there is a modern Land of Israel

there is a State of Israel they

is the ability for the first time in

almost two thousand years for Jews to go

and live in the Land of Israel and live

as proud Jews fulfilling our destiny

taking part literally in the fulfillment

of God's promises to us so I at that

point says my goodness how do you not go

to Israel I started and it had hacking

but you know nagging my parents knew we

have to go to Israel parents being what

they are well you know have to make a

living all the cost of all I was not to

be convinced my parents by the way did

move to Israel eventually but that's

really how it began for me when I was 18

I went to Israel for a year to study

Bible in Jerusalem can you imagine

anything more exciting than studying

Bible in Jerusalem I mean that's pretty

exciting and it was really quite an

amazing year this was 1975 76 the school

year that now you know how old I was I

am anyway and that was a year when the

settlement movement was getting started

in Samaria just to kind of recap briefly

and I will give you an organized history

of this soon but in 1967 Israel was

attacked by the Arabs and in response

Israel liberated the entire area that is

often referred to as the West Bank and

what we refer to as Judea and Samaria

and initial settlement of Judea began

very shortly after that victory and then

kind of came to a halt and everybody

kind of went to sleep in 1974 when the

Yom Kippur War was over now the Yom

Kippur War was a war when again Israel

was attacked and this time on the day of

atonement the holiest day in the Jewish

calendar Egypt and Syria launched a

surprise attack on Israel unfortunately

Israel was surprised it was a major

major failure of the Israeli

intelligence

operations and it took it was it was a

very very terrible few weeks when

literally these enemy nations were on

our doorstep and threatening to destroy

Israel but then there was a turnaround

God came in protected us and and but it

took many many months until things

settled down and soldiers were able to

come home that summer in the summer of

1974 there was a search and stirring a

spiritual stirring throughout the

community of faith in Israel and people

started asking what is it that we just

experienced this Yom Kippur War what is

God trying to tell us and there were a

group of people who said God is waking

us up because we did a bit of God gave

us this amazing gift of the Land of

Israel and except for setting up a few

communities in Judea we went to sleep we

did nothing with it and so they

interpreted this war as a wake-up call

to again look and begin settlement and

this time in Samaria an area that had

been empty of Jews for decades and there

had actually been some Jewish

communities in Samaria before the State

of Israel existed that were then

destroyed by the Arabs but serious

Jewish presence in Samaria well that

went back more than 2,000 years the

destruction of the northern kingdom

which happened a hundred and fifty years

before the destruction of the first

temple so you could imagine we're

talking about thousands of years here

that was the last time there was a

serious Jewish presence in Samaria they

were too determined to bring this back

again and they tried a number of

different attempts they called

themselves the oak of Moreh group named

for the place where God first spoke to

Abraham promising him the land Genesis

12 when God speaks to Abraham and calls

him out from his home from Mesopotamia

and

the Lord says to Abraham go forth from

your land from your land from your

birthplace from the house of your father

to the land that I will show you verse 6

Abram passed through the land to the

place of Shechem to the oak of Moreh and

it is there that God speaks to Abraham

and says I will give this land to your

children so this group going jumping

forward again we love to jump from

Abraham - to present-day times it's just

kind of how we live our our lives in

1974 this group of people called

themselves the oak of Mora group and

they were determined to start a new

Jewish community right near at that same

point or somewhere nearby where God

first spoke to Abraham and promised him

the land what more significant a place

could there be for the start of Jewish

life in Samaria that at that place were

God first promised the land to Abraham

where our story as the what I like to

call the coming together of a very

unique threesome the God of Israel the

Land of Israel and the people of Israel

where that those three came together for

the first time that was at the yoke of

Marah and they tried a few different

times to settle there and each time the

government of Israel forced them to

leave because at that time the

government of Israel was ruled by the

labor party who were very hesitant about

settling in these areas of Israel there

was tremendous international pressure on

Israel even at that time not as bad as

today but it was significant - for

Israel to withdraw completely from all

the land that it had acquired through

this miraculous war in 1967 so the

government at that point felt maybe we

have to hold this land aside as a

bargaining chip that we can use to

enable us to live in peace with our Arab

neighbors but this group of people were

coming from faith they were coming from

a commitment to fulfill what they

believed God was calling them to do so

they

persisted and they kept trying and

eventually in December of 1975 they went

up to this area called Sebastia Sebastia

was a Roman name given to the area of

the ancient capital Samaria the capital

of the northern kingdom back in biblical

times go into its book of 2nd Kings

you'll see all about it first Kings as

well and no second Kings book of 2nd

Kings you'll see all about it anyway

this time there was so many people that

join them and had really become a mass

movement grassroots people of faith from

all over the land had come and gathered

calling upon the government allow us to

settle here in this spot and as a result

the government compromised and said ok

we'll let you settle in this particular

army camp 30 families it was a

compromise but it was certainly the door

being opened for what became massive

massive Jewish settlement in Samaria I

was in Israel at the time that was the

year that I was in Israel studying Bible

Jerusalem and I was absolutely swept by

this movement it was so clear to me in

the same way when I was a young teenager

it was clear to me that I personally had

to go live in Israel because this is

what God was calling the Jews to do I

knew I knew as well as I knew my own

name I knew that this settling in

Samaria was what God was calling the

Jewish people to do and I wanted to do

go to now the that day that they

actually went up to the oak of Moreh

it was all very big secret that

everybody knew but it was a secret you

know those kinds of secrets you know she

don't tell anybody but like everybody

knew and it was very like a hush-hush

thing you had to go at 2:00 in the

morning and I was in Jerusalem and I was

told you know 2:00 in the morning you

got to get up you got to go to this

place they'll be a bus they'll take you

out there and I went to sleep in my

clothes with my you know a sleeping bag

and I overslept and I missed it

oh well but I did know it what exit that

was successful that was the time when

they agreed to let these 30 I mean there

were thousands of people there but they

selected 30 people who were actually the

mainstay of the group that was really

seriously interested in settling and

they said they could stay in this

military camp

two weeks later I went with two friends

to visit that little fledgling community

in the military camp and then I had my

opportunity to sleep in my clothes and

my sleeping bag and all that because it

was freezing

they were the military camp was not

exactly a luxurious place to hang out

and the families they actually had been

in and barracks and all the visitors

were in tents and this was January not

quite as cold as Boston but not warm

either very cold for sleeping in a tent

I was absolutely freezing I hate the

cold that's another good reason to live

in news world by the way it's not as

cold but in the winter and the mountains

of Samaria it's very cold but to me this

was an experience I will never forget

and I will say that that so much of what

I am doing today was rooted in that

experience where and just stood in the

most physical way possible that here we

were returning and bringing life to

these hills of Samaria Friday morning we

could we went out Thursday evening by

the time we got there it was dark Friday

morning woke up gorgeous glorious

sunshine went out looked around empty

hills everywhere and that's something

also that's very important to realize

there's this myth out there that we came

into areas that were very heavily

populated by Arabs and we threw them out

and we you know elbows our way in and

and set up camp not true I mean yes

there are Arabs living there that were

Arabs living there then there was our

villages and Arab cities but this

community was established on a

completely empty mountain surrounded by

completely empty mountains not only

empty of people empty of houses empty of

agriculture empty of trees empty of

everything that that is indicative of

life barren rocky area

and these people came and little by

little turned it into something

beautiful and living that became the

community of Cadoo meme which actually

is located just 10 minute drive down the

road from where I live today which is in

a community called carnation Rome

another Jewish community that was

established on barren rocky hilltops

actually if you if you study where the

Arab communities were let's say

throughout the 20th century but through

the first half

where did they establish themselves they

established themselves mostly in the

valleys mostly in places where there was

at least a bit of flat ground where they

could have some farming where water

which is not particularly abundant

anywhere in Israel was a bit more

abundant because you would have the

runoff water from the from the hills and

you had a bit of flat land that could be

plowed and crops grown they had no

nothing to do with the hilltops they

didn't know how to pump up water they

didn't know how to clear the rocks they

didn't know or want to know how to

develop the hilltops

so when we came in to settle the land

the hilltops beckoned us there was

nothing there and what we did is we came

in and literally in fulfillment of

prophecy turned an area that was

completely desolate into an area that

blooms what began in 1967 with a handful

of Jews who settled in Judea after this

war after the six-day war we have now

grown to close to four hundred and fifty

thousand Jews living throughout Judea

and Samaria I think that's a miracle and

I thank God every day amen but what I

want to do now is kind of give you an

understanding of from a biblical point

of view how do we get to this place

not just biblical as in let's be

scholarly here and review the Bible but

what I call biblical personal okay how I

as a young woman and even to this day

I read some of these scriptures and how

they affect me personally so I read to

you already from Genesis 12 when you see

where God first promises the land to

Abraham but God also makes it clear to

Abraham what does he say says I'm going

to give this land to your children so

it's not Abraham himself that will

inherit the land although Abraham was

already in the land he has a certain

mission being in the land as he walks

the length of breadth of the land it is

if he is taking spiritual possession of

the land laying a spiritual foundation

for the physical possession that God

promises will happen later on in fact

God says this to to Abraham in Genesis

13 verse 17 he says rise up and walk

through the land to its length and its

breadth for I will give it to you and

that's basically Abraham's mission in

his own lifetime but later on God then

enters into a covenant with Abraham and

as part of that covenant this is in

Genesis 15 he says his father's he says

to Abraham you should know that your

children will be a stranger in a land

that is not theirs and they will be

enslaved and tortured for 400 years and

also the nation that will that will

enslave them I will judge and afterwards

they will come out with the great

property continues and then he says and

they fourth generation will come back

here God then says to Abraham he sets

out this scheme that's going to happen

for over a four hundred year period

where the nation of Israel will be

enslaved in Egypt after which God will

will liberate them bring them out of

Egypt and bring them back here here is

to the land of Israel and at that same

time God says to Abraham on that day

verse 18 God entered into a covenant

with Abraham saying I have given this

land to your children from the

river of egypt to the great river the

river euphrates now by the way the river

Euphrates is in Iraq we have never

possessed the Land of Israel all the way

to Iraq but we do have faith that the

time will come what God will indeed

dispel bestow upon us the Jewish people

all of that land but one thing that's

very very important as we view the

promises that God makes to us we today

in our lifetime we are not given the

commandment to God to begin a war and

conquer a land what we are doing is

being given a promise that we have to be

aware of and as God fulfills that

promise to us recognize it and then take

our cues now I want to jump forward -

towards the end of their enslavement of

Egypt and I think the message that we

can see here from the scripture is

something that at least for me it's

resonates so powerfully and I think not

just me but it's these scriptures that

Jews took with them into exile where for

close to 2,000 years we were dispersed

across the globe as pastor mentioned

Jews were persecuted tortured murdered

in so many countries in Christian Europe

and in the Muslim Middle East and in so

many places across the globe and here

and there we found refuge this country

the United States has always been a very

good place for Jews and God then says

but after that there will be a time

where that exile will end and you will

come back to the Land of Israel but this

idea of God making a promise to the

Jewish people to the children of Israel

which he will then fulfill that promise

has made a few different times but it is

God's relationship to the forefathers

Abraham Isaac and Jacob culminating in

the liberation from Egypt that actually

lays the foundation for us to be able to

understand that indeed God keeps his

promise

we have that original promise that God

makes to Abraham telling the nation of

Israel which is not yet a nation it says

something that Abraham surely passed on

to his children there would probably a

tradition that the children of Israel in

Egypt knew vaguely well there was this

God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob and God

had promised them that after a period of

exile we would be delivered so when God

speaks to Moses in Exodus telling him to

go into Egypt what does he says he says

tell the children of Israel the Lord God

of your father for father's the God of

Abraham the god of Isaac the God of

Jacob has sent you to them and he goes

on to say this is what you say to the

children of Israel the Lord God of your

forefathers appeared to me to Moses the

God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob saying I

have remembered you and what has

happened to you in Egypt and I will take

you out from the from the poverty of

Egypt from the suffering of Egypt to the

land of the Canaanite the heat tied the

amorite the perizzite that he writes the

Jebusite to a land that is flowing and

milk and honey

so Moses comes to the people of Israel

saying remember you heard this vague

promise passed down to you that God made

this promise to Abraham guess what that

God the God of Abraham has sent me to

tell you the time has come to fulfill

his promise and of course he does and it

is that generation that is able to

witness that they are redeemed from

Egypt and indeed are taken out of

slavery after hundreds of years in

slavery and furthermore when Moses sins

when Moses sins he sees what God says

Moses to speak to Pharaoh

how does he tell what words what

language does he put does he tell him to

say he says so sayeth the Lord my

firstborn son

Israel say to him

and out my son so that he may worship me

God makes it very clear to Moses that

there is this relationship of father and

son father and firstborn son

God has despite the trials and

tribulations that they are suffered in

Egypt God has never abandoned us and he

remains our father and he remains

committed to us the people of Israel as

his firstborn son and it is the

knowledge of this relationship and the

knowledge that God is fulfilling his

promises that these this nation that

generation that left Egypt is able to

witness with their own eyes and the

ultimate of this of course how does all

of this translate them into promises

that are given to the nation this this

people that left Egypt that wander in

the desert and then indeed be

combination they are no longer just

family descendants of Abraham Isaac and

Jacob they are a nation of Israel and in

Deuteronomy as they are about to enter

the land of Israel and conquer it for

the first time

Moses speaks to the nation and he talks

to them and Deuteronomy 30 he talks to

them about what will happen and again

this is in Deuteronomy and we see this

earlier as well but into anaronnie

there's already this another covenant

that is set forth another covenant in

which God sets up a paradigm of the

relationship between God the nation of

Israel and the Land of Israel and he

says if you obey my Commandments you

will be blessed in the land and you will

prosper and the land will prosper and

you will live at peace and your enemies

will not bother you but if you sin and I

heard you speaking about sin today okay

there's individual sin but there's also

national sin when the whole nation sins

the punishment to the nation is national

God said and he knew it's going to

happen why because we're all human

beings we all fail we all sin and God

says

if your sin gets bad enough he kind of

knew would but he said yes even though

he knew it was when you know your sin

gets bad enough and you abandoned me as

a nation and you worship idols and do

all these other terrible things then God

says and God will bring a curse upon the

land a curse upon the people the land

will be devastated

enemies will conquer the land and the

nation of Israel will be exiled now if

this were an ordinary contract or an

ordinary treaty any of you here have

legal background you would know this is

breach of contract one side breaches the

contract doesn't obey the commandments

doesn't follow what God says finished

over get out of the land except God had

said something he had used these two

very special words when he first

promised this whole business to Abraham

he said ever lasting possession so what

do you do when there's a breach of

contract ah this is where Deuteronomy 30

comes in because in Deuteronomy 30 God

says even after you breach the contract

and I bring the curses upon you and you

will have been distributed and dispersed

all over the world God says I'm not

going to abandon you what does he say he

says though you the Lord your God will

restore your captivity he will take

mercy upon you he will return and gather

you from all the nations to which the

Lord your God has dispersed you if you

will be dispersed to the ends of the

heavens from there the Lord your God

will gather you and from there he will

take you and the Lord your God will

bring you to the land which your fathers

have inherited it and you will inherit

it and you will prosper and be

multiplied even more than your father's

this is a text that is read to the

nation of Israel when they are in the

plains of Moab about to enter into the

Land of Israel but it is repeated to the

nation in Joshua 8

when they are standing before Mount

Gerizim and Mount Ebal and they are

listening and going through this

covenantal ceremony with God that lays

forth the blessings and the curses if

you obey God you will be blessed and if

you disobey God you will be cursed but

ultimately God promises even with you

and this is said to them they've just a

second walked into the land they've just

stepped forward on the land and got a

saying you can stay here and you will

prosper so long as you follow God and if

you don't you will be exiled but God

says I will bring you back and the

nation of Israel standing there at Mount

Gerizim and Mount Ebal

look across and see the oak of Mohra

they see exactly the place where God

first made that promise to Abraham I

will give this land to your children and

they know of the promise they know of

the covenant with Abraham they know

about the four hundred years and they

experienced it themselves

how God fulfilled his promise to Abraham

took them out of Egypt and is now

bringing them has just brought them into

the land of Israel so as good as they

know anything they know that God is a

God who keeps his promises and at that

point hearing this promise again saying

now that you're in the land this is not

a contract that can ever be breached

completely it can be breached

temporarily but the Covenant will always

always exist for centuries Christianity

made the mistake or the majority of

Christianity made the mistake of

believing that the covenant with the

Jewish people had been severed and that

Christianity was the heir to Israel but

that is not true and today thank God we

have churches like this Church

pastors like this pastor and so many

others around the world that are coming

to the realization that God never never

abandoned his people that the promises

he made to Abraham are true even to

today in the same way that we believe

that the God God is is true and that his

word is true he doesn't change his mind

and that promise that God made to our my

ancestors thousands of years ago is

coming true today Deuteronomy 30 speaks

about the children of Israel dispersed

to the farthest ends of the earth coming

back to Israel to the land of Israel

there is only one time in history in

human history there's one time in all of

human history that the children of

Israel were dispersed to the far ends of

the earth and have returned to the Land

of Israel and that is in our time when

the Jews were driven from the land of

Israel with the destruction of the of

the temple by the Babylonians they all

went to one little part of the globe

they will in Babylon in Persia

well it was Babylon and Persia conquered

it that's it and they came back from one

little area today there are Jews in what

country aren't there Jews they're Jews

in Africa and Asia and in that would

Jews in the Middle East most of them are

not there anymore they're in Israel and

they were Jews in America here Canada

South America Australia New Zealand I've

been in Australia New Zealand many times

and there are Jews there let me assure

you but they're also Jews from those

countries that are coming back to the

Land of Israel little by little in 1948

there were half a million Jews in Israel

in the Land of Israel by 1952 there were

almost 2 million the miracle of the in

gathering of the exiles is something we

witnessed with our own eyes and continue

to witness every day today the Jewish

community in Israel is the largest

Jewish community

in the world with more than six million

Jews it's amazing and think about it for

a second

we were dispersed all over the world no

other nation survives a dispersion when

you're dispersed you assimilate you

disappear we remained as a nation that

was God's hand on us protecting us

preserving us so that his promise

could be fulfilled and that promise

refers to all of the land of Israel if I

look at Ezekiel 36 Ezekiel 36 he

addresses himself to the mountains of

Israel the mountains of Israel are the

mountains of Judea and Samaria and God

says through Ezekiel to the nation he

says you mountains of Israel he says

prophesied to the land of Israel and say

to the mountains of the valleys verse 8

you O mountains of Israel should forth

your branches and bear your fruit to my

nation Israel for they are soon to come

verse 10 I will multiply upon you man

all the house of Israel the cities will

be settled and the ruins will be rebuilt

the mountains of Israel that's Judea and

Samaria six-day war 1967 was not a war

that Israel asked to fight and and it

was very I was very pleased

pastor Miranda that you that you said

something very significant that the Jews

did not want to compromise they did not

want to give up the land but they made

practical decisions to do that in the

night in 1947 Israel was presented with

a plan to partition the land such as the

vast majority of the land went to the

Arabs and we got a bit and there was a

tremendous controversy within the nation

of Israel should we accept this and

ben-gurion made a very important speech

he says we are accepting this because we

are desperate we need to have a State of

Israel in some part of the Land of

Israel he

but don't let our acceptance of this

plan mean that we are giving up our

national eternal claim to the land of

Israel he says we living in 1947 have no

right to give up a claim to a land that

has belonged to the Jewish people for

thousands of years and that has been our

attitude all along does that mean we

will conquer the land to get it back

because we think it's ours no always we

have believed and I have to say even

secular believe this although they would

express it in a different way we have

believed that when the time is right God

will open the door and then all we need

to do is hear all we need to do is

respond that's our job and in 1948 the

State of Israel was established and the

borders there wouldn't even borders the

lines were determined by by the results

of the war and in 19th but we didn't

have Judea and Samaria and if you look

in the maps I've given you a lot of time

to go in it read the maps go through it

you'll see that area that is often

called the West Bank it's because Jordan

illegally occupied that area and we

would never have started a war to take

it even though that area included the

oak of Mora were God first promised the

land to Abraham even though that land

included Hebron where some of you may

have visited hab Braun where Abraham

settled in where he made the first

purchase of Jewish real estate and where

Abraham and Sarah Isaac and Rebekah

Jacob and Leah are all buried and yet we

didn't have that area and then Jordan

and what I believe was God driven Jordan

attacked Israel 1967 and in just six

days we were able not only to repel that

attack but joy of Jordan out of that

land and at that point when that land is

given to us by God and in a miraculous

victory at that point it is our

obligation to respond and to act and to

go in and settle the land so that we can

be taking part in the fulfillment of

prophecy that God has said in Ezekiel so

that the trees will shoot for their

branches and the cities will be rebuilt

and

we will once again prosper and settle on

the land of Israel amen amen

so that's what we've been doing and

through Christian friends of Israeli

communities we are reaching out to

people like you so that you will accept

and understand what it is we're doing

and I hope that you will choose to join

with us and support what we are doing

there's great controversy about this

people don't understand people who don't

read the Bible especially and the truth

of the matter is I could have given you

a whole lecture today without very much

hardly a mention in the Bible and I

could give you a legal lecture on why

legally the land belongs to Israel

including Judea and Samaria so we'll do

that another time

trust me though okay we have every right

from a biblical point of view and from a

legal point of view we have every right

to be injured and Samaria we don't want

to drive the Arabs off their for away

from their homes we welcome them to live

with us in peace but no one can say the

land does not belong to the Jewish

people and if you understand what I'm

saying and you want to help us I hope

you will I hope to stay in touch I'll

hope you'll be on our mailing list I'd

like to hear from you personally did the

signup sheet go all the way around on

the table

okay please sign up wait and your way

out because we'd love to be in touch and

I hope every one of you today will take

it into your own hearts to do what you

can to help us and to stand with the

Jewish people as we settle the biblical

heartland Judea and Samaria thank you

very much

[Applause]

got a couple of minutes but that tell us

a little bit more about what Christians

working on behalf of Israeli communities

exactly what are you doing I know

there's a lot of projects and they'll

read about it we just give us a little

bit of information about that we have a

couple of minutes okay so we are

representing the Jewish communities in

Judea Samaria when I talked about how it

began with a handful settling in Judea

and then a handful in Samaria we now

have more than a hundred and fifty

communities which are small communities

towns even cities in Judea and Samaria

and these communities like communities

all over the world there are people

there and people with needs

unfortunately though unlike most

communities in the world we are the

subject of intense controversy and

boycott by people all over the world and

by philanthropies we also though have

needs that are greater than many other

communities because for example security

we are in areas that are often more

at-risk more vulnerable and so the

security costs are much higher now the

Israeli government does a great deal

investing in our security needs but

there's never enough so we are there as

a voice and as a an answer to to the the

needs of these communities communities

submit projects to us and they can be

things just to make lives easier

playgrounds for the children educational

programs special education programs

helping needy families and of course

security and emergency needs

surveillance cameras equipment for

ambulances and a whole variety thing we

also have programs for senior citizens

and for children and for youth our

current projects are in a booklet in the

back you're welcome to look at it and so

basically what we are doing is putting

these needs out to Christians all over

the world so the Christians can support

our educational work as we're speaking

and teaching this

this issue all over the world but even

more importantly supporting the people

themselves who are settling in the land

and have real needs and this is what

we're doing and this is how we're

reaching out to you one other thing that

we are involved with is tour tour groups

as we did for your group pastor when we

had one of our representatives meet you

in Hebron unfortunately I was in

Australia when you were in Israel but I

do hope to meet your group next year

when you come we arranged programs for

groups in Judea and Samaria and we come

and meet the groups and speak to you to

help you getting a better understanding

on the ground of what's going on

so congregations often will team up with

a particular community or with one

project that the community would need in

order to enhance its life and these

congregations or Christian groups can

provide funding and support and maybe

even get to know a little bit of what's

going there personally you're not trying

something like that and partner with

them to supply a particular need of

those armies absolutely absolutely and

we have these relationships going all

over the world individuals churches

prayer groups all kinds of things and

what we really like is to have a kind of

multiple approach the the church

sometimes churches take up regular

offerings for the project and then

there's communication back and forth but

the best thing is then when the people

from the church itself to can come and

visit and then come into the community

and meet the people and bonds of

friendship form I think it's a great

opportunity for us to both do

quote-unquote tourism get to know Israel

but at the same time really engage with

the land and with the culture in a very

profound sort of way I don't think

there's anything more genuine more

authentic than what is happening in

those settlements and that gives you a

sense of the life in order themes that

right now affect the life of Jews as the

the settlements do so I think it's a

great opportunity night I hope that you

know as the Lord leads us in the near

future our church will become more

involved in that and if you feel your

heart being talked by you know anything

that Sandra has said and the materials

there you know please pursue them and

keep me honest by pushing about that

because I think you know we have a lot

of different missions works in Latin

America

and here but I think work with Israel is

one of those areas that we need to

strengthen and this is the time to do

that so you know I want to challenge you

to keep pushing on that so that we can

materialize this whole beginning and do

something really that will build our

church will bless it will edify it will

educate it I think it's a great

opportunity Thank You Sandra for being

here would you give her a good

enthusiastic hand for her work with the

Leiter to have you and look forward

Sandra will be here in the in the

Spanish service as well so if you want

to hear it in English and Spanish I'll

be translating for her let's let's pray

for Sandra and the extraordinary work

that her organization is doing and for

the love to just strengthen the bonds of

affection more and more between

Christians and Jews father we thank you

for we have heard we thank you for the

opportunity to get to know your word

better it challenges us and I pray that

our congregation will always be a

community that is in sync with these

eternal truths these mysteries of the

way you have you have taken of people

and bonded with them and engaged with

them through a sacrificial love that

goes even beyond the human sinfulness

and you have shown your faithfulness and

your grace to this nation and now father

we pray that as a community we will also

be able to look with enlightened eyes

at what you have in store for the world

at this time and for Israel in

particular and that we will not be

caught asleep or neglectful in our

responsibility and our call or missional

call to support this nation that you so

loved and that has blessed us through

the seed of Abraham Jesus Christ I we

pray for Sandra we pray for health for

her and her family we pray for

protection in that community where she

finds herself and we pray for protection

over all of these different communities

all over Judea and Samaria

that you will cover these courageous men

and women and their children in Lourdes

yes we do pray for illumination for the

Arab nations for the Palestinians as

well that they will be able to overcome

a sense of offense and that the

mysteries of Ishmael and Isaac and and

the hurt that is in the heart about so

many Arabs father will be healed and

that they may be able to accept their

brother Israel as well

father we pray for the bonds of demonic

hatred that have so possessed so many of

those lands even brothers against

brothers even within the same religion

father such violence and such hatred

Lord we pray that you will heal the

Middle East and bring peace to that land

but only you can do it father only you

can navigate this extraordinarily

complex situation we pray that you would

do that and that we would be found on

the right side of your heart whatever

that might be keep us tethered to your

word father I bless your people this

morning I pray for peace in our hearts

Lord if anyone has come this morning

with a brokenness with the wounds with

needs Lord we so believe that Jesus

Christ is perfectly capable of being

that medium of access to you into your

heart and we pray that they will be

touched this morning father that anybody

who has come with a need they will feel

that need supplied and and satisfied

this morning father that this will not

be something that will add just

controversy or whatever no that we pray

that there will be peace they will be

healing that your love would be manifest

this morning that we will leave this

place with joy in our hearts father

celebrating your goodness and your mercy

thank you father we bless our sister and

we pray for continued of vitality and

effectiveness in the work that she is

doing and now we close this time with

gratitude and hope

Jesus name and the people of God say

Amen