Time moves fast. Today we are off to Samaria for the Passover celebration to do some evangelism among Jews and Arabs and Samaritans. There will be many Christians there to observe the sacrifice but not many will be evangelizing. It will not even cross their mind, the need to reach the lost, so is the state of the church, just chasing the wind.
We have been busy with Evangelism, trying to do more evangelism During the weekend, rest and get administration done while people work and work while people rest. Manage to give out lots of Literature to Israelis as they tour around the Old city and also to many tourists as we walk around. Many are happy to receive the NT in their own language for free. We just printed a book/study course by Paul Washer, on the nature of God. We printed 400 and we have only 100 left, one church called me and wanted another 50, so we hope to do another printing soon. We are also translating, a book / study course the truth about man into Hebrew which will be printed in about four months.
Please pray about the translation of the New. Testament from the original Greek into modern Hebrew. I am trying to speak to the bible society and get them to work together on this project. While I was on mount Gerazim evangelizing, we met an Israeli believer expert in Greek and Semitic languages who wants to help with the translation. We continue to go to Tel Aviv every Friday and distribute around 400 NTs and Bibles and books to the people. We have started a program to give pastors in the area study bibles as many of them come from prosperity and charismatic churches where experience is greater than scripture.
I have been speaking to one of the biggest anti-missionaries about the gospel, his name is Tovia (meaning goodness) and please pray that he will come to know the goodness of God.
We have started to go to an open prison, once a month to distribute books and bibles to Sudanese and Eritrean prisoners. I plan to go to Egypt at the end of April to do evangelism and a little preaching with a brother from an Arab country.
If any of you want to come and bring a small group for evangelism for a week, let me know and I will send you details .
This is an article from an interview I gave in Holland to a Dutch Christian newspaper recently, my comments are in brackets.
Thursday January 30, 2014
PREACH THE GOSPEL – ALSO IN ISRAEL by A. de Heer
He grew up in the Jewish community of Manchester, besides London the biggest in England. “There are still around 40,000 Jews in Manchester.”
He didn’t feel like a Jew in anyway, neither was he secular. Tony Simon was “fiercely anti-Christian.”
“The New Testament,” said the 49 year old who is now a messianic preacher, “to me was a book that taught: hate the Jews, kill them. I also thought Christians hated us, knowing all they did to us in the past – the crusades, the inquisition. I didn’t know that the message of the New Testament was totally different, also that it was a Jewish book and that the apostles were Jews.”
In Rozem Arrie Teahouse in Arrien, a village near Ommen, the Jerusalem pastor tells his story. “One day a group of people from an American organization in Manchester came to us – as I saw it – to convert us. I was angry and wanted to attack them. I didn’t think they had the right to evangelize to us.”
Simon’s attitude toward Christianity changed when at the age of 18 he went to Israel for the second time to work in a kibbutz. “I shared a room with an American who snored very loud. I couldn’t sleep. Then he left and I got a new room-mate, also an American, a Christian.” With a grin: “I still always thank God for the snoring.” They had endless discussions about the Old Testament, the prophets, Israel and the future. “I was unusually interested in the Bible. Even though I had been in Jewish schools under Jewish instruction I still knew only a little about it. One time my room-mate read Psalm 22 and connected it with the crucifixion of Jesus. I thought he was reading from the New Testament and became a little angry with him. I told him that I as a Jew didn’t want to hear anything about Jesus. The American said it was Psalm 22.
He also read other parts of the Old Testament. Gradually I was convinced, completely convinced, that Jesus was the Messiah. A rabbi from a Yeshiva also had a part in this when he couldn’t satisfactorily answer my questions concerning these things. In 1982 I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and was saved.”
HOW DID YOUR PARENTS REACT?
“They weren’t exactly happy, neither the rest of my family. My father was a rich businessman. My mother – a fanatic bridge player – didn’t dare to discuss in her circles what I did. But I wrote it on paper, ran off copies and put them in all the Jewish mailboxes in Manchester. After that there were articles printed in the newspaper saying that I was crazy and so forth.
But then I thought about the Lord Jesus, when they also said He is not good, He has a devil. That encouraged me. And when people asked me if I really had become a believer then that was an opportunity for me to evangelize.”
Eventually Antony left the Jewish community in Manchester. After visiting different churches, he gradually was convinced of the Reformed theology. During that time he married Dona a Scottish lady born in Edinburgh. “In 1990 we moved to Israel.” In Jerusalem the pastoral couple immediately began working with Russian immigrants. “We handed out forms so they could order Bibles. Gradually we began meetings.” His congregation was never large. “On Saturdays we meet with 25 people. We are a very small group but at the same time very active. We go to the streets, stand on the market in Tel Aviv trying to make contact with Jews, Muslims but also for example with Roman Catholics. And a few times a year I try to go to Iraq, Egypt or Jordan.” Rev. Simon, who already speaks quickly, now clearly is on a roll, emphasizing his words with hand gestures. “Preach the gospel everywhere. We have to go out, open our mouth and tell people the gospel. In the Netherlands you have many big churches. People are very active inside the church but not outside. In a sermon in a Dutch church I said, If you met King Willem-Alexander wouldn’t you tell everyone that you met the king? And in church we meet Jesus the King of kings, the Lord of lords.”
“And here is a problem,” he says. “We always are concerned about what the people will say. The main thing is what will God say? If we fear what people say, then nothing happens. But if we do God’s will, then things will change. Then we proclaim the gospel or say: this and that is not good! Israel is a very secular, a very liberal land – see the developments in marriage and family life, homosexuality and abortions. Israel needs Christian values, the word of God.”
“More and more churches in England and the USA deny the reality of eternal punishment in hell. They don’t believe in hell any more. And somehow I can still understand that but if we know something of who God is, that He is a holy God, and we begin to understand the reality of hell, then we will be contacting our fellow men and shout to them, Your house is on fire!”
“There is only one Way to be saved both for Jews and ‘Christians from the heathen,’ continues the pastor. “The Jews can be saved only by believing in Christ. The apostle Paul said: ‘First the Jew and…. my prayer for Israel is that they will be saved.”
“In light of this I’m often not happy with the activities of Christian Friends for Israel or the Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. I can’t understand why so much money is spent for a windmill in Jerusalem or a menorah in The Netherlands. Pure waste. Let Christians for Israel use that half million euro for Bibles, New Testaments. The Jewish people need them.”
ON THE OTHER HAND: WHILE ISRAEL IS BECOMING MORE ISOLATED, CHRISTIAN FRIENDS FOR ISRAEL CONTINUES TO FULLY SUPPORT THE LAND
“I don’t want to say that I don’t appreciate this. But Israel needs more. Israel needs the Lord Jesus.”
THE ISRAELI AMBASSADOR IN DEN HAAG WAS TOUCHED LAST MONTH BECAUSE OF SUPPORT OF THESE MODERN PRO-ISRAEL ORGANIZATIONS
“Understand me well. I love Israel and am pro-Israel. But Christians for Israel use a variation of the classic replacement theory. Jesus is replaced by Israel. Naturally the ambassador is upset. But if these 40 organizations had spoken about Jesus, then he most certainly would not have been impressed.”
OFTEN IN THIS CONNECTION THE WORDS FROM ISAIAH 40 ARE MENTIONED: COMFORT, COMFORT MY PEOPLE.
“The only thing that – also – the Jewish people need is the comfort which the Heidelberg Catechism speaks of: What is your only comfort in life and in death? Since this is the subject,” said Rev. Simon, “we have an urgent need in Israel for a good translation of the New Testament in modern Hebrew. There is a translation from Delitzsch, a Roman Catholic translation (the modern translation, it calls Peter the Rock). Fortunately the TBS in England is now busy with this together with us “reformed pastors.” I say: let Christians send their gifts to Israel for this.”(instead of wasting it on restoring windmills that cost 500k euro and on a baptism site like Chuck Smith and all the other Christian Zionist projects. Show your love for the Jewish people by giving us the Gospel).
May the Lord bless you,
Antony and Dona and the Voice in the Wilderness Team