“Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed? For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground; he had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him.” Isaiah 53:1-2 (The Israel Bible™)
The young pastors visiting the Western Wall. (Courtesy)
As 30 young handpicked pastors from the United States and Canada wrap up a life-changing first trip to Israel, they now prepare to renew their focus on Israel in their preaching back home.
Eagles’ Wings is a global movement comprising churches, ministries and leaders that emphasizes interfaith dialogue and humanitarian care. Reverend Robert Stearns, founder and executive director of Eagles’ Wings, led the group throughout the holy land for a trip that began on February 1 and will end this Saturday. For Stearns, introducing the land of Israel to others is “one of my most favorite things in life to do.”
“There’s something amazingly special to bring people to Israel for the very first time,” said Stearns in a YouTube address before he departed. “It’s always special to go, but the opportunity to bring people to the holy land on their first experience is just a special joy. I will always remember my first trip to Israel, my first time in the land.”
According to Adam Mesa, the Creative Culture Pastor of the Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Israel is already a topic that is frequently discussed at the church where his father is the head pastor.
“We talk through the scriptures about Israel,” he told Breaking Israel News. “We pray for Israel, [participate in the] national day of prayer, we pray for Jerusalem, and we just did a 21-day prayer fast one whole topic was on Jerusalem and peace in Jerusalem.”
Adam stressed that Israel will necessarily become an even greater focus in his church after this trip. Reverend Stearns for his part, also reflected on the importance of pastors having a solid foundation for preaching about Israel early on.
“It’s important that they have this experience when they are young rather than waiting until they are in their late 50s or 60s for their first tour of the holy land,” he said.
“If they wait that long, they would lose 30 years of their lives in which they could have had the opportunity to preach and inform others about that connection and experience with the land as well as that encounter with the land of Israel, the people of Israel, and many times the God of Israel for the first time.”
The young group of pastors visiting the Knesset. (Courtesy)
Likewise, for Jakob Pilz, team member of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO, the trip has had a significant impact on his connection with both Israel and the Jewish people and has “made everything come more alive.”
“I’ve always had a heart for Israel and for the Jewish people,” he told Breaking Israel News.
As with Adam, Jakob’s church already places major emphasis on the importance of Israel and Jerusalem.
“Every Tuesday, it is an encouraged fast day at my church, and a day that we specifically focus on Israel with three two-hour sessions where we pray specifically for Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem,” he continued.
For Jakob, who is originally from Austria, the trip has helped motivate him to act more on behalf of the Jewish people.
“With the Holocaust, it’s been important in schooling, but this trip has made my heart be more vigorous to get the message out and to be more pro-Israel and stand with the Jewish people.”
Reverend Stearns also reflected on having felt Israel come alive on his first trip to the holy land.
“I remember this feeling of saying, ‘Oh my goodness. So many things make sense now,’” he related. “That first trip changed my life completely.”
“I remember feeling like Israel was this missing piece of the puzzle of my life, of the bible, the puzzle of church history, and the puzzle of the global geopolitical story,” he added. “There were so many things that I understood when I came to Israel and so many things became clear and made sense.”
Such was the case for Paul Deary, senior pastor of the Hillside Church in Sellersburg, Indiana, who did not know any Jews growing up in South Africa.
“The big connection point on this trip has been the people,” he said. “Rubbing shoulders with the Jewish community on a daily basis has expanded things and given me a love for the people, a heart for the people.”
The young pastors visiting Independence Hall in Tel Aviv. (Courtesy)
For others on the trip like Jason Tourville, a third-generation Evangelical pastor serving as the senior pastor of the Shrewsbury Assembly in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, the visit solidified all that they understood from the Bible.
“From a Biblical standpoint, and certainly from a humanitarian standpoint, evil expands when those who consider themselves good people do nothing in the face of evil.”
Another senior pastor, Art Garcia of The Bridge Buena Park in Buena Park, CA, said that the trip has been “incredible.”
“As a Christian, I feel connected in Israel,” he told Breaking Israel News. “You can’t have Christianity without Judaism, and you can’t have the completion of Christianity without Israel.”
The sentiment expressed by Art is exactly why, according to Stearns, it is important for young Christian leaders and pastors to visit the holy land.
“For so many of them, they know the God of the Bible but it’s different when you encounter the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the land itself.”
A screenshot of the “Make Israel Palestine Again” T-shirt that was being sold on Amazon.
Amazon is no longer selling a T-shirt that reads “Make Israel Palestine Again” amid outrage from consumers and followers of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), a nonprofit that tracks radical Islam.
A screenshot of the “Make Israel Palestine Again” T-shirt that was being sold on Amazon.
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Reuters / Pierre Albouy.
UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn — longed dogged by antisemitism accusations — is facing a fresh round of criticism and calls for his resignation following the publication this weekend of photos of him laying a wreath at a memorial in Tunisia for Palestinian terrorists who perpetrated the 1972 Munich Massacre.
Last week, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had changed the Catholic catechism. After 2,000 years of teaching that a moral use of capital punishment for murder is consistent with Catholic teaching, the pope announced that the catechism, the church fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas, among the other great Catholic theologians, were all wrong.
And God and the Bible? They’re wrong, too.
Syrian Kurds could be a wild card in a possible showdown between Damascus and Ankara; Russia keeps the peace, for now, on the Israel-Syria border; Israel may have opened a new front of secret assassinations; the political economy of Iran’s protests.
Syrians gather at the site of a car bomb in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, Aug. 2, 2018.
The killing of a Syrian missile-engineer, widely attributed to the Mossad, is likely meant to serve as a message that the lives of those developing weapons against Israel are in danger.
A Syrian soldier inspects the wreckage of a building described as part of the Scientific Studies and Research Center compound in the Barzeh district, north of Damascus, during a press tour organized by the Syrian information ministry, on April 14, 2018.
The mass Muslim migration to Europe has galvanized civilizationist forces of populism and nationalism across the continent. This happens in three different ways, as shown by recent elections:
* In Hungary, the civilizationist part on its own forms the government.
* In Austria, the conservative party joined in a coalition with the civilizationist party.
* In Italy the anarchist-left Five Star Movement formed a coalition with the civilizationist party.
The 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where two nuclear weapons killed at least 129,000 people—most of them civilians, with thousands more dying years later due to indirect injuries and radioactive exposure—is a worthy time for introspection, where we should ask ourselves, “What have we learned from such a tragic event?”
Simply put, very little.
If the current violence between Israel and the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza escalates into a full-scale war, one thing is certain. The main thoroughfares of the West’s great cities will be filled with thousands of protesters marching in support for Hamas and its strategic goal of annihilating Israel.
The anti-Israel demonstrations this time around will dwarf all those that preceded them.
We also know with mathematical certainty that Jewish institutions and Jews will be violently assaulted from London to Melbourne, Paris to San Francisco.
What does the future hold for Iran?
The American sanctions on Iran went into effect this week and a large number of companies stopped doing business with Iran so as not to lose their permission to continue to be active in America’s economy. The sanctions will turn more severe in three months time and will include banks and energy industries, with the result that Iran will lose much of its income, the major part of which stems from oil, gas and related products.
I’ve written recently about the “Christ at the Checkpoint” conference that is now opening a branch/front in the U.S. From October 15-18, in Oklahoma City, this diabolical group of anti-Israel, pro PLO narrative activists has now released a speaker’s list.
It’s a Who’s Who of Christian Palestinianists, including Gary Burge, Bob Roberts Jr., the overtly anti-Semitic Stephen Sizer, and Gerald McDermott.