19, 2011 Revive Israel Ministries
Israeli Children Statistics
In 2010 there were 2.53 million children in Israel (under the age of 17). Of these 1.759 million were Jewish (- the rest being primarily Arab). 166,000 children were born last year (- 120,000 were Jewish).
The top three names of boy children were Noam, Itai and Uri. The top three names for girls were Noah, Shira and Maya. In the top 10 boy names, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Joshua do not appear (- of major biblical figures, only David and Daniel). In the top 10 girl names, Rebecca, Rachel, Deborah and Esther do not appear (- of major biblical figures, only Sarah).
About 1/4 of the Israeli population is religious. They give their children biblical names in a very high percentage. That means that the secular population is rather extreme in avoiding biblical names for their children. This may be just a light social mode, but more likely represents a growing rift between the secular and religious, and reaction against the Jewish religious culture by the secular.
One shocking statistic is that 15% percent of Israeli children grow up in single-parent homes. Considering that there is very little divorce among Arabs or religious Jews, this figure rises to over 20% for the secular population!
Another shocking statistic: 28% of the children in the school system go to ultra-orthodox Jewish schools. The birth rate for religious Jews is higher than the secular; and the birth rate of the ultra-orthodox higher than the modern religious. Given that many of the ultra-orthodox do not work, pay taxes, serve in the army or support the government of Israel, this statistic points to a looming crisis about to crash into Israeli society, politics and economics.
Money for Mosque?
In Maariv's weekend supplement, Ben Dror Yemini quotes the Norwegian foreign minister as responding to Saudi Arabia's request last year to build a Mega Mosque: "When the day comes that you will receive a donation to build a church in Saudi Arabia, we will receive your donation to build a mosque in Norway." It's that simple.
Is Yeshua God?
Is Yeshua (Jesus) God? This question has been debated over the last few years within the Messianic Jewish leadership in Israel. Everyone here believes that He is divine. Yet is it proper to refer to Him as "God" when the vast majority of New Covenant scriptures refer to Yeshua as the "Son of God," while the term "God" refers only to the Heavenly Father?
Simon Peter's great declaration of faith (Matthew 16:16) refers to Yeshua as "Messiah, Son of the Living God." It is hard to find a direct statement that "Yeshua is God" in any of the synoptic gospels or the book of Acts. [I am aware of only 6 such statements in the entire New Covenant: John 1:1, John 20:28, Romans 9:5, I Timothy 3:16, I John 5:20, Revelation 1:8.]
There was a development in the disciples' understanding of the divinity of Yeshua from the gospels through to the book of Revelation. This development went through three major stages:
1. Synoptic Gospels and Acts – Yeshua as Messiah and Son of God
The first level was primarily given to Peter (Shimon); the second level to Paul (Shaul); the third level to John (Yochanan). Peter received his revelation in Caesarea Philippi at the foot hills of Mount Hermon in northern Israel. ["Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in Heaven" – Matthew 16:17.] Paul received his by being taken to heaven in an "out-of-body experience" (II Corinthians 12:1-4). "I received this by revelation of Messiah Yeshua" – Galatians 1:12.
John had his revelation on the Isle of Patmos: "The revelation of Messiah Yeshua" – Revelation 1:1. Revelation chapter one is the turning point to understand the divinity of Yeshua. In this chapter Yeshua appears in the form of the Angel of YHVH from the Old Covenant. This revelation impacted all the writings of John.
[John 8:6 hints of Yeshua as the one whose finger etched the Ten Commandments (Exodus 31:18, Daniel 5:5, 24); John 8:56 refers to Yeshua as the one who ate lunch with Abraham (Genesis 18); John 8:58 (and all the "I Am" statements) as the one who appeared in the burning bush; John 12:41 as the glorified king who appeared to Isaiah (6:1-5); Revelation 1:13-16 as the fiery angel who appeared to Daniel (10:4-10); Revelation 19:11-13 as the commander of the heavenly armies who appeared to Joshua (5:13-15).]
It is only by seeing Yeshua as the Angel of YHVH in the Law and the Prophets do we understand His full identity.
Who Ate Lunch with Abraham?
Asher's new, long-awaited book, "Who Ate Lunch with Abraham?" has just arrived (in the English original). It analyzes the appearances of Yeshua as the Angel of the Lord from the Law and the Prophets, through to the book of Revelation. This book is guaranteed to inspire and challenge your understanding of the eternal nature of Yeshua the Messiah and of the progressive revelation of the Bible as a whole.
The main idea for this book was developed not only in years of study in the Hebrew texts, but also in real life experiences of sharing the gospel with Orthodox Jews in Israel. (Not to mention a lot of prayer and intercession.)
Don't miss it. Order for yourself and send to friends.
Back to Articles 2011
Please PRAY for our ongoing ministry in Israel of indigenous evangelism, planting Messianic congregations, the discipleship training center, prophetic praise and prayer watches in Hebrew, and financial aid for the needy.