By Ron Cantor
Against all odds, Donald Trump became President. He won big in the electoral college. Which caused me to wonder, Does God have a plan here? I certainly hoped so and do pray for him regularly. Many people believe that he is a Cyrus. But what does that mean?
I am not opposed to saying, “God has called him/her to be a Ruth” or “The Lord has put a Cyrus anointing on him,” or “He has a heart like David.” For instance, regarding my good friend, Don Finto, I would have no trouble calling him a modern-day Ruth, for the way he has connected himself to the Jewish people.
SO, IS TRUMP A CYRUS?
First, who was this Cyrus? He was the king of Persia who allowed Nehemiah to return to Israel and rebuild Jerusalem and her walls. Isaiah amazingly prophesied about this long before he was alive. The prophesy came 150 years before Cyrus was king!
“Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’”
Babylon was God’s instrument of judgment against sinful Israel. But it was time for the Jews to return home. Cyrus, the King of the Persian Empire, attacked Babylon, liberated the Jews and allowed them to return and rebuild their country and of course the Temple.
IT IS ABOUT ISRAEL
While Cyrus was a powerful leader of an empire, we know nothing of his personal life. Yet God raised him up to stand with Israel—to help restore the Jewish nation.
“For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name [Cyrus, see v. 1]
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.”
Cyrus was not a believer. And yet God chose him to “rebuild my city and set my exiles free.” (Is 45:13)
THREE REASONS WHY TRUMP MIGHT BE A CYRUS
1. The President has the authority to recognize Jerusalem (rebuild the city) and move the embassy to Jerusalem. This symbolic analogy is a stretch, but taking those actions could be seen as a foundational step. At the very least, a Cyrus would be extremely favorable towards Israel.
2. The ancient Cyrus doesn’t initially “acknowledge” the Lord. We see that twice (Is. 45), but we also see that God does all these things through him, partly “so that you may know that I am the Lord.” (Is. 45:3) Of all of the prophecies that I heard before President Trump won, there was one that seemed to really touch my heart, going all the way back to 2007.
“Listen to the word of the Lord. God says, ‘I will put at your helm for two terms a president who will pray, but he will not be a praying president when he starts. I will put him in office and then I will baptize him with the Holy Spirit and my power, says the Lord of Hosts. There will be a praying president, not a religious one. For I will fool the people, says the Lord. I will fool the people, yes I will.’” Kim Clement
Well, based on President Trump’s behavior, it is safe to say that the first part was true. Some people have said, “Hey, he is a baby believer.” Indeed, there are many rumors by credible Christian officials and pastors with whom he has surrounded himself that maintain he has prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior.
When New York Times’ Cal Thomas reminded the president-elect that repentance for one’s sins is a precondition to salvation (!), Trump answered, “I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won't have to be asking for much forgiveness.” I don’t say this to condemn him, but to show we need to pray that he has a mighty experience with God!
Many of his actions have been good and noble for America—for example, choosing a God-fearing man for the Supreme Court, curtailing the induction of transgenders into the armed forces, encouraging prayer meetings of Christian congressmen and senators, choosing a true man of God, Mike Pence, as Vice President, and lightening the bias against Christian and Messianic Jewish organizations by the IRS and the Justice Department, to name just a few.
Yet, his words of vengeance and anger against all whom he perceives to be against him belie a man who is walking strongly with the Lord.
3. Thus, he is an unlikely choice for president. Nobody gave Trump a chance. Cyrus’ grandfather tried to kill him twice because he was afraid he would replace him. The Lord does foresee confusion amongst those who serve him regarding His choice.
“Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
those who are nothing but potsherds
among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
‘The potter has no hands’?
Woe to the one who says to a father,
‘What have you begotten?’
Or to a mother,
‘What have you brought to birth?’”
Surely the Israelites would have desired a Jewish savior instead of a Cyrus—maybe someone from the line of David? God anticipated the reaction and basically said that He is God and will do His will as He pleases. And likewise, Trump—not a lifelong conservative, and with a checkered past—seems an unlikely choice.
IS IT CONDITIONAL?
Not all prophecies or promises are unconditional. It may be that the Trump/Cyrus connection will depend on both his actions and our prayers. All of us are aware there are many believers praying for him. But, while God may have called him to be a Cyrus, he is not off to a good start.
The stage was set for him to favor Jerusalem. He was in Israel in the hours leading up to her 50-year anniversary of reunification. But instead of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. Embassy, he focused on seeking peace between Israelis and Palestinians. His son-in-law—a man with zero experience in such matters—has quickly realized that there is most likely no solution.
There is no doubt that President Trump had planned to recognize Jerusalem and move the embassy, but there were obviously those, possibly from his own family, who convinced him not to. Yet in the latest developments, Trump is said to again be considering the move.
Let me be clear: Cyrus never brokered peace between Israel and her enemies—but he did favor Israel—and that is what he was called to do. So while many blindly say “Trump knows what he is doing,” or “Trump will fulfill his promise to move the embassy in the future,” Trump should never pressure Israel to give up land, meaning in today’s context, settlements. Joel speaks judgment over such leaders who divide up Israel’s land. (Joel 3:2)
Cyrus was raised up for one reason—for the restoration of Israel. Please read for yourself in Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1-13.
And then pray.
Ron Cantor is founder of Messiah’s Mandate and elder of of Congregation Tiferet Yeshua in Tel Aviv. messiahsmandate.org
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AMERICA'S SOLAR ECLIPSE
From a Facebook Blog by Shira Sorko-Ram
This is the first time I can truly say I have “seen” (on TV) a sign concerning the sun from God. Millions of people learned in the last few days that a complete solar eclipse can only happen because the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, but the sun is about 400 times farther away from earth than the moon—making them the same size.
To us who believe, we see a mighty act of our Creator instead of maintaining some ridiculous idea that this is mere happenstance. Yet few in this generation saw it as an act of God. However, the Bible proclaims over and again, that such phenomena are signs from God.
For the believer—or the searcher—there were a number of remarkable signs during the eclipse of August 21, 2017. Most stunning is that the eclipse seemed to point towards Israel. What flashed through my mind was, with all the chaos that plagues the world at this moment, is God really that preoccupied with Israel? But check out these incredible signs yourself!
On August 21, exactly at 7:16 p.m., the sun set in JERUSALEM and all of Israel. We in Tel Aviv can certainly verify that fact and so will Google! It would be about another hour before Israel was in complete darkness. But sunset began at 7:16.
At that EXACT moment, the moon’s shadow began its path to darken the sun over the western coastline of Oregon, passing over the town of SALEM, Oregon. The local time there was 10:16 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
So as Jerusalem watched the sun set at 7:16 p.m., Americans watched a wide swath of America began to go dark over the next 100 minutes.
It so happens that Salem is first mentioned in the Bible as the home of Melchizedek, whom the New Testament proclaims is a prototype or symbol of the Messiah Yeshua. Salem was the ancient city of Jerusalem.
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High.” (Genesis 14:18-19)
As the sun set in Jerusalem at 7:16, the last month (Elul) of the Jewish year 5777 began.
The moon covered the sun in a partial eclipse over Washington D.C. (about 81%) with maximum darkness at exactly 2:42 local time. The United Nations’ Resolution 242 calls for the dividing of the land of Israel between Jews and Muslims. The prophet Joel curses those who divide up Israel's land.
The solar eclipse path cut a swath across America, virtually dividing it in half.
Even though this is the first solar eclipse over America in 99 years, stunningly there will be another one on April 8, 2024. On that date at sundown in Jerusalem, the Biblical New Year Nisan will begin. This eclipse will start in western Mexico and go northeast through New England and Eastern Canada. Together, the two solar eclipse pathways will create a massive X over America.
No one knows the end of times, but the Lord promised us signs. Yeshua said that the Sun, the Moon and the Stars are a sign of the last days: “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations...” (Luke 21:25)
But to us who are believers, this is the time for us to bring in the greatest harvest of all time! “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh ... All Israel shall be saved!” This is why we are alive at this time!!!
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A BELOVED MEMBER OF THE MAOZ FAMILY
A few short weeks ago a great man of God went home to be with his King. His name was Jim Morrison, but that was only his name. He was much more than his name; he was an ambassador from Heaven we were privileged to know, love and honor for an impactful period of time.
Jim and his wife Barbara were the perfect model of what parents and a family could be. He was like Abraham, whom God chose because he would teach his children. We can see that in his children, who are carrying on his legacy with their families, their children and their children's children.
Jim loved the Lord, and God's love flowed through him as rivers of living water. One could say with confidence that he was a friend of God because so much of the Lord's character emanated from him.
When Jim and Barbara agreed to work with us at Maoz, I was amazed and honored by their generous and giving spirit—servants for all seasons. It was clear to us that Jim was a builder of the Kingdom of God; whatever was needed at the time was what he would put his hand to and accomplish with excellence.
There was no task too great or too small; Jim was willing to tackle them all. He was the source of many ideas and improvements in the ministry of Maoz; one of the greatest of which was his compassionate beating heart for Israel and the lost.
From this came the call to all the nations to pray for Israel every day at noon. He even created an app for cell phones so that each person in every country in the world would be reminded to pray. To this day, we meet people around the world who have taken up his call and pray for Israel every day at noon.
Jim has gone on to be with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; however, he has left behind for a while his beautiful and amazing family, all serving the King. Their daughter and son-in-law, Christy and Ray Wilkerson, have served Maoz for almost three decades and have a huge part in the growth of this organization. We trust they will continue to serve Maoz for many years yet to come!
So we in Israel say: Thank you, Jim, for you have been a friend and advocate for Israel and for each of us personally. We honor you, and know that the day will come when we will all meet again, and rejoice together with The King.
Ari, Shira, and the Maoz family
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REACHING 20 ISRAELI MESSIANIC CONGREGATIONS:
MAKING MUSIC FOR KIDS
One of the Recitals of Making Music for Kids
By Tanya Kadin
It is a well-known fact–Israelis love music! Yet to study music is very expensive in Israel, and even more challenging for new immigrants who only recently made Aliyah and have to start their whole lives anew.
Tanya and Roman Kadin,
Making Music For Kids Directors
Interestingly, one of the few “luxuries” that Former Soviet Union citizens enjoyed was classical music—and today, many children of FSU Messianic Jewish immigrants show great potential to becoming fine professional musicians and vocalists.
Yet very few new Israeli immigrants from anywhere can afford music lessons for their children. Actually, for that matter, many Israelis born and raised in Israel cannot offer their children music lessons. Official records state that 36% of Israeli children live under the poverty line—more than in Mexico, Turkey and Chile.
Making Music For Kids is a program birthed in the hearts of Ari and Shira in 2010. The goal is, first of all, to raise up a young generation of trained musicians and vocalists to minister with Messianic worship teams throughout the country. The program started with the participation of children from two congregations in the Tel Aviv area.
My husband Roman and I took over the responsibility for the MMFK program about four years ago—overseeing the children’s training, and supervising their advancement. Being worship leaders ourselves, and trained professionally both in the FSU and Israel, we understand the importance of preparing the next generation of worshippers (both singers and instrumentalists), those who would know how to touch the heart of our Lord in worship. Mark Karlinski (see next article) is a great example of a young man anointed of God for worship and a professional career.
It is exciting to see how children who entered this program at age 8 are already taking their first steps in the world of music by serving their local worship teams!
This academic year started in September and we have 46 children from 20 different congregations enrolled in the project! The program for this entire school year will cost $29,850. Also we’ve started a children’s choir that sings in different congregations during our Biblical holidays. How beautiful and exciting it is to see how these children sing a New Song to our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah!
We know that God is going to do something fantastic through worship, and He will deliver, save and heal our Israeli people!
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MAKING MUSIC FOR KIDS:
HELPING DEVELOP GOD-GIVEN TALENT
VIOLIN STORIES: RAISING A GIFTED CHILD
By Vladimir Karlinski
When Mark was six years old, a new school opened for gifted children close to the place where we lived at the time. My wife and I didn’t know back then that Mark was gifted, but he was accepted to the school. His teacher felt strongly that he should play the violin. Back then we did not understand that, but now we know this was God’s hand.
Mark began learning to play the violin with first-class teachers. Maxim Vengerov, a famous violinist, was the patron of the school, which taught on a very high level. Within a short time, Mark’s teacher understood he was a star—that he was gifted. The school added more lessons, helping Mark’s gift to grow and progress at a fast pace.
One of the congregational leaders told us about Making Music for Kids. We asked for help because we have three children who are studying music on a very high level, and it is very expensive. Without this help we would not have been able to give Mark the musical education he needed.
Since God gave Mark this gift, once he started cultivating it, we could see the things God planted blossoming. It’s marvelous to see. Mark himself saw how wonderful this was—and gave God the glory.
I think MMFK is very important, especially because this program was initiated for the glory of God. All the investment and funds that go into the program to develop God-given talents so the children can bring Him praise, and Israel’s young people can serve on worship teams in their congregations. Our children will grow up being able to worship God on a higher professional level.
We praise God for the people who are giving to this program, and helping people like Mark. This is a huge blessing. When I think about what you are giving, it’s hard to express my gratitude. “Thank you” is not strong enough.
God knows your hearts. He knows why you give. We are grateful as we see the fruit of your sacrifice. Thank you for your investment in our children, and in the future of worship in Israel!
COMPOSING CLASSICAL MUSIC AT 17 YEARS OLD
By Mark Karlinski
In the seventh grade, I began studying music composition. After composing several pieces of music for violin, my teacher asked me to consider composing a piece for several instruments with vocals. I thought about it and asked my parents’ advice.
In the end, I decided that since I am a believer who needs to preach the Good News, I would write music to Psalm 148—speaking about the entire creation praising God—animals, creatures, nature—everything! I prayed and asked God to help me write music that glorifies Him.
At the first concert, I prayed that people would hear and see that everything is praising Him, and that creation is a testimony of who He is. After the concert, one woman told me, “Mark, I don’t believe in God, but the moment I heard your music, I felt warmth coming from heaven and the skies opening.” This was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had—using music as a tool to open the door for people to God.
A person can learn an instrument and play well, but it is only when God opens the door for you through the talent He gave you, that your music can open the door for others to know Him.
I see myself as a musician. Though I am not yet sure what role music will play in my future, God knows. And I understand that my goal right now is to reach the highest level of excellence possible.
There’s a direct link between music and my faith in Yeshua. God gave me the talent, and He deserves all the glory. Music is an excellent tool to show others the One you believe in, so that others would see Yeshua through the music.
I always think about representing God to the audience. I think in the same way I would share the Gospel in conversation with people—with confidence and without fear—that’s the way I should play, because it’s the same message, even if it is with a different tool—music.
The words “thank you” are really not enough. I am so grateful for all your donations, because it’s an investment for eternity. It’s not a waste of time for people to study music—we are learning to give glory to God—something we will do for all eternity.
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By Shira Sorko-Ram
Did you know that in Hebrew there is only one version of the Bible that is universally accepted by the Jewish people?
There is no equivalent to the NIV, the New King James, or the New Living Bible. Israeli Messianic publishers have produced some fine children’s Bibles, but there is one, and only one, authentic Biblical text in Hebrew.
The Jewish scribes of old were passionately devoted to not changing a single letter or connotation in the entire Old Testament as they wrote new manuscripts of the Bible by hand.
As a result, there are no mistakes, spelling or otherwise, that change the theology of the Bible. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, the text copied 2000 years ago was found to be virtually the same as the text as we have it today. The differences were mostly consisting of human scribe copying errors that did not change the meaning of the text.
There’s only one problem. Because the original text was written between 2500 and 3500 years ago, most Israelis today can’t understand much of the Hebrew text. Too many words are no longer used or have different modern meanings.
For this reason, Maoz, in partnership with the Israel Bible Society, has begun a three-year project of producing a version of the English Narrated Bible in Chronological Order in Hebrew. This will be a Bible that Israelis will be able to read and understand!
The Scriptures themselves will, of course, be the original Hebrew text. But we will follow the Narrated Bible’s beautifully-written explanatory introductions to each section in the text about to be read. Headings for every few verses will reinforce the focus of the chapters. And putting the Scriptures in chronological order greatly enhances the meaning of God’s Word as the context becomes so much clearer.
Furthermore, each word no longer understood today will be noted at the end of the page in modern Hebrew. The project will take approximately three years to complete.
This Hebrew Narrated Chronological Bible will open God’s Word to multitudes of Israelis who have never before understood the Bible!
Each page of this Bible (about 2,000 pages) will cost approximately $250. We invite you to help us present the Word of God to Israel. It will be an investment of a lifetime!
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Dear Maoz Partner,
Happy Holiday of Succoth!
The Feast of Tabernacles begins on the eve of October 4 and it is one of the most joyful celebrations we have in Israel.
Every year, all the homes of Israel set up booths and shelters in their backyards, patios, balconies...anywhere outside, so they can eat, connect with family, and sometimes even sleep...to remember that once, they had no home.
It is part of our culture to spend quality time with friends and family.
During this holiday the Orthodox finish reading their weekly portions of the entire Torah the Five Books of Moses.
On October 13 at the end of Succoth, the Holiday called “Simchat Torah,” meaning the Joy of the Torah, will find all religious Jews finishing the last chapters of Deuteronomy. The following week they will begin again at Genesis 1.
Why don’t even religious Jews read the whole Old Testament every year? Because most don’t understand the meaning of so many sections of the prophets and the historical writings!
Obviously, the majority of secular Israelis don’t read the Bible at all; it is indeed a closed book to millions of Jews living in the Holy Land, not to speak of the several million Israelis living around the world.
Our new Narrated Bible in Chronological Order is going to give untold numbers of Israelis their first opportunity ever to read and understand the entire Hebrew-language Bible - the Torah, the prophets, the Psalms and the historic books together with the New Testament!
The commentary introducing each section of this Bible, the headings on each “paragraph” of Scriptures, plus the chronological order will give extraordinary clarity to God’s Word in Hebrew.
It offers a path to real revelation of the purposes of God for the Israeli people, the awful price of sin and the glory of giving one’s life to God’s Son Yeshua, King of the Jews.
This project will take three years and approximately $500,000 to complete.
Each of the approximately 2000 pages will cost $250. (£195, €210, CAD$315)
We encourage you to participate with us in bringing the only permanent Good News to the people of Israel - the only everlasting life-giving News the world will ever know!
Your partners in bringing the Gospel to Israel,
Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram
P.S. Every dollar, pound or euro you contribute will push this project forward and bring to life the Scripture to every Hebrew reader!
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