BECAUSE GOD SAYS HE WILL BLESS THOSE WHO BLESS THEM. Genesis 12:3 “I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee, and in thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” Isaiah 60:12 “For the nation that will not serve you (Israel) will perish; it will be utterly ruined.”
BECAUSE WE OWE THEM A DEBT FOR THE BLESSINGS WE HAVE RECEIVED THROUGH THEM. The promises and covenants were revealed to humanity through Israel. Through them came the law, the prophets, and the Messiah who has opened up access to God for all, and through the Jewish apostles, the gospel first went to the nations. (Romans 9:4-5 and Romans 15:27
BECAUSE GOD’S GIFT AND CALL ON ISRAEL HAVE NOT BEEN REVOKED. Romans 11:28 “but as regards the election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and call of God are irrevocable.” The covenant with Abraham has not been replaced by the New Covenant. The eternal covenant God made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants has NOT been set aside.
BECAUSE GOD HAS PROMISED TO BRING THEM BACK TO THEIR LAND. “‘I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;…I will plant them upon their land and they shall never again be plucked up out of the land which I have given them.’ says the Lord your God.” (Amos 8:14-15) “I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides and bring them to their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all.” (Ezekiel 37:21-22) The regathering of Israel is prophesied in Ezekiel, Isaiah, Deuteronomy, Amos, Hosea, Jeremiah, by Jesus in Luke 21:24, by Paul in Romans 11 and is a key condition to the full flowering of the Messianic age (Genesis 35:11).
BECAUSE THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES ARE ALMOST FULFILLED. “Jerusalem will be trodden down underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) Jesus foresaw that the Roman Gentile armies would overthrow every vestige of Jewish rule in Jerusalem; but He also saw that the day would come when Gentile domination of Jerusalem would come to an end. In 70 AD Jerusalem fell to the Roman army. In 1967, in the course of defending themselves against an attack from their Arab neighbors, the Israelis regained control of the entire City of Jerusalem for the first time since 70 AD thus fulfilling this prophecy of Jesus (Luke 21:28).
BECAUSE WE ARE TO “COMFORT GOD’S PEOPLE. In Isaiah Chapter 40 God speaks: “Comfort, comfort my people says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that here iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40:1-2) This is a call to Christians to comfort the Jewish people. Isaiah also envisions that in their regathering, the leaders of the nations would help the Jewish people and nurture them: “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. Kings shall be your foster fathers and their queens your nursing mothers.’” (Isaiah 49:22-23) God says that the Gentiles will nurture and assist the Jewish people in their re-entry to their land. It is our divine mandate to help them in the fulfillment of their unique call. Gentile believers must do more than observe what God is doing with the Jewish people. God is asking us to get involved in helping them!
BECAUSE WE MUST MAKE REPARATION FOR ANTI-SEMITIC TEACHINGS AND ACTS. Since the second century, Church leaders have been guilty of anti-Semitic remarks. These have provided a basis for despots to ridicule, discriminate, and even kill the Jewish people. Often these actions have been perpetrated by those who claimed to be followers of the Messiah. We need to make reparation for the tragic record of Christianity (both in its Catholic and Protestant forms) in its dealings with the Jewish people. The teaching has been spread in the Church since the early centuries that the Church has replaced Israel. This false doctrine is not faithful to either the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) or Christian (New Testament) Scriptures, and is a source of anti-Semitism.
What are Israeli Communities?
The Biblical region of Judea and Samaria was given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, forever, 4000 years ago. Today Jews have returned to their ancient homeland in fulfillment of Biblical Prophecies. These Jewish communities, otherwise known as “settlements”, are located in the very heartland of Biblical Israel.
Why have Israelis built these communities?
Because God Called His People to “Settle the Land”.
“I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before.” Ezekiel 36:11
Judea and Samaria is the Biblical name for the center of the Holy Land also called the Mountains of Israel. The media refers to this area as the “West Bank.” The residents of these areas, otherwise referred to as “settlers” are fulfilling prophecy and pointing the way for the rest of the Jewish people back to their roots.
What is a Settlement?
It is a city, town or village established by brave, Jewish pioneers in the Land of Israel. The early Zionists established kibbutz and moshav settlements in the Galilee and the Negev. Since 1967, settlement activity has focused on the biblical areas of Judea and Samaria. In most cases a settlement community is established on a barren rocky hilltop where no one had lived for thousands of years. In some cases, such as Shiloh, communities are established on the original site of an ancient Jewish city. In others such as Hebron and Gush Etzion, a Jewish community is established on the site of an older community destroyed by Arab armies during or just prior to Israel’s War of Independence.
How does a Settlement Get Started?
The first communities were established in the 1970’s as small military outposts that were later turned over to families who committed themselves to live and develop the land for security purposes. Others began with a nucleus of families in tents or caravans (mobile homes), laying the foundations for what later became residential communities or cities. The larger urban communities were developed as a result of careful government planning and support. In all cases, the Government of Israel authorized and encouraged the creation of the community, lending assistance for infrastructure and development.
With the exception of some of the newest neighborhoods, all communities have built permanent housing and public buildings, including schools and synagogues. Some communities are structured as an agricultural “moshav” where the common work benefits the whole community; others, called “yishuv”, are more like suburban neighborhoods in the USA. All have day care centers to assist working parents. A community can be as small as twenty families or large enough to have a university and industrial park.
What does the Bible say?
The Biblical region of Judea and Samaria was given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants, forever, 4000 years ago. Because of sin, disobedience and lack of belief, most Jews were driven from the land around 70 AD. However, there were always some Jews living in the Land and Jews around the world have prayed to God three times a day, each day, to return His people to Zion. The prophets foretold the ingathering of the exiles and the rebuilding of the Land in the latter days. (Ezekiel 36, Amos 9 to mention a few). In 1948, Israel was reborn as a sovereign nation and in 1967 the “West Bank” was reunited with the rest of the nation in the prophetic, miraculous Six Day War. Although Jordan occupied half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria for 19 years and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip during the same period, there was never any attempt to form a Palestinian State at this time. The land remained barren until the Jews returned to cultivate it. This is truly the fulfillment of prophecy.
Why does CFOIC Heartland support the people of Judea and Samaria?
In 1993 and again in 1995, Israel transferred significant territory to the Palestinian Authority, in accordance with the Oslo Accords. Israel entered into this so-called peace process in the hopes that territorial withdrawal would ultimately bring peace and prosperity to an area that has known so much killing and bloodshed. Many political and religious leaders, however, warned that the withdrawals ran counter to God’s plan for the Jewish nation and would only weaken Israel in future confrontations with her enemies. Christian Friends of Israeli Communities (CFOIC Heartland) was established in 1995 in response to the Oslo Process. Christians around the world were deeply troubled by Israel’s major territorial concessions and felt drawn to the people that stood on the forefront of Israel’s territorial battle – the people of Judea and Samaria. CFOIC Heartland provided a much-needed vehicle for Christians to become better informed about events in Israel, particularly with regard to the Jewish communities in the heartland of Biblical Israel, to visit these areas and become personally connected to the people living there, and to provide practical support for vital community needs.
How can Christians help?
The Peace Process has failed and the vision for a Two-State Solution has been proven irrelevant. Rather than usher in a new era of peace and tranquility, years of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs created conditions that were more conducive than ever before to terror and bloodshed. Throughout, Christians from around the world have stood up for Israel and become valuable friends and supporters of the pioneers of Biblical Israel. Through CFOIC Heartland churches, ministries and individuals have visited the communities and biblical sites of Judea and Samaria and have linked directly with communities. Thousands of individuals have provided financial support for community projects and have made a real difference in the ability of these communities to cope in the face on ongoing terrorism and to thrive as they hope and pray for the extension of Israeli sovereignty over this vital area of Israel. “For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.” Romans 15:27