“As the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” Isa. 61:11
ROSH HASHANAH 2019: Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year also known as the Feast of Trumpets began on the evening of Sunday 29 Sept. and ends at sunset on Tuesday 1 Oct. The first of the Biblical autumn festivals, Rosh Hashanah celebrates the birth of the world and humanity. Symbolic foods such as apples and honey are central to the holiday, symbolizing the sweetness, health, success and good deeds which we hope the coming year will bring. In the midst of the troubled Middle East, we pause in Israel to thank God for His sovereign goodness to us and to others throughout the exiting year. May His blessing be showered upon all of you who love Israel. A sweet and a good year from your friends at Vision for Israel.
IRAN’S ROUHANI: ONE MISTAKE CAN IGNITE THE MIDDLE EAST INTO A RAGING FIRE: The confrontation between arch-foes Iran and the US has spiraled following assaults on Saudi oil facilities last month that Washington, the EU, and Riyadh attribute to Tehran despite its denials. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned global leaders on Wed. 25 Sept. 2019 that the Gulf region is “on the edge of collapse, as a single blunder can fuel a big fire.” Rouhani last week ruled out nuclear talks until newly imposed American sanctions have been lifted. Trump’s response to the Iranian demand was expressed in his speech before the UN last week, in which he stated that “As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted, they will be tightened.” The US has since taken its sanctions campaign against Iran to unseen heights.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced days ago that five Chinese nationals and six entities transacting with Iran, including two associated with the Costco Shipping Corporation, had been sanctioned. This was on the heels of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s announcement earlier in Sept. 2019 that Washington had “cut off all source of funds to Iran” with new sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic’s Central Bank. At UN meetings last week Rouhani criticized the European parties to the nuclear deal for their failure to protect Iran’s interests by shielding them from USA penalties. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thur. 26 Sept. 2019 that European countries were unlikely to help Iran against US sanctions and that Tehran “should give up all hope” in that regard. London, Paris, and Berlin have in fact taken a much more critical stance toward Tehran since a recent spike in tensions in the Gulf that have been blamed squarely on the Iranians. (JNN)
CHURCH GROWTH IS EXPLODING IN IRAN – WITHOUT BUILDINGS – MAJORITY OF LEADERS ARE WOMEN: More Iranians have come to faith in Jesus (Yeshua) in the last 20 years than the 1,300 years since Islam swept through Persia – combined. A new film tells the story of the “fastest-growing church” in the world, an underground, persecuted Christian movement in a country known for exporting radical Islamic terrorism – Iran. People in Iran, a Muslim-majority nation, are fleeing Islam in droves as believers bow their knee to Yeshua and become aggressively pro-Israel, according to a recently produced documentary “Sheep Among Wolves Volume II.” The film, was directed by Dalton Thomas and produced by Frontier Alliance International Studios. “What if I told you Islam is dead?” one unidentified Iranian church leader says in the documentary. What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran?” he continues. “What if I told you no one follows Islam inside of Iran? Would you believe me? This is exactly what is happening inside of Iran. God is moving powerfully inside of Iran.”
The pastor adds: “What if I told you the best evangelist for Yeshua was the Ayatollah Khomeini? The ayatollahs brought the true face of Islam to light and people discovered it was a lie. After 40 years under Islamic law, they’ve had the worst devastation in the 5,000-year history of Iran.” Thomas describes the uniqueness of what he calls the Iranian Awakening. “It owns no property, no buildings, no central leadership, and is predominantly led by women,” he said. The documentary claims “Muslim-background Iranians are leading a quiet but mass exodus out of Islam and bowing their knees to the Jewish Messiah — with kindled affection toward the Jewish people.” A leader of the Iranian underground church explains their goal is not planting churches but rather making disciples, the majority of whom are women. “Disciples forsake the world and cling to Jesus (Yeshua) ’till he comes. Converts don’t,” the leader said. “Disciples aren’t engaged in a culture war. Converts are. Disciples cherish, obey, and share the word of God. Converts don’t. Disciples choose Yeshua over anything and everything else. Converts don’t. Converts run when the fire comes. Disciples don’t. We find people of peace through prayer. We even find locations through prayer,” he says. “Yeshua has come in their dreams or he’s come miraculously in their lives. When we hear this, we know that Yeshua has gone ahead of us.” (JNN) Pray for the continued growth of the Iranian Church and for the protection of its courageous hidden members.
ABBAS VOWS AT UNITED NATIONS TO GIVE HIS LAST PENNY TO JAILED TERRORISTS, RECEIVES APPLAUSE: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made a speech on Thurs. 26 August 2019 at the UN General Assembly. He informed world delegates that despite Israel’s demands, the Palestinian Authority will continue to pay salaries to terrorists. “Even if I had only one penny, I would’ve given it to the families of the martyrs, prisoners, and heroes,” said Abbas who then received a round of applause from the crowd. The fact that Abbas continues to hold to his support of jailed terrorist murderers of Israeli men women and children is sick and deluded. That global leaders applauded his immoral unshakable loyalty to those who kill and maim others in the name of peace, is beyond belief. The PA regularly pays terrorists who are imprisoned in Israel, as well as families of dead terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis. The PA policy of paying higher salaries to terrorists serving longer sentences means that the more heinous the deed and deadly the terror attack, the more the terrorist is rewarded by the PA for committing murder. Despite calls from both Israel and the United States to stop the practice of paying terrorists, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly stressed that “families of the martyrs will continue to receive their allowances in full.” Abbas at the conclusion of his UN speech which included more rounds of verbal attacks against Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and the Trump Administration had the audacity to claim that “Our hands are always extended for peace.” (JNN)
ISRAEL IS HOME TO OVER NINE MILLION PEOPLE: As Israel celebrates the holiday of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) the population of the Jewish state numbers around 9,092,000 people. 74% of the total population – some 6.744 million residents are Jewish. The Arab population runs about 21% or close to 1.907 million people. The population of others (non-Arab Christians and other religions) is approximately 4.8% or 441,000 residents. Also, the number of Jews in the world has been recorded at 14.8 million, an increase of about 100,000 compared to the beginning of last year. Approximately 8.1 million Jews live outside Israel, about 5.7 million of them in the USA. (JNN) “May you live to see your children’s children – peace be on Israel.” Ps. 128.6
TOURISM AT RECORD LEVELS AS ISRAEL’S NEW YEAR ARRIVES: Israel’s tourism reports continue to be good news this year with arrivals in the country during the past 12 months reaching new levels of 4.6 million people. Statics reveal this to be an 18% increase in visitors since this time last year. Israel’s Tourism Ministry reported on the eve of Rosh Hashanah that the past 12 months of tourism have resulted in NIS 22.4 billion ($6.36 billion) in revenue, compared to NIS 19 billion ($5.4 billion) the previous year. Tourism Minister, Yariv Levin attributes the impressive increases to what he calls, “the strenuous work and revolutionary changes made by the Tourism Ministry, with an emphasis on expanding accommodation options in the country and reducing the cost of vacationing in Israel.” Director-General of the Ministry of Tourism Amir Halevi said, “The momentum in the tourism industry creates opportunities and we are happy with the trend of increasing numbers of entrepreneurs who see tourism as an economic growth engine and invest in Israel.” Last week, an estimated 82,000 tourists arrived in Israel. Another 24,000 were expected to arrive ahead of Rosh Hashanah the ministry said. (JNN) “Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so that people may bring you the wealth of the nations– their kings led in triumphal procession.” Isa. 60:11
HALF BILLION BIRDS FLOCK TO A GALILEE MIGRATION PARADISE: October and November are two of Israel’s most beautiful months. Sun rays no longer bring the earth to soaring temperatures but are softer, falling in long golden slants across the valleys and hills. Winds cease to be filled with dust, are balmy, are more gentle, and grapevines turn vermillion shades. Then come the occasional, brief showers. Adding to the splendor of the months, close to a billion birds fleeing wintery temperatures in Europe, pass through the northern Galilee’s Hula Valley. They are bound for warmer homes in which to pass the coming season. October is one of the best months for birding in Israel. The weather is excellent and migration is evident everywhere. The first week is very good for soaring birds with impressive flocks of White Pelicans, Common Cranes, Black Storks and Eagles and the wetland fill with wintering waterfowl. Throughout November more than 400 known bird species will pause for several days in Israel, then resume their journey to Africa. A cloudy autumnal sky filled with thousands of birds, gathered and soaring in prefect V form, seems a final and perfect conclusion to the year’s harvest and coming chilly season. Finally, November is the month of the International Hula Valley Bird Festival that offers a wide selection of birding tours and activities led by the best tour leaders in the country. (JNN)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff