While two Israeli pastors may not get together in Israel to share about their mutual struggles, last week they did exactly this in Singapore, sharing with Christians there about life as believers in Yeshua in the Jewish state.
In a talk organized by Kehila News Israel (KNI), Howard Bass and Guy Cohen — pastors from Israeli congregations — shared about their lives and their Messianic congregations. Nearly 200 Singaporean Christians came to the Aug. 23 meeting, conducted as a talk show by Gilbert Carthigasu from One New Man ministry. The meeting was followed by Q&A from the audience where Bass and Cohen shared similar experiences and opinions.
Bass explained the significance of Beer Sheva, the city in which he lives in southern Israel, and its meaningful past, present and promising future according to the Bible. He spoke about the thriving youth in his congregation, Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua’s Inheritance). He also mentioned the cultural differences and struggles within the congregation comprised of congregants from a range of continents and generations.
Bass asked for prayer that the youth would strengthen their faith during their compulsory military service and that they would be willing to stay in Beer Sheva, serving the Lord in their home town and congregation, which needs what this special age group has to offer.
Cohen shared personal stories of persecution. A yeshiva (Jewish seminary) in his city received a donation of $400,000 from a large Christian organization and yet it is that very yeshiva that persecutes the Messianic community. Cohen’s ministry, Katzir Asher (the Harvest of Asher), is located near Akko in northern Israel. Cohen’s prayer is that the children of Messianic Jews in Israel will stand firm in their faith and will not give in to the peer pressure surrounding them.
The evening closed with Bass praying for the Singaporean Christians and Cohen blessing them with the Aaronic blessing sung in Hebrew.
On the following evening, Bass taught about the church’s role in the salvation of Israel in these last days, a messaged received with enthusiasm among those who attended.
“Howard explained it in such a clear and simple way that it helped me understand,” one attendee said.
Another said it was “an evening well spent.”
“Howard is full of life. I felt equipped listening to him,” he continued. “Here in Singapore we don’t really hear in great detail about the context of the scriptures he went through. He also presents a really good point that God has a fixed set timetable for Jesus’ second coming, and it is angels doing the work (Rev. 19:8). It was more than than I expected!”
So what is the church’s role in these last days in the salvation of Israel? Some of the key points Bass shared include:
1. to intercede for the nation
2. to understand the times, that Jerusalem is still being trampled on by unbelievers
3. to provoke the Jews to jealousy
4. to show mercy
5. to share the gospel with them
6. to comfort them (Isaiah 40:1-5)
7. to love them