Last week, Jewish Israel reported on plans for the establishment of a five-star resort, "celebrating" the Christian faith, which is being built on prime real estate on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The Galilean Resort is being heralded as "an historic opportunity to establish the world Christian spiritual center at the very birthplace of Christianity."
David Zwebner and Anne Ayalon are the founders of the enterprise, with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and David Nekrutman serving as educational adviser and director respectively. Theological programming and activities are in the works, designed to encourage "a sense of ‘oneness‘ with the Jewish people" and to foster an "understanding and reconciliation between Jews and Christians".
In our last post, Jewish Israel noted that the project enjoys a staggering Jewish-Christian list of endorsements, including Orthodox rabbis, Torah observant academicians and entrepreneurs, and mega-preachers and missionaries (including a famous advocate for Jews for Jesus).
In this report, Jewish Israel explores and exposes the evangelizing agenda of certain Christian personalities whose names appear as endorsers on the list which Jewish Israel found in the Advisory Board section of the Galilean website.
Jewish Israel continues to alert the Jewish people that these Christian leaders are fully committed in their mission of bringing the gospel of jesus christ to the Jewish people. We hope that Rabbi Riskin and the rest of the Jews involved in this project will take the following report into consideration and will bear in mind that their continued theologically–based endeavors with these missionary personalities poses an existential spiritual threat to the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.
At the close of Jewish Israel’s report last week, we made mention of missionary Robert Stearns, who last month was the featured speaker, along with two known "messianic" missionaries at IHOP’s Israel Mandate Conference. We posted the video promotion of that conference, which placed a heavy emphasis on bringing the gospel to the Jews in Israel. Stearns makes no secret of his aspirations to bring about a messianic Christian restoration in Israel. Like all devout evangelical Christians, he is striving for a state where Jew and Gentile will become ‘one new man’ in jesus.
The number two name on the Galilean resort's endorsement list is Dr. Morris Cerullo, of World Wide Evangelism. Dr. Cerullo should certainly get a "lifetime achievement award" for his forty-plus year effort to bring Jews to jesus. On his website, under the category Jewish World Outreach, Cerullo features a detailed timeline which boasts of his blatant proselytizing efforts. He meticulously records the vast numbers of Jews who have reportedly received "salvation" as a result of his targeted campaigns.
In the year 2000, missionary Cerullo raised the ire of the American Jewish community over his massive advertising deception concerning a missionary film he produced entitled "the Rabbi". Headlines were blaring, "Missionaries dupe Jewish newspapers across country" after eighty Jewish newspapers inadvertently carried ads for Cerullo’s made-for-television film which was broadcast on stations throughout the United States. The film was about a self-described "messianic Jew" who gradually convinces his Orthodox family that he did not abandon Judaism when he took "yeshua" into his heart.
In our last report we noted that Rabbi Riskin was on record as stating, "If I were to discover that any who I have a connection with whose raison d'etre is converting the Jewish people, all ties with them would be severed."
Jewish Israel feels that Dr. Morris Cerullo’s activities fill the criteria that Rabbi Riskin himself set for severing connections with missionaries. However, if that’s not sufficient, we can continue…
According to the accountability profile on MinistryWatch.com, Bill Sutter’s organization, Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, repeatedly states that Jewish evangelism is a major part of their mission and purpose:
Friends of Israel was established in 1938 to proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and the world that God so loved.
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc. (FOI) is an independent, fundamental, evangelical faith-mission which exists in order to be an advocate for Israel and to proclaim the Good News of Jesus the Messiah to both Jewish and Gentile Persons.
The Gospel: Although "friends of Israel," FOI is careful not to compromise the Gospel. FOI clearly teaches that Israel as a nation is currently in a state of unbelief, and that its citizens, like all people, desperately need to hear and believe the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah (Christ). To this end, FOI publishes materials and conducts seminars designed to help believers effectively share their faith with Jewish persons.
The MinistryWatch profile adds the commentary, "FOI does not confuse the Gospel message with Zionism. Evangelizing the lost sheep of Israel remains a priority".
In our last report, we noted that exposing devout Christians to Torah concepts could strengthen individual belief as well as the church leaderships' commitment to jesus and their desire to bring jesus to the Jews via missionary activity. We note that Friends of Israel has a popular university accredited Institute for Jewish Studies at Philadelphia Biblical University.
So, will FOI be using the information they glean from Torah scholars to strengthen their case when targeting Jews? Based on what Tovia singer wrote about the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministries, the answer is a resounding "Yes". Excerpt:
The Philadelphia College of Bible offers a Jewish Missions Program, which, according to its website, "equips the student with the necessary understanding and tools for ministry among God's chosen people. The first year of study is completed in [Mcquaid's] Friends of Israel Institute of Jewish Studies."…
…Rabbi Singer, of messiahtruth.com and outreachjudaism.org , notes that the Philadelphia College of Bible does "an excellent job in preparing their students for proselytizing the Jewish people. [It is] one of the few that trains and gives degrees in the science of converting Jews."
Just beneath the name of Rabbi Raphael Shore on the Ayalon-Zwebner list, is the name of messianic attorney Jay Sekulow of Jews for Jesus fame.
Sekulow served on the board of directors Jews for Jesus and gained fame as their General Legal Counsel while defending the right of Jews for Jesus to proselytize. He has faced the U.S. Supreme Court 13 times in defense of that missionary organization – which most certainly targets Jews. You can read more about Sekulow’s views of J4J and the Godfather of Jewish Evangelism (Moishe Rosen) in Stephen Strang’s Charisma Magazine.
Sekulow is currently serving as Chief Counsel of Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has managed to make "spreading the gospel" into a religious freedoms issue. For those who may not know, The American Center for Law and Justice is just another name for Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc..
Michael Little and Pat Robertson, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)
In the center of the endorsement list, sitting amongst the names of numerous rabbis, are the mention of Michael Little and Pat Robertson, CEO/President and Chairman respectively of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
According to their MinistryWatch.com profile, "CBN was founded in 1960 by Pat Robertson to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world as a witness unto all nations (Matthew 24:14)." The lengthy profile says nothing of the State of Israel, support for Israel, or Zionism. But the word "Israel" does make the mission statement:
"The mission of CBN and its affiliated organizations is to prepare the United States of America and the nations of the world for the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. In the fulfillment of our mission, as to calling and message, our Biblical role model is John the Baptist. As to wisdom, it is Solomon. As to ministry to Israel, it is the prophet Ezekiel. In all that we are, do, and say, it is Jesus Christ."
CBN and their Christian World News program regularly run reports on Jews for Jesus and messianic Jews, and boast about the growing Christian messianic restoration in Israel . CBN frequently features rather one-sided stories of purported church persecution in Israel by the "Ultra-Orthodox".
This enthusiasm for Jews embracing Jesus has been a consistent theme of Robertson’s. In 1990 he penned in his book, The New Millennium, "So many of the Israelis I have met with have been quite willing to talk about Jesus, to listen to the Gospel, and to receive Christ as Messiah." In 2004, Judy Balint reported that Pat Robertson addressed a mixed crowd at the ICEJ Feast of the Tabernacles at the Jerusalem Convention Center. He reportedly "… turned the auditorium into a church, as he exhorted the throng to get down on their knees in prayer, urging them to, ‘Pray for Jesus to come back again, so the rule of Jesus Christ may descend…Jews need to begin to cry out for their Messiah, he said. I've met wonderful Jews... here in Jerusalem, who are all saying 'Yes, Jesus you are our Messiah.'"
Both Michael Little and Pat Robertson endorse the endeavors of Maoz Israel, an evangelical ministry in Tel Aviv which supports the messianic movement in Israel and aggressively proselytizes and targets the Jewish people for conversion.
Pastor John Hagee is also on the Galilean endorsement list. "The mission of John Hagee Ministries is to aggressively fulfill the commission that Jesus Christ gave to his followers to go into the world and make disciples of all people. Our purpose is to bring the lost to Jesus Christ and to build up and encourage those who are already believers. We pledge to our viewers & supporters to take the Gospel to all the World and to all Generations."
When the Daystar Television Network announced its plans to broadcast in Israel in 2006, Marcus Lamb’s studio guest, Pastor John Hagee, declared:
"It’s just all I can do to keep from getting up and dancing. It’s a joy and it’s a dream come true. If we are able to preach the gospel without reservation [in Israel]... it’s a major breakthrough." Hagee noted that the Bible "talks about the gospel going forth from Jerusalem, and if this is in fact the announcement that the gospel can go forth without any limitations, without any editing and so forth... This is a first."
Hagee then proceeded on the air to make the first $1000 pledge towards Daystar's endeavor.
Christianity, by definition , is all about the gospel, all about evangelizing, and all about a pagan deity named jesus. It would simply be naive or deceptive for any Jew to try and portray evangelical organizations and their leaders as having abandoned their mission to the Jews. For Torah observant spiritual, business, and community leaders to aspire for a state of "oneness" with Christians, via theological dialogue, and to advance the founding of a "world Christian spiritual center" in Eretz Yisrael, is simply beyond the pale.
The current conduct of those in the Orthodox Jewish community who are encouraging interfaith endeavors with the evangelical world demands to come under immediate scrutiny.
Related Post: Interfaith Jesus resort to open on shores of Galilee