Strang At Messiahí99
we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and
carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight
of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in
all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the
whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that
which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual
working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of
the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say
therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth
walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their
mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated
from the life of God through the ignorance that is in
them, because of the blindness of their heart:"
of Charisma and Christian Life Magazine (Charisma) was a
featured speaker at the Messiahí99
Conference. Strang, who worked with Jamie Buckingham, has long
endorsed Promise Keepers, the Vineyard, the Charismatic
movement and all that goes with them. Strang also publishes
New Man magazine of the Promise Keepers.
Transcript of Audio Tape
Strang was showing some slides)
"...that you're important. I've been involved in politics
in varying degrees all my life and I can tell you that if the,
if Steve Ross of Time Warner or Morton Zuckerman of US
Newsworld Port came here, that says something. That says
something about our movement. And today we are honored
to have a man in that league, who is a leader in Christian
publishing, Charisma Life or Charisma since 1975. In
1976 began to cover the Messianic-Jewish movement in Israel.
He's been a major influence in the body of the Messiah.
Speaking to the Body of Messiah and covering this movement for
the last 23 years. And it's an honor and it's a privilege to
have him today. Ladies and Gentleman Stephen Strang....
Thank you very much.
Well good morning, Shalom. I'm excited to be here with
you today. It's an honor for me to be here as I said last
night. And just to open up my heart and to share with you..um..
the perspective I have as a journalist of what God is doing in
our day. And I have one goal today. And that I'm
here to affirm you, I'm here to give you a perspective of how
you are viewed in the body of Messiah and I hope that you'll
learn something from my story and my own odyssey. And,
um, and I have as I mentioned last night I've had the
privilege of traveling all over the world. And you know
you always have a lot of funny stories that happen. And
sometimes you end up sticking your foot in your mouth because
you don't know any better. And I had that happen to me
on my first trip to the Soviet Union in 1990, before the
Soviet Union dissolved. And I went to uh, the Ukraine,
and to Moscow and we also went to Latvia. And we met there
with a church, it was a Russian speaking church. And I
had remembered something that Yonngi Cho had done.
Now how many of you know the
name? He's the pastor of the great church in Seoul, Korea. And
I had heard him joke one time that uh, how wonderful the
Korean language was and that Korean was going to be the
language of heaven. So I thought, that everyone needed to
learn it so I thought that I would endear myself to these
people in Latvia by telling them that I-I wanted to learn to
speak Russian because I knew that it would be the language of
heaven. And they all just kind of sat there and looked
at me. And I found out later that you know these Latvian
people hated to speak Russian. You know the Russians had
oppressed them. And so I've-I've learned to be a little bit
more culturally sensitive since that time. They-they
didn't boo me or anything, but ah, they did just kind of sit
But I'll tell you that on that trip I heard a story it was a
joke, but-but it's the honest truth. I heard this joke in
Russia and it gives you a little insight into the Russian
mind. And it's about a Jewish man in Russia that was
trying to emigrate. And of course before the fall of
Communism it was very difficult for Jews, as you know, to
leave Russia. And this man had put in an application for
many years and now he was very old, and finally the uh,
officials went to investigate his request and they came in the
middle of the night. And they banged on his door to
intimidate him as they often did. And they pulled him
out of bed and they were interrogating him - why he wanted to
leave Russia, what was wrong with Russia and so forth.
And he says, well it is just very simple, he said I need to go
to Israel in order to learn Hebrew. And they say Why do
you need to learn Hebrew? He said because I am very old
and I am not going to live very long and Hebrew is the
language of heaven and I want to learn to speak Hebrew before
I die. And the KGB agent says Well why should you worry,
you may not, um go to heaven, you won't need to learn to speak
Hebrew. And the old man said, Not to worry, I already
know how to speak Russian.
Did you like that? Well good, I'll try another one on you. OK
if you like that one you'll like this one, hopefully.
There was a man who was a single man. And the reason he
was single was that he could never find any woman perfect
enough. And he was looking for a woman that was kind of
a cross between Betty Crocker and Wonder woman. And one
day he was traveling and there was an empty seat next to him
on the airplane. And wouldn't you know it that the most
beautiful woman he had ever seen came in and sat down next to
him. And so he said, You know I've got to get to know
this woman. So he thinks a minute and he strikes up a
conversation. He says would you please tell me what does
a beautiful woman like you look for in a man? So she
thought and she said Well, she says I like Indian men because
they're tall, dark and handsome. And then she thought
and said I also like Jewish men because they're intellectual
and wealthy. And she says I'll also admit that I like
the macho man, you know the kind the kind of guy with a pickup
truck, a couple of hunting dogs, a gun rack. And she
says, by the way, we've not introduced ourselves, What is your
name. And the man thought real quick and said My name is
Geronimo Goldberg (sp?), but my friends call me Bubba.
Oh good. I'm glad you like that. I've learned that
it's important when you speak to a new group of people like I
am today to, uh get acquainted a little bit, to break the ice.
And so I am going to tell you a little bit about who I am.
I , as you've been told, I am the uh, publisher of Charisma
Magazine. And, um, I'm married, I've been married for
almost 27 years. More than half my life to Joy. And Joy
is very involved in our organization. In fact she is the
CFO, she signs all the cheques. Millions of dollars a
year. And like I told our accountant, if she embezzles I
have a real problem. But God has, ah , in the last
couple years has really given her a ministry to women and we,
and she has the visions for women's conference that we've had
now for the last five years. Last year at Daytona Beach we had
over 6,000 women. And it was a powerful, powerful
experience. And sort of out of that our newest magazine -
Spirit Lead Woman - has grown. And has developed. I also
have two sons. I have a 23 year old who is hopefully
following in my footsteps. He is a magazine editor in
Nashville and we have a little guy who is 12, his name is
Chandler. And, uh, you know I am a newspaper reporter by
I was trained, I got my
degree in Journalism at the University of Florida. And I
got a job straight out of college in Orlando working for the
newspaper. And very early in my tenure I got an idea to
start a magazine. And my wife and I were involved in a
large church there called Calvary Assembly. which, uh, today
is still a great church but back in that era was, was one of
the fastest growing churches in the country. They were
involved in a lot of out reaches. The sponsored Jesus
festivals and a lot of other things. And I went to them and I
said - Hey, let's start a magazine and, and I'll, I'll edit it
on the side. And it won't cost very much and we'll get a
couple of businessmen in the church to advertise and we'll
sell a couple of subscriptions and that's how Charisma
We started in August
of 1975. And you know I've been asked many times on in various
settings to give my testimony. And for a long time I felt like
I really didn't have anything to share. I didn't, my
testimony wasn't that exciting. And then I realized that
a lot of people could relate to what I do, because I was a, a
man that God gave a vision to that was seemingly impossible,
and that I was faithful in little things. You know the Bible
tells us that if you are faithful in little things that you
will be made ruler over much. And so I'm, I'm the kind
of guy that used what God gave me and God has caused it to
grow. It's like the parable of the talents that Y'eshua
told. Remember the three servants that were given talents.
One was given one talent, one was two, one was five. And when
the story is told we usually focus on the guy that buried his
talents in the back yard. But what about the two that were
faithful? The one that was two doubled it to four, the
one who had five doubled it to ten. And the master told
them exactly the same thing, Well done good and faithful
servant. You have been faithful in little now come and enter
into the joy of the Lord.
And so I believe that this is a principle of life. That
if you invest what you have that it will grow and grow again.
And we know that this is true. In, in uh, investing, money, if
you invest money you know it ah, continues to grow over, over
a period of time. If you exercise a muscle it will grow. If
you are learning a skill like a surgeon. You know they
start with little surgery and they kind of develop and it
grows. And if you use it, it gets, it develops, and if
you don't use it you lose it. And, and basically that's
my whole testimony.
God gave me faith for little things and over the years God has
given me faith for me. And so today Charisma magazine
has grown from that very early, very humble beginnings uh,
when we look at the pictures in it you'll see some of our
very, kind of amateurish covers that we had to start with.
And it's grown now to be, ah perhaps the largest Christian
magazine, certainly of its kind in the, in the world. We
have seven magazines now. Which would include
Spirit led Women, which I mentioned, our New Man magazine,
anybody subscribe to New Man? Great. And uh, Ministries
Today, which is our magazine for pastors. Uh we also
publish in Spanish under Vito Christiano which means Christian
Life. And we uh, have two trade magazines that go to the
Christian retail trade. We also publish books and curriculum.
And from those early beginnings God has helped us grow and
today we have 200 employees. But I like to tell people
that, I like to think that we're just beginning that the best
is yet to come. And so, it's you step from, from ah one
level to the other.
So that's my story that gives you a little bit on my
background and tells you about who I am. By the way, we
have a booth out there somewhere and Jeffrey is helping me,
Jeffrey Levinson. Jeff you want to stand up? And uh, he's
going to work our booth. Now yesterday was Jeff's
birthday so everyone tell him Happy Birthday later today.
And we have, um. He has a flyer here, it's half off our
regular subscription rates. So if you're interested in
any of our magazines, today is the day to subscribe.
Jeff told me that was a good Jewish offer. Half-price.
Let me tell you a little bit about how my own love for Israel
has developed and some of my experiences going to Israel. As I
was thinking about this I realized that one of my first
impressions about Israel came when I was barely old enough to
read. And my Grandmother gave me a nice picture book
about Israel. And I can remember, this was in the 50's,
and I can remember the book had lots of pictures, and it had,
it had text and it told how the modern state of Israel was a
fulfillment of Bible prophecy. And I can remember how
impressed I was. And it told how Israel was divided because of
course back then it was. And I can remember how it had
pictures about all the, all the archeology and the, the digs
and the different things. The ancient things. And
I was fascinated with it. It was probably one of the
first reference books that I ever spent any time with as a
child. And it developed, I think, a very early interest
in Israel. So some of you Grandma's remember that. Sometimes
you can invest in your grandkids and it may not even seem that
they're picking anything up. But it will affect them in a way
the rest of their lives. As in this case it has me.
I can remember in, uh, when I was a teenager, the six day war
started. And, uh, in my church uh, the people I was
with, we were very, very aware the Bible prophecy was, was uh,
being fulfilled right before our eyes. And that something
supernatural was happening. And, uh, something was
happening in, in that whole era. In the spiritual realm. You
know that was about the time that the Catholic charismatic
movement started. About the same year, the Jesus
movement started around that same era. And, and you if we
had time we could go into a lot of different things that were
happening. And it was all, you know like something was
happening in Israel. And they were parallels in the church.
And I can remember as a teenager being aware of that. My
first trip to Israel was in 1979. And I'll talk about it in a
minute when I show you the article I wrote about it. But
it was my very first trip outside of America. We went to
Israel, and not only there but we went down to the Sinai
peninsula. Spent nine days in the desert, and had the
opportunity to climb Mount Sinai. It was a very, very
Soon after we started Charisma magazine um, I told you a
minute ago that we sponsored Jesus festivals and I was in
charge back then of the going from church to church showing a
slide show on the Jesus festivals. And I went to this one
church on a Sunday night and they had double booked.
They had me to show my little slide show, which I did.
And they had uh, a lady who's a singer named Sandra Chisken
(sp?). And a speaker Manny Brockman (sp?). And so I was there
quite by accident. And I can remember being deeply, deeply
moved by what I heard that night. It was probably my first
real exposure to the Messianic uh, Jewish Movement. And it,
and what I saw and heard that night it resulted in just a
couple of months later one of our, our first cover stories
certainly about the Messianic movement.
And what I have here are some slides just to show you through
the years how we have covered this movement in Charisma
magazine. And this was the cover, and you can't really read
the headline cause it's rather small. But it says "
Now its Kosher to believe in the Messiah". It was,
it's in September 1976. Uh, some Messianic congregation up
around Washington, DC gave us that photo. We couldn't really
afford photos back then. We used photos people gave us.
And then this was the picture. Actually we were going to use
that picture of Sandra originally, but it was just uh, too
dark for the cover. And, uh, that, that may have been
our first article. Go ahead Jeff.
Uh, we can't tell when this article was. But I think this may
have been a couple of months earlier than that. Um, I didn't
have a chance to go back and really research that. But
it says, as you can see "Pray for Peace of Israel".
And, they have Jerusalem. And we have done these type of
stories, um, many times over the years. This was one of
our very earliest advertisers. Lamb, has anybody ever heard of
this group? I told you we have a little humor here this
In 1979, I went to Mount Sinai and this is the cover that we
had. I took that picture. It's not the greatest picture
of what they call ?, which you know, there is several
mountains that they uh, different people say was the Mount
Sinai. That, uh this was the one that we climbed. And here's
our article. That's me sitting up there um, on the left
hand side. Uh that is at the very tiptop of Mount Sinai.
And in that article which I just reread this week, as I
prepared for this. I had actually forgotten some of the
things that had happened. About how we went out there and we
were in the desert 9 days with a group of 12 men. And
how God taught us a lot about ourselves and about the whole
sense of community. When you are out there in the desert, and
you would literally die if you left the group, and when you're
dependent on each other for your very survival, you learn a
lot. And we got up, we camped at the base of mountain and got
up about 3 in the morning and started our climb. And
it's a 3 or 4 hour climb if I recall. And it gave us, we
spread out and it gave us a chance to pray. And I can
remember praying for every, virtually for everybody I knew.
And it was a wonderful time and I got to sit up there on the
top of the mountain for about a half an hour. And then
we got together and prayed and it was just a very, very
meaningful, religious experience. And, and I made a vow to God
to serve Him. And printed it right in the magazine for
all to read, and, and it was very meaningful. Now twenty
years later to go back to read that and to realize what God
has done in my own life in that period of time.
In 1980, we did a story, Derek Prince wrote it as I
recall, called " Our Debt to Israel". The following
year we did a photo story with Max and um, Max Jacobee (sp?),
the photographer. Uh, whoís written these, you've probably
seen them, these wonderful coffee table books. Uh, about
Israel and Jerusalem and so forth. The Faces of Israel.
In 1985, um, this was our tenth anniversary and these
covers actually, if you went on the back and everything we had
every cover that we published up until that time. This is just
some of them. But we cited ten trends. We called them
Decatrends. And one of the trends was this one, the
trend toward the love of Israel. And later on this morning I'm
going to talk about some trends and I still see that trend to
a certain extent but we felt that of the trends that were
happening that this is one of the, this is a picture from the
Feast of Tabernacles um, around 1980. And the story is about,
by Jim Croft uh, who has worked many years with Derek
This cover right here, the cover obviously isn't about Israel,
it's Jack Hayford, but if you see to the right it says
Special Edition on the Holy Land: Why Christians are drawn to
Israel. And this is just an example, this is the story inside.
It was a special section, it went on for many pages. And
we just done this a number of times over the years.
1988, uh, let me get close enough to read this. It says
uh, West Kiffors, who is a, for many years was a reporter with
the United Press International. Um, gave us his
perspective and Maxim Jacobee provided us with the
photographs. Uh, on Israel at Forty. And the, the quote there
is from Job, and it says, There is hope for a tree if it be
cut down it will sprout again and fresh shoots will not fail.
And of course that's a prophecy of, that can be applied to the
modern state of Israel.
1989, this headline had a little bit of a double meaning,
Believer's in Israel, and was a story um, about the Messianic
movement in that country. Here's the actual story
itself. And that picture which isn't too easy to read
that banner that a man is holding up says, uh, Jewish Zionists
admire the work of Christian Zionists.
1990, we did a uh, photo story on Jews for Jesus with
their annual summer campaign. It's going on right now up in
New York City. Cause Jesus is for Jews and here is a, the
opening lay out. Um, the photos and text were by Suzie
Post who's a secular journalist of some renown and if I
remember correctly we one a journalistic award for this, this
particular uh, photo story.
For the last few year's we have done an annual issue in
January of every year that we call Holy Spirit around the
world. And, every year we've done it a little bit differently,
but we try to take a snapshot of what we see the Lord doing.
You know you canít write about everything. Thereís
no way you can know everything that is going on, but if we can
just take sort of a snapshot of whatís happening uh, over
the yearís as our readerís read it hopefully people can
get, begin to get a perspective of what the Holy Spirit is
doing and, and appreciate the diversity and breadth of the
Body of Messiah. And, go back Jeff. The reason I show it
is you really canít read it but underneath there it says,
That we wrote about Haiti, North Korea, Northern Ireland,
Columbia, Rwanda, former Yugoslavia, Cuba and Israel. We
had stories about those places and what was happening.
And now the next one. And then this is the actual story.
Love builds a bridge in the Middle East. And we have
statistics there on the left and little map to, which we did
with all the articles to kind of give people a perspective,
because as you know a lot of Americans are not very aware of
really whatís going on in other parts of the world.
In 1995 we did this cover. I think itís a very
beautiful cover. Um, a special moment for Israel. And it
says, the sub headline says, Christians in this Ancient Land
say they are on verge of a Long Awaited Miracle after years of
resistance to Evangelism, growing numbers of Jews are finding
the Messiah. And then we also had a story on the Holy Land
Now Jeff Levinson, go back Jeff. Uh, is our advertising
department, and he helped me with these slides, so he stuck in
a couple of advertisements. Um, these are some Messianic
Jewish resources. Um, and we have had, you know, quite a
number of advertisers over the years, because our people
respond to these things and are interested in them. Hereís
an article from that special section by David Nolan, A Special
Moment for Israel. Showing street drama and different things.
OK. This is a very interesting article ah, by Stan about
the testimony of Stan Touchan.(sp?) You probably know
his book Betray. And it says an encounter with Y'eshua.
And the sub headline says Stan Touchan enjoyed the financial
success the world could offer, but this Jewish manís life
turned upside down when his daughter announced I Believe Jesus
is the Messiah. And I want to read a couple of
paragraphs from that story. As I was going through and,
and getting ready for this talk, I was, I was interested in
this statistic and if you know his story then you know he took
a year off to investigate the claims of what his daughter was
saying, really to prove her wrong. And he ended up believing
himself. But this is what it said. From our April
1995 issue, it says on July 2, 1975, Stan attended and
international convocation of Messianic Jews at Messiah College
in Grantham, Pennsylvania. His moment of truth arrived
when he offered to help a disabled woman with her suitcase.
They paused to rest on a stone bench and the woman asked Stan
who is your God? Stan recalls, it was as if she hit me
in the face, what a question. But the woman pressed on,
do you worship money? Your family? Your home? Your job?
Stan was convicted, everything had been more important to me
than God he said. Stan realized that deep within his
heart he already believed that Jesus is the Messiah. For weeks
I had believed, that I had been busy counting the cost now the
overwhelming power of the truth overcame the power of my fear.
Which I think is a very powerful testimony. And I was just
struck by the fact that he was at this meeting, this same
week, at this place 24 years ago when, when God did that work
in his heart and life.
Ok, this is a little more modern picture of Joel. A
people chosen by God. And then how to make a spiritual
pilgrimage. The Lord is gathering his people, this, ah
article in that issue.
And hereís Jonathan Bermas.(sp?) Have you hugged a
Messianic Jew lately? Good question.
then hereís ah, the same ah article. And I donít
know if ah, Jeffrey, who helped me with this wanted to show
you the advertisement on the right or ah, the little box on
the left page that says When you witness to a Jew itís
Doís and Doníts. And itís a little too small
for me; the type is a little too small to read. But it
says, you know, ah, donít say Jesus, say Y'eshua, and
things like that, all of them arenít quite as obvious as
that. And just to help to ah, educate our gentile
is my favorite cover. We did it for Israelís Jubilee
in 1998. And hereís the story, The Lord Will Dwell in
Zion. Beautiful layout I believe, beautiful pictures,
very dramatic. This was the same issue, A Wandering Jew Comes
Home. Very dramatic story, dramatic photography.
this is Barry and that, that itís ad so Jeff just keeps
putting those in. (laughs) Giving them a little free
this cover is here because in the upper left-hand um, corner,
the headline at the top in the brown bar which you canít
read, ah, says The Rabbi Who Loves Jesus. And just calls
attention to this article right here. And this is David
Levine and the article on the right is the Rabbi Who Loves
Jesus. And Iíll just mention that our Creation House
Publishing division published his book called In That Day.
Jesus is revealing himself to the Jewish people in the last
days. How many of you have read this book? A few
of you. Well the rest of you have an opportunity, because ah,
we brought ah, a hundred or so I guess. And weíre, itís
normally ten dollars, but if you want it today itís only
five dollars, and itís because we believe itís very
important. Weíd like you to get some copies and give it to
your friends. It helps people to get a perspective on
what is happening.
this was from our May issue just a couple of months ago.
Itís not about Israel. Itís about prayer; itís a
special issue on prayer. And I wanted to show it for
this reason. Because this picture gives you a
perspective on how we view the Messianic Jewish Movement.
We view it as a part of the body of Messiah. And when we
were trying to have a representation there, you can see an
African, some Europeans, some Hispanics, if you notice the
lower uh, right hand is our own Jeff Levinson. And so
non-verbally weíre just showing the Messianic Jew with the
other believers in Y'eshua. You see that?
then we have a Spanish magazine Le Vida Christiana. And just
this, this is the current issue. And we use the picture
again, but youíll notice that the Messianic Jew is
rotated. And thatís because ah, Jeff, Jeff
explained too me, it has to do with being sephardic and the
fact that with the Hispanics the Jewish person was on the top
instead of the bottom, it had all this symbolism that he
wanted me to point out. But that issue also has a
32-page section on Israel, kind of tourism to Israel.
And so not only in English but in Spanish this is the, itís
much smaller circulation, itís only I think 30,000, but
itís the leading magazine of its type ah, in Latin America
and North America among ah, Spanish speaking Christians.
so this just gives you again an illustration that weíre
writing about what God is doing. Now this is only
representation of the, what weíve done. There are a
lot of new stories that we did not include. Ah, we did a
wonderful story a couple of years ago on Rose Price, that we
did not ah, illustrate. But thereís a lot of examples.
We just wanted to kind of give you the highlights and to show
you some of the covers and some of the stories. And I
was actually surprised myself to go back, and to uh, see what
we had done, because it wasnít really part of a strategy, we
just, it just happened. It happened because weíre
trying to cover what God is doing.
want to talk a minute about some trends. Now if you
read my column in Charisma you know that from time to time I
will talk about trends and Bob Cohen asked me if I would
try to identify some of the trends I see with Messianic Jews.
And so as I prepared for this Iíve come up with seven
trends. Sevenís a good number isnít it? Some of them
good, some of them maybe ah, not so good. Probably you
have identified some of these trends yourself. But you
know sometimes people are sort of oblivious to trends. I mean
they, itís like nobody ever really taught you how to
identify whatís going on. You know I think that
Y'eshua told about how non-believers can look at the sky and
see itís red and what, do you remember what he said? Tell
itís going to rain, remember that? Do you remember the
prophet Elijah told a servant to go look on the horizon and he
saw a cloud the size of a manís hand and he knew that the
rain was coming. But you know there are some
believerís that you know they can look at something obvious
and not have a clue about whatís going on. And I
believe that we need to be wise. We need to be discerning. We
need to understand the big picture of whatís going on.
And I think that is the importance of trying to site a trend.
a couple of yearís ago I had the privilege of going to a
couple of seminars with Peter Druker (sp?).
a lot of you have heard of him. You know he writes about the
economy, and institutions in our society. And he told
how to spot a trend. So I hope you find this useful,
Iíll pass it along. He said that when you look, when
youíre spotting a trend, you look for unexpected surprises.
Iíll give you some examples, some unexpected surprises,
Iíll give you two. Iíll give you one positive and
one not positive. Itíll just illustrate this. In
the early seventies, we had the hippie movement. We had
a whole generation that were involved in drugs and so forth.
Then we started to see articles in Time magazine; there was an
article in Look magazine, if youíre old enough to remember
that. About young people coming to believe in Y'eshua.
They called them the Jesus people, do you remember that?
Or people would see these hippies coming down in church and
sitting on the front row cross-legged with bare feet, I mean
like this never happened. OK, it shocked everyone. It
was an unexpected surprise. What trend did that
foreshadow? It was the Jesus Movement right? Which was a very
powerful thing and affected a lot of us in this room.
I, myself, I was affected by what happened with the Jesus
movement in the, in the seventies. OK, so thatís an
example of a trend.
one that happened in the seventies. Itís when people
started marching for gay rights. I remember at the
University of Florida they had a gay liberation ah, club or
something and they called it gay-lib. And, and I thought
why would anybody you know, want people to know this? I
mean back then it was all ah, in the closet they called it.
Well this was a foreshadowing of the gay rights movement that
is you know, become pretty strong unfortunately, in our
these are both unexpected surprises. Now Iíll tell
you, that at the beginning an unexpected surprise. When
you see an unexpected surprise at the beginning you canít
tell the difference between a trend and a fad. OK,
because a fad will show up as an unexpected surprise as well.
So, it really takes time to tell which is the trend and which
is the fad.
we have tried to develop the, the skill and the technique of
looking for unexpected surprises both positive and negative.
Both in how we run our organization and also from a
journalistic point of view of whatís going on. So I
thought maybe that would give you um, a little perspective.
And Iíll just run through these really quickly so you
donít have to stand in line too long for lunch.
first trend is I see, and this is an unexpected surprise,
to me at least. I see more openness among Jews about
Y'eshua. And last night Paul Wilbur told us how
surprised he was that an Orthodox Rabbi who he expected to be
hostile was actually very open. And then after the
service last night, I sat and shared for a few minutes with
Stephen Kowalski (sp?) from Utica, New York. And he told
me his testimony, a very interesting and exciting testimony on
how he was president of the Conservative Synagogue there in
Utica. His family helped found it uh, a couple of generations
ago. And he came to believe in, in Y'eshua. And after
they found out, they continued to let him be the president of
the synagogue. And heís still very active in it.
It kind of reminded me in the sixties and seventies when we,
we heard about ah, in the Charismatic movement at least, ah
people in mainline churches were receiving the baptism of the
Holy Spirit and staying in their churches which was unheard of
a generation before. So to me this was an unexpected
surprise. Both of these stories that I heard last night.
And I think that in, illustrates a more openness.
second trend is I believe more Messianic Jewish congregations
are going to continue to spring up. In 1967 there
were 0. Today there, as you know there are around 300.
In Israel in 1979 when I went there and, uh, met with some of
the um, Messianic believers, they were just a handful.
And if I remember correctly 20 years ago they told me that
they thought there were fewer than a dozen Israeli suabras
(sp?), native born Israeliís, who had come to faith in
Y'eshua. Now a lot, thatís changed. Today there
is about 60 congregations Iím told. And, you know,
while the numbers are still relatively small, theyíre much,
much higher than that. Iím guessing, um, I was there a
couple of years ago and if I remember correctly they told me
about a thousand.
the number, the third trend was, is I believe that there
will become mega-congregations. And I think that
this is a trend that follows some way the church world. You
know that in the last twenty years we have gotten
mega-churches. You know that when I was a kid it seemed
that most of the churches at least in our circles were very
small. A church of 200 was considered quite successful.
And now there are churches of 10, 15, 20,000 people. Bill
Hybles in Willow Creek, ah, Illinois. Willow Creek
uh, community church has about 20,000 people. TD
Jakes in Dallas, Texas, his church is only 3 years old, he
has 20,000 people. Ah, Robert Schullerís church in
Southern California. You know there are a number of
churches that have become quite famous and theyíre called
mega-churches. And I believe weíre going to see that with
congregations. And are beginning to see it um, B'eth eloim
(sp?), Atlanta is uh, getting pretty big. And I think that in
the next couple of years weíll see some over a 1000. Um, it
used to be that a mega-church was any church over 1000.
I think now there are so many of them that they probably
raised it to 4 or 5,000. But I think that is something that we
fourth trend I see is more growth of the messianic
movement in Israel, and also more opposition. You know it
seems that where the good happens, it seems like the bad
happens too. But the Bible says that when Satan comes in like
a flood that the Lord raises up a standard. And you know
the opposition that came the last couple of years with this
ah, law that was tried to be passed. In fact I got real
involved with that, I donít think Iíve ever written so
many letters and emails at least in recent history Iím
talking about on a personal basis, and encouraging people to
do it as well. Thankfully that has been um, put aside,
at least for the time being. But I think that is a trend that
fifth trend I see is bridge building between African
Americans and Jewish people through people who believe in
Y'eshua. (clap,clap) And all of you are
probably well aware of the fact that in this country at least,
there has always been a strain the African American community
and the Jewish community. Which in a lot of ways makes
no sense because both are minorities, both are people that
have been oppressed, both are people that have slavery in
their, in their history. Um, but yet thereís been
tension and it manifest itself in extreme cases like Louis
Farakkan (sp?) and Black Muslims and we all know that.
But even people like Jessie Jackson has uh, you know been
quoted of saying things that were very, very insensitive.
And thereís just been this tension and I think that even in
the African American Christian community uh, they havenít
understood this whole thing about Messianic Judaism and
havenít really got that involved. But the last few
years Iíve seen a change because I travel and mingle quite a
bit in ah, African American circles.
Iíve seen the last few years more music thatís Messianic.
I see dancing that is more like we saw last night. Now
you know black people dance, you know they really dance um,
they call it getting happy. And itís their own style,
itís not like what we saw last night. But Iím seeing,
Iím seeing this more Jewish flavor. Uh, thereís more
interest in going to Israel than before. You know, I Ė
Iím just seeing small things that indicate a trend.
Now on the other hand, the service last night, very, very
charismatic. Hands raised, hand clapping, where do you
think that style came from? You borrowed it from the
Pentecostal tradition, which borrowed it from the African
American tradition. Because at Azusa street, where the
Pentecostal revival began early in this century, the preacher
was a black man, William Seymour. And the shouting Amen, and
the hand clapping and the hands in the air is all out of the
black experience. Now, know itís evolved a little
differently but you can see how that culture, that religious
culture, has influenced you. Do you see what Iím
saying? These are all small things but I see that
thereís a trend because um, when you are a believer in
Y'eshua, there is neither Jew nor Greek, black or white, male
of female, right? And I believe that God is beginning to
bring us together.
sixth trend, is I believe that the Messianic Jewish
movement will mirror and reflect and parallel some of the
things we see in the church that arenít so good.
As it grows and develops I think that itís going to, weíre
going to see some the trends like denominations. I, I
think this is almost inevitable in the human experience as
things become institutionalized, as things become political to
a certain degree. And I think that this is something
Iím going to challenge the leaders of this movement to guard
against. And sometimes when you know that something may
happen you can guard against it and perhaps it becomes a self
defeating prophecy. Like for example, if somebody goes
before the city council and says if we donít fix the, the
sewer system, the storm water sewer system in this city the
next time we have a hurricane come through as we do in Florida
where I live, weíre going to have horrendous flooding.
So they get busy and they, you know, they fix what needs to
happen and when the hurricane comes through there is no
flooding itís a self defeating prophecy. You, you want
it to be self-defeating, and thatís why Iím telling you
some of the divisions that exist in the church, you know Iím
not privy to it because Iím an outsider but I, and Iím not
going to, Iím not going to dwell on it, but Iím going to
mention it. Some of the divisions between
Charismatics and non-Charismatics. Some of the divisions
where people are, have this philosophy or that philosophy it
mirrors whatís happening in the Gentile church. And you
need not, you need to guard against that. And at the same time
I like, as I prayed about this I really felt very strongly
that I should issue this warning to, to the leadership.
Donít squelch this movement. Because itís possible
for leaders to squelch a movement. Itís happened numerous
times. One example that you may not be aware of is the
Welsh revival that happened in the early part of the century.
You know historians are still writing about how entire towns
got saved in the Welsh revival. They told stories about
how you know they had miners and the mules used to uh, go down
into the mines and the, the, the mules didnít know how to
respond because the drivers didnít swear at them anymore,
because they were so changed. But you know the Welsh
revival was very short lived and one of the reasons is because
one of the main leaders whose name um, was Evan Roberts.
He was 18 years old when it started but very earlier on
someone challenged him or actually kind of accused him of
trying to steal the glory from God regarding the revival.
And he was a very sincere man, a very godly man and he
Ö.(tape turned over)Ö. To steal the glory and so he
totally withdrew and basically sat around the rest of his
life. Now what Iím telling you is over simplified.
If you studied it, there was much more complex than that.
But thereís practically nothing to show today for the Welsh
revival. The churches in Wales that were full in
revival are empty today.
the same time that that happened, Welsh revival happened in
1904, what happened in 1907? Azusa street in Los
Angeles. There was sort of revival that was happening in the
world. I, you know one kind of affected the other.
The Azusa street revival was not squelched, it spilled out, it
went around the world. Today they say that there are 400
million believers that are affected by Pentecostalism in one
form or another. It has many, many different
manifestations. Now I just give that to think about, there
are other examples of movements. Like for example, the
um, in the Charismatic movement, there was some movements with
denominations. Where I, where you could see this happen,
Iím not going to name names, cause I donít want to
embarrass anyone, a lot of these people are still living.
But there were, there were leaders that were so beat up by
their denominations or problems or whatever, it was like they
said Life is too short, itís not worth the problems and they
withdrew. You know, instead of holding conferences, they
quit holding them or just different things. And in some
of those instances the revival movements that were, that were
strong 15 years ago are just mere shadows of themselves today.
So I just leave that as a challenge. Hopefully itís
something that youíll think about and hopefully the Holy
Spirit will let you know how it would apply to what youíre
then the final trend, the seventh trend that I see.
Is that the, the church is returning to its Jewish roots.
And this is a trend that we saw in 1985 in the Decatrends.
We cited it as love for Israel, but itís all intertwined,
you know itís not just one thing. The love for Israel
is, is a lot of it, itís um, wanting to go back to the
roots. And we see this in a lot of ways, but probably
the best way is the music. A lot of these songs,
like even the ones we sang last night are sung in many, many
churches. The dancing, that I referred to earlier, using the
Shofar. It, you know, Promise Keepers, open their conferences
with the Shofar. We open our conferences that we sponsor with
Charisma magazine, with the Shofar. The banners, the
dancing, the awareness of the feasts. You know, the Feast of
Tabernacles has become well known. Many, many, many
Christians have gone to it over the years. Iíve been to it
myself; itís a very, very meaningful experience. And I
think that this is going to continue.
whyís it continuing? I think itís part of prophecy.
Y'eshua is getting us ready for his return. And I
believe that Y'eshua is getting us ready, all of us, the
Gentile church included, for the great influx of believers.
Of Jewish people whose eyes are finally opened to their need
for a Messiah. And I believe there is a lot more that
needs to be done and Iíd like to close by asking all of us
to pray. And I think that, you know last night, the
Scripture from Psalms about the unity. And about how the unity
is like the oil in Aaronís beard that flows down. Remember
that Y'eshua prayed, Father may they all be one, even as you
and I are one.
I believe, and I want us to stand, if you would stand with me
please. And you know I was thinking how can I end this
talk? You know Iíve talked about trends, Iíve told
you my own odyssey about going to, to Israel. How my own
eyes have been opened to things. But I didnít want to just
end my talk and say Thank you and God bless you and sit down.
I just felt that we should pray together. I think that
there are two things that we should pray about.
first is I want us to pray for the media in this country,
because in a way I represent the media. Now Iím a
person who by Godís grace has had my eyes opened to what God
is doing and as Iíve shown you weíve covered it. But
you know there arenít very many Christian publications who
do this, and there are even fewer secular publications that
are aware if whatís going on. And you know I believe
that the Bible says that there are principalities and powers
and rulers in high places that bind. You know we talk
about it with individuals, like maybe someone has, you know
some kind of demonic oppression over their life. And of course
in many instances that is the case. But you know I
believe that the real spiritual warfare is with our
institutions. And itís with things that permeate our society
like racism and anti-Semitism, and things like that. And
I believe that as believers we have got to use the power that
God gives us to pull down these strong holds. And what
Iíd like for us today is to, is to just pray for the media
in this country. And to pull down the strong holds and
to open the eyes of the, of the people who are gatekeepers to
the information that flows in our culture, in our society.
can we do that? Letís just lift our hands. Pray
with me will you?
God, in the name of Y'eshua, we just bind these principalities
and powers, these rulers in high places. Lord we just
pray that the blinded eyes be open. And Lord we just
pray that the media in this country, the secular media, the
mainstream media as well as the religious media, the Christian
media, the Jewish media will be open. Will be open Lord.
To see what you are doing in the last days. And Lord
that the stories and the testimonies Lord, that are out there
can be written about, can be reported on in a fair and
objective way. In the name of Jesus, in the name of
Y'eshua. Oh Lord we just pull down these principalities
and powers and strongholds. In the name of Y'eshua we
now letís pray for unity among believers. Between Jew and
Gentile. Between the Messianic movement and the church.
In fact would you pray for that?
Father I thank you Lord and Lord I thank you Lord for Steve
and Charisma Lord, what a bridge builder theyíve been to us.
Lord thank you for this wonderful word Father. Lord we pray
that this word would go out into the body of Messiah. Now Lord
we are part and parcel of the body of Messiah. Build
bridges Lord God, build unity Lord God. Build unity
Lord, we have our distinctive callings, but Lord weíre one
in the Messiah Y'eshua. And Lord that it says Lord, that as we
be one the world will know, the world will know who Y'eshua
is! And Lord I see the great trend of uniting the body
of Messiah together Father. And Lord, I pray Lord, that
great healing, the great healing that begin in the third and
second centuries that separated the Messianic Jewish
communities and from the uh, Gentile communities Lord God.
As my black brother in Jacksonville said, that was a pastor of
a large congregation, this is the root of all racial
divisions, and all denominational divisions. And so Lord I
thank you for healing. Thank you for the healing this morning.
Thank you for the wonderful word of Steve Lord God and
Charisma Lord God. And I just want everyone to stretch
their hands towards Steve and Charisma. Lord it says
that youíll bless those who bless your people and we honor
him right now. We honor him and his work with Charisma and
Strang Communications Lord. Lord we want to honor those
Lord God who honor your people Father. And so Lord we
pray that you would pour out blessing upon him, his family, a
hedge of protection around them. Around his finances,
around his work and his corporation Lord God. Around
Charisma, around him Lord God. We thank you, we honor
him and the work that he has done Father. (?) Amen
Thank you, God bless you. You may be seated. Or
dismissed. Iím done.
many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they
constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should
suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither
they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but
desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in
your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is
crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ
Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor
uncircumcision, but a new creature.
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on
them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."
II: The Bible and the Talmud
Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.
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