Still Small Voice Newsletter
October 2020 Tishri 5081.
The Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of God’s faithfulness to us in EVERY way. In Bible times, something called “Bikkurim” was practised. Farmers gave their first fruits as offerings in the Holy Temple. The giving of one’s first fruits is all about gratitude and appreciation for all that God blesses us with. Israel is blessed with what we call the “seven species” which are; figs, pomegranates, dates, grapes, olives, wheat and barley. Last year our entire immediate family came together in our Succah in Jerusalem. We have harvested our pomegranates, figs and grapes and used some of them to decorate our succah. We know you will soon be celebrating “Thanksgiving” as well. We send you and yours the blessings of Shalom. Shalom means every blessing imaginable!
Our Happy Family News
How grateful I am for sons who hear and obey the voice of the LORD. David is our ‘first fruit’. For those of you who were burdened for David our eldest, your prayers have been answered. The Israeli Ministry of Health chose him to head up their media department. He is on call often and shadows Professor Gamzu who is the medical voice of authority for COVID in Israel. David produces his TV spots, as the Professor guides an Israel in crisis almost everyday via television. Give praise with us and thank you for praying.
And a wedding is soon to take place. Daniel and his fiancé Shelly Bandel are presently in Ottawa on business. They are taking this opportunity to have a civil wedding there. It will be followed by Shelly’s uncle Rabbi Ehud Bandel marrying them under the hupa at home in Israel. Our cup is full and running over …
A brand New Year 5081
2020 has been a unique, ground breaking year. Now we are starting the Jewish New Year, 5081. Israel is groping with a severe second wave of COVID-19, and drastic measures are in place. For the very first time that we know of, this is the only year in history when Jews were not permitted to attend Yom Kippur synagogue services. All repentance took place in our homes, which I think is exactly where it should be. Only small family gatherings are permitted during the holidays. The words of Zechariah come to mind. “Just as the LORD of hosts determined to do to us, according to our ways and according to our deeds, so He has dealt with us.” Zechariah 1:6 b
Israel continues in a terrible state with civil disobedience at an all time high. It begins in religious communities. The ultra-orthodox refuse to follow the rules of distancing and limited gatherings. At the sametime there are riots nation wide against our Prime Minister. Our people are like sheep without a shepherd, and it has really been like this for years now. We are reaping what we have sown internally as a people, and it begins with our leaders first I am afraid. Could this be a foretaste of what is coming? The old prophet continues to warn his people. “In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem… and the land shall mourn, every family by itself…” Zechariah 12:11
A few verses on comes this revelation: “And one shall say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your hands?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’”
God will not only turn Israel upside down but also nations across the world in order to fulfil HIS plans. Crisis dominates headlines globally. President Trump needs our prayers as does America. No matter how the nations rage, God’s will is being worked out. Fire purifies and surely it is a time of exposure, testing and purification of the nations and people of the earth. Israel is always the first to experience God’s ways among the nations. See Psalm 2. He will “…test them as gold in tested. ‘They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, This is My people; and each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9b We understand that often times our Creator waits that He might be gracious to us. We pray for His mercy in a time of well deserved judgement.
Our ZOOM party
ZOOM is the new platform for ministry and time and distance melted away as recently, we ministered to an Aglow Group in the Pacific NW in Canada. Also via ZOOM we were invited to join with friends in South America, North America and Asia to celebrate a work of the LORD in Ecuador, founded by Lilly Kladensky and her late husband Otto. Lilly’s son Otto Jr. hosted the get-together with our co-workers of Campamento Nueva Vida (New Life Camp.) Jay was the first director to run this beautiful world class facility by faith from 1972-1974. We opened the summer and winter camps free of charge to kids of all ages. Our responsibility was to run this facility by trusting God. The dedicated staff came by faith from Canada, the USA, the Philippines and Ecuador. There were no salaries or benefits to be had. Jay writes in detail about the miracles we witnessed here, in his up comingbook, Miracles among the Nations. That first day when we opened the gates 576 children were registered and assigned to the A-frame cabins. I believe that we were all inspired by the works of the LORD in our midst. This electronic meeting became a celebration which caused tears to flow and laughter to break out. We all reminisced some of the mighty things we saw Jesus do for His Ecuadorians of all ages. For example, someone remembered the cook saying this, about Jay: “He just walks around the camp saying, ‘Praise the Lord.’” She confronted him one morning in the kitchen. “How do you expect me to feed 500 children with this little piece of meat?” Unfazed he encouraged, ‘Pray over it and ask the Lord to increase it.’ To her amazement, she testified to the locals, “I did, and we had enough!’”
God also used the camp workers and young people to intercede for Israel. One night in chapel a weeping broke out most unexpectedly. Several received “words of wisdom” about Israel. I had a vision as if I was flying by airplane over Israel, placing a bandage that looked like cotton-batten over the entire nation from north to south and east to west. The following morning we heard over the local short wave HCJB radio station that Israel was at war. It was October 1973 and we at been alerted by the Holy Spirit to the deadly Yom Kippur War. Thousands of Israelis were slaughtered due to the surprise attack by five Arab nations on their holiest day of the year. History now reveals that America purposely withheld vital intelligence from Israel that could have helped her prepare for the attack. But the LORD had his children praying all over the earth. How Father God loves YOU, His very own family among the nations. You are the watchmen for all of us living in this land and those brave nations who befriend us. We love to bless every remembrance of you dear friends. You have helped us to do one exploit after another all of these years since 1969! That is 51 years ago, and Jay and I feel that we are indeed growing younger in heart and stronger in spirit. You are definitely a part of that renewal and yes revival in all our own lives. Hallelujah!
Israelis and Arabs Come Together
Briefly I want to bless the nations of the United Arab Emerites and Bahrain. Both governments sent representatives to Israel to bring our people blessings during the pandemic. To us Israelis who are so often just left alone, this gesture is miraculous. Please pray for these Muslim peoples, they are being led by God’s Spirit of Grace.
UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs Shamma Al Mazrui praised various concepts of the Jewish religion, such as the virtue of repentance and introspection during the High Holy Days. She also referred to the recent agreement between the UAE and Israel, expressing hope that it would usher in a new era of “radical tolerance and radical love in our region and the world.”
Compare their acts of respect with those of the leaders of your nation and even your local fellowship or church. If you are interested in history I suggest that you read, The Secret War Against the Jews by John Loftus and Mark Aarons, St Martins Griffin, 1997. The ISBN is 0-312-15648-0 This read, I found to be a shocking eye opener. Jay and I rejoice in the Body of Messiah standing strong worldwide, loving what God loves and hating what He hates. Your support of Israel is miraculous. God hates evil and lies are evil!
Why is Israel today the greatest sign that God is moving among the nations?
First the Bible promises: “Then HaShem (the LORD) will restore your fortunes and take you back in love. He will bring you together again from all the peoples where HaShem your God has scattered you.” Deuteronomy 30:3, The Israel Bible
This verse foretells the ingathering of the exiles. It refers to two distinct groups of people. “God will restore your fortunes” alludes to the Jews who yearned to return to the Land of Israel and history teaches that so many were hindered from doing so. This initial Aliya or group began in the 1880’s and made their way to what was then Palestine. This wave of immigration140 years ago and has never stopped. First Jewish peasants came from Lithuania. They were what we call “dirt poor”. When Napoleon ruled that every person must have a surname, these Jews were given the surname of their overlord who not only owned the land but the surfs on it who eked out a living. Secondly, “He will bring you together again,” refers to those Jews who have become comfortable on foreign soil and lost their connection with Israel, but will also be brought back in due time. We wait…
The Divine Push and Pull
Concerning “Aliyah” Jay teaches about the “divine push and pull”. The “push of persecution” motivated the movement of Jews out of Czarist Russia in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and from Eastern Europe before and after WW1. Holocaust survivors were greatly hindered from entering the land by none other than Great Britain after WW2! It has been said that “WW1 prepared the land for the people while WW2 prepared the people for the land.” The nation was reborn in 1948 miraculously and that is a story all by itself. Israel is the “Ark of safety” for the Jewish people. In the 1980’s many of you enabled Jay and I to create the film Gates of Brass which exposed the pathetic plight of Soviet Jews. It was used globally to raise protests for the release of Soviet Jews. By 1991 the world witnessed the beginning of the return of nearly 2 million Soviet Jews to Israel. It was the push of persecution and the action and solid praying and giving by Christian people world wide that saw this miracle accomplished. Never count out the continual hard work done behind the scenes by Israelis themselves to bring her people home. But the miracle is that Christians have been and are still working in concert with Israel.
Please read the scripture again. It also speaks of the “divine pull” which describes those who choose to come to Israel out of desire and love to be part of the Zionist dream. People say to us, “You left Canada to live here? You threw your lot in with the Jews? Are you crazy? Who in this world wants to be a Jew? Why would you do such a thing?” Teasingly Jay keeps the conversation light by saying, “We liked the tomatoes!”
A Timely Word from St. Petersburg Russia
“Like Spain and Portugal, Austria has now started giving citizenship to Jews. They actively try to import Jews from Central Asia and other places. Germany has stepped up their program to bring more Jews also. At the same time anti-Semitism is rising everywhere! The good thing is that 3 Christian organizations are working hand in hand with Israel’s Jewish Agency to reach out to potential new immigrants. I am very blessed that the Lord sent you and Jay to the German language region this year to sound the shofar.
The European Union is not in good economic condition now and Israel will see a fresh wave of Aliyah – immigration from there.” Howard Flower Sept 12, 2020. Head of Aliyah for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
Evidence of King David’s Kingdom
Three beautifully engraved capital stones (the carved top of a pillar) which seemed to have been carefully hidden in a site levelled by the ancient Persian war, were recently unearthed in Jerusalem. The capitals are linked to the Davidic Dynasty because such designs from the period of the kingdoms of Israel and Judea have only been found within the areas they ruled. The royal design can be found today on 5 shekel coins and on signs pointing to archaeological sites all over the land of Israel. Archaeologists date the capitals to the seventh century BCE, between the rule of King Hezekiah and the Babylonian conquest and destruction of Jerusalem. Besides the capitals, additional artifacts found at the site indicate a royal or noble building as well, including a toilet, which was only found in the homes of the wealthy in that period. Archaeological findings are usually revealed to the public only after a long process of research and study. But the City of David and the Israeli officials decided that these early stage was made “based on the idea and deep belief that these archaeological findings were too important to keep hidden, because such remains belong to the Israeli public. “This discovery is really a once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” City of David Foundation vice president Doron Spielman said. “It’s not every day that we’re able to discover something that four billion people around the world – who have some type of identity to the bible, to ancient Jerusalem, to the idea of discovering the bible and unearthing the archaeology underneath the ground and connecting it to the actual place” – can relate to.
“Thus says the LORD:
Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build me?
And where is the place of my rest?
But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles a My word.” Isaiah 66:1,2b
Father God is calling us to be His temple stones. During this great Feast time in Israel, and your Thanksgiving feasts where ever you are, let us all rejoice. Our high calling is to be a dwelling place for the Eternal Light. “The glory which You have given Me, I have given them.” said Jesus. “That they may be one even as We are one.” John 17:22 in May this continue to be our single greatest honour.
More news next month concerning the on going outreach in Nepal and how you can become a member of Change Action Nepal. Also news on how to procure your own copy of my latest book, Stain Remover. It could change your life forever.
Until then, may your heart be His altar of incense.
With love from Meridel and Jay Rawlings.
P.S. Tell your family and friends they can subscribe to this newsletter. If you would like to set a time for personal Counceling or prayer please contact me via email.