The Land, The Problems & What to Do?
By Ben Cohen and
Editor’s Introduction: The teachers we had at last year’s conference weren’t able to be here this year, but they spoke to us by phone. Both men are business men living in the Miami, Florida area. John Stembridge is a Christian and Ben Cohen is an orthodox Jew whose great grandfather was a chief rabbi of Iran and brought his family to Israel in the 1800’s. Ben is not a convert to Christianity. In speaking to us, however, he often identifies with us by using the personal pronoun “we”. He believes that Bible-believing Christians may very well be of the lost tribes of Israel (often referred to as “Ephraim”) and therefore should be not only standing for Israel, but be an integral part. The following is mostly in their own words. Taken from the tape and edited to print, I endeavored to retain their personal styles of expressions. – Chris J.
We can begin this process of regathering Ephraim by reconnecting with our brother Judah. He’s under attack and he’s under oppression now and this is the time for the true believers to rise to the occasion. We need to come along side Judah. I hope many of the people at the conference there today will plan to come with us in February to Israel. Please just daily bathe this tour/conference in prayer that God will go before us and put this together in a sovereign and supernatural way to be a blessing.
Another area for prayer is the settlers. I want to tell the conference that I was there and I saw the Bible Light almond grove at Ma’ale Michmas. It is very beautiful and it’s a lovely way to honor someone by donating to this project. The almond is the first tree of the season to bloom and bear fruit in Israel. It is symbolic of the Word of God.
(See more about Our Adopted Settlement)
How can we bring about the reconciliation of the brotherhood between us? As you know it is very difficult at both ends – on the Israeli side and on the Christian side. There’s a lot of things that we have got to go through.
Through all the chats on Internet, reading letters and the web sites, I can see that the time is ripe more than ever for this reunification. Because the people of Israel are beginning to realize that no matter what kind of leadership is at the top, they cannot advance this peace process and they cannot substantiate their existence in Israel. So right now the right and the left together are both at a point of a great dilemma.
The secularists in particular, which is the majority of Israel, are in the process of the realization that without going back to God and the Biblical Covenant, we don’t have a base whatsoever for existence. Without relying on that covenant, we have no right. This is the only right to inherit the land, and that right is given by God. It’s a Covenant, it’s an agreement and we have to keep our side of the agreement.
A beautiful certificate is issued for a donation to the almond orchard.
That’s why we are going through such great difficulties in our existence for the last 52 years – since Independence and even before that, for the last more than 100 years and going back thousands of years ago since the exile.
So now it’s the time for Christian Zionists, like you people, and people who believe in Ephraim, people who believe they are a part of Israel, to demonstrate very strongly the brotherhood, and the connection and the sympathy for the people of Israel. It’s not an easy task and it’s very difficult because we have quite a few barriers to cross I believe we are hearing it [the message] at the right time to show puzzled Israelis what their existence is all about.
We thought that 1948 was the War of Independence, but more and more Israelis – and I’m quoting to you from what I read on the Internet day and night here – more and more Israelis recognize the fact that the 1948 war was but a rehearsal and preparation for the real one. The real one is coming up now because more than ever Israel’s existence is bringing the big question mark.
On the one hand, the good thing about it is that Israel is much stronger [than in ’48]. Israel is considered to be today one of the strongest military forces in world. On the other hand, the big majority of the people in Israel are spiritually dead right now. But the good news about it is now they can realize that socialism, democracy, civil rights and what ever else they want to go for – if they don’t have God as a first priority there, if they don’t recognize God, if they don’t recognize the mitzvot (His rules and the ordinances) – they don’t have anything to rely on.
They’re going to be facing the nations now, and the nations are going to say, “Hey, you took this land from the Arabs. What right do you have for that land? What gives you the right to come and kick out thousands of refugees and take their land from them?” And of course the people that the devil claps for, and the leftist are going to say, “Hey, you’re right. We are going into exile right now. Were going to pack everything and leave because we do not have any other thing to rely on.”
The only thing we have to rely on is the Torah, the Bible. So in order to justify being a nation they are going to have to go back to that. This is the only source of power, this is the only source of strength that the Israel people are going to have right now.
And now going back to your part, to our part. They need to know that they have support. They need to know that they have Christian people, the Christian Zionists, the Christian believers, “Ephraim” – that are strong, that they can rely on. And it says so, very specifically, in the Bible. Ephraim is going to return. Ephraim is the mighty power that is going to come to the help of Judah in this final war. And we all want to be, and want to know, that we are a part of it. We all want to be there.
My suggestion is that we can use the Internet as a tool. We can go into web sites. There are web sites in English and web sites in Hebrew that connect with the people of Israel. We should give them the message.
I’m working on sort of a list of guide lines as to how Ephraim is suppose to present himself to Judah. There is a lot of controversy, bad history behind us and we have to be able to overcome that.
How do we come to the point that we renew our brotherhood and our future premises together? This is the big question. This is what you should talk about in this week-end conference, Chris. How do we come to the help of Israel and to the Israelis? Because, let me tell you, the eyes and the ears of the Israelis are very open right now. They have nowhere to go. Their back is against the wall. The only thing they have is the mighty physical power of the Israeli army. But spiritually, they are completely dead. We need to blow that Spirit to these dry bones and bring them back to life, you see? And YOU have the Spirit in your hand. I know it very well. You can do it, you can help. How to go about it and how to do it, is a big question. We need to discuss it, we need to explore it. How to come to the help of the Israelis that are going to need our help and we need their help because without them we don’t have any hope as well on this side of the ocean.
Now, John is here to speak to you. Please read The Key to Restoration.