“There’s no-one else. You’re it — the Remnant — the Messianic remnant that God has been waiting for. The world is waiting and Israel is waiting, for you to return from the wilderness in power, like Yeshua did.”
“Only after a time of being absolutely alone, without food, without entertainment (like Internet, TV, movies, SMS), and subject to massive temptations was the Messiah ready to make Himself known publicly. That day in Nazareth (Luke 4:16-22) He announced the source of His power, the power that would enable Him to heal and deliver. ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me…'”
“You must go into the wilderness to find the power of God. You too, must deny yourself comforts as Yeshua did. Then you will emerge with supernatural power to bring this nation to the knowledge of her Messiah. He came, preaching to the poor and transforming lives. Now is the time for you to do His work: preaching the good news, healing the broken-hearted and setting the captives free.”
“YOU are the same age as the 120 in Jerusalem”
“God is looking for 120 Israeli youth to change the world. That was the number present on the Day of Shavuot in Acts 2 when the Spirit fell in power. How old were they? Yeshua was only 33. That means that He was speaking mainly to people in their teens and 20’s. Many of the 120 were your age. That’s how many of you are here today, in this room. They changed the world. This is your destiny if you choose it.”
With these words Asher Intrater, the leader of Revive Israel, our sister ministry, gripped a gathering of 125 Israeli Messianic Youth, calling them to their highest. He did not baby them. He acknowledged the need for healing in our personal lives, but condemned a “poor us” mentality. His emphasis was not on receiving, receiving. He spoke rather of the call to discipleship: losing all in order to gain the power that filled Yeshua, the dunamis of God’s Spirit. He told them it would not be easy.
When Asher finished speaking, the young people were quiet, sobered by his riveting challenge. “Stand and come forward if you want to make this choice,” was his simple invitation. Nearly all the youth stood and stepped forward. It was a moving sight. Up to that point, there had been moments when I doubted that we would see any kind of breakthrough. We had faced some difficulties: awkwardness in worship, discipline problems and plain old teenaged disinterest. If you’ve never tried it, let me tell you, it can be a daunting task to create and conduct a relevant bible-based conference for Israeli youth. I’m talking about 40 hours of programming for 13-18 year old teenagers all during their Chanukah vacation!
In finances, personnel and location God came though “big time”
Leading up to the conference, with only four weeks remaining, our small coordinating team faced several pressing obstacles. We had no money. We did not have enough young adults to lead small groups and serve as the backbone of the ministry team. We also had some doubts about the conference facility. This was a new locale and we were uncertain whether it would suit our purposes. In each of these vital areas God came through “big time”. Within several weeks over $10,000 came in through new sources. A team of dedicated servants in their 20’s volunteered to pour themselves into the teens. And the facility, set on the picturesque banks of the Sea of Galilee, was the finest of the ten conferences we’ve held.
The schedule called for in-depth teaching from Isaiah 61:1-4, youth-led worship, personal quiet time, small group sessions and an amazing nature experience perched atop a hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee. The primary organisation was achieved by the marvellous duo of Keren, a young woman with army training and a huge heart for teens, and Norma, a selfless pioneer of youth ministry in Israel. But even in the best of circumstances, with a thorough plan, a prayed-up staff and abundant finances, a youth conference can flop. We’ve seen it! Yet watching the response to Asher’s message on the last morning, I knew it was all worth it. After they stood in sincere response to his bold challenge, he told them to find another person to pray with. The atmosphere was so receptive, hearts so tenderized, intentions so focussed, that within seconds many young people were praying for one another with the special sincerity that belongs to youth. Youth reached out to youth with passionate love for Yeshua and full-hearted support for each other.
How can they fulfill this destiny without equipping?
Now I am determined to follow up. I see the need for special days of equipping. It’s time to invest more heavily in youth who are motivated. It’s fun and valuable to hold a large gathering, which we do during the Chanukah and Passover vacations. But I know there are young Israeli believers who are called of God to develop as leaders. I want to work with them. I know they need deeper preparation for the coming harvest. Their generation, as Asher declared so compellingly, will be ideally positioned for this harvest. They have grown up in Israel speaking Hebrew, will serve in the IDF and then take their well-earned place in this society. I am convinced that it is God’s strategy to use this generation of youth to be the evangelists, apostles, pastors, prophets and teachers of Israel’s end-time revival. How can they fulfil this destiny without equipping?
I want to enlist your prayers and material support for this effort. It is a multi-congregational ministry. Congregational leaders have offered to join is in shaping and overseeing the work with teens. Young adults in their 20’s from all over Israel are the hands-on staff of HaKatzir. Others have offered resources including media production, outdoor activities, guided tours and leadership training. The heart of it all, however, is the youth themselves. They are nearly all students in Israeli public schools, where Messianic Judaism is unknown. In some of their towns, Messianic Jews are heavily persecuted (Arad, Beer Sheva). In other areas they’re simply considered strange and irrelevant, as if they’ve converted to another religion that has no connection with Israel.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, to heal the broken hearted and to set the captives free … to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness … and they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.” Isaiah 61:1,4
This passage was our theme for the Chanukah youth conference. What is so strong here is that Isaiah starts with us being broken-hearted captives mourning in ashes and heaviness. Then, through the power of the Spirit, the anointing of the Mashiach