Disarming Your Enemy

How often you think of life in terms of “warfare” or “conflict”? As we enter into a spiritual understanding of life with God, we understand that there is a very real war that is going on in and around us. We are imperfect people living among the imperfect, and yet the calling of God involves our transformation into His likeness so that we can be a blessing to others. God’s work of transforming us into something that we are not is the basis of this conflict.

In order to be effective in our battles, we must understand the way our enemy operates. As God works in our lives, His process is to bring us into our inheritance in Him. In this place we settle and become fruitful. The enemy will do his best to keep us from reaching our inheritance, but if he can’t keep us out of your inheritance, he will work to make sure he still has the upper hand over us. Let’s take a look at how the enemies of Israel kept Israel under oppression in the land of their inheritance:

“Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make swords or spears.” But all the Israelites would go down to the Philistines to sharpen each man’s plowshare, his mattock, his ax, and his sickle; and the charge for a sharpening was a pim for the plowshares, the mattocks, the forks, and the axes, and to set the points of the goads. So it came about, on the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. But they were found with Saul and Jonathan his son.” (1 Sam 13:19-22, NKJV)

In order to make sure that Israel couldn’t have dominion over their inheritance, their enemies made sure they didn’t have any blacksmiths who could make weapons. The Israelites became dependent on their enemies to maintain their agricultural equipment, but they could never be free because they would never mobilize for war without weapons.

In your life, the enemy will allow you to work and produce what is necessary to sustain life, but to be victorious you have to be equipped with the weapons to make war. That is how the enemy operates to keep you away from him. The “day of battle” will always come, so prepare and become equipped by knowing how your enemy operates and ask God to equip you with the weapons of His righteousness.

“Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the spoiler to destroy.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.” (Isa 54:16-17, NKJV)

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Israel- A Nation of Overcomers

Have you ever heard the story of the “Unsinkable Molly Brown”? Against all odds, this woman prevailed and found a way not only to stay alive in the face of the impending danger of the sinking Titanic, but to help others to overcome their obstacles and live. This is the way I see the Jewish people. They have faced one hardship after another, including the horrors of the Holocaust, yet they continue to live out their mandate from God that through them, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed. 

The more I spend time with those who have survived the Holocaust and were a vital part in the founding of the nation of Israel, the more I learn that it isn’t me that has so much to give to them, but they who have so much to give to me. These Survivors have grieved the loss of their family members, their friends, and their homes. They have been hated, rejected, and treated as less than human. What was their “crime”? Being Jewish. Yet in all these things, they overcome.

Today, Israel is known for their inventions that have blessed the nations. They are among the first responders to international crisis. But their greatest contributions to the world are the preservation of the word of God and the Messiah.

Overcoming great tragedy is not reserved only for those who have survived the Holocaust. The whole nation is a people of overcomers. Their walls were built under persecution. Their cities were won through opposition on every side. At times, their children were birthed in secret so as to not make the enemy aware of their existence leading to their immediate death. In all these things, they continue to grow stronger, and to celebrate the gift of life that God has given them.

We as believers have a lot to learn from the Jewish people and specifically their elders. What is the message of their lives? That in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;

We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”– Romans 8:35-39

Written by CBN Israel staff member- Bethany Cohen

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Hoshana Rabba- The Final Day of Succoth

The last day of Succoth is Hoshana Rabba (“the Great Salvation”). The week-long feast commemorated the care of God during Israel’s time in the wilderness, when they dwelt in temporary dwellings. John chapter 7 is about Jesus going up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Succoth. 
To understand culturally how the people would be thinking, think about the special days they just celebrated: Rosh Hashanah is the final days leading to God’s making a decision of judgement; ten days later was Yom Kippur, when judgement was sealed by God; and the final day of the Feast of Tabernacles was when judgement was delivered. The ceremony at the Temple would have included a recitation of these verses:
“Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.” (Psalms 118:25-26)
On this final day, there was a special ceremony called the “Water Libation Ceremony.” This was a time of great joy where water was brought up from the “Shiloach Spring” at the lower part of Jerusalem to the Temple and poured on the alter. The ceremony was linked to asking for God’s blessing of rainfall for the coming year which would be a blessing to the agrarian based economy.
While all this is going on, and the blessing of water is the focus:
Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”  (John 7:37-39)
Jesus is essentially answering their prayers by revealing that He is the fulfillment of their spiritual thirst. John later explains that:
“Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:39)
The work of God in the lives of those who come to Him is in filling them with living water that becomes a “source” within their own hearts.
It is interesting to note that when Jesus, about a few months later enters Jerusalem, a week before Passover:
“And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Hosanna in the highest!” (Matt. 21:8-9)
But the timing was off, and the people were not ready to really receive Him. Just one week later, as Jesus has taught all week in the temple, He knows that He is already being rejected by them. That is when He weeps over the city, knowing the suffering this will bring.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’” (Matt. 23:37-39)
On the final day of Succoth, known as Hoshana Rabba, or “The Great Salvation,” can we one day expect the fulfillment of seeing our Lord again as the people recite the prayer of Psalms 118, and again say:
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!”
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The Time is Always Now

*Bella is an elderly, Israeli widow who lives in central Israel. To the passerbyer, she may be considered frail and advanced in years, but on the inside, Bella is as alive and young as the day she was born. Her heart shines as bright as her beautiful, brown eyes and her hands are always full with a gift to give to others. As a faithful member of CBN Israel’s community for widows and single mothers, everyone looks forward to her humor and her smiles, but this holiday gathering, Bella was missing.

Our staff quickly learned that Bella had fallen ill and was hospitalized for her condition. It was in this moment that we remembered the words of our Lord;

“I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.”Matthew 25:36.

Upon our visit with Bella, we brought her a voucher for the holidays and sat with her as she lay in her hospital bed. As she held the voucher in her hands, she turned to our staff and said,

“The work that you do is of great value because you remember the widows in these important times.”

Bella was recently released from the hospital with a clean bill of health. The moment she returned home, it was back to life as usual; giving, loving and caring for others. What motivates Bella to spend her days loving God and serving others? Just ask her what time it is and you will know the answer. For on her wrist is a watch that only knows how to read one time. The time is always, “NOW”. No one knows how much time they are allotted in life. So the time for loving God and others, which is the only way to truly live, is always in the here and NOW.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”– Benjamin Franklin

Help us care for believing widows and single mothers in Israel by giving a gift today!

*Name altered for privacy

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Refusing to Repent

The ten days between Rosh Hashanah (The Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) are specifically the days that Jewish tradition believes determines the coming year to be one of Divine Favor or Divine Judgement. Whatever happens, these 10 days are the time God makes the call for each person. When we reflect on God’s acts of discipline in our lives, we are called to learn and turn. But when we harden ourselves to what God is trying to say to us, we invite even greater judgement on ourselves.

The story of Gedaliah is told in II Kings 25 and Jeremiah 39-43, and is an illustration of what happens when we don’t recognize God’s call to repentance. For years God sent prophets to warn that the people’s idolatry was bringing God’s judgement, but they ignored God’s word and persecuted those who were sent with the message. When judgement finally came, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed and most of the people were exiled to Babylon or killed.

Through all of this, there was a small remnant of people who remained in the Land and Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah as their governor. Some of those remaining rebelled and killed Gedaliah and the Babylonian guards. So the people feared the retaliation of the Babylonians and asked Jeremiah for the word of the Lord about their plans to run away down to Egypt. Jeremiah seeks the Lord on their behalf and tells them that the Lord will be gracious to them if they stay, but will bring judgement on them if they run to Egypt. The people decide that they are going to run to Egypt anyway, and a few years later they were destroyed when the Babylonians conquered Egypt as well.

The interesting thing is the timing of the death of Gedaliah. He was murdered on the 3rd of Tishri, during the 10 “Days of Awe” during the time when God is thought to determine their fate and bring judgement or mercy. This final act of rebellion, after God has just allowed the destruction of Jerusalem, was an act that sealed their eventual doom in Egypt.

So the Fast of Gedaliah is held every year as a memorial to the utter destruction that came about with this final rebellion against God. Even after we rebel and have experienced judgement, God extends to us a hand of mercy if we would only be willing to repent. But this example of judgement is there to remind us that destruction is the ultimate outcome of persistent rebellion.

“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (I Cor. 10:11)

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The Gift of a Clean Slate

Have you ever seen a child make a “mistake” in their drawing and instead of working with the mistake to create something new, they crumble it up, throw it in the trash with frustration and start all over again? Why would they do that? Because everyone loves the idea of a clean slate- a second chance to make things right.

Unfortunately, life is not a piece of paper. We don’t get the chance of undoing our words and actions, of throwing away every relationship that involves pain or changing jobs every time someone or something fails to perform. The reality is there is nothing and no one in this world that is perfect. But still we keep trying to toss out the old in search of the new only to arrive at the same dead end conclusion that what is truly broken and in need of a clean slate is us.

In this period of time, known as the “Days of Awe”, the people of Israel take time for deep introspection, repentance for sins committed in the past year and prayer that God would grant them a clean slate with their names written in the Book of Life.  There is something to be said for taking the time to make things right before God and with others. If introspection leads to repentance and a change of heart and actions, it is of great value. Remember, however, that the scriptures make it clear that there is no forgiveness of sins without the means of a sacrifice. “According to the Law, in fact, nearly everything must be purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”- Hebrews 9:22

This is why the message of Yeshua coming as the Lamb of God who was slain for our sins is SUCH GREAT NEWS! Our acceptance of His sacrifice, through faith with repentance is God’s means for a clean slate. Through the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua on the cross, we can rejoice that every time the Holy Spirit and the Word of God convicts us of our sins, and we repent, we can rest assured that we receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. Psalm 103:13 says, “As a father has compassion on His children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.” And the verse just before that states- “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” When we ask God’s forgiveness for our sins, He not only throws them away in the trash, He removes them far, far away from us!

For those who have known the joy of God’s forgiveness, this Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), rejoice that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life through your faith in the atoning blood of Yeshua! But let me petition of you to pray, not out of arrogance that you are saved by grace, but with compassion for those who have not yet received God’s free gift of salvation. Pray for those who will be fasting on Yom Kippur in Israel, to receive a revelation of Yeshua in this time, that they too might know the joy of God’s forgiveness from their transgressions!

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The Jewish New Year

In Israel, we are now entering the season of the Fall Festivals. This is a collection of holidays that emphasize a time of repentance and reflection. The festivals are given to us as a shadow and signs so that we know how to “identify the season” we are in.

Rosh Hashanah is ten days before Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. This was the only day of the year where the High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people. The preparation prior to this was a 40 day period where the people prayed and repented for their sins. If you think of it like a trial, the 40 days were the trail proceedings, and Yom Kippur was the day when judgment was pronounced. So the 10 days prior to the final day of Judgement are the “closing arguments” part of the trial. This is the season of “drawing near.”

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts;

Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him;

And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.” (Isa 55:6-7)

In Jewish tradition, the fate of every person was determined for the next year during the 10 “Days of Awe” between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. One’s name was written in either the “Book of Life” or the “Book of Death.” Yom Kippur was the final day when everyone’s name was written in one of the two books, and the quality of repentance during this time was what determined where your name was written. That is why this period is called “Aseret Yemei Teshuva” or “the Ten Days of Repentance.”

As members of the Body of the Messiah:

“We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.” (Heb 8:1-2) “Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” (Heb 9:11-15)

So our hope is secured not through our own righteousness, but through Him we have already been written in the Book of Life. Now may God use our lives to make known the path of true repentance leading to eternal life. We long for the day in Israel when:

“I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” (Zech 12:10-11)

 This is a promised season of true repentance that is to come through a pouring out of a Spirit of Grace and Supplication on “the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem” that we long to see released. Please pray with us for this outpouring.

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Kingdom Investment

“Cast your bread upon the water, for you will find it after many days. Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth.” – Ecclesiastes 11:1

I remember when I was young and first came across that verse. I couldn’t understand what it meant. The only time in my life that I had seen bread cast into the water was to draw fish to the surface. I also remember thinking why would you want that bread to come back to you? What good is soggy bread?

But during my time at the 2017 business conference in Jerusalem, one of my fellow, believing, Arab brothers from Nazareth spoke on the concept of “casting our bread on the waters”. What a perspective to live long enough to have experienced the blessing of seeing your “bread” come back to you after many days.

When God called Abraham to leave everything he knew, God’s promise is that in the obedience, God would make him a blessing. It is the same for us. Following God will always lead you on a path where you will find yourself called to serve others around you. Often, these people have no way to pay you back the blessing that they receive.

But how wonderful it is to make the effort to invest blessings and grace into the lives of others and later to have that same blessing and grace poured out on you in a way you never expected. You don’t have to be called to business, but in whatever you are called to- allow God to make you a blessing to those around you. The ROI (Return On Investment) is always amazing.

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Messianic Business Course Helps Israeli Entrepreneurs Find Their Niche

When Zev first heard of a business course being held specifically for believing entrepreneurs in Israel, he felt drawn to attend. He was fresh out of the Israeli army, eager to explore business ideas and was already being mentored by the successful business owners of the Galilee Experience in northern Israel. Yet as a husband, father and full time employee, leaving town to attend the course was not an option. A decade later, however, the opportunity came practically to his door. 

In 2016-2017, CBN Israel and Israel First Fruits held their business course in Israel’s northern city of Tiberias, just minutes from Zev’s home. By this time, Zev had made his way into business management with a company called, Megavoice, and was ready to explore the possibility of venturing out on his own.

“It was the business course that caused me to make the decisions I needed to make,” Zev shared with the staff of CBN Israel. “I realized I loved working with Judaica products and could start a business selling these items on-line.” With a gift of creativity and a focus on quality, Zev hopes to bring customers a new and appealing product.

With the completion of the course, each student is presented with an opportunity to get ahead in their start-up business by presenting their plan before investors at the annual Business Forum in Jerusalem. A competition is held on the final day of the forum in which three of the eight finalists will win investments towards their start-up business. Out of nearly two dozen contestants, Zev has been chosen as one of the final eight.

Five years ago, Zev attended the forum as an inspired employee from the Galilee Experience. This year, he has the opportunity to gain an investment into his own business.  As Zev is moving forward in his business endeavor, the biggest challenge he faces now is in staying balanced in his time management. As a man who loves God and desires His blessing, Zev understands that God must come first and his family, second. Yet in order to be successful in what he feels God is calling him to do, a lot of hard work must go into the building of his business. 

Be praying for Zev as he works out the delicate balance of ordering his time and dividing it rightly. To learn more about Zev’s biblical products, visit his website at:

Watch for updates on CBN Israel’s facebook page to see who will win this year’s competition! 

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All Who Are Thirsty, Come And Drink!

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”– Matthew 5:6

Thirty-one years ago, just weeks before being released from the Israeli army, some friends and I went to the theaters to see the movie, “Ben Hur.” 
At that time, I was into everything the world had to offer and had never once heard the name -Yeshua. As I watched the movie, one particular scene captures my attention. A man figure approaches Judah, son of Hur, as he thirsts in the desert and He offers him a drink of living water. This scene perplexed me. “Who was that man who gave free, living water to Judah who was lost?” Even after the movie ended, that scene still played in my mind. 

As a young, Israeli Jew, I had never been taught the part of the history of my people of when the Son of Man once came to Israel to offer living water to anyone who believed. Students learned in the schools that Jesus was for the Christians and there was no connection to the Jewish people. We were told that not only was there no connection between Jesus and Judaism, but beyond that, Nazis in Germany destroyed millions of Jews in that Name during the time of the Holocaust.  For the Jew, believing in Jesus was forbidden. 
Yet after seeing that moment on film, of Judah being refreshed by a man unlike any other, I knew I wanted that water for myself who also felt my life was a desert. The answer came not long after when my sister, who had just received Yeshua as her Savior came from abroad to visit with our family. The moment I heard her sharing her faith, I made the connection that she had the water inside her that I had been looking for. Thanks to the film, and the prayers of my sister’s faithful community, I was like a ripe piece of fruit ready for the harvest.
I want to remind you that God is amazing. He hears and answers the prayers of those who are thirsty for Him. In this day and age, where everything in life has a price tag attached to it, God wants to give you and I true happiness which He offers to us for free. 
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”- Revelation 22:17

God has given us the opportunity to repent every day but He has also given us set times for repentance. These times are the Lord’s feasts. This month is the month of Elul in the Hebraic calendar. In this month, we look inside ourselves to search out if there is anything in need of forgiveness by God. We do this in preparation of Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement. As this day approaches, take the time to search your heart and see if you are in need of the Lord’s living water. If you ask of Him, He will surely fill you to overflowing and out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water, the water of His Spirit. 

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”- John 4:14

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