Teaching, Training, Touching Lives

Ancient Traditions Bring New Life

The Jewish Lemba of Zimbabwe are known for carrying Kohanim genes. They have not intermarried and have been isolated for years maintaining ancient Israelite customs. When the Lemba chief and headmen accepted Yeshua, a great door opened to spread the Good News — even to the Muslim Lemba who are being saved and renouncing Islam. The first MJBI graduation among the Jewish Lemba took place in July. Thirty-nine graduated, and

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Yom Kippur 5775: Ancient Ritual Still Speaks

  Yom Kippur 5775 Jewish Days of Distinction A Messianic Study of the Jewish Feasts and Holidays “In addition to the Sabbath, these are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year”  (Leviticus 23:4 NLT). Feast Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement Summary Yom meaning “day” and kippur from Hebrew root meaning “atone” sets the stage for the holiest day of

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Eye Witnesses to the Redemption of Israel

I just returned from a retreat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for congregational leaders sponsored by Jewish Voice Ministries. I was privileged to participate with our Chairman, Jonathan Bernis, and some 30 leaders of five congregations, all of whom are MJBI graduates. Afterward, we had time alone with the key MJBI leadership from four different cities in Ethiopia. We talked about challenges and vision and made plans for the future. It

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Yiddish Mama’s Kitchen: Spinach and Feta Squares

Shavuot is a time to enjoy dairy foods. Here is a great side dish or vegetarian entrée made with spinach, feta cheese, and Phyllo dough that is very popular in the Middle East. This recipe is very convenient because it can be made a day ahead and popped into the oven just before the meal. My family loves this special treat.   Spinach and Feta Squares Ingredients: 6-8 sheets Phyllo dough

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Shavuot 5774: Under Fire and On Fire!

Shavuot 5774 (June 2014) Jewish Days of Distinction A Messianic Study of the Jewish Feasts and Holidays “In addition to the Sabbath, these are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year” (Leviticus 23:4 NLT). Feast: Shavuot or Pentecost Summary: Shavuot falls on the Jewish calendar fifty days after Passover Sabbath. This year the date is Sivan 6-7 or June 3-5.

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The God of Wonders in Ukraine!

My first visit to Myaki, Ukraine, seemed like I was on the set of a “Fiddler on the Roof” play. Its mud-brick houses and thatched roofs seemed surreal and shot me back a hundred years. Myaki’s roads are unpaved and her people frozen in time just like the Ukrainian ground in winter. Small but significant, God chose this tiny Soviet hamlet as the birthplace of the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute.

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Jewish Days of Distinction: Passover 5774

Jewish Days of Distinction A Messianic Study of the Jewish Feasts and Holidays “In addition to the Sabbath, these are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year” (Leviticus 23:4 NLT). Feast: Passover or Pesach Summary: Passover or Pesach traditionally commences in the evening of the 14th of Nisan and continues for eight days of celebration and

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Ten Hidden Happenings in Purim

  Jewish Days of Distinction Devotionals on the Jewish Feasts and Holidays Purim Commemorated annually on the 14th day of Adar on the Hebrew calendar, the Jewish holiday of Purim will fall on March 16 on our calendar this year, and according to traditional celebrations will commence the evening of March 15. The Scroll of Esther details the poignant yet ironic Purim story of rescue through an engaging tale of

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Have You Asked for the Springs of Blessing?

  The Lemba became famous in 2000 when Israeli authorities conducted a study that showed a significant number of male Lemba carry a Y-chromosome from the Cohenim—the Jewish priestly tribe. This lost tribe of Israel is known to live separately, practice ancient biblical customs, and claim Jewish identity for centuries. There are estimates of nearly 400,000 Lemba today, ruled by tribal chiefs in different regions of southern Africa, particularly in

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Faith and Flaws

Six names jumped out at me. While reading about the faith heroes of Hebrews 11:32, I paused to ponder: For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith… This verse evoked several thoughts. First, each were flawed in different ways, yet became known for their accomplishments through faith. Gideon (doubt), Barak (fear), Samson

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Become Part of MJBI’s ‘Four’ for 2014

As the blueprints for 2014 are drawn, bells of joy for a new and exciting year ring in our hearts. By God’s grace, we will launch into a fresh adventure of serving God and the Jewish people together.Crossing the bridge into the future, I am pausing in prayer and planning, and four points have risen to the top for 2014. Together we can tackle the tasks before us. 1. Precious

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Days of Light, Liberty, and Latkes – Hanukkah (5774)

Summary Hanukkah is celebrated over a period of eight days in the winter season (beginning in the Jewish month of Kislev, day 25). During the time between the Old and New Covenants, a revolt led by the Jewish Maccabees drove the heathen Greek rulers out of Jerusalem and Israel. The temple had been desecrated and had to be ritually cleansed using a special oil in the menorah (seven-branched candle stick)

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A Storm Is Brewing

Economists predict, for the USA and perhaps globally, economic collapse in our lifetime. Some forecast this crash later rather than sooner, because a few experts calculate that change is possible through strategic, innovative planning, and resourcefulness. For the average American, life presses us forward as usual with sufficiency to sustain both needs and wants, although some have tightened their financial-belts to make ends meet. Great poverty and unbridled affluence co-exist

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If One Verse Were Written About Your Life, What Would It Say?

Recently I spoke at the MJBI graduation service of 67 fine, passionate Ethiopians. As I began and glanced over the eager crowd that had gathered in the Gondar village for this important occasion, I noticed a cute little boy sitting on the front row. I called him forward and asked his name. “Moshe,” he replied—Moses in English. He went on to say that when he grows up he wants to

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Rosh HaShanah 5774

Summary The High Holy Days are upon us. They are both somber and joyous. One thing for sure: they are always memorable and full of great food and special traditions. Below you will find a devotional about the Jewish New Year and use of the shofar, which is the main symbol of this festival. It is blown 100 times during Rosh Hashanah. You will also find a recipe for an

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This Ethiopian Missed Graduation

It is a lifetime dream for many—to live in the Land Flowing with Milk and Honey—to walk upon the soil of their great-grandfather King Solomon and the Jewish patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Three decades ago, Israel began airlifting Ethiopian Jews into the Jewish state.  Some estimate there are about 120,000 African immigrants in the country today.  Most have arrived from very poor villages where they had lived in huts with

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Change the World, or Save It?

Would you rather change the world or save it? I recently read an article that made me pause to ponder the question myself. A British journalist wrote on the devastating needs currently engulfing mankind: poverty, famine, disease, disaster, starvation, war, bigotry, climate changes, etc. He stirred a passion in people to get involved no matter the enormity of the task, by breaking it down to “eating the elephant one bite at a time.” The author coached his readers to do something—even small endeavors of kindness can carry a powerful punch in changing the world. He ended the article by a last—seemingly noble—piece of sage advice, “I want to change the world, not save it.” That made me stop and ponder. From Constantin to Stalin to JFK to Netanyahu, every world

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David’s Ancient Harp over Jerusalem

I am gazing at Mt. Zion in Jerusalem as I write today. My heart is full and grateful to be here—the City of our God and King. One of the most important reasons for coming is to attend the first graduation ceremony of the MJBI Israeli Ethiopian school located in Tel Aviv. We will join Dan Juster and Jennifer Kaplan, along with others who have taught and helped prepare the graduates for this special day. In July, Wayne will travel to Ethiopia for two more important graduations—in Woliso and Gondar. Some MJBI staff and friends will join the trip to make it extra special. Odessa, Ukraine, will also hold a graduation service—totaling about 200 graduates from these four locations! In addition, our accredited Messianic Jewish program at The King’s University

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Shavuot: The Promise of Fire

Shavuot and the Promise of Fire! Shavuot falls on the Jewish calendar this year on Sivan 6-7. On the Gregorian calendar, it falls on May 14-15. On this date, the Jewish people remember the Torah that was given on Mt. Sinai, that code of laws that changed the world and still stands as an anchor even in post-modern society. It is also the day the Church began when the fire of the Holy Spirit fell on those who waited in the Upper Room for power and boldness to live holy lives and become witnesses of the resurrection of Yeshua. There is so much to celebrate on Shavuot, and of course it is a time of feasting. Below you will find a devotional and a great Jewish recipe for cheesecake… Chag

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Just Like the Day of Pentecost in Ethiopia?

I am very excited to share a testimony from Ethiopia. Last spring Soma Church from Tyler, Texas, sent a team to minister to the MJBI students in Woliso and Gondar, Ethiopia. Here is Melissa Herring’s testimony. She and her husband Tony, pastors of the congregation in Tyler, led this outreach. I believe you will be moved as you read how the Holy Spirit guided and used them as they sowed eternal seed and reached out in love. Seeds to Sow By Melissa Herring Traveling across the Ethiopian countryside, I watched as farmers scattered fistfuls of seed. It was as if I could see each grain lilt in the wind, then fall to the ground. I wondered how many would take root in the freshly plowed black earth and produce the

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What? Chicken on Passover?

Jewish Days of Distinction A Messianic Study of the Jewish Feasts and Holidays “In addition to the Sabbath, these are the LORD’s appointed festivals, the official days for holy assembly that are to be celebrated at their proper times each year” (Leviticus 23:4 NLT). Feast: Passover or “Pesach” Summary: Passover or “Pesach” in Modern Hebrew is the Jewish festival of redemption that celebrates the miraculous historical story of the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. This is the watershed event for the Jewish people, which freed them from slavery. Passover begins on Nisan 14 – 22nd on the Jewish calendar or falls this year, according to the Gregorian calendar, on March 25 – April 2nd. Pesach is not the holiest of the feast days, but possibly the most

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Now is Our Moment in History

The entire Middle East is in a time of remarkable turmoil. Clashes are occurring between tyrant dictators, liberal groups craving freedom, and Jihadist factions seeking to force radical Islam upon the people. Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world as well, especially in Europe. Over the past year, the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism monitored anti-Semitic hate crimes worldwide. In 2012, six of the ten worst attacks took place in Europe (the others happened in Iran, Yemen, and United States). 1 Chronicles 12:32 says that the sons of Issachar had understanding of the times to know what Israel ought to do. Now is our time. It is our moment in history to understand the times, understand what Israel should do, and understand the significant role you play. As long as there is

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