To The Jew First

A Christian Ministry to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.  Romans 1:16

East gate in Jerusalem

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Dear Fellow Pilgrims,

  I came to Israel Oct. 15 and I plan to leave Jan. 10 to return to Crete for 5 days before returning to France.  On my way back to FR near the end of the summer tour on Sept. 3 I met a man from Denmark whose father was an Israeli Jew that married a Dane.  He told his son he was not Jewish because his mother was not Jewish.  I witnessed to him.  In Austria near Graz in camping I distributed literature to campers.  I offered a Swiss  couple but they were praying after morning devotions!  In camping in Bratislava, Slovak I distributed.  I met a Christian from England traveling to Turkey on his motorcycle.  I visited the Trans World Radio HQ in Bratislava.  I spoke in a church in Prague, CZ.  I visited Michael Gabi & family in D.  Michael is a converted Muslim from Jerusalem.  Back in FR I took a trip to Belgium near Luxembourg to Jean Bailleux’s Independent Baptist church.  I shared about Israel.  I visited the Jewish believer retired doctor                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Jean-Luc Israel in Antony, FR.  Before entering his apartment I distributed tracts and a woman stopped for about 20 minutes talking about the faith which she did not have.  I enjoyed putting up bible posters while back in France.  I rejoice in the tracts distributed before I left for Crete and Israel on Oct. 10.  I fasted for Yon Kippur on Oct. 9 but I had to pack as well.  On the plane to Heraklion, Crete I witnessed to the couple beside me and a man across the aisle received a tract and a limited witness.  I preached on the Feasts of Israel as it was Succoth-Tabernacles in the Bible Team Church in Heraklion where Sotiris Karalis is pastor.  I emphasized rejoicing from Lev 23:40.  During Succoth the Jews were to “rejoice before the LORD your God 7 days.” Phil 4:4

  A lesson from Sotiris’ farm plot.  He has olive trees.  This year he had to prune them 3 times because last year’s abundant rain fall.  He calls them “proud shoots”.  They bear no fruit and take the strength of the tree.  “every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it”.  John 15 :1-2

  The plane to Israel from Heraklion was full of Israelis.  I was able to share with the couple next to me.  This was a sign of God’s blessing on my visit in His Land.  I started in Haifa staying in Bethel Hostel at the foot of Mt. Carmel.  It is like sitting at the feet of Elijah & Elisha as they lived on Mt. Carmel.  Elijah-1 Kings 18:19,42  Elisha-11 Kings 4:25. Literature was distributed.  On the 8th day of Succoth it is the 8th day stop, literal interpretation.  It is found in Num 29:35 translated in KJV ‘SOLEMN ASSEMBLY”.  I fasted that day and found a quiet place  to pass the day in meditation and prayer.  Many times I passed the first 7 days of Succoth on Crete in fasting & rejoicing and on the 8th day I meditated on the previous 7 days.  At Bethel Hostel I saw again the rehabilitation work among the Russian drug addicts and alcoholics.  I was blessed with renewed fellowship with Danny and Igor there.  Igor has gone on from Bethel to do ministry in the south of Israel.  I visited Br. Ron Colish in the Ebenezer believers’ retirement Home.  I renewed fellowship with Beit Hesda Assembly.  The Ebenezer  Home is involved in a serious renovation and building project designed to better serve the retired believers of Israel, mainly Jewish and Arab.  A Finnish resident, a sister Anja Polsak in her early 80s was hit by a car recently and she is back in the home and presently in a wheel chair and attending the meetings at Bethesda.  She was a witness during many years in Israel, as many other Finnish believers have done.  I visited Slomo & Karina Hoisman of Jerusalem.  Karina is Finnish and together they read the bible twice daily.  In Tel Aviv I visited Mizrachi family, Hannah the mother is Finnish.

  In Haifa I met again Alex the computer man who at one time was in Bethesda assembly.  Russians were often met in Haifa.  Arabs & Jews live together in Haifa.  I have been having difficulty stabilizing my level of blood thinning for 2 months.  After a blood test in Haifa I met a father waiting for his daughter coming from school.  He apparently had learned of the suffering Messiah.  He was open to discussion.  I gave him Isaiah 53 in Hebrew.  His name is Ariel.  It is lion of God and the name appears in Isa 29:1-8      u                                                                                               u4 times.  It is a name for Jerusalem.   A Jewish woman I met in Haifa was open to a short witness and took my tract.  She was born in England and lived in South Africa.   Riding the train from Haifa to Tel Aviv a soldier listened to the gospel.  A Jew who left Hasidic Judaism was willing to talk briefly.  While in Haifa I went to Nazareth on a Sunday morning to be in a Brethren assembly with Farak & George Khalil.  I was able to share in the breaking of bread service.

  While in Haifa I took a ministering brother & His wife to the valley of Jezreel.  We witnessed at Megiddo & Jezreel.  Naboth’s vineyard was in Jezreel.  1 Kings 21:1. In Jezreel remains 3 young men from a nearby kibbutz listened to us.  I traveled with a brother from my church in France.  Laurent and his brother Patrice we visited the Shefelah, the lowlands.  In Deut 1:7 the Hebrew word is translated vale.  At Lachish (Sennacherib. Isa 36) I was able to share with a man from the nearby kibbutz Lachish.  With the 2 French brothers we stayed overnight on the western shore of the sea of Galilee-Gennesarte Matt 14:34- and I met a woman from the kibbutz who said she was a believer in Yeshua and I met Avi who is open to learning about Yeshua.  While at the Dead Sea I was able to give out about 25 tracts in Russian to tourists.  On our way back to Tel Aviv we stopped in Arad for a meal.  I lived in Arad in 1968-69.  A Russian restaurant owner took in Russian & Hebrew.  An Arab pharmacist took in Arabic.    

  I am thankful for time spent in Tiberias.  I fellowshipped with Benjamin B. who is now 86 and witnessed on the streets.  Tiberias was an important city to Judaism through ages.  More & more religious Jews are moving there.  The Breslev group of Hasidic Jews are evident.   I distributed literature in their pilgrimage city in Ukraine this summer, Uman.  Among the Ukrainians about 75% took my tracts.  

  I came to Jerusalem for dental work, which will continue until I leave.  My dentist is an Arab believer, Fadi Said.  Fadi is from a verb also used in Hebrew meaning redemption.  The Hebrew dictionary says someone who sets a person free for a price.  God sets a sinner free because of the price Jesus Christ paid with his blood.  Speaking of Jesus: “for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood”.  Rev 5:9. In Psalm 34:22 the KJV  translated  ‘podeh’ redeemeth.  I am thankful for many wonderful contacts on the streets.  

  Near the end of 1968 my Hebrew was not very good.  I was on a large taxi perhaps 7 people and we traveled from Baer Sheva to Jerusalem.  I had no boldness to speak in Hebrew.  But when we came to Bethlehem, I found courage to speak to all.  I quoted Micah 5:2 in Hebrew showing the Messiah must come from Bethlehem. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2.  May we have many moments of adoration and worship during this Christmas season. May the Christmas songs stir our hearts to a greater appreciation of God taking on human flesh.  Hanukah starts Dec. 22 and is an 8-day celebration of the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem around 175 BC. Hanukah the feast of Dedication is mentioned in John 10:22. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit among the first believers in Jerusalem. Then was born the temple of God in the lives of the born-again believers as the Holy Spirit entered their bodies. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. A MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Michael Bentley


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