Volume 47 | Number 6
JEWISH VOICE TODAY MAGAZINE
Visions OF THE
Afterlife November/December 2013 | Cheshvan/Kislev/Tevet 5774 | ZAH/ELQK/OEYG
Does Your Heart Beat
for the Hurting? Woliso, Ethiopia Medical Outreach February 28 - March 9, 2014*
Woliso is home to the poorest of the Gefat People, who continue as outcasts in their communities. Their name itself means “foreigner” or “persecuted one." A people with a rich legacy of handcrafts, they maintained their Jewish practices and culture over the thousands of years since their departure from Israel south to Ethiopia. Their heritage of faith and perseverance as a people is mixed with the present suffering and despair of individuals in tremendous poverty. Join us in bringing them the gifts of love, healing, and eternal hope in their Messiah Yeshua as we minister to both their physical and spiritual needs. You will be blessed beyond your imagination! The heartbeat of our outreach ministry is changed lives. Yours will be changed, too.
Pray. Plan. Go. There’s a place waiting for you. For 2014 outreach dates or to register: www.jewishvoice.org/outreach, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-299-YESHUA. *Dates subject to change.
2 JewishVoiceToday.org | November/December 2013
M]L[ SHALOM Dear Partners and Friends,
The apostle Paul tells us in Scripture, For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:12).
What if we could see “face to face” and “know fully” the supernatural presence of our Messiah Yeshua and the Most High God enthroned in Heaven? What wonders we would behold! What love we would sense! You and I may never personally experience the full revelation of Heaven until we breathe our last breath, but we can certainly learn from those who have had the privilege of traveling there and experiencing the Almighty One in His entire glorious splendor.
In fact, in this issue of Jewish Voice Today, we have several eyewitness accounts from those who have either had a glimpse of Heaven, seen a life-transforming vision, or been transported after death to God’s Holy Dwelling for a short time before coming back to Earth. I can’t wait for you to have your faith built up and your spirit inspired to keep telling your friends and family about God's gift of eternal life through the Messiah—so that they too can call Heaven their eternal home. Beyond these amazing true stories, we offer you a Messianic Jewish perspective on the Afterlife from both yours truly and our Staff Evangelist Rabbi Jack Zimmerman. And, of course, you will get the latest from our Washington and Israel correspondents so you can stay up-to-date on the news that’s important to you. As you enjoy this latest edition, we want to say a quick “thank you” for all you do to help us share the Gospel with those near and far. You are valued more than you know for all your prayers, financial partnership, and participation in this ministry. Let’s keep looking heavenward, faithfully watching for the One who will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Shalom to you during this special season of Light.
Jonathan Bernis, President & CEO Jewish Voice Ministries International P.S. Don't miss our television series about the Afterlife, slated to begin airing in early 2014. And be watching for my new book, A Rabbi Looks at the Afterlife, scheduled for release in Spring 2014. Jewish Voice Today
On Topic 6 Up Front Answering the Question About Eternal Life By Jonathan Bernis
8 Perspective I Saw Heaven Open Up By Khalida Wukawitz
10 Perspective Ushering Saints into the Afterlife By Dr. Reggie Anderson
12 Perspective What Happens When We Die? A Jewish Viewpoint
14 washington update The AIPAC Lobby: Friend or Foe? By William Koenig
16 Perspective You Did This for Me! 18 ISRAEL UPDATE U.S.-Israel Relations in the Turbulent Middle East By Carrie Hart
24 Perspective Thoughts on the Afterlife: Q & A with Jonathan Bernis
By Jack Zimmerman
Jewish Holiday & Observance 20 Jewish holiday Chanukah: Have We Missed the Meaning?
By Kevin Geoffrey
By Dean Braxton
By Jonathan Bernis
Regulars 3 Shalom By Jonathan Bernis
5 noteworthy 22 resources
Where to Watch! 30 Broadcast guide Join us monthly for our 60-minute live, interactive webcast. Please visit www.jewishvoice.org/webcast for the latest information.
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f you could go beyond the veil . . . if you could supernaturally stand in the presence of Jesus in the clouds . . . if you could literally see God in all His glory seated on His throne in Heaven, what would that do to your faith? How and what would you tell others about your heavenly experience? In this edition of Jewish Voice Today, we share real stories of those who have touched Heaven, whether by a partial glimpse, a full vision, or actually entering into God’s Holy Dwelling through death and then coming back to tell about it. You will hear from a former Muslim who came to Yeshua, a minister who was completely overwhelmed by God’s love, and a medical doctor who has a unique partnership with God as he works with the aged. What testimonies to the power and love of God! Along with these riveting experiences, we also present a
Todah Rabah, thank you, to: Publisher
Executive Editor Jonathan Bernis Director of Publications Mary Ellen Breitwiser
About This Issue Messianic perspective on the Afterlife from two of your favorite rabbis—our own Jonathan Bernis and Jack Zimmerman. Both authors provide a unique perspective on a subject that has stumped many throughout history. To round out this issue, we provide the latest updates from our Washington and Israel correspondents so you can stay in the know on what’s really important. Yes, Heaven is real. And it is our hope that these eyewitness accounts, along with our Messianic perspective on issues that matter to you, will inspire you to continue telling others about their Messiah and about their destiny in Heaven once they believe in God’s Son Yeshua. Our eternal home awaits! — The JVMI Publications Team
Jewish Voice Ministries International P.O. Box 31998 Phoenix, AZ 85046-1998 USA 602-97l-850l 800-299-YESHUA (937482) www.jewishvoice.org Jewish Voice Ministries Canada P.O. Box 476 Maple Ridge, BC V2X 3P2 855-7-YESHUA (937482) www.jewishvoice.ca
Associate Editor Laura Peck
Jewish Voice Ministries UK Admail 4224 London W2 4UN 855-9-YESHUA (937482) www.jvmi.co.uk
Art Director Evie Kriegbaum
Magazine questions or comments: email@example.com
Senior Editor Kevin Geoffrey
Graphic Designers Evie Kriegbaum Jennifer Nelson
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New International Version.
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up f r o n t | J o n at h a n b e r n is
Answering the Question About Eternal Life
hat a person decides to believe in this lifetime does, in fact, determine his or her eternal destiny. Yet many ignore the issue of what happens after death. Others choose to believe that there is a Heaven but no Hell. The Bible is quite clear on this issue. Consider, if you will, these Scriptures: •
In Daniel 12:2 we are told that multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.
In Mark 9:46-48, Jesus Himself warns, “If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’”
In Luke 16:19-31, Yeshua tells His disciples this story: “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came
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when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
One cannot selectively choose to believe in parts of the Bible and discard others. To believe only in the reality of Heaven, while choosing to deny the existence of Hell—a place of total separation from God for eternity—does not line up with Scripture, which is full of references to Hell, and is a great gamble at best! And to decide to make no decision is actually in itself a decision against. Anyone who chooses to ignore the issue of eternity is taking a serious risk. In 1 Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul said that if what he had preached was not true, then he had wasted nothing, but if it was, then those who failed to believe would be risking everything. I always believed there must be something more to this life after we died. As a child of nine or ten years of age, I remember asking my rabbi the question of what happens after we die. His only answer was that we are climbing up a mountain and cannot see what is on the other side. Only God sits on top of the mountain and knows what lies beyond. In truth, he had no idea what happened after death! But as a true follower of Yeshua who now “has eyes to see,” I now can see over the mountain, and I know that there is more to life than just living, breathing, eating, and dying. There is an eternity ahead! Where we spend it is determined by the decisions we make in this life now.
once and for all and to make us righteous with God. Here is a wonderful Scripture that says this very thing: This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus [the Messiah] to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by the Messiah Jesus. God presented [Yeshua HaMaschiach] as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood—to be received by faith. —Romans 3:22-25 This passage in Romans makes it abundantly clear that forgiveness and justification for being made right before God can happen only when a person accepts Yeshua’s sacrifice through faith. How can one do that? Again, the answer is found in the book of Romans: If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus [Yeshua] and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same LORD over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” —Romans 10:9-13 NKJV
How Can I Have Eternal Life?
The simple process of receiving eternal life begins with the realization and the admission that all of us have sinned against God’s law, and therefore, all of us are guilty and separated from a holy, righteous God. This is why Yeshua came into the world. He came to pay the penalty for our sin
It always amazes me just how simple all of this is. All one has to do is recognize that they are a sinner, ask God for forgiveness, and receive the gift of eternal life found in Jesus, the Messiah. That’s it, He will do the rest!
a rabbi looks at jesus of nazareth With warmth and transparency, Jewish Voice’s own Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Bernis shares a compelling case—with overwhelming evidence that can be traced to the Torah itself—for Jesus as Messiah. And then he provides Christians with the knowledge and tools they need to effectively share Yeshua with their Jewish family and friends in a loving and sensitive way. 240 pages, hardcover. Order #9090 | $25.00 GIFT Gift pricing includes shipping & handling. SIGNED COPY | Order #9091 | $100.00 GIFT
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P E R S P E C T I V E | K H A L I D A W U K AW I T Z
II Saw Saw H ea v e n Heaven Op e n Open U p Up I
n 1996, fleeing with her children from an abusive second marriage, Muslim-raised Khalida Wukawitz ended up homeless in Clearlake, California. Through divine appointment, she met a Christian storeowner named Lisa who took her in, gave her a job, and began sharing with her the Gospel of Yeshua. At first, Khalida rejected this message because as she says, “In Islam, the idea that God has a Son is forbidden because Islam thinks God is weak if He has a Son. That would make God weak to come down and die on the cross and have a Son to plead His case and touch humanity. He should come down and do it Himself.” Yet, Khalida was familiar with this same Voice that Lisa talked about. That Voice of God had comforted her as a child, and that same Voice was telling her to now “leave the darkness for the light.” The only problem was Khalida had no idea what that meant. Khalida’s life drastically changed one day in 1998 while she was working at the store. That’s the day she experienced Heaven. In an interview with Jewish Voice, Khalida explains the majesty she saw. Here is her story of Heaven in her own words: 8 JewishVoiceToday.org | November/December 2013
I remember saying a simple, little prayer, “Lord, You know who I am. Lord, I don’t even know what to pray. They say that You are the Son of God, You are the Savior. I don’t know if this is true or not, but if it is true, I don’t want people to tell me. I want You to tell me.”
Now I am seeing the little kids at Jesus’ feet. I am seeing Him on His throne. I am seeing the beings and the angels. I am seeing Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I am seeing Heaven as the Bible describes it, even though I never read the Bible. I never read Revelation.
I didn’t think if I said that Heaven would open!
People by multitudes from every tribe, every nation, every tongue have huge crowns. The ones in the front of the Lord would place the crown by His feet, but the ones far away were just throwing them. Before I knew it, I became part of it. I was also worshipping. “Magnificent Savior!” I understood this is my Jesus. He was talking to me. He was telling me, “I am the way and the truth and the life. I came to save you. You are My daughter. You are My beloved.”
I am just walking to the back room of that store. I walk in there, and the room is no longer the room. It is transformed into a majestic place. I am hearing that Voice with other voices. The lighting is not the outside light that you and I can see. It’s a light that is coming down. I am not sure really what’s going on. It’s not like you want to run, but you cannot go anywhere. I wanted to hit the door. Where’s the door? Oh yeah, there is no door. There is no window. There is nothing. Really supernaturally transformed into Heaven.
I remember staying in that atmosphere forever. I lost track of time. I can’t tell you if I was there 20 minutes, an hour, but my mom [Lisa, her spiritual mother] said I was gone for Heaven opened right over me, and I remember so clearly about 30 minutes in the back. She didn’t come looking for seeing the person of Jesus. He is a person, but at the same me. She was busy in the front with customers. My job was time He is a spirit. to get the stuff out This glory over Him, of the boxes, iron I had never been exposed to any of the this light, it’s like them, put them on reading of the Bible. I didn’t even know a you look at the sun hangers, put a tag John book existed. But this Savior is before but you can’t really on them, and put me, and this knowledge and revelation look at the sun at them on the floor. noontime. I have That was what she hit me that this is the Son of God. never seen it before, hired me to do, so a light like that. I had dreams of comfort, but I didn’t see it wasn’t wrong for me to be there for hours. Sometimes I the Lord. Somehow this Figure is getting closer to me and worked eight hours doing the same thing over and over. touching me, and He is talking to me. He was talking in She didn’t come looking for me, and I believe God kept her Arabic. That was my home language. busy for a reason. Basically, He was talking to me from the book of John. I had never read the book of John. I had never cracked a Bible before. I had never been exposed to any of the reading of the Bible. I didn’t even know a John book existed. But this Savior is before me, and this knowledge and revelation hit me that this is the Son of God. I didn’t need anyone to tell me, like an angel, “This is Jesus Christ.” I remember getting drawn to my knees. I couldn’t open my mouth. I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t say, “Forgive my sin” or “I am a horrible Muslim.” The old me is before me, but something is happening in the spirit that I don’t even know how to explain with words. I am submitting to this Power, and this Power just got me so I couldn’t move anymore. I am in His corner now. I remember trying to get up. I remember Somebody carried me. I knew I was on the ground, but whatever the time I spent with the Lord, it transformed into Heaven.
And here I am. I am in Heaven. And I remember hearing this language in Heaven that I never heard on planet Earth. Everybody is speaking in their own tongue—like if you speak Hebrew, they speak in Hebrew; if you speak Arabic, they speak in Arabic; if you speak Chinese, Japanese, whatever language on Earth, they speak in their language. But all of their languages together, it’s just so beautiful. Somehow I remember Jesus physically touching me, realizing that I am about to leave the presence of God. I sensed His Presence about to go, and I didn’t want it to finish. It’s like, “Take Me with you.” I remember things started to fade away, and I am back on the ground and I am leaning like this [on her face]. I remember walking out to my spiritual mom. She had been kind to me and she had been ministering to me. I walked to her and I go, “I just gave my heart to Jesus.” And I am totally out of it.
(Continued on page 26) Jewish Voice Today
PERSPEC TIVE | DR. REGGIE ANDERSON
hile Reggie Anderson was a young, agnostic college student in medical school, he packed a Bible given to him by a friend and went on a camping trip by himself to think about his life. After reading the Gospel of John from The Living Bible, he fell asleep and God gave him a vision of Heaven—the sights, smells, and sounds of a picturesque meadow. Little did he know then that this vision would be key in his future as a doctor working with elderly patients in their last years of life.
“How are you feeling?” I asked. “Better,” she said.
Irene was always dressed up when I saw her, so lying in the bed in a hospital gown made her look frailer than she had at the home. As I examined her and listened to her heart, her smile disappeared. She fidgeted with her hospital gown, and she seemed agitated or maybe even a bit nervous.
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“Is there anything I can do for you?” I asked when I finished. “Dr. Anderson, I don’t want you to leave.”
Her family had left and she was alone. “Why? Are you afraid?” “I’m not afraid to die,” she said quickly. Then she paused, and I could see her eyes darting up and to the
right as she thought about it for a minute. Then she turned to look at me and whispered, “You see, Jesus is calling my name, and I need an escort to heaven. Will you be my escort?” It was the first time I was invited to be with someone in life’s final moments, and it was an honor to be asked. I could see she didn’t want to die alone, and I was happy to stay with her. My own experience had taught me that even if we welcomed the destination, we could still be nervous about the journey. In Irene’s case, there wasn’t much I could do to hold her here longer, and she wouldn’t have wanted that even if I could. Irene understood the journey on which she was embarking; she just wanted someone to be with her as she departed. I felt honored to be that someone. I pulled up a chair next to her bed and took her hand. My hands were always cool, and hers felt warm in relation to mine. Her fingers were thin and arthritic. I felt her pulse, and it grew weaker as we talked. “I’m going to meet Jesus tonight,” she said, her eyes shining. “Yes, you are.” “And my sweetheart will be there waiting for me too.” Briefly, she told me about all the people she knew who had already gone to the other side whom she would soon meet again. As her blood pressure drifted downward and she got too tired to talk, I reclined her bed so she could rest easier. Occasionally, I would pat her hand. Less frequently, she would respond by nodding to let me know she was still there.
The room was quiet, and above her bed, a single light bulb shone. As she continued to grow weaker, I gave her permission to go. “You’ve lived a great life, Irene, and there is nothing left for you to accomplish here. You’ve been a faithful servant to the Lord and to your family, and so it is well for you to go.”
blink, but not long enough for me to really see it. Then it faded away. Irene hadn’t been connected to any monitors. And I looked around to see
Death was a feverish child reaching out, and Heaven was his mother’s cool embrace.
Her breathing changed. She would take a long, drawn-out breath, followed by a similar shorter breath, then a series of short, shallow breaths followed by an absence of breath, and then the abnormal breathing pattern would repeat. This is called CheyneStokes respiration. It’s a neurological term for a specific type of labored breathing followed by erratic quick breaths and then the absence of breath. It often signals that the end is near. I watched her struggle for air, and I could tell she didn’t have long. Several family members came in and said their good-byes, and then drifted back out to the waiting room where they held each other and cried. It took less than an hour before her body grew cooler, and her pulse stopped. She let out her last breath, a quiet exhale—the last breath is always out, never in. I watched her body relax. It was easy to see that life had drained from her. Alone in the room with Irene’s body, a warmth suddenly filled the room. It was like the warm breeze of spring when you open the door, and it catches your breath. The whole room seemed to respond to it. A brief glow appeared above and to the right of the patient’s body. It was longer than a
if I could find the source of the glow, but there was nothing else in the room that could have caused the illumination. A cool breeze interrupted my thoughts, and I felt it mix with the warmth. The best way I can describe it is to say it felt as if something were being gathered up and prepared for a journey. The once stagnant air of the room now smelled fresh. The room was filled with the lightest of scents. I inhaled deeply, and the fragrance of lilac and citrus seemed to fill me like it filled the room. The fragrance seemed vaguely familiar. I’ve smelled this before. With a flash of insight, it came to me. It was the same fresh scent I’d smelled in my dream in the mountains. With joy, I inhaled it again and closed my eyes, longing to be swept up in it. Instead, I felt the warmth pass by me and join with another warm sensation, like when two bodies enter a room and you can sense the heat from each one. I opened my eyes; I knew it was her soul carried on a fresh breeze slipping to the other side into the warmth of God’s presence. Death was a feverish child reaching out, and Heaven was his mother’s cool embrace. Heaven had arrived to carry Irene home.
(Continued on page 27) Jewish Voice Today
P E R S P E C T I V E | J a c k z i m m er m a n
What Happens When We Die?
A Jewish Viewpoint 12 JewishVoiceToday.org | November/December 2013
here’s a well-known joke in Jewish circles that focuses on the difficulty of coming to an agreement on almost any issue. The scene is the synagogue on Shabbat morning. The Rabbi has yet to arrive to begin the service, and the congregants have split into two factions regarding the question of whether a prayer shawl should be worn during services. When the Rabbi finally arrives, the first side says, “Rabbi, we believe that when you attend synagogue on Shabbat, you should wear your prayer shawl. What do you say about this?”
group that holds the opinion that once you die, your body simply goes into the ground and decays. This belief is based on Genesis 3:19—“for dust you are, and to dust you will return.”
acknowledge the existence of both of those places (see Genesis 24:3 and Deuteronomy 32:22), nowhere does the Bible use the merit system to warrant an Afterlife.
There’s certainly some truth to that— the body does decay. But what about the soul? Again, there are several prevailing Jewish views:
In fact, the Bible says just the opposite in Ephesians 2:8-9: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
The Rabbi thinks for a moment and replies, “No, that is not our tradition.” The answer encourages the other group, which promptly states, “Ah-ha, so the Rabbi believes as we do; when you come to synagogue on Shabbat, you should not wear your prayer shawl!”
The Rabbi answers, “No, that also is not our tradition.” At this point, both groups look at each other bewildered. One among them says, “Rabbi, if you don’t settle this issue for us, we’re going to be disputing each other and arguing about it for years to come.” The Rabbi looks at them, smiles, and says, “Now that is our tradition!” And that, my friends, is a good way to introduce you to the Jewish view of the Afterlife. Like the prayer shawl example, there are a number of differing views on this subject in Judaism, with no definitive answer. As an example, some Jewish People believe in Heaven and Hell, some believe in one or the other, and still others believe in neither of the two. It is this last
The Olam Ha Ba (“World to Come”) speaks of a physical place that resurrected souls will go to, following the return of the Messiah in the End of Days. All will be judged before God, and the dead who are found righteous will live on. Gehenna speaks of a place of punishment for those who led sinful lives while here on Earth. Despite this, the Rabbis say that if a person decided to engage in teshuvah (“turning away from their sin”) even as they were at the gates of Gehenna, they could still avoid this punishment. Gan Eden (“Garden of Eden”)— Following the Olam Ha Ba, this would be described as the eternal destination for the righteous. Ancient Rabbinic texts describe this as a place where all would be sitting at golden banquet tables, enjoying lavish meals, and celebrating the Sabbath.
Again, it’s important to note here that while Judaism does believe in the Afterlife, it also believes in the right of individuals to come up with their own opinions of what their life hereafter will be. The vast majority of Jewish People I’ve come to know use a merit system. If your good outweighs your bad, you end up in Heaven. If your bad outweighs your good, you end up in Hell.
I’ll close with a short analogy to explain why the merit system doesn’t work. Someone wants to cook you a five-egg omelet. They throw four good eggs in the pan, but the fifth one they toss in is rotten. Are you going to eat the omelet when it’s done? Not likely. Despite the fact that four of the eggs are good, the one bad egg ruins the whole thing. No way would you accept and eat that. So, if even the majority of our lives were lived righteously, if there’s even one little spot of sin, do you really think God would accept that? Should we really expect God to accept what we ourselves would not? Traditional Judaism does believe that the Afterlife is available to all. On that point, they are correct. It is our hope and desire that they will one day come to the realization that such availability is made possible not by merit, but by Messiah Yeshua. It is He and He alone who can remove our sin and bring us into the throne room before God for all eternity. Jack Zimmerman is Staff Evangelist at Jewish Voice and an ordained Messianic Jewish Rabbi. To invite Rabbi Jack to speak at your church, congregation, or event, please visit www.jewishvoice.org/speakers.
Now, while Torah does indeed Jewish Voice Today
wa s h i n g to n u p d ate | w i l l i a m k o e n i g
AIPAC LOBBY: FRIEND OR FOE?
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he American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)1 is a Jewish, well-funded political machine—one that is an extremely influential lobby for Israel. During the annual AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., it is not unusual to have twothirds of Congress attend the Monday night dinner that honors them. The members are individually recognized during the evening's activities to the 13,000-plus conference attendees. AIPAC has effectively done the Israeli government's bidding on Capitol Hill and the U.S. government's bidding with the Israeli government. AIPAC has been
• Not opposing the flawed peace process and the costly miscalculations that have put Israel into one of the worst situations ever in its 65-year history as a state. • Not calling for the peace process to be stopped when horrific suicide bombers were killing innocent Israelis and publicly honoring the "martyrs." • Not addressing the incitement inside of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) refugee camps and the hate indoctrination of Palestinian children. • Not addressing Palestinian corruption and the hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars
“I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land” (Joel 3:2). working with both sides for many years. AIPAC states publicly that it is committed to supporting the policies of the government of Israel, while its influence on the flip side has helped form Israel's political positions. AIPAC takes U.S. senators and congressional representatives to Israel every year, but not to Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem, and will not take a public stand on the strategic importance of Judea and Samaria so as not to conflict with the Israeli government. Unfortunately, this position—and its support of the two-state plan—has led to unrealistic and dangerous expectations of Israel by Arabs, Europeans, Russians, the Chinese, and the United States, and is leading Israel into great danger. AIPAC actions, inactions, and missed opportunities: • Not exposing, opposing, and stopping the false narrative of the Arabs of Palestine's right to Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem. • Not speaking of the reason the Arabs of Palestine 2 fled during the 1948 War of Independence, along with their mistreatment by the countries they live in today.
stolen by former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and his cronies. • Refusing to address the strategic importance of Judea and Samaria and not taking members of Congress to that area. • Supporting Israel in giving up the Golan Heights to Syria. • Supporting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Disengagement Plan and the eviction of 9,500 Jews from 24 communities in Gaza and the four communities in northern Samaria that has left behind a mini-terror state in Gaza and led to two short wars. • Refusing to invite any opponents of Ariel Sharon's Disengagement Plan to address the annual AIPAC Policy Conference—despite the fact that the Likud Party thoroughly rejected the plan, with the support of ministers in the Israeli government in 2004. • Not addressing the dislocation of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria—and those who are still not settled or employed. • Actively backing the two-state plan along with Shimon Peres and endorsing it at the annual AIPAC conferences, stating it was official Israeli government
(Continued on page 28) Jewish Voice Today
P E R S P E C T I V E | D E AN B R A X TON
Dean Braxton went to a Tacoma, Washington hospital for a routine procedure to remove kidney stones. He was slated for day surgeryâ€”in and out, just like before. But there was nothing routine about this particular surgery. Not only did he have a very serious kidney infection that caused complications before surgery, but he actually died on the operating table. While medical staff diligently administered CPR for one hour and forty-five minutes trying to revive him, Dean says he went to Heaven. The following is part of what he experienced.
hen they first took the breathing tube out of my mouth, I looked up at the person who was sitting by my bed and singing a song about Jesus, a friend of mine I had just met in February of that same year named Anthony. His job at the hospital was to help with the breathing machines. He and his wife, Monique, had become good friends of ours. So, when I 16 JewishVoiceToday.org | November/December 2013
took that first big breath, it was like coming out of water. I knew I had died, and I looked at Anthony and said, “You know, Anthony! You know I have seen Jesus! You need to go tell Monique and your church. You do not have to hope there is a Jesus. He is real. And you know I have seen Him!” All I could hear him say in a deep voice was, “Yeah.” I saw a big smile on his face, with maybe a tear or two, every time I repeated myself. “I saw Jesus!” I told him over and over.
Something Must Have Really Gone Wrong!
Later, my family came in. I had, up until that time, not really known what happened to me that caused me to die. So, when I saw my parents come through the curtain in ICU, I said to myself, “Something must have really gone wrong,” because I knew that they did not call family in unless you were dying or had died. My parents live in a little town called Atwater in California, and I had remembered they were out of town visiting my mother’s sister in Texas. I knew they had come a long way to see me. So when they came through those curtains, I knew I had been in big trouble. Now when my oldest brother came through those curtains, I knew something had really gone wrong! He also lived in California. My mother came to the left side of the bed, my dad stopped at the foot, and my brother came to the right side of the bed. I looked at my mother and said, “Mom, I have seen Jesus three times, and the first time He said, No, it is not your time. Go back. I was really excited. I said to her, “Jesus said the second time, No, it is not your time. Go Back. Then I said to my mother, “Jesus said to me a third time, NO, IT IS NOT YOUR TIME. GO BACK! and I told them I cried. I also had a word for each of them from Jesus. I cannot tell you what He said to tell them.
Jesus is Bright
What did Jesus look like? Jesus is bright—brighter than our sun on a hot, sunny noonday and yet you can look at Him. It seemed to me if you were not RIGHT with Him, you would be burned up by this brightness. But those who are RIGHT with Him could look at Him and have perfect joy. But I knew that if you were not RIGHT with Him, then terror was what you would experience. You had to look at Him with a pure heart. I have to say it was more than peace.
I first saw His feet. They were just like John’s description in Revelation 1:15. The feet did look like metal, gold, silver, tin and many colors of metals, but the light around them really gave off the shine of fine brass. I knew this was the glory of Jesus. He still had the wounds from where the nails pierced His feet. But what really got me was the love His feet showed me. He loved me so much that I did not have to look at His face to experience the love He has for me. I did not have to see another part of Jesus to know how much He loves me. If all I saw were His feet, I knew He loved me. It was not only that He loves me, but it was like I was the only one He loved in all of His creation. I like to tell others, His feet loved me.
From that point, I looked at His hands and experienced the same love. Yes, you can see the nail piercings that took place in His hands. But again, it was the love that was coming out of them to me that expressed His love for me. If I was to only have seen His hands and not another part of Him, I would have known how much He loves me.
Just like the Bible says in 1 John 4:7, God is love. As I looked at other parts of His body, I experienced over and over again the love of Jesus just for me, coming from all those different body parts. His body could only express His love for me. I saw what His body went through just for me. I saw what it cost for me to be there and have a relationship with God Almighty. I did not know before this happened how much it cost in pain to His physical body for us to have a relationship with God. But He still bears the scars of what He suffered for us. This is best
(Continued on page 29) Jewish Voice Today
i s r a e l u p d at e | c a r r i e h a r t
high-level U.S. defense official and two American generals visited Israel in July/August 2013, on the heels of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were resuming. Two large contingencies of Democrat and Republican congressional members also visited during that time. They assured Israel that the United States was supportive in Israel’s quest for peace and security. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said: “Our ally Israel needs strong American leadership right now. I believe that in the process of going forward with the peace talks, or whatever else may occur here, the security of Israel is paramount. This issue of putting Israel’s security first is not just a Republican issue; it is a bi-partisan issue.” There has been increased strategic cooperation between Israel and the United States, but they don’t always see eye to eye. Both countries are looking out for their own geo-political Republican House Majority Leader interests. Continued Eric Cantor coordination between top Photo by Carrie Hart. diplomatic and military officials shows the concern both states have in regard to Middle East regional instability. These allies are determined to build on their commonalities. Yet, there is also the potential for divergence on crucial issues:
Both countries agree that Iran must not obtain nuclear capability. But, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has drawn his red line threatening military action if Iran crosses it, U.S. President Barack Obama is still intent on a diplomatic solution. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has taken his time putting his new government together, and the ruling mullahs have been in no hurry to reach a consensus with
18 JewishVoiceToday.org | November/December 2013
U.S.-ISR RELA IN THE
TURBU MIDDLE the West on the nuclear issue. Meanwhile, Iran is spinning more and more centrifuges toward its quest for a nuclear bomb. Reportedly, America’s generals are worried that Israel might take unilateral action against Iran. Netanyahu’s foremost consideration is the security of Israel, and with Iran threatening to destroy the Jewish State, he continues to prepare for military action, with or without U.S. approval.
After Egypt’s military overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsi, Western nations took an unpopular decision in direct opposition to their Arab allies and Israel. President Obama and the Europeans were intent on finding a political solution that included Muslim Brotherhood involvement in Egypt’s interim military government, ruled by General Abdel Fattah alSisi. But, instead, Sisi cracked down on the Brotherhood, killing violent pro-Morsi protestors and arresting its leadership. Saudi Arabia and Gulf States (except Qatar) have been opposed to the spread of political Islam through the Brotherhood, which threatens their monarchies.
Jerusalem leaders let the United States know they were encouraged that Sisi had taken power and suppressed the Brotherhood. Sisi had already proven, through his leadership in former President Hosni Mubarak’s government, that he was willing to protect the EgyptianIsraeli peace treaty. Morsi, on the other hand, refused to meet with any Israeli official during his year in office, and often used anti-Semitic slurs when referring to the Jewish People.
BULENT EAST UN Disengagement Peace Keeping Force (UNDORF) headquarters on the Israeli-Syrian border. UNDORF guards the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria. In this photo you can see both the UNDORF headquarters and the Syran town of Quintera in the distance. Photo by Carrie Hart.
While moderate Arab States are now pumping billions of dollars into Egypt’s economy, the United States has been considering its future aid packages to Egypt. Israel remains concerned that the United States is losing its leverage in Egypt because of Obama’s perceived pro-Brotherhood stance and America’s questionable future economic support.
Assad’s alleged chemical attacks on his own population have been of great concern to Israel and the West. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) has also observed the growing presence of radical jihadists operating on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Israel has, reportedly, bombed Syrian munitions factories and arms depots and will continue to take action to guarantee that advanced weapons and chemicals are: (a) not used against the Jewish State; (b) not transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon; and (c) not obtained by Sunni rebels who are fighting Assad’s forces. Israel will also take action against terrorists launching missiles from Lebanon, in order to retain its strong deterrence. The IDF remains on high alert in the north. The feeling in Israel is that the West has not done enough to clamp down on Assad’s forces during Syria’s bloody two-year civil war. Obama’s success depends on how well he can convince the American people that in weakening Assad’s rule, the United States is not directly or indirectly aiding Al-Qaida rebels mixed in with opposition forces. For Israel, the first and foremost priority is for Iran to be weakened through an Assad defeat in Syria. This would also weaken Hezbollah and Shiite power in the region.
U.S. and Israeli officials have discussed solutions to stop lawlessness in Egypt’s Sinai. They have welcomed Egypt’s crackdown on jihadists operating on the Peninsula. When Islamic extremists launched rockets from the Sinai into Eilat in August, Israel responded with the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. This summer, a drone which, allegedly, operated from Israeli territory, shot and killed several Al-Qaida operatives in the Sinai who were planning a missile attack. The IDF is succeeding in defending the southern border, but is also aware that radicals want a confrontation between Israel and Egypt. Israel does not want to invade Egyptian territory and will continue to rely on Sisi’s government to stop terrorist activity in the Sinai.
As peace negotiations roll on, the primary focus in the Middle East does not seem to be Israeli-Palestinian peace, but preventing the region from boiling over into a larger regional war. Carrie Hart is an accredited Jerusalem-based news analyst, correspondent, and still photographer. She reports for Jewish Voice on current topics affecting Israel and the nations. Carrie has worked in broadcast and print media since 1981. She has resided in Israel for nearly two decades interviewing top Israeli and global leaders, cultivating a perspective on political, diplomatic, and military issues in the Middle East.
Jewish Voice Today
j e w i s h h o l i d ay | k e v i n g e o f f r e y
Have We Missed the Meaning?
20 JewishVoiceToday.org | November/December 2013
“And the dedication ( hK'nUx] Chanukah) in Jerusalem came, and it was winter…”
hese days, it’s the Jewish version of Christmas— parties, lights, family, food, gifts, and fairy tales. Like its companion Christian holiday, hK'nUx] , Chanukah is often celebrated with great exuberance and joy, but with little attention to the “reason for the season.” At the heart of Chanukah is a story that we cannot afford to miss — a story of assimilation, oppression, conviction, self-sacrifice, and victory, but above all . . . dedication. Less than two centuries before Yeshua, the Jewish People entered willfully into a time of great assimilation away from God. As oppression came upon Israel, a remnant with the conviction to stand for God revolted against their oppressors and victoriously reclaimed that which had been defiled. The crowning moment of the rebellion was the rededication of the Temple, from which we get the name for the holiday, Chanukah, meaning “dedication.” Though the holiday is not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, the word Chanukah appears several times, always in reference to the
(John 10:22, YLT)
we find in the often-quoted proverb, “Train up (%n:x,' chanak) a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6, NAS). The dedication of the holy things of God and the dedication of our children are done with the same purpose: to make them ready for service and solely devoted to the One to whom they have been dedicated. As followers of Yeshua, how much more should we dedicate ourselves to the service of our Master? How can we expect to walk in the ways of holiness if we are not completely dedicated to God? What hope can we have of saving the lost if we are less than fully devoted to the One to whom we owe our entire lives? Where is the fruit in our lives? Where is the victory? It lies in the chasm of self-gratification and self-salvation, which separates us from our dedication to Messiah. Like the Jews of old, we complacently and joyfully assimilate into the ways of the world, rather than resist those who would defile the holy things. When will we rise up, like the self-sacrificing freedom fighters of the Chanukah
up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” (Luke 9:23-24, NAS). The remnant of Jewish Chanukah rebels did not simply fight for a cause they believed in—they fought because the only other option was to willfully assist in the defilement of the one true God. How much more should we as disciples of Messiah dedicate ourselves to the Master’s service—by life . . . or by death (Philippians 1:20)? Indeed, when we dedicate ourselves completely to God, we have nothing to lose but ourselves. Either way we choose, we’re going to lose—the question is, whose life does it cost less to live? Ours, or His? Kevin Geoffrey is the principal laborer of Perfect Word Ministries, a Messianic Jewish equipping ministry. Visit Perfect Word online at www.PerfectWordMinistries.org.
The real story of chanukah
dedication of the altar, the Temple, or the wall around Jerusalem. The word Chanukah comes from %n:x,' chanak, which means “to train up” or “dedicate.” This is the same word that
story, and dedicate ourselves only to the ways of God? Yeshua said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take
What if Chanukah is more than just candles and presents? What if the real story is actually a rallying cry for the Jewish People, and a graphic exhortation to all who have dedicated their lives to serve the Messiah Yeshua? Find out in Kevin Geoffrey’s The Real Story of Chanukah: Dedicated to the Death.
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Begins Sundown November 27, 2013
Chanukah: Feast of Dedication
How does Chanukah relate to Christmas? What should Believers today know about this often misunderstood Jewish holiday? In this powerful teaching, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis answers these questions and explains the origins and meaning behind the celebration of Chanukah.
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Chanukiah and Chanukah Booklet
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Is Peace Possible? This insightful commentary by Rabbi Jonathan Bernis combines historical, biblical, and prophetic teaching to help Believers understand what is going on and how to respond to these events.
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u p f r o n t | J o n at h a n b e r n i s
Thoughts on the Afterlife:
Have you ever had a vision of Heaven? Please describe what you saw.
Although I have experienced a profound sense of God’s presence in prayer and had glimpses of the heavenly realm, I cannot honestly say that I have had what I would classify as a biblical vision of Heaven. I’ve met many people who have had Afterlife experiences and I believe those experiences are credible, but I personally am still waiting.
What did you learn about the Afterlife as a young Jewish man?
From the age of six when my grandfather passed away suddenly, I always had a deep interest in what happens after we die. From my earliest childhood memories, I always believed that there must be more to this life. I remember going to the rabbi when I was perhaps ten or eleven years old, and asking him what happens after we die. He replied, with a long, profound answer that we are climbing a mountain and don’t know what’s on the other side, because we’re still below the tree line. God, however, sits at the top of the mountain and knows 24 JewishVoiceToday.org | November/December 2013
what’s on the other side. Although profound, I was more confused after I left the rabbi’s study than before. Years later, I realized the rabbi had no idea whatsoever what happens after we die, but he was the rabbi, and rabbis never say, “I don’t know.” There are a myriad of different views within Judaism, ranging from atheism to a belief in the Afterlife to reincarnation. We have a funny saying that when you ask two Jews a question, you get three opinions! And that could not be truer regarding the question of life after death.
What are the typical responses Jewish rabbis have about the Afterlife?
Again, Judaism is not monolithic, and there is no one answer. Even in New Testament times there was disagreement among the Sadducees and Pharisees over this very issue. As I said earlier, the rabbinic views range from atheism to a fervent belief in eternal life and the age to come.
How does what a typical Jewish rabbi believes about the Afterlife differ from a Christian pastor’s viewpoint?
This is not an easy question to answer, because there are so many different beliefs among various rabbis and pastors. This is overly simplistic perhaps, but there tends to be more ambiguity within the Jewish community on this issue while Christian pastors, for the most part, would believe in the New Testament, which paints a clear picture of a literal Heaven (a place of complete peace and joy where we see God face to face and know as we are known), and the reality of Hell (which I understand to be absolute and total separation from God for eternity).
The other, found in the New Testament, is the story of the rich man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31. Here we have a picture of Sheol (the grave), but with a clear revelation that there is a division of Sheol into two areas: Abraham’s bosom or a holding place for the righteous, and what I believe is referred to in Hebrew as Gehenna, “a place of suffering and separation from God.” Although they can both see one another, these two compartments are very, very different. Every time I read this story, it makes me want to share with as many people as I possibly can about the Lord!
Q & A with Jonathan Bernis 5.
What are the differences in what an Orthodox rabbi believes about the Afterlife and what a Messianic rabbi believes about it?
For the most part the Old Testament and rabbinic literature is quite vague about the Afterlife. The most common Hebraic understanding of the Afterlife is summed up in Sheol, which is translated “the grave.” There is ambiguity about what lies beyond until we come to the New Testament. A Messianic rabbi would embrace the very specific teachings found in the New Testament, which teach a literal Heaven and Hell.
What verses in Scripture do you use to tell others about the Afterlife?
The only thing that determines where a person will end up is the decision they make in this life to receive God’s free gift of eternal life found in Jesus, the Messiah.
How essential is a correct view of the Afterlife for those who have made Yeshua their Messiah?
I believe it is absolutely essential, because a belief in not only Heaven, but Hell, should motivate all of us to do whatever is necessary to proclaim the Gospel to anyone who will hear. My conviction is that there is only way to eternal life and that is through accepting Yeshua as Lord and Redeemer. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. A correct understanding of the Afterlife is essential to fully understanding what God has redeemed us from through His Son.
I have two favorite verses that deal with the Afterlife—one in the Old Testament and one in the New. The first is found in Daniel 12:2, where we read that Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. I don’t know of a clearer verse in the Old Testament that reveals the reality of an everlasting state of existence in one of two realms. Jewish Voice Today
coming spring 2014!
A RabbI Looks at the
A New Look at Heaven and Hell with Stories of People Who’ve Been There
(Continued from page 9) She goes, “What?” “I just met the Son of God; I just met the Savior!” I am preaching now. I am calling Revelation. I am calling John. “‘I am the way, the truth, the life.’ This is the Son of God. His light will cover the earth.” I am just saying things I never read or heard, but they left a mark in my heart. I felt like Someone did surgery on me. In the presence of God, I felt like here is me with all of my mess, and here is the clean Khalida. It’s like Somebody went and did something to my heart, opened it up, cleaned it up, sponged it with soap and water—I don’t know how to even describe it—and then put it back in me. And I just came to Earth with this revelation of who Yeshua is. I just knew that is the Savior, that is the Son of God. He is the Anointed One and nobody else. Born in Bethlehem during the 1967 Six Day War, Khalida Wukawitz quickly became an orphan. Even though she was of Palestinian descent, Khalida was placed in a Jewish orphanage, where she lived until the age of 9. One day, after a massive explosion killed everyone in that orphanage, Khalida was found by an Israeli and was literally sold into slavery for five shekels to a Bedouin family who were devout Muslims.
The Afterlife has become a hot topic in recent years, partly because spiritual activity is increasing exponentially before the Messiah’s return. That’s why you need to learn how to rightly discern spiritual truth. In his new book, Jonathan Bernis provides solid Messianic biblical teaching on Heaven and Hell … this book is different from anything else out there because it goes into the ancient rabbinic views on Heaven and Hell. It examines what the Bible says and it includes eyewitness accounts from those who have actually travelled beyond the veil. BOOK | ORDER #9125| $40.00 GIFT signed copy | BOOK | ORDER #9126| $100.00 GIFT 26 JewishVoiceToday.org | November/December 2013
Read more about Khalida’s amazing story about how she was able to turn from Islam to belief in Yeshua in 10 Amazing Muslims Touched by God by Faisal Malick. http://www.amazingmuslims.com
10 amazing muslims touched by god
Ten Amazing Muslims is a compilation of stories about how God chose to reveal Himself to this vast demographic—from Jihadists to peaceful leaders and humble Bedouins to intellectuals—in extraordinarily supernatural ways.
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(Continued from page 11) moment she crossed over. I looked at my watch and made a notation as to the time of death. Then I went out to tell her relatives. Many people want to shy away from the word death, and instead use terms like “She’s passed,” or “She’s gone on.” As a doctor, I just tried to read the family and see where they were emotionally—whether they wanted frank words or something softer. On this night, I didn’t have to use any words. When I got to the waiting room, they looked at me and burst into tears. They already knew, and I didn’t have to say anything more than “I’m sorry.” And I was. I knew the pain they were feeling. Irene had been an integral part of their family up until the day she died. I put my arm around her eldest daughter and said, “If there is anything I can do . . .” But I knew there probably wasn’t. As soon as a doctor informs the family that their loved one has died, they stop listening, and no condolences can help at that point. They’re involved in their own sorrow and mourning. Irene was my patient—one of my first patients—and my favorite. She was also my first patient to die. On the night of her death, I got to feel God’s presence during the precise
I would say that it was a coincidence that I was the one who happened to be on call that night, but I no longer believe in coincidences. God had me there for a reason. Excerpted from Appointments with Heaven: The True Story of a Country Doctor’s Healing Encounters with the Hereafter. Copyright © 2013 by Dr. Reggie Anderson. Tyndale Momentum, an imprint of Tyndale House Publishers.
Dr. Reggie Anderson has practiced family medicine for more than 25 years and recently was awarded The Frist Humanitarian Award by the Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. A graduate of the University of Alabama Medical School, Reggie is a physician with the Frist Clinic. He also serves as chief of staff of TriStar Ashland City Medical Center, as well as medical director of three nursing homes. Reggie and his wife, Karen, have four adult children and reside on a farm in Kingston Springs.
APPOINTMENTS WITH HEAVEN
When Dr. Reggie Anderson is present at the bedside of a dying patient, he can experience what they feel and see as they cross over. Join Reggie as he reveals how what he's experienced has shaped what he believes about living and dying; how we can face the passing of our loved ones with confidence; and how we can each prepare our own "appointments with heaven." Book | Gift of $18.00 #9137 Jewish Voice Today
(Continued from page 15) policy when, in fact, AIPAC had a lot to do with the promotion of the two-state plan in Israel. • Helping fund, strategize, and manage Barack Obama's successful 2008 presidential campaign. The former president of AIPAC, Lee "Rosie" Rosenberg, was the national finance cochairman of the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and one of his Middle East advisors. Alan Solow, another Obama funder, became the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. • At AIPAC's annual policy conference on May 19, 2011, Obama called on Israel to go back to the 1967 borders with agreedto land swaps. The leadership said nothing in response. • AIPAC had a major influence on the Republican Party accepting the two-state policy in 2012. The Republican National Committee 3 voted in favor of the one-state resolution in January 2012 in a meeting in New Orleans. • But in late August 2012, Congressman Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and AIPAC totally disregarded the plan and pressured the Republican National Committee to add the twostate solution to the Republican Platform for the 2012 Republican Convention in order to be in step with the Netanyahu government's two-state position. • In June, AIPAC's president gave John Kerry's diplomacy a reportedly "hearty" endorsement 4 in a meeting with U.S. senators— and, furthermore, AIPAC was in the room 5 when Kerry and 28 JewishVoiceToday.org | November/December 2013
Martin Indyk briefed American Jewish leaders on their progress— also on Thursday, Aug. 8. • Last but certainly not least, AIPAC does not place any value on Israel's biblical right or claim to the Land of Israel. The idea of giving Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem for an Arab state does not matter to them. 1. American Israel Public Affairs Committee website, http://www.aipac.org/. 2. “Most Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the Muslim migrants who came to that area between 1845 -1947 from many Middle Eastern countries,” says Yoram Ettinger. “Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire and by the British Mandate (which defeated the Ottomans in 1917) for infrastructure projects.” When the Jordanians and Egyptians controlled the West Bank area and the Gaza Strip from 1948 -1967, there were no people known as “Palestinians.” Yasser Arafat formed The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964. 3. Mitchell Plitnick, “GOP Officially Endorses One-State Solution,” http://mitchellplitnick. com/2012/01/19/gop-officially-endorses-onestate-solution/. 4. “AIPAC, Other Pro-Israel Leaders at Senate Meet Laud Kerry Initiative,” JTA, June 26, 2013, http://www.jta.org/2013/06/26/newsopinion/politics/aipac-others-commend-kerryinitiative-in-senate-meet. 5. “Kerry Briefs Jewish Leaders on Peace Talks,” JTA, August 8, 2013, http://www.jta. org/2013/08/08/news-opinion/united-states/ kerry-briefs-jewish-leaders-on-peace-talks.
William Koenig is the director of “Koenig International News” (http://watch.org), an Internet news service with readers and e-mail subscribers in 50 states and 105 countries, and has been a White House correspondent since January 2001. Koenig publishes an online weekly news report called “Koenig’s Eye View from the White House” that focuses on biblically relevant world news and White House news from a Christian perspective. He has authored Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel, which is in its 14th printing, and published the book in Hebrew.
(Continued from page 17) described in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 52:14-15 Just as many were astonished at you (Jesus), so His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men; So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider. His body showed me why we have the right to have a relationship with God. Why we who know Jesus as Lord and Savior have the right to live forever with God. Why we have the right to be in heaven and not in hell. Now, don’t take this wrong. Jesus is more beautiful, wonderful, and glorious than I can explain. You stop looking at Him with eyes, but from the heart. You get to see Him as He is, but it is from your heart. I came to understand that He advocates for us with His whole being. 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Yeshua HaMashiach [Jesus Christ] the righteous.
I was on my hands and knees and I looked into His face. How do I tell you what His face looks like? His face was as if it were liquid crystal glass made up of pure love, light, and life. I am not saying His face is that, but what it looked like to me. His face seemed to change shapes a number of times as I looked at Him. Jesus did have a face just like most humans, but it was changing into different humanlike faces. Not big changes but every time I looked at Him it seemed to change.
same time in His face. It has been hard to explain Heaven in English. I know how John and others felt trying to put this into human words. It was His face and all the colors in His face that were changing all the time and they were bright. They were also part of Jesus and yet they would leave His being, and the colors were alive. They came out and off of Him as the waves of the ocean coming onto the shore. I was seeing the colors and I was part of the colors. I was in the colors, and the colors were coming out of me. I was seeing Jesus, and I was a part of Jesus. I was in Jesus, and Jesus was shining out of me. I would see the brightness all around me. I was part of the brightness, and the brightness was shining out of me. All of it was life. So what color is Jesus? He is bright. He is not a color as we know colors. At the time I was looking at His face, I did not look at any other part of Him. I just wanted to praise Him. I knew that is what you did when you see Him. I wanted to praise Him forever. All Scripture references taken from the New King James Version. Excerpt taken from In Heaven! Experiencing the Throne of God. Copyright © 2013 by Dean Braxton. Used by permission.
Dean Braxton and his wife, Marilyn, have been in ministry for more than 15 years. For the past three years, the Braxtons have been sharing their testimony of how Dean died and was miraculously prayed back to life. Their experience has given much life and hope, along with a great sense of how much God loves each of us. The Braxtons have been married for 25 years and have six children.
In Heaven! Experiencing the Throne of God
Dean Braxton’s personal experience of what happened to him when he went in for a routine kidney stone surgery, died because of a massive infection that stopped his heart, went to Heaven to meet Jesus, and came back to life about 1 hour and 45 minutes later completely healed of 29 medical conditions.
Book | Gift of $20.00 #9134
I know inside of me that this change was very important. I just at this time do not have the words to tell what it really means. His face had the colors of the rainbow and colors I cannot describe inside it. All these colors appeared at the Jewish Voice Today
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Published on Sep 30, 2013
In this edition of Jewish Voice Today, we share real stories of those who have touched Heaven, whether by a partial glimpse, a full vision,...