Tag Archives: Gospel

A Very Special Gift!

“The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.”                                                                                                                                                                (James 5:7b)


This year 2020, Towards Excellence celebrated 7 years of service to the global community. Our purpose has been to bring a word of deep reflection to the lives of each of our readers. A word that penetrates their hearts and transforms lives so that they produce fruits of excellence and abundant fruits.

In appreciation to our readers, we want to share with you the brochure “Seek the Kingdom of God” for free.

We are convinced that this special gift has the power to bring a new perspective in your life and in the lives of those with whom you want to share it freely.

We live in difficult times, of great tension, fear and even hopelessness. The pandemic and other related factors have disrupted human life. But, there is hope in the midst of uncertainty! It is possible to see the light in the middle of the darkness! On the road to damnation, we can be rescued and saved!

Totally free, download Seek the Kingdom of God.”

Your salvation is just around the corner, do not waste this opportunity! Don’t waste this special treat!

Missions: Reaching out the World from Where You Are!

“This text [Acts 1:8] actually says that the thrust of mission is where people are they should have access to the Gospel.”

                                                                        Dr. Terry Casiño
TerryCasino-photo1Dr. Terry Casiño was born in the Philippines. He is a theologian, missiologist, educator, missions strategist, and catalyst for global diaspora missiology. He earned his Doctor of Theology (Systematic Theology & Philosophy of Religion) from Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary in the Philippines and Doctor of Philosophy (Missiology & Contextualization) from ACTS, the international graduate school of Asia United Theological University in South Korea.

An international scholar, Dr. Casiño’s works have been published in the UK, South Korea, the Philippines, North America, India, and Australia.

He has served invariably as a minister, lecturer, conference speaker, missions consultant, or researcher across Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and Latin America.


The following is an excerpt of the Asomavisión TV interview with Dr. Terry Casiño. Courtesy of “De Sobremesa TV Program” and Pastor Pablo Gutiérrez, Producer / Interviewer [Quito, Ecuador].


What are your first thoughts about this biblical text (Acts 1:8)?

Acts 1:8 actually is very central to our theology of missions as Church. Because it was a text that was given to the disciples before Jesus ascended to heaven. And Jesus laid out a plan on how to change the world and how to spread the Gospel, using this text.

There are two things that I would like to share about this text.

The first is the scope of missions.

And Jesus said that it started in Jerusalem, then Judea and Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth. So, mission in this particular text is basically universal. But this text does not talk about priority of mission.

Sometimes we think of Acts 1:8 as something that refers to priority in mission, but this text is not about priority. This text is about mission strategy.

In the original language, the word “ἔν τε” (en te) “both” in English, is crucial for understanding of this strategy. Because it actually says, “beginning both in Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria.” So, the word “en te” is so important. It means simultaneous activities in Jerusalem and other parts of the world.

The second important thing about this text is the thrust of mission, the emphasis of mission.

Some church leaders, for example, would teach that for Acts 1:8 to be fulfilled, then we need to start this from Jerusalem and then move to Judea, and then move to Samaria and then to the uttermost parts of the Earth. But this text actually says that the thrust of mission is where people are they should have access to the Gospel.

In other words, it does not guarantee that if our Jerusalem Church is big that our vision for other nations will be big. Because when our Jerusalem Ministry sometimes gets bigger we get stuck within our Jerusalem and then we forget the other nations, the other people groups.

So, what this text is all about is very simple. That souls or individuals in Jerusalem are equally important with those who are outside Jerusalem, vice versa.

Why to begin in Jerusalem?

Well, Jerusalem is the hub for all this missionary work. Because if everyone goes out of Jerusalem, then there will be no one to support those who are going out.

So, there has to be a strong integration between ecclesiology -the doctrine of the Church-, as well as missiology, which is really the study and the practice of missional work.

And if I add one more…
The text says Jerusalem and all these geographical locations, right?

That is like linear… going in one direction. But today the nations have come to Jerusalem. They’re here in Quito [Ecuador]. The nations are here!

And because not every believer in Ecuador can go to the nations, so God sent the nations here. Then, it is important that we recognize the presence of the nations here, so that we can fulfill Acts 1:8.

You have done missions work in several parts of the world like Asia, Africa and in America, but let me ask you, what motivated you to get involved in missions?

I never thought of becoming an overseas missionary. Because I thought Filipinos, you know, are enough

Pastor Pablo Gutierrez interviews Dr. Terry Casiño. Translated by Cecilia Yepez [Asomavisión]

Pastor Pablo Gutierrez interviews Dr. Terry Casiño. Translated by Cecilia Yepez [De Sobremesa – Asomavisión]

for me. Plus Philippines is beautiful! Just like Ecuador!

But when I was 20 years old I attended a mission’s conference. And I was a very young pastor. It never done on me that there are people who need the Gospel outside my country.

It also never done on me that there are people who need the Gospel outside my own cultural community. But then God sent me to the mountain areas. So I served as a tribal missionary for some years.

So, I started with a tribal group and then God sent me to Japan in 1988. Then God sent me to South Korea in 1992. Then after that, you know 50 other countries more.

But the motivation is basically based on what I saw, you know, outside of my own community.

The hunger for meaning, the hunger for truth. The hunger for something deeper, although they’re professionals, although they’re medical doctors, or lawyers, or engineers, there’s this hunger for truth in their lives.

I’m so much interested in people moving from one place to another. We call it diaspora missions. There are one billion diaspora people in the world!

When you talk about missional diaspora, you are referring to people in general moving to different places for several reasons; you are not actually referring to people involved in missions, i.e. missionaries who are sent off and are financially supported. Could you explain more about that?

Well, the missionaries are part of the global diaspora. All kinds of people who move from one place to another are under diaspora.

There are almost 250 million international diaspora. And there are more than 700 million internal diaspora. Like in Ecuador, in South America, especially in Colombia, there are internal diasporas. People moving from one place to another because of so many factors.

In fact, Colombia has 15% of all these diasporas alone, internal diaspora. And there’re so many diasporas in Lima and also in Brazil, all kinds of parts of the world, especially Europe now.

So, one of my interests is this.
If I cannot go, for example to Peru to reach out to the Peruvians. I reach out to the Peruvians in Charlotte area [North Carolina].

So for example, if an Ecuadorian church cannot go to India. Then that church can reach out to the Indians here [in Ecuador].

Because diaspora means from everywhere to everywhere.

Thinking out loud, from mission perspective, one needs to train the workers who will travel overseas. It is also needed to raise funds and to take care of their emotional area. And this

Dr. Terry Casiño, during one of his conferences in Quito, Ecuador

Dr. Terry Casiño, during one of his conferences in Quito, Ecuador

process usually takes several years of preparation. Based on the Biblical Text (Acts 1:8) and on what you have mentioned on Missional Diaspora, we should not stop going into the world but we should also prioritize the outreach of those who are already in our nations. Is it so?

Exactly, we’re talking about strategy, not priority. Because it doesn’t make sense spending so much money going overseas and not being able to reach out to those people whom we are trying to reach overseas and they’re already here.

And we would always send missionaries overseas. We should! But we should also be good stewards of the funds and resources that God has given us as a church.

Just to give you an example, there are 30 million Chinese tourists at the western side of Europe every summer. And we spend so much money trying to teach our missionaries Chinese language or you know, training them in their culture. And yet, there are 30 million of them right there every summer.

It’s a mission’s strategy!

Your final words for our audience!

Well, it’s very simple. Know that the love of God and the forgiveness of God are offered to everyone.

If you are a child of God, God has called you to serve Him as a missionary. And you should fulfill that mandate.

And if you are still seeking for truth, and if you are not very sure about your salvation, come to Christ! Because Christ is the Salvation for this world. Not your works. But Christ’s grace!

God bless!

Is the Collapse of Global Society accelerating? Any Hope?

“No society can sustain itself without a belief in absolute values, because then the law of the jungle will prevail…”


Dr. Miguel Núñez

Dr. Miguel Núñez

Dr. Miguel Núñez

Dr. Miguel Núñez (MD, Th. M., D.Min.) is the senior pastor of the International Baptist Church (IBI) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He is also the founder and president of “Integridad y Sabiduría” (the Integrity and Wisdom Ministry) which has the vision of awakening Latin America to God’s truth.

He is the author of two books: “Jesús, el hombre que desafió al mundo y confronta tu vida” (Jesus, the Man that Challenged the World and Confronts Your Life) and “Una Iglesia Conforme al Corazón de Dios” (A Church After God’s Own Heart). He is also the co-author of the book “Seguirazgo” (Followship), which deals with leadership.

He is the TV co-host of “Respuestas: Verdades Absolutas para un Mundo Relativo” (Answers: Absolute Truths for a Relative World), a program transmitted throughout all of Latin America and some other countries as well.

Dr. Núñez practiced medicine as a physician in the area of internal medicine and infectious diseases in the United States for 15 years (1982-1997), and he was a clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

In addition to pastoring the church, he serves as a teacher and an apologist, and he is also a frequent guest speaker in all of Latin America and the United States. He has been married to Dr. Catherine Scheraldi, a practicing physician, for more than 30 years.


First of all, Dr. Nuñez, I’d like you to talk about the current times our global society is experiencing in terms of spirituality, although we realize that it bears an influence on all the other areas of a given society.

I believe society is in the midst of a crisis –a crisis of values, integrity and leadership. That’s one way to see it. On the other hand, we also know that Europe and North America are facing a time that has been called the post-Christian era. I don’t think Latin America is actually there, but it is obviously being influenced by the winds of post-Christian societies.

A post-Christian society is where Christian values have no significance at all. They play a very small role and have slight influence. Latin America is experiencing a different moment now, because God is definitely moving here. Actually, God is moving in what is called the “Global South:” Latin America, Africa and Asia. Something new is happening. The Reformed Theology that changed the face of Europe during the time of Martin Luther’s Reformation never really reached Latin America. Even five hundred years after this event which will be in 2017, the Reformation hasn’t been seen in our continent. However, such values have started to blossom and be embraced by a younger generation of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who are proclaiming the Gospel, and that gives me hope. It’s like Latin America is being bathed by two winds: the wind of secularism and post-Christian societies and a new wind of evangelization coming from more mature movements based on a more solid doctrine than what we have seen here so far.

A few weeks ago, you mentioned at a conference that the United States and Europe are experiencing a society that is post-Western, postmodern and post-Christian. But what is happening now with Africa and Asia, and yes, Latin America? Although, you have already mentioned briefly about it.

Well, when we think about this kind of post-Christian society, like I briefly mentioned in the previous question, we’re talking about societies that were greatly impacted by Christianity and were developed based on Judeo-Christian values. But today, those same values have been removed from society, and now people prefer identifying themselves with secularism which has no identity with God, much less with the God of the Bible. So we see what has happened in Europe where churches have been slowly dying off, and the United States is experiencing something similar. Statistics for the year 2050 for the United States and Canada are not at all encouraging for the Christian movement and its membership.

Africa, Asia and Latin America have been influenced by Christianity, but because of the immaturity of the Church, the Church has made huge mistakes and has diluted the Gospel to the point that during the last 20 years, the most popular gospel has been the prosperity gospel which is not in accord with the biblical gospel.

However, I believe that things are starting to take a right turn now. We’re not even half way there yet, but there are a group of people who experienced that approach and departed from it. They came away empty and now they’re looking for the true Gospel and are going to churches that preach a sound doctrine. And this same phenomenon is taking place in Latin America, in Africa and in Asia where churches that once embraced the prosperity gospel are now having a new experience.

I believe that that phenomena is an apostate movement. I think there are two large apostate movements at present. One is “completely Christian,” meaning that it identifies with the type of Christianity that is the prosperity gospel which has embraced five continents and almost every denomination. The other movement doesn’t have Christian roots. It’s anti-Christian and is based on a redefinition of marriage, because that’s the foundation of the family.

The only way for us to pass faith on from one generation to another is having Christian families that are based on Christian values and teaching those values to the next generation. But if that family model does not exist and we redefine it today believing that it can be two men or two women raising a child, then the next generation won’t acknowledge the faith. And if they don’t acknowledge the faith, they won’t experience salvation. And if they don’t experience salvation, then there’s no hope for them.

So I said that that’s an apostate movement simply because different denominations in all five continents have begun embracing this new definition of marriage, and I believe that those two things will become important and will deeply undermine what we have considered Western Christian society until now.

And speaking of Christian foundations, a few days ago, I received a comment through this blog. The person who wrote referred to one my interviewees and said something like this: “Who do you think you are to disqualify other religions and impose your Christian philosophy as the only truth?” Apparently he was a follower of the Eastern philosophies.

It’s incredible that those people who don’t want us to spread the Gospel continue proclaiming their own

Cecilia Yepez interviewing Dr. Miguel Nuñez at IBI

Cecilia Yepez interviewing Dr. Miguel Nuñez at IBI

philosophies and moral values. We don’t have a problem with other people talking about their beliefs. Our problem is that they don’t want us to talk about ours.

We believe in a pluralist society in which different philosophies are taught. It was always like this in the West. In Europe and in the United States, no one ever prevented other persons from expressing their philosophy of life or their religious beliefs. But today the problem is that the followers of all those other philosophies and religions want us to stop expressing ours, and that’s the fight we’re having against that movement.

And along that same line, why does the Christian Church insist on saying that Jesus Christ is the only true God and therefore the only way to transform lives?

Well, I think we could address this topic from different angles. Let me start with the wider angle, a wider lens. Christianity is a worldview. A worldview is the way we see life, the way we interpret life and react to it. It’s not just a religion. It is religion, but it goes beyond that. It’s a worldview!

Worldviews must be tested. Literally, there is a number of questions and questionings that every worldview must answer. And then, when those answers are given, they have to be consistent and coherent.

Therefore, when we define Christianity as the only true faith and Jesus Christ as its founder and the only true God, the first answer would be because this is the only worldview that responds to the most important questions people have, and in the end, it’s what is totally coherent in its answers. When I start by asking where I come from, well then, God is the Creator. What am I here for? Well, God reveals to me that we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do the good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. The first question has to do with destination: Where do I come from? The second question is about purpose: What am I here for? The third question is about destination: Where am I going? So your direction depends on what you do with God in your life. What is right and what is wrong? That’s a question of morality. Well, there’s a God who is absolute, holy, just and omniscient and who is the standard of good and evil.

So then we have Christianity and reality: God created the heavens and the earth. That’s reality. There is God who precedes all creation and everything that has been created as well.

But, if we put other worldviews to the test, you could ask, for example, a person who believes in Hinduism about the reality that has been created. Then one group will say that even what you and I are doing isn’t happening and that it’s just an illusion. It’s like the dream of Brahma and we think we’re doing it, but it’s really not happening.

This in inconsistent, because if that were true, then when I’m about to cross the street, I wouldn’t have to pay attention to the cars because they don’t exist. And if someday I have surgery, I won’t need anesthesia, because pain is an illusion and it doesn’t exist. So then you begin to notice the inconsistency of those other worldviews.

If you ask another follower of Hinduism about this same topic, he may say that yes, reality does exist, but we’re really only an extension of Brahma. In other words, Brahma exists and we’re an extension of him, so to the extent that we purify ourselves, then we unite with Brahma, and in the end, Brahma is the only reality.

Well, the truth is that when the Word of God defines this, we can clearly see the difference there is between God the Creator and His creation. So how do we come back to God, back to His presence? If we are saved, it’s by keeping our individualities, our personalities and our characteristics in a very, very different manner.

One Hindu may say that god is personal and another Hindu can say that god is impersonal. They live with those contradictions. Christian faith does not break the law of non-contradiction. If there is something we cannot negotiate, that’s the law of non-contradiction which says that “two contradictory statements cannot both be true when they are said at the same time and in the same sense.” God cannot be personal and impersonal at the same time.

So I could have turned to the Bible to repeat what Christ declared when He said, “I am the truth, the way and the life,” but I have just defined this a bit more philosophically by saying that Christianity is a worldview that responds to all the important questions of humankind with consistent and coherent answers. No other worldview can do that.

But if I turn to the Bible, then Christ made a statement about Himself that He later proved. He said, “I am the truth, the way and the life.” He died and was resurrected. He said, “I have the authority to give my life, and I have the authority to take my life back again.” And He proved that with His life, with His death and with His resurrection.

Just to close this very important idea, would you share with us a concrete example to prove that Jesus is the life?

Dr. Nuñez hosting "Answers: Absolute Truths for a Relative World."

Dr. Nuñez, TV co-host of “Answers: Absolute Truths     for a Relative World.”

Well, I think saying that we can prove it by using a scientific method is just not the way to address this matter because Christianity is not a science, so we have to do this in a different way. I believe we have to ask about the resurrection, for example. Are there historic and conclusive evidences about Christ’s resurrection? The truth is that even non-Christian people came to believe it after evaluating the veracity of the historical New Testament documents and found that there is no other document from ancient times that comes close to the veracity of these New Testament documents.

For instance, when we take a look at the Iliad and the Odyssey, famous written works from the past, we realize that there are four, six or at the most, eight copies that date back to a thousand years after the death of their author. But when we think about the documents of the New Testament, there are fragments that date back to 25 to 50 years after the death of their authors. There are other fragments and more complete documents from the years 250 A.D. to 300 A.D. And there are fifteen thousand copies! Not four and not eight! There are fifteen thousand copies in Greek that can be compared!

So I could give you many examples of this type of evidence, but there really is enough conclusive historic evidence to prove Christ’s life and Christ’s resurrection. It’s more of a historical proof than a scientific proof. People have tried to do away with Christianity for two thousand years, but they haven’t succeeded. Today, Christ is the most influential man in the entire history of humankind.

When Napoleon Bonaparte was in exile, something that caught his attention was precisely how this man who had died could still bring people together over the centuries. Napoleon said that when he was a general or the emperor, people responded to his voice, but when he didn’t have a title, no one followed him anymore although he was still alive. He didn’t understand how people kept on following that man hundreds of years after His death. Well, people follow Him because He is who He said He was: the way, the truth and the life. And the primitive church gets stronger, gets larger and continues to grow after His death. It should have been just the opposite, but a persecuted church is the church that became stronger after His death.

To conclude, in what times do you think we are living according to the biblical perspective of the so called “last days”? And is there any warning message to the world first of all, and to the Christian church as well?

First of all, I’m going to give a technical definition of “the last days.” In the Bible, the phrase “the last days” technically means the times from Christ until now. That’s the first part. When you open the Book of Hebrews it says, “But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son.” So this text gives us a good definition of when these “last days” began.

Now, within these “last days” there’s a period that the Bible states as the time when we will be closer to the coming of Christ. I don’t know whether He will come in five years or fifteen years or fifty years. I can’t determine that. I’m not a prophet and I’m not a prophet’s son, like the Bible phrase says. But I do believe that the days in which we’re living are taking us quickly to that very end, regardless of when it will happen.

Society as a whole cannot be sustained by the values it’s embracing at present. It won’t last. Even in ancient times when society was extremely corrupt, people still believed in absolute values. Perhaps Plato, Socrates and, Aristotle didn’t believe in the God of the Bible, but they did understand that there was an Absolute or Supreme Being, something beyond. And they spoke about virtues –cardinal virtues. Nowadays, people just don’t believe in absolutism at all. No society can sustain itself without a belief in absolute values, because then the law of the jungle will prevail, and that means that each individual believes that good is what he or she feels is good. Such a society cannot sustain itself and it will collapse. And when it collapses, it won’t be just one nation or just one area that collapses. Entire continents will collapse. Since we are part of a global culture, then that global culture experiences similar changes as well as similar values. Some occur first and then others follow. For example, Europe is always first, then the United States and then we follow. But I believe we’re fast approaching what will be the collapse of society. There’s no way for society to survive without a correct definition of marriage. It just won’t happen.

When will it happen? Honestly, I don’t know. But I think there are signs pointing towards a relatively short time, even though that “short” time may be much beyond my lifetime. I believe we will see God’s intervention as a way of judging the sin that has become so widespread lately and also of completing His redemption plan. Christ didn’t mention the exact time or date for His coming, but He didn’t say that we wouldn’t have a clue as to when the “last days” would be, either. He said that in the same way when we look up in the sky and know it’s going to rain, the generation alive at that time will say, “It seems like the last days are getting closer!”

So, if our generation does not have a clue, and the next generation is the one meant to precede the coming of the Lord, some people will be clearer about this because the signs of His coming will also be clearer. Or perhaps it may happen during my lifetime but after some years when the signs may be clearer.

But yes, I do believe we are getting closer to a collapse, even from a sociological point of view. Malcolm Muggeridge talked about empires and how they decayed when certain signs began to appear. He mentioned the rise of eroticism that is obviously present these days. There’s also an increase of boredom. We can’t deny that people are bored. They’ve tried out everything and nothing seems to satisfy them. There’s more entertainment; people just want to enjoy life and do nothing but have fun. And finally, it’s interesting that he said another sign is when governments create increasingly more complex taxation systems. Governments get into so much debt, they start inventing new taxation systems to collect money to help pay those debts.

We’re seeing all of these signs of collapse. That’s a sociological analysis, not even a Christian perspective. So if you add moral collapse to all this, I believe the Lord must be just around the corner, even though I don’t know when that will be.

So what is your message of warning for the world and for the Christian Church?

Christ said to us, “I am coming soon.” So that could be today. Therefore, I believe that the best warning message is that you must be prepared for the day when He will return, even if that happens today. Consequently, your only hope is the Gospel of Christ and finding salvation and holding on to Him, clinging to Him through thick and thin, regardless of all the changes. You must believe in His Word, believe in His promises and develop hope in those promises that He left with us. It’s not about looking around to see what’s happening, but rather thinking about the eternal life in which our hope lies.

This world has no hope. This world will continue to be like it is now. Christ Himself said that. It will

Teacher, apologist, guest speaker in Latin America and the United States.

Pastor, teacher, apologist, guest speaker in Latin America and the United States.

remain like this until the last days. This world began sinful and will end sinful. Things will only change when He comes back to judge and redeem it. I can’t rest my hope on any new government or on any new educational system or on any new generation, because all of them will eventually produce the same results as in the past. Someone has said that history doesn’t change, only the actors are different. And we really do have the same violence as before, the same paganism from the past, the same promiscuity and homosexuality from ancient times. “What has been will be again,” said Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. And sadly enough, that’s true, but history isn’t circular like some people say. They say it’s a never-ending circle that goes around forever. No. History is linear. The problem is that along that timeline we make the same mistakes and repeat the same sins, but history has a beginning and an end. I think it’s good to define it as linear because when we say that history repeats itself, we give the impression that we think history is circular and never ends and we’ll be living like this forever, but that’s not so. History is linear and it has an end that we will certainly see someday!


The Forbidden Chapter in the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible)

This extraordinary video is a production of the ministry www.TreeofLifeIsrael.org
There is also a Spanish version translated with the support of Towards Excellence. It is available in our Spanish site www.hacialaexcelencia.org

We kindly invite you to share this wonderful message of hope worldwide!

Bringing Back The Light!

This revival will turn the whole Israeli society around, and Israel will fulfill their calling, ´For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem´”


Ariel and Shayla Hyde

Ariel, Shayla and their daughters, Anayah and Amalyah.

Ariel, Shayla and their daughters, Anayah and Amalyah.

Ariel and Shayla come from backgrounds rich in ministry experience, having served the Lord with their families in the U.S., Germany, Thailand, and Israel. Today, they are serving in full-time ministry in Haifa, Israel as part of Tree of Life (www.TreeofLifeIsrael.org), and are actively part of Carmel and Kerem El Messianic congregations.

Ariel, a graduate of Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), served in the Israel Defense Forces, representing Israel to international organizations and embassies. The Lord has opened up doors for him to share the Gospel with Jewish people online through websites and videos, on the streets of Israel, and at special outreach events. He leads an evangelistic media team, and also teaches evangelism seminars to equip and inspire Israeli believers to share the Gospel more often and effectively.

Shayla completed a bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Southeastern University (Lakeland, FL), while being mentored for three years in Collegiate Master’s Corps, an intensive ministry training program. She has taught music, led worship and served in ministry to children in the U.S., Thailand, and Israel.

What times is Israel living right now concerning the Word of God and concerning the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ?

We believe we’re in more exciting times now that any other time in history. Why? We are witnessing the miraculous fulfillment of many prophecies concerning Israel and the Jewish people that are all preparing the way for the return of Jesus.

God promised over 60 times in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) that He would scatter the Jewish people all around the world, but ultimately bring them back to the land of Israel (see for example Ezekiel 11:17, Jeremiah 32:37-41), and we have seen and are seeing this fulfilled in our day. He said the nation of Israel would be reborn in a day (Isaiah 66:7-8), and it happened.

He said the land would be desolate and a desert until the Jewish people returned, and then it would blossom (Ezekiel 6:14; Ezekiel 36; Isaiah 35:1) – and that’s exactly what happened.

He said the nations around Israel would seek to destroy them once they returned, but that He would supernaturally deliver them (Micah 4:11-13). Again, this happened in the wars in 1948 and 1967 and others – where Israel was outnumbered, out-armed, and out-trained and yet somehow still won.

There are many other prophecies about Israel and the end times that have been fulfilled in our day. Ariel actually wrote a booklet together with his father about how God has miraculously fulfilled His promises to the Jewish people, called “Supernatural or just Remarkable?” It can be found here: http://www.treeoflifeisrael.org/supernatural-or-just-remarkable/. It’s proven to be an effective outreach tool to many secular Jewish people who don’t believe in God, showing them God’s faithfulness and love and showing them that the Bible is indeed inspired. It’s also been a great encouragement to Christians, who can see how God has been faithful to His promises to Israel and therefore will be faithful to His promises to all of us!

Isn´t Israel the chosen land /people of God? In your experience, how receptive are currently Jews to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is there any difference between younger and older generations?

Yes, Israel and the Jewish people are God’s chosen land and people. But the Scriptures tell us that God actually blinded the eyes of many Jewish people so that they wouldn’t recognize their own Messiah (Romans 11:7-8). But the result is that the Gospel ended up going to the rest of the world (Romans 11:11-12). Paul says that once the Jewish people turn to Jesus, it will bring “greater riches” to the rest of the world (Romans 11:12) and will even be as “life from the dead” (Romans 11:15).

In fact, this is another crucial prophecy concerning Israel and Jesus’ return. Jesus said that He would not return to Jerusalem until the Jewish people welcome Him in the name of the Lord (Matthew 23:37-39).
And what’s exciting to see is that there is now an incredibly rapid increase in how receptive Jewish people in Israel are to the Gospel. There were only a handful of Messianic congregations (of Jews who believe in Jesus) in Israel 30 years ago, but today there are around 200.

Ariel, Shayla, and daughter Anayah playing Boaz, Ruth, and Obed in an outreach event with 120 non-believing Jewish people present.

Ariel, Shayla, and daughter Anayah playing Boaz, Ruth, and Obed in an outreach event with 120 non-believing Jewish people present.

At outreach events in the past, if we could get 5-10 non-believing Jewish people to attend, it was great. But over the last year or so, we’ve had several events where 120 and even 150 non-believing Jewish people attended and we had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with them and seeing many turn to Jesus. This was totally unprecedented a few years ago.

The younger generation is definitely more open as a whole to the Gospel than the older generation, but God is softening the hearts of many older people as well. God said that once the Jewish people would return to Israel, He would remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh and pour out His Spirit on them (Ezekiel 36:24-28), and that is exactly what we’re seeing happening today.

What does it exactly mean when the Scripture says “All Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:26)? Will all Jews eventually accept Jesus as their Messiah? What about previous generations?

This is one of many glorious promises of a national revival in Israel at the end of days – it is our goal and our vision! This can’t possibly include all previous generations, because many have died in rebellion against God and/or against Jesus (think of Judas Iscariot, for example). However, God has been merciful and opened the eyes of quite a few Jewish people throughout history to receive Jesus as their Messiah even on their deathbed.

But now He is opening their eyes to “look upon Me whom their pierced” (Zechariah 12:10), mourn in repentance, and live for Him the rest of their lives. This revival will turn the whole Israeli society around, and Israel will fulfill their calling, “For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). It will be as “life from the dead” for the rest of the world (Romans 11:15).

Tell us briefly about your evangelistic projects in Israel. Please, include your amazing experience as you filmed the “Isaiah 53 Video.”

We share the Gospel in lots of different ways in Israel – from outreach events at the holidays to sharing on the streets to media evangelism. We have a Hebrew evangelistic website that has testimonies of Israeli believers sharing how they met their Messiah. We’ve also been going out on the streets and interviewing Israelis about different topics, sharing the Gospel with them, and making videos out of the interviews.

Ariel interviews Israelis on the street, sharing the Gospel with them and making videos out of the interviews.

Ariel interviews Israelis on the street, sharing the Gospel with them and making videos out of the interviews.

Our most recent video about was Isaiah 53, “The Forbidden Chapter.” This chapter, which is a powerful prophecy about the Messiah fulfilled by Jesus, was removed from the weekly readings in the synagogues, and so most Jewish people have never read it before.

So we read this chapter with Israelis on the street, and had some incredible responses both on the street and from the people who have watched the video. We’ve now had over 1.4 million views and thousands of Israelis writing in about it!

Here are just a few out of thousands of responses:

  • Liat: “Amazing!… Could we have missed the Messiah???”
  • Moti: “Where are they reading from?? The New Testament???” (We answered him that we only read from Isaiah 53!)
  • Boris, an immigrant from Belarus, wrote us after going through a state of confusion about the claims of the rabbis and of Jesus. After watching our video and talking with us, he said, “I definitely believe that Jesus is the Messiah.” We’re helping him connect with other believers who can disciple him.

We’ve had in-depth conversations with quite a few interested Israelis. Many others have asked to meet with us in person or on the phone. A number of them have ordered the New Testament or other evangelistic materials. Praise God for this great harvest!

We’d greatly appreciate your prayers and support for us and for the work that God is doing in Israel today! You can find out more here: www.TreeofLifeIsrael.org

The English version ofThe Forbidden Chapter” (Isaiah 53) video is below. There is also a Spanish version translated with the support of Towards Excellence. It is available in our Spanish site  www.hacialaexcelencia.org