I believe that this past month has inaugurated a significantly important season of ministry for Outreach Israel and Messianic Apologetics. The biggest development of February was the launch of the Messianic Apologetics app for Android. Be praying that the iPhone and iPad version will be available sometime this month, as there are certain approvals which have to be issued. (As an iPhone user, no one wants this more than me!) The Messianic Apologetics app—and with it the ability to send push notifications—has already helped see our website hits go up between 400-500% per day. Of course, this also requires that we send out around twenty posts per day, featuring them on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the App.
This new thrust of seeing many of our articles, FAQ entries, and Bible studies featured, has certainly focused my attention in what I want the Messianic Apologetics website and app to become. That I am a person who “stays busy,” with something generally in pre-production, production, and post-production—along with various “open files”—seems pretty obvious. Yet, with the new features that we have started to integrate, one might think that because we have so many teachings already available, that we should not have to spend too much time focusing on new topics or studies. The fact is: completed projects naturally lead to new projects. I am continually astounded by the reality that our broad Messianic faith community has been literally “scraping by” on so many issues, that the enemy has indeed been able to take advantage of. In these Last Days, and in the current season of relative religious freedom, I want to be able to take advantage of the tools and gifts that God has given me to the fullest extent possible, while I still can, without burning out. I want to facilitate stability among Messianic people.
When Outreach Israel Ministries started in 2003, we cast a pretty big net as to what the Father wanted to do with us. We were surely involved in some very good things, and then some other things that we are pleased in hindsight went nowhere. For the bulk of the 2000s and into the 2010s, our narrative was mainly one of us being an educational Messianic ministry, with a primary focus on us helping the non-Jewish Believers God was drawing into the Messianic movement, just as He had drawn in our family. Much of our ministry has been in testifying to others what our experience has been, in leaving evangelical Christianity and entering into the Messianic movement, and adopting a lifestyle of Torah obedience as the Holy Spirit more consciously wrote the commandments onto our hearts and minds (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:25-27). We believe that families such as ours, are precursors to many more non-Jewish individuals and families who will become Messianic, as the prophecies of the nations coming to Zion to be taught God’s Instruction (Micah 4:1-3; Isaiah 2:2-4) come into greater focus as the Messiah’s return draws near.
Moving back to the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex four years ago, and getting reintegrated into the Messianic Jewish movement, necessarily means that our narrative has changed. As a ministry Outreach Israel and Messianic Apologetics definitely has a mission in helping the non-Jewish Believers that God has directed into the Messianic movement. But the Messianic movement originally started out as a vehicle for the evangelism of Jewish people, with the message of Israel’s Messiah. The Messianic movement originally began as a movement of Jewish Believers, not only receiving the salvation of Israel’s Messiah, but not having to give up on their Jewish heritage and see themselves assimilated into the Church system. The primary focus of the Messianic movement has always been the Romans 11:26 trajectory of “all Israel will be saved,” which necessarily involves seeing a massive number of Jewish people come to faith in Yeshua the Messiah. This is not something , lamentably, that the independent Hebrew/Hebraic Roots movement has been too concerned with.
Over the years, it has bothered me, at times, that the name of our ministry was Outreach Israel, and yet the situation and sphere of influence into which God had placed us, was mainly in helping non-Jewish individuals and families get acclimated to the Messianic movement. With a change in geographical location, and new technologies being able to be employed, we are now in a different sphere of influence. And, Outreach Israel and Messianic Apologetics are definitely going to begin to make our contribution to the Jewish mission, using the gifts and talents and abilities God has given us. The same scholarship, attention to detail, and fairness that you have seen us employ for issues such as Torah validity or in writing commentaries on the Pauline letters, will also be seen in us addressing the theological issues that very much involve Jewish outreach and evangelism.
This year, a lengthy resource in Salvation on the Line: The Nature of Yeshua and His Divinity will be finally released, in two volumes. As this is being completed, succeeding volumes in this series are now being planned. These will naturally include discussions on the Messiahship of Yeshua, how the Apostolic Scriptures (NT) employ the Tanach (OT), and various Bible difficulties stemming from both ancient history and contemporary science. Issues like whether Yeshua of Nazareth is the prophesied Messiah and whether or not the New Testament is anti-Semitic, obviously affect the Messianic movement’s mission to present Jewish people with the good news of Yeshua. Issues about Bible difficulties affect all people who encounter the Holy Scriptures, especially as the return of Yeshua draws closer. But, this can especially present some unique challenges in matters of Jewish outreach, given how many Jewish people are well educated professionals (especially scientists), and can frequently be quite liberal at that. These are obviously all multi-year assignments before me. I will be sure to give you regular updates as things come together on these new fronts!
Even though it can be quite overwhelming to think of all of the new tasks that need to be performed—I am encouraged that the Lord has steadily brought us to the point in our ministry development, where I believe we will be able to help everyone in today’s Messianic movement.
Until next month…