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Share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. Welcome to If Not For God, stories of hopelessness that turn to hope. Here is your host, Mike Zwick.
If Not For God with Mike Zwick. I've got my good friend Sharon Hungerford here. Sharon is actually going to be leaving us pretty soon. She's going to Israel. Is that right, Sharon?
That's right. I've wanted to go to Israel. I've been to Israel about 11 times over the years, but then COVID hit, so it's been about three years since I've been able to visit the land, but the Lord has given me a heart for Israel and the Jewish people somewhere around 2006, 2007.
My husband and I were working in England. He's since passed, but we were working in England volunteering with the ministry, and the Lord put in our heart to go up and just pray and seek him, and when we did, the name Cohen just dropped in my heart, and I heard the Lord say, this is your link to Israel. We didn't know that we needed a link to Israel. We knew Israel was important, of course, and within a day or two, we found a brochure saying Chuck Cohen was coming from Israel to speak about Israel, and so of course that set our hearts on fire, and he came, and he spoke about what the Gentile part of the church, which is non-Jewish people. It means nations in Hebrew. Gentiles means nations, but it's about he spoke about what the Gentile part of the church, the non-Jewish part, is to do for the Jewish part, for the Jews, and we didn't realize there was that there was scripture that talked very specifically about what we're supposed to do, the churches to do, and he spoke of Isaiah 40, verse 1, comfort, comfort my people, says your God, speak kindly to Jerusalem and tell them their warfare has ended, and I was thinking what more comfort could you give a Jewish person than to tell them their warfare has ended when they're surrounded by their enemies, and so we are to comfort.
We are to pray for. We are to give to the Jewish people, and one of the main things I want to talk about today is Aliyah. Aliyah is basically, in the modern Hebrew, it's Jewish immigration, but Aliyah in the Hebrew means to go up.
Mount Zion, Jerusalem is on Mount Zion, so when the Jews return back to Israel and make Aliyah, they are going up to Mount Zion. So Aliyah, it's funny, I think before I met you, I don't know if I had ever even heard of Aliyah, and I was raised, my dad was Jewish, and so I was raised by my mom, but I remember when I was 14, I went to go live with my dad, and he told me the stories about when he was growing up, when he grew up Jewish, and the Christian kids, I think they were Catholics, but they were Christians up in New York City, and they would say to him, you killed Jesus. So there's been some animosity, I guess, between the Jews and the Christians, but... Very much, very much, and I've just been to Florida recently, and I was just surprised, even the anti-Semitism within the church, that they just feel like once a Jewish person accepts Christ, they're no longer Jewish, and that they shouldn't necessarily act Jewish, and you know, Jesus was Jewish. Our Bible is a Jewish Bible, and so the scripture says very clearly we are to be thankful for what we inherited from the Jewish people.
Yeah, and I think the verse that they use is Galatians 3, 28, where it says that there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And I understand that verse, but when you look throughout all of the Old Testament, and even there's parts of the New Testament, you can really see that Israel is the apple of God's eye, and one of the verses that you were pointing out to me before, Sharon, was Jeremiah chapter 16, and it's verse 14, and it says, Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that it shall no more be said that the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, but the Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where he had driven them. For I will bring them back into their land, which I gave to their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishermen, says the Lord, and they shall fish them. And afterwards, I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill and out of the holes of the rock.
Sharon, could you be one of those fishermen? Yes, the fishermen are the Christians, and we are to help the Jewish people know that it's important to go back to the land. I mean, God made a promise with Abraham, and the Jews were to possess the land, and it hasn't fully been possessed. And so we have six million Jews in America that have not returned, and a lot of people would disagree that the Jews need to go back, but this is my understanding of the scripture, and there are actually 64 scriptures that talk about the return of the Jewish people back to the land of Israel. And of course, since 1948, well, even earlier 1880s, 90s, the Jews, you know, began to return.
And of course, in 48, Israel became a nation or a state again. And so God, and we, you know, we've been talking about Ukraine and what's going on there and with Russia. Well, that's exactly what I was going to say is that for me, I was saying, well, God, I needed some help in understanding all of this, and I saw what happened in the Ukraine. You're seeing what's happening in the Ukraine right now. And many Jews are actually leaving the Ukraine to go back to Israel. And I'm also hearing there's Jews from Russia who are leaving Russia to go back to Israel. So it looks as if it may be playing out before our very eyes.
It definitely is playing out. And there's even, there's a large number of Ethiopians as well, Jewish Ethiopians that have been left in a war environment that haven't been able to get out. But the High Court in Israel has just said that they're going to bring them back. And so I'm working with a ministry called His Lighthouse Ministries in Israel.
Very dear friends, Nassim and Hadassah Lerner. And the Lord put the vision several years ago on their heart to, they were actually in Ashdod and just enjoying the beach. It's a port city. And so they were looking out in the Mediterranean, and there were ships all in the Mediterranean. And the Lord put on their heart and said, this is going to be filled with my people coming back. You're to be a lighthouse. It's called His Lighthouse. So God will be a lighthouse to the people coming back. And so part of the vision is to purchase land and build a complex that would house like 500 Jewish people that are making the Jewish immigration to help them be that step in between to help them move into Israel and make full immigration.
So it's a temporary place. Yeah. And I mean, it's funny because we have a friend of ours, Loren, we have a Monday morning prayer meeting over in Burlington. And this guy has the gift of prophecy. And I've seen this firsthand. He's been able to look at me and tell me things that there's no way that anybody could have known.
But that's what he does. He'll start praying and he'll just say stuff. And people are like, how did you know that? So, but anyways, we were there one morning and I think you said that Loren or that you had felt the Lord tell you that Loren had a word for you.
Is that right? I just really sensed that I was going to go and that Loren would have a word for me. So what did he say? Well, he said he saw a lighthouse and he had no idea about lighthouse ministries. Nothing.
He knew nothing about that. And so, um, you know, this has been an interesting journey for me. Um, the Lord has allowed me to go around the borders.
I'm an intercessor. I love hearing what God puts on my heart to pray. And I believe praying his word is the most powerful, effective intercession. And so he's allowed me to go around the borders of Israel. And, um, Israel, when Israel, when the Jewish people get back to the land, Ezekiel 36 is the clearest explanation. But God says he himself, like 19, maybe 20 times, I don't remember, that he himself will bring his people back. And, um, and it talks about where living outside of the land is, it's blasphemy. It's not blasphemy. I've forgotten the word.
Here I am. Uh, so Ezekiel 36. Can we pull that out real quick?
Sure. It's profaning when the Jews live outside of the land. It's profaning the name of God. And he's says he himself will bring them back, not for their sake, but for his holy name's sake. And he says when he brings them back to the land, um, that the nations, these are the Gentile nations, the nations will know that he is God.
I believe it's going to be the greatest evangelical time where the nations recognize and understand that he's God. Because, you know, the Jews have come back. There's many that have come back. But they're, um, they haven't had that spiritual return yet. And it's the church's responsibility to pray in for that spiritual return. And though a lot of the church has blamed the Jews for, um, for killing Christ, of all things, um, somebody explained to me that, you know, the Jews had to be the one responsible for his death, because they're the priest, and they would have offered them this lamb. And so Jesus was the sacrificial lamb being offered. And, um, but it's all of our sins that nailed him to the cross. And we have to understand, and Paul very clearly says in Romans and in different places that we owe a debt to the Jewish people for our inheritance of Jesus Christ. And, you know, the thing that makes the most sense to me, Satan does not want the end to come. He does not want the Antichrist to come, because his end will be over. And so really, all he has to do is to keep Jew and Gentile, because the end-time church is going to be Jew and Gentile together.
And Ephesians talks about that, the one new man. And we're so interested in blaming each other, and so interested, and we're falling right into what Satan wants us to do. You know, when are we going to quit shooting our wounded? When are we going to love our brothers? Even if there's no one shooting our wounded, when are we going to love our brothers? Even if they're sinning, you know, and just thinking about the show, it just happened. You know, we need to love like Christ's love, which was laying down his life.
And so... Even the murderers, like you... Even the murderers, yes. So, um, there's a scripture that I love that's very important in this topic, but in Jeremiah 32, there's only one thing that God does with all his heart and with all his soul. And so I'm just going to start with verse 37 and read down to 41, which is the one I want to get to. It says, Behold, I will... God is saying, I will gather them, his Jewish people, out of all the countries where I have driven them in my anger, in my fury, and in great wrath. I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be my people, and I will be their God. Then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good, but I will put my fear in their hearts, so that they will not depart from me. Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good.
I will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and with all my soul. So it's crystal clear here that God will plant them in his land with all his heart and all his soul. And because that's going to be the complete restoration of heaven and earth coming back together with Jesus, I mean, it's totally going to be better than the garden. It'll be complete paradise when we have the new heaven come to earth. A lot of people don't understand that. I think they think, oh, we're just at some place way off in the sky or whatever, but he says, behold, I will make a new heaven and a new earth.
Right. And a new Jerusalem will come down literally. And so it's going to be very Jewish. I remember when I was in high school, some of the kids asked me, they said, Zwick, they called me, they said, are you Jewish? I said, well, I'm half Jewish. My dad was.
I kind of took some crap for that for the next year and a half. But I remember one time my dad was telling me, he said that he was in New York, he was in the city and he was going through the streets and it was him and a couple of his friends. And there were some other guys who were Italian and I guess they were Catholic. And they looked at him and his friends and they were older guys. And they said, are you guys Jewish? And his two friends said, no, we're not. But he said, yes, I am.
And he said, they may have thrown a rock at him or something like that. But I never forgot that. To be proud of who you are. Even Jesus says in the gospel, it says, I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God. And there is power.
I go back and I was just thinking about this earlier today. I remember the very first video that I did, I was scared to death because I had never done anything like this before. And I said, I'm just going to do it.
I woke up at five o'clock in the morning and I put it on Facebook. But I said, is there something that God has called you to do? I said, and are you doing it? Because most of us, I believe if we're Christians, we have a calling that God has called us to. But then number two, are we answering the call? Have we said yes to the voice of Jesus?
And so you have obviously said yes to the voice of Jesus, Sharon. And maybe there's somebody who's listening today or watching today and they said, we'd love to get involved in this. I mean, you have a website or is it a... Yes, there's a website for His Lighthouse Ministries.
It's hislighthouse.com. And my website, shepherdstaffministries.org, talks about the role of the church and our responsibility to the Jewish people, which has been my focus. But I'm going to leave April 18th and go over for not quite three months and just, we'll be setting up... We don't have this large land that we had talked about, but we... Israel is so... I love Israel. They just... The people open their homes when there's great need, when there is a big Jewish...
The Russian Jews came back, I think it was in 89, 91 in that, when all the Russian Jews came back. And the Jewish people just opened their homes. So there's different ministries coming together to... This is so cool, because these ministries, there's four or five ministries just with the group, with His Lighthouse. And it's like God has given each ministry a piece of what's needed for the people coming in, like one... I think one ministry has about 50 people coming in, and so His Lighthouse has had a container, and containers are hard to get now because of everything going on out there. But they have a container, so they've been storing up a lot of things. And so I think that's what I've been doing.
So they've been storing up bedding, and they're making school packs, and packs for children, packs for adults. And so everybody is contributing to the whole. One of the local churches there in Jerusalem has said, how can we help you? And all these ministries are working together in unity. And it's Jew and Gentile together.
I mean, it's a little slice of heaven. There you go. There you go. And so what do you hope to accomplish when you leave us in April? Well, one major call in my life is to pray for and to listen. So I will be an intercessor for this ministry, but I also will be hands-on and working.
I have lots of friends and know these other ministries as well, and we meet together. And so we'll be whatever's needed to help these people get adjusted. And they're coming from war. Some people may have lost their children. There's a Russian man, young man that came, and he's already got his citizenship.
I think it was in like two weeks, which is amazing. But there was a mother and her child. And because in Ukraine, the men and the boys are required to stay and fight.
So these families are being separated from the fathers and the brothers and sisters. And so it's a lot of trauma that a lot of people are going through. And so one thing I've done is counseling. And so, you know, even in intercession. You've done a lot of spiritual warfare, right?
Yes, I have. But God often has us go through things even personally so we can identify with people, just whether it's trauma or illness or losing family or, you know, there's a lot of times that the Lord will have us experience something that can help others get through it that we meet in the future. And so, yeah, I mean, I, you know, one of the verses that I think of is that Matthew 19 26, and it says, Jesus looked at them, and he said, with man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. And to kind of show you where my faith is versus where Sharon's faith is, you know, a few months ago, I said, Sharon, you're not going to be able to get into Israel. They're not letting anybody in and not unless you're Jewish, right?
Was that it? And Sharon said, No, Mike, I'm going to get in. God told me I was going to get in. And I was like, okay. And then all of a sudden, right, the doors opened. And, and so that's, I booked my ticket.
You booked your ticket. And the I think you, you said recently, you had one of your grandchildren, Samuel. Yes, very five years old, five years old, was he was talking with his mother in CVS. They were and he was it was they were talking about heaven and hell. And he said he wanted to ask Jesus come to come and live in his heart. And so he has all over this and he's ready to go tell all his classmates how to ask Jesus into their heart. And I do believe it was the real deal.
Absolutely. I mean, you know, what, what I'm exciting when I'm thinking about that. Yeah, I mean, when I'm thinking about this, whether it's what whether it's what Sharon is doing, or whether it's something else that you're doing my dad and I was talking to you about this on the way over, but my dad's favorite song was a song by Neil Diamond. I'm sure Pastor Steve remembers Neil Diamond and you do as well, Sharon, but but the name the name of the song was you don't send me flowers anymore. And what it's about, it's about a it's about a couple who was together and when they first got together, the husband did everything that he could do to really impress his wife and he bought her flowers and he did everything that he could to make a good impression on her.
And then Barbra Streisand is singing the song with him later on. She says you don't do that anymore. You don't send me flowers anymore. And so when I when I think about that one of the verses that came to my mind and I was praying about it this morning, it says it's Revelation 315 through 16. He says I know I know your works that you're neither hot nor cold. He said I'd rather you be one or the other. He says but because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot I will spew thee out of thy mouth.
And I'm thinking man that's pretty serious. And so whether it's Pastor Steve who answered the call to go into the ministry or whether it's Sharon who answered the call to really get involved in Israel, I want to ask you if you're listening today or you're watching today, what do you feel like God is calling you to do? You know one of the things that and I've told this story before is when I first got saved it was Pastor Bill McKenzie over at Pinedale Christian Church in Winston-Salem. He says the devil's not going to tell you not to give your life to Christ, although nowadays I look at it he probably will, but what he said was he said he'll just tell you to do it later. And it says in Scripture that today is the day of salvation.
So if you've never given your life to Christ before I want to encourage you right now to say yes to Jesus, to ask him to forgive you of your sins, and to commit to live the rest of your life for him. And gosh I know I know it's tough as a as a Christian we go through tough times there's persecution all over the world. I mean you know the Jews are being persecuted like you said Sharon I mean it's even in the United States and I and I got to see that firsthand when I was in high school. But it's not going to be just the Jews this time it's going to be Jews and Christians. Okay okay and that's happening all over as well the persecution of Christians all over the world all over the world persecution of Jews and and so I guess when you're when you're going through this you want to have the rock you want to have the rock of ages you want to have Jesus Christ who is living in your heart like little Samuel said I want to give my life to Jesus. And so if you've never given your life to Jesus I want to encourage you to do that today. But but Sharon in our final two minutes or so what is your final message that you have to people who may say why I don't know about this Aliyah thing or are the Jews supposed to go back what would you tell them to look at? I would ask them to read the scripture in context and not change a lot of people there's something called replacement theology where the church believes that the church has replaced Israel but read it at face value and don't read read Israel as Israel and yes there's some times that he's talking to the church as well but I wanted to just read Psalm 121 which talks about it's he who keeps you will not slumber behold he who keeps Israel shall neither neither slumber nor sleep and I was going to sing a quick song go go for it he who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps slumbers nor sleeps neither slumbers nor sleeps he who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps slumbers nor sleeps that's beautiful Sharon and thank thank you so much for coming on and when you come back in June we'd love to have you on again great if not for God this is the Truth Network
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-02 01:52:52 / 2023-05-02 02:03:00 / 10