In Touch - 4th Quarter 2022

Includes articles on the Line and Land of Israel, A Royal Legacy, our time at the New Wine festival, a breakthrough by one of our Regional Links, our Annual Conference, and the Hebrew word for 'Shield'. There are also some new recommended resources.

Includes articles on the Line and Land of Israel, A Royal Legacy, our time at the New Wine festival, a breakthrough by one of our Regional Links, our Annual Conference, and the Hebrew word for 'Shield'. There are also some new recommended resources.


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4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong> • No 213<br />

Christian Friends of Israel<br />

United Kingdom<br />

The root and descendant of David<br />

Revelation 22:16<br />

INSIDE: EDITORIAL – Line and Land is consistent • A Royal Legacy • HEBREW WORD FOCUS – Our Shield • New Wine <strong>2022</strong> Report<br />

CFI UK Annual Conference <strong>2022</strong> Report • Regional Link Breakthrough • Positive Political Leaders • Possible Deadlock • RESOURCES

Editorial<br />

Christian Friends of Israel<br />

United Kingdom<br />

About us<br />

CFI UK seeks to bless Israel by<br />

means of practical and moral<br />

support, and to serve the Church in<br />

teaching about God’s purposes for<br />

Israel and the Hebraic heritage of<br />

our faith.<br />

CFI UK also produces a monthly<br />

prayer letter, a weekly audio Middle<br />

East Report and distributes the<br />

Haverim teaching CDs.<br />

Please contact us for full details<br />

of projects in Israel and also the<br />

teaching resources available.<br />

As an educational charity, we carry<br />

a variety of resources relevant to<br />

our purpose. We do not necessarily<br />

endorse every view expressed by<br />

our guest writers or authors.<br />

IN TOUCH Magazine<br />

Published by:<br />

CFI Charitable Trust<br />

PO Box 2687<br />

Eastbourne<br />

BN22 7LZ<br />

Tel: 01323 410 810<br />

Email: info@cfi.org.uk<br />

www.cfi.org.uk<br />

Registered Charity<br />

No. 1101899<br />

Registered Office c/o<br />

Caladine, Chantry House<br />

22 Upperton Road<br />

Eastbourne, BN21 1BF<br />

Company No: 04984515<br />

VAT Registration No: GB678780275<br />

facebook.com/cfiuk<br />

twitter.com/cfi_uk<br />

youtube.com/cfiuk<br />

Front cover photo:<br />

Earth from space artwork by Muratart<br />

Line and Land<br />

is consistent<br />

Jacob Vince<br />

The Bible is nothing if not<br />

consistent.<br />

<strong>In</strong> an endeavour to take account of<br />

‘all scripture’ (2 Timothy 3:16) on a<br />

given matter, we previously viewed<br />

the line and the land in the Law,<br />

specifically the covenant promise<br />

made to Abraham in Genesis of a<br />

child and a country.<br />

We then projected forward to<br />

look at the line and the land in the<br />

Apostles’ teaching, specifically<br />

Matthew’s account (<strong>In</strong> <strong>Touch</strong> Q1<br />

<strong>2022</strong>) and more recently the line<br />

and the land in the Psalms or<br />

writings (<strong>In</strong> <strong>Touch</strong> Q3 <strong>2022</strong>). We<br />

now step back to consider the line<br />

and the land in the Prophets.<br />

The part of the Bible known<br />

as ‘Prophets’ begins with the<br />

historical then moves to the<br />

oracle, ending with the twelve.<br />

Starting with the Book of Joshua<br />

we find the character of Rahab<br />

recognising God’s giving of the<br />

land and wanting her family to<br />

come under the governance of<br />

Israel. The line becomes clearer as<br />

we move through Judges, Samuel<br />

and Kings, where God confirms<br />

the line of Judah – David’s family<br />

line from whom will come the<br />

Messiah. Even as the kingdom is<br />

divided, many from the other tribes<br />

of Israel join with Judah, which<br />

absorbed Simeon and, retaining<br />

its distinction, Benjamin – the tribe<br />

of Saul, the first king. David’s<br />

kingdom also included the Levites<br />

en masse, as they moved south.<br />

Also worth noting is that while the<br />

historical books are titled after a<br />

leading character or characteristics,<br />

(Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings),<br />

they contain some most significant<br />

prophets (Elijah, Elisha, Samuel<br />

and Nahum). Kings widely<br />

represents oracle prophets, Isaiah<br />

alongside Hezekiah and Jeremiah<br />

alongside Josiah, as the historical<br />

prophetic books are paralleled by<br />

the oracle prophetic books. The<br />

oracle prophets sought to correct<br />

corruption, but it eventually led to<br />

the first exile, itself connected to the<br />

land promise, if adversely so.<br />

To illustrate, we see Jeremiah<br />

speaking of a new covenant<br />

in respect of the line, but also<br />

speaking of the land, even given<br />

the pending exile,<br />

Once more fields will be bought in<br />

this land ... Fields will be bought<br />

for silver, and deeds will be signed,<br />

sealed and witnessed.”<br />

(Jeremiah 32:43-44).<br />

Jeremiah foresees a 70-year exile,<br />

something picked up by Daniel<br />

toward the end of his personal<br />

exile, an historical book located<br />

at the end of the third part in<br />

the Jewish biblical order. The<br />

return duly took place in the final<br />

historical book(s) of the Writings,<br />

Ezra and Nehemiah, before the<br />

summary book of Chronicles.<br />

However, if this prophecy was<br />

specific and physically took<br />

place after 70 years of exile, then<br />

Jeremiah’s foresight of a larger<br />

return should surely be understood<br />

in similar manner. <strong>In</strong>deed,<br />

Jeremiah foretold exactly this,<br />

‘However, the days are coming,’<br />

declares the Lord, ‘when men<br />

will no longer say, ‘As surely as<br />

the Lord lives, who brought the<br />

Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but they<br />

will say, ‘As surely as the Lord<br />

lives, who brought the Israelites<br />

up out of the land of the north and<br />

out of all the countries where he<br />

had banished them.’ For I will<br />

restore them to the land I gave their<br />

forefathers. (Jeremiah 16:14-15)<br />

This refers to the land as that to<br />

which they be brought back –<br />

clearly indicating the land they left<br />

– not heaven, as they have never<br />

been there before and so cannot be<br />

brought back to it. It also considers<br />

the gift to the forefathers as still the<br />

inheritance of their descendants.<br />

The passage refers to a migration<br />

2 IN TOUCH • 4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Tribute<br />

A Royal Legacy<br />

The death of Queen Elizabeth II in September<br />

was a time of national sorrow but also saw a<br />

wave of gratitude for a Christian monarch who was<br />

respected around the world for serving with dignity<br />

and integrity. An increasing love of the Lord and the<br />

Scriptures was the most important thing in her long<br />

and blessed life.<br />

Holocaust awareness was amongst the many legacies we<br />

have from the late Queen. During WWII she spent time<br />

out and about helping ordinary British people, appreciating<br />

the actions of others, spurring resilience against the enemy,<br />

and had a heartfelt respect for all affected by the terror of<br />

war. She recognised the need to call the nation to prayer<br />

seen by her father, King George VI, and saw miracles in many<br />

aspects of Britain’s victory alongside our allies in the defeat<br />

of Nazism and liberation of the camps in Europe.<br />

Despite the Foreign Office never arranging a visit to Israel in<br />

her long reign, she showed ceaseless and constant support<br />

of Holocaust remembrance and education over decades.<br />

<strong>In</strong> 2005 she hosted a remarkable reception of Holocaust<br />

survivors and veterans in St James Palace. She also visited<br />

Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Prince Phillip visiting the former Nazi<br />

concentration camp Bergen-Belsen in 2015 (Jewish News)<br />

Her Majesty the Queen lying-in-state<br />

Bergen Belsen to mark the 70th anniversary of its liberation<br />

by British Troops.<br />

As Head of State, the late Queen also championed British<br />

Jews and celebrated their contribution to the United<br />

Kingdom. They prayed for her each week.<br />

Prince Philip and Prince Charles did visit Israel and were<br />

keen to fully grasp the impact of Princess Alice, Philip’s<br />

mother, who sheltered Jews at her home in Athens during<br />

the Holocaust. She was later designated ‘Righteous in the<br />

Nations’ and Prince Philip was able to attend the ceremony.<br />

Prince William and his wife Katherine have made high profile<br />

visits to key sites and established good friendships with<br />

some of the elderly Holocaust survivors, particularly in the<br />

UK. They have also used social media to heighten awareness<br />

and honour those affected even today by the atrocities of<br />

Nazi persecution and the horrors of the Holocaust.<br />

Let’s pray for the legacy of our Queen in the lives of the<br />

Royal family, in faith, in working towards greater awareness<br />

in society, and for support of the Jewish community to<br />

increase year upon year, so antisemitism is called out<br />

and significantly reduced in the streets, universities,<br />

establishments and attitude of our nation.<br />

of greater proportion and<br />

significance, surpassing even the<br />

amazing story of the people’s<br />

exodus from Egypt, which by<br />

any measure was one of the<br />

most incredible events of history.<br />

Clearly, the return from Babylon<br />

did not surpass this, it was only<br />

partial, and small when compared<br />

to the modern return of the Jews<br />

to the land. A return after nearly<br />

2000 years is almost unbelievable,<br />

or inconceivable, had it not<br />

happened. Jeremiah describes a<br />

return both from the north and<br />

‘from all the countries where God<br />

had driven them’. So, if God was<br />

behind their exile, it logically<br />

follows that God is equally behind<br />

their return in the modern era, as<br />

the Lord says,<br />

‘I will restore them to the land’.<br />

Many other passages are found<br />

amongst the Prophets, but<br />

hopefully this is sufficient to<br />

illustrate the enduring land<br />

promise, through return to the<br />

promised land and establishment<br />

of the modern State of Israel, and<br />

the line, which Christians see<br />

coming promise fruition in Jesus<br />

the Son of David.<br />

4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong> • IN TOUCH 3

Hebrew Word Focus<br />

Melissa Briggs MA<br />

Hebrew University of Jerusalem<br />

Melissa is an experienced Hebrew<br />

teacher with a desire to make the<br />

rich language of the Scriptures<br />

accessible to Christians.<br />

Visit: www.explorehebrew.co.uk<br />

גֵ‏ ן Our Shield and<br />

Strong Defence Magen<br />

Defence<br />

A<br />

family friend of ours is a criminal<br />

defence attorney. It is his role to speak<br />

in a courtroom on behalf of the accused<br />

– to represent them, to give them counsel,<br />

guidance, help and legal protection. He stands<br />

with them and for them as their defender. He<br />

strives to establish a complete, accurate and<br />

compelling defence for the accused.<br />

Paying for a skilled, wise, experienced defence<br />

attorney can be an expensive venture. How amazing<br />

that the King of the Universe – the all-wise, allknowing,<br />

all-powerful, gracious God – offers<br />

himself freely to stand in that role for us.<br />

There are many passages where the<br />

Lord offers to be a defence to his own:<br />

“As for God, his way is perfect: The<br />

Lord’s word is flawless; he is a shield/<br />

defence to all who take refuge in him”<br />

(Psalm 18:30).<br />

The Hebrew word for “defence”<br />

מָ‏ גֵ‏ ן<br />

“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram.<br />

I am a shield (magen) to you, your exceedingly great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)<br />

magen, can mean “a literal or<br />

figurative shield”. It is from the<br />

root verb נַ‏ ן ‏,‏gananגָ‏ which means<br />

“to cover/surround/defend/protect”.<br />

מְ‏ גִ‏ נָ‏ ה Another closely related noun is<br />

meginnah, meaning “a covering”.<br />

The way the Hebrew language is organised<br />

according to topics with shared root letters means<br />

there is often a helpful visual image within the family<br />

of words for an ‘abstract’ word: ‘How does the Lord<br />

defend us?’ It is as if he is the covering of a sturdy<br />

shield over us, surrounding us – a place of safety,<br />

protection and defence from the enemy’s attacks.<br />

“He is a magen to those whose walk is blameless, for he<br />

guards the course of the just and protects the way of his<br />

faithful ones” (Proverbs 2:7-8).<br />

A privilege of following in Jesus’ footsteps is the<br />

calling to mirror his heart and work by defending<br />

others – especially the weak, the orphan, the widow<br />

and those who have no voice. “Defend the weak and the<br />

fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed”<br />

(Psalm 82:3). <strong>In</strong> this way we allow the love and life of<br />

Jesus to flow through us.<br />

Who is your defence?<br />

It’s widely considered unwise for the accused to opt<br />

not to engage legal counsel, and instead to represent<br />

themselves in a court of law. <strong>In</strong> many countries it is<br />

the right of an accused person to have ‘representation’.<br />

Yet, so often in life I foolishly choose to be my own<br />

defender. I get defensive. I put up my own flimsy<br />

walls of self-protection and make justifications for<br />

my own behaviour. I can wrongly feel that I have<br />

to defend myself or no one else will. But, here is<br />

the Good News – if I submit to God, asking him to<br />

represent me – then God Almighty is my powerful,<br />

reliable defence. Do we trust him to do that?<br />

“<strong>In</strong>deed, our shield/defence (magen) belongs to the<br />

Lord…” (Psalm 89:18).<br />

Perhaps in some particularly complicated seasons<br />

of life you have felt misunderstood,<br />

misrepresented, and even falsely accused.<br />

Obviously, there is a place for effective<br />

communication, according to the<br />

power and leading of the Holy Spirit,<br />

but the truth is that Jesus was the<br />

most misunderstood person in<br />

all of history. Following him and<br />

sharing in his suffering does mean<br />

that similar challenges will come<br />

our way. Jesus’ motives, words and<br />

actions were questioned, misquoted<br />

and his reputation maligned beyond<br />

belief: “To this you were called, because<br />

Messiah suffered for you, leaving you an<br />

example, that you should follow in his steps. “He<br />

committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”<br />

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate;<br />

when he suffered, he made no threats. <strong>In</strong>stead, he entrusted<br />

himself to him who judges justly. ‘He himself bore our<br />

sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins<br />

and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been<br />

healed’” (1 Peter 2:21-24).<br />

There are several passages and word pictures in the<br />

Scriptures that illustrate a heavenly courtroom scene.<br />

We are the ‘accused’ and often the ‘guilty party’. God<br />

Almighty is the righteous and just Judge, but also<br />

our powerful Defence, and willing to send his Son to<br />

take the punishment in our place. Hiding ourselves<br />

by faith under the protection of his magen, is the<br />

extraordinary and undeserved privilege of all those<br />

who surrender to him.<br />

“The Lord is my strength and my magen; my heart trusts<br />

in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with<br />

my song I praise him” (Psalm 28:7).<br />

If you are interested in learning the Hebrew language through online tuition please contact<br />

Melissa for more details at: hebrew.explore@gmail.com or at: www.explorehebrew.co.uk<br />

4 IN TOUCH • 4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Exhibition Report<br />

New Wine Report<br />

23 – 28 July & 29 July – 3 August <strong>2022</strong><br />

Week One<br />

<strong>In</strong> changeable weather<br />

conditions and after a long<br />

hot summer the first week’s<br />

CFI UK team of Jacob, Robin,<br />

Philip and Steve arrived on site<br />

at East of England Showground<br />

Peterborough.<br />

We found our way to the far side of<br />

the site unloaded and prepared to<br />

set-up the CFI Resources stall. This<br />

event had been delayed for 2 years<br />

and all the exhibitors and attendees<br />

were excited to once again gather<br />

as the body of Christ. The weather<br />

was beginning to turn and<br />

sometimes the wind really picked<br />

up. Some camping attendees had a<br />

rough time the previous night. We<br />

were grateful at that point that we<br />

had hired a small house locally for<br />

our two-week stay.<br />

The Resource Hub soon filled up with visitors<br />

That evening the event began and<br />

after the brief opening meeting<br />

crowds of eager enquiring<br />

families descended on the aptly<br />

named Resources Hub. <strong>In</strong> the<br />

following days we engaged quite<br />

a few visitors in conversation and<br />

recommended books or DVDs as<br />

seemed appropriate. We saw some<br />

familiar friendly faces who were<br />

encouraged that we had a presence<br />

at the event and surprisingly few<br />

visitors seemed in opposition.<br />

Jacob was able to take on a Radio<br />

<strong>In</strong>terview as well as his session<br />

at the Showcase Seminar to an<br />

audience of around 40 attendees.<br />

Philip and Steve ready to help enquirers, Week 1<br />

A CFI supporter friend said that<br />

the first week talk on Covenant<br />

Steps was good and Jacob handled<br />

everything well including an<br />

awkward question towards the end.<br />

Week Two<br />

The CFI team switched to David<br />

and Julia with Philip staying on<br />

and Jacob coming in only to give a<br />

second talk on the Covenant Steps.<br />

Again a number of good enquiries<br />

came along in the week. An older<br />

lady had a real heart to pray for<br />

Israel, and had done so with others<br />

over time, but her husband had<br />

some huge concerns about other<br />

related issues. Her church, once<br />

supportive of Israel, now had<br />

someone promoting replacement<br />

teaching, and the spiritual<br />

atmosphere was changing. She was<br />

concerned for her husband, who<br />

is Jewish and who struggles with<br />

the whole Christian concept as well<br />

as the State of Israel. Dave felt led<br />

to gift her the Kesher Course. He<br />

asked her if she thought he would<br />

watch this and suggested that it<br />

could also be passed on to the<br />

church afterwards. She was very<br />

emotional but appreciative.<br />

Whilst there are many who<br />

wish to learn more, we see other<br />

individuals completely dismissive<br />

of our resources. We have to accept<br />

that some in the church don’t,<br />

and possibly won’t, consider our<br />

perspective about Israel, the Jewish<br />

land and nation or their place in<br />

God’s heart.<br />

Jacob sharing Covenant Steps in the Showcase<br />

Robin Lane on the resources stall inside the Hub<br />

Jacob discusses Israel with some young students<br />

David and Julia Soakell during Week 2<br />

We are grateful for all the prayers<br />

that opened doors and enabled our<br />

faith enhancing resources to get out<br />

to those who came to New Wine<br />

with open hearts and expectation.<br />

4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong> • IN TOUCH 5

Event Report<br />

CFI UK Annual Conference <strong>2022</strong><br />

Relationship of<br />

It was a real joy gathering with supporters<br />

and visitors at this year’s CFI UK annual<br />

conference at Suncoast Church in Eastbourne.<br />

There was a real buzz of anticipation in the air for<br />

what the Lord would teach us this year. To prepare<br />

our thoughts Andrew and Liz Day, supporters from<br />

the Isle of Wight, led the worship and praise. The event<br />

was again streamed by the tech team via YouTube and<br />

videoed for DVD and audio products (see Resources).<br />

CFI Chief Executive Officer Jacob Vince opened the<br />

conference introducing Jared Compton and his wife<br />

Charisse from the United States to share with us on<br />

our main subject, Israel’s relationship with the Church<br />

and how Israel fits into the Bible’s story. Jared’s three<br />

detailed talks were divided into: The problem of Israel’s<br />

unbelief; Paul’s response to Israel’s unbelief in Romans<br />

9; and Paul’s response to Israel’s unbelief in Romans 11.<br />

Through a series of clues in each talk Jared eloquently<br />

and clearly unpacked what Paul was revealing. Jared’s<br />

aim was to establish anchors and firm conclusions<br />

about the topic for us to stand upon. He compared<br />

God’s story to a mystery novel. His advice was to<br />

look at the end of the story and how God resolves<br />

the mystery, hence how the Apostles understood the<br />

story. He noted that there are seven or eight places in<br />

Andrew & Liz Day accompanying sung worship<br />

the New Testament where apostles step back and look<br />

at the bigger picture to summarise Israel’s story. Paul<br />

does this in Romans 9 through 11 to explain how Israel<br />

fits into God’s story. He posed the puzzling question,<br />

How do we square Israel’s New Testament experience<br />

with Israel’s Old Testament expectations?<br />

The majority had rejected their Messiah, so did this<br />

mean that Israel’s experience was out of step with<br />

the Old Testament promises and that God’s word had<br />

failed? Does Israel’s experience of unbelief contradict<br />

God’s word to them? Jared stated that God’s story<br />

never promised to save every single Israelite, a<br />

fundamental key in understanding the story. So in<br />

this respect God’s word has not failed, but rather been<br />

fulfilled. It was never about saving every member<br />

of Abraham’s family, but only those of the Promise,<br />

showing his glory through salvation and judgement.<br />

Paul states that Israel’s reversal, the relieving of their<br />

hardening will take place after the fullness of the<br />

Gentiles, there’s a sequence and this will be as life from<br />

the dead. This acceptance is closely linked with the<br />

final resurrection at Christ’s return and the liberation<br />

of creation itself. So the story is summarised as, Jewish<br />

disobedience - Gentile inclusion - Jewish acceptance -<br />

Resurrection - new creation!<br />

6 IN TOUCH • 4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Israel with the Church<br />

Your Conference Feedback<br />

“Congratulations on another excellent conference! Jared gave an<br />

enthusiastic and biblically sound exposition of Romans 9-11 and we<br />

greatly enjoyed Chris’ talk on biblical archaeology – well researched<br />

and fascinating presentation with his first-hand experience”<br />

Mansfield, Nottinghamshire<br />

“So good to be able to join you and listen to Jared so powerfully on<br />

Romans 9-11. We found Chris’s archeology very interesting. The day<br />

was most excellently ordered particularly around the tea and coffee<br />

tables and break”<br />

Coulsden, Surrey<br />

“It’s a particular blessing to meet with ‘like-minded’ people, especially<br />

when the focus is on Israel and God’s heart and purposes concerning it.<br />

Jared Compton opened up a unique view of that, eventually arrowing it<br />

onto God’s glory. The whole event being God-honouring, and therefore<br />

‘good and pleasant’!”<br />

Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk<br />

On location in ancient Geshur<br />

“I enjoyed the Saturday afternoon sessions I attended, especially the<br />

one on Israel’s Archaeology, very informative. Both were stimulating<br />

and helpful towards understanding God’s plans for his people and for<br />

praying for them”<br />

Eastbourne, Sussex<br />

“Thank you so much for getting us hooked in for Jared’s teaching … give<br />

that man a pat on the back! We felt privileged to have heard him”<br />

Uxbridge, Middlesex<br />

Tech crew: Ben, Robin and John<br />

On day two we also had the pleasure to<br />

hear from the enthusiatic Chris Sinkinson<br />

of Moorlands College who shared amazing<br />

archeological discoveries that confirm the<br />

historical validity of the Bible. He also<br />

showed excavations in Israel that he had<br />

been involved with in the Golan Heights.<br />

He explained the significance with David<br />

in Geshur. He highlighted an 8 th century<br />

BC city, the capital of Geshur. <strong>In</strong> 734 BC<br />

the Assyrian King, Pul, carried out the<br />

destruction of the Geshurites, as mentioned<br />

in the Bible. The gateways and standing stones revealed how<br />

Baal, the bull god, was indeed worshipped at the time and<br />

after. David had stayed at Geshur and one of the gates was<br />

found that he and his sons would have seen at that time.<br />

Our two amazing speakers had truly served up a feast of<br />

wisdom, knowledge and encouragement! See you next year!<br />

David Greer, Trustee<br />

Julia Soakell and the resources stall team were kept busy in the breaks<br />

twitter.com/cfi_uk<br />

facebook.com/cfiuk<br />

youtube.com/cfiuk<br />

4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong> • IN TOUCH 7

Special Report<br />

A breakthrough in fulfilling the<br />

CFI mandate<br />

David Soakell<br />

I<br />

met a CFI supporter<br />

called Dave Walker<br />

and his late wife<br />

Chris in 2010. Over the<br />

past 12 years Dave has<br />

become a loyal friend<br />

and faithful in his<br />

calling to CFI.<br />

He is from a Jewish<br />

background – albeit a<br />

secular one – has always<br />

been proud of his Jewish heritage and defensive of<br />

Israel. Dave was very active in a local Methodist<br />

Church for 30 years and was on the Methodist<br />

preaching rota for 25 years. <strong>In</strong> 2010 I heard that<br />

Dave had run a CFI Kesher Course, and knew he was<br />

passionate about the Church’s Jewish heritage, the<br />

Jewish Jesus, and the fact that the Bible is a Jewish<br />

book. So it was natural that I should ask him to<br />

become a CFI Regional Link (or ‘Area Representative’<br />

as it was known). Since then, Dave has been to Israel<br />

with me twice, and has been a huge blessing to the<br />

ministry of Christian Friends of Israel. However,<br />

recently he has struggled with the ‘politics’ of<br />

the Methodist Council. When the UK Methodist<br />

Church voted to allow same-sex marriage, and<br />

agreed to oppose Israel by standing with the Boycott,<br />

Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement, he was<br />

asked to sign in agreement. However, those policies<br />

opposed his faith, and he stood his ground, thus<br />

resigning from the Methodist Church. Since then he<br />

has been amazed at how the Lord has opened new<br />

doors and continued to bless him, and help him to be<br />

a blessing to Israel in line with Genesis 12:3.<br />

As Dave spoke with the Methodist Superintendent<br />

Minister, wrote his letter of resignation, and read out<br />

his letter to the local circuit to explain why he was<br />

resigning, a thought struck him as he looked at their<br />

faces. Dave wondered, “How many of them know or<br />

understand about anti-Semitism in the Church and<br />

how anti-Semitism impacts someone’s life; or even<br />

how Boycott Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) could<br />

actually have an adverse effect on the UK?”<br />

Apart from fulfilling many speaking engagements<br />

at various churches since his resignation, Dave was<br />

also asked to organise a trip to a synagogue. And<br />

so, in the last week of July <strong>2022</strong>, he had the pleasure<br />

of taking a large party of Christians from various<br />

denominations to visit the Central Synagogue in<br />

Birmingham. Dave writes, “After talking to folk in<br />

Churches about what they understood about Israel<br />

or Judaism, most of what they knew and understood<br />

came from the media, and I felt I had to find a way<br />

to help them understand. After praying and seeking<br />

the Lord, I felt I had to talk to my friend Ruth Jacobs<br />

at the Central Synagogue about a possible visit by<br />

‘Stourbridge Churches Together’ group. Ruth readily<br />

agreed and we decided that not only was it to be just<br />

a guided tour of the Synagogue, but for Ruth to share<br />

the history of the Synagogue, and their history of the<br />

Jewish Community in Birmingham, along with her<br />

own personal faith of what it means to be Jewish.”<br />

That trip to the Birmingham Central Synagogue was<br />

a huge success. The 40 visitors included seventeen<br />

church leaders, many of whom are Methodist<br />

Superintendents, Church of England ministers, and<br />

local preachers. We provided information gift bags<br />

A large coach party from Stourbridge Churches Together on route<br />

for each person which included CFI free literature and<br />

sign-up sheets. Dave Walker stated,<br />

“From a personal point of view, the visit was a<br />

tremendous success, and folks came away with changed<br />

perceptions, and much of the usual misinformation<br />

was debunked. The coach was buzzing with many<br />

conversations and a really joyful atmosphere. I have<br />

heard a lot of very positive comments since. Things<br />

are beginning to change, and I feel that there has been<br />

a breakthrough. I have had requests for an invite for<br />

Ruth Jacobs to come and lead a meeting in a Methodist<br />

Church, and a suggestion for me to organise a Kesher<br />

Course! I know members from the ‘Bishops Certificate’ –<br />

8 IN TOUCH • 4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

The discreet and modern Central Synagogue building<br />

a group of Anglicans, were really interested and enjoyed<br />

the visit, and I pray that this is the beginning of more<br />

meetings with the Jewish Community.”<br />

One of the people on the<br />

visit was a local Methodist<br />

preacher, Martyn Filsak.<br />

Martyn was surprised by<br />

the fact that the modern<br />

Synagogue lacked clear<br />

identifying signs but<br />

discovered from the talk<br />

by their host that this was<br />

deliberate, to reduce the risk<br />

of being targeted by those<br />

hostile to Jews. Martyn<br />

writes,<br />

“We were welcomed by Ruth,<br />

our host for the evening from<br />

the Jewish community, and<br />

she escorted us to the main<br />

worship area. The talk that she<br />

gave, with opportunities to ask<br />

questions, was in three parts:<br />

the history of Birmingham<br />

Central Synagogue and its<br />

The Scroll Ark<br />

community, antisemitism,<br />

and the State of Israel. Ruth<br />

described how the membership of the synagogue had<br />

been decreasing over the years and that there was an<br />

ageing congregation with few children. This sounded<br />

surprisingly similar to the state of many local churches<br />

that I know. One factor specific to the Jewish community,<br />

which exacerbates the numerical decline in Birmingham<br />

synagogues and elsewhere in the UK, is migration<br />

[Aliyah] to Israel.”<br />

Martyn went on to describe what the group saw,<br />

“At the front of the meeting area is the Ark, in which the<br />

Torah scrolls are kept. This is the focus of the room. The<br />

bimah from which the lesson is read faces the Ark and<br />

not the congregation! The Torah scrolls are all written<br />

by hand on parchment and are worth tens of thousands<br />

of pounds. One of the scrolls was brought over from<br />

Germany after Kristallnacht. <strong>In</strong> worship, men and<br />

women are seated in different areas and are separated<br />

by a decorated glass screen.”<br />

As the congregation in the Birmingham Central<br />

Synagogue are Orthodox Jews, Shabbat is observed<br />

strictly from Friday evening to Saturday evening.<br />

Regarding this, Martyn writes,<br />

“Because travel is restricted to a short walk, it is<br />

necessary that worshippers live close to the synagogue,<br />

hence the formation of a Jewish community residing<br />

in its vicinity. Shabbat is strictly a day of rest and<br />

refreshment, and I’m sure that we could all learn from<br />

this. <strong>In</strong> the days following the visit I heard various<br />

comments from people who attended, and they were<br />

all positive about how enjoyable and educational it had<br />

been. There is interest in going back there to attend one<br />

or more specific events taking place later in the year, that<br />

are open to visitors.”<br />

Christian Friends of Israel is called to bless Israel and<br />

serve the Church. Our aims are to express friendship<br />

with Israel and the Jewish people throughout the<br />

world; to impart to Christians a fuller understanding<br />

of both their Jewish heritage and of modern Israel; to<br />

challenge anti-Semitism among Christians in its past<br />

and present forms; to stimulate Christians to pray<br />

for Israel, to encourage reconciliation of Jews and<br />

Arabs; and to provide practical assistance in areas<br />

of need within the land of Israel. We can only say a<br />

huge “thank you” to Dave Walker and all those who<br />

travelled to this event, in fulfilling many aspects of our<br />

ministry and calling.<br />

The Bimah reading desk<br />

4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong> • IN TOUCH 9

Feature<br />

Robin Lane<br />

Positive<br />

Political<br />

Leaders<br />

The United Kingdom<br />

appears to be in a<br />

somewhat unusual<br />

situation in which the leaders<br />

of both main political parties<br />

are very positive towards the<br />

Jewish people.<br />

Much has been written about Liz<br />

Truss’s attitude towards them<br />

during the recent leadership<br />

contest. Writing for the Jewish<br />

Chronicle, Stephen Pollard<br />

summarised her views across a<br />

variety of issues, some of which<br />

are worth repeating here. Ranging<br />

from having ‘lots of Jewish<br />

friends at school’, through being<br />

impressed by the lifestyle of<br />

her Jewish boss when working<br />

for Shell, realising that there<br />

is a natural affinity between<br />

Conservative values and many<br />

‘Jewish values’, and wanting to<br />

eradicate antisemitism, Liz Truss is<br />

more than a little positive towards<br />

the Jewish people.<br />

That positivity extends to her<br />

attitude towards Israel. During<br />

her time as Foreign Secretary she<br />

Prime Ministers Liz Truss and Yair Lapid<br />

led the UK to vote with Israel in<br />

meetings of the UN Human Rights<br />

Council, even having to overrule<br />

Foreign Office officials who<br />

expressed concerns that it would<br />

lead to the UK becoming isolated<br />

within that international forum.<br />

Her concern about the United<br />

Nations is that “Bodies like the<br />

Human Rights Council have<br />

been used to peddle a particular<br />

agenda which frankly has strong<br />

elements of antisemitism.” It was<br />

no surprise, therefore, that she met<br />

with Israel’s prime minister Yair<br />

Lapid on Thursday 22 nd September<br />

during a gathering of international<br />

leaders for the UN General<br />

Assembly.<br />

The two prime ministers discussed<br />

“huge” opportunities to boost<br />

cooperation between the UK<br />

and Israel on strategic priorities<br />

including defence, cyber security,<br />

trade and green technology. They<br />

also agreed on the need for a longterm<br />

strategy to contain the threat<br />

from Iran. Liz Truss welcomed the<br />

progress being made on a new Free<br />

Trade Agreement with Israel and<br />

promised to review the possibility<br />

of moving the British Embassy<br />

from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.<br />

Moving the embassy would clearly<br />

prove unpopular with the nations<br />

in the Middle East that want to<br />

see the formation of a Palestinian<br />

State with East Jerusalem as its<br />

capital. So, given the controversy<br />

surrounding the Conservative<br />

Party’s latest financial policies,<br />

such a move might not happen<br />

soon. However, the Prime Minister<br />

took the opportunity on Sunday<br />

2 nd October, when speaking to a<br />

meeting of Conservative Friends<br />

of Israel, to confirm that she is a<br />

“huge Zionist and huge supporter<br />

of Israel” who wants to “take<br />

the UK-Israel relationship from<br />

strength to strength.”<br />

And for once there is agreement<br />

between the leaders of both the<br />

Conservative Party and the Labour<br />

Party on at least one relevant<br />

issue. Like Liz Truss, Sir Keir<br />

Starmer is determined to eradicate<br />

antisemitism in the Labour Party,<br />

and he recognised that it was one<br />

of the main tasks that confronted<br />

him when he became leader in<br />

2020. The party had been mired<br />

Sir Keir Starmer and wife Victoria<br />

in accusations of antisemitism<br />

for years under the leadership of<br />

Jeremy Corbyn. Three separate<br />

enquiries were conducted into the<br />

problem in 2016 alone.<br />

So, Sir Keir made a pledge to tackle<br />

anti-Jewish racism in the party and<br />

has acted with resolve towards that<br />

end. At his recent party conference<br />

speech he said: “I knew when I<br />

became leader of this party we had<br />

a big task before us. We had to<br />

change our party and prepare for<br />

power all in one go. Not change<br />

for change’s sake. Change with a<br />

purpose, to make our party fit to<br />

serve our country. That’s why we<br />

had to rip out antisemitism by its<br />

roots.”<br />

Let us pray that these two leaders<br />

continue this positive approach<br />

towards the Jewish people and the<br />

State of Israel.<br />

10 IN TOUCH • 4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong>

Elections<br />

Heading towards<br />

political deadlock?<br />

Israel’s system of proportional representation<br />

continues to be a major challenge for its<br />

politicians, especially when so many of them have<br />

different ideas.<br />

Israelis vote for political parties rather than individual members of<br />

the Knesset. Each party needs to gain at least 3.25 percent of the<br />

total vote to win any seats. A vote that size would give a party four<br />

seats – any less, no seats.<br />

This puts pressure on small parties to merge to be sure of winning<br />

some seats. However, the merger agreements can be complex, with<br />

major difficulties around approving the list of candidates and who<br />

will get which jobs if elected.<br />

<strong>In</strong> the build-up to this year’s election, Benjamin Netanyahu<br />

managed to influence several right-wing mergers. Two ultra-<br />

Orthodox factions were persuaded to merge into United Torah<br />

Judaism, and three other parties similarly merged to form Religious<br />

Zionism.<br />

Opponents of Netanyahu were more divided. Two parties merged<br />

to form National Unity. But Labour and Meretz did not agree<br />

to merge. Nor did three Arab parties. Given a prediction of low<br />

turnout among Arab voters, there is a significant risk that one or<br />

more Arab parties may fail to win any seats. Left-leaning parties<br />

are thus fragmented and vulnerable.<br />

The main surprise in this was the breakdown of the Arab Joint List.<br />

A significant factor in that is the ideological differences over the<br />

extent to which they should engage with Israeli politics. Some<br />

simply want to oppose Zionist policies, others want to engage with<br />

the Jewish parties so as to influence policies.<br />

No-one is sure whether this division among the Arab parties<br />

improves Benjamin Netanyahu’s chances of success. Arab Israelis<br />

are usually happier to vote when Arab politicians are united. If their<br />

turnout is as low as in the last election, how will the arithmetic<br />

assign ‘lost’ seats to the other ‘reshuffled’ parties?<br />

Another factor this time will be the impact of the United Arab List<br />

joining the governing coalition last time. By seeking to influence<br />

decisions from within the government they won 30 billion shekels<br />

(£7.67 billion) of funding for the Arab sector in Israel. That result<br />

might win them more votes despite the general reluctance to<br />

participate in government.<br />

At the time of writing (late September) opinion polls were once<br />

again predicting that no obvious coalition will gain the necessary 61<br />

seats to have even a tiny majority.<br />

The crucial results of the 1 st November vote will be known soon<br />

afterwards, but the time taken to form a new government will<br />

depend on the balance of votes and resulting negotiations between<br />

potential coalition partners.<br />


NOW OPEN<br />



Tuesday 21 st – Thursday 23 rd March<br />

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel.<br />

From everlasting to everlasting.<br />

Let all the people say “Amen”,<br />

Praise the Lord. (Psalm 106:48)<br />

Book today to guarantee your place<br />

Registration closes on Friday 24 th February 2023<br />

Contact Beverley on: 01323 410810 or email: info@cfi.org.uk<br />

Join us for our 2023<br />

Prayer Conference, hosted by<br />

David and Julia Soakell<br />

The residential conference programme will<br />

be sent nearer the time. Reception opens<br />

from 3pm on the first afternoon Tuesday 21 st<br />

and the conference continues through to a<br />

concluding lunchtime meal following the last<br />

session on Thursday 23 rd .<br />

4 th <strong>Quarter</strong> <strong>2022</strong> • IN TOUCH 11

Resources www.cfi.org.uk/shop.php<br />


The relationship between Israel and the Church is a long-standing debate, and Romans 9 -11 are important chapters<br />

for understanding it. Four leading scholars on this issue present three viewpoints, followed by a response from the<br />

others. Michael Vlach argues for a future mass conversion and a role for ethnic Israel in the Church. Fred Zaspel and<br />

Jim Hamilton present a case for a future mass conversion that does not include a role for ethnic Israel. And Benjamin<br />

Merkle contends that Romans 9 -11 promises neither a future mass conversion nor a role for ethnic Israel. General<br />

editor Andrew David Naselli sets the debate in its larger biblical-theological context in the introduction, while Jared<br />

Compton provides a summary of the views and interactions at the end of the volume.<br />

B532 // 266 Pages // £17 (incl. UK p&p)<br />


How the earliest Christians told the story of the Old Testament<br />

How did the Apostles understand the Old Testament? Although relatively few in number, the New Testament’s explicit<br />

summaries of the Old Testament story of Israel give readers direct access into the way the earliest Christians told this<br />

story - that is to say, to the way they did biblical theology.<br />

The authors demonstrate how valuable a lens these summaries provide for a clearer vision of the earliest Christian<br />

practice of theology. They also show how contemporary readers can and should follow the Apostles’ example.<br />

B531 // 230 Pages // £17 (incl. UK p&p)<br />


Archaeology is never a static science. Every year and throughout the year, towns, items and artefacts are unearthed<br />

that throw important light on the background and context of the Bible. Background to the Bible is a companion<br />

to the popular Evidence for the Bible that was published in 2014. <strong>In</strong> Background to the Bible we have added new<br />

information to encourage an informed journey through the pages of the Bible. This book will prove invaluable to all<br />

who have an interest in understanding what lies behind and around the events recorded in the Bible.<br />

B533 // Hardback 222 Pages // £27 (incl. UK p&p)<br />

For resources call: 01323 410 810<br />

Postal savings on multiple items<br />




Recorded live at CFI UK <strong>2022</strong> Annual Conference.<br />

Session 1. The Problem of Israel’s Unbelief in Romans 9 to 11 (Jared Compton) 55 mins.<br />

Session 2. Paul’s Response to Israel’s Unbelief in Romans 9 (Jared Compton) 53 mins.<br />

Session 3. Israel’s Archaeology (Chris Sinkinson) 56 mins.<br />

Session 4. Paul’s Response to Israel’s Unbelief in Romans 11 (Jared Compton) 53 mins.<br />

CDS139 // 4 CDs // £13.50 (incl. UK p&p)<br />

D159 // 4 DVDs // £13.50 (incl. UK p&p)<br />

FD003 // USB MP4’s // £9.50 (incl. UK p&p)<br />

UK Events CFI UK plan to exhibit at the following live events in 2023<br />

Minehead April 10 –14, 2023<br />

CRE North 3 – 4 May, 2023<br />

Exhibition Centre, Liverpool<br />

Contact: CFI Communications, PO Box 2687, Eastbourne, BN22 7LZ<br />

Tel: 01323 410810 Email: info@cfi.org.uk YouTube: www.youtube.com/CFIUK Web: www.cfi.org.uk<br />

twitter.com/cfi_uk<br />

facebook.com/cfiuk<br />


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