Wow! Was the 40 incredible or what! God is present in the worship and prayer of His people. We are so grateful for the miraculous work He is doing in our midst. When the Holy Spirit stirs our hearts and moves our spirits, we respond in faithfulness, because we know who He is, and that He goes before us.
Just as God called the children of Israel to move forward in faith and occupy the land He gave them, we are called to move forward in faith, answering the call He gave us at the beginning of 2023, founded in the prophet Isaiah’s words,
We are so blessed with deep, solid biblical teaching, and multiple nurturing environments to mature in our faith, becoming increasingly equipped to step forward, answer our individual calls, and take our place in the Body so that all parts function together for the good of the whole. Our Body is still missing a few parts. If one of those missing parts is you, now is the time to step forward in faith, knowing God will go before you as you obediently respond to His call. There are many areas of service available at the Reunion Church. You can click HERE to send an e-mail and ask where you can connect and use your unique gifts in service to our Lord.
November and December will fly by, so let’s begin the preparation for 2024 now. Enlarging our tents and stretching out the curtains of our dwellings is such a wonderful vision for 2024. It implies growth – embracing new people – which inherently implies outreach to people we don’t know. Reunion Beyond Reunion! Pastor Steve has been casting vision and sowing into all of our lives so faithfully – it’s time for the entire Reunion body of believers to launch out in faith!
Can you sense the Spirit of God moving? Has God laid a vision on your heart for expanded ministry? A new ministry? We are rejoicing to witness the infancy stages of a Pastoral Care ministry being birthed – chaplains in hospitals, assisted living facilities, hospice ministry… Is this something that makes your heart leap within you? If so, REACH OUT to find out more. We are in prayerful dialogue for finishing up the fields in front of the church so that we can create outreach to our neighbors through sports teams, etc. Is this you? Do you have a passion for this? If so, REACH OUT for more information. The Special Needs ministry is creating a tactile version of the Bible to help special needs children more fully grasp God’s Word. The Children’s and Student Ministries are planting the seed of God’s Word that will not return void. They are always in need of extra help! There is such passion, commitment, and creativity surging forward!
Let’s prayerfully identify our unique, God-given gifts and step out in faith to respond obediently to the call to serve that He has placed on every believer’s life. Let’s not just be obedient, but let’s be strategic regarding what God wants to accomplish through the wonderful body of believers we call the Reunion Church family. It’s time to hatch and fly!
Why is Israel Important to the World?
A Faithful Journey Through History
As tensions escalate, many are asking “why is Israel is important to the world”. There are centuries old keys that unlock this ancient mystery. It starts with this Bible verse in the Book of Genesis:
“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
Genesis 15:18-21 ESV
Then, God confirms the nation’s boundaries to Moses as the Israelites prepare to move forward and occupy the land God gave them. The land grant is recorded in the Book of Exodus:
“And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you.”
Exodus 23:31 ESV
God has seared the land boundaries of Israel into the pages of the Bible and into world history. The Sea of the Philistines is the Mediterranean Sea. One only has to glance at a map to note that Israel does not occupy the entire land mass granted by God to the Jewish people. However, for centuries, the very concept of Israel occupying the land as a sovereign nation has been met with intense emotions and perspectives.
Let’s answer the question “Why is Israel important to the world?” from historical and faith perspectives. Israel, or the Holy Land, holds a unique and significant place in the world’s history and faith.
We go all the way back to Abraham. When Abraham’s (Abram at the time) nephew, Lot, was kidnapped by the five kings of Mesopotamia, Abram took his small group of men and went out after them. God granted him victory, and he returned through the King’s Valley in the land of Moriah. Mount Moriah is the name of the long thin north-south stretch of land lying between the Kidron Valley and the Hagai Valley, which today is positioned between Mount Zion to the west and The Mount of Olives to the east.
Abram was met by Melchizadek, the High Priest of Salem, who blessed him and provided food and wine. Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of all he recovered. This is the first biblical example of tithing. The region of Salem was the fertile valley area surrounding that which would become known as Moriah and its summit known as Mount Moriah. The people of Salem would eventually become known as the Jebusites or in Hebrew, the Jeru/Jahru. The Jebusites / Jeru would eventually build the city Zion, known as Jeru-salem.
Some time later, God gives Abraham the greatest test of his faith. He asks him to sacrifice the long awaited son of promise – Isaac. Abraham obeys, and God gives very specific instructions on where he should build the altar to sacrifice his son. He told him to go to the land of Moriah, and even identified which of the mountains Abraham should build the altar on. As Abraham raises his knife to slay his son, the Angel of the Lord stopped him, providing a ram that was caught in a thicket instead. Genesis 22:14 tells us, “So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”;as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
The answer to the question, “Why is Israel Important to the World” moves forward in time to King David.
Just south of Mount Moriah above the Gihon Spring would eventually become known as the city of Zion (Jeru-salem). The original city of Zion was built and occupied by the Jebusites until King David conquered Zion, made it his capital, and renamed it the City of David.
II Chronicles 3-5; II Samuel 24:18-25
Eventually, God’s plan unfolds on Moriah as David conquers Zion and purchases the land known as Mt. Moriah based on God’s very specific instructions to him.
“Now the angel of the Lord had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.”
1 Chronicles 21:18 ESV
The land had served as the local community’s threshing floor. The Hebrew tradition referred to the threshing floor as a symbolic place of separation and revelation. The threshing floor was a place where the harvest was prepared by separating the grain from the useless straw for the purpose of exposing and collecting the most valuable part of the crop. In all practical reality the threshing floor that David bought from Ornan, was a place known as a place of provision. It was not an accident or whim that David bought the threshing floor, he bought it so he could repent of his sin there. The altar built there was for his own repentance and forgiveness – God’s provision. It was not a coincidence that the floor was located on the summit of Moriah – or that David instructed Solomon to use the floor for the very place of God’s provision within the new temple. God’s Provision – separation, revelation, forgiveness, redemption, and salvation.
And then, after meeting with God, receiving forgiveness and restitution, David went on in 1 Chronicles 22:1:
“Then David said, “Here shall be the house of the Lord God and here the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”
Thus begins temple worship on the mount located directly above the City of David. His son Solomon built a permanent and glorious Temple right there according to the specifications of God.
This undertaking on the Mount of Moriah is described in detail upon detail in 2 Chronicles (chapters 3-5).
“Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.”
2 Chronicles 3:5
The Temple was built on the very site that Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac, that David repented and the Lord appeared to him, and moving forward through history, on and near Mount Moriah, Yeshua the Christ is revealed as Rabbi, Healer, Sacrifice, and Savior.
On Golgatha, only 328.5 yds away from the Temple Mount, is where Yeshua fulfills everything foreshadowed through the kingliness and priesthood of Melchizedek, and in the covenant promise and the righteousness of faith in God of Abraham, and through the warrior David who fearlessly fights the enemies of God, and David the King, whose is after the heart of God, and the lineage of David which provided the earthly bloodline for the Incarnate Christ.
It is by the glorious design and master plan of the Almighty God that Yeshua the Christ, the Messiah and King of Kings becomes the sacrificial provision for the sin of the entire world. His provision is final, it is eternal, and it is completed in Yeshua. The provision of Jesus happened on Golgotha, and it tore the veil of the Temple, revealing access by all to the provision of Christ. The tearing of the veil that opened the way to the Holy of Holies, occurs on the very threshing floor where Melchezidek, Abraham, and David made certain their faith, their fear of God, and their trust in Him.
Today, the Dome of the Rock stands on the very same spot where the Holy of Holies once was, highlighting the shared historical and spiritual significance of this land for both Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths have a deep historical and spiritual connection through Abraham for the Jews, Christians, and Muslims, David for the Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and Yeshua, the long-awaited Messiah for Christians and Jews who will recognize Him for who He is, the Savior of the world!
The land granted to the Jewish people by God has long been contested by Muslims. Many Muslims are descendants of Ishmael, the son conceived by the relationship between Abraham and Hagar. Mohammed, the founder of the Islamic faith, claims to be Abraham’s descendant through Ishmael. The word of the Lord to Hagar predicted Ishmael’s character:
“And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction. He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”
Genesis 16:11-12 ESV
The ever present tension in the Middle East and hatred towards the Jewish people has its’ roots in Ishmael’s lineage. The area of Havilah, where Ishmael’s descendants lived, is in the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula; Shur is a wilderness area between Beersheba in the Negev Desert and Egypt. Isaiah 60:7 mentions the descendants of Nebaioth and Kedar as those who raise flocks. The descendants of Ishmael became known as Arabs, which basically means “nomads.” From the beginning, the descendants of Ishmael were a warlike people, as “they lived in hostility toward all the tribes related to them” (Genesis 25:18). This fulfilled God’s earlier word that Ishmael would be “a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers” (Genesis 16:12). Later, others settled in the Arabian Peninsula as well, including the descendants of Keturah’s sons (1 Chronicles 1:32–33) and some of Esau’s descendants, among them the Amalekites (Genesis 36:12).
There is common knowledge and teaching among Muslims and most Christian genealogists that Arabian Muslims are direct descendants of Ishmael. In fact, Muhammad himself was a major proponent of this idea, claiming to be a descendant of Ishmael according to the Quran. There is truth in this thought line. According to missionary and author Kenneth Fleming, “What we know for certain seems to support the theory that the Ishmaelites are, at the very least, a major element in the Arab genetic line. Old records clearly link the north Arabians with Ishmael’s descendants” (“Ishmael and the Bible,” Emmaus Journal 13:2, 2004).
Although some modern Arabians could trace their lineage back to Ishmael, not all Arabians are descendants of Ishmael as Muslims try to claim. We know from the Bible that God (according to His promise) made Ishmael into a great nation. His descendants can share in the blessings of Abraham by putting their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. They have chosen to do quite the opposite. They have put their hand to evil, war, and hostility against Israel and Christianity to this very day. These seeds of hatred have spread, and growing anti-Semitism across the globe is rooted in this ancient struggle over the land God promised to Abraham
To learn more about Abraham, the promises God gave him, and how his decisions impacted his life, his family’s lives, and centuries of people to present, download the sermon notes from the “Now I Know” series and watch the teaching on the significance of Mt. Moriah in God’s miraculous plans for mankind HERE. Join me in praying for Israel. Pray that God’s people’s eyes will be opened to their Messiah, Yeshua, the Prince of Peace! And pray for protection for all innocent people caught in the crossfire of this centuries old struggle for God’s land and people.
God’s Peace to You,
Dr. Stephen Isaac – The Reunion Church
THE GOSPELS IS ONGOING
CLASS START DATE: Sun., Aug. 27, 2023
TEACHER: Pastor Steve Merryman
TEXTBOOK: Jesus and the Gospels by Craig Blomberg
This 16-week course digs deep into the four Gospels to equip students with a more complete understanding of who Jesus is, the historical background of his earthly ministry, and the varied insights gained through the eyes of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This course is an incredible opportunity for those hungering to know more about Jesus.
CLASS START DATE: Sun., Oct. 22, 2023
TEACHER: Brian Vales, Gary Buckingham
TEXTBOOK: Evangelism: How to Share the Gospel Faithfully
All believers are called to be His witnesses. There is an urgent need for the gospel in today’s fallen world. This insightful course will ignite your passion and equip you to spread the gospel faithfully to those around you. You’ll learn theological principles of sharing the gospel and practical approaches to incorporating outreach into your every day life.
11/7, 11/21, 7 PM – ROOTED COLLEGE GROUP, DM @reunionrooted ON INSTAGRAM FOR LOCATION
NO EVERYMAN BREAKFAST THIS MONTH
NO WINGS GATHERING THIS MONTH – Tickets are on sale now for the Annual Christmas Dinner (WINGS table on Plaza)
9 AM – 10 AM
EQUIP ADULT BIBLE CLASSES
MOVEMENT YOUTH GROUP
CHILDREN’S MINISTRY (NURSERY-6TH GRADE)
10 AM – 10:20 AM
GRACE’S CAFE ON THE PLAZA – FRESH BAGELS, MUFFINS, PASTRIES, COFFEE
COMMUNITY WORSHIP GATHERING
CHILDREN’S MINISTRY (NURSERY-6TH GRADE)
WEDNESDAYS – 6:30 PM
CAMPUS COMMUNITY CARE GROUP. THE FALL STUDY FOR ALL CARE GROUPS IS IN 1 TIMOTHY, AND IS TITLED “WISDOM FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION”. LEARN MORE.
MOVEMENT YOUTH GROUP
REUNION KIDS CLUB (NURSERY-6TH GRADE)
OFF-CAMPUS COMMUNITY CARE GROUPS
MEET IN VARIOUS HOMES ON DIFFERENT WEEK NIGHTS AROUND THE VALLEY. CONTACT COMMUNITY CARE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Copyright © 2023 The Reunion Church, All rights reserved.
Signed up to receive Reunion Church materials.
Our mailing address is:
AVAILABLE ON GOOGLE PLAY OR APPLE – JUST SCAN QR CODE BELOW