Faith in Israel - A Day of Rejoicing

Earlier this year we had the joy of seeing four people baptised; three teenagers, with the joyful support of their parents, and one lady who was “well over forty
Yisraela was brought up in a Christian home and came to faith at an early age. When the Elders talked with her, we found that she had a good grasp of the gospel, had credibly professed repentance and was assured of the forgiveness of her sin by the virtues of Christ. Yisraela insisted that she loved God and desired to obey him by going through the waters of baptism. No, there had been no pressure from her mother or from anyone in the church. The urge to be baptised was born in her own heart and would not go away! Following her baptism, Yisraela experienced such a sense of awe that it took her a full twenty minutes before she found the courage to leave the dressing room, thereby allowing us to begin the Communion service which always follows baptisms in our church.

Rina is a thoughtful young lass, an avid reader with a quick, eager mind and a heart for things spiritual. She had thought through the issues and understood the gospel well. Yes, she had sought forgiveness from God. He had forgiven her and given her a new heart through Jesus the Messiah. Nothing more was necessary, she insisted. We had to agree.

Mordechai grew up in the church. He had seen the remarkable change that came over his grandmother when she was converted, and now he was seeking baptism. Like the others, he understood the gospel. In the past, he had not sought the face of God but one day, listening to one of the CDs produced by his father, he was moved by words his father sang, turned to the Lord and was transformed. About a year has passed since then and Mordechai has evidenced an eager, earnest, lively desire to serve the Lord.

Iris came to us after having been for some years with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Somehow what they taught did not make biblical sense to her. She loved the preaching at Grace and Truth because it was biblically based but she had no idea of sin, righteousness or judgement to come. Her views of Christ were, of course, faulty. Over time, she began bringing her husband, an alcoholic, to church. He stopped drinking and now attends regularly, listening attentively to the ministry of the Word. His life is beginning to show signs of change and Iris’s own understanding of the gospel has improved greatly. Apparently, Iris had been converted in the former USSR but, not knowing where to go, attended a Kingdom Hall. There her fledgling faith was distorted. Now she had found the Truth and discovered it to be a person – a wonderful, glorious, loving and well-beloved divine person!

A new generation of believers is arising in our midst – how could we be anything but grateful? If only you could have seen their shining faces and those of their parents and friends, watching as their loved ones came out of the waters. It was a day of pure rejoicing. God has done wonders for us, and we give him praise.

Baruch Maoz
This article first appeared in the May 2005 edition of the Herald

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