Today, a wave of Messianic expectation washes over religious people in Israel. But Jan Willem van der Hoeven works as a messenger of blessing to the Jews.
SeiersTro: Jerusalem, April 29th, 1992. (Translated from Norwegian to English by KKN.)
The sight of palmleaf-waving pilgrims from the West in the distance, romantically excited over Israel's Jews, is something that has stuck in the memory of many Norwegian Christians. Yes, of course, such «pilgrims» exist - alive and well.
But it is a different kind of friend of Israel who sits across from us on this warm Easter evening in Jerusalem. Jan Willem van der Hoeven, born Dutch 52 years ago, nurtured in love of Israel at the feet of Corrie ten Boom, and married to a Muslim-born, now Jesus-believing Arab woman.
— I have given my heart to the Jews, he immediately reveals. — God spoke to me almost 30 years ago about his unfailing love for the Jews. God has a heart for this people. We cannot be in line with God, without at the same time sharing his love and faithfulness towards Israel!
Jan Willem van der Hoeven had worked for almost 20 years as a preacher in the Middle East, of which seven years as a priest at «Gordon's Calvary» in Jerusalem, when God spoke to him and a number of other Christian leaders to establish the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
— We created the Embassy as a Christian response to 13 secular embassies moving out of Jerusalem. We wanted to show the Jews that Christians all over the world support and care for them, says van der Hoeven.
The Embassy is best known for the implementation of the Christian festival during the Feast of Tabernacles, where thousands of Christian friends of Israel from all over the world come to Jerusalem to mark their love for Israel.
The Embassy works on a broad front with financial aid to Israel, help to bring Jews back to their homeland, coordination of Christian aid efforts for Israel etc.
Leading politicians in Israel such as Prime Minister Yitshak Shamir, Yitshak Rabin and Shimon Peres are in a close relationship with the Embassy's leadership. And more than anyone else, it is Jan Willem van der Hoeven who has given the work an outward face. His Israel message is warmly received by Jewish synagogues in Israel and in the Western world, and his influence among Christians is indisputable.
Jan Willem van der Hoeven is focused on the importance of Israel today - in the light of the Bible's prophetic words.
— Most Christians see the importance of Israel as the Holy Land, as a memorial to the past. But this is only half the message! What really has meaning now, is to understand what the Jews mean in light of coming events.
— I have reflected on what has historically happened when Jews have returned to their land. When they returned from Egypt, the Sinai experience that led to the Old Testament soon took place. When they returned from Babylon, this was the preparation to the coming of Jesus and to the New Testament. A third return is now underway. Jews have so far returned from over 100 nations: Arab, Chinese, Norwegian, Dutch etc. The Bible predicts this unequivocally in Isaiah 43:6: «To the countries of the north I will say: Give them up! And to countries in the south: Don't hold them back! Bring my sons from far away, my daughters from the ends of the earth». The biggest event in world history is about to occur: God will establish his kingdom before the eyes of the whole world!
— Whenever God acts decisively through the Jews, Satan is enraged. That is why we have holy war today, Jihad. The Arabs have 640 times as much territory as Israel, yet they «need» Israel. They use the Palestinians and the PLO as a means to annihilate the Jews. In the name of Muslim fundamentalism, they spare no means against the Jews: They slaughter women and children, blow up explosive buses.... When they blew up the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires recently, they were proud and happy!
— Satan is working overtime. He has soon used up the funds he has. He tried Hitler, he tried communism, he tried Khomeini. Now he is mobilizing his last resources to stop Israel.
— The Bible says that all nations will stumble over Jerusalem, continues Jan Willem van der Hoeven.
— Therefore we know that all nations will turn against Israel. South Africa has been one of Israel's best friends, but when the Arafat friend Nelson Mandela becomes president, we can be sure that they will also turn against. And all indications are that the US is about to let Israel down completely.
— The only ones who can really help Israel are the Christians, emphasizes van der Hoeven.
— «Born-again-believers» who love Jesus and his word. We must become the factor that helps them in prayer, through financial assistance and in every imaginable way. Our help must be concrete - not just folded hands - we must by practical action, by hard work, by unfailing fidelity show the Jews that we are truly their friends!
— Islam is a spiritual power that has a strong hold over the Arab countries, and which threatens the rest of the world. But all demonic parties can and must be defeated, if only we are willing to enter into purposeful, persistent and strong prayer, claims Jan Willem van der Hoeven.
— Islam is going to fall now in the end times! The spirit of Communism has collapsed, not by chance, but by the intercession of Christians. Brother Andrew was one of those who prayed a lot for this. He says that he prayed purposefully for seven years before the Berlin Wall fell. Now God has spoken to Brother Andrew to enter into a 10-year prayer period for the spirit of Islam to fall. This can only happen by using the Christian's authority in the name of Jesus to break Jihad's power over the Middle East, emphasizes van der Hoeven.
— When Islam falls, a mighty revival will sweep over the Arab countries, which will begin in Lebanon. Then we will see that Arabs and Jews hold hands united in faith in God! There will also come a day when they will together worship Jesus as the Messiah.
— You have contributed actively, Jan Willem van der Hoeven, to the fact that Jews have been able to return to Israel from Ethiopia and the former Soviet republics. What will it take for the return (aliyah) to accelerate again?
— Without the efforts of Christians, I think it is impossible! The US refuses to provide a pro forma loan guarantee for 10 billion dollars. This is money that Israel could borrow from banks, but they only needed a guarantor. Israel has a perfectly «clean sheet» on repaying its loans, so the US had nothing to fear. But the US is joining the growing international boycott of Israel, which aims to stop the aliyah. This means that without Christian efforts, the aliyah will not be able to increase again. Israel needs money to strengthen the country's infrastructure, build schools, houses, create jobs etc.
— There are a number of first-class international Christian initiatives underway now, which make the Jews very happy, says van der Hoeven enthusiastically. — Among other things by the Swede Gunnar Olsson, who coordinates Christian businessmen's investments in Israel's business community. At our international Embassy in Jerusalem, we have an «economic attaché» who also works hard with high-level Christian projects.
— The Christians are Israel's only hope. We will not let them down! But we must mobilize all Christians for action. All of Norway's Christians should be informed about what is happening, so that we can collectively make a decisive effort for Israel. Remember that this is on God's own heart!