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Re: Topics on Israel

        -Islam on American TV
        -Why all this talk about "Israel"?
        -Stabbed in their hearts

Islam on American TV EDITORIAL: Last week's Q/A made some observations about the TV movie "In the Beginning" and the distortion of the concept that the various Arab nations have equal standing before God, along-side Israel, by making Isaac and Ishmael equal to Abraham's blessing. No sooner had I mailed that out to you-all, than it was time for the weekly airing of JAG. It's one of the few things that seems to be worth watching. If I didn't know any better, it wouldn't surprise me but what it is produced in cooperation with the US military, as a promotional tool for recruitment into America's 'all-volunteer' armed forces. Pretty much (mostly) clean cut. Sorting out of good vs evil from a military/legal perspective. Often, basing the episodes around current events. During Kosovo, Commander Rabb (sp?) was flying over Kosovo. (He's mostly an attorney and never spends much time in the air, but when they need somebody to pinch-hit, he is always their "ace". Hey! It's TV! I 'believe' it!! Don't you?) More recently Rabb went to Chechnya and discovered he has a brother in Russia. Well, last Tuesday's episode was a "current event", too, and was about a US military personnel who smuggled an Arab princess into America and married her. And once discovered, she was afraid "for her life" to be returned to her country. And now, we get down to the reason for this long introduction: In the courtroom, Hollywood had Sarah McKenzie stand up straight and tall, and was the tool to -PROCLAIM- to the American TV viewing public, that Islam is benign and law-abiding. That all those 'rumors' we keep hearing about Arab cruelty, torture and abuse are all lies. That they are kind to their women; such that even if this woman had disgraced the royal family, she would be welcomed back home, essentially, with love, with no reprisals for having broken Islamic law. Furthermore, they depicted the Islamic court almost having a higher jurisdiction than the US JAG courts... on US soil. It doesn't matter that the -truth- is, that Muslims torture & mutilate their young girls in an unspeakably most-grotesque manner, and if a man wants to kill his wife, he has that "right". And thus, a daughter is of even less 'value' than a wife. And these few things are merely the beginning of a potential litany. It is -propaganda-. Just like that Muslim fellow who used to post messages in CompuServe's "Christianity" forum (years ago), promoting, telling lies about how "tolerant" Islam is of other religions. Islam had their own forum at CompuServe, but this fellow was proselytizing. Rather than telling the -truth- about Islam, he was doing what "christians" have been doing for decades... trying to show how "similar" Islam is to Christianity... just like "christians" try to show the world how much "like the world" christianity is, by luring the world in with its own entertainments; instead of "being separate" and not touching "the unclean thing" (2Cor6:17) But why? Why target -American- audiences? Who is Islam's greatest enemy? Israel. Remember "Allah Akbar"? "Allah is greater". Greater than whom? Jehovah of Hosts, the Most High. When Palestinians burn Israeli flags, what else do they burn? US flags. When they burn pictures of Barak, pictures of Clinton are not far away... in flames. They know that America is Israel's "friend". They also know that they would never win a -military- confrontation with the US. So, they are doing their version of what happened during the Vietnam years. The US did not lose in SE Asia because of military 'inability'. No. We lost because of "policy". First of all, policies from the top were flawed. And second, communism launched a full frontal attack on the US public, through student campus unrest and anti-war protests. Most notably, remember "Hanoi Jane"? [Editor: Has she -really- been saved recently? I hope so. But from what I have seen/heard to date, or rather... NOT HEARD... the jury is still 'out' on that one...] The Arab world already has the US media on their side, "reporting" a skewed version of what's going on in the middle east. But that's not enough. Like the student unrest of the 60s & 70s changed America's "belief" system about democracy vs. totalitarianism to where we now have a totalitarian dictator wanna-be in the White House, and are now politicking to get his successor into office; if the Arab world is to make any progress, they must indoctrinate Americans, too. They know that public sentiment ultimately steers American leadership. If they have America's -public- on their side, they know they can get America's leadership to react the way they want, and hopefully leave Israel in the lurch, so they can attempt what they have avowed...to annihilate Israel. So, yes, Americans may expect -some- acts of terrorism in the US. Bombs and whatnot. But moreso, be alert for more subtle propaganda. It will continue being "slipped in" surreptitiously into the sitcoms, TV programs and movies.
Why all this talk about "Israel"? EDITORIAL: I went "to church" today. (11-19-00) The denominational title isn't important. I did not go because I thought the congregation had undergone a change and was now, necessarily, Godly. In fact, from past exposure, I already knew who/what they are; and, thus, was not surprised when, during the opening song, a couple of girls processed to the front to light the two candles on either side of the 'altar' where they had a cross sporting pagan symbols and inscriptions. I went because they had a guest speaker, talking "about Israel". Anything about Israel interests me greatly, these days. So, I went out of curiosity, to see who he might be, and what he might have to say. [Editor: Before we get to the Scriptural considerations about Israel, one more observation about their worship. While their label is that which used to be readily observed as a "main-line Baptist" (not "charismatic") and their perVersion of choice was NIV; they were using the charismatic 'lite' "worship songs". Another generic observation about worship songs dawned on me this morning. They used the familiar overhead transparencies for the words. Each song had its title, sub-titled by the Scripture reference, the song's words, and then the proper publisher credits at the bottom. For each song, I looked up the reference in my Bible. Interestingly enough, each song would contain only barely a -miniscule- amount of words from the actual Scriptures. The rest were words of "worship"...not related to the Scripture referenced, at all. Remember a recent observation how Joel3:10 "let the weak say I am strong" is used in a popular worship song and made to say something totally different from what God proclaims in that passage with those words? We have also been reminded recently how false teaching often includes 'tons' of Scripture supporting 'correct' doctrine; but when the false item is "slipped in" it is done without Scripture; but is surrounded by the context of having had Scripture references dropped right-and-left. This morning I realized, for the first time, the same technique is used in these worship songs. They plaster, in -bold- type, the Scripture reference; that makes it -appear- to be a "Scripture song". And, how many people actually bother to LOOK UP those Bible references?? (Just like those teachers are teaching "the Bible" because they spew forth many Bible references, even if they are out-of-context, and how many people bother to look up those references? They take the teacher's 'word' for it. It -must- be right; he said so.) The song will, then, contain -token- Scripture -words-. And the rest is man-made mantras for their "spirit-fillings" and emotions. Next time you are around a "worship" time, look up the posted reference in your Bible, and see if this is not so! See -just- 'how much' of the song -actually- comes from the Scripture passage, and then see if the 'rest' of the words have at all -ANY- relationship to the context of the reference they display. Be a "Berean" who "searched the Scriptures daily to see if those things were so" (Acts17:11)] Now... to our main topic: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The guest speaker was Ed Smelser from "International Christian Embassy Jerusalem". Other than this meeting, I have no knowledge of the man or the organization. He used to be a pastor in Ohio (I think?); and now lives in Jerusalem. He gave his testimony of how as a pastor, his mindset was always on his "congregation". Not an ignoble motive. After all, pastors are exhorted to "feed the flock" (1Pt5:2), giving them their "food in due season" (Mt24:45) But he went on to explain his view of Israel. It was not at all unlike what I was sharing with you-all recently of some militantly angry "christians" who write to VW sometimes, angry at the notion that anybody should consider that Israel and the Church are not the same. That there are -still- prophecies for Israel's future. That God is -yet- going to restore Israel, and give them a new covenant, and new hearts. (Jer31:31-34, Rom11:26a) He described his former views as: Anything in Scripture about "blessing" was meant for the "Church", and any "curses/judgment" were speaking of "Israel". And, indeed, what he was saying pretty much matched what I've gleaned from e-mails to VW on the subject. Then, the Lord started working on him. To make his long story short, he visited Israel. He went there with all sorts of questions. Primarily, "why should he be interested in Israel?" ..as somebody had asked him about his heart regarding Israel.. "What was 'so great' about Israel?" In Israel, he was awake early one morning (due to time zone differences), looking out the window of the hotel room. He sensed God speaking to him, and then went to His Bible. He basically 'challenged' God to show him from the Scriptures why Israel was so important. He knew -of- Romans 9-11, but never much read it, nor preached from it. He started reading in Romans ch1 in his hotel room. And when he mentioned Rom1:16, and I had my Bible open, I knew what he was going to say before he said it, and on an impulse whispered it, making the people in the pew ahead of me turn their heads. "..to the Jew FIRST.." The Gospel of Christ is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek [Gentile]." And this is repeated in Rom2:9-10. Notice when Jesus is ready to return to Heaven, He commands the disciples to witness to Him "both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts1:8) Whenever the disciples went on their missionary journeys, they -always- stopped -FIRST- at the synagogues. (Acts 13:5,14, 14:1, 17:1,10,17, etc) And when the Jews in Pisidian Antioch rejected, part of Paul's response is, "It was NECESSARY for the Word of God to be spoken to you -first-." (Acts13:46) When Paul turns to the Gentiles, it is pretty much always -after- he has first gone to the Jews. And these are his closing words to the Jews in Rome. Since they were arguing and rejecting Christ, "..the salvation of God is sent to the nations, and they will hear." (Acts28:28) What was Israel's whole purpose in existing? To be a point from which God's salvation could spread into the whole world. When Jesus came, born as a "Jew", it was as a "light of the nations" (Is42:6) Notice how He implores, "Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation; for a law shall go out from Me, and I will make My judgment to rest for a light of peoples. My righteousness is near; My salvation has gone out.." (Is51:4) And there are many other similar passages. Do we understand better why all the nations of the world are encircling Israel, and would seek to exterminate her? They do not so much hate Israel. They hate God, Most High. (Ps2:1-3) They shout, "Allah Akbar -- Allah is greater". That was Sennacherib's taunt, too. Did all those other gods help 'their' nations? What makes you think "..that Jehovah should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?" (Is36:20) Christ's coming kingdom, where He rules from Jerusalem will include the nations coming to Jerusalem, to the "house of the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways..." (Mic4:2) And as such, what we have come to label the "Great Commission" was actually given to Jews. "..go and teach ALL NATIONS.." (Mt28:19) Christ came to Israel. And the intent was that these Jewish disciples should evangelize, FIRST, Israel; and THEN, the rest of the world. In the very strictest sense of the word, the Great Commission is a "Jewish" command. Now, since Israel rebelled, and became "broken off" for a time (Rom11:17,19), the Church has become a primarily 'Gentile' entity. But sadly, many in the "church" have risen up with pride (Rom11:18), and raised themselves up above God's "elect", Israel. (Is45:4) Many of them are at about the same place regarding Israel, as Israel was regarding Gentiles, as they called them "dogs". (Mk7:27-28) As the Gospel was about to go to the Gentiles, God had to show Peter in a vision to not call "unclean" what God had cleansed. (Ac10:15) But when he obeyed, and those at Cornelius' house became converted, the Jews 'back home' "contended with" Peter. (Acts11:2) In the same way, many "christians" today -contend- with the notion that God has any future plans for His "elect", Israel. But remember that Christ promised that God would "send His angels" to go and "gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other" (Mt24:31) For any Believer who wrestles with this, it would behoove them to consider this carefully. God called Abraham out of Ur, to make a nation from his seed. Remember that, except for Daniel ch4, and possibly Luke and Acts, the whole Bible was penned by Jews. If you call yourself a Christian, and rely upon God's Word, the Scriptures, you rely upon something penned and "entrusted with" by Jews. (Rom3:2) If you have "received" (Jn1:12) Jesus Christ as your Savior, you trust in a "Jew". Jesus, in speaking with the woman of Samaria, telling her of Himself being "living waters" says, "..salvation is of the Jews.." (Jn4:22) If you opt, instead, to "curse" Israel in your heart (which is what condemning them amounts to), be very fearful of God's judgment! When God called Abraham out of the Chaldees, he did so with a companion blessing/curse. God promised, "I will bless those that bless you and curse the one who curses you..." (Gen12:3) Don't assume that, just because you are a "christian", that the curse doesn't apply to you. If you are tempted to say that "Israel rebelled and they are DONE FOR...and now it's (us/me) THE CHURCH..." "Do not be high-minded, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, fear lest He also may not spare you either!" (Rom11:19-21) On the other hand, let us also be careful against developing an "Israel-only" mentality. As Mr. Smelser was speaking, I began to get a sense of "Israel this" and "Israel that" from him, as well as from this local congregation's pastor. There are many "messianic christians" who view everything through the lense of Jewishness. Almost as though, the only kind of person who can -TRULY- UNDERSTAND the Scriptures is a Jew... -BECAUSE- they are Jewish. As much as he was talking about "Israel", the speaker seemed to struggle a lot with quoting the actual Scriptures. Remember Jesus' words about how we understand God's Word. He promises the Holy Spirit, the "Spirit of Truth" Who would "guide you into all truth.." (Jn16:13) This is the true "anointing which you received from Him.." which "teaches you..all things" (1Jn2:27) Remember that the "root" is not Israel. (Rom11:18) Israel was "broken off" (vs19) from the root. Gentiles were "grafted in" to the Root; not Israel. Gentiles were not grafted in to broken-off branches. All Believers, Jew first and Gentile, are abiding in the True Vine, which is Jesus Christ. (Jn15:1,4,etc) Thus, "in those days" when the people of "all languages" are taking hold of Jews, they are saying "We will go with you, for we have heard that -GOD- is with you" (Zech8:23) People won't be flocking to Israel because "Israel is so great", but because -GOD- is their God. "And I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel. And I will not let them profane My holy name any more. And the nations shall know that I am Jehovah, the Holy One in Israel." (Eze39:7) Amen!
Stabbed in their hearts (from Sunday's Walk-thru) --Quote-- When Jesus comes again, they will recognize that it is Jesus "WHOM THEY CRUCIFIED". And they will again be "stabbed" in their hearts. They will be in humility and mourning and weeping. --endQuote-- SUBSCRIBER COMMENT: As He showed His disciples His hands and feet, perhaps He will do the same with Israel at His coming. I am sure that such a sight, the sight of the only One known to have been crucufied and risen again, would strike the hearts of all Israel, then knowing that what they have heard is true: [Genesis 45:4-5 applied] "And" Jesus "said to his brothers, Now come near to me. And they came near. And he said, I am your brother" Jesus, "whom you" crucified. "And now do not be grieved, and let no anger be in your eyes because you" crucified "me here, for God sent me before you to save life." [John 20:27] "Bring your finger here and see My hands, and bring your hand and thrust into My side, and be not unbelieving, but believing." EDITOR: Something that wasn't included in the study... "And one will say to him, What are these wounds in your hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of those who love Me [house of My friends -nkjv/kjv]." (Zech13:6) When Thomas saw the 'wounds', he responded, "My Lord and my God!" (Jn20:28) "..and [Israel] shall say, Jehovah is my God" (Zech13:9b) Amen!