Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My thoughts about Israel’s Gaza withdrawal?

Israel’s Gaza withdrawal also known as The Gaza Disengagement was completed in August, 2005. The then PM Sharon said “The disengagement will allow us to look inward. Our national agenda will change. In our economic policy, we will be free to turn to closing social gaps and to waging a real fight on poverty. We will advance education and increase the personal security of every citizen of the country.” I can remember the videos of the hard working Jewish settlers being forced off their land by their fellow countrymen, Israeli soldiers. The settlers had made the desert bloom only to lose it. And of course, peace was not a result.
Pat Robertson was widely criticized for making the comment that “Mr. Sharon was dividing God’s land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the European Union, the United Nations or the United States.” Today Pat is alive and well and sadly former PM Sharon is in a vegetative state years after the Gaza withdrawal.

Here in the United States several presidents from both parties have bullied Israel to give up land that not only did God say was their but they won it after being attacked. I can’t remember any of our presidents offering to return Southwestern US to Mexico. Every time I hear our politicians refer to any of Israel as “The Occupied Territory” I visualize God recording it as one more black mark against our country.
John P. McTernan has written a very interesting book; “As America Has Done to Israel.” Time and again we have pressured Israel to give up the land given to them by God. Starting in early August 2005 and continuing through September, the United States put enormous pressure on Israel to withdraw from twenty-one settlements in Gaza and four in Samaria. The hurricane season of 2005 is history and the area has not recovered to this day. Before that there was “"The Perfect Storm" in 1991. During the Madrid Peace Process, the elder President Bush was very clear that Israel was required to surrender parts of the covenant land for peace. Interestingly enough, President H. W. Bush own home was affected by the storm. There was far more destruction to follow and many times the United States seemed to come under God’s judgment.
There are many parallels between The Gaza Disengagement and Katrina. The US government told residents to evacuate their homes prior to the hurricane and Israel ordered a mandatory evacuation of the settlements. Jews took to their roofs to delay the eviction, and thousands in New Orleans went to their roofs to keep from drowning. Jews had to re-inter their dead in cemeteries outside Gaza and Katrina uncovered hundreds of bodies from Gulf coast graveyards. These were just a few of the events in America that mirrored those in Israel.
When will we learn that God says what He means and means what He says.

Friday, January 13, 2012

DQ#1 What is the Abrahamic Covenant and how is it being challenged today?

“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:7-8).
The Bible clearly shows that this was an unconditional and eternal covenant and God passed this covenant on to Abraham's son Isaac and his grandson Jacob and each time the covenant was renewed, it included their descendants, the Jewish people. God made seven promises including to bless the Jewish people and to bless those who bless them and curse those who curse them. Plain and simple, God gave them the land and those counties pushing Israel to give up land, including the United States, will and are facing judgment for this. And asking Israel to give up part of Jerusalem after taking it back as prophesized, unthinkable! Don’t people read and/or believe the Bible?
Abraham was far from perfect and lost patience while waiting for God to provide the “son of the spirit.” So Abraham had a son “of the flesh” of whom God said in Genesis 16:12,“He will 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.” True then and so very true today.
Israel has so little land today and yet Israel is under great pressure to give up land for peace. Every time Israel gives up land rather than peace it brings the rocket launchers closer to their cities. Hal Lindsey presented a very informative report; Myths and Facts about Palestine and Israel:
It amazes me that there is so much hatred towards Israel today as well in history, Satan at work? The United States has been guilty for years of bulling Israel into giving up land. And the United Nations is a disgrace as it accuses Israel of near genocide against the Palestinians. It seems today that it is very PC to support the Palestinians and Condemn Israel. However, God says what he means and means what he says. Let those who harm "the apple of God's eye" fear God and return to the Word!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What does it mean to you to be a “disciple”?

To be a disciple of Jesus one would have to be Jesus-absorbed rather than self-absorbed. Jesus said to his disciples, “Come” and they came. Later Jesus said “go” and they went out into the world and made disciples. He chose rather common and mostly uneducated men, men who saw something so powerful and righteous that they followed in his footsteps. A Jewish Rabbi with Jewish disciples. Of his 11 original and loyal disciples, only John was not martyred. However, John survived torture and long-term imprisonment.

Before Jesus stepped out of eternity for His earthly walk there were the Old Testament disciples/prophets such as Elijah and Elisha. Elijah called on God in his challenge to the prophets of Baal and later had to run for his life. Elisha answered the call to serve by cutting ties to his possessions:
1 Kings 19:21
“So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.” No questions asked just complete obedience to the call.

James and Jude, the half-brothers of Jesus did not believe Jesus was who He said He was until after the Resurrection. Both became church leaders and authored books of the Bible. They do not mention that they are Jesus' brothers. Rather, they humbly describe themselves as His servants. Josephus reports that priestly authorities executed James around the year AD 66.

So many bigger than life followers of Jesus! Paul wrote shortly before he was beheaded:
2 Timothy 4:6 “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.”
Disciples often are required to give that last measure of themselves, their very lives. The publication “Voice of the Martyrs” speaks to the sacrifices made by today’s disciples.

As for me, my best efforts will likely be to partner with faith based organizations, tithe, pray, blog and like Paul, “long for His appearing.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How is our nation today "post-Christian?

In my continuing studies with the Koinonia Institute, here is my answer to the question, How is our nation today "post-Christian?

God was thrown out of our schools two generations ago and has been and is under constant attack. Grace such as the salvation provided by Jesus is being given something we don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting something we do deserve. How long will God’s patience continue, how long will He continue to show us mercy? America was founded mostly by men of faith, a fact that is being denied today even by many in high office. Perhaps believers who are working to restore faith in America are helping to postpone God’s final judgment on America. As an example, through his website WallBuilders, David Barton presents the truth of America being founded on Christian principals.

Are we in the United States so far removed from the worship of Baal? How much blood of the innocent unborn has been shed on the “alter of a woman’s right to her body”? It seems that anything goes today in our hedonist society. Homosexuality is promoted as normal as is same sex marriage. Can the abomination promoted by NAMBLA, North American Boy/Man Love Association, be next to be considered normal? Individual sin is individual sin, however, when we as a country approve of it, we are all guilty. For now perhaps God is showing mercy to us as he did in Sodom; God would not destroy Sodom until Lot and his family were removed. However, given the state of our economy, etc, it seems to me that we are coming under the judgment of God.

And our churches, so many are becoming politically correct places of entertainment. Are we now the Lukewarm Church of Laodicea? Sin often is not acknowledged in many of these “feel good”, all paths lead to God, prosperity oriented churches. Chrislam is being promoted by some mega-church leaders. Some even support the false claim that the god of Islam, Allah, is the same as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As an aside, the so-called Jesus of the Quran most resembles the False Prophet of the Book of Revelation.

Then there is our pulling away from Israel and pushing her to give up more of the little land she has. Have we forgotten God’s promise in Genesis 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

Believers such as Tim Tebow are ridiculed for kneeling and giving thanks to God on the football field. As predicted would happen as we approach the “End Days”, good is being called bad and bad is being called good. So yes, in my opinion we are mostly a “post Christian” nation, however, God is in control. With evil running rampant in our country, revival is needed and still possible. Or, perhaps the Rapture of the Church will happen soon.
Revelation 22: 20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.