This Oct 31 marks the 100th anniversary of the heroic victorious charge of the Australian Light Horse Brigade of between 500-800 horsemen against the entrenched Ottoman Turkish forces in Beer Sheva. The stakes were high: Continue reading “The ANZAC Beer Sheva Charge – Oct 31, 1917”
The small city of Arad lays between Beer Sheva and the Dead Sea. It is situated for clean air, beautiful panoramic views of the Judean and Negev deserts, and cold winter winds. Arad was the first city in Canaan that the Israelis captured as they neared the Promised Land after the Exodus from Egypt. Yet, because the LORD had sentenced them to 40 years in the wilderness before they would enter the land, they did not continue from the south to capture the land, but wound up going back and around to the eastern side of the Jordan River to eventually capture Jericho and much (but not all) of the rest of the inheritance. (Num 21:1-5) Tel Arad, going back to at least the kings of Judah, has remains of a temple dedicated to both YHVH and to Asherah, paganizing the Jewish worship.
Today, and for many years, the Messianic believers in Yeshua in Arad have suffered much harassment and hardships from a group of non-Zionist ultra-orthodox Jews, whose intent is to control the city. That harassment and intent has now extended to the secular residents and citizens of the city as well. The Canaanite spirit of religious idolatry and antagonism to YHVH’s people and to the faith in Him whose name is great, continues to this day.
Here is an interview with a couple of the Messianic leaders in Arad, conducted by Kehila News: http://kehilanews.com/2017/09/17/unholy-war-in-arad-violent-protests-in-israels-southern-city/
It has been 50 years (May 24 this year according to the Hebrew calendar) since Israel captured Jerusalem in the Six-Day War in June, 1967. It is clear now for many years already that this did not bring the “times of the Gentiles” to fulfillment. (Lk 21:24) Jerusalem is still being trampled under foot by the Gentile powers, and East Jerusalem — the Biblical Jerusalem, where the Old City and Temple Mount are located — is still being offered as the capital of some potential Palestinian state. Jerusalem’s peace will only come with the return of the rightful Heir to the throne of David. Until then, there is still much unrest and trouble. Keep Jerusalem in your hearts and prayers, for the sake of the name of the Lord, who has chosen that city as His — the city of the great King! For now, she has the spirit of Sodom and Egypt (Rev 11:8), and awaits her full redemption.
President Trump is scheduled to arrive tomorrow for a brief and historic visit. He wants to make peace between the three major religions. Such attempts should be wake-up bells for real believers in Jesus that we are nearing some extremely significant ‘signs of the times’, and cause us to increase our alertness in watching and praying as we carry on our Lord’s business. The religious and political kingdoms of this world are opposed to the Kingdom of God, which is not of this world (Ps 2; Jn 18:36) — but the Day is nearing when it will come! Praise the Lord!!
Israel celebrates her 69th Day of Independence this Monday and Tuesday. Most of Israel’s Arab population knows it as their Day of Catastrophe (nakba). Neither one yet fears YHVH. The one, true, living God of Heaven and Earth is fulfilling His Word and plan for His holy name’s sake, and against all opposition to Him — including unbelief. He cannot, and will not, be stopped! Praise be to His name!
The Israeli Jewish people celebrate their military strength and prowess; the Arab Palestinian people refuse to accept that the land was covenanted to Jacob for an everlasting possession, yet to be realized. The Holy Spirit is working to turn away ungodliness from Jacob so that all Israel (the full remnant from all the tribes) will be saved. The Arabs hope is to be found in Israel’s hope: Yeshua/Yasua/Jesus, the Lord and Messiah, Son of David.
Israel’s leadership and people feel that the lesson of the Holocaust is that the Jewish people must protect themselves by themselves. The Arab world feel that the lesson of the Holocaust is unjust and not fair. Neither fear the LORD.
Most of the Jewish people are relying on “a god of fortresses” — self-determined that they must be masters of their own destiny — rather than trust in the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, who alone can guarantee them life that is really life. Most of the Arab peoples are relying on a god of vengeance, nurtured by a bitter root and an ancient hatred towards their brothers and cousins. Neither line of Abraham’s family fears the God of their father in truth.
The Jewish people have only recently celebrated the Passover, glorying in their deliverance by YHVH from Egyptian slavery. On the heels of that joyful celebration and hope, we solemnly and gravely remembered the worst calamity yet to come upon our people — the Holocaust. The night preceding Independence Day we again remember all those Jewish people [in particular] who have sacrificed their lives in the many wars and conflicts connected with being a sovereign people in our own land. There is the constant reminder to abide in the faith, for through much suffering and tribulation we enter the Kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22) Yet our people still have not repented and believed the gospel, confessing their unfaithfulness to our God, that they would know their sins are forgiven through the sacrifice and shed blood of Yeshua, whom God raised from the dead. (Lev 26:40-45) For the Father was well-pleased with His beloved Son!
For us who have received our peace with God through saving faith in His Son, our Savior, our battle is not waged against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies. Our weapons are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah.
Today’s Israel is a miracle/banner (nes) for the nations/Gentiles. God has intervened in history again to repossess HIS land for His people. The return of the Jewish people back to the land of promise is a proof that YHVH is the true God. It is a huge sign of the end-times of the last days — not unlike the ark in Noah’s days. Against all odds, the LORD is doing a greater thing than what He did to bring us out of Egypt, or out of Babylon. (Is 11:12; Jer 16:14-15; 23:7-8). Jacob’s Trouble is coming, but Israel will be saved out of it. (Jer 30:7) The Lord’s return cannot be far behind! Even so, Come, Lord Jesus! Then Jerusalem will have God’s peace.
As the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration approaches next November, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is gearing up for the effort to undo it. According to this latest effort, the British government — which issued the Declaration on November 2, 1917, expressing their intent that the Jewish people should reestablish their historic homeland in Palestine, without harming the rights of those already living there — is guilty of setting in motion the catastrophe that the predominantly Islamic Arabs claim is an invasion into their territory by a non-Muslim sovereign entity. This latest attempt to completely delegitimize Israel reveals the falseness of any statements to the effect that the Palestinian leaders would be willing to have a “two-state solution” for the “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”.
The incessant efforts to erase all historic Jewish connections to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, the Land of Israel find support from a number of world bodies and nations. Just last month UNESCO emphasized the Muslim connection to the Temple Mount — on which Jesus was possibly crucified — while afterwards acknowledging that the site is important to Jews and Christians, as well. Last year the PA wanted the UN to declare that the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) is a Muslim holy site, which did not pass. Before that, UNESCO did vote that the Cave of Machpelah — which Abraham bought as a burial site for his wife, Sarah, and where also Abraham, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah are all buried, these being the fathers and mothers of the Jewish people — is a Muslim World Heritage Site!
There is a movement in the UK, called the Balfour Project, seeking Britain to apologize for its great historic mistake over the issuance of the Balfour Declaration:
What will be next? As the battle against YHVH’s sovereignty and plan intensifies, He is going on, whatever the nations and peoples may do. Let us, too, go on with Him in faith that He is justified in all that He does, and we are saved by grace and justified when we believe in Jesus, and what He says. The gospel is to the Jew first, and also to the Arabs and to all other Gentiles! The day of reckoning is coming when all will know that the triune YHVH is the true God, and that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father!
Construction is underway for a major project in the Beer Sheva River Park to build the largest man-made lake in Israel. The project is recreational and commercial. Read more about it here:
The recent terrorist attack in a synagogue in West Jerusalem by Arab Muslims from East Jerusalem, in which rifles, knives, and meat cleavers were among the weapons used against Jewish men praying their morning prayers, has brought closer to home the reality that we are entering a religious war, and not only a nationalistic, political war here in Israel. Among the dead and wounded Jews, a Druze policeman was also mortally wounded and killed as he responded to the terror within the Har Nof neighborhood synagogue.
There are those who remember what Dr. Baruch Goldstein did 20 years ago, when he entered a mosque in Hebron and massacred 29 Arab Muslim pray-ers during their morning prayers, and wounded many others. As despicable as Goldstein’s act was, it is not comparable as a modus operandi to what took place in the synagogue: apart from some fringe supporters, the government of Israel and the people as a whole repudiated such use of violence to achieve whatever the goal may be. The then PM Yitchak Rabin said that he was ashamed to be a Jew. Such an act taints all of us. On the other hand, the Islamic terrorists are praised and celebrated, called martyrs, and others are encouraged to go out and wantonly murder Israeli Jews — and any others — in order to rid the land and the planet of particularly Jews and Christians — those who are the living witness of the one, true, living God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ/Yeshua the Messiah. This is done in the name of their God, who is not the same as YEHOVAH, God Most High. The murderous attack by the Jewish terrorist and murderer, Jack Teitel, against Palestinian Arabs and against Jewish believers in Jesus was his act of war, thinking to do God’s will; yet he, too, was widely denounced for his thinking and for his actions.
While most wars seem to have be for economic and political reasons, there have been many religious wars in history; the Crusades come to mind fairly quickly. The Islamic conquests after its beginnings in the 7th century were all religiously motivated. There have been intra-faith wars between rival parties within religions; for example, the Jews led by the Maccabees against the Hellenizing Jews and Greeks; Sunni vs Shia Muslims; Catholic vs Protestant Christians. Hindis have fought Buddhists. When the Israelis first conquered the Land of Canaan in the 15th century BC, it is stated in what would be considered religious terms: the iniquity/sin of the inhabitants of the land was full, and YHVH God was bringing His chosen people — the descendants of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob — back into the land from Egypt in order to possess it as an everlasting possession, with the stipulation that should they also act as the Canaanites did, then they, too, would be removed from the land as a punishment under the terms of the covenant between YHVH and the Children of Israel. The return of the Jewish people back to Palestine (the Land of Israel) in the 20th century was both pragmatic, political, and religious, and God in His sovereignty brought both His will and the will of man to coincide. This return of the scattered Jews from out of nations all around the globe is itself a strategic act of war by the LORD of Hosts against those who seek to prevent Him from fulfilling His covenant promises and glorifying His name. The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount — the place which God led King David to choose as the place for YHVH’s earthly Temple — and the Muslim efforts to eradicate the validity of Israeli and Jewish history there, is itself an affront and act of defiance to the historical record.
Yet, for the most part, most religions do not teach to engage in war in order to propagate their faith and culture. Islam does, and there have been many who have written about that, using the Koran and Mohammed’s teachings as a proof. The God of Israel also instructed His people to use force as needed, under His directions and guidelines, when taking possession, and then defending their natural and spiritual identity and heritage. This use of force by Israel was not to extend beyond their borders. Until today, this is generally the way Israel employs its military might and prowess.
The Word of God in the Bible tells us that war was declared already back in the Garden of Eden, when YHVH, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth — including the angels and human beings — let Satan (the devil; the fallen angel, Lucifer) know that his rebellion against God, and his active efforts to spread that rebellion among humanity, whom God created in His image and likeness, would not go unanswered. The enmity between the seed of the serpent and between the Seed of the woman — this ‘state of war’ between the devil and Christ Jesus — has been the “mother of all wars” since, whether carried on in the heavenlies, or played out here on land, seas, and air. “Just wars” are those which are perceived as being between good and evil. While warfare is itself a result of sin and rebellion, it is nonetheless used by God to ultimately defeat all enemies of that which is godly and righteous and good, and to glorify His holy name in the process. One of our problems is that we have not exercised our senses to discern both good and evil.
Those who believe in Yeshua as Lord and Messiah are also called to engage in what is called spiritual warfare: this is the war against lies, against the works of the devil, against unrighteousness, against the truth of the true God and Savior. We are called to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth to all nations and people groups, to deliver people from the lies and darkness of Satan and to bring them into the truth and light of Jesus Christ. This is effected through preaching, not by carnal weapons or through lying, intimidation, or force of arms. It is a war for the hearts and minds of men, women, and children — to know and believe the Word of the God who alone forgives sins, and who has power and authority to not only kill the body, but also to send both soul and body to hell. In His love, and to win this war, God the Father sent Yeshua His only-begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but inherit eternal life.
Jesus won the war on the cross, in His death, and subsequent burial and resurrection! The sad news is that many people have not heard, or have not believed what they have heard concerning this good news. The good news is that the Holy Spirit is still at work to bring the many who do repent and believe to saving faith. The peace which Jesus gives is not the peace which the world gives. The day is nearing when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to return from Heaven to put an end to all rebellion and unrighteousness, and to establish the true God’s kingdom over Israel, and over the entire Earth and universe! He alone forgives sin. “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef died at the age of 93, following many months of deteriorating health. He was perhaps the most influential rabbi in this period of the return of the Jewish people back to the promised land. His influence was both religious and political, and affected all of Israeli society, not just the Sephardi Jewish (those who were especially under Islamic influence during the long years of exile) community which he specifically represented. This, in itself, was an enormous achievement: helping restore a measure of equality and dignity within the Jewish people, no matter if Ashkenazi (those Jewish people mostly under Christianity’s influence while in exile), Sephardi, or otherwise. His funeral procession of hundreds of thousands persons, the largest ever, from many sectors of Israeli society is testimony of his significance. Yet by his strong emphasis on his own heritage, politically there was much bias for his own constituency, resulting in some high-profile corruption, and harsh words for civil institutions and those whom he disliked. (God’s intention is to restore complete equality and dignity among and within all the House of Jacob — Ephraim and Judah — making them “one stick” when all Israel is saved by seeing Jesus whom they have pierced.)
Here is one article from the Israeli English press, highlighting the man’s life:
Speaking in terms of Judaism, Rabbi Yosef was a sage, a ‘wise man’, steeped in ‘Torah’, meaning especially the Oral Law which forms the traditional foundation of Talmudic Rabbinic Judaism. At his death, many of his own ardent followers and disciples cried out as if their shining light had gone out, and their father had been taken from them, leaving them as orphans in the dark. There is the sense that there is no one who can replace him. This is true in all cases when certain figures pass from the scene, and a generation is left with ‘lesser lights’.
In Biblical history, we see how YHVH, God of Israel, saw to it that Joshua Ben-Nun would be the heir to Moses, and acted on his behalf that he would be honored just as Moses was. We see this also when Elijah the prophet was taken up, and Elisha was there to be his anointed heir. It was God who indicated that Aaron’s son, Eleazar, would become High Priest following the death of Aaron. Following King David’s death, there was an attempt to usurp the throne which he had promised to Solomon. Whenever there is a void, and a lack of a publicly clear successor, power struggles often ensue, and divisions within the house become more evident. This is so within the Chabad movement which accepts their dead rabbi, Menachem Schneerson, to be the Messiah (which Ovadia Yosef categorically denounced). And this is already a much discussed issue over the passing away of Rabbi Yosef, and its consequences especially within the political party, Shas, which he founded to represent the interests of Sephardi Jews.
When Yeshua was with His apostles and disciples, He was preparing them for the time when He would no longer be with them, and He would not leave them orphans. At His death, even those closest to Him thought that their hopes were dashed, and went back to ‘business as usual’. When they saw Him after His resurrection, He spent 40 days with them to confirm them in the truth of His being alive again, and then told them to wait together in Jerusalem until they received the promise from the Father, the gift of the Holy Spirit to dwell within each one of them. At that appointed Pentecost/Shavuot, while the 120 disciples were gathered together, each and all received this gift, producing a harmony among these disciples as to who was in the lead (Peter), and what business they were about (preaching the gospel of God’s kingdom for salvation).
The 12 chosen apostles of the Messiah were a motley group of unlike people — Gallilean fishermen, a levitical tax collector, a Judean, a nationalist zealot. Yet the way of the Lord was able to bring these unlikely colleagues together, and, more importantly perhaps, keep them together in heart and mind, after His ascension to glory at the right hand of Power. The Holy Spirit held them in love and unity for the sake of the name of the Lord Yeshua, and reminded them of those things which He taught and did: how He loved them, chastening them, too, as a Big Brother, as a Good Friend, and as a Father to his children. The rest is history. Divisions have come within the house, but not because of those whom Jesus appointed to deliver to us the doctrines of the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
It is my prayer that, as the ‘wise’ of this age pass on (and they all know who Jesus is now, whether they are already glad, or already in torment), many of those who feel that there is not much hope in what comes after them, that their faith falsely placed in mere mortal men and their own wisdom would be turned toward the ever-living God of Heaven and Earth, who chose the Children of Israel to be His people and His children, and that He, in His infinite knowledge and wisdom and mercy, would favorably shine His uncreated Light of Messiah, the Son of God, upon them, that they might return home to the Father through calling on the name of Yeshua for salvation. Amen.
Today in the Jerusalem District Court, the three judges in the case of “Jewish terrorist”, Jack Teitel, found him completely responsible for his “cold-blooded” acts of murder and of attempted murder. In the courtroom, when asked by reporters whether he had any regrets for what he had done, he said the he “has no regret nor is he sorry for what he did”, and that he would do it again if he had to. Teitel received two consecutive life sentences for the two murders he committed, plus 30 more years in jail for the other attempts he carried out. In addition, he was ordered to pay a total of 680,000 ILS ($190,000) to the various victims of his crimes.
The judges, in their sentencing, said that despite all the religious claims of the murderer, he had violated the values of the people and nation, and the commandment which states, “You shall not murder”.
The case was particularly of interest to the Messianic/Christian community in Israel, because one of the victims was Ami Ortiz, the teenaged (at that time in March, 2008, during Purim) son of David and Leah. He opened a supposed Purim gift box left at the front door of their apartment, and the bomb blast severely wounded and damaged Ami and the home. Till today, Ami suffers from shrapnel still in his body, loss of hearing, pains, loss of three toes. Yet with all that, thanks to God, he has recovered wonderfully in body and soul.
None of the Ortiz family expresses any hatred toward Teitel, yet were determined to see that justice was done to such a one that has expressed no remorse and showed no mercy.
Israeli law does not recognize Jewish terror against Israelis or other Jews, which means that the Ortiz family has received no compensation from the government as victims of a terrorist act; whereas the Arab Palestinians who were his victims have received compensation. The Ortizes and their lawyers hope that this case will spur the government to modify the law to recognize that even Jewish people can be victims of other Jews simply for ideological reasons.
Here is the translation of an exerpt of the judges’ opening remarks in the courtroom, which form the conclusion of their transcript, before declaring th sentence on Teitel:
“Before the end (when the sentencing will take place) we want to repeat and emphasize: it was proven before us that feelings of hatred and frustration were used by the defendant while committing criminal acts, while sacred values became dust at his feet. We know that life is sacred and to be respected in every way, but we did not find a sign or memory of that knowledge in the possession of the defendant. Our scriptures command us: “Thou shalt not murder”, but the defendant stopped up his ears and eyes, and murdered and attempted to murder in cold blood. Every crime that he committed, was saturated with the contamination of the hatred of his mind and heart….
His actions become more evident and obvious, the murders were committed only because of the Arab origins of his victims, who were unarmed, without any threat of visible weapons or intimidation on their part towards him. The rest of the offenses the defendant committed were ideologically motivated. This is not a one case incident or a mistake, what we have before us is – a phenomenon.
The democratic System of government is honorable and worthy, when it is established on an interaction between the different segments of the nations that dwell in the country, Jews and Arabs as one, and the state institutions, which should be accompanied by a sense of trust and general confidence that prevails for every citizen, regardless of origin, whose actions are not led by arbitrariness of the heart but by appropriate values which we all want to depend on.
The State of Israel is blessed in this regard with governmental institutions that operate according to law, in a legal constitutional environment where sacred values are used as candles for its feet and human dignity and freedom are the leading values. But this matter in question invaded to the depths of our consciousness – and indeed violated one of the basic premises which guides us on a daily basis. The ruling in this case leaves no room for doubt: the murders, the attempted murders and other crimes committed by the defendant were directed at the heart of this country’s values which were stated beforehand, but it should be emphasized – that these malicious intentions cannot be tolerated by a society that fights against those who would try to destroy it.
This is true all year round, but even more so during these days between Memorial Day, Holocaust Memorial Day, and Independence Day.”