Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"How to Stab a Jew"

And now, the latest "viral video" currently sweeping the Internet, courtesy of the "religion of peace:" "How to Stab a Jew," produced by the Palestinian group Hamas.  If this were a joke, it would be in exceedingly bad taste; but, although murder is indeed a cause of merriment and laughter to any believing Muslim, this is not a joke. Following the murders of five people, including three rabbis, in a Jerusalem synagogue in November; and following a botched stabbing attack on two Israeli border patrolmen last Friday, Hamas has provided Muslims worldwide with a helpful video showing how to do the job correctly.  The video does not portray an actual stabbing, but merely shows a "training exercise," so it is not gory:

video

Although the "prophet" Muhammad would probably not approve of the pseudo-rock musical accompaniment, he would certainly applaud the sentiment behind, and the purpose of, the video. Anyone who has observed the Palestinians over the decades will recognize the Keffiyeh scarf, made famous by Yasir Arafat, worn by the cowardly masked actors in the video: it is acknowledged around the world as a symbol of "Palestinian resistance."

This is Islam.  These are the barbarians seeking to destroy the state of Israel, and then the entire Jewish people.  And "Palestine" is the non-nation which, in the next few weeks, will probably be recognized by the United Nations as an official state.*

One year draws to an end, another begins, but the savagery of Mohammedanism, and the hatred of Israel, continues to spread.  

And God looks on, recording every word and every act, having already determined the day and hour when He will intervene directly.  America has abandoned Israel, but God will not.



*Not just yet. The day of this post, the United Nations Security Council voted against the Palestinians' demand to be immediately recognized as a legitimate state. A 9-vote majority of the 15-member council was required to pass the measure.  Russia, China, France, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg voted in favor of the Palestinians; Lithuania, Nigeria, the Republic of Korea and Rwanda and the United Kingdom abstained; only the United States and Australia voted against the Palestinians. At least the United States backed Israel on this occasion, even while stabbing her in the back at every other opportunity.

See also:
‘How to Stab a Jew’ Going Viral on Palestinian Authority Social Media  (JewishPress.com)
'HOW TO STAB A JEW' BECOMES A BIG HIT ON PALESTINIAN SOCIAL MEDIA (Breitbart)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My treachery ... and yours

"They have dealt treacherously against the Lord."  - - - Hosea 5:7

Believer, here is a sorrowful truth! Thou art the beloved of the Lord, redeemed by blood, called by grace, preserved in Christ Jesus, accepted in the Beloved, on thy way to Heaven, and yet, "thou hast dealt treacherously" with God, thy best friend; treacherously with Jesus, whose thou art; treacherously with the Holy Spirit, by whom thou hast been quickened unto life eternal! How treacherous you have been in the matter of vows and promises. Do you remember the love of your espousals, that happy time - - - the springtide of your spiritual life? Oh, how closely did you cling to your Master then! saying, "He shall never charge me with indifference; my feet shall never grow slow in the way of His service; I will not suffer my heart to wander after other loves; in Him is every store of sweetness ineffable. I give all up for my Lord Jesus' sake." Has it been so? Alas! if conscience speak, it will say, "He who promised so well has performed most ill. Prayer has oftentimes been slurred - - - it has been short, but not sweet; brief, but not fervent. Communion with Christ has been forgotten. Instead of a heavenly mind, there have been carnal cares, worldly vanities and thoughts of evil. Instead of service, there has been disobedience; instead of fervency, lukewarmness; instead of patience, petulance; instead of faith, confidence in an arm of flesh; and as a soldier of the cross there has been cowardice, disobedience, and desertion, to a very shameful degree." "Thou hast dealt treacherously." Treachery to Jesus! what words shall be used in denouncing it? Words little avail: let our penitent thoughts execrate the sin which is so surely in us. Treacherous to Thy wounds, O Jesus! Forgive us, and let us not sin again! How shameful to be treacherous to Him who never forgets us, but who this day stands with our names engraven on His breastplate before the eternal throne.



- - - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Morning and Evening

Friday, December 12, 2014

"Two Gods" in the Bible?

It is often said, by people who really should know better, that the Bible contains two completely different images of God, and that these are found in the Old and New Testaments - - - and that they're utterly contradictory.  Whether spoken by a ditch digger or a professional theologian, this cliché goes as follows: "In the Old Testament, God was angry and judgmental and bloodthirsty and cruel; in the New Testament, He's gentle and loving and forgiving."  You've probably heard this statement many times - - - and maybe even accepted it, because, at first glance, it seems to make sense.  But truth is not always obvious at first glance.

As a matter of fact, not only is this cliché false, but its exact opposite is true.  Different aspects of God's character are revealed in the Old and New Testament: that much is true, although the various aspects can be seen both places.  But if you want to see the patience and longsuffering and love of God, you need to look at the Old Testament: and if you want get a glimpse of His fury and wrath, you go to the New Testament.


The above picture, from Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, is probably the most well-known image of God the Father ever produced.  Does He look merciful and happy and sweet?  No, He looks like he's about to slug somebody.  Not exactly the kind of God you want to know on a personal basis.  But that's the image people have.  And they associate this God with some very unpleasant characteristics.  This, in the popular mind, is the "Old Testament God:" the One Who chased Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, the One Who burned Sodom and Gomorrah, the One who sent out all those cranky, screaming prophets like Isaiah and Ezekiel.   And, worst of all, He's the One Who laid down all those horrible Laws and regulations, so nobody could have any fun. He is, in the popular mind - - - let's be honest - - - a brute and a tyrant.  I emphasize that this is the popular perception; it is not what the Bible says.

"That's a God of hate," people say.  But when they come to the New Testament - - - not reading it, but dimly recalling what they've heard about it - - - they heave a sigh of relief.   That mean Old Testament God is suddenly gone!  Now there's a Baby in a manger, and angels singing in the skies, and Jesus forgiving sinners and telling us to consider the lilies.  That's a much more pleasant image!  If the God of the Old Testament was a bully, this God of the New Testament is (let's be honest again) a pushover!


Well ... that is, to put it mildly, a very superficial understanding of the Bible.  The fact that it is promoted and promulgated by some "theologians," who make their living with half-baked presuppositions, means nothing.  Just for novelty's sake, let's look at how God really acted in the Old Testament.

In the very beginning, when He created Adam and Eve, He placed them in a perfect environment: no diseases, no natural pestilences, no aging .... no death.  They even had perfect bodies. He gave them complete dominion and freedom.  Are these the acts of a loving Father, or a cruel tyrant?  And, like any loving Father, He sought to protect them, by warning them about the only thing in the Garden that could ruin things: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:16-17).  Why was such a warning necessary?  Because, in addition to all His other gifts, He had given them free will: they could choose to do what they wanted - - - even if it displeased Him.  So, naturally, they did violate His single, simple warning, and (this cliché is unavoidable) the rest is history.  But even then, God didn't kill them or torture them: He simply allowed nature, which by now was fallen, to take its course.  A tyrant?  A puppet master?  Hardly.  Rather a God Who sought to create a universe, and fill it with goodness and love.

Generations later, He called out Abraham, from his homeland, and promised to make him the father of nations.  And from that promise came Israel, God's chosen nation, God's only nation on this earth, "the apple of his eye" (Zechariah 2:7, 8).  And He gave Israel His Law, to guide and protect them ... and the people of Israel began to break God's Law as soon as they received it.  As the generations progressed, they did everything from worshiping a golden calf, to "sacred" prostitution, to actually sacrificing their children, their babies, to idols.


And what did God, this Old Testament "tyrant," do?  He forgave them, and sent them prophets to remind them of their place in His heart.  Sometimes, He disciplined the nation, by allowing the Babylonian Captivity and such things.  But these were actions which the Israelites had brought upon themselves ... and God continued to forgive them, and give them another chance, and another chance, and another after that .....
 ...
Everyone talks of Sodom and Gomorrah, but who remembers Ninevah?  In the Book of Jonah, God warned that He would destroy the city in 40 days: no ifs, ands, or buts.  But when the people repented, God changed His mind, and spared them.  
 ...
If there is a single characteristic that marks the God of the Old Testament, apart from His holiness and power, I think it's His longsuffering.  His patience.  His willingness to forgive.  
..
But when we come to the New Testament, we see a different aspect of God's character and nature.  Yes, of course there's forgiveness; as I said earlier, God's various attributes can be seen in both Testaments.  Jesus Christ was the only Man Who ever walked this earth Who had the authority and power to forgive sins, and He forgave them willingly; He even wept over those who would not come to Him for forgiveness (Matthew 23:37).  But when it came time  for God, after all the centuries, to finally reveal His unbridled, incomprehensible wrath ... it was revealed in the New Testament.  
...
Because it was in the New Testament that God poured out all His hatred of sin, His unwillingness to abide sin, His perfect holy fury .... and He poured it all out on Jesus Christ, His only Son, the only sinless Man since the fall of Adam.  If you want to see the wrath of God (and I pray you never do), you don't look at the Old Testament: you look at Calvary, where Jesus Christ took all the wrath and fury of God Almighty .... so that we wouldn't have to.  If we receive Him according to John 1:12, we have nothing to fear. 
  ...
And if we study the Bible carefully, we won't believe in the silly, superficial cliché of the "two Gods in the two Testaments."
 ... 
What a wonderful God!  What a wonderful Saviour!


Monday, December 8, 2014

THE LAST STRAW: OBAMA DAMNS AMERICA

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)

For about the first 200 years of America's existence, Almighty God blessed the United States as He has blessed few nations in human history.  This was not because of any inherent goodness or "godliness" on America's part: Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing (Isaiah 40:15).  It was because, in God's perfect plan for human history, America would be the country that, more than any other, assisted in the restoration of Israel in 1948, when President Harry Truman recognized the new state at the moment of its creation.  Unique among all the nations of the earth, Israel had been and would be God's nation. For decades afterward, America was Israel's staunchest ally in the world, and although other nations supported Israel, America was the only superpower to do so.  

That began to change sometime in the late twentieth century.  As the Philistines, better known as the Palestinians, began to demand their own state (a state which had never existed in the past), weak and vacillating American administrations, both Democrat and Republican, attempted to play both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  This "tilt" toward the Palestinians began under Jimmy Carter, accelerated under George H.W. Bush, and moved even faster under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

But, in all the intrigue and political vacillation on the part of the various American administrations, America always paid lip service to Israel, and voted on her behalf in the United Nations.  Even the current incumbent kept up the hypocritical facade of "support for Israel" during the early years of his administration, even while working practically to weaken her, and embolden her enemies. Obama's actions have been discussed several times in this forum, such as herehere, and here, inter al.


But now President Haman is doing something that has never been done before: he is publicly going on record against Israel, by threatening sanctions against her.  America has never placed sanctions on Israel before.  By this action, Obama is affixing America's name to the list of Israel's enemies.

He is doing this because Israel is continuing to pursue construction projects in Jerusalem, contrary to the wishes of the Palestinians, all Muslims, and the Roman Catholic Church.  At the same time, he is considering lightening existing sanctions against Iran.

Although the prostitute news media has attempted to downplay this story, the details will be found in the news links below.  The "mainline" Christian denominations, such as the Episcopal Church, the United Presbyterian Church, and the United Methodist Church are in favor of America breaking ties with Israel.  But facts are facts, and truth is truth: no communion of professed believers which opposes Israel has the right to be called a "Christian church."

The following video is several years old, but provides the background for Obama's latest actions.  

video


In imposing (or even considering) sanctions against Israel, this man is officially "cursing" Israel. God has already removed His hand of blessing from this nation; but in cursing Israel, America is now incurring God's curse, according to Genesis 12:1-3.  Any American Christian who sincerely sings "God Bless America" will now be asking God to violate His own word.

He won't do it.

As a lifelong patriot, I am now truly ashamed to be an American.  But I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, and I will never be ashamed to be a supporter of Israel. 

The story:






Wednesday, December 3, 2014

From the kernels to the husk

All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk." (Numbers 6:4)

Nazarites had taken, among other vows, one which debarred them from the use of wine. In order that they might not violate the obligation, they were forbidden to drink the vinegar of wine or strong liquors, and to make the rule still more clear, they were not to touch the unfermented juice of grapes, nor even to eat the fruit either fresh or dried. In order, altogether, to secure the integrity of the vow, they were not even allowed anything that had to do with the vine; they were, in fact, to avoid the appearance of evil. Surely this is a lesson to the Lord's separated ones, teaching them to come away from sin in every form, to avoid not merely its grosser shapes, but even its spirit and similitude. Strict walking is much despised in these days, but rest assured, dear reader, it is both the safest and the happiest. He who yields a point or two to the world is in fearful peril; he who eats the grapes of Sodom will soon drink the wine of Gomorrah. A little crevice in the sea-bank in Holland lets in the sea, and the gap speedily swells till a province is drowned. Worldly conformity, in any degree, is a snare to the soul, and makes it more and more liable to presumptuous sins. Moreover, as the Nazarite who drank grape juice could not be quite sure whether it might not have endured a degree of fermentation, and consequently could not be clear in heart that his vow was intact, so the yielding, temporizing Christian cannot wear a conscience void of offence, but must feel that the inward monitor is in doubt of him. Things doubtful we need not doubt about; they are wrong to us. Things tempting we must not dally with, but flee from them with speed. Better be sneered at as a Puritan than be despised as a hypocrite. Careful walking may involve much self-denial, but it has pleasures of its own which are more than a sufficient recompense.


- - - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Morning and Evening