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Why a Palestinian Christian is Wrong About Jerusalem
Jan 24th
Commentary
MICHAEL BROWN/ASK DR BROWN
Categories: The Nation Of Israel

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According to evangelical Christian leader Johnnie Moore, President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a good thing for the Palestinians. According to Rev. Dr. Jack Sara, a Palestinian Christian living in Jerusalem, Moore has seriously missed the mark. 

In fact, in Sara's view, since Trump's decision was strongly encouraged by evangelical Christians, that very name - evangelical - now has a negative connotation among the Palestinian people, making it all the more difficult for the Palestinian Christians living there. What are to we make of these concerns?

Sara writes with a gracious tone, saying, "My critique is from an evangelical perspective and it is a plea to my brethren across the water." But he is forthright in his convictions, claiming that the term "evangelical" has "become increasingly despised in our region and that the "uncritical support of Israel" by evangelicals "is blinding their eyes to the injustices committed in the land."

He blames this further on the alleged "distorted interpretation of scripture" held to by evangelicals, asking, "What is their good news to the Palestinians? What is their Gospel for the Arab nations?"

With all respect to Dr. Sara as my brother in the Lord, and having shared with him privately that I'd be responding to his article, allow me to address the issues he raises.

First, in 1972, as a weeks-old, Jewish believer in Jesus, the local rabbi gave me a book on anti-Semitism in Church history, outlining one of the major reasons many Jews do not believe in Jesus. Non-baptized Jews were exiled from numerous countries; Jews were slaughtered in the Crusades (including European Jews, whose sin was to be Jewish); Martin Luther counseled that rabbis be forbidden to teach on penalty of death - and on and on it goes.

As evil and anti-Christian as the Holocaust was, it found a ready home in anti-Semitic Europe, the result of centuries of "Christian" anti-Semitism.

Now, after such a long and ugly history, evangelical Christian love for Israel has won the hearts of many Israelis, and Jewish leaders around the world recognize the sincerity - even the altruism - of this love, thereby recovering some of the testimony of Jesus that has been lost.

Dr. Sara, can you rejoice with me that this has taken place? Since these are the Messiah's own flesh and blood, the ones for whom Paul agonized (in Romans 9), shouldn't you, as a follower of Jesus be glad? "Evangelical" has hardly become a dirty word among Israeli Jews.

Second, the gospel for the Arab nations is the same as the gospel for the Hindu nations and Buddhist nations - and for the Jewish people themselves. You can receive forgiveness of your sins through the blood the cross! You can receive a new heart and become a child of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus! Repent and believe!

Isn't that message enough? Why must it also have territorial promises tied in with it?

Third, God did promise the physical land of Israel to the Jewish people before the Law was given at Sinai, and as Paul explained in Galatians 3, the Law, which was 430 years after the promise, cannot nullify the promise. As for the perpetuity of that promise, could God have made Himself any clearer? 

"He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, 'To you I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.'" (Ps. 105:8-11)

You might say, "But that's not fair."

May I ask you, dear brother, why everyone else gets a homeland but the Jewish people don't get one, even a tiny one in the Middle East? If my calculations are right, the physical land of Israel constitutes roughly 1/650th of the surrounding Arab and Muslim land. Is it so terrible that we Jews have a homeland?

Fourth, when there was plenty of room for Jews and Arabs to dwell side by side in what was then called Palestine in the 1930s, the Muslim leadership was offered a two-state solution. The Jewish leadership accepted the offer; the Muslim leadership refused.

The same thing happened in 1947. The Jewish leadership accepted the two-state solution, echoing the sentiments of David Ben Gurion, who said in 1937, "We do not wish and do not need to expel Arabs and take their place. All our aspiration is built on the assumption - proven throughout all our activity in the Land of Israel - that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs."

The Muslim leadership refused, calling for war instead. In the words of Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, October 11, 1947, "It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades."

Isn't that still the attitude of Hamas, rightly branded a terrorist group by America? And isn't it true that the Palestinian Authority (PA) still rewards the families of terrorists who slaughter Israeli children, women, and men? And isn't it true that, the vast majority of Israel's 1.5 million Arab citizens prefer living under Israeli rule rather than under the rule of Hamas or the PA?

Perhaps Israel is not the primary cause of Palestinian suffering? Perhaps the greater cause is the Palestinian Muslim leadership?

Fifth, if I follow your logic, then the only way Palestinians will be happy with evangelical Christians is if we renounce reality and say that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel, when in fact it is the capital, both in history and at present. C

onversely, as you surely know, Jerusalem has never been the capital of a Palestinian state. Why, now, must E. Jerusalem be the capital of Palestine? Based on what criteria?

Unfortunately, as noted by one pro-Israel blogger, you are basically stating "that without antisemitism, the Arabs won't listen to the message of Christ." In other words, unless Christians worldwide take an anti-Israel position and refuse to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Muslims won't receive the gospel. Dr. Sara, do you really believe this?

The good news is that, around the world, not only are Muslims coming to Jesus in unprecedented numbers, but many of them are becoming staunch lovers of Israel, recognizing that it is Satan who wants to destroy the Jewish people and that Jew-hatred is all too present in Islamic tradition.

On a recent trip to Germany, I met some former Muslims from Iran and Turkey and Syria. We hugged and rejoiced together, as they told me in their imperfect English how much they loved Jesus and how much they loved the Jews. This is but one anecdotal example out of countless thousands.

I know some Palestinian Christians who feel the same way, yet they have been beaten and threatened by their Muslim neighbors because of their pro-Israel stance.

Perhaps, Dr. Sara, they are not all reading the Bible wrongly? Perhaps they recognize that, as surely as God is God, His love for Israel remains the same, despite our many sins (Romans 11:28-29)?

Sixth, I do not minimize injustices you and your friends may have suffered, and I do not believe Israel is faultless, not historically and not today. I do my best to address areas of concerns when my Jewish brothers fall short, so yes, we are joined together in Jesus to stand for justice. Where I have a blind spot to these injustices, by all means, help me to see more clearly.

I simply appeal to you to reconsider your understanding of the Scriptures when it comes to Israel, to ask yourself if your bad experiences have blinded your eyes to the plain teaching of the Bible, and to do what the Lord enjoined in the Psalms and in Isaiah (Psalm 22 and Isaiah 62), namely, to pray for a Jewish Jerusalem to become the praise of all the earth.

The U.S. and Pakistan: Time for a Divorce?
Jan 24th
Commentary
LAWRENCE A. FRANKLIN/GATESTONE INSTITUTE
Categories: Contemporary Issues

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U.S. President Donald Trump's recent denunciation of Pakistan's "lies and deceit" is long overdue. Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawajah Asif's retort -- "We do not have any alliance" with the U.S. -- appears to administer the last rites to a relationship long battered by mistrust. Are there, however, sufficient U.S. interests served by maintaining military cooperation with Pakistan, despite the contentious relationship?

Pakistan's two-faced role in joining the U.S.-led war on terror, while at the same time giving sanctuary and assistance to terrorist groups, was apparent even before the 9/11 attack on America and continues to this day. 

President Trump's decision to withhold military aid may cause Pakistani intelligence agencies to be even less cooperative than they were in the past in assisting U.S. forces deployed to Afghanistan. Moreover, Pakistan's commercial, economic, and investment interests appear now more closely aligned with China.
It is also in America's interest to end its own double game of attempting to be allied with both India and Pakistan, countries that are mortal enemies; it would be wise to choose India over Pakistan. As the world's most populous democracy, India shares U.S. liberal democratic values. Its power in Asia is exceeded only by that of China, America's principal competitor in the Pacific.

The recent liberation by Pakistani troops of an American family -- kidnapped five years ago in Afghanistan by Pakistan-based terrorists -- should not be seen as a decision to cooperate more fully with the U.S.-led war on Islamic terrorism. U.S. Navy SEALs were ready to liberate the hostages in the event that Pakistan refused to do so. 

Reports suggest that U.S. intelligence passed to Pakistan the exact location of the hostages, making it difficult for the Pakistanis not to act. Consequently, Pakistan, as an alleged ally of the U.S., had little choice but to assist.

The terrorist group holding the hostages, the Haqqani Network, has close operational planning links to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). These links between Pakistan and the Haqqani Network and other terrorist groups, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, underscore the untrustworthy nature of such a professed ally.

Ironically, it is arguable that America's greatest enemy in the region is not al-Qaeda, but Pakistan. Afghanistan's former spy chief, Amrullah Saleh, seems to agree. He assessed that "the amount of pain that Pakistan has inflicted upon the United States in the last 12 years is unprecedented." 

So why should we be surprised that Osama bin Laden's hideaway was in Abbottabad, less than a 30-minute drive from Pakistan's "West Point," the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul?

U.S. policymakers should not have been surprised -- if they were -- at Pakistan's decision to give refuge to bin Laden. In the years prior to 9/11, Pakistan was one of only three countries to have diplomatic relations with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. And, as host to al-Qaeda, the Taliban offered the infrastructure to support the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Pakistan's ISI continues to sponsor, equip, and train several terrorist organizations that directly target American troops in Afghanistan, as well as regional allies of the United States, such as India. Groups such as the Afghan Taliban and its subsidiary, the Haqqani Network, are considered assets by the ISI to help Pakistan accomplish its goals in Afghanistan, one of which is to create enough instability to prevent its rival, India, from gaining influence there.

The Haqqani Network also continues hostile operations against the U.S. military. Other terrorist groups, such as the Pakistani-supported Lashkar-e-Taiba, too are employed by Pakistan's ISI to commit terrorist acts against Pakistan's regional archrival, India.

Pakistan does cooperate with the U.S., however, when American troops target those terrorist groups that Pakistan's ISI does not control -- those working to overthrow the Pakistani state. Most of these groups operate out of Northwest Pakistan's remote Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), regions that have never been under complete control of the central government.

Pakistan also has a poor record on controlling nuclear proliferation. As is well known, the scientist most responsible for Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons capability, Abdul Qadeer Khan, disseminated technical information that aided the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, both of which are long-time adversaries of the United States.

Given the critical nature of his research, Khan could not have acted so freely without protection from high-ranking Pakistani intelligence officers. It matters not whether Khan was motivated by greed or ideology; his deeds dealt a severe blow to the U.S. effort to keep nuclear weapons knowledge from the world's rogue nations, such as Iran and North Korea.

Pakistan is not a democracy, despite its current regularly-scheduled elections. It remains a violent, intolerant society in which religious minorities, such as Shia Muslims and Christians, are under constant threat of persecution. 

In fact, not a week goes by without a massacre of minorities in some part of the country. There is little doubt, then, that Pakistan is more enemy than ally, and acts more like a rogue state than a responsible member of the family of nations.

So why does the U.S. continue to have normal relations with Pakistan? To what end does the U.S. continue its military cooperation? What U.S. national security interest does this cooperation serve?

In part, the military alliance continues as a Cold War relic; Pakistan once served as a bulwark against Soviet expansionist policies in South Asia. For instance, during the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan (1980-1988), Pakistan served as a staging and training area for anti-Soviet fighters from all over the world. Despite the implosion of the Soviet Union, this military-to-military relationship endures.

It is not, however, in the U.S.'s interest for Pakistan to dissolve as a nation-state no longer sovereign in its territorial space. This would invite Islamic terrorists throughout the world to flock to a newly failed and ungoverned region, jam-packed with nuclear weapons. 

Nor would such a scenario be in the interest of India, which could become the principal target of a collapsed Pakistan. The collapse of nuclear Pakistan would require action by outside powers, probably including the U.S., to interdict any possible efforts by terrorist groups to seize its nuclear weapons.

As long as the United States and its allies have troops deployed to Afghanistan, it is prudent to paper over existing tensions. Pakistan and Afghanistan share an approximately 2500-kilometer border, etched with mountainous topography and remote passes that can facilitate terrorist infiltration. 

Without Pakistan's present limited cooperation, American troop casualties in Afghanistan could rise sharply. Pakistan might entirely end its already less-than-ideal assistance to the war effort in Afghanistan.

 However, it is long past time for the U.S. to choose what type of relationship it wants.

Melchizedec
Jan 24th
Morning Meditation
F. B. Meyer
Categories: Meditation;Inspirational;Book Study

"This Melchizedec, King of Salem, priest of the Most High God." -- Hebrews 7:1.

Christ is here! The passage is fragrant with the ointment of His name. Our hands drop with myrrh, and our fingers with sweet-smelling myrrh, as we lay them upon the handles of this lock (Song of Solomon 6:5). Let us get aside from the busy rush of life, and think long, deep thoughts of Him who is the Alpha and Omega of Scripture, and of saintly hearts. And let us draw from the unsearchable depths of His nature, by the bucket of this mysterious record touching Melchizedec, the King of Salem.

There is a sense in which Christ was made AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEC; but there is a deeper sense in which Melchizedec was made AFTER THE ORDER OF THE SON OF GOD. The writer to the Hebrews tells us that Melchizedec was "made like unto the Son of God" (Hebrews 7:3). Christ is the Archetype of all; and from all eternity has had those qualities which have made Him so much to us. It would seem as if they could not stay to be manifested in the fullness of the ages; they chafed for expression. From of old His delights were with the sons of men. And so this mysterious royal priest was constituted -- reigning in his peaceful city, amid the storm and wreckage of his times -- that there might be given amongst men some premonition, some anticipation, of that glorious life which was already being lived in Heaven on man's behalf, and which, in due course, would be manifested on our world, and at that very spot where Melchizedec lived his Christ-like life. Oh that we, too, might be priests after the order of Melchizedec in this respect, if in no other, that we are made as like as possible to the Son of God!

Let the Headlines Speak
Jan 24th
Daily News
From the Internet
Categories: Today's Headlines

Church of England Sneaks Transgender ‘Re-Baptism’ into Liturgy
The Church of England has rejected a proposal for a new service to mark a congregant’s sex change – but has given the nod to using an existing ‘reaffirmation’ baptism service, instead. The decision by the Anglican House of Bishops to reject proposals for the development of a new special service to mark gender transitions was criticised by LGBT activists within the church.

Virus shown to be likely cause of mystery polio-like illness
A major review has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralyzed children in the US, Canada and Europe. “More than 120 children developed the condition, known as acute flaccid myelitis, in the US alone but experts were baffled as to the cause.”

Pence’s Biblical Knesset Address Affirms America’s Christian Connection to Israel
“We stand with Israel, because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny,” Pence said in his address. “The people of the US have always held a special affection and admiration for the People of the Book.” “The Book” Pence was undoubtedly referring to was the Bible, which he said not only described the story of the Jewish people but also foreshadowed the story of America in a similar fashion.

6.2 magnitude earthquake 90 km from Misawa, Aomori, Japan
UTC time: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 10:51 AM Your time: Wednesday, January 24 2018 4:51 AM Magnitude Type: mww

Haley: Russia is telling world chemical weapons are okay
Haley said that the reports of chlorine gas being used by the Syrian regime “are yet another demonstration of its blatant disregard for international law and cruel indifference for the lives of its own people.” In November, Russia vetoed the renewal of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), the independent, impartial, technical group unanimously created by the UN Security Council to investigate the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks in Syria and identify those responsible.

Palestinian Leader Abbas Fails to Eject Trump From the Peace Process
A week after publicly wishing for Trump’s house to be destroyed, Abbas’ quest took him to Brussels, where he entreated the European Union to officially recognize the “State of Palestine” and taken the reins of the peace process. While one nation, Slovenia, agreed to recognize Palestine, and the EU promised to take a more “central” role in the peace process, Abbas ultimately failed in his mission.

Senator Confirms Existence Of FBI ‘Secret Society,’ Says He Has Informant
Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson told Fox News Tuesday that an “informant” confirmed the existence of an anti-Trump “secret society” within the Department of Justice and FBI. House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy raised eyebrows Monday describing how FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page described a “secret society” that met off-site at the FBI.

Mayon volcano in Philippines spews lava fountains & ash plumes as thousands more flee
Thousands more have been forced to flee in the Philippines, latest figures show, as the country’s most active volcano keeps spewing massive lava fountains and ash plumes up to five kilometers high. The “alert level 4” status remains for the local residents following five more “episodes of intense but sporadic lava fountaining from the summit crater” on Wednesday morning,

Pediatric Nurse Files Complaint With HHS After Leaving Job Over Requirement to Provide Abortion Referrals
A former pediatric nurse in Illinois has filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after she felt forced out of her job when her employer allegedly told her that she could not keep her position if she wouldn’t be willing to provide referrals for abortions and morning-after pills.

‘DACA No Longer Enough:’ Soros-Funded Illegal Aliens Demand Amnesty by Protesting Schumer, Democrats
Illegal alien activists stormed the home of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the offices of Democrats demanding immediate amnesty for all 12 to 30 million illegal aliens in the United States, as well as the release of all illegal aliens who are in detention centers for crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

Should You Cancel Your Trip to Cape Town? 
If you haven’t heard, Cape Town is running out of water. So much so that the city has marked April 21 as “Day Zero,” the day the taps run dry; they even had to bump that up a week because water’s being used at an alarming rate.

Study: Progressive and Liberal US Churches Are Shrinking, Fundamental and Nondenominational American Christians Are Growing
Christians are tired of hearing watered down teachings, instead, according to a recently published study, people of America are turning to Churches that stand on the Word of God.

Global media excoriate Canadian gov’t for denying funding to pro-life churches
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government are being blasted by media across the globe for requiring employers to sign an “attestation” supporting abortion and transgender “rights” in order to receive summer job grants.

Mayon Volcano Alert Level Raised, Explosion Anytime: ‘Just Be READY’
The Philippines most active volcano, Mount Mayon, has been rumbling for days.  Because of the volcano’s ongoing activity, the alert level has been raised to 4 and the danger zone around Mayon is now 5 miles in diameter.

WW3 Preparations: Amidst Drought North Korean Officials Raid Homes And Farms To Feed Army
North Korean officials are ransacking homes and raiding farms in order to feed their starving army.  Not only has the drought taken its toll on the nation, but this newest harsh seizure of food is causing internal clashes between the civilians and the army.

TB vaccine SCAM: Scientists gave 1,400 babies a new vaccine for tuberculosis despite FAILED safety trials
An investigation by the British Medical Journal has exposed a horrifying vaccine scam that took place in the same place that many unethical vaccine stories come from – Africa. There, babies were used as guinea pigs to test out a vaccine after the monkeys it was tested on died.

Obama’s ICE Didn’t Follow Procedure For Checking Illegal Immigrants’ Ties to Terrorism
The full disastrous effect of the Obama administration will not be felt or fully known for quite some time. He has planted any number of ticking time bombs in the American body politic. One year of President Trump has done a great deal to undo the damage, but there is a great deal more that must be done. There is an unknowable number of illegals now in the country who have ties to terrorism, including jihad groups, and Obama welcomed them. If even one is not tracked down and deported now, people could be murdered. That’s Obama’s legacy.

FBI Agents Discussed “Secret Society” Within DOJ And FBI Working To Undermine Trump
Congressional investigators learned from a new batch of text messages between anti-Trump FBI investigators that a “secret societyof folks” within the Department of Justice and the FBI may have come together in the “immediate aftermath” of the 2016 election to undermine President Trump, according to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) who has reviewed the texts.

Pictures: Globalist Davos Summit Buried in Snow as Elites Gather to Discuss Global Warming
The annual meeting of globalist elites at the Swiss ski resort Davos got off to an unintentionally ironic start this week as delegates including 60 heads of state and hundreds of top business leaders found themselves severely delayed by snow storms.


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