Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

A Cultural Adventure

Strange names were written on my white board and the number of names on the list  increased or decreased each time my son called with a revision.  The names were nothing like I had ever seen before and I wondered a little about each of them as I read and re-read the names and the countries listed by the names.  

It all began when my son requested an international student as a college roommate.  It grew into a bigger phenomenon when five of the internationals had nowhere to go for Thanksgiving break.  Our home became theirs and for four days  faceless names suddenly had homes, families, cultures, lives and languages.  Strangers became friends, acquaintances grew into friendships that changed everyone’s life.

Nikolay

From the first moment that my son and Nikolay made contact, they were immediate buddies.  We were in the car driving home from Denver when Nikolay contacted my son on Facebook.  They chatted for about 30 minutes and afterwards my son said, “He’s so awesome.  He’s going to the be the coolest roommate.”

Nik

Nik and Jacob

Nicolay is from Armenia.  Armenia is a Republic located in the southern Caucasus mountains of eastern Europe, western Asia.  Mt. Ararat, famous for Noah’s Ark, is in Armenia.  Armenia was also the first country to accept the message of Jesus and Christianity. The Armenian church  doctrine of ‘we choose‘ comes from this geographical place.  Nicolay doesn’t consider himself religious at all; in fact, he considers himself atheist and doesn’t really understand the idea of faith.  His favorite question regarding any faith statement is to ask, “Why?”

I honestly don’t remember the first time I actually met Nikolay in person.  It seemed every time we visited our son,  Nik was out on his own adventures.  Perhaps the first time was when we went to a football game in a blizzard.   He was such a sport to bundle up and sit in the drenching wet snow while having no clue about what was happening on the field.  In reality, this is Nik’s personality and why he has had a variety of experiences in his short lifetime.

Nik is a very smart young man and has several years of higher education already accomplished at 18.  He is studying international business which includes economics and finance.  During the tax season he worked for a firm in the college town learning about our income tax system.  He even helped my son with his tax return.   He speaks Russian, German, French, English, and of course Armenian.  I read an intensive research paper he wrote for a finance class  about IKEA and why their business practices are successful in America – in near-perfect English.  He loves chess and beats everyone he plays!

The country of Armenia used to be much larger than it is today.  There have been many wars with Turkey and Russia over the centuries that have chipped away at its land and annihilated millions of its people through mass murders.  Today, Armenia is in a perpetual state of conflict with its neighbor,  Azerbaijan.  Border patrols that actually do kill ‘tresspassors’, keep Armenians out of Azerbaijan and vice versa.   When Nik was about 15 years old, he realized that young people in both countries do not desire the war nor want to kill each other.  He wanted to find a way to help end the conflict so he developed a group that included young students from both countries who met in an undisclosed place to discuss diplomatic ways for their two countries to work out their differences.  Each year this group continues to meet and develop creative ways to end conflict between the two countries.  They submit their ideas to those who have authority in government.    As my son said, “Most 15 year olds that I know are more worried about their video games and what brand clothes they are wearing, not about conflicts and diplomacy with neighboring countries.”

Nic and Jacob - The Snake and the Charmer

Nik and Jacob – The Snake and the Charmer

Nik wrote in our guestbook that friends are our most valuable asset in life.

Rawan

Jemi and Rawan

Jemima and Rawan

Rawan is an Arab Israeli who lives in the West Bank of Israel.  In 1948 when Israel became a nation, some Arabs were given the choice to stay in Israel or leave.  Her father, like all of her ancestors who had lived in the West Bank,  decided to stay and become an Israeli citizen.

Rawan is 20 years old and is studying physics and nanotechnology.  She speaks English, Arabic, Hebrew, and Korean.  She is one of ten children and falls somewhere near the middle.  She says that her parents were very sad because for the first several years of their marriage, her mother did not get pregnant.  They believed they would have no children, ever.   Then, boom, boom, boom, they had ten.

We met Rawan aka ‘Sunshine’ during Thanksgiving break.  She is quite outgoing and is always talking and laughing about something.  My first real memory of her is arm wrestling José (a California student who came for Thanksgiving, too).  When she ‘won’ the match, she didn’t let José forget.  They became great friends.

Rawan cannot tell a lie.  While here, the whole group loved to play “Mafia”.  If you know about the game, it’s all about lying and deceiving other players.  She had to work so hard to keep a straight face and lie which always gave her away.  She kept saying, “I don’t lie.  I can’t lie.”  Since I don’t really like liars, she and I became instant friends.

Each of the exchange students had to give a cultural presentation at the college.  Rawan was insistent that our family  come to her presentation.  Because it was an evening event, my daughters and I spent the night in Rawan’s dorm room – a surreal experience for me since my college days are in a distant era of my life.  I sat on the floor, chatted with her friends, and ate  hummus and pita.  I went to bed long before everyone else who played Mafia until 5 a.m.  Rawan missed her morning class for the first time ever.  She ran to her professor’s office to explain what happened.  He not only gave her an A for the course, but a paper commending her on her perfect attendance.  We all had a good laugh about that.

RawanDebkaRawan loves music.   She loves to dance and dance.  She dances an Arab type of  line dance with hops, and jumps and skips called Dabke.    It is high energy.  She had fun trying to teach me and my daughters the bouncing (and confusing to me) steps.  However, I did grasp them well enough that she invited me/us to dance with her during the presentation.  It was a crazy moment to go to the front of the room and dance Dabke with Rawan.

While rushing to get ready for the International Food Festival in February,  she slipped on some snow and ice and broke her arm.  My husband and I happened to be there for the event and spent some time in the emergency room with ‘our daughter’ Rawan.  Weeks later, we returned to the college to celebrate Rawan’s twentieth birthday with a dance party.  She was double celebrating because the cast on her arm had finally been removed.

Rawan’s perspective of Israel was very fascinating because she is an Arab Muslim and an Israeli citizen.  She loves the country of Israel and speaks of its beauty and its wonderful opportunities even though, as an Arab,  there are some limitations.    She has the right to vote, but cannot be in the Israeli Defense Force.  She can live and work anywhere in the country, but may not attend certain Jewish universities.  She loves her country, yet she struggles with the Arab Israeli conflict and  perceives the conflict differently than a Jewish Israeli.   She views the Israeli flag not as a Star of David on a Talit/prayer shawl, but as the shield of David between the two great rivers: Euphrates and Nile.  Her interpretation of the flag  is that Israel wants to conquer all the lands between both rivers.  From her viewpoint, Israel is the aggressor in all of the conflicts and never hesitates to kill young children.

Rawan is a Muslim by choice.  She has studied Islam and has chosen to follow the religion of her family.  Her family is friends with many Jewish people as well as Christians and so she respects everyone’s personal religious convictions.  It was during her first visit with us that she asked a hard, but honest question.  “If I don’t  believe in Jesus, will I go to hell?”

From further discussions with Rawan, we learned more about her Muslim faith.  She doesn’t believe that Jesus died on the cross, but at the last moment God removed him and put someone else there (most likely Judas).    This is why Jesus can and will  return to earth – not because he was resurrected, but because he didn’t literally, physically die.

Rawan also believes that the Spirit of God went into the womb of Mary and this is how Jesus was conceived.  However, this does not make Jesus divinely God in any manner.  He is just a prophet born differently than the other Islamic prophets who were born through light like an angel.  Jesus was a miracle baby by the evidence that when he was born, he spoke.  As an infant he explained that his mother, Mary, was a virgin.  If  he had not spoken this, they would not have believed his miraculous conception.

Rawan wrote in our guestbook that we gave her love and made her smile from her heart.  

 

Salah

Salah is from Morocco.  He is 20 years old and studying Journalism.  My first memory of him is that he must be a photographer because he took pictures of everything that happened during Thanksgiving in our home.

Salah

 He has been fascinating for me to talk with because of Morocco’s love for the Jewish people.  He explained how throughout its history, Morocco always supported, protected and defended the Jewish people.  A little history research proved this to be true – especially during the Spanish Inquisitions when Morocco offered asylum to Jews evicted from Spain.

Jewish artisans handcrafted many objects that became synonymous with Moroccan culture.  In 1948 when Israel became a nation, Morocco allowed all the Jews to return to their homeland with their blessing though many terribly miss their Jewish friends and neighbors.  Even today Morocco has laws that do not allow people to speak ill of the Jewish people or hurt them in any way.  Unfortunately, when the Jewish people left Morocco, they took their craft skills with them and Morocco lost part of their unique Jewish culture.   Some Moroccans have tried to imitate the artisans such as the small bellows (below) with a photograph of Salah’s village.

Moroccogift

Because Morocco is an Islamic country, Salah is Muslim; however, he is searching for Truth. He, along with the others in the group,  had never heard anything that Jesus/Yeshua said, ever.  He was very intrigued by ‘love your enemies’, ‘don’t lust in your heart’, and ‘anger is the same as murder.’  In an unforgettable moment (for me) his eyes seemed to open when he said, “Yeshua is dealing with the deeper heart issues of man.”  He admitted  that to know someone else died for you so you didn’t have to earn your own salvation through works  would lift a huge burden of guilt and bring great peace and joy.  He asked for a Bible.

As part of our dialogue, he wanted me to read a book by a Muslim cleric who interviewed a Christian so we could discuss it.  I read the 100-page book and gave him 30 pages back –  misconceptions and corrections from both  the Christian who obviously didn’t know his Bible and the cleric who was twisting Scriptures in order to convert the Christian to Islam.

It is tragic that Christianity promotes such a skewed view of the Scriptures to those who understand more succinctly the cultural background of the Bible and Yeshua.    It is these misrepresentations that keeps many Muslims from coming to know Yeshua’s  true deliverance and redemption from sin to eternal life.

Salah wrote in our guestbook “one can pay back a loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.”

 

Ferhat

FerhatFerhat is from Algeria.  He is the first of his family to ever leave Algeria.  In fact, his family doesn’t even have internet so his communication with them is very limited.    He is studying history and English.  He is 23 years old and has two brothers.  He was constantly amazed at our kindness and has been very open about how different his culture is from ours.  I think the most profound difference between the culture  in Algeria and America  is that there is a lack of demonstrative love.  In fact, in his native language of Berber, there are no words or terms of endearment so no one says, “I love you” – especially fathers to sons and sons to fathers.

My first impression of Ferhat was that he was quiet and shy.  He is.  He is also a very gentle soul.   He loves to be on Facebook and his friends called him Sir Facebook Alot.  Because of this he tends to appear anti-social, but he’s really not; he’s communicating in English, French, Arabic and Berber with friends around the world.   He loves to play Mafia, probably because he is so quiet and easily deceives everyone around him.  He is always the one instigating new or more games that grow into large groups and last into the wee hours of the morning.

Ferhat is a Muslim, but doesn’t seem to practice or if he does, he doesn’t speak much about it.  Like Salah, he tends to be more culturally Muslim than religious.  He had many questions about Christians and Jews.   He wanted to know which part of the Bible we (our family) used –  the front like the Jews or the back like Christians.  Tearing the ‘dividing page’ out of a Bible, I explained we used both parts as the Jews need their Messiah and the Christians need their Hebrew roots.  I’ll never forget his response, “You just tore a page out of your holy book!”  He also didn’t understand why Christians consider Jesus a blond-haired, blue-eyed man when he’s Middle Eastern.

Salah and Ferhat traveled together over their winter break to New York City.  I was completely amazed and touched when they returned and had a small gift for our family from Chinatown.  It is a ceramic fisherman.

Ferhat wrote in our guestbook that he learned that we should never judge people according to stereotypes.

Kholoud

Kholoud is from Cairo, Egypt.  My first memory of her is a phone call that I received from my son.  Kholoud’s mother had died and she returned to Egypt for the funeral.  After two weeks, she was arriving back in Denver and needed a place to stay for the night before her morning flight back to the college.

Egyptian Belly Dancing

Egyptian Belly Dancing

My mother died while I was in college and I was the same age as Kholoud – 20.  I could only grieve as I thought of her traveling across the world and back under such  emotional circumstances.  I found a place for her to stay and everyone – Kholoud and the other family – were extremely blessed.

Kholoud is studying law and will make an incredible lawyer if her actions as a moderator for Mafia are any indication.  She is direct, firm, and makes everyone follow the rules or they’re ‘out’!

She has a younger  brother and a sister who are about the same ages my brother and sister were when our mother passed away.  I can only imagine what their lives will be like and hope that they help each other deal with the loss.    According to Kholoud, her mother and father were still sweethearts and her father was struggling deeply.    Kholoud is not a Muslim, but Ba’hai faith.  There is no assurance of salvation in her faith and one must do good works in this life in order to enter heaven.

She is a vegetarian and she belly dances.  Of course, she’s Egyptian!  All Egyptian girls belly dance! Yet, the ethnic group known as Egyptian is dwindling down to almost ‘extinct’ and most Egyptians today  have Arab bloodlines.

Kholoud and I  spent a couple of precious moments together crying about her mother and mine.  So often when tragedy comes into our lives, we question the reason why.  I understood immediately why my mother passed when I talked with Kholoud and could encourage her with the encouragement and hope I always received from the Lord.  I know her journey ahead will be different without the unconditional love of her mother, but I also know she is a strong young woman and will achieve her goals.  Her relationship with her mother will always give her the strength to go forward and she will ultimately bless her mother.   She invited our family to be at her graduation in Cairo in June 2014.

It was right before Thanksgiving break that there were the civilian uprisings in Cairo against the new ‘president’.  We had a chance to talk a bit about the Muslim Brotherhood and how devastating it is for Egypt and its people.  Kholoud hates the Muslim Brotherhood because they use Islam (religion)  to incite people to riot and cause civil unrest.  She personally knew people who were killed or injured during these riots and actually said she wished she was there with them demonstrating.

It was in a little discussion with Rawan and Kholoud that I asked if Barak Obama is a Muslim.  I will never forget Kholoud’s expression and words, “Of course he is, don’t you know that?”  Her shock at my ignorance was astounding.    Rawan’s response to my question was, “His father was Muslim and that makes him Muslim.”

It’s difficult to explain to those in the Middle East (and other places) who respect Barak Obama as the American president who is bringing together the east and the west,   how he lies to the American people.   It became apparent he doesn’t lie when he’s in Egypt or other Middle Eastern countries.

Kholoud wrote in our guestbook that it felt warm and good to be in our home.

 

Group Memories

the group

Nik, Jose, Salah, Jacob
Rawan, Kholoud, Ferhat

Several days before the group arrived, I thought about questions I could ask them.    I came up with two ice breakers: Why did you come to America? And, Is America what you expected? The answers to the first question differed as each one had a unique reason for coming to America: to study, to learn English, to understand the culture, to meet new people, to travel.   The answer to the second question was surprising:  America is not like Hollywood!

They were shocked at how nice and friendly Americans were and were disturbed at how shallow American young people are.  They couldn’t believe the ignorance of college students as to what was happening in the world or even how world events can and will affect them and their lives.   Each of these young people  live in nations where war is always a possibility and conflict a daily event. They felt that American college students were  more concerned with video games, sports, music and clothing than the realities of life, education, economics and politics.   Most of them also know and understand the Constitution of the United States better than their American counterparts.  Kholoud and Nik had the greatest understanding of democracy and the Constitutional Republic government of the United States than most adult Americans.   Kholoud and I also discussed the large numbers executive orders being signed by Barak Obama and how they should be reserved for times of emergency and not to override the Congress which is supposed to represent the people.  Coming from countries where the people’s voice isn’t listened to, they voiced their concern about this overuse of power.

Not long after they all arrived, they stood in my kitchen nook reading the Scriptures I have painted on my walls.  When they came to the Shema,  they began discussing how it would be said in Arabic.  I listened to their little language debate and though they asked my opinion, I couldn’t begin to help because I don’t know a word of Arabic.  It was just so amazing to have a group of Middle Eastern young people stand in my kitchen discussing a Biblically Hebrew phrase – one that honors Yahweh above all other gods and unites His people together under His Name.

When it came to music and dancing, this group was non-stop.    Whether it was the girls belly dancing to some Egyptian song, everyone hip hopping to a rap song or waltzing to classical music,  I just watched (and sometimes danced) in awe at what was happening in my family room. Though some of these young people knew Arabic and others knew French or Berber,  the only common language they had between each other was English.  What I watched was a group of young adults, who in their normal cultural circumstances, would never have met.   I watched a group of internationals on student Visas develop deep and lasting friendships in my home.  When I asked about where and when they will all meet for a reunion, I learned a sad truth.  When each returns to their own country, they cannot meet again except in Egypt.  Countries that do not acknowledge Israel as a nation refuse to allow their people to visit countries that do.   If a couple of the students receive an Israeli stamp on their passport, they cannot even return to their country – ever.

Because of the relationships we established with these young people, they invited us  to their International Food Festival in February.  Of course, we made plans to go, but we had no idea the enormity of the event or that we were considered ‘special guests’ who did not need to pay for tickets!  In front of 300 guests, my son played piano and my oldest daughter belly danced with Kholoud and Mercy (from Togo).  My youngest daughter was supposed to hip hop with Rawan, but with Rawan breaking her arm moments before the performance, that little performance was cancelled.

During other visits to the college, we met several more young international students.   Leena and Fathima were invited to our home for Thanksgiving, but hesitated.  After hearing about all the fun everyone had, they were very sad they didn’t come, but fortunately, we still were able to meet them and learn about their lives, too.

 

Leena

LeenaLeena is a Palestinian who now lives in Jordan.  In 1948 when Israel became a nation, her family chose to leave (or were forced to leave depending on viewpoint)  and made their home in Jordan.  Leena still has relatives in Palestine, but cannot visit them because Jordan doesn’t recognize Israel as a nation.  Though she has Palestinian bloodline, she truly considers herself Jordanian and Jordan is her homeland.

I met Leena at the culture presentation night as she was one of the presenters.  She is a quiet, soft-spoken and very sweet young lady.   She is a devout Sunni Muslim and covers her head all the time.  She shouldn’t even be wearing jeans, but she compromised while she is here since that is what everyone else is wearing.  She explained to me that men may not see any part of your feminine figure so everything is kept covered to hide the curves.  She is not allowed to touch a man so she keeps her distance when everyone hugs everyone else in greetings or ‘see ya laters’.

She is the only Muslim I met to show me the Koran and read from it.   It was a passage about the importance of mothers as we had been discussing parents, specifically mothers.  She explained to me that when she dies, she will be judged by how she treated her parents; and even after she is dead, if something is revealed that brings dishonor to her parents, she can be sent to hell.

It was during the cultural presentation that Rawan asked me to explain what I had learned about how Israel became a nation from the British Mandate – probably because I spoke clearer English not because I’m an expert.  At the end of World War II, the British Mandate ended and the British-controlled land was divided into Jordan, Syrian and Lebanon and Israel.    The Palestinians were also offered land, but refused it hoping to go to war with Israel and claim it all.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and through the war,  Israel actually gained more land/Palestine lost all their land.  It was after this explanation that Leena came to me and asked, “Is there something in your holy book that says the land belongs to Israel?”

Suffice it to say, at that moment I answered her question simply and then told her I would find the places in my holy book and write them out for her which I did.  After she read the five pages documented from the Hebrew Scriptures,  she commented to my son that she had never seen or heard that viewpoint before.

I was blessed to be able to take Leena along with Rawan to Denver to catch their plane to San Diego for winter break.  It was during this drive that Leena spoke to my youngest daughter about how Muslims view the ‘end times.‘  From what I could glean from the conversation, their Messiah will come, turn the world upside down, and bring peace.  Everything they believe as representing the Messiah’s arrival mirrors the descriptions by the Hebrew prophets and Yeshua as the activities of the  anti-messiah and the events surrounding the Tribulation.

Leena didn’t write in our guestbook because she never visited our home, but I will always remember that the prophet Mohammed said in the Koran, that we are to always honor our mothers first, even before ‘the prophet’.   I’m sure with how she carried herself here in America, she has honored her parents, especially her mother.

 

Fathima

FathimaFathima is from India.  She is a sweet young lady and always smiling.  My memory of her is that she kept me from getting lost while trying to find Rawan’s dorm room at 1 a.m.  We spent a couple of hours chatting about her life and family in India.  She also is Muslim and covers her head.  When I explained that the covering on my head was Biblical, we had some ‘girl time.  She Showed me how she wraps her head and taught me a few tricks of the trade.

She told me that she will have an arranged marriage.  For many people that brings a shudder, but she was at peace about it.  She completely trusts her parents because she believes they know her inside and out.  She knows they will make the right decision for her.  However, if she doesn’t like their choice, she is free to give valid reasons why she doesn’t like the young man, and they will not force her to marry.  A valid reason does include that he’s fat or even ugly.   She had one man brought to her and she told me he was ‘ugly’ and so it was not pursued.  Her parents are concerned, however, that since she has lived in  America, and it will be harder to find a man who can accept that knowledge and experience.   I assured her there are probably many young men in India who have come to America and are also looking for someone who understands how living in another country changes your perspective about life in India.

A little FB thread chat we had just before she returned to India was about Prince Charming.  She was growing so sad that her fairy tale of coming to America was ending.  I reminded her that all fairy tales have a prince and she is now on her journey to meet him.  She laughed and then told me something shocking.  She had changed her view on arranged marriages and was not looking for a prince charming.  She was deeply concerned about returning home and having to tell her parents that  she could no longer support an arranged marriage.  She knew it would be very difficult to convince her parents because she would be challenging the very traditions in which she was raised.  Once again I tried to encourage her by telling her to give her parents time to understand her new viewpoints.  She wasn’t trying to disregard all of the traditions of her family and culture, just this one.

Fathima came to America to learn English and learn it well as she desires to teach English somewhere in India or another country.   She speaks English fluently and without any accent whatsoever.  That was one of her goals –  she didn’t want an Indian accent!  She wants to teach English to children and asked for ideas since she knew I home schooled and my daughter is certified to teach English as a second language.

Regarding whether or not America was what she expected, she had the most unique answer of anyone.    She said that most people think India is like Bollywood and it’s not,  so she never considered that America would be like Hollywood.  She felt that the people were nicer than she imagined, but she tried to come without any pre-conceived ideas.  She just wanted to learn and experience life in America and cherish every moment.

FathimagiftFathima gave our family a little wooden masked man representing Kathakali or one of the oldest forms of theater in the world.  The costumes, makeup, actors, in the productions are based on Hindu mythology.   These group productions originated in the state of Kerala in southwest India where she lives.  Unfortunately, she has never seen one of the plays and now hopes to have the chance to attend.

Fathima did not write in our guest book, but she did write a little note to me before she returned to India:  “Thank you so much for being as a support always!! I am feeling so sad right now!! You are one among our inspiration, may god bless you and your lovely family.” 

 

 

Nurani

NuraniNurani is from Pakistan.  She was at the college for the first semester and we only met her near the end of her stay.   Pakistan sends students for only half a year so twice as many get the opportunity to travel and study abroad.

We met Nurani at the cultural presentation evening as she was presenting the culture of Pakistan.  She was lively and comedic.  In her presentation, she had Pakistani words on her powerpoint.  She had us all learn to speak them slowly, then more quickly until we could say the phrase like native Pakistanis.   Then, she said, “Thank you” as she went to the next slide.   We were all saying, “You are very beautiful!” … and she was.  She wore the most beautiful Pakistani outfit and did look absolutely stunning.

After the presentations, she was another shutter bug taking photographs of everything.  At breakfast the next morning, she was very sad as she was having to pack her belongings and leave all of her new friends – most of whom she would never see again.

It was on one of her FB posts that I read about the women in small villages who need money to survive.  They are learning to sew and old sewing machines are brought to them so they can create beautiful wall hangings and clothing to sell.  Because of this video, when my old sewing machine gave up the ghost, I had it re-furbished and sent to Pakistan.

 

Ashraf

AshrafWe met Ashraf at the International Food Festival in February.  Ashraf arrived at the college for the second semester after Nurani left.

The first words that Ashraf said to me were:

 “I’m going to be president of Pakistan.”

At first I thought he was joking, but that really is his goal.  He is that outspoken and bold.  He comes from a wealthy, political family and he is the only one of his many brothers (and one sister) that desires to go into politics.  According to a story he told my husband, he was abducted by the Taliban and held hostage for several weeks.  Because of this event in his life, he hates the Taliban, and wants to do something about their activities in his country.

We only spent a little time with Ashraf,  but as I said, he’s outspoken and leaves  a lasting impression.  He is not for gun control and loves to hunt.  He actually wanted to go hunting somewhere in Colorado.  He has a very generous heart and after we had breakfast with him, he gave me a sari from his country.  Several weeks later when my son came home for a break, he came bearing gifts from Ashraf: flowers and a stuffed animal for my daughters, a planter with flowers for me, and a Pakistanian cap for my husband.  He considers himself a cultural ambassador from Pakistan to America.

Ashraf is a devout Muslim.  My son said that when he arrived, he would be kneeling on his mat in the lobby of the dorm praying toward Mecca every day, several times a day.    After a week or so, he was asked to do it in his room and he complied.

 

Personal Thoughts

What I gleaned from each of these young people is that they want peace in the Middle East.  They cannot understand why governments, not people, have to fight.  None of them believe Islam is a religion of conflict, but that there are fringe groups, zealots who give Islam a bad reputation.   I never heard any of them say that the world needs to accept Islam or Sharia, however, when I asked one to define jihad, the subject was avoided with the comment, ‘it’s difficult to describe.’

None of them like the Muslim Brotherhood and see it as a problem for the entire Middle East and ultimately, the world.   They do not like the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood uses their religion to promote political dictatorship.   On the other hand, they all support President Obama and think he’s the answer to the issues in the Middle East.  They see him as someone who is bridging the gaps between America and the Muslim countries.  Throughout their time here, we were able to give each one a little different perspective on the president, especially after they learned that Obama doesn’t admit his Muslim religion.   Those who know and understand the Constitution were not shocked that he may not have legal status as President because they know and understand Islamic culture.    One young woman had a serious financial issue with a hospital and began to ask me about Obamacare.  Thinking it was socialized medicine/health care like in her country,  it was a rude awakening when she learned that it’s government regulated forced insurance and most people (including herself)  can’t afford to pay.   As for the Second Amendment and gun control, several of the young men learned to shoot guns while they were here and enjoyed the experience.    They understand the problems in their own countries, but do not think that Americans should give up their gun rights, especially Ashraf who is a hunter.

They all had questions about Christianity whether it was Jesus’ ethnicity or the three gods that are embraced through unbiblical doctrines.  For me personally, I am sad that Jesus Christ has replaced Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel.  These young people know enough about Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and some of the other prophets from their own religious studies that they recognize serious discrepancies especially in Christian culture vs. Biblical culture.    They definitely do not understand why Christians eat pork when it is forbidden to eat and why Christians do not obey the laws given to Moses by God.  Yet, they do not drink wine and they have some beliefs about Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Yeshua that are completely twisted and confusing.  The believe it’s because the Koran is the oldest book and the Bible is newer.  In this instance it is important that believers understand that their Bibles agree 100 percent with the Dead Sea Scrolls which were written before the time of Messiah, put into clay jars before the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, and found in 1947-48.  From this viewpoint, the Koran, written in 600 A.D. is quite new and is the twisted holy book.

To be told you’re going to hell if you don’t believe in Jesus is a sad state of the gospel message in Christianity.  To have Christian friends who say such things to an unbeliever, especially a Muslim,  is presenting a judgmental Christ rather than a loving, compassionate Messiah who died a bloody death for each person’s sins.   I specifically told these young people that I would not judge anyone’s heart regarding Yeshua.  It was more important, in my opinion, for them to have a comfortable place to ask questions and receive answers.  As for ‘theology’, it was important for them to realize that everyone’s destiny is to be separated from God for all eternity (or hell).    It is only because of Yeshua’s atonement that we do not ‘go to hell’ ; not we’re all going to heaven unless we reject Messiah. None of us can work hard enough or good enough  to reach the goal of heaven or paradise.   It was actually nice to converse with people who understand ‘works for salvation’ vs. those who think obedience to commandments is ‘works’.   These young people work for an uncertain salvation and they will be obedient to do those works until they die (still separated from Yahweh).

These young people have touched my life forever.   I love each one of them as unique men and women created by the God of Israel.   I will continue to pray that one day the Spirit of the Living God opens each of their eyes to the  joy of salvation in Yeshua.  The greatest hurdle for them to overcome is accepting Yeshua as the Son of God.  Yet, with Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, all things are possible and the seeds have been planted.

Before they met our family, they had not heard the words of Yeshua; now they have heard and read many of His words.   Before they met our family, they did not know about the Sabbath; now they have celebrated Sabbath with Yeshua as the center: light, joy, bread of life, blessing.   Most knew nothing about the Jewish people; now they have met some Messianic believers who love the Jewish Messiah and Jewish people.  Before they met us,  they did not understand the conflict in Israel is about sibling rivalry between Ishmael and Isaac; now they know  there was a promise given to Isaac and Jacob through Abraham.    None had never seen or opened a Bible; now a few have actually begun to read the Words of Yahweh.

This past school year has been a cultural adventure for our family.  It began when my son requested an international student as a college roommate and came to a close as each of these students packed their bags and decided what must stay behind and what could go with them.  May 3 came with tears of goodbye as they boarded different flights to different parts of the world.  They said final good byes to amazing friends and wondered what their futures held after their dream ‘fairy tale’ cultural adventure to America. Today,  they are all home in their familiar surroundings in strangely named cities greeting their parents and wondering if the friendships filling their minds were really real or  just a dream.  I wonder too, until a phone vibrates with an international text of a safe arrival.

The Group

Fathima, Ferhat, Kholoud, Salah, Leena and Rawan
Last moments together

©May 2013 Tentstake Ministries

Muslim Christian Dialogue

An Muslim young man gave me the little book below to learn about Islam from an Imam.  From the booklet, the following dialoged ensued about Islam and its tenets.

http://www.sultan.org/books/muslimchristianialogue.pdf

It is unfortunate that this cleric met with a Christian who knows nothing of the Holy Hebrew Scriptures nor has true faith in Yahweh through Yeshua.    The conversation would have been very different had this cleric talked with me.

Foreward

Page 2, I quote …

“The reader will be surprised to learn that in the Bible, Jesus (pbuh) never claimed to be God, that Jesus never died on the  cross; that the miracles performed by Jesus were also performed  by many other prophets, and even by disbelievers; and that Jesus himself prophesied the advent of the Prophet Muhammed (pbut). All of this plus much more is detailed from clear concise  passages of Bible scripture.”

Humm … I don’t know what Bible he is reading.  Jesus/Yeshua did claim to be ‘one with the Father” (John 10:30).   Yeshua did die on the cross and there were eye witnesses and there is historical evidence (Mark 15).    Yeshua raised people from the dead and there were eye witnesses (Mark 5:438-42).   He also turned water into wine (John 2:9; 4:46).  I don’t know anyone else who did those things. 

Yeshua never prophesied anything about the prophet Muhammed.  He didn’t have to because he was the seed promised in the Garden of Eden.  There would be no more need for any type of prophet.  I believe the fundamental difference between Islam and what I believe is the divinity of Yeshua.  As I have shared, there is no reason why God can’t reveal Himself in the form of a man who is not a prophet, but a ‘son’. 🙂  This doesn’t make for another god, but a visible image of God (Colossians 1:14-15).  

Yeshua only spoke and did what Yahweh told him to do because he was God’s Son – not another God, but the fullness of an eternal God to man – a mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5).  

“For in Messiah all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form … (Colossians 2:9).

Page 3, I quote

“Is the Bible God’s Word as it stands today? The effort here by  Dr. Baagil is to ask the intelligent followers of Jesus (pbuh) to start looking into the authenticity  of  the Bible as it is printed today …”

 The Hebrew Scriptures  were written centuries before the first century A.D. The Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the the Hebrew Scriptures was also translated before the beginning of the common era.  About A.D. 70, the Hebrew Scriptures/scrolls were put into clay jars and hidden in a cave.  For nearly 2000 years, they were hidden and no one knew they were there.   In 1947, a young Arab shepherd found the caves near the Dead Sea and the clay jars.  When the jars were opened, the scrolls of the Hebrew Scriptures were inside.  They were compared to the translations we have today and found to be identical.  This means that true modern translations are not forged or tampered with nor were there ‘changes’.  All writings since the findings of the Dead Sea Scrolls should be compared with them as they are more ancient than any other writings including the Koran.   I would have to say if the Koran that is 1400 years old doesn’t agree with writings more than 2000 years old, then the Koran has the errors and not the translations.  

I will try to read through this, but I have to say that the commandments are very clear that I am to have no other ‘gods’ before Yahweh.  As this cleric is writing, he is invoking blessings on a god that is not the Yahweh.  I am not able to do this.    When I read this, I am convicted in my heart that I need protection from him and his words.  I hope you understand. This is a spiritual battle and not just a ‘learning about  another religion.’  Recently I read something on Facebook.  It said,

Man is not a human being having a spiritual experience, but a spiritual being having a human experience.

This means that our spiritual condition is infinitely more important and more valuable and needs to be more protected than our physical selves.   My faith is not a religion I follow, but a faith in the infinite Yahweh who lives in me and has changed my heart because of my acceptance of Yeshua as who he said he is.   It’s not just a challenge of words – who has truth and who doesn’t and let’s prove one another right or wrong – but what has the Truth done for your heart, your mind, your soul, your spiritual well being and your eternal destiny as a spiritual person?

I know that Yeshua died on the cross for my sins.  I know he rose from the dead because I know what he as done in my heart.  He took away those sins that I could never be good enough to take away myself.  Without His atonement for sin, every human being is doomed to eternal seperation from the infinite and eternal God. This also includes Mohammed because he was just a man who lived and died like you and me. His grave can be found in Medina as the Mosque of the Prophet. 

Page 3 claims ‘There is no likeness of God’.  

Why not?  Jacob saw God face to face (Genesis 32:30).  Moses spoke with Yahweh face to face as with a man  (Exodus 33:11). Why can’t the spiritual aspect of God become physical?  Why can’t the infinite God become a human being in order to change the hearts of human beings?  Consider this, what would youd do if you wanted to warn a deer of a lake that was poisonous and if it drinks  from it, it will die?  Post a sign?  Empty the lake?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could become a deer and speak in the deer’s language?

What about God being a spirit?  You can’t see a spirit.  It’s like your breath.  You can’t see it, but it’s there.    If it’s cold outside, then you can see your breath and know for certain that it exists.  You breathe out and see an image of your breath as steam.  God is Spirit.  The Hebrew word for ‘spirit’ is Ruach or BREATH.  Yahweh is Ruach.  You can’t see His breath, but what if He wanted you to?  What would He do?  What would we see if He breathed out – LIFE?   What if He decided to put His living breath into a human being?  Why can’t He, as the infinite, eternal Creator do that?

Page 3 continues, “Christians do not know what Jesus taught.”

I do not agree.  I believe Christians know what Jesus taught, but they do not understand it in the context that Jesus lived.   They have forgotten that Jesus, his real name being Yeshua is Jewish and lived in the land of Israel near the Galilee. He was a Rabbi that taught the Torah (teachings and instructions of Yahweh) completely and fully in a Hebraic context.     

According to the Hebrew Scriptures, Yeshua is the last ‘prophet’ because he is the ‘visible image of the invisible God’ that was prophesied by the Hebrew Scriptures.  Also, the book of Revelation states that anyone who adds to or takes away from the Hebrew Scriptures, will be judged and cursed.  According to these verses, the Koran would be an addition and is ‘cursed’.  (Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, Revelation 22:18).  

Page 10

The reason that Islam is growing is two-fold.  One, they have more children.  Christianity has lost the idea that we are to be fruitful and multiply.  Christians have believed the ‘overpopulation of the world’ scheme and have less than 1 child.   The second reason is on the news everyday.  Muslim extremists are KILLING Christians.  Most, if not all, of the wars in the Middle East are Muslims killing Christians or those who will not convert to Islam.   

Why do Muslims go into countries and KILL CHRISTIANS if Islam means ‘peace’?

Yeshua says that he gives us peace, but not as the world gives it (John 14:27)  There is nowhere in the Scriptures that Yeshua says to kill anyone.  “Do not murder” is one of the Ten Commandments.    Instead Yeshua says to love your enemy (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27).  He says to pray for those who persecute you and be at peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14).  Because his message does not involve killing those who do not agree with him, I choose to follow him.  

A question for you …  

Sharia Law is Islamic Law.  Wherever Muslims create communities in the world they try to enforce Sharia Law into the political/judicial system.  It’s happening here in America.  We have laws that are based on our system of government – many of them Biblical laws from the Torah.  But in Muslim communities in the USA, there is a forced effort by Muslims to rule not just themselves, but everyone by Sharia.  We are a country of ‘freedom of religion’ and not a theocracy.  Religious laws are not central to our government.    Whether I agree with that view or not, I cannot force the country to live according to the Torah.   I can personally live by Torah and, according to Scripture, there are no laws against Torah and what Yeshua taught – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Is it not the same with Islam?  Why is it that Muslims need the judicial systems like France, England and the United States to accept a religious form of justice when there is ‘freedom of religion’ and there are those who do not want to submit Islamic Sharia Law?

Submission versus Obedience

In the Bible I use, the word ‘submit’ is found 24 times.  The word ‘obey’ (obeyed, obedience) is found 265 times.  

I also do not believe that Yahweh Elohim wants total submission of mankind to Him.  I believe God wants a loving relationship and fellowship with his creation.  That fellowship is broken because we are prideful and rebellious – sinful.    To force people to submit through ultimatums and murder does not involve any sort of love and kindness.  It’s force, it’s tyrannical and it’s cruel.  According to the Bible, God’s character is good, loving, kind, merciful, full of grace, patient, holy and peaceful.  

I think of being a parent with a child or you as a child with parents.  Do you want to be forced with a whip and hard work to submit to your parents?  Wouldn’t you rather they love you and are kind to you so that you love them back willingly with respect, honor and obedience?   Force and submission creates great fear.   Honor implies a mutual respect and love.  The Bible says that God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Because of what He has done for me through Yeshua’s death and resurrection,  I choose to obey my Creator out of love, a reflection of His character,  and reject the idea of ‘submission’.  

Pages 10-11

There is no Judaism in the Bible.  This is correct.  Judaism was the way the Jewish leadership taught the Jewish people how to live out the Torah.  It’s known as halacha.  Judaism also became a religious sect which a non-Jewish or gentile person could join if they wanted to serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.   A person entered Judaism by becoming legally Jewish through circumcision of the flesh.  As a ‘legal Jew’ they could take part in the Temple worship and the halachaim of Judaism.

Yeshua was Jewish because he was from the Tribe of Judah.  He was circumcised on the eighth day of his life according to what was commanded to Abraham by Yahweh Elohim.  His circumcision was not to  become legally Jewish as he was already Jewish.  Nor did he ‘join Judaism’ though he lived a Jewish life with Biblical halacha not manmade halacha.

Being Jewish, he was definitely raised in a Jewish culture with Jewish family, friends, and rabbis.   His teachings were  Jewish in thought and expression, but he did not teach Judaism because the halacha of Judaism were manmade traditions.  Yeshua taught about a kingdom that was here, could be entered now,  and exists for all eternity because it comes from the eternal God.   It is a spiritual kingdom that only spiritually born again people can enter (John chapter 3).

The Name Christian.

I have heard both sides of the argument as to how the name came about.  Though “Christ”  is a Greek translation of Messiah, I tend to agree that “Christian”  was derogatory.  It is becoming so again today for reasons I believe have to do with God calling out of the world and Christian churches the true followers of Messiah.

Christianity has distorted Biblical Truth so much that I cannot in good conscience call myself a Christian.  However, that does not negate the fact that there are Biblical Truths that some Christians and I would agree upon – one being the atonement of Jesus and his resurrection from the dead.  

Abraham was not a Jew.  He was a Hebrew.  Hebrew comes from Eber and  means ‘to cross over’.  Abraham crossed over from his pagan life of idolatry in the land of Ur to following the living God or as he knew him – El Shaddai – God Almighty.

I do not believe for one second that Adam was a Muslim or a Jew or a Buddhist or anything else.    That’s like the Jehovah Witnesses telling me the first Jehovah Witness was Abel when Cain killed Abel.    When someone tries to label a patriarch like Abraham with the religious labels of today, they’re just plain wrong.  A Jew is a descendant of Judah, one of the Israelite Tribes.  Since there were no Israelite Tribes at the Creation, no one is a Jew until the birth of Judah.  There were no Jews when Adam was created.  There were no Jews when Noah lived.  There were no Jews when Abraham was called by God.  

Adam means ‘red earth’ and that’s what he was made from – the red dust of the earth.  He had no religious affiliation as he was in complete fellowship (not submission) with his Creator.  For a man who says the Hebrew Scriptures have been twisted and changed by Christians or Jews, this Muslim is doing the same thing by calling Adam a Muslim.  

Yes, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel and his sons became the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Israelites.  Moses was not a Jew as he was not from the Tribe of Judah.  He was a Levite, a priest, because he descended from the Tribe of Levi.

I honestly don’t believe that even a cultural Christian would say some of this nonsense.  Either they are dumb, are not born again or do not know their Bible.   Though I would not consider myself a Christian, this Christian is a fool and makes faith in Yeshua and the Word of God appear foolish because he/she doesn’t know the Word of God and is incapable of refuting the misuse of the Scriptures by the cleric.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Page 14-16

As far as I can tell, he is not using the Koran at this point because the Koran wasn’t written until 635 A.D.  He is using the Hebrew Scriptures.  He says 1400 years have passed since the writing of the Koran, but more than 2000 years have passed since the Hebrew Scriptures as I said earlier.

Which one is more unchanged?  Bibles are re-vised and some definitely have mis-translation errors; however, as I mentioned above, true translations are consistent with the Dead Sea Scrolls which are OLDER than the Koran.

Page 15

Allah … Did you know that ‘allah’ was the name of a moon goddess in the time of Babylon?  Did you know that this moon goddess was worshipped as a crescent moon?  This would seem like ‘allah’ is nothing more than ‘another god-dess’.  You can Google and learn about this on your own.

His explanation of allah is like the word jehovah.  Makes me laugh, actually.  Twist this, change that letter, move this consonant around and suddenly you have a name that resembles something else.  Because there is no “J” in the Hebrew language, there is no name Jehovah.  Similarly, all of the explanation in the world, doesn’t make allah the name or even a title of the Creator of the heavens and the earth.  

This cleric uses the Hebrew Scriptures to explain Abraham, but not Moses?  Moses was given the name of God – yod, hey, vav, hey (Exodus 3:14-16).   Could this be why he neglects Moses’ encounters with the infinite Creator?

Page 16

Paul did not corrupt the teachings of Jesus/Yeshua.  Paul was a man who killed the first Jewish believers and then met the RISEN Yeshua who changed his heart, his mind and his soul.   He became the man, the apostle,  to take the message of Yeshua (salvation) to the nations (gentiles).  

The Christian church teaches that Paul contradicts Yeshua for a couple of reasons.  They do not want to obey the teachings and commands of Yahweh so they have ‘created’ the idea of a ‘new religion’ called Christianity.   Most Christians, even if they wanted to,  do not understand Paul because he speaks from a Jewish perspective and was not a Christian.  Paul never contradicted Yeshua’s teachings.  He showed Yeshua’s followers how to live them out in a Biblical way and not through manmade traditions.  Peter, one of Yeshua’s disciples,  gives a warning about interpreting Paul’s teachings wrongly.

“Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15-16).

Yeshua challenged MANMADE traditions that nullify the Word of God.  Ceremonial washing was one of those things.  If you feel led to do all the washings, then do them, but Yeshua did not teach we must  FORCE others to do them or that our prayers are unacceptable without them.  There definitely are washings in the Torah and basically, it’s just good hygiene if read in proper context.  It is always good to wash your hands before you eat, but if you do not, it doesn’t make the food unclean. 

Page 17 – Head coverings – 1 Corinthians 11

This Scripture has been completely lost by modern-day Christianity in America.  This happened probably because of the women’s rights movement.  Along with that, women left the home, got careers and neglected their families.  This is where all countries who want women’s rights are going to end up.  This is why I do not encourage my daughters to have a college education.  When a woman gets a college education, then she wants a career, and then she chooses the career over her family.  My daughters are educated, but they are not career-focused.  Also, with the women’s movement, men become complacent and less valuable to society.  I do not agree with this and therefore, I have trained my daughters to be young women, someday wives, who will be very respectful of men and their place in society.  I have trained my sons to be leaders of their homes and families. 

You may have noticed that I do wear a head scarf.   This Scripture is why I wear one.  I have chosen to obey a command.  I have covered my head for more than 20 years.  However, there are some things that need to be clarified about the head covering.   There is no description for what the covering should look like only that a woman’s glory – her hair – should be covered.   In 2 Corinthians, Paul says ‘with unveiled faces’ we reflect the Lord’s glory – so the face should not be covered.  

1 Corinthians 11  also says that a man should NOT be covered because he is the image and glory of God.  I do not agree with Jewish men covering nor do I agree with any man covering when they pray – even Muslims.  I think the Scripture is very clear.  Men are created to reflect the glory of God because they are made in his image; women are to reflect the glory of man because she was created from the flesh of man.   Therefore, a woman’s glory, her hair, needs to be covered. 

A covering for a woman is not a sign of submission, but a sign of authority.  This concept has been abused and misused by Islam especially.   Women cover as a sign of submission to men, but Yahweh considers it a sign of authority to pray and prophesy in the name of Yeshua.  Yeshua gave us all authority in heaven and on earth to pray, prophesy and even cast out demons in His name.  I wear a covering to show that I have HIS authority to pray, to speak and write about him, and to teach about him (Luke 4:5-7).  

Prayer was not always done laying flat on the ground and bowing down.  Praying was also done in the Hebrew Scriptures by standing and lifting up the arms.   Praying and worship was also done through dance.  I am a leader of a worship dance group and when I dance I can pray as well. 

Prayer is not about submission.  That word is NEVER in the Hebrew Scriptures in reference to prayer.    Prayer is communicating with God and being in fellowship with Him.   We must listen for His voice and we are free to ask for the desires of our hearts.  It is called a relationship.  I have a relationship with my Creator through prayer.  

Yahweh wants us to OBEY his commands and there are blessings for obedience as well as curses for disobedience (Deuteronomy 28).   I do NOT SUBMIT to him like a tyrant or someone ‘over me’ keeping me in my place. Nor do I believe if I don’t do something according to someone else’s standard that I am wrong.  My only authority is the Scriptures.   Every time I  pray I do not prostrate myself on the ground.  That is not to say that I have never done that.  I have.  But it’s done in private and between my heavenly Father and me – alone and personal.  

Page 17

Yes, there is a sacred stone in Mecca.  However, the stone of Jacob, was not the sacred stone in Mecca.  The stone of Jacob was a memorial stone to an event that happened to him and was never worshipped by Israel.  We are commanded not to make idols of anything in heaven or on earth or under the earth.  The stone in Mecca, though holy to Islam, is nothing more, in my opinion, an idol.  In Leviticus 26:1, Yahweh speaks about this very idolatry. 

“‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it.  I am Yahweh your God” (Leviticus 26:1).

The Bible does not say that I need to make pilgrimage to anywhere especially Mecca if it is to ‘worship a sacred stone’.  I have been warned in my Scriptures not to do that by Yahweh.   I am free to worship Yahweh anywhere on earth because of Yeshua.  He made worship PERSONAL (that is why God became a PERSON) to be wherever I am. 

“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:2). 

Someday I would love to go to Israel, but not to worship the Land.  I would like to see where Yeshua lived, walked, taught, died and rose from the dead.  I will not see where he was buried because he’s not there, he’s alive.  I want to see the Mount of Olives where he will return.  I want to see the place where when his feet touch the earth there will be a massive earthquake.  

Zechariah 14 does say that all nations will come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and those who don’t will experience drought and plagues.  Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the Feast of Tabernacles since all nations would include your nation as well as mine.  Perhaps you and I will meet one day in Jerusalem celebrating the Biblical Feast of Tabernacles!

Page 19

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1)

I do not need anything scientifically proven because I believe in Yahweh’s salvation by faith just like my father Abraham.   What if Noah’s Ark was FOUND?  Would people suddenly believe in God? in the flood?  What if the stone tablets of the 10 Commandments were found?   Would people suddenly believe in God? in the Torah?  in Moses? in the Hebrew Scriptures?  What if Yeshua’s empty tomb would be found?  Would people suddenly believe in him? his words, his resurrection?  Of course not.  Faith is not about scientific proof – touching, feeling and seeing –  it’s about believing and living out what we hope for and are certain of what we do not see in a VISUAL way.  

Read Matthew 24:24-29 below recording an event AFTER Yeshua rose from the dead.  Consider what Yeshua says about those who want ‘scientific proof’ vs. faith:

“Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Yeshua came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

“But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Yeshua came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Yeshua told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Page 20.

There is also the account in Judges chapter 8 of Zalmunna and Zebah who had camels with crescents on their necks.  Gideon, a leader for Israel who they mocked, removed the crescents and had these two Arab men (kings) from Midian put to death.  The Scriptures the cleric uses are taken out of context trying to make Islam part of the Bible.  Islam is from the prophet Mohammed and the Koran.  The Koran is not part of the Hebrew Scriptures.  

Ishmael, as the firstborn son of Abraham, was promised to be made into a great nation.  Today the Arab world is numerous that it is obvious the promise to Abraham has been fulfilled.  There are over 400,000,000 Arabs in the world today.  They may not all be Muslim, but they are descendants of Ishmael through the promise to Abraham.  

Page 21, I quote … 

“I mean, as long as you still  believe in the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus, the Divine Sonship of  Jesus, the Original Sin and the Atonement ….”

So, this Muslim cleric just said the whole foundation of the Hebrew Scriptures is wrong which means he’s going to try to prove the Koran is right.  If you don’t want to believe in these things, then just say, “I don’t believe the Bible”.  Don’t try to disprove it with the Koran.  Choose one or the other!

Quote again,

“Men did not make made all of these doctrines up. Jesus had prophesied (Matthew 15:9) that people would worship him uselessly and believe in doctrines made by men: “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

First, the cleric contradicts himself in the quote.  If men didn’t make them up, why are they called ‘doctrines of men?”  

Second, Yeshua is quoting the prophet Isaiah 29:13.  He is not implying that men are worshipping HIM with manmade doctrines.   He is quoting Isaiah who said that men worship Yahweh in vain because they teach as commandments the doctrines of men.  Yeshua is saying the same thing in Mark 7.  So, I have to say that the cleric has mis-represented these words of Yeshua.  

Men did not make up doctrines like original sin, atonement, the divinity of Yeshua as this is what the Scriptures are about from Genesis to Revelation.    These are Biblical doctrines.

Men like the Pope, Cardinals (catholicism), the Jewish Sages and church fathers made up ways and rules to worship God and CLAIMED they are Biblical doctrines.  They are not.  Many of the ‘christian  church fathers’ were considered heretics to the Hebrew Scriptures – Torah and the Prophets – and are still followed today.  One ‘heresy’ was done my a man named Marcion.  He divided the Scriptures into the Old and New Testaments.  He was considered a heretic to the faith.  Today, Christian Bibles are divided into the Old and New Testaments.  They have accepted a heresy!  This is why we tear the page out in our Bibles that says ‘new testament’.  In the Bible I gave you, I tore out that page!

If you don’t believe in sin and atonement, then what do you believe?  Man is good?  Then why is there murder?  Isn’t it because of anger in the heart?  Man is good?  Then why is there adultery?  Isn’t it because men are lusting after other women?  Man is good?  Really?  Then why did some Muslim men fly airplanes into the World Trade Centers and kill innocent people?  Why does America think it should control the world through military power?   Men (and women) are corrupt and sinful – greedy, thieves, slanderers, drunkards, sexually immoral, idolators, adulterers – and this is GOOD?  And the only way to ‘fix’ the problem is to kill adulteress women or cut off the hands of thieves?   

Here’s what Yeshua said about ‘eye for an eye’ – 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:38-39). 

Again, I choose the way of Yeshua and the removal of the iniquity (sin) in my heart.  I choose to tell others that there is a better way and it’s not in world religions,  but through the changed heart of individual men and women through faith in the infinite eternal God who gave Himself for us through Yeshua.  

So what did Yeshua mean when he said, “Your traditions nullify the Word of God?” 

Yeshua was not speaking about atonement and original sin, but of hand washing before eating bread.  It’s in Mark chapter 7.  You should read it for yourself.  Please note that if you do, the Greek word for ‘bread’ was changed to ‘food’.  This is where I would agree with the cleric that mis-translations have created ‘doctrinal error’.  Because of the mis-translation, Christians believe that Yeshua made all foods clean rather than all bread.  Consequently, Christians eat things that Yahweh did not create to be food – pork/pig being one!  

Yeshua does say that the traditions of men nullify the Word of God.  A perfect Christian example is in Jeremiah chapter 10.  In Jeremiah, Israel is told NOT to cut down a tree, NOT to bring it into the house, NOT to decorate it with silver and gold and NOT to make it an idol.  Christians do this all the time with Christmas trees.  It’s a (pagan manmade) TRADITION that nullifies the command of God through the prophet Jeremiah.  This is what Yeshua is saying.  He is not negating original sin, atonement and restoration of fellowship between Yahweh and mankind.  Sin is disobedience and breaks fellowship with God.  A Christmas tree is disobeying a command, is sinful, and breaks fellowship with God. 

Again, this cleric  is taking the words of Yeshua out of context and making an argument to prove he’s ‘right’ and the Word of God is in error.  These are not the type of errors in the Scriptures; I already showed you one with the word ‘bread’.    

May I ask you a question that I have at this point?  

If this cleric can so easily misinterpret the Hebrew Scriptures for his own purposes, couldn’t  he misuse  the Koran as well?  If this man ‘proves’ the Bible is not the Word of God, then he can convert this man into a Muslim even though he says this is not what he’s doing, it is. 

Page 22

1 John 1:1-4 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.  We write this to make ourjoy complete.”

There WERE eye witnesses contrary to the cleric’s statement.   John says they have seen heard, looked at with their hands and touched Yeshua.  There was also the eyewitness account after his resurrection with Thomas that I quoted above.     The cleric doesn’t use these verses, does he?  Why not?  Does it prove him wrong? Does it prove Yeshua is who he said he is and did what he actually did? 

Luke was not a Jew.  He was a convert to Judaism.   He was circumcised and became ‘legally Jewish.‘  He was also a doctor and wrote the book of Acts as well.  Luke INTERVIEWED Mary, the mother of Yeshua.  As a doctor, don’t you think he would try to get his facts correct?  As a journalist, will you believe someone when you interview them about what they experienced or will you deny  their ‘eyewitness’ account?  

Finally, Yeshua didn’t WRITE anything. Everything written about him was written by EYE WITNESSES.  People who saw him, heard him, knew him, were friends with him, experienced the power of God around him and wrote down their EYE WITNESS accounts.  There is no ‘book of Yeshua’ because he didn’t need to testify about himself.

Page 23

Yes there are different versions of the Bible.  This cleric uses them to try to make a pointless point.   No one in their right mind would consider the Readers’ Digest version a real version of the Bible.  Reader’s Digest messes up basic stories of life.  They digest a story and out comes ‘shit’.  He is right about taking out anything ‘sexist’.  However, I do not have such a Bible.  Today there is a Bible being printed called the Queen James Bible and it removes every command against homosexuality. These twisted Bibles don’t make all Bibles wrong.  Just because someone prints the Queen James Bible doesn’t mean my Bible is now full of errors. 

As for the vegetation coming before the sun, moon, and stars, we must remember that there was LIGHT first and that LIGHT was LIFE.  The sun, moon, and stars were not given for growing plants, but to direct the seasons, the days, and the night. 

Genesis 1:14-19 “And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth,to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.” 

Again, he’s missing the point and trying to discredit the account of Creation.   Why would anyone do that?  Perhaps it’s because Yeshua is considered the LIGHT of the LIFE of men in John chapter 1? 

I’m not going to check out all of his examples of error because I have already read enough of his misinterpretations.  

Generally when there are number discrepancies there are good reasons.  One example is when Jacob came from Canaan to Egypt. One place in Scripture says there were 70 people; another says 66.  The difference is that 4 of the people – Joseph, his wife, and his two children (Ephraim and Manasseh), did not go into Goshen with the rest of the family, but stayed in the Pharoah’s home.   There were 70 family members total, but 4 did not migrate.  But, someone who is trying to disprove the Scriptures would say, ‘hey, why are there two different numbers? Which one is right? Which one is wrong?  The Bible has contradictons!’  This just isn’t true.  

Page 28

God made man in his image.  This means God breathed his life  into man and made man a human being – a living soul.

The Hebrew Scriptures also say God made them male and female.  Does that mean that there are two gods – male gods and female goddesses?  Of course not.   It means that he made us ‘in his image’ as a reflection of who he is – a spiritual being with a living soul – that he put into a physical body made from the dust of the earth (Adam). 

The problem is that if you don’t believe in original sin, man’s fall in the Garden and atonement, none of this makes sense and this is what he is trying to do – cause confusion.  Only the enemy tries to cause confusion and disorder; therefore he is not speaking the Word of God, but the words of another spirit.  

No one knows what Adam was like in the Garden.  When Adam sinned, he changed – something changed.  He had been naked and now he realized his nakedness.  No one knows what that means exactly, BUT we know the results.  He DIED spiritually and lost his place in Paradise fellowshipping with His Creator.  

The Torah and the Prophets are all about the way Yahweh is restoring the relationship He had with Adam.   First saving mankind through Noah and his sons, then Abraham, then  Isaac, then  Jacob, then Judah, then David, and then Yeshua.  Yeshua is the Way (the Truth and the Life) to the Father.  Through him we are personally restored to the Father (John 14:6).    Eternally restored will occur when Yeshua returns and sets up his kingdom.

I am not looking for a kingdom of peace created by man because Yeshua already brought that peace to the hearts of those who put their faith in him.  Many will be deceived when peace is established by a ‘messiah’, but I am not looking for or waiting for peace or any messiah who does not have scars on his hands and feet.  Those scars are a testimony to the only one who has lived and died and lives again.  

As for the Bible – Christians and Jews.  As I explained to you, Christians don’t use the first half, the Jews don’t use the second half.  So BOTH of these ‘religions’ have only half of the total picture.  The Jews have the beginning; the Christians have the end.  It seems that the cleric would like that the Koran negate BOTH of these halves – using Isaiah and Samuel and Chronicles and then the very words of Yeshua.  

I have another question. 

If someone is going to negate all of the Bible, then why do they say they use it?  Why do they seem to accept the prophets only to try to prove errors?  

Any time you remove the foundation of something, it falls apart.  Consider our house, if we would remove the foundation of our house, it would fall down.  This is what the cleric is doing – trying to destroy the foundation of the Hebrew Scriptures so he can prove they’re completely wrong. The foundation of the Hebrew Scriptures are the Torah and the Prophets.  Without them, you have Christianity!  

The Prophets – Let’s really look at these men.  The Hebrew Scriptures never calls them prophets. 

Noah was a righteous man. He obeyed God and built an Ark to save mankind, but he was not without sin.  He got drunk.  He was a sinner just like the rest of us who get drunk and face the consequences.  This is called ‘original sin’ in Noah. 

Solomon was a King – not a prophet.  He took wives from other nations and worshipped other gods.  God judged him for his disobedience and divided the Kingdom of Israel into Judah and Israel.  Solomon was a wise man, but in this area of his life, he shows lack of good judgement.  He was a man and tempted with lust of the flesh and fell into idolatry.  This is called ‘original sin’ of Solomon.  

Aaron was not a prophet.  He was a Levite priest.  He decided to make a golden calf and create a day of worship to Yahweh.  This was false worship.   He became an idolator.   This only makes him human.  He should have known better, but he is no different than any of us who get impatient waiting on God and try to do things our own way rather than obey God.  We make our own ways to worship God through religions. This is Aaron’s ‘original sin’ and is known as idolatry.  

Lot was not a perfect man.   In Sodom he wants to give his daughters to homosexual men to rape.  This is not the love of a father.   He wasn’t a prophet.  He did nothing to speak the Word of God to anyone.  He was just a blessed man who had Abraham as an uncle to intercede for his life.  His daughters were also sinful: selfish, greedy, and lustful.  They had sex with their father and two nations were born: Moab and Ammon.  This is the ‘original sin’ in Lot’s daughters and Lot. 

David was not a prophet.  He was a King.  He was called a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).   David committed adultery because he lusted after a married woman.  He had her husband murdered because he was greedy. The son born to them died because of God’s judgement.   It’s called David’s  ‘original sin’.  

Psalm 51 shows how David responded to his sin when the PROPHET Samuel corrects him.    David REPENTS of his SIN.  Repentance is a central message of the Hebrew Scriptures.  There is sin and atonement, but without repentance and turning away from our rebellious ways, they are meaningless. 

Not only was David in the geneology of Yeshua, but so was Rahab the prostitute (Joshua 6:25) and Ruth  the Moabitess, a descednant of Lot’s daughter who had sex with her father (Ruth 4:13).

The human lineage of Yeshua is proven through these people.  They were all sinful human beings through which Yeshua was born.  That is not something difficult to believe.  Yeshua was a human being.  

Yet, Yeshua never sinned like a human being; he never broke one of God’s commandments. Why?  Because the infinite divine nature was put inside him through the same Spirit that hovered over the deep in the beginning at creation – Genesis 1:1-2.

If you don’t want to believe the divine nature of Yahweh was in Yeshua, then consider this:

Does anyone ever say anything bad about Yeshua?  Can you think of one sin he ever committed?  Was he ever drunk?  Did he ever commit adultery?  Did he lie, steal, or kill anyone?  Was he prideful? Was he greedy or selfish?  Why is it that all ‘religions’ consider him a good man, good prophet, good teacher (even though Yeshua said that no one is ‘good’ except the Father).  How mankind views Yeshua should give you a clue that Yeshua was different from all of these ‘men’ and so-called ‘prophets’.  

Judah was not a prophet.  He was a son of Jacob/Israel and the leader of the Tribe of Judah.   He was human.   He sinned by disobeying God’s command to give his dead son’s name a lineage.  Judah having sex with Tamar was required by God and was not incest.  Her husband was DEAD.  

Now, let’s look at ‘the prophet’ Mohammed.   Mohammed had 11 or 13 wives (no one knows for sure).  He married a 9-year- old girl and adopted his son’s wife.  Would your father have sex with your wife (when you have one?)  I sure hope not.  I would hope that my husband would not have sex with Sarah!  This is what Mohammed did. 

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her” (Leviticus 18:15).  

 If this cleric is looking for a moral standard for a prophet, Mohammed isn’t moral either.  He was a human being who sinned and took what he wanted.   It’s called Mohammed’s ‘original sin’ and known as coveting.  He coveted his son’s wife.  Because his son’s wife was alive, this is INCEST.  

Just like ‘all have sinned’,  Mohammed needed atonement for ‘original sin’.  He needed to repent of his sinful lifestyle and receive forgiveness.  Instead he makes himself into a prophet, writes a book and is transformed into a man who is considered a ‘prophet’ and followed.  

The prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures never told anyone to follow them.  They directed them toward following the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; toward obeying the commandments and repenting when they broke them.   If any word of a prophet did not agree with the Torah, they were KILLED.  From what I read of Mohammed’s life, it did not line up with Torah, and therefore he was a false prophet according to the Hebrew Scriptures. The consequence for his deceitfulness should have been death and not glory.

Page 32

The cleric asks “Allah’s forgiveness”.  Hummm.  How does that happen?  How does he know when that has happened?  We only ask to be forgiven when we have wronged God.  That is SIN.  Why would he ask for forgiveness if he didn’t believe in ‘original sin?’  That’s a contradiction of his own theological argument.  

The Torah says there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22).   Islam has NO Temple and nowhere to shed blood – of an animal – like the ram found by Abraham.  Today the Jews have no Temple either.  So, in reality, there is no forgiveness of sin because there can be no blood sacrifice.  

Yet, there was blood shed or poured out.   It was the blood of the ‘lamb of God’, Yeshua.  His blood sacrifice takes away the sin of the world.  His blood removes the SIN or iniquity that is in our hearts so that we no longer desire to sin – covet, lie, steal, dishonor our parents, have idols, commit adultery – greed, drunkenness, slander, etc.  

Yeshua said at his last Passover, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

All of the Hebrew prophets WAITED in FAITH for this Redemption, forgiveness of sin,  because they knew they were sinful and they knew that the blood of a bull or a goat or a lamb wasn’t enough (Hebrews 10:4-7). .  They knew they weren’t really forgiven without the shedding of blood.   Yet, Yeshua shed his blood for the forgiveness of sins – for the world – if they truly want forgiveness.  

I don’t know how this Muslim man is forgiven or if he ever will know he’s forgiven without the blood of Yeshua in his life.   I know I’ve been forgiven and continue to be forgiven because of Yeshua’s blood.  I am willing to confess my sins and receive Yahweh’s grace and mercy.   Yeshua’s blood from the cross brought it to me.   But, of course, if one doesn’t want to believe that Yeshua died on the cross, then again, there is no forgiveness of sin because there is no blood and this cleric will die in his sin and be separated from Yahweh for all eternity.  

I believe God chose the men in the Scriptures because they were ordinary people like you and me.  If they were not, we would feel inferior.  We would think they are more special than we are, but they were not. They were just like us.  

Personally, I do not feel inferior to any of them except David because he was repentant and willing to hear the prophet Samuel correct him.  Then he wrote Psalm 51.  I want to be more like David.  I want to love God’s commands as much as he did (Psalm 19 and Psalm 119).   I want to have a deep personal relationship with God as David did.   What is awesome is that I do have that relationship.  I have it through Yeshua who made the WAY for me by being the blood sacrifice for MY sins and restoring my fellowship with my Creator.   

Page 33

Actually I know of people who have Aramaic Bibles. I was actually going to buy a New Testament in Aramaic for my birthday.   Again, this cleric doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Page 34

Let’s talk about Yeshua.  Yes, he did come to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.  They were called to be a light to the nations and they were not fulfilling their call.  He brought them back to their purpose by redeeming them so they would tell the world about him which they did – the gospels and the letters.   He did not do away with the Torah or the Prophets, in fact, he says they are a witness about him (Luke 24:44).   

The prophet Jeremiah says the ‘new covenant’ was to go to the House of Judah and the House of Israel and not to the nations.  The Messiah Yeshua would have known that because he was the fulfillment of the Scriptures.  

All nations do not include ONLY the Twelve Tribes of Israel.  El Shaddai does say to Abraham “ALL nations will be blessed through you.”  When Abraham was blessed there were no Twelve Tribes of Israel.

God also says that His Temple will be a place of prayer for ALL nations.  Israel went inside, but the nations stood outside.  I am one of those nations and I have been blessed through Abraham and his promised seed – Yeshua.  I can now be part of the commonwealth of Israel because of Yeshua.  He tore down the dividing wall of hostility and made the Jew and the non-Jew (gentile) one new people through faith in him.   

Here’s another question. 

If these religions are so similar, why does Islam want all nations to worship Allah through Islam and Mohammed rather than Yahweh through faith in Yeshua?   Is this Muslim saying that Yeshua only came for Israel and Islam for the rest of the world? 

As one of the nations (I am not Jewish), I am grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel by faith in Yeshua.  This is the teaching of Rabbi Sha’ul who did NOT teach false teachings, but opened the way for all men to receive salvation brought by God through Yeshua.  Judah and Israel are part of the Olive Tree and so am I.  This is why a Biblical faith is so different than Christianity.  They have forgotten they are part of Israel and not a separate ‘religion.’

Remember that there was a ram that became a substitution for Isaac?   In Genesis there was an animal killed so that Adam and Eve were covered with skins.  Blood was shed in both of these events.  Both of these events included a substitute sacrifice.  Yeshua is that substitute sacrifice for each of us.  We should each die for our own sinfulness, but he died in our place.  That is the ‘good news’ and brings a person of faith, peace, joy and hope.    

Page 35 Trinity

I do not believe in the Trinity, three gods. I agree there are definitely some Scriptures that have been tampered with by the catholic church to support the doctrine of the trinity. Throughout the history of paganism there have always been father, son and spirit trinities and catholicism merged Christianity with these pagan ways. 

Page 45 – Divinity of Jesus Christ/Messiah Yeshua

John 1:1 ““In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Nowhere in this verse is it implied that Jesus was another God.  The WORD WAS GOD means that the WORDS that had been spoken were God’s Words and those Words became flesh.  When you speak, are your words part or YOU or are your words different from who you are? Your Words are coming from YOU  just as God’s Words came from Him.

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and lived among us for a time.”  

This is the Word in the flesh.  This is like being able to SEE WORDS.  It doesn’t make the Word another god, nor does it make Yeshua another god.

At this point I am going to only highlight certain chapters.  Because this cleric twists so many Scriptures and the Christian is ignorant of his own Bible, John has asked that I stop reading.   I will only comment now on chapters in which he obviously is quoting the Bible because I cannot know how honest he is being with the Koran.

Chapters 6 and 7 – Atonement, Original Sin, Why Jesus had to die

Rawan asked me why Jesus had to die.  There is the link if you are interested in reading that.   Included is the “Prophet Like Unto Moses.”   Please note that as far as I know, Mohammed never offered to lay down his life for his people.  Moses did.  

Chapter 8 – Ishmael and Isaac Blessed

Leena asked if there is anything in the Hebrew Scriptures that promises the Land to Israel.  Here is what I wrote to her which includes the blessing for Ishmael and the promise to Isaac.    

Page 90 – David Called Him ‘My Lord’, I quote:

Psalm 110:1: “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at My right  hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

Mentioned here are two Lords, if the first Lord (the speaker) is God, the second  Lord (the one spoken to) could not be God also, as David knew only One God. So it should read: “God said unto my Lord”.

First, his conclusion is nothing different than what David was saying.  Who is David’s God and who is David’s Lord?

The name of God given to Moses, yod-hey-vav-hey has been ‘changed’ in Bibles today to LORD (all capital letters).  So, the first LORD is ‘yod-hey-vav-hey’ (YHVH or Yahweh). 

Who sits at the right hand of Yahweh?  There is only one who has lived, died and rose from the dead that could possibly do that.  No human can do that.  I can’t do that, you can’t do that, even Mohammed can’t do that.  The only human who did is Yeshua.   He is ‘Lord’  (not all capital letters).

“Yahweh (LORD)  said to my Lord (Yeshua)  ‘Sit at My right hand until …”  

Read Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69, Acts 7:55-56, Colossians 3:1.  These are only a few places where Yeshua is said to be seated at Yahweh’s right hand.

One more example of LORD that you may find interesting.  It’s Psalm 27:1.

“The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?”

Now I will write it out with yod-hey-vav-hey (YHVH) and Yeshua in their proper places.  

Yahweh is my light and my yeshua – whom shall I fear?  Yahweh is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?

You can see that Yahweh is Yeshua here because Yeshua means ‘salvation’.  I personally think this is very clear. They are ONE.  Yeshua is the physical expression of Yahweh.  

Page 91 – 93 John the Baptist

I covered this in what I wrote to Rawan.  Let me say here it was John the Immerser who recognized Yeshua as ‘the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’  John, himself, was not ‘the prophet like unto Moses’, but Yeshua was.  

John the Baptist did not ‘covert any pagans’.  That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.  He was immersing Jewish people during the month of Elul for ‘repentance of sins.’  It was at that time he said, “There is one greater than me coming and I am not fit to even untie his sandals.’  He understood more than anyone who Yeshua was and is (Mark 1:7). 

Page 92 – Least in the Kingdom

“Let’s look at how Yeshua defines ‘least in the kingdom’ verse by verse in Matthew 5:17-20.   

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

Yeshua did not come to abolish the Torah (teachings and instructions) or the prophets.  From what I am reading, this cleric would like to do both – destroy the teachings and instructions of Yahweh and abolish prophets like John the Baptist and destroy the testimony of men like King David, King Solomon, Noah and Lot.

Yeshua came to fulfill the Scriptures.  The word ‘fulfill’ means to ‘bring fullness of understanding to.’  If someone wants to discredit Yeshua, then they need to cause confusion so no one understands the Scriptures correctly.   This is ONE HUGE mistake that Christians  make.  They say that because Yeshua ‘fulfilled’ the Torah and the Prophets, the Torah and the Prophets are no longer necessary.

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Torah until everything is accomplished.”

Here we may agree.  Heaven and earth have not disappeared therefore the Torah and the Prophets are still in effect today with value for everyone.  Someday soon heaven and earth will disappear and there will be a new heaven and new earth and no need for Torah.

“Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Here is the difference between least and greatest.  It is based on teaching commandments of Torah.  Those do not not teach Torah (Christians have said it’s done away with) will be least in the Kingdom of God; those who teach and obey will be greatest.  Do you really think that John the Baptist is ‘least’ according to what Yeshua is saying?  Where do you think people are who teach there is no Torah at all?

“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Torah, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-20).

What does Yeshua mean by ‘righteousness’?  How do we get this surpassing righteousness?  You need to seek Yahweh for that answer. 🙂

Page 93 – Blessed Are the Peacemakers

This is part of the Beattitudes that are in Matthew chapters 5-7.  I suggest you read them all  in context.  

Matthew 10:34-36

FINALLY!!!!   I knew this is where he was heading the whole time.  The ‘peace’ in the religion of Islam is to set families and friends against each other and KILL by the sword.  Again the cleric uses Yeshua’s words out of context.  

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I  came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father,  and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”

At this point,  you need to decide if Yeshua wants us to love our enemies or kill them.  I think you need to decide if Yeshua brings peace to the world through the heart or peace to the world through murder and sword.   The Kingdom of God is the kingdom Yeshua preached.  It was not Judaism, it was not Catholicism, it was not Christianity and it certainly wasn’t Islam for Mohammed had not yet been born.  

Yeshua said, “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.  So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out…  do not believe it”  (Matthew 24:23-26). 

Where exactly is that ‘sacred stone?”  in a desert known as Paran?  

Page 94 – The Comforter

Because I have experienced the change of heart from stone to flesh, because I have experienced incredible counsel in times of great trial, because I have had dreams and visions that have healed inner pain and given me great peace and comfort,  I believe the Comforter is the Spirit of God.  It is also called the Counselor.  It convicts the world of sin and righteousness.  (John chapters 14 and 15). 

Here is one prophecy about Yeshua that covers pretty much everything – his humanity, his government, his counsel, his lineage through King David and how it will be accomplished – not by any man, but by Yahweh Elohim.

Isaiah 9:6-7 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of Yahweh Elohim will accomplish this.” 

My Conclusion

Salah, I was willing to read this in order to show you the Muslim cleric’s errors with the Hebrew Scriptures, but I suggest you do not read anything other than the Bible if you want to know what’s in the Bible.   I could give you books and articles to read, but it is more important for you to read the Holy Bible and know for yourself what it says and make your own decision.   Do not take my word for anything (that is why I gave you all the Scriptures to look up); do not take any Muslim cleric’s word for anything; do not take a Christian’s word for anything.

The reason Yahweh became flesh was to have a PERSONAL relationship with you.   You have to choose to have that fellowship on a personal level for yourself or not.  It’s called ‘free will’ and there is no ‘forced submission.’

As I said, this Christian doesn’t know the Bible.  For someone who knows the Bible, the moment the cleric stated: “If you believe in original sin, atonement for sin and the divinity of Christ”, the conversation would have ended.  I would have ended it much sooner if it were me, and at times, in all honesty, I was ready to, but for your eternal sake, I read through it because I want you to know the Truth.  I want the Truth to set you free.

“Yeshua said, “Then you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

Yeshua is Yahweh’s personal salvation in the flesh.  He is not another God nor should he be worshipped as such.  I believe Yeshua is the Son of God because Yahweh is the Creator.  If he can make a man from the dust of the earth and destroy mankind by a flood,  appear in a burning bush or in a pillar of fire, then he can become a man in the flesh through the womb of a woman.  If He chose to reveal Himself to us as a through a man named Yeshua, then so be it.  If He desires to take a man’s heart of stone and change it to flesh, He can do that too (Ezekiel 36:24).  It is not for me to question, but to believe by faith and obey the commandments – just like Abraham.

“I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws” (Genesis 26:4-5).

Because of what Yahweh has done in my heart through faith in Yeshua’s work on the cross and his resurrection from the dead, I can’t be changed or convinced.  I am not following a religion of works and a intellectual understanding, but a faith in the infinite eternal One who changed my heart and renewed my mind – a work that I could never do.   I am not following a god of force and submission who re-defines peace with a sword, but Yahweh Elohim who made a way for me through Yeshua to have fellowship with him in peace, love, hope, joy.

I also believe Yeshua is returning to the Mount of Olives in Israel.  He will not bring inner heart peace as he did the first time, but he will make war with mankind in order to establish his kingdom on earth from Jerusalem.  Any man that brings ‘peace’ now who does not descend from the heavens like lightning flashing from the east to the west will be bringing a false peace.  Any one who claims to be the savior of the world must have the scars on his hands and feet to prove it or he’s a false messiah.  I will die by the sword before I will follow or worship him and deny Yeshua.

The foundational issue between what is written in the Holy Scriptures and every religion in the world is this:

Who do you say that Yeshua is?

That is for you to figure out.  From what you told me, you don’t know anything that Yeshua/Jesus has ever said.  That is why I gave you a Bible.  If you want to know what he said, then read his words.  The cleric in this little book quoted the words of Yeshua.  Though he misinterpreted them and took them out of context, he still quoted them.    Yeshua’s words are found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Read them for yourself in context and then you decide who Yeshua is and whether or not he is telling the Truth.  If he is not telling the Truth, then he is a liar and he is not worthy to be called a prophet.  He should have been put to death.  And yes,  he was put to death – on a cross.   But death could not keep him because he was not a liar nor was he an ordinary human being.  He was divine, the visible image of the invisible God.

Your search is not a mind search.  Your search is a heart search.  You can study all the religions of the world with your mind (like your roommate), but only one faith changes your heart, soul, and your life.  Faith in the eternal ONE who worked salvation for us – Yeshua the Messiah of Israel, the King of the Jews.

You said to me, “If someone did all the work for us, then we would have peace, joy and hope.” If that is what you want, Yeshua offers it to you – personally.

“Lord,” Martha said to Yeshua, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Yeshua said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Yeshua said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world” (John 11:21-27).

 

ONLY IF YOU ARE INTERESTED …

I recently read a book  called “Son of Hamas” by Mosab Hassan Yousef.  You can Google him.  It is a biography of a young man (now 35 years old)  who is the son of one of the founders of Hamas.  It is an incredible story as he details his time growing up with a father who was an Iman along with his time spent in Israeli prisons.  While being a son of an Hamas leader, he had to do things that were very challenging to him as a person and as a Muslim.  At a time in his life when he was tired of all the killings and lies going on in the prisons, he made a very serious decision.   He decided to work as a spy for the Shin Bet of Israel. 

One day he met a man at a gate in Jerusalem who took him to a Bible study.  He began reading the Bible. While reading the Bible, he realized that the message of Mohammed was nothing but death and destruction to the Jewish people and nothing short of their destruction will satisfy the Muslim world.   He explained that Islam is like a  ladder and most Muslims are on the bottom and know very little about their religion or the prophet , but as they climb to the top, they become full of anger and hate and realize Mohammed’s vision for the world – convert or die by the sword.   He explained that Islam is not a religion of peace even though multitudes of Muslims believe it is.

While reading the Bible, he learned that the real enemy is not Israel or the Jewish people, but the sin within his own heart.   He accepted the atonement and forgiveness of Yeshua/Jesus and is now a follower of Yeshua.  He is hated by Muslims, hated by Hamas, hated by his family.  Yet he stands by his choice.  It was a difficult choice, but he made it because he realized one way was truth and set him free and the other was not and kept him in bondage to an ideology of death. 

Yeshua says that when we choose him, we will be hated by the world and even our families – hence the sword.  Yet, he does not teach revenge or murder, but to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.   According to this young man, this is a different message than his father taught and believed – a different message than what he knew of Islam and Mohammed.

This young man now has political asylum here in the United States.  At the last conflict between Gaza and Israel two months ago, he went to Jerusalem and made a statement that the realities of Mohammad need to be revealed to Muslims so that those caught in Islam are set free from death and destruction – nationally as well as personally.   This is not me talking, this is a young man, born and raised in Gaza as a Palestinian with Islam and an Iman as a father.  

 

Why did Yeshua have to die? To answer a Muslim friend.

For my dear sweet Arab daughter.   I am so blessed to have met you.  I thank God He brought you into my life.  I have learned so much from you and your sunshine smile.   While you were at my house you asked a question in the form of a statement.  I want to answer your question because I believe you deserve an answer.  I will not answer with a simple response because I think you deserve a wise and intelligent explanation. 

In order to answer your question properly, I did a little research into Islam and the prophets.  I am going to use the prophets: Adam, Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist), and Yeshua.  I will use Hebrew  Scripture verses whenever I quote from the Bible because I believe the Hebrew Scriptures are the only authentic source for knowing these prophets because it was written long before modern times.  Over the centuries many different religious leaders have added to or taken away from the Hebrew Scriptures and today they do not line up with what was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.    It is wrong for man to change or modify the Bible for their own purpose, so I do not use their teachings, their discussions, or their ideas.

If you question something I’ve written, get a Bible and read it for yourself.  That is what I did, what I do, and what I’ve taught my children.  Since you are my ‘adopted daughter’, you can do the same thing.

Your question: Why did Yeshua have to die?

Adam.  Bereshit.  In the beginning.  

In the beginning, God created two people: Adam and Eve.  They were put in a garden and given a choice.  They could eat the fruit  from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil OR they could eat the fruit from the Tree of Life.  God said that if they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would die.  They disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and suffered the consequences.

First, they died.  This could not have been a physical death because we know that Adam lived 900 more years and had many children with Eve.  It must have been a different kind of death – a spiritual death or separation from a personal relationship with their Creator.

Second, they realized they were naked.  This is where something extraordinary happens.  Though they try to hide their nakedness with fig leaves, God provides a better covering.  God kills an animal and gives them the skins to wear (Genesis 3:21).   Because of their disobedience called sin, something had to die – blood had to be shed.   In this instance, it was an animal because if God killed Adam for his sin, we wouldn’t be here.

Third, they are kicked out of Gan Eden.  If they had eaten from the Tree of Life, they would have stayed in Gan Eden/Paradise forever in an eternal place of separation from God.  Because they chose ‘good and evil’,  they were sent out.

Fourth, they there were individual punishments. Adam and all men would have to work by the sweat of their brow.  The earth from which they were created would become the place where they would have to toil to provide their own food.  Eve and all women would experience pain in childbirth, but through childbirth would be redeemed.  The serpent would be cursed to crawl on its belly.  Yet, something interesting was also prophesied.

“And I will put enmity (hatred)  between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

What is sin?  According to the Bereshit account, sin is disobeying God’s commands.   There was only one command in Gan Eden.   It had to do with food choice.   Adam and Eve ate from the wrong tree, disobeyed, died spiritually, God shed blood, and they were kicked out of eternal life with their Creator.  How could they return?

The answer is in the ‘offspring of the woman’.

Abraham – Our father of faith.

Abraham was called a ‘friend of God’ and knew the Creator as El Shaddai or God Almighty.  We both know that Abraham had two sons: Ishmael and Isaac.  You probably know Ishmael’s life history so I’m going to share with you Isaac’s life.  Please note that there is nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures that suggests that Isaac or his offspring were homosexual (lesbians).  If this was the case there would have been no children and there were many children or there would be no Jewish people today.

Bereshit chapter 22.  Some people believe Isaac was a boy when this event occurred; others a man, but it makes no difference.  Abraham obeyed El Shaddai and took Isaac to Mt. Moriah (modern day Temple mount).   He put him on an altar as a sacrifice.  This is a horrible thing for both Abraham and Isaac, I’m sure.  I cannot imagine putting Jesse or Jacob on an altar in order to sacrifice them,  but Abraham is not known as the ‘father of faith’ for no reason.  As he is about to kill his son, he sees a ram (a male lamb) caught in some thickets.  Instead of his son, he kills the animal.

In a strange way, Abraham experienced the resurrection of the dead with his son, Isaac.  He never expected to return home with his son. Yet, he does tell Isaac that “God Himself would provide a sacrifice.”  God provided a lamb, a male lamb, an animal, a substitute just like he did for Adam.

“Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”  “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”  Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together” (Genesis 22:7-8).

Who or what could possibly a substitute sacrifice or a person?

Moses – The prophet who taught God’s teachings and instructions (Torah). 

Moses was a great prophet.  There is no doubt about that.  He was given the personal name of God –  יהוה – Yahweh.    He spoke face to face with Yahweh.  When the people did not want to hear the voice of Yahweh because it was too frightening, Moses became their mediator or intercessor.  When the Israelites fell into sin and idolatry, Moses offered his own life for the people – even telling God to remove his name from the Book of Life.   It is one amazing prophet who is willing to give his life for sinful people.

“So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written” (Exodus 32:31-32).

However, Moses speaks about a greater prophet in Deuteronomy 18:18-29:  “יהוה 

your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from you, from your brothers. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of יהוה your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of יהוה my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ 

“And יהוה said to me:  ‘… I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brothers, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. ‘And it shall be [that] whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will call him to account.” 

Who will be like Moses?  Whoever it is must coming from the brothers of Israel. He must  only speak the words of Yahweh.   He must be willing to lay down his life for sinful people?

Ezekiel (Dhul-Kifl)

I love the prophet Ezekiel.  He talks about something that amazes me.  It’s in Ezekiel 36:25-26 where he talks about idolatry in the lives of the Israelites (as well as everyone else).

What is idolatry?  Whenever we put something or some person, man or woman,  before Yahweh we are in idolatry.  Everyone needs to be set free from idolatry as it is breaking the first of the 10 Commandments given to Moses by God.

Ezekiel prophesies, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.   I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my commands.”

What does Ezekiel mean? He is saying that because our hearts are hard like rock, we sin and rebel against God.  Everyone sins and breaks יהוה commandments.  We all have hearts of stone that are not willing to listen to the voice and words of  Yahweh and obey.  We all have idols in our lives – sex, money, education, careers, ideologies, marriage, children, dreams.   What יהוה promises is a new heart of flesh.  He will put His Spirit in us and He will move our new hearts to follow His commands.

How will Yahweh change our hearts from stone to flesh?

Yochanan the Immerser

Yochanan is another prophet of יהוה.  Yeshua came to him at the Jordan river to be immersed.  When Yochanan sees Yeshua he says, “Look, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).

This is a huge statement.  First, Yochanan calls Yeshua a lamb.  What do we know about animals, especially lambs and rams?  They are substitutes for people’s sins.  They die.

The animal that God killed in order to make coverings for Adam and Eve was a lamb.  We also know that a ram was killed instead of Isaac.  Now, Yeshua is called a lamb.

In the Temple worship system, there was an altar of sacrifice.  On this altar, people offered lambs as a sacrifice.  The blood was poured out as a ‘covering’  or atonement for their sin and disobedience.

Now, a human being is being called a lamb.  He’s not called just any lamb, but the Lamb that God has sent.  He is called ‘the lamb that would take away the sins of the world.’

This is a high calling for a mere man.  A human whose death would take away – not just cover over – the sins of the world.   John did not say  ‘the sins of the Jews or the sins of Israel, but the sins of the world (olam).  The death of the Lamb of God, Yeshua, takes away sins: mine, yours and everyone else’s.  It’s his blood that is needed on that altar of sacrifice.

This is the reason Yeshua had to die:  He was our substitute sacrifice for sin.  His blood takes away our sins.  

Adam and Eve had blood shed for them through an animal and they were covered.   Isaac had a lamb’s substitution.  Moses offered himself as a sacrifice, but he wasn’t the ‘lamb of God’, another person was promised to come and that person is Yeshua.

Good Works or Faith

All major world religions teach that we have to do good works to make up for our sins – rebellion, idolatry, lies, murder, adultery, etc.  Some teach we have to get to nirvanha or there is karma or they have have to become missionaries and make converts or they have to do whatever they can.  They make all sorts of rules and lists of good works so people feel good and hope that they pacified a mean, ruthless God.

I have always wondered who actually determines what these good works are and and who determines when a person has done enough good works to qualify for heaven or to stay out of hell.  What about people who don’t do any works?  There are religions that say even they get ‘to go’.  What about people who work their lives away doing everything they think is good and right, but it falls short?   It seems that human lives are full of work, worry, wonder, work some more, worry, and then we wonder if it’s enough to keep us from hell or take us to heaven.   Yahweh says that no works are good enough to make up for our disobedience.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah 64:6).

There was nothing Adam could have done to correct his huge sin of eating the wrong fruit.  He tried by covering himself with leaves,  but it wasn’t enough.  It wasn’t the requirement of death.

So, Yahweh took the issue of working for heaven, eternity, salvation, paradise, out of our hands and put it on the promised seed of the woman. 

“What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:1-3).

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Yeshua and Sin

Yeshua was sinless.  This means that he never broke any of God’s  commands – ever.   As the only sinless man to ever live, his death and his blood sacrifice was enough to make atonement for our sins and to save us from ‘eternal spiritual death’ and ‘eternal separation from God’ that some people call ‘hell’.   In reality it is a separation from Gan Eden or Paradise.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

How can it be that Yeshua is SINLESS?

Visible God

“He is the visible image of the invisible God; the firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).

The Holy Scriptures teach that God is spirit.  No one can see ‘spirit’.  In fact, spirit in Hebrew is Ruach and means ‘breath’.  We cannot see anyone’s breath unless it’s freezing outside and we breathe and you see steam.  🙂

What if God wanted us to see Him for real?  What if he wanted to know us personally?  What would we see?  How would he look?  Like a rabbit?  Like a bird?  Like a dinosaur?  Because God made us in His image (body, soul and spirit), He would come to us as a man with a body, soul, and His Spirit.

The Holy Scriptures teach that Yeshua is the visible image of the invisible God.   This means that when God as Spirit wanted us to see him and know Him personally,  He became flesh and blood through the seed of the woman.

This does not mean that there are two gods.  This just means that Yahweh made a way for us to see him, know him, touch him, and learn about him in a PERSONAL way.  The name of that person is Yeshua.

Yeshua is the visible representation of God so we can know God personally.

The Word of God – The Scriptures

“The Word became flesh and lived among us for a time.  We have seen the glory, the glory of the Echad and only who came from the Father full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light.”  From the burning bush, God spoke to Moses, “Remove your shoes for you are standing on holy ground”.  From the Mount Sinai, God wanted to speak to the Israelites, but His voice caused them to fear so Moses spoke in His place.

Israel and anyone who was a god-fearer could always ‘hear’ God’s voice through the prophets, but they could not see him.  What if God wanted them to see His Words?  What if He wanted His Words to be more than just Words and to become real life Living Words?  What if He wanted His words to become something humanity could see, hear, feel, and touch?  What if He wanted His Words to penetrate their HEARTS?

With Yeshua, the Words that Israel had been hearing for thousands of years, became a person.  Yet, they did not all recognize him because he didn’t look like what they expected.  That happens all the time to us.  We talk to someone on the phone, but when we physically meet them, we think, “Wow, they don’t look like what I expected!”  Nevertheless, Yeshua became the Word revealed in flesh and blood.

Yeshua is the spoken Words of God in a physical body called the Living Word.

Prophet or Son of God 

“Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth?  What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!” (Proverbs 30:4).

Let me state emphatically again, I do not believe in three gods or even two gods.  Yahweh is ECHAD.   Yet, I do believe Yeshua is God’s Son.

Here’s my question:  Why can’t God have a Son?  Why can’t the divine nature of God , the Creator, be put inside a man?  That doesn’t mean that there are two gods, but that God put His divine character and nature a physical body.  He’s God, Yahweh, the Creator, can’t He do that?

Yeshua did not believe he was ‘another god‘ which is why I don’t believe there are more than One God.  Read what Yeshua says about himself:

Yeshua says, “I and the Father are ECHAD” (John 10:30).

In this statement, Yeshua makes it pretty clear about himself.  He is not ANOTHER GOD; he is ‘echad’ with the Father.

Yeshua says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  The only way to the Father is through me” (John 14:10).  

Think about how you personally met my husband, John.   You met him through Jacob.  You would have never met John if he never had a son named Jacob.    Through meeting and becoming friends with the son of John, Jacob, you were brought into our home and our lives.  This is the same way with God’s son, Yeshua.  He is the way for us to meet God and enter His home and become part of His family.

“Yeshua answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9).

Yeshua never states that he is a different god, but only wants us to know his Father, Yahweh.

“But after he Yosef had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Yosef son of David, do not be afraid to take Miriam home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20).

The Hebrew Scriptures say that Yeshua was conceived in his mother by the Ruach haKodesh.  This means that Yeshua is a human, flesh and blood expression of  Yahweh’s living, breathing, Spirit.  As  יהוה reached down His right arm to work salvation (yeshua)  for us, we see that salvation in the person of Yeshua.  Just as I cannot separate an arm from a body; I cannot separate Yeshua from Yahweh.  Just as I do not worship someone’s arm, I do not worship Yeshua.  I worship Yahweh Elohim because Yeshua showed me the way to do it.

“Sing to YHVH a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him” (Psalm 98:1).

What does God Himself say about Yeshua being a ‘son’?

Twice in the Scriptures God speaks audibly about Yeshua so the people hear his voice and understand who Yeshua is.  Yahweh also states that He is pleased with His Son and that the people are to listen to him.

“As soon as Yeshua was immersed (in the Jordan), he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened,and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).

“While he (Cephas) was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5).

Yeshua is the flesh and blood offspring of God’s Spirit and the seed of a woman – a son.

The Love of God – Yeshua

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Yeshua died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Yeshua is not just any normal prophet.  He is a visible image of God.  He is the very Words of God in the flesh.  He is the flesh and blood offspring of a woman and of God’s Spirit.

As the lamb of God,  Yeshua dies.    How often is someone willing to die for us?  In this world people are more willing to kill innocent people to make a point rather than die themselves so someone innocent doesn’t have to die.  Most, if not all prophets are self-serving and demand obedience to them and their Words and not the Word of the Creator.   I don’t know one man other than Moses who ever offered to die for a nation of sinful people.

“This is how we know what love is: Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ)  laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16).

Yeshua is so full of His Father’s love, that even though he was perfect and we’re all rebellious sinners, he was willing to lay down his life to be the sin sacrifice for us.  He was willing to pour out his blood so we might enter a new covenant relationship with God.

“In the same way, after the Passover seder he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20). 

Through His blood we all have forgiveness of sins.

“In fact, according to Torah, there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood” (Hebrews 9:8).

Through His life and death we, too, can have the Spirit of God living in us, changing our hearts from stone to flesh as prophesied by Ezekiel.   We become children of Abraham by faith and children of the Living God.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

So, Yeshua dies for us and now he’s dead.  According to Islam and what you said, it wasn’t Yeshua who died, it was Judas.  So, I guess that’s the end of the story of Yeshua.  However, if you believe this then you cannot believe that Yeshua was a prophet or even a good man.  You have seen that Yeshua says too many things about Himself, His Father, and His purpose that if you don’t believe him, then he is really a liar, not a good person and definitely not a prophet of God.  It’s a choice we all have to make – is he or isn’t he the salvation of the world.

Yeshua is the ultimate expression God’s love for us as His created people.

The Heart of God

Ezekiel promised a new heart of flesh that would be able to hear God.  It was on this heart that God would write His commands and we would obey Him.  Yet, what is Ezekiel talking about.

Here are some words of Yeshua from Matthew chapter 5 that discuss sin and the heart.  I think these will help you understand the heart condition of men and why it needs to be changed from stone to flesh.  In each instance Yeshua speaks about what the people have ‘heard’ as part of the commandments, but he makes each issue a heart issue and takes the command to a deeper spiritual level.   For example, when he talks about murder, he says it begins as anger in the heart.   In the case of adultery, the deeper heart issue is lust.  In the case of revenge, Yeshua says to turn the other cheek rather than fight back.   When it comes to our enemies, we are to love them and pray for them.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brotherwill be subject to judgment.”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighborand hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”

With a hard heart, we are always going to think of ourselves first and how we can fix things.  Ultimately, we disobey God’s commands.   With a new heart of flesh, our sin is removed because the root of the sin is taken from our heart.   This is incredibly ‘good news’!!  With the new heart of flesh through the Spirit, we will experience love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Who doesn’t want these things in their own personal lives?

Yeshua is the perfect man who lived and taught the instructions of God with a spiritual heart of flesh.

Eternal Life  

“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12).

Let’s go back to Abraham’s faith – the faith he had when he was going to kill his own son.  There was a substitution for Isaac so he could live.

I believe that lamb/ram was a symbol of Yeshua who died on the cross in my place, in your place, even in Isaac’s place.  Yeshua made way into paradise and a personal relationship with the Creator for everyone.  His way, by faith in his life, death and resurrection,  frees us from our own works so we can know we have eternal life.   When we put our faith in Yeshua’s works then we are free to truly experience life with peace, joy, and hope.

Yeshua is the testimony that we can have eternal life with God.

My Expression of Faith in Yeshua

Because I do put my faith in Yeshua, I also believe he was born to show us how to  live for God.  I believe that the Scriptures say that Yeshua was born as a man to teach us the ways of יהוה in their correct interpretation.

This is why, for example, we don’t go to church on Sunday.  Yeshua said,  he is Lord of the Sabbath and that is the seventh day according to creation.   This is one reason why Jewish people do not believe in the “Christian Jesus”.  They are looking for a Jewish Messiah and not a European one.

“Then Yeshua said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5).

We also only eat a kosher or diet as Moses outlined in Torah – Leviticus 11.  Christians believe they can eat everything since “Jesus died”, but nothing changed with the animals when he died.  This is another reason why Jewish people do not believe Yeshua is the Messiah.

We also do not celebrate Christian holidays like Christmas or Easter.   These traditions come from the nations and have traditions that nullify the commands of God.  Yeshua said that using these traditions of men is vain or pointless worship.

“They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”  And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” (Mark 7:7-9).

Yeshua, contrary to how he looks in the Christian faith, was not a Christian nor did he bring a new religion to the world.  Yes, it seems so, but that is not the Truth.   What he did was live a perfect life so he could be the perfect atonement for our sins – the sins of the world.   Then, he died on the cross.

The good news is that Yeshua is alive.  Three days after He died he came back to life.  I think the better question is why did he have to come back to life?

He came back to life to give us hope that we, through faith in his work, can and will live eternally with Yahweh forever in a restored Gan Eden.

Your friends who said that if you don’t believe in Jesus, you’re going to hell.  That is a terrible judgment call on their part.  You see, Yeshua made the way from death to eternal life.  You have a choice to accept that or not.  If you choose to accept it, then you begin eternal life the moment you accept it.  If you do not accept it, then you have to put your faith in yourself, your works and what other people determine is best for you.  I have chosen to put my faith in Yeshua because I know I sure can’t work hard enough for unconditional love and acceptance.

Simply Put

Yahweh, as the Creator of heaven and earth and all of us, is our Father.    His Son is the visible image of the invisible One who is Spirit.  The Ruach haKodesh or breath of God makes Yahweh Elohim a Living God.  Yahweh Elohim put His Sprit into a flesh and blood person so we could see Him and know Him personally.   This person has a name, Yeshua.

Yeshua never claimed to be God nor wanted to retain the glory of God that could have been his just because Yahweh is his Father.  Instead, he humbled himself and became a man, and lived a life just like you and me.  He was tempted to sin, but did not.  To redeem us from death and make a way for us to have eternal life with our Creator in Gan Eden, he had to die, pour out his blood, and then come back to life.  This show us that there is a resurrection of the dead and it is possible for us through Yeshua.  He showed us that if we choose to be born again by by faith,  the Ruach and will give each of us a new heart like Ezekiel promised.  All of our idols and false belief systems will be washed away and we can live and follow the example and teachings of Yeshua:

… the visible representation of God.

… the spoken Words of God in a physical body called the Living Word.

… the flesh and blood offspring of God and the seed of a woman – a son.

… the ultimate expression God’s love for us.

… the perfect man who lived and taught the instructions of God with a spiritual heart of flesh.

…  the testimony that we can have eternal life with God.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries

 

The Land of Promise to Abraham

This was written for a very sweet Islamic girl named Lena.  Thank you for asking me, “Do your writings say the land belongs to Israel?”

Hebrew Scriptures

First, I use only the Hebrew Scriptures because they are the most reliable of the ancient writings.  Often times people say, well, over the centuries men have changed them and so we don’t know what is true and what is not.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  The Hebrew Scriptures were hidden in 70 A.D.  in some caves near the Dead Sea.  No one knew they were there so no one could change what was written.  In 1948, they were found by an shepherd boy in what is now known as the West Bank.  They are known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  When compared to the manuscripts of the Hebrew Scriptures of today, they are identical.   This means that what exists today in the Holy Bible is authentic and has not been changed by anyone.

Even before the Dead Sea Scrolls were put in clay jars in a cave, the Greeks began in 300 B.C. to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into their language.  These writings are known as the Septuagint and they, too, have been compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls and no important differences have been found.

Some people claim that the Jews rewrote the Torah to contradict others’ religious beliefs and books, but this cannot be true as proved by the Dead Sea Scrolls.   If the Jews had changed anything, it would have been found in more modern writings.   If there is a writing or another book that claims to be authentic, it needed to be written before A.D. 70. or compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

For example, the Jehovah Witnesses say they use the Bible.  However, their Bible was translated in the 1800s and has many differences from the Hebrew Scriptures.    I know this for a fact because I’ve looked up Scriptures to find they have been deleted or changed.  These changes and contradictions from the Hebrew Scriptures mean that their holy book is wrong.  Consequently, they view God, His redemption and His people wrongly.  Another example is the King James Version of the Bible written in 1611.    Many Christians won’t use any other translation.    However, King James was a tyrant and the reason many Christians left England and became known as the Pilgrims in North America.  These Christians wanted to flee King James’ translation of the Bible because he used the translation to control the people.  The are many contradictions in the King James translation when compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Another example is the Koran.  It was written between 653 and 656 A.D. a long time after the Dead Sea Scrolls were buried and hidden.  Just like the Jehovah Witnesses and the King James Bible, it, too, like every other prophetical writing should be compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls to verify and authenticate what it teaches.  If it doesn’t agree, then the Koran is flawed and not the Hebrew Scriptures.

There are warnings in the Holy Scriptures about adding to or taking away from the Words or prophecies of God.  These warnings are for everyone: Jew and non-Jew, Israel, and non-Israel, Jehovah Witnesses, Church of England and Islam.   Unfortunately, men love to bring glory to themselves and want power and control over people.  So, they change the Hebrew Scriptures to say what they want them to say in order that they are followed and not Yahweh Elohim – God Almighty.

Everyone has to choose what words of God they will accept, but I am going to use the Hebrew Scriptures because they are the most ancient and proven by the Dead Sea Scrolls to be authentic to explain the Land and the people of Israel.

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6).

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).

Abraham

In Genesis (Bereshit) 12:1-3 Abraham is told to leave his country and go to the land that God (El) wanted to show him.  In this ‘calling out’  from the land of Ur, Abraham is promised to be made into a great nation; he will be blessed and all families on the earth will also be blessed.

“Now Adonai said to Abram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Abraham obeys – a sign of his great faith – and travels toward the Promised Land.  He has his nephew Lot with him and they realize the land they are in is not big enough for both of their families and livestock.  Abraham allows Lot to decide which land he wants.    Lot chooses the plains to the east of the Jordan River and Abraham stays in Canaan.  We know that Lot eventually moves to the cities of  Sodom and Gomorrah.  Those cities are destroyed for their sin of homosexuality.

In Genesis 13:14-18, after Lot chooses the best and most fertile land, God tells Abraham to look to the north, south, east and west as this is the land God is giving him.  It is known as the ‘promised land.’

“Adonai said to Abram, after Lot had moved away from him, “Look all around you from where you are, to the north, the south, the east and the west. All the land you see I will give to you and your descendants forever,and I will make your descendants as numerous as the specks of dust on the earth — so that if a person can count the specks of dust on the earth, then your descendants can be counted.  Get up and walk through the length and breadth of the land, because I will give it to you.” Abram moved his tent and came to live by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron. There he built an altar to Adonai.”

Now we come to Genesis chapter 15.  There are several key verses in this chapter the explain Abraham’s history and the land of promise.

Verse 7 gives the land to Abraham to possess — Then he said to him, “I am Adonai, who brought you out from Ur-Kasdim to give you this land as your possession.”

El Shaddai (God Almighty) goes on to say that Abraham’s descendants would become slaves (as they were in Egypt) and then  in the fourth generation, they would return to this same land – the land of promise – Canaan.  This is something repeatedly seen in the Scriptures.  The Israelites, no matter what happens to them, they always return to the Land promised to Abraham.

Verse 16 – But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not complete.”

Though there were other people living in the promised land, they did not own it.  Only God owns land and He says that Abraham’s descendants will possess it.  From God’s point of view, just because someone occupies land does not mean they ‘own’ it.  This is because God is the creator of heaven and earth and everything in the earth is His.  If we think we ‘own’ the land, then we deny God as the Creator.  Because Yahweh is the Creator, He can give land to anyone He chooses.  Thus, we have the land promised to Abraham as his possession.

Verses 18-21 – These are the verses that give the covenant boundaries of the promised land.  Though I tend to believe the Israeli flag is a prayer shawl, the other explanation is also valid.   Abraham was given the land between the Nile River and the Euphrates.  This is not a modern-day Zionist threat, this is the actual land boundaries given to Abraham and is a prophecy with a promise.

“On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites,Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”

Today, this words might read from the river in Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates –Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt!  Though the world would hate this truth and blame Israel for stealing land when they rightfully posses, (even through wars when they give it back) it’s all land given to them by covenant promised contract with Abraham.

Isaac

Genesis chapter 16 records the birth of Ishmael.  Though Sarah was Abraham’s wife, Ishmael became the son of her maid, Hagar.   Several years after Ishmael’s birth Abram’s name was changed by God to Abraham.  The name Abraham means ‘father of many nations.‘  It was at this time the covenant of circumcision was given to Abraham as a  ‘sign’ of his faith.’  Ishmael, along with all the other males in Abraham’s family were circumcised.

Genesis chapter 18 records three men coming to visit Abraham.  It is at this time that God promises Abraham a son from his wife, Sarah.    They are both so old in years, that only through faith can Isaac be conceived. Their bodies no longer could procreate a child.  Genesis chapter 21 records the birth of Isaac.

This is when the sibling rivalry begins.  Isaac is the son promised by God through Sarah, Abraham’s wife, while Ishmael was from another woman.  I believe that Abraham loved both of his sons, but because of problems that developed between the child, Isaac, and the young man, Ishmael, Abraham had to send Hagar and Ishmael away.   Yet, Yahweh Elohim does not neglect Ishmael.   Why?  Because Abraham was called the ‘father of many nations’.  In fact, while Hagar and Ishmael were dying of thirst in the desert, God comes to them and promises Hagar that even Ishmael would become a great nation.   He provides a well for them so they have water.    They settle in the Desert of Paran which is considered to be the modern Sinai desert.

“God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

In Genesis 22, Abraham’s faith is tested.  This is where he takes his son Isaac to Mt. Moriah (the mount where the Temple was eventually built by King Solomon).   It is on this mountain that Abraham is asked to offer his son as a sacrifice.  Abraham has great faith in God and trusts that either God will ‘provide himself a sacrifice’ or ‘raise his son from the dead.’  Why?  Because Isaac is the son of a promise.  The account continues that a ram is sacrificed instead of Isaac.  The lamb becomes a substitution for the life of Isaac.

In Genesis 26 the land promise is given to Isaac.  The promise had nothing to do with Isaac, but with the faith of Abraham, his father.  Again, Isaac will have many descendants just as his father was promised.

“The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.   Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.  I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspringall nations on earth will be blessed,  because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.”

Jacob

Isaac marries Rebekkah and they have two sons, Jacob and Esau.  These two also have sibling rivalry and are separated.  Esau became the Edomites.  Today this nation of people have assimilated into the Arab nations.  This is an historical fact as there are no Edomites today, but they settled in what is known today as Jordan.

In Genesis 28:13-14, Jacob is in the wilderness because of the situation between he and Esau.  Jacob has a dream in which there is a ladder reaching to the heavens.  From the top of the ladder El Shaddai  speaks to Jacob and says that he will give him the land on which he is sleeping.  Jacob names the place BeitEl – House of God.   This place was about 12 miles (19 km) north of Jerusalem, west of Jericho and the Jordan River.  Archaeological findings have the site of BeitEl with the ruins of Beitin, a small village south of Shiloh.

“There above itstood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”

Israel

In Genesis 35:9-15 Jacob returns from Haran in Mesopotamia and an angel comes to him and blesses him.  The blessing includes a change of name – Yisrael.

“After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram,God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Yisrael.” So he named him Yisrael.

And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.”  Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.

Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. This is the place where God had talked with him – Bethel.”

Jacob had 12 sons.  One of the sons was named Y’hudah.  This is where the word “Jew” or “Jewish” comes from.  The name Y’hudah means ‘praiser of God”.   Over the centuries the Israelites became known as Jews.  Thus, the land promised to Abraham is to be possessed by the Israelites.

Today

As we look today at the problems in the Middle East with Israel and the Arab nations, this is what I see and how I understand it.

Abraham was promised to be the father of  ‘many nations.’  Through Ishmael, there are over 400 million Arabs and they live in many lands.  These are the many ‘nations‘ represented by the name Abraham – ‘father of nations’.     The promise to Ishamel has been fulfilled and continues to be fulfilled.

Abraham was also promised land and a lot of land – from the Nile to the Euphrates River.   The PROMISE of this land did not go to Ishmael, but to Isaac and then to Jacob who became known as Yisrael. Today we know the Israelites as the Jewish people.  In reality Israel is way more than just the descendants of Judah, but the descendants of all of the Tribes of Israel  (the 12 sons),  but today these people are scattered all over the world and have assimilated into other peoples. Someday soon, there is a promise that God will gather all of these children of Jacob/Israel together in the Promised Land.   This will not be man’s doing, but God’s work.

Now, let’s look at the Jewish people.  In 2010, there were 5,703,000 Jewish people living in Israel.  Compared to 400 million Arabs, this is nothing.  This isn’t even the population of the city of Cairo which has 9,120,350.  Deuteronomy 7:7 (one of the books of Moses) says that God didn’t choose the Israelites because they were GREAT in number, but because they WERE SMALL.

“For you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure. Adonai didn’t set his heart on you or choose you because you numbered more than any other people — on the contrary, you were the fewest of all peoples. Rather, it was because Adonai loved you, and because he wanted to keep the oath which he had sworn to your ancestors, that Adonai brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from a life of slavery under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. From this you can know that Adonai your God is indeed God, the faithful God, who keeps his covenant and extends grace to those who love him and observe his commands, to a thousand generations. But he repays those who hate him to their face and destroys them. He will not be slow to deal with someone who hates him; he will repay him to his face.”

God (Yahweh) gave Israel the Promised Land so they would have a place to live among the many nations of the world that would always be bigger than they were and fighting against them because they are a holy people and a people loved by Elohim.  Unfortunately, the sibling rivalry continues, and Ishmael and Isaac are still fighting over a really tiny piece of land.

The Real Battle

Could it be that the land really isn’t the problem, but it’s really a desire to rid the world of a group of people because of a promise?  It was from the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah, that the promise of salvation would come to the world.  This salvation comes through Yeshua.  Without an Israel, Yeshua could not come the first time nor can come the second time.  He was to be born in BeitLechem and he is to return to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.   Throughout the history of the Jewish people, from their slavery in Egypt until the Holocaust in Germany, the world just wants to rid themselves of these people.  Why is that?  Why is it they have had to fight just to stay alive? Could it be that it’s a spiritual battle and not really a physical land battle?  Could it still be a hard-hearted sibling rivalry that needs redemption from the only redeemer, Yeshua?

You, my friend,  live in the Land of Israel.  You say it is beautiful.  You say you have freedom there and are treated as an equal citizen.  Yet there are many who hate the Jewish people and rejoice when they are murdered in their own streets and on their own buses.  This confuses me.  Why does the life of a small nation of people create such anger and hatred.  Why does the death of the Jewish people cause rejoicing.  It is not only sick, it is sinful and against God’s will for Abraham’s promise.

Israel,  for all of time, has had to defend herself.  This is nothing new and it will continue until all nations of the world come against her to destroy her.  Even today, only 9 out of 188 nations stood against Palestine becoming a nation.  That’s the world against Israel.  That’s the world against a land covenant given to Israel through Abraham because no one believes in the Hebrew Scriptures and the promises of  God.  They mock Him and destroy His chosen people.

The Scriptures say ‘He who blesses Abraham will be blessed and he who curses him will be cursed.”  I believe the leaders of the world are walking on very dangerous ground and some very terrible things will begin to happen as the world continues to hate and curse Israel.  There are many Biblical and historical accounts of nations that came against Israel and the Jewish people.  They suffered serious consequences.  Most, if not all, of the nations no longer exist.  Many of the modern-day nations like the United States are falling apart because we do not stand with Israel.

To Answer Your Question

Was the land of Israel given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Jewish people?  Yes.  Should there be boundaries that are bigger than what Israel is today?  Yes.  Will politicians and world leaders solve the problem?  No.  Men are sinful, hate God, want power, and covet something they can never own, only possess.    The battle isn’t really with Israel and the Jewish people, it’s with the Creator of the Universe.  Mankind, in all his pride and greed, is waging war with the Creator.  It can only turn out bad for mankind.

Will the situation ever be resolved so there is everlasting peace.  Yes.  I believe the situation will only be resolved when Yeshua returns to the Mount of Olives.   At this moment everyone who pierced his hands and feet will mourn.  He will enter Jerusalem and set up His Kingdom rule.   I also believe that when the time of the end comes and all nations come against Israel, everyone will see the miraculous Hand of Yahweh deliver His people.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries

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