The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

USA BACKS ISRAEL’S MOVE TO CANCEL TALKS WITH PA

April 24th, 2014

USA BACKS ISRAEL’S MOVE TO CANCEL TALKS WITH PA
by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

The United States on Wednesday expressed support for Israel’s decision to cancel a planned session of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, in the wake of an announced Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal.

“It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, according to AFP.

She added that any Palestinian government must commit “unambiguously” to the principles of non-violence and to Israel’s existence.

The deal between Hamas and Fatah aims to put an end to a long and bloody rivalry, which boiled over seven years ago when Hamas seized control of Gaza from the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, murdering PA security guards in cold blood and even pushing them off the roofs of tall buildings. The few that remained alive found refuge in Israel.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to issue a “presidential decree” announcing the dates for elections, which PA officials said would likely take place within the next six months.

Meanwhile in Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday evening that he would be convening the inner diplomacy-security cabinet Thursday morning, to discuss the agreement between Fatah and Hamas and whether or not to continue contacts with the PA.

Earlier Wednesday evening, Netanyahu called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who had pushed the sides back to the negotiating table back in July, and presented Israel’s position regarding Hamas-Fatah deal.

Netanyahu told Kerry that the pact “shows that the Palestinians are repeating a familiar pattern” of “running away from decisions.”

He repeated his public statement to the effect that “whoever makes peace with Hamas cannot make peace with Israel.”

On Tuesday, Abbas repeated his threats to disband the PA if peace talks remain stuck, and also demanded a three-month Israeli construction freeze as a condition for talks to continue.

ABBAS-HAMAS DEAL “A TRAGIC GAME CHANGER”

April 24th, 2014

ABBAS-HAMAS DEAL “A TRAGIC GAME CHANGER”
by Gil Ronen

Dore Gold, who has been described as one of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s closest foreign policy advisors, called the reconciliation between Hamas and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) “a game changer” in a CNN interview Wednesday.

Gold, who served in the past as advisor to Netanyahu and Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, and currently heads the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has reportedly recently returned to serve as a part-time advisor to the Prime Minister.

Hamas, he said, “is recognized by the world as an international terrorist organization; by the European Union, by the United States, by Canada and many others. And [PA head] Mahmoud Abbas has been working very hard with Secretary of State John Kerry, as our Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has worked hard, and all of a sudden, it seems that in the last month, Abbas just simply does not want a negotiated solution.

“He said ‘no’ to President Obama. He said ‘no’ to even discussing with Israel in the future the possibility of them recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people – we’re asked to recognize a Palestinian state – and now he turns to hug Hamas. He wants a deal with Hamas and doesn’t want peace, and that’s a tragic development.”

While the PA can “hire some suits” to talk about making peace, Hamas is “in the back room” controlling things, he explained.

Asked if the peace process is dead, Gold said it is still possible to revive the process, but only if Abbas pulls back from the deal with Hamas. “He cannot embrace Hamas and say that he’s for peace with Israel. It’s a contradiction in terms.”

USA TO “RECONSIDER” AID TO PA IF IT JOINS WITH HAMAS

April 24th, 2014

USA TO “RECONSIDER” AID TO PA IF IT JOINS WITH HAMAS
by Gil Ronen

The United States would have to reconsider its assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if Fatah and Hamas form a government together, a senior U.S. administration official said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

Hamas and PA-Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas announced a unity pact on Wednesday, complicating his U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel that were already floundering.

“Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to non-violence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties,” the U.S. official told the news agency.

“If a new Palestinian government is formed, we will assess it based on its adherence to the stipulations above, its policies and actions, and will determine any implications for our assistance based on U.S. law,” the official said, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

After seven years of internecine fighting and competition, the Fatah-Hamas deal involves establishment of a unity government within five weeks and general elections six months later.

However, providing U.S. aid to a unity government that includes Hamas would comprise assistance to a group the United States lists as a terrorist organization.

“We are following reports of Palestinian reconciliation efforts,” the U.S. official who spoke on Thursday said. “We have been clear about the principles that must guide a Palestinian government in order for it to play a constructive role in achieving peace and building an independent Palestinian state.”

PLO Deputy Secretary Yasser Abed Rabo told Palestinian radio it was too soon for the US to sanction a government that had not been formed yet. “There’s no need for the Americans to get ahead of themselves over this. What happened in Gaza in the last two days is just a first step which we welcome and want to reinforce,” he said.

ABBAS CAN HAVE PEACE WITH ISRAEL OR HAMAS – NOT BOTH!

April 23rd, 2014

ABBAS CAN HAVE PEACE WITH ISRAEL OR HAMAS – NOT BOTH!
by Tova Dvorin (Arutz Sheva News)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed flailing attempts to rekindle peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) Wednesday, during a meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

“You’re coming at an important time,” he told Kurz. “We’re trying to re-launch the negotiations with the Palestinians.”

“Every time we get to that point, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stacks on an additional condition which he knows that Israel cannot give,” he explained. “So instead of moving toward peace with Israel, he’s moving toward peace with Hamas.”

“He has to choose,” Netanyahu mused. “Does he want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel? You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace, but so far he hasn’t done so.”

After torpedoing peace talks by applying to 15 international conventions, threatening to disband the PA, and approaching Hamas for a unity pact, Abbas reiterated more demands to Israel on Tuesday – this time insisting on a three-month construction freeze in Judea and Samaria prior to renewing peace talks.

The move sparked outrage among several ministers, including Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis, who declared “Abbas is (former PA Chairman Yasser) Arafat in disguise.”

“The Palestinian leadership under Abbas just changed its tone and not its essence,” he argued. “Under the honey-coated words and diplomacy is hiding an extremist leadership which is not interested in peace or an agreement, but rather in endless extortion of terrorist releases, concessions and withdrawals by Israel – just as a condition to have peace talks.”

ISRAEL AIR FORCE BOMBS TERROR SITES IN GAZA AFTER ROCKET ATTACKS

April 21st, 2014

ISRAELI AIR FORCE BOMBS TERROR SITES IN GAZA AFTER ROCKET ATTACKS
By JPOST.COM STAFF

IDF holds Hamas accountable for violence on border, including 7 rockets fired into southern Israel; IAF hits 3 targets inside southern, central Strip.

The Israel Air Force bombed three terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday following an attack on IDF forces and rocket attacks on Israel.

Fighter jets struck three targets accurately and returned to base, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said.

Reuters cited medical sources in Gaza as saying Israel’s retaliatory strike had left two Hamas militants lightly wounded.

Earlier on Monday, terrorists in Gaza fired seven rockets into Israel during the last day of the Passover holiday.

The first three projectiles struck uninhabited areas in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, activating “Code Red” sirens. No damage was reported in the attack.

Another two rockets launched from the coastal enclave caused light damage in Sderot.

“Israeli civilians celebrating the Passover Holiday woke up this morning to the sound of Code-Red alarms and rockets. It is our obligation to seek out and target those who wish to attack our civilians and soldiers and to eliminate their capabilities. Hamas rocket terrorism is an intolerable reality Israelis should not have to accept,” IDF Spokesman Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner said in light of Monday’s attacks.

According to the IDF, 100 rockets fired from Gaza have hit southern Israel since the beginning of 2014.

In addition to the rocket attacks, the IDF reported that an RPG was launched toward IDF forces early Monday morning on the border with the Strip, but no injuries were reported.

IDF forces later shot warning shots into Gaza. The shots caused no known injuries inside Gaza.

THE TOMB IS EMPTY AND JESUS IS ALIVE!

April 20th, 2014

THE TOMB IS EMPTY AND JESUS IS ALIVE!

On this Resurrection Day may you and your family celebrate the most wonderful news of all human history – JESUS CHRIST IS ALIVE – and He is coming again! He promised to come again (John 14:1-6) and made it clear that He alone is the way to heaven!

If you have not settled your relationship to Him as your Lord and Savior, why not turn to Him NOW! Are you willing to confess your sins, and repent of sinful behavior? Are you ready to call upon His Name, believing that He died for your sins (all of them!), and rose again from the dead, thus guaranteeing our own future resurrection!

GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY AND PRAISE and welcome to the family of God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

THE PROBLEM OF THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS

April 19th, 2014

THE PROBLEM OF THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS
David Hocking

The issue has been fought over in seminaries, colleges, and churches throughout church history. A very thorough discussion of this problem is found in Alfred Edersheim’s book “The Temple: Its Ministry and Services.” Rather than be dogmatic, I would like to be as helpful as possible by listing the potential problems:

1. The death of Herod – this is crucial to dating the life of our Lord since Luke 3:23 lists the beginning of His ministry at “about thirty years of age.” This problem places the birth of Jesus BEFORE January 14, 1 BC.

2. The dating of the Roman rulers and Jewish leadership in Luke 3:1-2 – this is a rather specific verse regarding this issue and must be documented carefully.

3. The Passover IS the “preparation day” when the lambs are killed (regardless of your view). To resolve some problems, some folks place the “preparation day” on the day before the Passover. Cf. Exodus 12:6; Leviticus 23:5.
The word “preparation” also refers to the day before the weekly Sabbath (such as in Mark 15:42) and should not be confused with the “Preparation Day” when the lambs are killed at Passover. One refers to preparing food before the weekly Sabbath begins, and the other refers to killing the lambs before the evening of Nisan 15 when the Passover meal is eaten before midnight.

4. Nisan 15 is the First Day of Unleavened Bread and is a
Shabat (holy convocation – treated as a Sabbath Day) cf. Leviticus 23:2, 6-8.

5. Nisan 15 is the day of the traditional peace offering – the
the Bible says in Colossians 1:20 – “having made peace
through the blood of His cross” – a possible link to His
death on Nisan 15. The problem of the crucifixion on the 14th is that the majority of people would be on the Temple Mount offering the Paschal lambs – Josephus lists a Passover before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD as killing 256,000 lambs. One lamb was sufficient for a 10-20 people – over 3 million in Jerusalem.

6. The Greek of Matthew 28:1 lists the word “Sabbath” as a plural – before His resurrection we must have two “Sabbaths” in a row – that would be true if in addition to the weekly Sabbath (Nisan 16) we also had Friday as Nisan 15 of the year He died.

7. To place the Triumphal Entry on a Shabat (Saturday) is a problem with Jewish law (distance from Bethany). We also have the problem of John 12:1 where we are specifically told that the supper in Bethany was “six days before the Passover.” If Nisan 8 is on Friday when the traditional Shabat meal is eaten (if that is what is meant), then Nisan 10 would be on Sunday when the triumphal entry would occur (coinciding with the selection of the lambs for Passover).

8. The words “high day” must refer to a special Shabat or “holy convocation” – the first and last days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread are “high days” – Nisan 15 and Nisan 21. Also, the thousands of lambs would not be selected (quite a process) on any other day but Nisan 10.

A classic work on this issue (two volumes) written by Catholic scholar, Raymond E. Brown, presents some excellent documentation (Doubleday publication – 1993. Each volume contains over 1500 pages so it will take time!)

The reference of Jesus to being raised on the “on the third day” also presents a problem – cf. Matthew 16:21; 20:19. Jesus made it clear that He would be raised “the third day” NOT “after three days and three nights.” Also, the Hebrew has an illustration of the problem from the book of Esther. Esther 4:16 speaks of “three days, night or day” of fasting before she would go into the king. But, Esther 5:1 clearly shows that she went “on the third day.”

The Jewish idiom of “three days and three nights” can be used when referring to only a part of a day. What confuses most people is the statement about Jonah (Matthew 12:40) which seems to require three days and three nights in the belly (heart) of the earth. However, the main point of the verse is NOT the timing, but that our Lord was in “the heart of the earth” as Jonah was in the “whale’s belly.”

The words “The Feast of Unleavened Bread” often included the “Day of Passover” (Luke 22:1, 7) which was ALWAYS on Nisan 14. Jewish people also refer to the entire 8 days as the “Passover Season” – they still do it today!)

So, what have we learned from all of this? In all of the studies that have been done on this subject, each one can seem to be authoritative and correct. While our understanding may be insufficient or incomplete on this matter, the truth of what happened is another matter! The issue is that our Savior, our blessed Lord Yeshua died for our sins, was buried, and rose again – that’s the gospel!

KERRY SLAMS UKRAINIAN ANTI-SEMITISM

April 18th, 2014

KERRY SLAMS UKRAINIAN ANTI-SEMITISM
by Ari Yashar

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday condemned notices which were sent to Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, asking them to identify themselves as Jews. Kerry called the move “grotesque.”

“In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable,” Kerry told AFP in Geneva, where he was taking part in crisis talks on Ukraine.

The notices were sent by the “People’s Republic of Donetsk,” part of a pro-Russian separatist movement that has held violent protests and seized government buildings in the city. In response, the Ukrainian government on Sunday launched an “anti-terrorism” operation in the city, leaving one Ukrainian official killed and five injured, as well as untold casualties on the protesters’ side.

The notice, handed out late Tuesday in front of the local synagogue by three men in camouflage uniforms and ski masks who left before police arrived, ordered Jewish residents to register with the pro-Russians or be deported. Novosti Donbassa displayed a copy of the notice, which claimed to target Jews for allegedly supporting Ukraine against the pro-Russians.

The notice orders all Jews over 16 years of age to register in front of the government building that has been occupied by pro-Russian forces. It further orders Jews to pay a registration fee of $50 before May 3 and list all real estate and vehicles owned.

“In case of failure to register, the perpetrators will be stripped of their citizenship and deported forcibly outside the country with confiscation of property,” read the notice.

‘Provocation’ and a ‘political use’ of anti-Semitism?

It remains unclear whether the notice constitutes a new policy being implemented by the local pro-Russian forces, or a “provocation” to stir up violence and change facts on the ground.

The US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, told CNN that “everything that we’re hearing is that this is the real deal, and that it is apparently coming from somebody on the ground there among these radical groups, either to stir fear or to create provocation justifying further violence.”

Those estimations of “provocation” were echoed by Rabbi Pinkhas Vyshedski of the Donetsk Jewish community, who said “what happened of course smells of a provocation. As to who is behind it — that is an open question.”

Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) national director Abraham Foxman similarly raised questions about the notices, saying “we have seen a series of cynical and politically manipulative uses and accusations of anti-Semitism in Ukraine over the past year.”

However, Foxman added “we strongly condemn the anti-Semitic content, but also all attempts to use anti-Semitism for political purposes.”

Anti-Semitism accompanying the Ukrainian crisis

The unrest in Ukraine has brought with it a sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks on the region’s Jewish population, highlighted by such events as the stabbing of the Deputy Commander of ZAKA Kiev and Hatzalah Kiev Chairman Rabbi Hillel Cohen.

The latest clashes in Donetsk have raised even further fears of a civil war breaking out in Ukraine, between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces.

Tzvi Magen, the former Israeli ambassador to Russia, told Arutz Sheva on Wednesday night that Russia is orchestrating the confrontations in an attempt to seize greater control over Ukraine.

Earlier this month the Crimean Peninsula, which had been part of Ukraine, held a controversial referendum vote and was annexed by Moscow after a de facto military invasion of the region.

Just last week a New York Times editorial board opinion piece argued that Kerry should leave the peace talks, and instead devote his “attention to other major international challenges like Ukraine.”

TROOPS ON ALERT AT KOTEL AFTER TEMPLE MOUNT RIOTS

April 17th, 2014

TROOPS ON ALERT AT KOTEL AFTER TEMPLE MOUNT RIOTS
by Moshe Cohen (Arutz Sheva News)

Thousands of police and IDF troops will be on duty Thursday, as tens of thousands of Jews arrive at the Kotel (Western Wall) for the Birkat Cohanim (Blessing of the Cohanim) ceremony, a special feature of the Jewish festivals. Troops will be on special alert following the unrest on the Temple Mount Wednesday.

Police will be stationed along all paths to the Kotel, with shuttle buses depositing worshippers outside the Dung Gate adjacent to the Kotel. Private cars are banned in the Old City Thursday, and the public is asked to use public transportation only. Leading the ceremony will be Chief Rabbis Yiztchak Yosef and David Lau.

On Wednesday, Muslims rioters hurled flares and rocks at police forces on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site. One police officer was reportedly slightly injured. The Temple Mount was closed to Jews Wednesday, and it remained closed Thursday. Six Arab rioters who took part in the rock throwing have been arrested, police said.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Dov Kalmanovitz, the Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, demanded that the Israeli Police close the Temple Mount to Arab visitors. On Thursday, when Birkat Cohanim is conducted, “the Chief Rabbis will visit the Western Wall and thousands will flood the Jewish quarter. It is inconceivable that the Israeli Police prevents Jews, who want to ascend the Temple Mount, from entering, and allows Arabs – who riot – to continue to respect the mosques there and throw stones,” he added. Kalmanovitz then called on police “to maintain security” at the Mount – “either by allowing Jews to ascend to the Mount or by closing it completely.”

“We need to make order out of the chaos which erupts at the site every holiday,” he stressed. “I already expect Arabs to throw stones tomorrow at the Western Wall. We should teach the Arabs a lesson for once and close it for them too.”

Despite being the holiest site in Judaism, Jewish access to the Temple Mount is very limited – including a blanket ban on Jewish worship there – in what activists condemn as a capitulation to Muslim extremism. Israeli police, in an attempt to appease the Muslim Waqf which was left in charge of the compound after the 1967 Six Day War, ban Jews from praying or performing any other form of worship.

Police sometimes close the Mount to Jews altogether in response to Muslim riots – for days or weeks at a time – despite evidence that such violence is usually planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.

TEMPLE MOUNT OCCUPIED BY HAMAS

April 17th, 2014

TEMPLE MOUNT OCCUPIED BY HAMAS
by Hezki Ezra (Arutz Sheva News)

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) slammed the latest rioting incident on the Temple Mount Wednesday, calling Israel’s control over Judaism’s holiest site a “failure.”

“Over the last five days, the Temple Mount has not been occupied by the Jordanian army, but by a division of Hamas,” Feiglin said.

“The failure of the police to control events the Temple Mount is, in fact, the failure of political leadership in keeping the heart of Jerusalem intact.”

“Continuing to drag our feet on the issue will result in history remembering the Israeli government and its leader as having abandoned the Temple Mount to the Hamas regime,” he added.

According to Feiglin, placing a special unit of Israeli police at the site to specifically prevent riots is the “response is required to maintain our sovereignty over the Temple Mount and Land of Israel as a whole.”

Dozens of Palestinian Arab terrorists rioted against police at the Temple Mount on Wednesday, after Jews were allowed to visit Judaism’s holiest site in light of the Passover holiday.

On Monday, just hours before Passover began, Hamas Islamists rioted on the Mount, waving Hamas flags and “not allowing Jews and tourists into the Mount,” according to activists.

“Hundreds of Jews who came to the Temple Mount for Pesach were astonished to find a police representative standing at the entrance gate and announcing that the Mount had been closed off to Jews after Hamas had taken over the Mount and threatened violence against any Jews who enter,” the Temple organizations reported in a news communique Monday.

On Sunday, over 20 Hamas men stayed overnight on the compound, sparking calls for the police commissioner to resign after it was revealed that police forces had allowed them to do so.

Feiglin’s words echo statements by Temple Institute International Director Rabbi Chaim Richman, who told Arutz Sheva that recent events show Israel’s policies regarding the Mount are a “national catastrophe.”

“In the middle of Jerusalem there is a city-state with diplomatic immunity where the enemy flag is unfurled and where plans are being made to attack Jews… that is absolutely unspeakable,” Richman said Wednesday.

“They keep parroting this meaningless mantra that ‘the Temple Mount is in our hands’, when everyone knows Jordan is sovereign there,” he added, referring to the Waqf Islamic trust which administers the site and is run by the Jordanian government.


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