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

Archive for September, 2006


Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

It seems today that one of the most important questions that churches and pastors are facing is – “What is the Church and what should it be doing?” With the barrage of pressure to be “relevant” and “contemporary” and “purpose-driven” and the need of “emerging” into a new understanding and application of Biblical truth, it seems time to go back to the New Testament and see what it says a church should be like!

Scripture: Acts 2:37-47

Five major things involved in the purpose, objectives,
and ministry of the church:

1A. A continual DEDICATION to the preaching of the gospel – Acts 2:37-40; 5:42; Romans 1:14-16; I Cor. 1:18-21

2A. A strong DISCIPLESHIP of the believers –
Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42a, 47b

Includes the following four things:

1B. Public CONFESSION of faith – “gladly received
His word” – Matt. 10:32-33; Rom. 10:9-10

2B. Personal COMMITMENT to identification with
Jesus Christ in the waters of baptism – Matthew 28:19 Acts 8:35-39; 16:30-34; Romans 6:3-6; I Peter 3:20-21

3B. People CONNECTION to the body of believers –
“added” – Acts 2:41, 47; 5:14; 11:24

4B. Personal CONFORMITY to the teaching of the
apostles as found in the Bible – “continued
stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine”

3A. A loving DESIRE to relate to one another as a
family – “continued stedfastly in…the fellowship” – Acts 2:44-46

4A. A deep DEVOTION to the worship of our Lord and what He has done for us – “continued stedfastly in …the breaking of the bread”

5A. A constant DEPENDENCY upon God in prayer
“continued stedfastly in…the prayers”

Editor’s note: Of course, more could be added, but perhaps this little brief study will get us back on the right track and stop trying to develop our churches after worldly opinions and pressure. We need to do what the Bible says – no more, no less! God help us!


Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

On Tuesday of this week, a day-long conference was held in Israel at the Jerusalem-based Israel Democracy Institute – focusing on the question of “Zionism.” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (who is under great opposition at the present time) appeared at the conference and said “We must understand the troubles of the religious Zionist public.” His words seemed very shallow and somewhat hypocritical.

Across the world there is a great deal of confusion and hostility over the term “Zionism” – exactly what is it and why does it bring so much opposition and anger? Many call “Zionists” – nothing but “racists”? Hard to believe, but that is the opinion of many people in this world. PM Olmert did not help the cause much as he said “We must strive towards a new definition of Zionism.”

Some of the issues being discussed at this conference dealt with strengthening Sabbath observance and the need of teaching Israelis the importance of their faith in the daily practices and even in the defense of their country. Olmert described the situation that he called “religious Zionism” as those people who live on the “periphery and have felt neglected for years.” In response, Alex Traiman of Israel’s National Radio said that he doesn’t feel “peripheral.” He said: “Even citizens living in Judea and Samaria are doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc., living in the center of the country and in the center of Israeli life.” The Israeli public believes that PM Olmert has betrayed the so-called “religious Zionists” who live in Judea and Samaria (the Biblical heartland of Israel).


The word “Zion” is a Biblical term used over 150 times. It refers to the city of Jerusalem, the nation of Israel as a whole, to believers in the Messiah as the hope of Israel, and to one of the hills of the city of Jerusalem – Mount Zion. There is also a “Zion’s Gate” on the southwest side of the city through which one can go to the Jewish Quarter of the city. It is the hill just to the immediate west of the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) of the Second Temple. “Zion” is also the name associated with David’s City which was the Hill of Ophel – just immediately south of the “dung gate” – across the highway – some 30 acres that are being excavated (some exciting discoveries!) at the present time, the location of Hezekiah’s Tunnel and the Pool of Siloam.

Psalm 48:1-2 says: “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness. Beautiful for situation, the JOY of the whole earth, is MOUNT ZION, on the sides of the north, the city of the great KING.” Verse 8 calls it “the city of our God.”

Isaiah 46:13 reads: “And I will place salvation in ZION for Israel My glory.”
In Isaiah 49:13-16 God comforts His “people” and speaks of their discouragement, believing that they had been forsaken by God, and the Lord referred to them as “ZION.” Isaiah 51:3 says: “The LORD shall comfort ZION.” In Isaiah 51:16 we read: “and say unto ZION, Thou art My people.” In Isaiah 52:1 the word “ZION” is clearly a reference to “JERUSALEM, the holy city.” In Isaiah 52:11 – the good tidings is to say unto ZION: “Thy God reigneth” – and in the next verse it speaks of “when the LORD shall bring again ZION.”

Isaiah 59:20 says: “And the Redeemer shall come to ZION, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 60:14 says “The city of the LORD, the ZION of the Holy One of Israel.” The mission of the Messiah (Isaiah 61:3) is to give “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” – to “ZION”!

Isaiah 62:1 says “For ZION’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake.” Verse 11 says “Say ye to the daughter of ZION, Behold thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.” (verses quoted in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament!).

Zechariah 9:9, a prophecy fulfilled by our Lord Yeshua when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy KING cometh unto thee; He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”


1. ZIONISM is the belief that Jerusalem is the most important city in the entire world, and is the eternal capital of the Nation of Israel, and the place where the LORD GOD of ISRAEL has chosen to put His Name forever!

2. ZIONISM is the hope of ISRAEL and the entire world and refers to the salvation which the Messiah of Israel will bring to this world and especially to the people of ISRAEL!

3. ZIONISM is the conviction that the Land of Israel was given to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and is based on an everlasting and unconditional covenant of the LORD GOD of ISRAEL! ZIONISM therefore has no desire to divide the covenant land nor to see it given to Israel’s enemies!

4. ZIONISM is the movement of God Himself to return the Jewish people to their God-given land! This is stated clearly and often in the Bible.

5. ZIONISM is the assurance that faith in the Messiah brings – that one day true believers, both Jewish and Gentile, will share the “heavenly Jerusalem” which is called “Mount ZION” and the “city of the living God” (Hebrews 12:22-23).

CONCLUSION: I am proud to be a “ZIONIST” and my faith in the LORD GOD of ISRAEL and the MESSIAH of ISRAEL is what has stirred my heart to be committed to Biblical “ZIONISM”!


Friday, September 22nd, 2006

World leaders (including North America) are insisting that the Middle East Peace Process is the major issue of our world today! They are demanding that Israel return to “negotiations” – but Shimon Peres, the Foreign Minister of Israel, and usually one to negotiate, says that nothing can happen until the Israeli soldier (Shalit) kidnapped back in July is returned! The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, says that this will happen. Hamas says “NO” unless Israel returns all the Palestinian terrorists and prisoners in Israel’s prisons!

But, the big problem that still stands in the way of any return to the negotiating table is that of the recognition of the State of Israel by the Palestinian Authority. This past week, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Abbas, insists that this will be done and that Hamas who controls the majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament will also officially recognize the right to exist of the Jewish state. However, after assuring world leaders at the 61st meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations that this will take place, the leader of HAMAS immediately answers that they will NEVER recognize the right of Israel to exist!

Here’s the big problem: These terrorist organizations (like Fatah, Hizb’allah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc.) were formed and started on the major objective of destroying the State of Israel and annihilating the Jews. Even the so-called “moderates” among them still insist that Israel is the “occupier” of Muslim lands (a total fabrication and lie!) and that peace will NOT come to the Middle East until Israel removes itself from Muslim land! The idea that peace will come on that basis is also a huge fabrication and lie! When Israel was not in the land as a Nation (before 1948) there was no peace – even among the Muslims themselves. Psalm 83:1-5 makes it quite clear that what binds Israel’s enemies together in the Middle East is the objective of destroying Israel.

So, when is peace going to come? The Bible’s answer – when the Messiah of Israel returns – the One Who is called the PRINCE OF PEACE who will establish peace and justice once and for all – the kingdom of the Messiah will one day rule the world (Revelation 11:15-17)! Until then, we do what we can to reach people with the gospel of our blessed Messiah, our Lord Yeshua, and on a personal level by personal commitment and faith, a person can have “peace with God” (Romans 5:1-2) and as believer know the “peace of God” (Philippians 4:6-7) in his or her heart!



Friday, September 22nd, 2006

The Fall Festivals of the Jewish people are:

ROSH HASHANAH – Feast of Trumpets – begins sundown, Sept. 22, 2006
YOM KIPPUR – Day of Atonement – begins sundown, Oct. 1, 2006
SUKKOT – Feast of Tabernacles – begins sundown, Oct. 6, 2006 (for 8 days)

The Jewish month of Tishrei – on the first day of the month – celebrates ROSH HASHANAH – and the Shofar is blown in an unique way. The next 10 days are called the “Days of Awe” and Jewish people believe that all their acts (both good and bad) are passing before the Judge of all the earth – the LORD GOD of Israel. The New Testament tells us that one day the “trump of God” will be blown (Shofar) announcing the RETURN of our Messiah – I Thessalonians 4:16-17 and the event which describes those who will be “caught up” (Greek word: harpazo) – the Latin translation uses the word “rapturo” or “rapture” to describe this event. Theologians and Pastors have continued to argue about the timing of this event throughout church history. We believe that it will occur before the coming day of God’s vengeance upon planet earth, called the “Day of the LORD,” or the “Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21-22).

On the 10th day of the month Tishrei, is the event known as the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). It celebrates the only day of the year in which the High Priest of Israel went into the HOLY of Holies with the blood of a sacrificial goat and put the blood on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant (called the “mercy seat”). The picture is that of “propitiation” or the satisfaction of the wrath of God against sin. Our Lord Yeshua is declared to be that “propitiation” in I John 2:2 and 4:9-10. Another goat (live one – called the “azazel”) was used to picture the release of our sins as the goat was released into the wilderness. A reminder that God has completely removed our sins when we put our faith and trust in His atonement – the death of His Son, our Messiah and Savior!

Five days later on the 15th day of Tishrei the festival known as Sukkot (booths) or Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated – usually for eight days! It is called the “season of our rejoicing” and it is a time to rejoice and celebrate!

In relation to the Messiah, we have three important facts illustrated by these Jewish festivals:

ROSH HASHANAH – the RETURN of the Messiah
YOM KIPPUR – the REDEMPTION of the Messiah
SUKKOT – the REIGN of the Messiah



Monday, September 18th, 2006

Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres will be the most senior Israeli official to participate in the Second International Conference of state and economic leaders organized by former US President Bill Clinton in New York this week.
Peres will be joined by French President Jacques Chirac, King Abdullah of Jordan, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, First Lady Laura Bush, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema, outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox, the Chilean President, King Mohammad VI of Morocco, President of the Arab League Amr Moussa, and prominent businesspeople, including Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Peres will use his meetings to advance the “Valley of Peace” project which includes building a joint international airport for Israel and Jordan, an aqueduct connecting the Red Sea with the Dead Sea, construction of industrial parks, infrastructure, alternative energy sources, and science parks spanning 400 kilometers, where 320 kilometers are joint Israeli-Jordanian, and 80 kilometers are Palestinian. The project will call for the 200 kilometers between Aqaba and the Dead Sea to become an economic corridor which includes joint industrial zones and plants. Peres will also present his initiative to advance economic and humanitarian cooperation between Israel and Lebanon.

The topics which will be discussed during the conference are: resolution of national, religious, and ethnic conflicts, alternative energy sources, the fight against poverty, and the war against AIDS. In addition to the conference, Peres will continue with his massive fundraising campaign for the residents of the North. Monday and Tuesday Peres will attend two fundraising events in St. Louis and in Detroit.


Sunday, September 17th, 2006

It is NOT our purpose to take sides on these issues dealing with our salvation nor to divide the body of Jesus Christ over human interpretations of these Biblical truths. We simply desire to state clearly our answers to these important matters. We hope that if you have not done so, you will re-read the first two articles on the history behind this problem and the positions of the followers of Jacobus Arminius and the positions of the followers of John Calvin.

We believe the Bible’s clear teaching (Romans 3:23) that all are sinners and are unable by human performance to earn, deserve, or merit salvation (Titus 3:5). We believe that the wages of sin is death as Romans 6:23 states, and that apart from God’s grace, no one can be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). We also believe what Romans 3:10-12 states that none are righteous, or capable of doing good, and that apart from the conviction and regeneration of the Holy Spirit, no one can be saved (John 1:12-13; 16:8-11; I Peter 1:23-25).

The Bible says (Ephesians 1:4-6) that God chose the believer before the foundation of the world and that based on His foreknowledge, He has predestinated (mark out an horizon or plan ahead of time) the believer to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29-30). We also believe that God offers salvation to all who will call on His Name (Romans 10:13). We also believe that God calls to Himself those who will believe in His Son, our blessed Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:9). The Bible reveals an invitation (or call) to all, but clearly points out that only a few will accept it. Revelation 22:17 states: “and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” I Peter 1:2 says: “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” Matthew 22:14 states: “For many are called, but few are chosen (elected).”

There is no doctrinal understanding as important to the believer as the death of Jesus Christ for our sin. The Bible says that Jesus Christ died as a “propitiation” for our sins (I John 2:2; 4:9-10). The word “propitiation” is referring to the “mercy-seat” (the lid of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of holies) and speaks of the satisfaction of the righteous wrath of God against sin. This “propitiation” is for the whole world – God’s wrath has been satisfied by the death of His Son for all humanity, whether believer or unbeliever! But, the Bible also clearly establishes the fact that God will only “redeem” and “forgive” those who put their trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ when He died for our sins and rose again from the dead (Ephesians 1:7; I Peter 1:18-19). We believe that “eternal life” is a “gift of God” (Romans 6:23), and that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16-18). I Timothy 4:10 states: “we trust in the living God, Who is the Savior of ALL men, specially of those that believe.” Hebrews 2:9 states that our Lord Jesus “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.”

We believe that God’s grace is not the result of human effort or worthiness (Romans 3:24-28; 11:6), but is the response of God’s mercy and love to those who will believe in His Son (Ephesians 2:4-10). Grace gives to us what we do not deserve nor can earn by our performance (Romans 11:6). God’s grace and mercy can be resisted. Jesus said in Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” We are not condemned because we have no opportunity to be saved, but a person is condemned because he “believeth not” (John 3:18). In John 5:40 we read: “And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” He also said in John 6:37: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to me; and him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:40 states: “And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone who seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life.” John 7:37 quotes the words of our Lord: “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.” John 11:26 says “whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.”

In Acts 7:51, Stephen concluded his message by saying: “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as you fathers did, so do ye.” Romans 10:21 quotes Isaiah 65:2 (speaking of God’s words to Israel): “All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.”

The Book of Hebrews contains at least five major warning passages. In the one found in Hebrews 10:26, we read: “For if we sin willfully (refers to rejecting the sacrificial system) after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” Verse 29 adds: “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, with which he was sanctified, an unholy things, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”


Romans 8:38-39 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 8:1 says that there is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ. In John 10:27-28 Jesus said: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” Jesus said in John 6;37: “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Philippians 1:6 says: “Being confident of this very thing, that He Who hath begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:13-14 and 4:30 makes it clear that the Holy Spirit has “sealed” us unto the “day of redemption.”

But, the problem that we all face is that many folks who say that they are Christians, in fact, are not. Our Lord Yeshua made this clear in Matthew 7:21-23. Not every one who claims to belong to Him is truly saved! Apparently there are many who will profess but not be genuine believers! We are also warned in the New Testament that continual practices of sinful lifestyles without repentance or any evidence of the battle within caused by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26), reveals an unbelieving heart. I Corinthians 6:9-10 insists that “the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God” and warns us not to be deceived. Similar statements and conclusions are given in Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:3-5. We are warned in the Bible about those who claim to be believers but instead have departed from the faith. There will be a great apostasy and “falling away” and it looks like we are facing that period of time presently.

We believe in the perseverance of the saints (true believers) but we are also deeply concerned about how easy it is for people in this culture to live sinful lifestyles and yet call themselves “Christians.” We are not fooling God!

A FINAL NOTE: These issues are very important to Christian life and teaching. It seems to our finite human minds that the sovereignty of God and our human responsibility are like two parallel lines that do not seem to intersect within our brains! But, God’s ways are “past finding out” says Romans 11:33. Proverbs 3:5-6 warns us not to trust or lean to our own understanding. We must learn to say what God says – no more and no less. It is not always easy, comfortable, or understandable. Wisdom will be loving and kind toward all, seeking the unity of the believers, not trying to find ways to divide and separate from one another. We need to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving (gracing to one another) one another as our Lord taught us. In these difficult doctrinal matters, may we have gracious attitudes and humble hearts, desiring most of all to please our Lord Who has called us to serve Him with all our hearts.

Discussion? YES – Disagreements? OF COURSE! – Division? NO!


Sunday, September 17th, 2006

02:08 Sep 17, ’06 / 24 Elul 5766
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, Arutz Sheva

At least five churches in the Palestinian Authority have been targeted in a series of attacks since Friday. One Islamic terrorist group threatened to blow up all the churches in Gaza.

The attacks and threats represent the response of Islamic fundamentalists in the PA to statements made last Tuesday, at Regensburg University in Germany, by the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI. By reference to a reported discussion from the 14th century between a Christian Byzantine Emperor and a Persian Islamic scholar, the pontiff implied denigration of the Islamic notion of Jihad for the sake of imposing Muslim rule.

Muslims in several PA-controlled cities in Judea and Samaria have taken to the streets in recent days in protest against the Pope’s comments, with increasing instances of violence directed at Christian institutions of all denominations.

In Shechem (Nablus), grenades and four firebombs were thrown at two churches, causing significant damage. A formerly unknown group called Lions of Monotheism claimed it was behind the attacks and that they were carried out in response to the Pope’s statements regarding Islam.

George Awad, priest of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the city, told the PA news agency Maan that the local Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches were targeted in attacks overnight on Friday and early Saturday morning. Awad emphasized to the news agency that he condemned both the attacks on the Shechem churches and the statements of the Pope. Saying that comments such as those of the Pope “sow seeds of conflict.” Awad added, “The Pope does not represent all of the world’s Christians.”

The Shechem-based clergyman continued, “The Christians in the Palestinian territories stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their Muslim brothers against the Israeli occupation. Many Christians have been killed, wounded and jailed in our common struggle.”

On Saturday, a group calling itself Swords of Islamic Justice claimed to have opened fire on a church in Gaza’s A-Zeitoun neighborhood. The group also threatened to blow up all the Christian houses of worship in the Gaza Strip.

During the annual conference of the Islamic Movement, held in the Israeli Arab city of Umm El-Fahm on Friday, the head of the northern branch of the organization, Sheikh Raed Salah, said of Pope Benedict’s statements, “I hope it was a slip of the tongue, because if it is not, his words are a direct call to the nations of Europe to stand behind President Bush and Israel in their war against Islam.”

On Friday, the head of the Palestinian Authority, Ismail Haniyeh, also had words of warning for the Pope: “We call on the holy pope to reconsider his statement and to stop offending the Islamic religion that has a billion and a half followers.” Another official of the Hamas terrorist organization, Ismail Radwan, told 2,000 protestors in Ramallah on Friday night, outside the PA legislature, “This [statement by the Pope] is a new crusade against the Arab Islamic world. It comes in different forms, in cartoons or lectures…. They hate our religion.”

In light of the worldwide Muslim reaction and threats of violence over the Pope’s condemnation of violence in the name of Islam, security around the Catholic Church leader has been tightened and thickened. In a statement issued on Saturday, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said that the Pope “sincerely regrets that certain passages of his address could have sounded offensive to the sensitivities of the Muslim faithful….”

02:09 Sep 17, ’06 / 24 Elul 5766
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, Arutz Sheva

Reiterating a position he has expressed in the past, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement declared that a new Caliphate will soon arise, with its capital in Jerusalem.

The Islamist leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, made the prediction Friday night, at the 11th annual conference of the Israeli Islamic Movement, in the northern city of Umm El-Fahm. Tens of thousands attended the event, including the Palestinian Authority-appointed mufti, Ikrima Sabri, and an archbishop of the Greek-Orthodox Church. Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Musa of Egypt, sent his regards to the gathering, as well.

The conference was held under the slogan “Al-Aksa is in Danger,” which has been utilized as a theme repeatedly at Islamic gatherings in recent years, harking back to incitement that preceded Arab massacres of Jews in the pre-State period.

Likening Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem to that of past non-Muslim rulers in the fertile crescent, Salah said, “The Israeli occupation will leave Jerusalem soon. It will happen sooner than is thought.” To aid in that process, Salah repeated a call of his from several months ago for Arab and Muslim states and organizations to establish a special fund aimed at “saving” Al-Aksa Mosque and Jerusalem from the Jews.

Salah also claimed that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Moshe Katzav are suffering, each in their own way, because of their plans to “attack” the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.

“The president of the state, Moshe Katzav, wanted to divide the Al-Aksa Mosque,” Salah told the crowd, “and he got caught up in a sexual harassment scandal. Also the former prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who wanted to break into the mosque by force, is in a state of clinical death and is praying to die, but his prayers are not answered.” These leaders, Salah claimed, were “punished by Allah.”

Touching on another theme, Salah criticized statements made recently by the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, in which the pontiff implied denigration of the Islamic notion of Jihad in the service of imposing Muslim rule. “I hope it was a slip of the tongue,” Sheikh Salah said, “because if it is not, his words are a direct call to the nations of Europe to stand behind President Bush and Israel in their war against Islam.”

On Friday, the head of the Palestinian Authority, Ismail Haniyeh, also had words of warning for the Pope: “We call on the holy pope to reconsider his statement and to stop offending the Islamic religion that has a billion and a half followers.” Another official of the Hamas terrorist organization, Ismail Radwan, told 2,000 protestors in Ramallah on Friday night, outside the PA legislature, “This [statement by the Pope] is a new crusade against the Arab Islamic world. It comes in different forms, in cartoons or lectures…. They hate our religion.”

Sheikh Raed Salah was arrested, along with four other leaders of the Islamic movement and the mayor of Umm El-Fahm, in 2003 on charges of belonging to a terrorist group, passing information to an enemy, contact with a foreign element (an Iranian intelligence operative stationed in Lebanon), conspiracy to commit a crime, money laundering, and other security and corporate crimes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is indeed astounding to see the Muslim reaction to the Pope’s remarks and then to take out their vengeance on churches that are NOT related to the Roman Catholic Pope! Is this the true religion of Islam? Is this how they respond to those who disagree with them? There was no call for a new “crusade” against Islam, and they know it! Do they accuse others of hating their religion and not accept responsibility for their continued hatred of non-Muslims and their indoctrination of people living under their regimes to attack and destroy places of worship by those who are not a part of Islam?

The leaders who continue to incite their people to violence are facing the judgment of God themselves. Their accusations sound “hypocritical” because they are guilty of what they accuse others of doing!

May the Prince of peace come soon and bring peace to this troubled world!


Friday, September 15th, 2006

Ephesians 6:10-20 speaks of the need of spiritual armor to face the spiritual battles which the forces of Satan and his demons bring against God’s people. Revelation 12 reveals Satan’s terrible attack against the people of Israel during the coming Tribulation. Consider these four issues about Satan’s war against Israel and against all believers, especially those who stand up for His people Israel.


Isaiah 14 discusses the “King of Babylon” and it appears from the context that Satan himself is behind this historical personage. The same facts are presented in Ezekiel 28 about the “prince of Tyre” who also appears to be a personification of the devil himself. Isaiah 14:12-14 presents the five “I wills” of Satan that reveals his deep-rooted pride:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars (other angels) of God: I will sit also up the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH.” Those last words tell the story. Ezekiel 28:17 adds: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of they brightness.” Satan’s problem is PRIDE!

In choosing leaders for God’s Church, Paul instructed in I Timothy 3:6: “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with PRIDE he fall into the condemnation of the devil.”


The Bible speaks in Ephesias 6:11 about the “wiles (methods) of the devil.” Revelation 12:9 calls him: “that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world.” He deceived Eve about the purposes and motivations of God Himself (Genesis 3:1-6; II Corinthians 11:3). He deceived King David about numbering the people (I Chronicles 21:1) and we learn that the basic plot was “against Israel.” He deceives the leaders of Israel about having peace with their enemies (Jeremiah 6:13-14; 8:10-11; 23:1-40; Ezekiel 13:1-16). Isaiah 9:16 says: “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” The Bible also mentions that he and his demons deceive the nations of the world to come against Israel at Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-16). He deceives according to the Bible by using false prophets and teachers to confused the people of God (II Corinthians 11:13-15; Ephesians 4:14; II Peter 2:1-3). He will also deceive the whole word through the coming Antichrist (II Thessalonians 2:8-10; Revelation 13:4-9).


In I Thessalonians 2:18 the Apostle Paul says “Satan hindered us.” In II Corinthians 4:3-7 Satan is called the “god of this world” and is described as the one who “blinds” the unbeliever so that the light of the gospel will not penetrate his mind and life. II Thessalonians 3:1-3 requests prayer that we would be kept from the evil one and delivered from “unreasonable and wicked men” that he uses to thwart the purpose of God as we share the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


The situation of Satan’s war is NOT hopeless! We are told the following encouraging things in the Bible:

(1) God’s POWER is greater than Satan – Ephesians 6:10; I John 4:4

(2) God’s PLAN allows Satan’s war to exist – Revelation 16:14 cf. Zechariah 14:2

(3) God’s PROTECTION limits Satan’s ability to attack us – Job 1-2; Psalm 121

(4) God’s PURPOSES are being accomplished in spite of Satan’s attacks and temptations – II Corinthians 12;7-10; I Peter 5:8-11

(5) God’s PROMISE of ultimate victory is clear!

The power of the devil was destroyed by the death of the Messiah (Hebrews 2:14-15; I John 3:8). Future victory over all of Satan’s accusations and attacks is guaranteed (Revelation 12:9-10). The devil and all his angels are destined to spend eternity in Hell – the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 10:10).

May the Lord encourage us to trust Him with all of our hearts!


Friday, September 15th, 2006

By Ezra HaLevi

Islam History Professor Moshe Sharon of Hebrew University told a counter-terrorism conference Thursday, “There is no possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians whatsoever – ever.” (courtesy of Arutz Sheva)

Sharon, speaking at the annual conference of Herzliya’s Counter Terrorism Institute, said that Iran is dead serious about obtaining and using nuclear weapons in order to bring about its vision of an Islamic End of Days.

The veteran expert on Islam says that Western officials fail to grasp that the Arab and Islamic world truly see Israel’s establishment as a “reversal of history” and are therefore unable to ever accept peaceful relations with it. From Moslems’ perspective, “Islamic territory was taken away from Islam by Jews. You know by now that this can never be accepted, not even one meter. So everyone who thinks Tel Aviv is safe is making a grave mistake. Territory which at one time was dominated by Islamic rule, now has become non-Moslem. Non-Moslems are independent of Islamic rule and Jews have created their own independent state. It is anathema. Worse, Israel, a non-Moslem state, is ruling over Moslems. It is unthinkable that non-Moslems should rule over Moslems.”

Sharon dismissed various peace treaties signed by Moslem and Arab officials over the years as “pieces of paper, parts of tactics and strategies… with no meaning.”

Sharon’s assessment focused on the danger posed by Iran. From studying Iranian culture, literature, newspapers, broadcasts and interviews with major players in the Islamic regime, Sharon concludes that a deep belief in a Shiite messiah is at the root of Iran’s nuclear project. “They truly believe that the Shiite messiah, the 12th Imam (also known as the Mahdi), is here, and that he will reveal himself… What moves the Iranian government and leadership today is first and foremost the wish to bring about the 12th Imam.”

Addressing the theological doctrine of how exactly the this Messiah will be revealed, Sharon explained: “How will they bring him? Through an apocalypse. He (the Mahdi) needs a war. He cannot come into this world without an Armageddon. He wants an Armageddon. The earlier we understand this the better. Ahmadinejad wants nuclear weapons for this!”

Sharon has in the past insisted that the Western world was engaging in great folly by differentiating between radical and peaceful Islam. “All of a sudden we see that the greatest interpreters of Islam are politicians in the Western world,” he wrote sarcastically. “They know better than all the speakers in the mosques, all those who deliver terrible sermons against anything that is either Christian or Jewish. These Western politicians know that there is good Islam and bad Islam. They know even how to differentiate between the two – except that none of them know how to read a word of Arabic.”

“The difference between Judaism, Christianity and Islam is as follows: Judaism speaks about national salvation – namely, that at the end of the story, when the world becomes a better place, Israel will be in its own land, ruled by its own king and serving G-d. Christianity speaks about the idea that every single person in the world can be saved from his sins, while Islam speaks about ruling the world. I can quote here in Arabic, but there is no point in quoting Arabic, so let me quote a verse in English: ‘Allah sent Mohammed with the true religion so that it should rule over all the religions.’

“The idea, then, is not that the whole world would necessarily become Moslem at this time, but that the whole world would be subdued under the rule of Islam.”

That, Sharon insists, is the plan, in black-and-white, of the Iranian regime.

“This is why [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad seeks nuclear weapons,” he emphasized. “The faster we realize this, the better.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The only real peace for this world will come with the Messiah – but He will NOT be an Islamic Messiah – He is the MESSIAH of ISRAEL, sent by the only true God there is – the GOD of ISRAEL! He is called in the Bible – the PRINCE of PEACE!

“Peace WITH God” (Romans 5:1) is only possible through personal faith in the Person and work of the Messiah Who died for our sins and rose again that we might live forever! Believers can experience the “peace OF God” (Philippians 4:6-7) through prayer with thanksgiving!


Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

The Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas has decided to join with Hamas in forming a new coalition government that will put an end to the economic boycott they have experienced, and will allow “peace” negotiations to begin again with Israel. Hamas controls the majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament, but things are not going well for them. The discouragment, disappointment, and hopelessness of the Palestinian Arabs toward the leadership of Hamas is growing and the government knows it. Things have not improved like they promised. The economic conditions are still bad. Something must be done, and be done soon!

The leadership of the United Nations seem to be “hopeful” about this new situation, and believe that the issues of the Road Map can be implemented if genuine negotiations will take place between the Fatah/Hamas Coalition and Israel. Of course, they will have to recognize the validity of the State of Israel and the right of the Jewish people to the homeland promised them by UN resolutions.

But, we have heard all of this previously, and nothing has changed. Both Fatah and Hamas are terrorist organizations dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel. Is this going to be changed? The terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens continue – are these going to stop?

In the Bible, the book of Daniel foresees a “peace agreement” being enforced upon the people of Israel. A part of that agreement will be the permission to place a Jewish temple on a portion of the Temple Mount. Revelation 11:1-2 seems to imply that the Temple Mount will be shared. I Thessalonians 5:1-3 warns that this so-called “peace agreement” will be deceptive and seductive, and that upon its signing, destruction will break out and the Jewish people will face an outburst of terror and hatred like they have never experienced before! Jeremiah 30:7-11 calls it “Jacob’s trouble.”

The truth of the Bible is that permanent peace will only come to Israel and its hostile neighbors when the Prince of peace, the Messiah of Israel returns!
“Even so, come Lord Jesus!”

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