Prophecy Update Newsletter
May 30, 2017
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Modern Israel as Proof of God's Existence
- Alf Cengia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8448
Is it possible to use modern Israel as proof of God's existence? Recently a friend posed me that interesting question.
As he noted, most Christian apologists currently debating atheists tend to be amillennial (and postmillennial). Therefore it wouldn't be natural for them to use events such as Israel's restoration in 1948 as an apologetic proof.
But he wanted to know if I was aware of any examples of dispensationalists using fulfilled prophecies about Israel as an apologetics tool against atheists. Aside from the odd mention of prophetic proofs in various prophecy books, I couldn't think of a formal example where anyone pointed to prophecy in a debate with an atheist.
My friend's question got me to pondering things. Here are some of my plodding thoughts...
The first thing to realize about many atheists (not all) is that they naturally resist any argument for God. That's why elaborate theories such as the Multiverse (multi-universe) and Bubble Universes are concocted. Atheism needs these possible scenarios in order to extend the probability of our intricate universe and earth's existence existing entirely from chance events.
Committed atheists aren't looking for proof of God. They try to avoid it. But let's get back to Israel.
Scientist Werner Gitt wrote Without Excuse in which he argues for proof of God's existence using Information Science. Gitt has a section where he argues, statistically, that fulfilled Bible prophecy is proof of God. He writes:
More than 3,000 prophetical statements have been fulfilled, often several hundred years after they were announced. Not one prophecy is known to have come about differently than predicted, a fact that presents itself as a unique criterion for testing the reliability of the Bible...
Intriguingly, Gitt offers The Scattering and Return of Israel (page 210) as a primary example of fulfilled prophecy. He cites verses such as Jeremiah 16:14-15. Gitt also mentions the signing of the Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate Territory and the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948.
Of course no evidence he submits - regardless of how compelling - will be accepted by atheism. There will be inevitable objections to any biblical examples. On the other hand many Christian scholars also reject the notion that modern Israel has any prophetic significance. Surprisingly (to me) some dispensationalists are in that category.
Christian apologists sometimes use the example of the Emmaus Story (Luke 24:13-27) as prophetic proof of Christ as Messiah, and verification of the Bible. Yet they overlook those prophecies which pertain to Israel's future existence as a nation and return to the land.
For the record: the Bible affirms that Israel will seek God because of its afflictions (Deut 4:30-31; Hos 5:15); that God will act to restore and cleanse her for His name's sake (Ezek 36:22-38); that she shall possess the land forever (Jer 7:7, 25:5; Amos 9:14-15) and that God would never reject Israel's descendants for what they have done (Jer 31:31-37).
Despite these clear-cut prophetic texts, Christian anti-Zionism charges that modern Israel is a construct of political manipulation and meddling. See pro-Palestinian Scholars such as Gary Burge and Stephen Sizer.
The Reformed Community also puts prophetic texts concerning Israel through various methods of re-interpretation. In the book Christ's Prophetic Plans, John MacArthur made the case that "those of a Reformed mindset" should reconsider eschatology due to their commitments to literal hermeneutics and the doctrine of sovereign election.
Calvinists should affirm that God's sovereign election cannot be forfeited, for His purposes can never be thwarted. Thus, the promises made to elect Israel must be fulfilled by Israel; just as the promises made to the elect church will be fulfilled for us. (p 155)
Note: Israel is also called chosen in the NT. Acts 3:12, 13-15, 25 and Rom 11:26-29 confirm Israel's standing as a chosen nation. See also 1 Chron 16:13; 2 Sam 7:23-24; Isaiah 45:4.
It's difficult to apply prophecy concerning Israel as proof of God. Skeptics simply refuse to believe for personal reasons. Atheists don't want to believe in God and many in the Reformed community took strong traditional issue with MacArthur's premillennial stance on Israel's sovereign election.
As for me, let's briefly look at the situation:
Because of disobedience, Israel was scattered among the nations just as the Bible predicted (Ezek 5:10, 12, 17: 21; Zech 2:6 etc). Throughout the history of Israel and the Diaspora, Jews have been persecuted and threatened with extinction. Yet they survived. Why?
For I am with you,' says the LORD, `to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, Yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished.' Jer 30:11 (See also Jer 31:35-37)
Israel has also been gathered back into the land in unbelief in preparation for refinement, as prophesied (Deut 30:1-5; Hos 5:15; Zech 13:9 etc). Since becoming a nation once again in 1948, tiny Israel has survived threats to its existence; most notably in 1948 and in 1967 (The Six Day War).
All prophecy scoffers need do to prove their point is to abolish Jewish persecution and the unfair demonization of modern Israel. Get Israel's neighbors, Hamas, the P.A. and Palestinian Christian activists to say "Jewish state" without choking on their breakfast cereals.
If Zionists were able to engineer Modern Israel, allegedly without God's help, surely scoffers can arrange for the world to stop hating Jews. And why is the world so contentious about Jerusalem (Zech 12:3)? The very fact we continue to discuss these issues is proof of God's word.
At the time of writing we are approaching the June 5th 2017, 50th anniversary of the six-day-war. Even secular people have recognized God's protective hand in this conflagration. Israel will continue to exist because of God's promises. It is a living proof of God's faithfulness to His word.
Israel exists because God exists.
Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalayim - Pray for peace in Jerusalem
For further reading:
I may not endorse everything on this website but The Miracle of Israel's Survival article makes some great points. See also John Walvoord's The New State of Israel.
End The Propaganda Myth That Jerusalem Is Holy To Muslims - Morton Klein -
Upon the 50th anniversary of the Jewish state of Israel's reunification of Jerusalem, there is no better time to end the propaganda myth that Jerusalem is a holy city to Muslims.
The Muslim fixation and clamor on Jerusalem is actually a very recent historical development--a product of political conflict, not historical truth.
Jerusalem rates not a single mention in the Quran, and Muslims face Mecca in prayer. In the 7th century A.D., the Damascus-based Umayyad rulers built up Jerusalem as a counterweight to Mecca.
This is when the important Muslim shrines, the Dome of the Rock (691) and the Al-Aqsa mosque (705), were intentionally built on the site of the destroyed biblical Jewish temples--a time-honored practice to physically signal the predominance of Islam.
Yet references in the Quran and hadith to Muhammad's night journey to heaven on his steed Buraq from the "farthest mosque" couldn't mean Jerusalem, because the Quran refers to the land of Israel as the "nearest" place.
It couldn't have been a reference to the Al-Aqsa mosque, for the simple reason that Al-Aqsa didn't exist in Muhammad's day.
With the demise of the Umayyad dynasty and the shift of the caliphate to Baghdad, Jerusalem fell into a long decline, scarcely interrupted by occasional bursts of Muslim interest in the city during the Crusader period and the Ottoman conquest. Mark Twain, visiting in 1867, described it as a "pauper village."
Jerusalem did, however, become a Jewish-majority city during the 19th century. The 1907 Baedekers Travel Guide lists Jerusalem with a population of 40,000 Jews, 13,000 Muslims and 7,000 Christians.
Jerusalem meant so little to the Ottomans that, during World War I, they let it fall into British hands without a fight and even contemplated entirely destroying the city before pulling out.
When did Jerusalem become a passionate Islamic issue? Only with the Arab confrontation with Zionism in the 20th century. It was Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, a vociferous anti-Semite and later Nazi collaborator, who expended enormous energy to focus Islamic attention on the city.
Seeking to foment a Muslim war on British Palestine's Jews, he fabricated a tradition that the wall to which Muhammad was believed to have tethered his steed Buraq was not the southern or eastern walls, as Muslims had asserted for centuries, but the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site. (The Israeli-Jordanian-Palestinian status quo agreement forbids Jewish prayer at the religion's holiest site, the Temple Mount.) This turned the Western Wall into a flashpoint.
The massive Arab assault on Jews across British Palestine in 1929, in which 133 Jews were murdered and hundreds more maimed, was triggered by false rumors that Jews had attacked, or were intending to attack, the mosques atop the Temple Mount.
Strangely, even under the mufti, the Temple Mount was still recognized by Muslims as the site of the biblical Jewish temples. Thus, the Jerusalem Muslim Supreme Council's publication, "A Brief Guide to the Haram Al-Sharif," states regarding Jerusalem's Temple Mount, "Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute." (After 1954, all such references to the biblical temples were excised from this publication.)
During Jordan's illegal occupation and annexation of eastern Jerusalem from 1948-1967, Amman remained the Jordanian capital, not Jerusalem. No Arab rulers, other than Jordan's kings, ever visited.
Neither the PLO's National Charter nor the Fatah Constitution (the latter drafted during Jordanian rule) even mention Jerusalem, let alone call for its establishment as a Palestinian capital.
But today, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials deny Judaism's connection to Jerusalem. PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein sneers at Jews' "alleged Temple" and insists "Palestinians have an exclusive right...which they share with no one" to the Temple Mount.
Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi, former chief justice of the PA's religious court, insists he does not "know of any Jewish holy sites" in Jerusalem.
Today, the PA uses Jerusalem as a propaganda instrument to incite violence. In 1996, Yasser Arafat used Israel's opening of an archaeological tunnel near the Temple Mount to incite riots on the basis of the lie that the tunnel threatened the stability of the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Twenty-five Israeli soldiers and 100 Palestinian rioters were killed in the ensuing violence.
In 2015, PA President Mahmoud Abbas urged violence over Jews visiting the Temple Mount, borrowing from Haj Amin al-Husseini's playbook the fabricated claims of Jewish assaults on the mosques.
More than 30 Israelis were murdered and more than 200 Palestinians, the vast majority terrorists or rioters, were killed in subsequent attacks and clashes.
When a senior White House official told Bloomberg News this month that President Donald Trump--reneging on his pre-election promise--would not move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem "at this time" because "we're not looking to provoke anyone when everyone's playing really nice," it gave the Palestinians their latest reason to believe violence over Jerusalem reaps rewards.
Far from aiding the cause of peace, the fabrication of Jerusalem's importance to Islam enables the instigation of bloodshed. If the propaganda myth persists, expect no change.
'The Temple Mount Is in Our Hands!' Hope Reborn for the Third Temple - Chris Mitchell -
The capture of Jerusalem's Temple Mount 50 years ago sent shockwaves throughout the Jewish world. It also raised hopes for the building of the third temple.
On June 7, 1967, Israeli Brigade Commander Col. Motta Gur made an announcement that Jews had waited to hear for some 2,000 years.
"The Temple Mount is in our hands! The Temple Mount is in our hands!" he declared.
Retaking this ground was important for a number of reasons. For one, it's where King Solomon built the first Jewish temple. After the Babylonians destroyed it, Zerubbabel (the head of the tribe of Judah when the Israelites returned from the Babylonian exile) laid the foundation stone for a second temple that was later expanded by King Herod. That temple fell in 70 AD at the hands of the Romans.
When Commander Gur declared the Temple Mount was back in Jewish hands, it rekindled hope for a long-awaited Third Temple.
"The Six-Day War was a miracle of biblical proportions and was a cataclysmic opening of a new era for Israel and the whole world," Rabbi Chaim Richman told CBN News.
Rabbi Richman, director of the International Department atThe Temple Institute, is dedicated to rebuilding the Jewish temple. He sees the time since the Six-Day War as a prophetic shift.
"It would be hard, I think, not to see what's happened in the past 50 years as a tremendous - not just fulfillment of prophecy - but a tremendous jump start, a tremendous fast forward," Richman said. "It's more than prophetic. It's like a kiss from Heaven. It's like a divine kiss. It's like an intimate brush with the reality of God's compassion and love. He keeps His promises."
The Institute shares a key connection to the battle for Jerusalem. Its founder, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, served with the 55th Paratroopers Brigade that captured the Temple Mount. After the victory, a Jordanian guide gave them a remarkable tour.
"His job was to carry the company machine gun," Richman explained. "There's a very beautiful photograph of that. He actually - the first night of the liberation of Jerusalem - he was given the task of guarding over the spot of the Dome of the Rock, which of course is where is the Holy of Holies.
"The story, though, that he told us is that the soldiers were on the Temple Mount and it was just like the first hour or so. And they were approached by a Jordanian fellow in Western dress who explained that he was the official tour guide for the Jordanian parliament and he offered to take the soldiers and to show them the sites on the Temple Mount.
"He takes the soldiers, you know, and the rabbi there and he says, 'well this is exactly where the sanctuary stood. This is where the altar stood and then this is where the Menorah stood.'
"He tells them all these things about the history of the Holy Temple ... Finally, the rabbi asked him, 'why are you telling us all this?' And he said, 'well, we have tradition from our fathers [and] they from their fathers that one day the Jews would wage a war and conquer this mountain and rebuild the Holy Temple, and I assume that you're starting tomorrow. I want this to be my part, my part in helping you,'" he said, according to Rabbi Richman.
"What was their reaction to that story?" CBN News asked Richman. "Well, I guess they were pretty surprised, but the bottom line is in hindsight; it doesn't look like we were ready."
Now, 50 years later, that's changed with the Temple Institute preparing blueprints and gathering official temple elements such as the priestly garments. Richman is also dispelling myths about the temple on today's digital loudspeaker: YouTube.
All of this means, talk of rebuilding the temple is no longer considered a fringe idea.
"Today there's a lobby in the Knesset of how many members of Knesset that are constantly speaking about Jewish rights to pray on the Temple Mount," Richman continued. "There are members of Knesset that actually talk about the rebuilding the Holy Temple. Do you realize that 20 years ago these people wouldn't have been given a moment on prime time television to say these things. They would have been laughed out.
One of those Knesset members is Rabbi Yehuda Glick.
"So a few years ago this was considered fringe - zealots, lunatics, peculiar. Today it's mainstream. Ten years ago, there was not a single member of Knesset who ascended the Temple Mount," Glick told CBN News. "Today we have 20 Knesset members who are interested in ascending Temple Mount, praying on Temple Mount and are part of the redemption of the Temple Mount and bringing the Temple Mount back into the center of the next step in the redemption process."
Richman sees the temple through the eyes of the prophet Isaiah who wrote 3,000 years ago that God's house would be called a house of prayer for all nations
"Even them I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations." (Isaiah 66:7)
"It means there's a God in the world and that the best is yet to come - and that we are so connected to Him and to each other and to that purpose and to all humanity and it's just a wonderful privilege to be with you today looking out over Jerusalem and to realize that we're living in probably the most important time in history," he continued.
"If you believe in the God of Israel and you see His hand on His people and you understand the tremendous changes that have gone on over the years, you see that the One who brought us this far isn't finished and will keep His promises."
In October 2014, an Arab resident of Jerusalem shot Glick at point blank range, nearly killing him. The would-be assassin fled to a predominantly Arab neighborhood of Silwan, where he was killed after opening fire on Israeli forces. Glick spent nearly a year in the hospital, sustained by his strong faith. He eventually regained full health.
Turkey Spending Millions to Grow Influence Over Jerusalem Arabs -
"And they deceive every one his neighbour, and truth they speak not; they have taught their tongue to speak lies, they weary themselves to commit iniquity."Jeremiah 9:4 (The Israel Bible™)
The Jerusalem municipality'seastern Jerusalem experts have revealed in recent days that Turkey has been competing with Jordan over influence among Arab residents as well as over control of the Temple Mount, Hashiloach-an Israeli journal for thought and policy, created by the Tikvah Fund-reported last week.
The city's experts, David Koren and Ben Avrahami, also revealed that Turkey has begun pouring millions of dollars into non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in eastern Jerusalem, in order to strengthen Ankara's status among the Arab residents, at the expense of Jordan and Israel.
The Arab population of Jerusalem numbers approximately 320,000, with another 50,000 residents of Judea and Samaria who are staying in the city illegally or through family reunification. Jerusalem Arabs constitute about 37 percent of the city's population and about 20 percent of the Arab population in Israel. In fact, Jerusalem is the city with the highest Arab population density between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (excluding Gaza). Ramallah has 280,000 residents, and Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel, has only 75,000.
The vast majority of Jerusalem's Arabs are Muslim - the Christian population is estimated at between 10 and 15 thousand.
"The growing involvement of the Erdogan regime, which is now the main patron of the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide, shows that the Turkish actions in Jerusalem are part of a wider process of creating regional Turkish hegemony at the expense of other players," wrote the Jerusalem mayor's advisers on the eastern part of the city, noting that "the biggest loser from the increased Turkish presence is Jordan, which for many years had enjoyed the status ofCustodian of the Holy Places and the protector of the residents of eastern Jerusalem.
"The greatest threat to the Hashemite Kingdom on the Temple Mount comes from Turkey."
Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Israel for "massacring the Palestinians,"calling on the Turks to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque and dubbing Israel's control of Jerusalem "an insult." He also attacked President Donald Trump's plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, and declared that "all Muslims must defend Jerusalem."
The experts added that in May 2015, Muslim worshipers expelled the chief Jordanian Kadi from the Temple Mount, while at the same time receiving with great honor the Turkish minister of religious affairs. "In recent years, the Turks have poured considerable sums of money into the Temple Mount for a number of activities: Koran reading groups, transporting worshipers to and from the mosque, Ramadan meals, renovations, and cleaning. As a rule, whether deliberately or not, Muslim groups on the Temple Mount are acting in favor of Turkey and to the detriment of Jordan.
"In their view, replacing the Jordanian presence with Turkish presence would be a positive and welcome step," Koren and Avrahami wrote.
"Erdogan's Turkey now enjoys unprecedented popularity among the residents of eastern Jerusalem," the report continued. "Turkish flags are often seen hanging from rooftops in the eastern part of the city and even on the Temple Mount, and Turkish culture is being revived, which is reflected in Turkish language courses, Turkish music and Turkish cuisine."
One hundred years after the last Turkish soldier was chased out of Jerusalem by the invading British Empire, "Turkey's public support for the Palestinian cause and the Al-Aqsa conflict, and their channeling of millions of dollars into eastern Jerusalem, bear many fruits in the form of sympathy and support," the experts concluded, adding that the Turks' "involvement is made possible by their cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood elements in the city, who are often being used as their allies and collaborators."
Nearing Midnight: Trump and the Wall
- Terry James -
There is another wall much more critical, in my view, than the one the new president promised to build during his campaign.
President Donald J. Trump reportedly asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to let him approach the Western Wall unaccompanied. Whether a signal to the world that he, representing America the lone superpower, was showing support for Israel, or whether Mr. Trump just wanted a moment alone at this most solemn place, the gesture was profound-and touching.
He was the first president of the United States to visit the so-called Wailing Wall while in office. A number of presidents either before they became such or after they had held the office have visited the site. But, never had a current president done so.
The action was profound in geopolitical, diplomatic terms. This visit, most observers of that world seem to believe, indicated the president's-thus America's-support of Israel as rightful heir to the wall and to the Temple Mount. This is because the visit to the wall was made as part of the president's official trip to Israel.
Whether that's the case or Trump handled it in that way for other reasons, the effect was dramatic. The optics of the gesture, as the news-speak types like to say, presented a picture of a president who was in charge and who was making a statement. The Temple Mount is a subject of great contention and Trump seemed to be saying it is Israel's, based upon biblical history.
The statement might be one open to conjecture as to what it means, but that Donald J. Trump is fully in charge of the presidency of the United States of America was made unmistakably clear.
The entire trip, for the moment at least, trampled underfoot the American mainstream news conglomerate's incessant portrayal of Trump as a dunce who doesn't belong in the office. A picture, as is said, is worth a thousand words-or, in the case of the hate-filled news conglomerate-millions of words.
But, even that's not the real importance of this president visiting the wall. It's not that he, by doing so, negated a lot of the negative press he has gotten and will, guaranteed, get in the future. It's the recognition of Israel as a special people that is all-important, here. Even if Trump didn't say it in direct verbiage, he gave validation that Israel is the modern incarnation-the same people-as in ancient, biblical times.
Unspoken is the truth represented by the president's action. The Jews are still God's chosen people.
I heard President Trump come close to saying as much during his touching remarks at the Jewish Holocaust Museum on Tuesday of the past week. His affirmation that America was bonded to Israel as friend and ally could not have been given more strongly. Netanyahu's words in response were emotional with gratitude and relief that Israel and America had again consummated the relationship that was established in 1948 at Israel's rebirth into modernity.
I'm aware that any attempt at man-made peace involving Israel and its enemy neighbors has prophetic implications that bode evil for the Jewish people and nation. I am reminded of that by daily email received as of late. These often state that Trump's and his son-in-law Jared Kushner's involvement in the peace process puts them in unsavory company, prophetically speaking.
While it is certainly true that there will come, according to God's infallible Word, a peace that will bring about holocaust far worse than that of the Nazi era, I think it not evil to work at lessening hostilities that have raged for millennia. I agree that Mr. Trump and his point man, the young Mr. Kushner, should not engage in trying to arrange peace based upon the international community's demand that Israel, the occupier, as the diplomats put it, give up God-given land.
However, any interim step of lessening hostilities between now and the time when the man of sin makes that death-dealing "peace" seems to me not necessarily evil. That is, if it doesn't require Israel to give up land or make other anti-God accessions as part of any such interim agreement.
My own thinking is that there will be no such agreement concluded until the Antichrist steps onto the scene sometime following the Church leaving the planet. But, the process of making such peace is already in progress, and some constituent parts of that final, deadly contract could be negotiated sooner rather than later. America certainly should not be a part of any such negotiation, again, if there are elements within any such document forcing Israel to go against God's directives for that people and nation.
At this point, the president's main thrust seems to me to be getting Israel and less hostile Muslim nations, such as Saudi, to come together to eliminate radical Islamic terrorism. That is a peace effort of sorts. I've found nothing wicked about it so far. But, let's keep watching...
These are strange times, and the times do not yet shed light on exactly what the president's visit to the Middle East and to the Western Wall portends for the near future. However, Mr. Trump gave the Jewish state America's blessings on this trip and that is good news-for the moment, at least.
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12: 1-3)
Jerusalem, If I Forget You - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1262
Jerusalem Day this year marks the 50th anniversary of the reunification of the holiest city in the world.
Free activities in the Old City and surrounding areas will include musical performances, a parade, a prayer service at the Western Wall and free tours of different historical sites.
Israelis and Jews worldwide viewed the reunification of Jerusalem as a momentous event, if not a divinely orchestrated occurrence - a gift to the Chosen People from God.
But despite the city's continued growth and development, there are still thousands of needy residents in the city. TheMeir Panim charity organization was established ten years ago to keep those disadvantaged people from going hungry.
Jerusalem has always been a city under siege, falling into the hands of many rulers and governments for thousands of years. After the State of Israel was established in 1948, the holy city was still under Jordanian control.
And then, for six harrowing days in 1967, the very existence of Israel was again at risk when Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian military attacked the young country. Against all odds, Israelis were victorious, and along with the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, and the West Bank, Jerusalem was captured and once again safely in possession of the Jewish People - after they had been denied access to the site of the Holy Temple for 2,000 years.
The Temple Mount is in our hands!
These were the famous words exclaimed by Commander Motta Gur upon reaching the Dome of the Rock. In fulfillment of the Biblical prophecy, General Rabbi Shlomo Goren, chief chaplain of the IDF, heralded the liberation of the Western Wall by triumphantly sounding a shofar.
Soon afterwards, Captain Yoram Zamosh hung an Israeli flag from the top of the wall. The Hebrew date of this miraculous event was the 28th day of Iyar, and this year the festivities will take place on the eve of May 23rd.
When the war ended, much of the city was left in a state of disrepair. While Jews in the Diaspora lived in modern conditions with all of the common comforts of the Western World, many Jerusalemites received their household water from wells or street vendors. Food was also scarce in the Holy City.
In the decade following the reunification of Jerusalem the Israeli government made a concentrated effort to attract more Jews to move into the city. New housing projects were constructed, and waves of new immigrants were settled in Jerusalem.
The city also drew ultra-orthodox Jews, who sought a holy environment when setting up their homes. However, finding work in a city that was relatively far from Tel Aviv and other central cities meant that the population as a whole was - and still is - less affluent than Israelis living elsewhere.
In 2007 Meir Panim began its lifesaving work. The organization set up a network of Free Restaurants that feed people of all ages and ethnicities. In addition to the bustling soup kitchen in the Holy City, there are similar facilities in Tzfat, Tiberias, Dimona, Haifa, and Or Akiva.
The clients who visit receive freshly prepared, healthy, hot meals every day. Everybody is served without question, and is treated with dignity, respect and warmth.
Thousands of disadvantaged people, including manyHolocaust survivors, depend on Meir Panim for their only meal of the day. Today Meir Panim serves over 390,000 hot meals annually, with almost half of those meals feeding hungry children. Thesoup kitchens, food packages, andfood shopping cards that Meir Panim provides ensure that countless men, women, and children have enough to eat.
While living conditions have greatly improved since the times of British, Jordanian, and Turkish control, the city is still a work in progress and there is still much to be done to help its residents.
Jerusalemites came together to volunteer during the Six Day War in makeshift hospitals to care for wounded soldiers and civilians, with people of all walks of life working together to ensure the survival of their city. Today, the same atmosphere of alliance still exists among the volunteers who prepare the food for Meir Panim.
Senior citizens, prisoners undergoing rehabilitation, and national service volunteers stand alongside each other peeling and cutting vegetable in preparation for each day's lunch.
This Jerusalem Day, Jews across Israel will come together to celebrate their unending love for the Holy City. Two thousand years ago when the Holy Temple stood, Jews brought tithes of their first fruits as offerings to the God who provided for all their needs.
Today, the city is once again in Jewish hands, and Meir Panim is working hard everyday to ensure the well-being of the city's neediest residents, making it possible for them to continue living in a reunified Jerusalem.
Daily Jot: Secret Court confirms spying on US citizens
- Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
In March, President Donald Trump accused the ex-"president" of wire-tapping his campaign, setting off a barrage of sanctimonious denials from Democrats and the ex "president." The ex-"president's" spokesman Kevin Lewis said, "A cardinal rule of the [sic] Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither the [sic] "president" nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false." Lewis lied. The White House had routinely ordered surveillance on US citizens. This is now confirmed by a secret US court's investigation into the spying.
In June 2013, the UK Guardian released an investigative story on how the White House used the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to bypass the Patriot Act. The Guardian published documents submitted to the secret FISC, signed by Attorney General Eric Holder July 29, 2009. The documents indicate the White House used this court to back door "authority" to collect information on American citizens. The Guardian reported that the broad scope of the court orders and nature of the procedures established in the documents appeared "to clash" with assurances from the White House that our telephone and email information could not be accessed without warrants.
Now the FISC has audited this spying and has issued an opinion. In summary, the 99 page opinion written by FISC judge Rosemary Collyer states that Fourth Amendment violations of rights of privacy were violated by the ex "president's" National Security Agency as early as October 2011 and continued through 2016. And the information collected on US citizens was shared with the FBI, CIA and National Counter-terrorism Center in violation of regulations. Collyer wrote that this constituted a "lack of candor" on NSA's part and "is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue." The court requested more information and NSA has stonewalled the investigation by repeatedly asking for deadline extensions through April 26. NSA reported to the court that it is destroying the information it collected on individuals.
Since taking office, the Trump Administration has taken steps to correct these instituted spying violations of privacy, according to the opinion. Which may be another reason why the Fifth Estate (CIA, FBI, NSA, NCTC, etc,) is at war with Trump-he has exposed their extraordinary spying on US citizens, condoned and practiced by the previous "president." In John 3:20, Jesus said, "For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." We need to continue to expose these deeds and demand accountability, otherwise your freedoms of religion, speech, and privacy will be crushed in darkness.
Daily Devotion: Conversion Is God's Work
- Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. -1 Corinthians 3:7
It can be discouraging when you talk to people about Christ and no one listens to you. Maybe you've tried to share the gospel with family members, and they don't respond. Sometimes you feel like saying, "Just forget about it. If they don't want to hear what I have to say, then I won't tell anyone."
A farmer can be discouraged after he plants a crop and a storm uproots all the seed, or when a drought comes and the crop doesn't take root. But then when he has a bumper crop, it is all worth it, and he plants again.
In the same way, we can tell and tell and tell people about Jesus Christ, and nothing seems to happen. Then one day, one person gets it, and he or she believes. Then we see the joy of someone coming to faith.
Jesus said there is joy in Heaven over one sinner who comes to repentance (see Luke 15:7). We are told in Psalm 126:5, "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy."
God is the one who saves people, not us. I know this seems rather obvious, but frankly, sometimes we forget it. God will prepare a person's heart to hear and receive the gospel. As Jesus said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father" (John 6:65).
Conversion is not something we do. It is not something we bring about through our persuasive words or clever arguments. The Lord must prepare the heart of the person we are speaking to. Sometimes we'll sow a little seed of the gospel, and other times we'll have the privilege of reaping where others have sown and watered. But it is God who does the work of conversion.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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