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Back With Memories

Am sitting in a coffee shop after our return from Jerusalem… looking through the early morning darkness at an American flag hanging at half mast. Wondering whether the lowered colors are for losses of our own soldiers or for the suffering people of Haiti…

My thoughts go to faces of those I had a chance to spend time with over the last few days in Jerusalem. Avner is a Jewish Israeli who lives in Beersheba.

He has a son in Hebrew University and another son who has just finished basic training in the Israeli military… and who was being honored along with other soldiers at the Western Wall as we were leaving.

Nizar is an Arab, Palestinian, Israeli who was born and continues to live in Nazareth. He speaks Arabic, Hebrew, and English and is sensitive to feelings of a community that feels like second-class citizens in a State established as a homeland for the Jewish people.

As we talked it was very clear that even though they are both citizens of Israel, both remain deeply influenced by separate family roots and communities.

Our conversations were around some of the same questions we’ve talked about here. Why would God choose one people instead of another? Should followers of Christ take sides in the Middle East? Does it make sense to work for temporary peace in the Middle East? Has the church permanently replaced Israel in God’s plan for the world?

Each conversation raised tough issues for both to talk about. But they did talk… with a clear awareness of friends and family members who would have expected each of them to carry the flag for either Arab or Jewish issues.

I came away with a deepened awareness of what gave each man a deep respect and affection for the other. Both shared the faith of Abraham. Both believe the Bible that describes God’s choice of Israel for the good of all; that the unbelief of Israel would become the opportunity for people of all nations to believe in God’s Messiah, and that the yet future spiritual restoration of Israel would be God’s means of bringing lasting peace and joy to all who turn to Him. (In the above picture, Avner and Nizar stand in front of one of over 100 translations of the Lord’s Prayer in the Pater Noster Cathedral. The prayer begins, “Our Father…”

Yes, I’m one of the many who believe that followers of Jesus who have been so absorbed in the prophetic “end game” that we have gotten ahead of ourselves– and God– in political partisanship and national alignments that do not reflect the present issues of justice, mercy, and concern for all for whom Christ died.

I also believe that in the end, no Jewish, Arab, (or person of any other nationality) who has made peace with God will envy anyone else… or feel deprived… but will instead say,

“Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever” (Psalm 23:4-6).

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49 Responses to “Back With Memories”

  1. poohpity says:

    Amen and Amen!!!

  2. Lively says:

    I pray that one day; these voices of reason, respect and reverence are heard through the clamor of angry ones, soon.

  3. saled says:

    It was a long time ago that I was absorbed with the prophecies about the end times. J. Vernon McGee helped me gain a more balanced perspective by saying that we cannot be sure that this present return to the land of Israel is the final one. I was also surprised to learn that not all Jews look at this return as a good thing- there are sects that believe this return is not of God because it is without the Messiah.

    I’m intrigued by Avner and Nizar’s friendship. Somehow they have created a separate peace. My guess is that a temporay peace for the Middle East would be welomed by them.

  4. Rajnesh says:

    I like that last bit Mart…Beautiful! and the Psalm too. Please Lord, do not let me sin against my fellow brethrn no more. Cleanse me of any impure and evil thoughts coming on……Thank You!

  5. SFDBWV says:

    Welcome home Mart.

    I am glad you had a nice visit with friends there in Israel.

    “In the end”….Yes in the end of all things, nothing about this world will matter. Only God.

    At that time, all the misery and suffering will end,and all the brokenhearted will finaly have peace.

    People who look at the Bible as a road map to the events of man, are given the supernatural ability to see into the future and even be able to recognize the events surrounding them. This has been the purpose of all the Prophets. So that we may look and see and understand. What is going on around us.

    I don’t see that as steping ahead of God at all, but rather understanding what God has in store for the world.

    God created the people we know of as Israel. A special people for a special purpose. A birth line from Adam to Christ, All of the coming world events foretold with reguards to how Israel is effected.

    Right up to numbering the numer of souls saved from each tribe of Israel at the end of all things.

    Other nations are mentioned throughout the scripture as well, but none are called or has the special purpose as the scripture shows Israel as having.

    Even when Christ instructed the Disciples, He told them to go to the lost sheep of Israel, first.

    No Bible reader could ever disagree that Christ welcomes all people of the earth into the family of Christ. No nationality matters. Only the one on one relationship with Christ.

    Christians become a nation unto themselves. With Christ as King. The Kingdom being a place in the heart, here and now. As well as a coming Kingdom, on earth.

    It is all about a combination of being here now, but being aware of the future and how they are interwoven.

    We always tend to get ahead of ourselves in our attempts to understand or even to survive. Because ahead is where we are headed.

    Jesus said to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, even to love our enemies…There are neighbors and there are enemies.

    We can offer our enenies our hand in friendship and love but if it is not accepted, we cannot force it.

    In the end, the lion will lay down with the lamb. But we haven’t reached the end yet. Putting the lion and the lamb in the same cage now will only produce the expected results.


  6. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much Mart for these thoughts.
    When I read the Psalms 23:4-6 again this time, after your oast post which said we should rise above the warring factions, suddenly I read: You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies!
    It realy says that!
    I am sitting at the table and instead of getting angry at the enemy that is there in my vision, I focus on My Shepherd who cares for me,
    like said in Luke 12:37-38 (someone mentioned it last topic) the master Himself will come and minister unto me!

    Steve mentioned Psalm 37, v 1-10 it says the same: Rise above the situation: Focus on Christ, sing praises to Him, and not on the dark side of the world.

    v7-9 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him, do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret, it leads only to evil.
    For evil men will be cut of,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

  7. foreverblessed says:

    Do not fret,
    it is so easy to say that, but so difficult to do it.
    These negative thoughts that keep coming in your mind, about the bad things people can do to you, or do in general. I am now trying to stop these thoughts immediately, and instead:
    Singing praises to God, is helping focusing on Him. After all He did free us from the clinges of sin. We are free, we can sing about that! Dancing is a part I still have to do more.
    Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
    When patience is mentioned it means that it takes more time then we would have wanted. But the deliverance is sure if we keep believing in Jesus.
    1John 5:4-5 This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
    also v 11-12

  8. SFDBWV says:

    Reading this mornings news, I see where Saudi Arabian Osama bin Laden has taken responsibility for the attempted murder of all the passengers on board the airliner in Detroit, Christmas day.

    Why? Because of our friendship and support of Israel.

    He vows more attacks are coming for America as long as we befriend and support Israel…

    I will continue to pray for all lost souls, that their blindness be removed and they are able to see. That the only way to God the Father is through the Jew, Jesus of Nazareth.


  9. wretch-like-me says:

    Shalom, Greetings in Christ to all my dear friends.

    I have two observations to make.
    Just as Righteous Anger is a difficult concept for me to master. Understanding how God can have a ‘favorite’ affection for Israel is also baffling because I know He loves us all individually and equally….
    Lastly, it has been a difficult holiday this year, for me. My mother’s visit has been wrought with pain. She came with illness that developed into a viralent strain of pneumonia. She has had to extend her stay from 3 weeks to indefinite due to hospital stays and health issues that prevent her from traveling. I need your prayers for her health and my compassion.

    God Bless you all.

  10. poohpity says:

    w-l-m, welcome back and so sad to hear about your mom. When I was taking care of my mom it was very taxing mentally and physically but the end result was that I was there for her. So I understand the compassion part very well and will pray for you both and your family. No one said it was going to be easy. :-)

    On the topic of religions. The bible says that Abraham was the father of both Islam/Ismael and Judaism/Isaac. It was prophesied about the trouble that would happen. Did Abraham listen or consider the trouble that would arise in future generations by taking matters into his own hands, no. Does God love them all, yes. Is it our job to develop a feeling of superiority of our beliefs compared to theirs, no because the bible tells us “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God”. Were we warned about false teaching, yes. So we are told to let God’s word dwell in our hearts and mind so that we can tell the difference but I do not believe that we are given the right to judge non-believers that is God’s job. Our job is to show mercy, compassion and love to all around us.

  11. SFDBWV says:

    It is good to hear from you again Frank. I am sorry for all the troubles you are having. I do pray that your mother is able to overcome this infection.

    In taking care of my son these past 10 years,I have learned, love is what overpowers all other obstacles…


  12. poohpity says:

    If we show anger and hatred toward them is that not doing exactly what they teach in their religion. In the bible it is not the follower of Christ that separates the believer from the none believer it is the Lord. When we think about them do we feel anger or compassion about the things they have been taught from birth from those they look to for direction. Think about the so called believers that lead others to believe things that are not scriptural how will they be judged. It is a very slippery slope when we sit in the sit of the Judge. I certainly have no right because I do not want the same measure as I judge for it to be given back to me. Ouch!!!

  13. poohpity says:

    You know some Christians also treat women as less than, just a little FYI. Women as the weaker sex, lol.

  14. Lively says:


    Yup, you’re right. Woman have (especially in the past) been treated as second class citizens.

    Ephesians 5:22 2Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also *wives should submit to their husbands in everything*.

    Don’t the guys just love that part of it? I like the rest of the passage…

    25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31″For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.


  15. Rajnesh says:

    Yes, let todays word be “compassion”. Wishing your mom well and speedy recovery, Frank and all the compassion in the world for you….Hugs! :-)

  16. poohpity says:

    Stacy, that is what is so important about not taking scripture out of context and comparing it to other scripture for the whole picture. Would it not be nice to have a husband like that, wow. I gave up in that arena anyway, I do better by myself, lol.

    ape, your team won today.

  17. plumbape says:

    Thanks poohpity
    Was pleased to hear the owner Jim Irsay speak about God being the 12th Man and Peyton Manning talking about being humble and doing all for the Lord. Not exact quotes, just nice to see true sportsmanship with the desire to give God the glory. The one colts player is from Haiti and he plays with the Spirit that his country will need to over come this disaster.

    I am with Mart from the last post which he so aptly said,
    Now our physical vision seemed to equal our understanding of what is going to happen next in this part of the world– or anywhere else.
    Keep up the good work Mart and Thank You.

    With the Love of Jesus

  18. Lively says:

    Pooh –

    I agree about the out of context thing, it’s rare that a verse can stand alone. I was thinking of you and how you are about letting a verse sit on its own when I split the verse lol

    My hubby is almost that good. He doesn’t always hit the mark, but then again neither do I :-)


  19. foreverblessed says:

    The topic seems to drift away. Men loving there wives as their own body. Making sure she is OK. “Love your neighbour as yourself”.

    It is with our adversery that we do see only the negative things, and not the person behind it. We look different at our own history. About periods of war we think: well that was the past, we do know better now.
    But we do not treat our enemy the same way as we treat our own past. Instead we say: They have a violent way of doing, expanding there religion, forcing it on others.

    I just found out yesterday that Charlemagne, who was Emperor in Europe in the 8th century was expanding the christian world through war. He attacked the Saxons, told them to be converted to christianity, or else they would be killed. That’s how the Vikings were approached by him. (Later the Vikings answered that by raiding Europe violently.)
    What do we say about that? Is the christian always violant? No, we do not. We must remember that many peoples have encountered this warring christianity (like Sakoieta). Do we not have to say sorry for that? That it was not God’s intention to bring the gospel that way. But that it should be given in freedom. People are being told the gospel and are free to choose whether to follow or not. (Shake of the dust from your shoes and walk on to the next village, Matthew 10.) In it Christ speaks of taking up the cross, which is the exact opposite of the sword: Those taking on Christ will be met with hostility. It should not be the other way around: the hostility coming from christians.

    WLM, thinking of you, and praying for endurance. I just read this verse Romans 5:3-5, it produces character!

  20. kiwigirl says:

    What does ‘how sweet it is to trust Jesus Name’ mean? I heard this the other day but how can it be sweet to trust Him?

  21. foreverblessed says:

    Hello Kiwigirl, it is sweet to your soul to trust Him.
    Trust Him with all your heart, and see what happens to you. But if you do not know Him yet, get to know Him better before you trust Him.
    He is the One who took up all our sins and all our sorrows, and all our weaknesses. We give our sins and our whole life to Him, He gives His life to us. Ephesians 1:7, 2:14-21, And that is very sweet to your soul.

  22. foreverblessed says:

    This morning devotion of CH Spurgeon is maybe fitting for this question; how can Jesus’ name be sweet to you?
    You can find it freely on internet, just do a search under devotion and Spurgeon.

  23. foreverblessed says:

    On second thaught, have just been reading Matthew 10:8 freely you have been given, freely give:
    Here is the devotion
    Morning january 25

    “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us.”
    Isaiah 63:7

    And canst thou not do this? Are there no mercies which thou hast experienced? What though thou art gloomy now, canst thou forget that blessed hour when Jesus met thee, and said, “Come unto me”? Canst thou not remember that rapturous moment when he snapped thy fetters, dashed thy chains to the earth, and said, “I came to break thy bonds and set thee free”? Or if the love of thine espousals be forgotten, there must surely be some precious milestone along the road of life not quite grown over with moss, on which thou canst read a happy memorial of his mercy towards thee? What, didst thou never have a sickness like that which thou art suffering now, and did he not restore thee? Wert thou never poor before, and did he not supply thy wants? Wast thou never in straits before, and did he not deliver thee? Arise, go to the river of thine experience, and pull up a few bulrushes, and plait them into an ark, wherein thine infant- faith may float safely on the stream. Forget not what thy God has done for thee; turn over the book of thy remembrance, and consider the days of old. Canst thou not remember the hill Mizar? Did the Lord never meet with thee at Hermon? Hast thou never climbed the Delectable Mountains? Hast thou never been helped in time of need? Nay, I know thou hast. Go back, then, a little way to the choice mercies of yesterday, and though all may be dark now, light up the lamps of the past, they shall glitter through the darkness, and thou shalt trust in the Lord till the day break and the shadows flee away. “Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses, for they have been ever of old.”
    CH Spurgeon.

  24. foreverblessed says:

    THe hill Mizar is mentioned in Psalms 42:6-11
    My soul is downcast within me
    The way to forget our miseries, is to remember the God of our mercies, says Matthew Henry concis commentary:
    David saw troubles coming from God’s wrath, and that discouraged him. But if one trouble follow hard after another, if all seem to combine for our ruin, let us remember they are all appointed and overruled by the Lord. David regards the Divine favour as the fountain of all the good he looked for. In the Saviour’s name let us hope and pray. One word from him will calm every storm, and turn midnight darkness into the light of noon, the bitterest complaints into joyful praises. Our believing expectation of mercy must quicken our prayers for it. At length, is faith came off conqueror, by encouraging him to trust in the name of the Lord, and to stay himself upon his God. He adds, And my God; this thought enabled him to triumph over all his griefs and fears. Let us never think that the God of our life, and the Rock of our salvation, has forgotten us, if we have made his mercy, truth, and power, our refuge. Thus the psalmist strove against his despondency: at last his faith and hope obtained the victory. Let us learn to check all unbelieving doubts and fears. Apply the promise first to ourselves, and then plead it to God.

    Sorry for going of thread, but learned a lot this morning after one question.

  25. pegramsdell says:

    Maybe Mart when the day is done it’s all about the blood of Jesus. His sacrifice. His coming back. Being with Him for eternity. :)
    btw….love the photos, especially the trees.

  26. Grace48 says:

    Thanks,Mart, for all of the topics found here and the prayers and the place for people to think on God in the things that go on in our world and lives. I learn much reading here,too, though don’t get much chance to write.

    Amen, pegramsdell and forever blessed.

    The part about us getting ahead of God even in the endtimes events written about in the Bible?

    Suffering and unanswered questions seem to be the thing that causes so much wanting to rush ahead of God and His timing. Yet with Jesus being with us in every second of it, it seems to be that some mature spiritually into that childlike faith of trusting that God knows more than us, can do more than what we can even dream of, while He gives us the patience to live one
    day at a time, even in suffering,even while wars fly around us of all kinds. The men Mart mentioned in his post seem to have that kind of faith. I pray for that kind of faith to grow in all Christians and for those who do not yet believe in Jesus,to hear and believe.

  27. phpatato says:


    I have to say again that I can see where Steve is coming from, but I may possibly go one step further. I am one that believes that education and knowledge is a good thing and one should always strive to reach for more. Is that not why we have Bible studies?

    To sit idly and blindly back by not looking at the future is equal to not wanting to educate oneself further. That can be a dangerous thing…the sticking of one’s head in the sand. I believe that as Christians, we should be looking at the end of times – by studying what the Bible says, what God says will happen; to look around us to see what we can see. (if God didn’t want us to know about the end times, would He still have written the Book of Revelation and had the Prophets such as Daniel and Ezekiel?).

    It’s important NOT to become “so absorbed in the prophetic “end game” that we get ahead of ourselves– and God. This HAS to be balanced. I know that the pendulum swings.. hard one way to come back hard the other, and I am beginning to think that the pendulum has already been far to the one side – the 70’s which brought all kinds of prophetic books and teachings. The arm now appears to have swung past middle to be reaching the other side – with lots who are unwilling to know how the world today fits in with what will happen (the sticking of heads in the sand). In my “read the Bible in a year” reading last night, I read of how God told Moses to have the “whole community of Israel” to be READY and PREPARED for God’s coming judgement on Egypt by painting the doorposts of their homes with blood from a lamb. If they had been unwilling to listen and had not prepared for that upcoming event then they would have been stuck down as well. In my mixed up mind, I equate that to the mark of the beast and how we should be ready and be prepared NOT to paint those numbers on our foreheads or else we will be struck down. If I were like those who are complacent to say “what will be will be”, then I would no doubt probably just go with the flow and get ” 666 tattooed”, not knowing any different. My “ignorance” will become my downfall.

    Finding the middle road on this is difficult. But if I am to be guilty of anything, I prefer to be guilty of trying to see what I can see than not. I think it’s important to have “healthy discussions” (not scaremongering) in order to keep current with what is happening…. every now and then….NO???.

    It’s almost 46 F and it’s raining hard. The grass is starting to show around the tree bases. I am thankful that the sump pump is working. This weather wrecks havoc on the world’s largest skating rink…The Rideau Canal in Ottawa. It is closed again.


  28. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Hi Pat and everyone.
    I to am glad you are back safe Mart.
    Pat, you mentioned the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, I was there one Christmas when it was -26C then it rose to a balmy -12C so we all rushed out onto the Canal. It was great fun.
    Getting back to what you said about knowing the “endtime” prophecies so we don’t fall foul of the “mark of the beast” etc. and loose our eternal souls.
    Most of these terrible things will not happen ’till after the “Rapture” and the age of the Gentiles is over.
    Jesus Commanded us to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel” and to love one another as He has loved us etc.
    That is our purpose until we are taken up in the air to be with Him.
    I agree with Steve also and study the phrophecies so that I know what is in Gods mind and can marvel at the daily news bulletins. But we must not get ahead of oursleves, we are here to tell the world who Jesus is and what He has done for us all.
    These words don’t sound like mine, I hope they sound like God’s though.


  29. phpatato says:


    I realize that the mark of the beast etc is after the Rapture..or that is what I believe, but we should be educating ourselves about how far advanced we have become to having say this “example” becoming a reality. Could we not be ready in case we might be able to “use” this information in our witnessing at some time? Again, to know and have it for that “just in case” is better than to not know and lose an opportunity. I guess what I am trying to say is should we not be “well rounded” in our witness?

  30. foreverblessed says:

    Phpatato, the Israelites painting the doorposts with blood of the lamb that was slain, isn’t that a symbol for us, being under the blood of The Lamb, Jesus Christ. In faith we accept that He was slain for our sins. And that is how we are covered. That is the main issue.
    The spirit of prophecy is Jesus Christ says Revelation 19:10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

    The most important thing is that we believe in Christ, be sure your faith is really in Him.
    1 Peter 1:5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

    So there is our shield!

    But why not look into prophecy? Yes you are right.
    But the problem is, how to interpret them. You talk about 3 and a half year, and Steve about 7 years.
    Both of you read Daniel and Revelation. So there you go.

    But the sure base is still Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from the beginning, no doubt about that.

  31. daisymarygoldr says:

    Thanks for another good post and the lovely pics… but that was such a super-fast travel back and forth flying across time zones! Don’t know how you manage with the Jet-lag… and all that coffee will definitely disrupt the normal regulation of the biological rhythm… I would be more careful about my sleeping and eating patterns… just some of my usual unsolicited piece of health advice!

    Anyway, coming back to the topic, your Arab-Jewish friends remind me of: “For He is [Himself] our peace…has made us both [Jew and Gentile] one and has broken down the hostile dividing wall between us, so making peace…

    …to reconcile to God both [Jew and Gentile, united] in a single body by means of His cross, thereby killing the mutual enmity and bringing the feud to an end. And He came and preached the glad tidings of peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near (Eph 2:14-17).

    Speaking of issues of justice, mercy… what is justice when we consider God’s sovereign eternal choice, which He has made before time began? Where is the justice when He chose Isaac and rejected Ishmael…when He has clearly loved Jacob but hated Esau?

    “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.” (Rom 9: 14-16)

  32. daisymarygoldr says:

    So, it is completely His eternal will…how He chooses to deal with people whom He has created solely for Himself. He has purposed a just plan for all people—that belong either to His chosen nation- Israel, or His called out nation- the Church, or the rest of unbelieving nations. The choice always begins with Him because He is all in all…

    Of course, “God is all in all” concept will be hard to digest for those of us who hold on to a people-centered gospel which has it all backwards… a perspective that represents God the Creator to be the one existing for the benefit of His creation- the people!

    However, no matter what we think or say, the truth cannot be changed… It is ultimately all about Him…that in everything God may be all in all (1 Cor 15:18)!

    “in the end, no (one) …will envy anyone else”? What exactly do Gentiles saved by grace and added to the Church, envy Israel for? Do you envy her apostasy and sinful blindness? Do you envy the stubborn unbelief in her Messiah? or His prophetic words about God’s justice to punish and save Israel by leading her through much tribulation?

    Does the Church envy God’s special plan for Israel? It must be noted that God’s plan of grace for the entire human race can never be fulfilled until His plan for Israel has been executed.

    Israel is the original root and Church stands on the root of God’s relationship with Israel… namely the covenant foundations of the Prophets and Apostles. “You do not support the root, but the root supports you” (Rom. 11:18). “The Lord our God, the Lord is One”

  33. daisymarygoldr says:

    And let us be firmly assured, whatever God does for Israel He will also do for the church. If God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare the grafted ones either.

    Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God…to continue in His goodness otherwise you also will be cut off. And if they do not continue in unbelief…God is able to graft them in again. Sounds very fair and just to me…and makes me wonder, where or what is the envy about?

    To conclude, for followers of Christ whether “Jewish, Arab, (or person of any other nationality)”, it is wise not to remain smug about being saved from the great tribulation which is meant for both the apostate Church and Israel.

    Wisdom therefore, is to understand the prophetic signs of the end times and to diligently heed the words of Jesus in Lk 21, warning His disciples to be ready at all times, to be careful…to always watch and pray…

    …lest while people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape…and the day of the Lord overtake you by surprise (1 Thess 5:3-4)!

  34. saled says:

    Bob in Cornwall, you are so right. Jesus told us to go into all the world and preach the good news. That and loving one another should be our focus. Pat, when you say shouldn’t we be well rounded in or witness, it reminds me of how ever many years ago when bar codes were first being used on merchandise. I heard lots of serious conversation about not buying anything marked in this way, because it would be like taking the 666. Well, how silly this seems now. Yes, we can now see how this is one step toward taking the mark of the beast. But how many more steps might there be? It seems so alarmist, like we are trying to scare people into believing, when we use prophecy in witnessing.

  35. phpatato says:


    Both Steve and I agree that the tribulation period will be 7 years…the first 3 and a half is peace on earth as given by the anti-christ, the second 3 and a half years is God’s unleashed fury on earth when satan and his demons are finally cast into the lake of fire. It is because of the differences in interpretation that people have, that I believe, is one reason to “compare notes”…as I have said previously, to have a healthy discussion with no scaremongering on the end times. If a fellow brother or sister in Christ can’t access or as they say – pick the brain – of another Christian who may be better versed and have more knowledge on this topic, where can they turn to learn or correct that which is broken??? But avoiding the topic altogether may not be the thing to do…IMO


  36. poohpity says:

    Amen, daisy.

  37. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Mart, I may of missed something but I assume Avner is of Jewish faith as well as race and Nizar is Muslem as well as being a Palestinian, Israeli.
    If this is the case it makes your statement below even more remarkable……

    “I came away with a deepened awareness of what gave each man a deep respect and affection for the other. Both shared the faith of Abraham. Both believe the Bible that describes God’s choice of Israel for the good of all; that the unbelief of Israel would become the opportunity for people of all nations to believe in God’s Messiah, and that the yet future spiritual restoration of Israel would be God’s means of bringing lasting peace and joy to all who turn to Him.”

    The key word here is “respect” even though one feels he is in an underclass compared to mainstream Israelies. It is good that both share the same vision for Israel and it’s re-spiritualization.
    That what makes me feel both men know Jesus as Saviour.
    I have just seen a TV programme about Barack Obama and his Christian beliefs and the overwhelming theme was that the church should be socialy active in politics(Welfare, healthcare, poverty etc.) and that African Americans still feel like an underclass in society.
    When peoplpe like Avner & Nizar can come from such opposing camps but still respect each other it makes you wonder why we can’t all just love each other, even when we disagree.

  38. Mart De Haan says:

    I’m sorry that I did not make clear that both men are followers of Jesus though of different ethnic backgrounds.

  39. poohpity says:

    To love each other we have to go beyond our natural senses and find more delight in the spiritual realm which is hard for human beings to do without the author of that kind of love.

  40. SFDBWV says:

    Only here this late because of a special prayer request from our friend Xavier…He is having computer problems.

    His mother has been sent hpme to hospice, He is asking for prayers for her and his family. They need strength and the special peace that only Christ can give them. They need healing in their relationships as well.

    Good evening to all


  41. Lively says:

    Steve, a thought struck me as I read your post. One of the most wonderous things about being a Christian is, there is always someone, many someones, who don’t even really know you who will pray for you with the same fervor as they would pray for his or her own. It is a bond that trancends worldly understanding.

    Please let him know, his family is my thoughts and prayers. And Frank – I didn’t say it, you’re in my prayers as well.


  42. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Thanks Mart, I know there are some remarkable stories of love and friendship in Israel and other troubled places in the world, but to understand Israel and it’s unique place in history and God’s plan, needs the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and the Love of Jesus.

    Steve, Check your PO. Box!

  43. pegramsdell says:

    Xavier, my prayers are with you and your family. Hang in there and God will help you through this. Everyday is a gift of God. :)

  44. foreverblessed says:

    Praying for one another, that is God’s will. Praying for the christian leaders, for the evangelists.
    Praying for our countries, for the leaders.

    Did some searching on the internet, on tribulation, on rapture, and found so many interpretations!
    Isaac Newton even wrote a book about Daniel! The weeks, and when to start counting, all different possibilities, he did not give just one, but many.
    Wow. Who can say his view is the one right? No one can.

    I agree with Mart’s new post, stay tuned in to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. His will be done, and concerning prophecies, He will enlighten us what the interpretation is when the time is needed.

  45. Lively says:

    Forever – I did the same thing awhile ago about the rapture and trib and came to the conclusion, what will be, will be. I’ve decided that the best course of action is to be as the virgins who made sure they had enough oil to last out the waiting.

    I would imagine they had a vague idea told to them from their mothers of what the wedding night would entail, but they couldn’t truly understand until they experienced it. I think that’s what it will be like for us, Revelations explains it – but until it actually happens, we won’t really understand it.


  46. phpatato says:

    I only brought my thoughts about the end times to the table because of what I see as an escalating concern. My son was in a snowmobile repair garage when one of the workers expressed that according to the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012 the world will end so he is going to start to party now. (This 2012 thought is garnering lots of talk and is quickly building momentum…in my neck of the woods anyway.) That prompted discussion between them. My son, who asked Jesus into his heart as a young boy, only has a simple understanding of the Book of Revelation. He came home with questions for me about this prediction. Had my son been armed with more Biblical information, been better educated on this topic, imagine the witness he would have given. That saddened me. I am now going to sit with him and together we will seek out what the hype is all about and arm ourselves with what the Bible says. I was thinking that maybe this would be an ideal point in time for me to compare notes with other Christians so that I can fix what is broken in my line of thought. I am praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance on this.

  47. foreverblessed says:

    Phatato, how very very nice that your son has accepted Jesus! And I think personally that he could be a witness to that worker just because of his simple faith in Jesus.
    That it is all about accepting Jesus especially when the end would be near!

    You see, even now already you might be focused too much on prophecy, while the witnessing for the worker would be on accepting Christ, especially when the world would end. The best question to ask him is this: could you face your Maker today, and stand in Judment? Nobody can unless they have been washed clean through the blood of the Lamb. So that is the witness. It fits in with this verse: Rev 19:10 for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

    If your son would have known more about prophecy he might have said: according to Jesus in Matthew 25, and in Revelation, and in Daniel, the antiChrist first has to set himself up in the holy place, and make himself God, and then it would take at least 3,5 years, (or 7 years, depending on your interpretation) and so, if the man would believe your son, he would know the world would not end in 2012, and he would go on as he had lived. What testimony would that have been? He could have argued: lots of time for myself, I can stil be king in my own life for a while and decide later.
    The simple testimony of Jesus is the best.

    Lively, that is right: as the 5 wise virgins! And then we can be at rest.
    I think the principle of rising above the situation is especially necessary in view of end time. We should have our eyes fixed on Jesus.
    I have to remember myself each day to do that, for I am inclined to look at all the terrible things and then I despair. Instead of looking to God who made all this. He started it, He must have had a clue that it would be allright in the end, otherwise He would not have started it. The Alpha and the Omaga, I like that Name.

  48. phpatato says:

    Thank you for your thoughts. It may just be that I am toooooo focused on prophecy.

    As for the incident with my son, it may just be that I am feeling as though I have somehow failed my son in not teaching him a little more or to have not encouraged him better to read more on prophecy. He may have been able to back up how wrong it is for man to predict the end of times (and how man is trying to take charge of what’s going on in the world) with Biblical verses. It would have maybe given the conversation a change in direction. It may have given this young man more food for thought. The seed could have been sown for the Holy Spirit to nurture.

    With all that is going on in this world, I just wonder if maybe it is time for the Christian community to touch just a little bit on what the Bible says on prophecy…I know there are some Biblical scholars out there that might be able to give the body of Christ some direction as to what they know. It could give our witness a little more backbone as well as correct false information that people may have received over the years (especially those who came through the hype period of the 70’s-80’s?). The world is changing and it certainly isn’t for the better. Should we not be “keeping up with the times”???

    Oh I don’t know…..

    Thanks to all who replied to this. I guess I am just feeling sad that I somehow failed…..:-(

    2 Timothy 2:15-26 (KJV)

    15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

    17And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

    18Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

    19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

    21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

    22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

    23But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

    24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

    25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

    26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

  49. Lively says:

    php – you didn’t say how old your son is. Don’t feel sad or feel that you didn’t “do a better job” See it as an opportunity, now. He asked you about it – sounds like a great opportunity for you both.

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