The Months of Disasters in Israel | VOL. 42 * NEWSLETTER * MAY/JUNE 2001 |
Dear Friends of Israel and “Or Tzion,”
Greetings from our beautiful Land of Israel, shaken and shattered by our tormentors who hate us with never ending enmity, and take vengeance on us with malice of heart, paying G-d back for having returned us to our own Land1.
“O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for sudden destruction shall come,” the Lord spoke to me by Jeremiah 6:26, one week before the festival of Lag B’Omer, which was on May 11th. He continued with Joel 2:12-17, saying that He wants me to make supplication on behalf of Israel, that He may spare His people and become jealous for His Land.
“For,” said the Lord, “Israel is about to enter into a ‘mortally dangerous window of time.’ You know how to pray and voice My Word2. Stand in the gap, make up the breach, with fasting, in sackcloth and ashes, weeping and mourning, wailing and making bitter lamentation as for an only son on behalf of my people Israel, lest their backslidings and refusal to turn to me crash down upon their heads.”
So I got myself again a large sheet of burlap and cut from it a shirt that covers front and back, and thought at Lag B’Omer I will get plenty of ashes to make a heap for myself. But all I could find was blackened wood and charcoal, no ashes. The next morning the Lord told me, rather sternly, not to waste any more time with looking for ashes: “Put on the sackcloth, begin the fasting and pray, with weeping, lamentation and bitter mourning.”
I began at once praying every morning, in sackcloth and with bitter weeping, VOICING His Word as the Holy Spirit lead me from Scripture to Scripture. Then it began, bombing after bombing, mortar shells after mortar shells, and the bombing in Netanya at the shopping mall. None of the bombs succeeded with killing and maiming people except for the bomb in Netanya. Even the mortar shells did not achieve the death and damage they can cause but for two little ones, who got seriously wounded.
On Thursday, May 25th, I omitted to pray because of the many errands I had to do; and on Friday I momentarily forgot I was not to eat until well after sundown. But I did not consider it making much difference, thinking meticulous observance was not required. That weekend the third floor of a big hall hosting a wedding banquet gave way under the weight of happy dancers and crashed through second and first floor down to the ground, burying celebrants and maiming and injuring others.
Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, “Just so shall my visitation be upon those who call themselves by my Name. For twenty years I have sent my messengers to alert of my impending visitation, admonishing them that it will be very sudden and unexpected. Last year I sent you to alert my people about the winds of change, about the upward and downward ‘vortex’ of my visitation, that it will touch down as suddenly, as powerfully and unexpected as a tornado does. But as there are those who watch for the signs of a coming tornado to give the people an advance warning, so have I sent you and others of my messengers to warn my people, lest they be taken by surprise.”
“Have you seen, have you understood the joy of a wedding turned into mourning? They did not even have time to call out my Name, so suddenly did this calamity come upon them. Just so sudden shall be my visitation, and my Coming for my own when I shall take them out of the earth. Have I not said that ‘if the owner of the house had known in which hour of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and would not have allowed his house to be broken into?’3 As suddenly as the floor gave way under the weight of the dancing celebrants, not leaving them any time to realize what was happening, so suddenly shall be my coming. For I shall come for my own in the twinkling of an eye, suddenly, when they least expect it.”4
“And you,” the Lord continued, “do not let down with fasting, with weeping and bitter lamentation, with praying my Word and wearing sackcloth.” He did not rebuke me, but He sounded very serious. That Shabbat, however, I did not wear sackcloth and did not fast, because Shabbat represents the joyous promise of the coming Messianic Kingdom. Yet disaster followed after disaster; even the soccer game in Haifa turned chaotic, something that had never before happened in Israel.
But I did not connect it with myself, with what the Lord had commanded me to do.
On Yom Rishon, the first day of the week, which begins in Israel on Saturday after sundown, I put the sackcloth on again and re-entered the fast, praying G-d’s Word morning for morning, with bitter tears and lamentation. There were other terror attacks, but none succeeded in killing or causing great damage.
On Thursday evening, May 31st (actually it was already Friday, June 1st), my husband and I attended a wedding we had promised we would. I told the Lord I would not dance, nor participate in the rejoicing, nor drink alcohol, but only eat the meal. The next morning I did not manage to get up in time for the prayer. Instead my husband and I had to keep an important appointment, after which I went about my usual errands and cooking our Shabbat dinner. I did not wear the sackcloth all day, for it was hot.
That evening a suicide bomber succeeded in taking 18 young lives with him into his mad death at a beach front discotheque in Tel Aviv, injuring scores of others, maiming some for life. It was a scene of utter horror, the ‘mortally dangerous window’ having opened up upon youngsters who just wanted to live and enjoy life a little before they have to go into the army.
1 Ezekiel 25:15; Joel 3:4 2 Psalm 103:20-21 3Matthew 24:43-44 4 However, beloved, you are not in darkness for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of the light and sons of the day – 1 Thess. 5:4-5 The pictures are: 1. car bomb in Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post Intl. Edition, 27-05-01; 2. Netanya Mall bomb, 20-05-01; 3. Bride & bridgroom, “Maariv” Hebr. Daily Newspaper, Engl. Edition, 27-05-01; 4. Weddinghall hole part, 29-05-01; 5./6. Weddinghall rubble, “Haaretz” Hebr. Daily Newspaper, 27/25-05-01; 8./9./10./11. Tel Aviv beachfront discotheque bombing, by “The Jerusalem Post Supplements,” 01-06-01 – <http://info.jpost.com/C001/Supplements/Disco/index.html>
Mourning the Tel Aviv Beachfront Terror Victimspage 2
All of Israel and I were devastated, the parents, brothers, sisters and friends of the killed inconsolably. Helpless anger and fury swept through the nation, bitter lamentation and mourning, such deep grief and pain! And I felt the Lord’s eyes looking at me, O G-d, how He was looking at me! Eyes so sad, so stern, not at all smiling! He did not rebuke me nor did my conscience accuse me (which could have been expected), because I did not rebel but simply failed to grasp the importance and impact of what the Lord had commanded me to do. But — I stood CONVICTED! POWERFULLY!
And I learned again that it does not matter whether or not we fully understand the “what” and “why” G-d commands us to do certain things in a certain way for a certain time, for we do not as yet know nor understand fully, but only in part. Had I taken my fasting with sackcloth more seriously and not thought that my missing it once or twice would not make such a difference, perhaps these two weekends would not have been as tragic as they were. Maybe the suicide bomber would have only succeeded in blowing himself up without taking so many precious young lives with him. I don’t know. I was commanded to do certain things, but because I was small in my own eyes I did not strictly carry them through. Now my people mourn, weep and lament bitterly as for an only son because of the calamities, which befell them so suddenly without any prior warning nor sign of its approaching.
I have repented most bitterly of my lack of obedience, of being small in my own eyes, and promised Father to stick to it now as long as He requires it. I have worn the sackcloth even this Shabbat and will continue to do so until this “window of mortal danger” passes.
Church, this is a lesson and a warning not only to me, but to you as well, to ALL of us! All of my repentance will not bring those young people back, and I will never know for sure whether those young lives would have been spared had I been strictly obedient. The Word in Joel said to weep and say, “SPARE YOUR PEOPLE, O L-RD! And make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. WHY SHOULD THEY SAY AMONG THE PEOPLES, ‘WHERE IS THEIR G-D?’”
Beloved, let none of us despise ourselves nor one another, either by being “small” in our own eyes or conceited and “puffed up” about our own importance. One is as wrong as the other. The only One Who matters is the Lord, something king David understood already as a mere youth when he confronted Goliath and the whole Philistine army, as did young Daniel and his friends when they refused to bow their knee before the king’s image.
None of us is “too little” in importance as not to make a difference in G-d’s plan. If He Who saved us lives indeed in us, then it is HE IN US who makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD! It is not up to you or me to judge how “important” we are, for then we measure ourselves by the standards of man, by the eyes and judgment of the flesh. When G-d says “do this,” and “do that,” then it is not ours to question how important it is and how much it will matter in view of our position in the Body and in life. All that matters is to DO and OBEY! For we are His hands and His feet in the earth, G-d’s children entrusted with His Word to do HIS will in the earth as it is done in heaven.
Because of my flesh I failed. It was not for me to judge what an impact my fasting, praying the Word, weeping and wearing sackcloth would have. It was and is sufficient to know that FATHER KNOWS! Ours is merely to obey, with love and faith!
Oh, beloved, the fear of the Lord has once again gotten hold of me. I honestly thought I knew what “obeying Him” means, and that I walked in it. And now I am faced with the realization that I still don’t have a full grasp of it, that I still allowed the flesh’s way of judging things to interfere with my obedience. Yet we are not to judge by what we see with these physical eyes, or by what we hear with our physical ears. Paul said that he did not even judge HIMSELF!5. I did as king Saul did, and this displeases G-d6.
Now, thanks be unto G-d and His infinite mercy and grace and great, great patience7, that He has not rejected me because He knows me and how much I love Him, that He is my whole life, my All, my everything! BUT — NOW IS THE TIME TO LEARN THESE LESSONS! There are instances in life for which there is no second chance! I cannot turn the clock back and undo my failure! Perhaps innocent lives were meant to be saved, but by judging my part as being too small G-d’s purposes may have been thwarted.
5 1 Corinthians 4:3 6 1 Sa 15:17-19, 22-23 7 Exodus 34:6-7; Nehemiah 9:17; Ps 103:8; 145:8 Pictures: 12. “Yelena & Yulia” by “Maariv” – 04-06-01; 13.Lighting memorial candles, by ABC News, 04-06-01; 14. “Graveside” by “Haaretz” -04-06-01; 15. “Weeping” by “Maariv” 03-06-01; Weeping face from the page, “Grab my graphics,” by Chris Taylor.
This is the Hour of Truth in the Churchpage 3
Therefore, dearly beloved, let us emulate David’s way of seeing things and pay no heed to the “Eliabs”8 among our brethren who, out of jealousy and being puffed up with their own importance, would prevent us from faithfully doing what our heavenly Father has placed on our hearts. Let us not fear man nor their might or position, but emulate Daniel and his friends who refused to bow their knee to a statue of the most powerful man on earth. Let us imitate our Lord Yeshua Who was not moved by what others thought or said of Him, although they called Him the “carpenter’s son,” even “Mary’s son” as an intentional slight that implied He had been born out of wedlock. His own brothers did not believe in Him, even His mother Miriam wavered at times, and John the Baptizer was temporarily shaken in his certainty. But our Lord was not! He knew Himself to be one with the Father, and that’s all that mattered! And our knowing ourselves one with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit should be ALL that matters, regardless what others say or think of us, regardless of how we esteem ourselves.
Whether G-d saves by one or by many, it IS G-D WHO SAVES!!! We must never forget that! Once we know for certain a thing to be from the Lord we should obey it without fear or apprehension. We can ask for prayer support, for counsel, for input, but let us not shrink back from doing what G-d asks us of us because someone judges us too little to matter.
Dear brothers and sisters, “this is the HOUR OF MATURITY!,” says the L-RD. “Summer is past and the fall has come, the time of ripening, of harvesting the fruit! This is the hour to prepare your lamps and ‘refills,’ to wash your clothes and put on your festal garments. I, the Lord am coming to my threshing floor, and I will thresh, and I will winnow, and will gather in the wheat, and the chaff among My Church the tempest will blow away. The hour of slumbering is long past! Do you not hear the sounds of the dawn? For the slumberers and sleepers among you will awaken suddenly to a terrible sound, the sound of disaster and anguish, the sound of terror and wrath. Do not think, ‘I still have time, it will not come so soon. Day will follow after day as always, and we shall be safe,’ for then it shall descend upon you suddenly and catch you unawares, your garments spotted and wrinkled, your lamps and your festal garments unprepared.”
Beloved, let us not fool ourselves with believing that we are pleasing G-d by going from conference to conference, from one “revival” meeting to another “revival” meeting, while we yet carry grudges and bitterness in our hearts, anger and jealousy, unwillingness to forgive a wrong done or a falling short, taking offense at the drop of a hat, passing judgment on and speaking evilly behind the back of another, gossiping, slandering, maligning, divorcing and remarrying in the Body as if we were of the world, going to court against one another, being partial in showing love and preference, idolizing ministers and ministries.
There is nothing wrong with going to some conferences called to by the Lord, but we can’t use it as a substitute for righteous and godly living, for loving one another as He loved us. It is not a “cloak” under which we may hide our grudges and unforgiveness, our bitternesses and resentments, our taking offense and passing of judgment, our envies and jealousies. It will not help us in the Presence of Him Who brings all things into the light, Who will judge every secret of our heart and every vainly spoken word.
“Look,” says the Lord, “I have prepared My measuring rod, and My balances have been polished and aligned. Every structure that is not of Me will tumble, every work founded on man’s will and wisdom will fall. Everyone who does not fulfill the measure and everyone who is found wanting in the balances will hear these words, ‘Truly, Truly, I tell you, I never knew you.’”
“The hour of ripening has come,” says the Lord, “the time of maturing is at hand. I am the Lord of the harvest Who has made ready His storehouses to gather in His own. It is not by what man calls great that G-d measures, nor by what man esteems weighty in importance that G-d weighs. But this is the measuring rod I shall apply: Christ likeness; and this is the balances in which I shall weigh the saints: being doers of My commandments, of My Word of patient endurance. By this I shall thresh and winnow every man: whether he planted the works of his own mind and hands, and built his own structures; or whether he walked in faithfulness in the works I prepared beforehand that he should walk in them, works of righteousness inspired by Me.”
“I rejected the way of Cain,” says the Lord, “and his works and offerings I did not accept.” Whatsoever is not of G-d, whether in word or deed, in works or building, in fruit or spirit, in knowledge or garments of righteousness and holiness, it all is destined to come to nothing and be cast off as worthless. May we not end up entering His Kingdom as paupers, or worse yet, get rejected from entering it at all.
This is the hour of truth in the Church, in the same measure as truth is being cast to the ground and trampled upon by the world. This is the hour of our preparing in the same measure as vileness is being exalted in the world. This is the hour of the upward call, even as we see the pit drawing the world by a powerful downward vortex. This is the HOUR OF CHOICE: whom will we believe and obey? Whom will we follow and trust? To whom do we look for power and might?
G-d saves by one or by many, and puts a thousand to flight by one, and by two ten thousand. Whether one, or two, or many, it IS G-D WHO DOES IT! And He will give His glory to no other, and His praise to no man! But the humble of heart He will exalt, and the meek He will establish; and those who lean on Him for everything in their lives and are of a pure heart shall inherit His Kingdom and His promises.
In this letter I do not cover all the details of what happened lately in Israel, because I know that you have several sources who provide you with such news. Today I only give you this Word from the Lord as He has moved me to write to alert you with it. But let me remind you again of the Word the Lord spoke many years ago, and exhort you once again, my dear brothers and sisters: that whoever does not stand with the People and Land of Israel and with Jerusalem the Holy City, has joined the enemies of G-d 9. For G-d calls the Land of Israel His OWN land, and the people of Israel HIS people, and the City of Jerusalem HIS city. Whoever then remains passive toward the plots and schemes of those who say, “Come, let us wipe Israel out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”; and keep silent when His enemies say, “Let us take possession for ourselves of the pastures of G-d,”10 shall neither inherit among the people of G-d nor in the land of Israel, nor shall have any portion in the city of G-d. It is not enough to say, “Lord, Lord! We believe!”, for the devils also believe — and shudder11. He who is not with and for the Lord and His people, land and city, is against Him, and shall share in the portion of Balaam, in the lot of Korah, Dathan and Abiram12.
But blessed is everyone who has an ear to hear what the Spirit says to the churches!13
8 1 Samuel 16:28 9 Obadiah 11(10, 12-14) 10 Psalm 83:4, 12 11 James 2:19 12 Numbers 16:28-35; — 22:6, 12, 16-17; 23:7-10, 19-24; 24:8-9, 19; 31:8 13 Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22
A Message for the Maturing of the Saintspage 4
Beloved, the Lord has given me a message for the maturing of the saints, one He gave me many years ago and wants me to teach one more time. I am coming with meat from the Word to serve at your table for a minimum of 5 days, and a maximum of 7. I am bringing a book with ample illustrations that will help us to “digest” this “heavenly meat” J and be conformed even more into the Image and Likeness of our Lord and Savior Yeshua, acquiring the full measure of mature manhood in Him, knowing what to expect and what is expected of us BEFORE His coming!!!
However, unless full provision is made for my coming, I shall not be able to bring you this wonderful teaching and book from the Lord. So far I have received $ 500 for the trip, which falls short of $ 2,000 minimum more, since I do not only travel from Tel Aviv to Dallas and back, but also to you within the States. I also don’t have yet the funds to produce the book, but am trusting the Lord to make ample provision for it.
I know you have so much material and so little time, it is hard to decide what to choose and for what to take the time. But if there is something that helps us advance into the Most Holy Place, into the Presence of the Lord and into His Bosom, would you not want it? Would you not desire it? Ultimately it is the desires of our heart that decide what we will choose and what our portion shall be.
For as a man thinks in his heart so is he14.
The time for my ministering to you is scheduled to be from September 22 through October 31st of this year. The Lord Himself gave me a schedule – for the first time ever in advance – by which I will go. Should new doors open I will be happy to extend my stay, with the wholehearted agreement and blessing of my dear husband. If you would like me to teach your congregation, Bible study group, home church, etc. this seminar on maturing in the Lord, you may contact me by making use of the CONTACT US button on the menu bar.
Those who know how to pray the Word and have the grace of G-d to fast over longer periods of time, who can wear sackcloth and pray every morning, please join me in standing in the gap for Israel and making up the breach. For the Lord is looking for everyone who is willing and able to do this, so that lives may be spared and women won’t get widowed and children orphaned; that parents won’t have to weep over the untimely death of their children, and brothers and sisters over the loss of their siblings; that bride and bridegroom won’t have to mourn their loss but have time to rejoice in each other. Above all, pray that in this time of Israel’s isolation, of disaster and calamity, G-d will rain down salvation from heaven15 and plant His “oaks of righteousness,” the “sons of the Living G-d.”16 Pray for G-d to fulfill the days of “Ruhamah, of Yezreel and Ami,”17 and bring the time of “Yeshurun.”18
The Lord bless you and keep you, make His Face shine upon you and give you His peace. May you be like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. May you prosper in all that you do, and stay in health.
Yours in Him,
14 Proverbs 23:7 15 Isaiah 45:8 16 Isa. 61:3; Hos. 1:10 17 Hosea 2:21-23 (19-20) 18 Deuteronomy 33:26-29
Supplement to #42 – The 3 Pillars in the Church | VOL. 42 * NEWSLETTER SUPPLEMENT * JUNE 10, 2001 |
Dear Friends of Israel and “Or Tzion”,
greetings in Yeshua. Many have written, and many “prophetic” words have gone forth in regard to the happening and meaning of the collapse of a Jerusalem building that hosted a big wedding. Most have spoken of the foundation, and of how the Bride got to be ready, how her foundations must be strong and properly laid. This is indeed absolutely true, no arguing about it.
However, the building did not collapse because of a faulty foundation, but because two of the SUPPORTING PILLARS were missing! The building collapsed because of insufficient support, and because much of the mortar used in the building was made with sand. A few years ago the agency inspecting the building reported the missing pillars to the city authorities warning, that the structure was not strong enough and could collapse. But the authorities apparently did not heed.
Just so has the Lord sent His messengers warning of His sudden coming, of waking up and being doers of His commandments, lest they be found wanting in the balances; lest their “building” collapses with them in it.
Apart from the warning that the Lord’s coming will be very sudden and unexpected (as He also warns the saints of Sardis in Rev. 3:3) right into our “going about our business of life,” there are two more messages I can see: one is that the building material was of sand rather than of solid material. The Lord warned that any structure built with or on sand will not endure under stress, but collapse. The other message is in the missing of vital pillars necessary to steady and uphold the structure.
Apart from the foundation of genuine apostles and prophets, the structure of the Church is supported by 3 vital “pillars: 1. love; 2. faith; and 3. hope, the main pillar of which is love. It is mainly this “pillar” I have found missing in the Church. Those who have come to my meetings know that I frequently warned about the Lord judging us by the # 1 commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you!” It won’t matter how many and great works we have done in His Name, how great and “internationally known and respected” ministry we have had, if we cannot answer the Lord’s “But have you loved one another as I have loved you?” affirmative. We simply will be nothing and have gained nothing, and we’ll be just reckoned as making a lot of noise
Then many will say, “But Lord, we have done this and that great work in your Name; we have had an internationally recognized ministry, preaching lovely sermons and singing lovely songs over satellite in every country of the world. We made your Name known.”
“But have you loved one another as I have loved you?”
“Well, Lord, we followed your call and went to the ends of the earth preaching the Gospel. We left everything and became missionaries. And in your Name we healed the sick, and cast out devils. We also held many, many well attended conferences in which people got blessed and had a good time.”
“But have you loved one another as I have loved you?”
Supplement to #42 – The Chief Pillar in the Church is Love, and Love IS GodPage 2
Once I was invited to speak to a women’s gathering in a young woman’s home. After I finished teaching the Lord had me minister to the women individually. I knew none of them except for my friend who had invited me and her daughter. On the couch opposite me sat a middle aged woman who desired with all her heart to walk in holiness. She was so jealous for the Lord and His holiness that she was somewhat intolerant of the shortcomings of others, and tended to be bossy out of a misunderstanding of the righteousness altogether pleasing to the Lord.
Our hostess was her younger sister who was rather bitter toward her older sibling for this and other reasons, but I did not know that.
The Lord pointed the older woman out first and said that He had made her a teacher of young women, an instructor in holiness. Later He said to her younger sister that she was exactly in the place He wanted her to be, doing and learning what He wanted her to do and learn. She fell to the floor and laid there for a long time, tears running down her cheeks. I thought the Lord was communing with her spirit which was bringing the tears to her eyes.
Afterwards she went into the kitchen, weeping and complaining to my friend. The young hostess was very displeased with the Lord’s words: “This is not fair!” she exclaimed. “Why would the Lord make my sister, of all people, a teacher of young women and me only a housewife? I am the one who has held the family together, who has served the Lord since my childhood, who has taken care of Mom and Dad. Does He not know my sister, what she has done to me, and how I have always forgiven her and ministered to her? No, I’m sure the Lord did not say such a thing! This woman has definitely not heard from the Lord!”
She was terribly upset that the Lord should have called her older sister to be a teacher of women while she, who was so much more spiritual, should remain stuck in the house as a mere housewife. She found this whole thing rather unbearable! Therefore deciding that I was in error and deceived and had not heard from the Lord relieved her from recognizing the bitterness nesting in her heart and from dealing with it.
Oh, the wisdom and testing measuring rod of our Lord! The dear young woman did not understand the commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you!” She took terrible offense at the Lord and at me out of the bitterness of her heart against her sister. The words of the Lord disclosed that bitterness and brought it into the light, but none of these women seemed to perceive it. And because the lady of the house was so embittered at “my” words, my “friend” never invited me again nor have I heard from her since.
Will their house be standing? On what have they built their house? On sand? Where are the supporting pillars of love, of hope and of trusting, leaning-on-Him faith? The Lord has warned over and again that the “pillar” of love is missing in most of the Western churches.
Oh, the Lord DOES have churches — but they are quite invisible because they are mostly underground or not located in the Western democracies. There are the saints of Smyrna, of Pergamum, and of Phyladelphia, all of whom are not in the Western churches. Ephesus, Sardis and Laodicea are the Western churches, with Thyatira scattered among them, and here and there a few of Philadelphia, Smyrna and Pergamum. There are those who have the name of being alive, and yet they are dead.
Beloved, the Western Church has fallen from her first love. She says she is rich and prospering, and needs nothing. Yet the main supporting pillar of love has been removed from her house, and much of the construction material is made of the “sand” of man’s traditions and teachings, and not of the indestructible Word and commandment of G-d.
Beloved, let us not take so easily offense at one another but rather be forbearing, giving each other “ellbow room” for our humanity as the Lord does, Who remembers that our frame is still made of dust. Let us not be so unforgiving of every little failure, trespass or oversight, but rather ponder the message of the cross and our own – DAILY! – need of forgiveness. Let us remove first the tree out of our own eyes before we attempt to remove the splinter out of someone else’s eyes. Are we so busy with our “works,” with “serving the Lord,” that we have no time for a brother or sister needing our sympathetic ear, our compassion, our time? Have we laid aside our own calling, our “ministry” to help lift up a brother, a sister, to help them into “the saddle,” encouraging them, being there for them? Have we borne insults and false reports about ourselves with a forgiving heart? Have our arms remained open with loving compassion for those who judged us and spoke falsely of us behind our back? Have we prayed to the Father with tears on behalf of those who harmed, hurt and injured us? In short, have we gone to the cross for those who do not love us and have wronged us?
I am now not speaking of national entities and enemies of G-d, although we are to pray even for those among them who are merely ignorant and deceived, that they be granted salvation and escape. I am talking about our personal “adversaries,” or more correctly, about those in the Body who have truly wronged and hurt us. For the Lord already made it clear that it is no big deal to love those who love us. That, He said, even the sinners do. Hence loving those who love us does not receive a reward 1.
Yet, how many times have I observed in churches brothers and sisters sitting outside of the “inner circle,” of not being accepted with the love of the Lord because somehow they didn’t fit into that inner circle of “choice” folks. “Party” spirit and “clique” spirit is not of love, and loving only those who are easy to love is not His love, either. Love is to “obey and do” the Lord’s commandments. And the new commandment does not say, “love your neighbor as yourself” – because many did not and still don’t love themselves – but, “love one another as I have loved you.”
It is a commandment which requires obedience, NOT feelings. We choose to love also those toward whom we do not have a “natural” inclination to love, because the Lord died for them just as well. Love is to recognize the Lord in each and every brother and sister and treat them as we would treat the Lord.
Love does not prefer the better dressed, the better looking, the more charming, the more important above others lacking in these things. “On the contrary”2 – as Paul already wrote – “the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, and those parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But G-d has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be NO DISCORD IN THE BODY, BUT THAT THE MEMBERS MAY HAVE THE SAME CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER. If one member suffers, ALL suffer together; if one member is honored, ALL rejoice together.”3
Hence, the Lamb’s wedding party will NOT be held in a building in which the foundation is not solid, where much of the building material is of the “sand” of man’s works, ideas, traditions and vanities. And none of the supporting “pillars” will be missing, for G-d’s building will be perfect in all its measurements and structure, and love will be the main pillar because — G-d IS love!
We cannot say we serve HIM and then not love especially the less lovable, even the unlovable. We cannot say we love HIM and not forgive a wrong, an offense, a failure, a shortcoming. Unless we walk in His commandment of loving one another as He loved us, we shall be dancing joyfully in a building that can collapse underneath us and bury us any time. We cannot even say that we serve Him or know Him if we do not love. Love and G-d are one and the same. It’s not the size of the church or ministry, the number of membership, the fame, the international recognition, the signs, wonders and miracles that are the pillars that keep steady our “building.” Love, faith and hope are the pillars, and the center one is love. The pillar that upholds our building is G-d Himself, who is LOVE!
The missing pillars in that Jerusalem building where the wedding banquet was held definitely drive home this message, reminding us what is REALLY important, what REALLY matters: a proper foundation, the correct building material, and the supporting pillars! I encourage you, therefore, to save newsletter # 42 with the pictures of the bridegroom and bride and the collapsed building as a reminder of what truly and really matters, lest we lose sight of it and get so busy with “serving” Him and running after all sorts of things, that we neglect what is of eternal importance: to love one another as He loved us!
1 Luke 6:27-28, 32-36 2 1 Corinthians 12:22 3 1 Cor. 12:22-26
Supplement to #42 – An Egyptian Israeli Arab finally knows and speaks the TruthPage 3
And now some good and encouraging news,http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2001/06/08/News/News.27803.html – archived
which brought tears of joy and comfort to me:
Journalist Samir describes escape from Bethlehem
By Etgar Lefkovits
Friday, June 8-2001; 03:58 – 17 Sivan 5761
JERUSALEM (June 8) – An Israeli Arab journalist who went missing two months ago during a visit to Bethlehem escaped from his Palestinian captors and managed to reach an IDF checkpoint at the entrance to Jerusalem just before midnight on Wednesday.
Exhausted and broken, Youssef Samir, 63, said that when he approached the soldiers, after making his way through the darkened alleyways of Bethlehem, he knelt down and kissed the earth.
“It was as if I was born all over again, and was given my life anew after 64 days when I never saw the light of day,” he said tearfully in an interview with The Jerusalem Post yesterday afternoon from his bedside at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Hospital where, 12 hours after his dramatic escape, he is being treated for exhaustion and bruises.
An Egyptian who defected to Israel three decades ago and a veteran staffer of Israel Radio’s Arabic Service, Samir’s harrowing trial began in April when he made a routine visit to Bethlehem with his wife to buy some meats.
While in Bethlehem, Samir, who lives on the edge of nearby Beit Jala [that is the Arabic town from which they have been shooting and launching mortar shells at residential areas of Jerusalem], was stopped by a Palestinian policeman and ordered out of the city.
Infuriated, Samir went home to bring the officer some of the 18 books he had written about the Palestinians living abroad to prove his loyalty.
When he arrived back in the city, he was sent to Palestinian Police headquarters, and was since feared dead. Appeals to the PA on Samir’s behalf from Israelis and various foreign channels went unheeded.
Israeli intelligence reports indicated that Samir was being held by the PA’s General Intelligence Service headed by Tawfik Tirawi and Amin al-Hindi, a claim the Palestinians vehemently denied through the two-month ordeal.
Yesterday, though, a feeble Samir confirmed the reports and told the Post that he had indeed been held by Tirawi’s men in Bethlehem for the past two months.
“I was given a mattress in one room of an office in the civil administration headquarters, where I was repeatedly beaten, humiliated, and terrorized,” he said.
Every day an interrogator would demand that Samir own up to being an Israeli agent, or to working for the General Security Service, and was told to write a curriculum vitae.
“Write, write,” he was repeatedly instructed, and when the journalist, author, poet, and grandfather asked what more he should write, he was repeatedly beaten with a belt and by hand.
“You all know that I’m a poet. You all know that I’m an author. I was never a detective and I was never a spy, never,” he said he told his captors.
“Look, look at these bruises,” Samir said yesterday, pointing to his black-and-blue elbow, back, and knee caps, as his eldest daughter Haya, and other family members looked on in horror.
Weeks went by. Sometimes Samir was told by his captors that he would be released soon. Other times they told him he would rot in the building until he died.
“I knew that unless I escaped from there I would die,” he said yesterday.
So, when his guard was dozing off Wednesday evening, Samir said he took flight.
He rejected reports on Israel Radio yesterday quoting political sources that Samir’s escape may have been connected to an appeal from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to PA Chairman Yasser Arafat on his behalf made through German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer earlier this week.
Indeed, the report stated that Sharon never received a response, and a German Embassy spokes-man could neither confirm nor deny the report that Fischer had discussed the issue with Arafat.
“I was not released, I escaped,” Samir said, noting that he heard sirens wailing and saw flashlights searching for him for the next three hours that he made his way out of Bethlehem and into the surrounding villages.
Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said there were no signs indicating that Samir was released by his captors, though there has been some media speculation that the PA turned a blind eye to his escape, based on reports that the door of the building where he was being held was suddenly unbolted.
Barefoot, his hands tied behind his back, and wearing a tattered shirt, Samir said that after roaming the streets on Wednesday night, he made his way to the home of a family in an Arab village near Rachel’s Tomb that had yellow (Israeli) license plates on its car.
“I didn’t know if I would find good people or bad people [who are the good, and who the bad? Are the Israel haters and murderers of defenseless civilians the good? CNN would have us believe that the haters of Israel are in the right, and Israel’s army defending our citizens being in the wrong] in the house, but I knew I was a dead man if I would be turned in,” he said [how did he know that? What made him believe that?].
Luck was on Samir’s side [I think much rather that it was the Lord]. The owner of the home knew him, and burst out crying when he identified himself.
“We were sure you were dead,” the man said. [How come this family was sure of that? What made them think that?]
The man gave him a shirt and shoes and something to cover his face before driving him to the Israeli checkpost, using back roads to avoid disclosure, Samir said.
“When I saw the Israeli soldiers, I nearly fainted from happiness. I fell on the floor and kissed the earth before their feet,” 4 — [“The sons of those who oppressed you shall come bending low to you; and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet.” – “Kings shall be your foster fathers and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet.”] he recalled, as the young soldiers called for their senior commanders to rush to the scene.
Jeep after jeep rushed to the checkpost, and medics and soldiers rushed up to the ailing captive.
“It was a surrealistic scene, one that I will never forget all my life,” Samir recalled, as soldiers and officers rushed to assist him and give him first aid.
“I saw a country that cared about its citizens,” he said, “something that would not happen to such an extent even in Western cultures like the US.”
“They offered me platters upon platters of food,” he said, “enough for 40 people, and I did not even have appetite to eat a thing.”
Has the experience changed him, a reporter asked.
“A lot has changed in my outlook,” he said.
“He has been crying his eyes out half the morning. It is a mixture of anger mixed in a flood of bitterness and pain,” Samir’s daughter Haya concluded. [Bitterness and pain about what? Anger about what?]
My question is: has any of the foreign leading news stations and magazines reported what this man endured and said? Do people see what his tears make plain? Do they hear the words and see the tears of the man who drove him to the Israeli roadblock? Have any of these journalists gone down to Eilat and interviewed some of the thousands of Palestinians there to inquire, why they are so far away from their families? Has anyone asked why the death toll among the Palestinians is so much higher than that of the Israelis? Terrorism is not Israel’s way of dealing with our neighbors. Murdering, blowing to pieces and lynching defenseless civilians, fathers and mothers of children, teenagers and little ones and calling that “struggle” is not our way. Many Palestinians would rather live in peace with Israel, under Israeli rule, than under Arafat’s. But they cannot say this aloud out of fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. When the PLO calls for a general strike all shops must be closed. If any shop owner does not agree with the strike and keeps his shop open, he knows it either will be smashed to pieces, or burned down, or his family will pay for it.
I remember the Palestinian woman from Gaza crying out loud to a journalist that cursed was the day when the Palestinian people got rid of Israeli rule. For it had been better for them under Israeli “occupation” than under Arafat’s “democratic” rule. The woman was never heard of or seen again. She had cried that way because her husband had not wanted to give up his house to one of Arafat’s man. So they came in the middle of the night, arrested him, beat him and threw him out in the street. He still would not sell or give up the house. They came again at night, this time they took the son, arrested and judged him under trumped up charges and the son disappeared. To make a long story short, Arafat’s man got the house, the Palestinian man and his family vanished.
Those among the Palestinians who can afford for the whole family to leave go abroad. Those who can’t buy tickets for the whole family stay, for they know if some of them leave, the remainder of the family will pay for it most probably with their lives. It wasn’t Israel who drove them away but the terrorism of Arafat’s men. Even Arafat’s wife prefers a life of luxury in Paris than to share in the “struggle” of her people.
From my own observations and from my Palestinian aquaintances I know that neither Arafat nor his men of lawlessness have any concern for the welfare of their people, for lawfulness and civility. They are totally corrupt, only crave for power and getting what they want in whatever way. While the people barely have the necessities for life Arafat’s men live in luxury villas at Gaza’s seaside, drive luxury cars and go from Gaza’s airport vacationing abroad. The average Palestinian living in the “occupied territories” only dreams of these things; the Israeli Palestinian has the chance to make this dream come true.
Bethlehem was once a prosperous, happy and peaceful town, Christians and Moslems living peacefully side by side, making a fine living with tourism. The same was true of East Jerusalem, East and West profiting from each other, sharing in the benefits of booming tourism. At that time Bethlehem and East Jerusalem were still under Israeli rule.
Then came head-Mason “new ager” George Bush Sr. to power, and with one single term in office he shifted the balances in the Middle East, by calling Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Judea and Samaria “occupied territory” to be “returned” to the Palestinians. The gulf-war gave Israel – until then known and feared by her neighbors as strong – a new image: that of a “weakling” and a “coward” who could not fight for himself, a perception still intensified by the withdrawal from Lebanon under PM Ehud Barak.
Then came another “brother Mason” to power, this time in Israel — Yitzhak Rabin, and the balances tilted even more in favor of the Palestinians, or better, in favor of a “new world order” of a “united Middle East” in which Israel’s sovereignty would be a matter of the past in preference of a “comprehensive” peace.
Fellow “brother Mason” king Hussein was part of the plotting club. But how many realized that by not looking beyond their own fleshpot one day they would loose that very fleshpot? Balances got shifted, the Lord’s prophets warned, but how many who had the power to do something about it really paid attention?
Scores of Christian Palestinians left, the others either actively joined or they go along, as they did in Hitler’s days. Terror instills fear. When Palestinians are found dead somewhere in a back alley or in a gutter, obviously horribly tortured for no other reason than having been friendly with Israelis, or unwilling to give up something Arafat’s men of lawlessness wanted, the regular average family man, the regular average people begin to fear. Most people don’t want to play the hero, they just want to make a living, provide for their family, raise their children, and enjoy a halfway decent life.
Today Bethlehem is almost completely empty of Christians and has become another battlefield of “Hamas” as has Hebron, East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Shechem [Nablus], Tulkarm, Jericho, Gaza, and towns in Samaria and the Galilee. All of these have become “dark places” in the land of Israel.
Did you know that it says in Psalm 74:20: “Have regard for the Covenant; for the dark places of the land are FULL OF THE HABITATIONS OF HAMAS (violence)?” The word for “the violence which shall no more be heard in our land, wasting nor destruction within our borders…”5 (suicide bombings, mortar shells, shootings, ambushes, car bombs, etc. etc.); and the violence which filled the earth in Noah’s days also is6 — HAMAS. The word “Hamas” means “violence; cruelty, injustice, oppressor; take away violently, wrong, imagine wrongully, violent wrongful dealing, damage.”
One Arab, sobbing loudly, has spoken the truth for all the others who do not dare say so. But believe me, no Israeli Palestinian wants to live under Arafat’s rule, unless he wants to have a license to kill and be called a hero for it. Another noticeable thing is that all foreign journalists take their quarters in Israel. None of them stay within the Palestinian territories. They only go there to film what an action craving public wants to see; and filming Palestinian violence and “bad” Israeli soldiers shooting at the “oppressed” Palestinians makes for good ratings. They got to keep up with the competition! But funny — they feel much safer within Israel, and prefer Israeli freedom and lifestyle, hotels, food and public service. But wagging their finger against “bad bad Israel” and maligning, lying about and slandering that people does not seem to bother their conscience one wee bit. Perhaps their conscience is already seared…?
Well, Youssef Samir, welcome back home to Israel. G-d has given you the opportunity to speak up for the truth, as you thought you had done for the Palestinians abroad. What you had believed to be true proved a delusion, a mortally deceptive nightmare. Youssef Samir, you are a poet and author known in the Arab world. This is your opportunity to stand up for justice and for the truth, as a representative of and mouthpiece for the “good people” among the Palestinians and all the Arab people. Confound the lying Media and put them to shame by one Arab poet having the courage to come forward with the truth!
4 Isaiah 60:14; 49:23 5 Isaiah 60:18 6 Genesis 6:11, 13
Supplement to #42 – Diaspora Jews’ show of Solidarity with IsraelPage 4
http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2001/06/08/News/News.27810.htmlFriday, June 8, 2001 03:58 – 17 Sivan 5761
Young American Jews continue Israel trips
By Joshua Ronen
JERUSALEM (June 8) – To Americans Jonathan Avidan, 19, and Rich Klabanoff, 20, Israel is an integral part of their identities as Jews.
“People who don’t come give up on their faith,” Avidan, a resident of Ben-Salem, Pennsylvania, said yesterday at the Western Wall
“And their heritage,” added Marlboro, New Jersey resident Klabanoff.
Avidan and Klabanoff are not alone in their sentiments. Despite the ongoing violence with the Palestinians, and more recently the Tel Aviv suicide bombing, thousands of American Jewish students will be echoing their support for Israel when they arrive here next week.
On Sunday, 3,100 students will join 400 peers, including Avidan and Klabanoff, already in the country as part of the Birthright Israel program.
Birthright was founded in 1999 as a means of providing Jews ages 18-26 a 10-day free trip to Israel.
Even though the Reform Union of American Hebrew Congregations decided last week to cancel its youth trips to Israel, Birthright has stood by its trips and has allowed them to proceed as planned. According to their estimates, 1,000 more students are due to arrive in Israel next month.
“Seventy percent of our students are coming,” said Dr. Shimshon Shoshani, International CEO of Birthright. “That’s a great achievement, in spite of the violence in Israel and the decision of some Jewish organizations not to come.”
On Wednesday, Transportation Minister Ephraim Sneh blasted the UAHC and encouraged all Jewish organizations to continue their trips.
“If, in this hour, Jews do not come to visit here, what is the significance of their solidarity with Israel?” Sneh said in a statement.
But even with the UAHC decision taken into account, more American Jews are coming than are those who are backing out.
The Ramah and United Synagogue Youth trips, under the aegis of the Masorti Movement, are going ahead as planned. Israel Experience programs, sponsored by the Jewish Agency, will not be cancelled. The Hadassah-sponsored Young Judaea trips are also moving forward. And the Orthodox Youth Aliya camp 7 in Haifa is expecting three groups of Americans next month.
Not just the youth population is standing behind the country. B’nai B’rith of Canada has decided that the first national officers’ meeting under president Rochelle Wilmer will be held here in Jerusalem in a few weeks’ time.
“For us, its very important to personally identify with Israel and that means being in Israel and walking the streets,” said BBC (B’nai Brith Canada) executive vice president Frank Dimant. “We can only do that in Jerusalem, now, when Israel needs us.”
For many, now, more than ever, is the time to prove their solidarity.
“Messages of condolence, however heartfelt, cannot compare to the act of visiting Israel to show that we are one people and that we truly stand together when under attack,” Wilmer said in a statement.
Those students taking part in Birthright, the 350 coming as part of Ramah, the 240 coming as part of USY, and the many other hundreds of students in different programs have decided that their solidarity is much greater than any fear the eight months of violence has caused.
“I’m gratified, I’m impressed, and I’m deeply moved by this show of support for Israel,” said Rabbi Paul Friedman, head of the North American branch of the education department at the Jewish Agency.
According to Friedman, the UAHC is the only organization that has cancelled its trips outright.
“We are very proud that our young Birthright Israel participants – who are the future leaders of the Jewish community – have made their independent decisions to continue with their plans of visiting Israel,” Shoshani said.
And despite the UAHC decision, which was reached just after the Tel Aviv bombing and based on security concerns, all the groups have taken measures to guarantee the safety and security of their participants.
According to Yonatan Leibowitz, spokesperson for the Masorti Movement, any security concerns were mitigated by the overwhelming benefit students will derive from visiting here.
“Once we determined we were able to guarantee their safety, we saw absolutely no reason to cancel,” Leibowitz said. “We do see the extra value of having people coming especially at this time when the Israeli people need the show of Jewish solidarity.”
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert today said he is cutting off contact with the Reform movement in the US in protest over the movement’s canceling of trips to Israel this summer by its activists and youth groups.
Olmert said he will reject any requests the Reform movement makes regarding Jerusalem.
Olmert said the Reform movement is asking for full recognition in Israel, even though its activities here are minimal.
He said the Reform movement canceled visits now, at the time of truth, when the country most needs Diaspora Jewry to identify with it, Israel Radio reported.
My Comment: I couldn’t agree more with Ehud Olmert. And just as the Mayor of Jerusalem rejects now all contact with the Reform movement as well as their demand for full recognition because of their retreat from solidarity with Israel, so will the King of Israel, MessiahYeshua, not recognize all those among the churches who failed to stand with Israel in her time of affliction and trial, but remained passive as if Israel’s welfare was none of their concern.
7 Camps in Israel – Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning (PJLL)