Monday, February 20, 2017

The Fundamental Problem with the West

In Philipians 4:5 Paul tells the ekklessia "Let your ἐπιεικής, (epieikes) be evident to all men.
According to Strong's Concordance, epieikes can mean "gentle, mild, forbearing, fair, reasonable, moderate".
Personally I like the terms "reasonableness" or "moderate" which is what the King James Version (KJV) uses. I actually see this as a law of Messiah. The "fruit of the Spirit" as outlined in Galatians 5 includes "Temperance" (according to the KJV) a synonm for self-control.
Just as all of the material universe obeys the laws of nature, so too, the spiritual or moral universe ought to obey the Laws of God but it doesn't because of the rebellious nature of man.
What (according to Paul) God requires of the Ekklesia, really is required of mankind in General and when we look around us, man is not inclined towards moderation. The large percentage of women in the West, desirous of abortions to compensate for what can only be termed as licentiousness plus a common proneness towards immodest dress which exists among a large population of women in the West is the very antithesis of moderation.
Evidence of man's inability to attain moderation is Islam which demands that women cover themselves because Islam has not, or has inadequately taught Muslim men self-control. Hence, the onus for restraint falls upon the woman.
In the book of Habbakkuk, the Prophet complains to God that Judah is being invaded by the Babylonians... a wicked and cruel people. In essence, God tells Habbakkuk that He'll take care of the Babylonians but He's using them to punish Judah for her own wickedness, and yet this is part of a process to refine and correct Judah.
I think that what went on in the days of habbakkuk is not too dissimilar to what is going on today. Because the women of the West don't understand the importance of modesty, God is and will use Islam to IMPOSE modesty on them.
The answer to the problems in the West is not yes Trump or no Trump. The answer to the problems in the West remains repentance.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Does Your Church Have A Missions Program? Don't Ignore the Jew!

One dictionary defines Common Knowledge as “something widely or generally known”.  The same dictionary sites as examples “It is common knowledge among those familiar with the rabbinic tradition that Haman was considered a descendant of the Amalekites. ... Yet it was common knowledge that Mrs. Bush was a “moderating” influence on her husband.

I’m pretty confident in the veracity of the first example.  As far as Mrs. Bush having a “moderating” influence on President Bush is concerned, I would still hold that only Mr. Bush, Mrs. Bush, all the “little” Bush’s and God know that for sure.

The point that I’m trying to make is that not all “common knowledge” is necessarily true.  In some cases, I would prefer to call some such assertions as “common assumptions” and when it comes to assumptions, there’s a well-known cliché that (please pardon my language) when one “assumes” something, it “makes an ass out of you and me’.
When my family and I were moving into a house in a new location, I turned on what my father used to affectionately call ‘the idiot box’ just in time to catch a well-known comedian ending a quip with the words… “that’s about as likely as a Jew believing in Jesus”.  It was apparent, at least to this comedian, that it was common knowledge that Jews don’t believe in Jesus.

Having followed the rhetoric of this particular comedian for the past 30 years, however, and corroborating her statement with my own in-depth knowledge on the subject, I confidently assert that her statement was not one of common knowledge but was, in fact, a common assumption.  And dare I say that, true to form, this assumption, makes an ass out of everyone.  ‘Membership’ in the “Church” is perceived as limited to non-Jews.  Faith in Jesus is perceived by the public as ‘just another religion’ along with Judaism and Islam.  And the world, as a whole, has a tainted understanding of what Christianity and its origins are.
Welcome to my one pet peeve!  I weary myself standing on this soap box from which I am unable to extricate myself.  I’m sure that I alienate myself from much of Christendom let alone my Jewish brethren with my rantings.  However, it is through that grid that I view all ‘Christian’ literature and rhetoric. 

I suppose “Christian” is not necessarily a bad term although there are a lot of people who call themselves “Christians” who are not.  I do believe that much of this misunderstanding is the fault of the Church, but that’s a matter of discussion for another day.

The contemporary use of the term “Christian”, in my humble opinion, is an unfortunate one.  As some might be aware, that epithet wasn’t used until Acts 11:26, and was given to the followers of Jesus by non-believers… outsiders as it were.  Many within the “Church” however, have adopted it for themselves as a convenient moniker.  This self-identification, though, has yielded a perception that belief and, dare I say, trust in Jesus is just another religion like Judaism or Islam or Buddhism, etc.  On the contrary, genuine belief in Jesus manifests itself as a personal relationship with the eternal living God of creation and this relationship transcends ethnicity.  In fact, it ought to unite people of various ethnicities… not by piling everyone into one amalgam called “Christian” but by celebrating the diversity that the God of the Bible has naturally created and by which “peoples of every tongue and nation” will come and worship the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Sadly, when one studies the history of Christianity, by the time of the second century, it’s appearance had deviated drastically from its original setting.  The first century Church, up until the time Peter met with the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, in Acts chapter 10, was exclusively Jewish.  There wasn’t a Gentile in the lot.  Even well after Acts 11, the Apostle Paul does not shrug off his identity as a Jew.  In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul says…

 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I.  Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more.
2 Cor 11:22-23
A little further on, in describing the trials that he’d been through, Paul writes…

I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.
2 Cor 11:26

Note… he doesn’t call them “those” Jews but “my fellow Jews”
In spite of the persecution that he’d endured from his “fellow Jews” (and please don’t neglect his use of the term “gentiles” in the above passage as equal participants in his maltreatment), he’s not bitter towards them.  In fact, in Romans 9, he writes…

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
Romans 9:1-5
Paul never stopped identifying himself as a Jew and he never stopped loving the very people that hated and persecuted him.  He loved them even to the point of being willing to relinquish his own salvation if that meant that they might receive salvation in return.
The Jewish people were intended to be the ones who would bring the truth of God to the rest of the world.  When God gave the land to the descendants of Jacob who was later called Israel, it was with the intent that they would be a light to the nations.  The land given to the Children of Israel, over which they were to rule, was at the cross roads of all the trade routes of the known world.  They were to be a “peculiar people”… a special prized possession which is an inadequate definition of the Hebrew word “segula”.  As traders would pass through the territory of Judah, they would go back and tell their families and friends of this marvelous civilization with a constitution (known as the Torah) that was upheld because its people had a deep and profound respect for an invisible God whose forgiveness was symbolized by seven drops of a lambs blood on an altar that no one except one person was privileged to see and that, only once a year (Lev. 16… a pre-incarnate picture of the Messiah).  Israel was to be the vehicle that God would use to reveal Himself to all the peoples of the world.  In this regard, Israel did have somewhat of an impact on the nations.  The Queen of Sheba traveled a vast distance to meet with the king of this marvelous nation, who’s wisdom and wealth exceeded anything known up until that time.  The only problem with the nation was that it was God Himself who intended to be the king over this people.  They chose a human king instead.  And so the Jews failed in that respect.

Nevertheless, the Jews did succeed in a more important respect.  They were the metaphorical “woman” in Revelation 12 who gave birth to a Son.  And the name of that Son is Jesus.  He was to be a “light of revelation to the Gentiles and a glory to His people, Israel” (Luke 2:32).

But it is assumed by many that the role of the Jew is now over.  They are a vestige of the past.  As far as I’m concerned, the church that takes this view does not really consider the Jew as a mere “vestige” as much as I would more graphically call it, a “placenta”.  Now that the Messiah has come into the world, God doesn’t need the “placenta” any more.  It can just be discarded now like all placentas.  The trouble is that in God’s eyes this is no placenta.  In spite of their unbelief the Jewish people are still a segula… a ‘prized possession”, and holy.  Paul writes…

I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people (the Jews) to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 
13-16:Rom. 11

Of course, Paul doesn’t use the metaphor of a placenta when he talks about Israel and the church in Romans 11, but he just might as well when he warns the Gentile believers in Rome not to boast against the natural branches (vs. 18) of the Olive Tree which Paul, in a more tasteful fashion than I, prefers to use as a metaphor.  He reminds the Gentile believer that “He who grafted you, as a wild branch, into the Olive Tree which is the kingdom of God, can just as easily prune you out (vs. 21).

As I mentioned before, the word “Christian” is an unfortunate term.  It connotes the notion that in spite of Paul’s own protestations, he is a Christian and not a Jew.  I’ve seen Christian history text books referring to the first believers in Jerusalem as Christians and not Jews.  I’ve heard sermons galore speaking of the disciples of Jesus as Christians and not Jews while Caiphas, and the Jewish hierarchy were the Jews.

The fact that a majority of the Jews during the time of the Gospel did not believe in Jesus, eclipses the reality that it was Jews who first brought the Gospel to the Gentile world to the average Christian mind.  One of my neighbors actually took offense when I told him that the Gospel of Mark was written by a Jew.  Furthermore, good churchgoer as he is, he refused to believe me.

Rightfully do Christians take the great commission as outlined in Matthew 28 as a call to “preach the Gospel to all the Nations”.  But the context in which that assignment was given must not be overlooked.  In context, Jesus, the God-Man (who happened to be a Jewish man) was telling his disciples, a small band of Jewish men, to declare among the goyim (the Gentiles… the various non-Jewish ethnicities), that the Messiah had come,  that He was both fully God and fully man, that He lived a thoroughly righteous life, that  He was murdered unjustly on an execution stake but was raised from the dead and sits at the right hand of God the Father to make intercession for anyone who will put their trust in Him. Having conquered death, this God-Man promises eternal life to whosoever will commit himself to walk in newness of life through the enablement of the Holy Spirit.

Yes, the Jewish nation, as a whole, did not come to faith in Christ, but those who heard the “great commission” and watched the Messiah literally ascend into the clouds did not shirk their responsibility to obey that great commission.  Paul, we know, ‘though not present at the Mount of Olives from where Jesus ascended, nevertheless knew that his role as a Jew demanded of him that he take the Gospel to the Gentiles.  All the others were martyred preaching the Gospel.  Archeological findings have confirmed that Thomas carried the Gospel to India.  And it is interesting to note that synagogues erected after the Babylonian diaspora 450 years earlier served as bases for evangelism in the early days of the spreading of the Gospel not just along the sojourns of Paul as was recorded in the Book of Acts but for Thomas and the others who took the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Ever since the time of the Great Commission, Jews have been taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Below is a brief list of Jewish Christians other than Jesus and His immediate disciples who’ve been involved in evangelizing the uttermost parts of the earth.  Note: These are not all merely contemporary individuals

Richard Wurmbrand – 1910 - 1991 Founder of Voice of the Martyrs, an organization which has offices in over 30 countries and is involved in the helping of Christians undergoing persecution in as many as 80 nations.
Jay Sekulow – 1956 – Present - Chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) a team which not only litigates on behalf of Christian causes in the United States, but which litigates on behalf of persecuted Christians throughout the world, including victims of Sharia law.
Joseph Wolf - 1795-1862 Became a pioneer missionary to the Jews of Persia Turkistan and Arabia
Alfonzo de Zalmora – Baptized in 1506 – The chief Hebraist in the translation of the first polyglot Bible which was financed by Cardinal Francisco Jimenez de Cisneros to “revive the languishing study of the ancient scriptures”.
Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky 1831-1906 An orthodox Jew from Lithuania, founded the first Protestant University in China.  Translated the Bible into Mandarin Chinese and then into Wenli (one dialect of Chinese). In spite of a debilitating onset of Parkinson’s disease, he completed the Wenli Bible typing one character at a time with his index finger.
A still incomplete but, nevertheless, more extensive list of prominent Jewish Christians can be found here .
World evangelism has been instigated in the past and present by Jews.  Furthermore, world evangelism in the future cannot and will not be conducted without Jews.  Revelation chapter 7 tells us that during the time of the great tribulation 144,000 members of the B’nai Yisrael (Sons of Israel) will evangelize the entire world with a level of effectiveness such as has never been known.  Some have said that these people comprise of the tribes of Judah, Levi and Benjamin who’d endured the Babylonian diaspora as well as other tribes not yet accounted for who are known as the “10 lost tribes of Israel”.  Some have said that these evangelists are the “church” which replaced the Jew (a position to which I strongly disagree and I see to be hard to defend).  I have a theory which I’d like to share with you.
I speculate that prior to the Assyrian diaspora of the tribes of the northern kingdom, the more devout among the people from the northern tribes migrated to the southern kingdom of Judah because the places of sacrifice set up in Samaria and Dan by Jeraboam, the first king of the north, in order to keep the people in his kingdom were inadequate.  Those who migrated southward knew that the only authentic place for worship was in Jerusalem.  Hence, those who were scattered as a result of the second diaspora… the Babylonian conquest of the southern kingdom, were from every tribe including those from the north who'd migrated south.  That’s why we have Ashkenazi Jews of today with names like Naftalon or Naftali, or Rubin or Simon or other names similar to or derived from the names of all the tribes of Israel.
Jewish people have been scattered throughout the world.  I’ve found an Interesting phenomenon.  Namely, that their culture tends to be a conglomerate of Biblical/Synagogue tradition and the culture in which they find themselves.  I’m of the opinion that this is why the 144,000 evangelists of Revelation 7 will be so effective.  They’re already a part of the culture they will be reaching for the Messiah.  They will not be trying to “fit in” to the culture around them.  Concerning the unique nature of those cultures… they already do fit in. Hence, I believe that part of a missions effort should include seeking out of indiginous Jews.

If your church does not have a missions program, start one and if it already has one, DO NOT ignore the Jew.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


God gave Moses 10 Commandments.  The seventh commandment said…
“Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery”

Here is a list of many in the Bible whom Islam says were prophets and their behavior concerning the question of adultery (Muslims may pronounce the names differently or ascribe different names to them).

Adam had one wife.
Seth had one wife.
Enoch had one wife.
Noah had one wife.
Abraham had 3 wives.
              He had a second wife because his first wife couldn’t have children.
              When his first wife did miraculously have a child (Isaac), he sent his first wife away.
              He had a third wife only after his first wife died.
Isaac had one wife
Jacob had four wives only because he’d been tricked by his father-in-law.
David had many wives.
              And although the New Testament says he was a prophet by virtue of the fact that he gave prophetic utterances, his office was                 that of a king. He was not above the law of Moses, and therefore, a prophet chastised him for his adultery.
              Because of his adultery one of his sons temporarily took the kingdom from him, he was
   humiliated in front of  everyone in his kingdom, and his household was divided the rest of his life.
Solomon had many wives
              But he also was not a prophet.  He was a king and because of his adultery his kingdom was divided and all of its wealth was

Muhammad (solely a prophet of Islam) had several wives and the Quran was claimed to have justified it. In Surah 33:50 we read.

O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Prophet [and] if the Prophet wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
Surah 33:50

Muhammad married the divorced wife of his adopted son.  His feelings for her were there before she’d ever been divorced. Yet somehow, Allah justified this for him and allegedly gave her to him.  If you're Arabic speaking, you can read about it here.

And [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favor and you bestowed favor, "Keep your wife and fear Allah ," while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him. So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished
Surah 33:37

Even Aisha whose marriage to Muhammad was consummated when she was at the age of 9 pondered the reality that Muhammad managed to get "convenient" revelations from allah justifying his acquisition of a harem.  Of course her testimony doesn’t count because Islam has declared that the testimony of a woman does not bear the same weight as a man. 

You can read about this pondering on her part here.

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: I felt jealous of the women who offered themselves to Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) and said: Then when Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, revealed this:" You may defer any one of them you wish, and take to yourself any you wish;
and if you desire any you have set aside (no sin is chargeable to you)" (xxxiii. 51), I ('A'isha.) said: It seems to me that your Lord hastens to satisfy your desire.
Sahih Muslim 8 3453

Absolutely no individual who both the Bible and Islam agree were prophets had adulterous relationships which would have compromised their proclamations concerning the moral demands of God.  Furthermore, God never condoned adultery.  This is confirmed by the consequences resulting from the adulterous practices of kings.

Muhammad practiced adultery and used the Quran to create the perception that activities which constituted adultery (e.g. The taking of multiple wives, the taking of underage children for wives, the marriage to divorced women) were not, in fact, adultery but, on the contrary, were permitted by God.  By doing so he has led tens of millions of followers astray using the name of allah to justify a practice that God never permitted. And dare I say, God's standards of morality never have changed and never will change no matter who might declare otherwise.

Muhammad’s behavior vastly differs from the behavior of any of the prophets of the Bible.  By that virtue alone, he does not qualify as a prophet.  Evidence would have it that Muhammad used allah and the Quran to justify his own lusts and in so doing, he redefined God's standard of morality which objectively speaking, will not and cannot change in spite of what Muhammad "legitimized".  Rather than leading people towards God which is the role of a prophet, in the name of allah, Muhammad led people... countless numbers of people, away from God.  In light of that alone, Muhammad is neither a prophet, nor is his Quran a genuine "holy book".

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How can the Bible Tout Peace When it Once Called For Genocide? - An Analysis Part 1

On the one hand, I could say that the answer to this question is quite simple.  Simply compare Jesus to Muhammad…

Jesus never harmed anyone or anything.  As Isaiah, describes the Messiah “A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;” Isaiah 42:3.

       Muhammad conducted war, beheaded captives, raided caravans, and added captured women to his haram.

Jesus’ immediate followers, likewise, were harmless.  They spread the message of the Gospel through reasoning and arguments of persuasion.

              Muhammad’s successors conducted war, beheaded captives, raided caravans, and added captured women to their harams.

The answer is pretty straight forward.  There is nothing about the life of Muhammad that would even remotely suggest that he was a man of peace or that the “religion” that he founded is one of peace.

One may also look to the Quran and the Hadiths to confirm a general call to violence on the part of Islam. This is countered by verses that serve as calls to peace also found in the Quran.  In similar fashion when the Christian argues on behalf of a peaceful Gospel, the Muslim apologist counters “But look at the violence when Israel conquered the land of Canaan.  That was not peaceful".  Furthermore, if Jesus is the Messiah of peace whom “a bruised reed He will not break” how can that claim be made when in the end He will vanquish His enemies violently”?

Most Christians tend to avoid these objections.  Personally, I’m skeptical that anyone who would present these objections is really interested in determining truth and/or is so entrenched in Islam that He would be unwilling to objectively reevaluate his own faith anyway.  I hope that such is not the case and with that in mind, I present as my intention, to address these objections and demonstrate that they are fundamentally unfounded.  In this essay I will attempt to address the former objection and in a subsequent essay, I will address the latter objection.

Why the call in the Bible to genocide?

The Muslim is correct when he makes the claim that God told Moses that when the Children of Israel were to enter the Land of Canaan they were to completely kill all of the people of the land.  Clearly, in Deuteronomy 17:16-18 it says

 Only in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall [k]utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the Lord your God.

This is a reality.  This is a part of the very ugly, down and dirty truth that is found in the Bible.  But it is a necessary part of the Bible narrative.  So I rhetorically ask “Why did God command the Children of Israel to do something as utterly cruel as annihilating the inhabitants of the land?  I will attempt to answer this, first of all, by addressing the nature of the people who were in the land, second of all, by addressing the purpose behind God wanting the Children of Israel to occupy the land and lastly, by the nature of the warfare that was used in taking the land.

A.      The nature of the people who were living in the land.

The first hint that we get about the nature of the people who were living in the land is found in Genesis 15.  It tells something about, not only the people, but something very wonderful about God.  In Genesis 15, God makes a covenant with Abram (whose name would be changed to Abraham).  As part of the covenant God says to him

“Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age.  Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”
(Genesis 15:13-16

Here we see God telling Abraham that his descendants would spend 400 hundred years in Egypt.  The Amorites who were in the land at the time of Abraham’s dwelling there were deeply involved in idolatry and all sorts of perverse behavior.  But the sin among them had not yet reached its peak.  They were not beyond redemption.  The 400 years of the descendants of Abraham dwelling in Egypt was the time necessary for the Amorites to reach their peak of corruption. Here’s where we see something wonderful and compassionate about God.  Notice His patience.  He knew that the Amorites would get worse and worse.  He just didn’t want to utterly destroy them then and there.  Some of the Amorites at the time of Abraham were redeemable and not deserving of death.  The compassion of God also wanted to give them time to repent.

I will not, at this point, get into the other aspects of this covenant.  They are very significant.  But they are not presently germane.

So, at the time of the Children of Israel’s (Abraham’s grandson’s) invasion of the land, the Amorites had become as corrupt and irredeemable as they could be.

So, what was the nature of their corruption?  There is no specific history of the account of their corruption mentioned in the Bible, however, after much time had passed, the kingdom of the Children of Israel who had wrenched the land from the Amorites became divided into two separate kingdoms.  In the norther kingdom, there arose a king who became so evil that he was likened to the evil of the Amorites (1Kings 21:26).  To understand the corruption of the Amorites, therefore, one need only study the activities of that king who’s name was Ahab.  An account of the activity of Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, can be found between Chapter 16:29 and Chapter 22:40 of the book of First Kings of the Bible.  Among the things they did was to construct Ashteroth which were poles erected in honor of the goddess Asherah.  Mythology had it that she was the consort of Baal… the weather god who rode the clouds and carried lightning in his hand.  The Ashteroth were constructed all over the northern kingdom of Israel and orgies were conducted throughout the land in her honor since she was the pagan “goddess of fertility”.  Their idolatry actually led Ahab and Jezebel to murder the actual prophets of God.  Not too far after Ahabs reign, the northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians and sent into exile.  As bad as Ahab was, that’s how bad the Amorites had become by the time the Children of Israel had left Egypt.  That’s why God wanted to use Israel to wipe them out completely.  They’d become a cesspool of sex, idolatry, lawlessness and murder.

Concerning the Amorites, Exodus 23:32-33 God tells Israel

“make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”You shall 

God wanted the Amorites gone because they were thoroughly unredeemable, and their idolatry and practices of prostitution would only serve to tempt the Children of Israel to immorality.

B.      The purpose behind why God wanted the Children of Israel to inhabit the land.

Rather obviously King Ahab of the northern kingdom was not the way God desired for the Kingdom of Israel to progress.  God had given a law known as the Torah to the Children of Israel.  It was an amazing law which made supernatural demands upon the people of Israel. 

To illustrate just how amazing this law was, one of its statutes stated the following:

If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him.  If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying helpless under its load, you shall refrain from leaving it to him, you shall surely release it with him.
(Exodus 23:4-5)

This was a practice that was unheard of and still is unheard of to this day!  Whoever heard of a man acting charitably towards his enemy?  When Israel, after having been exiled and returned to the land, and under Roman domination, Jesus told the people of His day just about the very same thing…

“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”
Matthew 5:39

The point that I’m making is that much of the Law of God consisted of decrees that were outside of human nature to carry out.   Man, in his natural state is not going to “turn the other cheek”.  A unique, special sort of motivation is needed in order to implement this law on a personal level.  Certainly in the case of the above law, willful forgiveness is required as well as a renunciation of pride and the taking on of humility when one has been dishonored.  In essence one must be willing to love God so much that one is willing to obey His law regardless of one’s self interest.  One must also know the requirements of God.  Those requirements are spelled out only in God’s word, the Bible.

Human nature says “I can be a good person, in fact, I AM a good person”.  And so, God gave the Children of Israel an opportunity to try to implement His law.  Of course this law could never be implemented to perfection, but imagine that you’ve been told to shoot an arrow at a target.  How are you even going to get near the target if you don’t even know the direction that the target is in?  The law pointed in the direction, and the objective was to create a society, which, governed by the perfect Law of God, consisted of a population of people who were, at least compared to all the nations around them, compassionate and respectful towards one another.  Disputes were settled justly and in an orderly fashion.  Yes, some punishments were treated with the utmost of severity but the intent was that such punishments would never even be necessary.”? 

So exactly where is this land where this “society” was to be established?  In Genesis 15:18, while God is making His afore mentioned covenant with Abraham, He tells him.

“To your [t]descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates":

The land was to extend from the eastern most river of the Nile Delta to the Euphrates River.  This promise is reiterated not to Ishmael but to Abraham’s other son, Isaac in Genesis 26:2-5.  The promise is again, repeated not to Isaac’s son, Esau, but to Isaac’s son Jacob in Genesis 23:13-15.

The descendants of Jacob have never fully acquired all of this land, but the God of the Bible, who will not lie, promises that one day they will obtain all of it.  In Leviticus 26:40-45 Moses tells us that the descendants of Jacob (who is also called Israel) will be exiled from the land but would one day return from the four corners of the earth.

But why this particular parcel of land?

The land was to be located right in the middle of the trading routes as caravans took their goods from East to West and North to South and vice versa, all over the known world. 

Now imagine if you will… this land, right in the middle of these trading routes is inhabited by a people who, because they love God, are able to do these extraordinary things like carrying on acts of kindness towards even their enemies.  The traders would marvel and attribute this amazing relationship between these people to their God.  They would go back to their homes and families after their long journeys and tell their wives and families and children about this marvelous God.  People all over the world would give up their idols and pursue the knowledge of this wonderful God.

Yes, this “experiment” failed the first time.  That’s because human nature really doesn’t allow it.  You call Adam the first Prophet, but he’d sinned.  He had given in to the temptation to be “like God” and all of us are guilty of that.  Why do we get angry when we’re insulted or dishonored?  All of us is prone to hate our enemies.  In all of history, only Jesus loved those who tortured Him, spoke ill of Him, insulted Him and ultimately crucified Him.

C.      The nature of the warfare used in taking the land.
God said to the Children of Israel through Moses…

“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.  Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him.  But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.  For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them
(Exodus 23:20-24)
He goes on…
 I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.  I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you…  You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods.They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
(Exodus 23:27-28, 32-33)

Put simply, clearly from this text, God is doing the fighting on behalf of Israel to clear the land of those nations whose idolatrous practices would pose as a snare to them.

How then did this “strategy” of the Angel of God going before the Children of Israel play itself out?

The first city that the Children of Israel came to was Jericho.  Jericho was a big wall enclosed city.  The city was taken because God Himself knocked down its walls.  The people of Israel rushed in, and killed everyone except a prostitute who had repented of her prostitution and her family.   None of the Children of Israel died.

The next battle was at the town of Ai.  There were two attempts on the part of the Children of Israel to take the city.  The first attempt was unsuccessful and 36 men were killed.  It turned out that this lack of success was because one man had sinned.  That man and his family were put to death and the second attempt was successful, again, with not Israelite casualties.

The third battle was against five Amorite kings.  We read about it in the Book of Joshua chapter 10.

Joshua 10:8-11

In essence, when God is fighting for Israel, if there is no sin in the Israelite camp, no Israelite dies.  Furthermore, it is God Himself, who does most of the killing.

Let’s bring us now to the 21st century.  We’ve noted that, at least according to the Bible, Moses (as well as other prophets) had foretold that the people of Israel would be scattered, understandably because of their sin.  We’re also told that they would eventually return to the land.  We’ve also learned that the land they presently occupy is only a fraction of the land that had been initially promised to them by God. 

We’ve also learned that as cruel as the Biblical call to genocide of the inhabitants of the land seemed to be, it was justified not only because of the utter depravity of those people, but evidence for that justification was manifest by God Himself doing most of the fighting. 

We’ve also noted that when there is absolutely no sin, no one dies.

Today, the people of Israel are back in the land.  Is this the time of their return?  Maybe yes… maybe no.  We do know, however, that when the State of Israel was first formed, Five Arab armies fought against a rag-tag force of a few thousand, ill armed holocaust survivors and were rebuffed.

One web-site,, gives figures for the deaths of Arabs vs. Israelis between the years 1948 and 1973.  Just counting the deaths of the specific wars during those years there were an estimated 6800 to 11,100 Israeli deaths and 35,800 to 68,600 Arab deaths, every one of which is tragic!  Even the wars and intifadas after this time have led to more Arab deaths than Jewish deaths.  In light of this data, what evidence is there that miracles were performed by Allah on behalf of the Muslim cause?  Where has Allah shown signs that He was fighting for Islam?  In contrast, anecdotes abound of instances where God has fought in this modern era on behalf of the Israelis.  One need only conduct a Google search.

Of course, Muhammad encouraged fighters to be willing to “die for the cause of Allah”.  However, the Biblical model that I’ve put forth seems to intimate that the army that is without sin suffers absolutely no losses.  In light of that, it seems that there is plenty of sin to go around.  The sad thing is that people tend to be too arrogant either to admit their sin or to question the world view that drives them on to mutual destruction.

I would pose the question, therefore… “Is Islam a ‘religion of peace’ or is it in fact, a world view, founded by a pseudo prophet, that is actually fighting against the will of the one and only true God?  I would also pose the question, what makes Muslims so sure that Jesus is merely just a prophet and what makes Jews so sure that Jesus is not the Messiah?

I hold as axiomatic that these two factions are fundamentally at war because they reject the true understanding of whom Jesus actually is.