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If my people, who are called by my Name, humble themselves and pray (Part One)

The text, for those who have trouble with a rather individual cursive, reads as follows: Scandal after Scandal. No institution safe....

Monday, 30 December 2013

Letters to St. James - Piccadilly

The CofE certainly picked a dilly when the rector of St. James Piccadilly was appointed in the 1980s with carte blanche to keep it open. Subsequent appointments have continued to career down the broad way on to which he led the church.

The current incumbents have provoked open letters and articles across the blogosphere.

I start with two of my favourite Jewish commentators. 

Melanie Phillips has penned an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. She calls it a church of hate. Melanie Phillips is not an anti-Christan Jew. She understands very well that the decline of healthy Christianity has had a deleterious effect on freedom in general and religious freedom in particular. Do read her article and follow the links.

Daphne Anson has also blogged on St. James, Piccadilly here and here . If anything, she can be more robust than Melanie Phillips.

From within the Christian community, comes Dr. Denis MacEoin's letter to St James. It is exemplary in its Christian attitude. It gives his reasons for supporting Israel and details the homicidal culture that Israel is facing.

I quote:

Let me illustrate the importance of the fence with a single example. In 2005, a young Palestinian woman called Wafa al-Biss was badly burned in a domestic fire, taken to Israel’s SorokaHospital, and treated there for months. When discharged, she was given a permit to return as an out-patient. Some time later she headed for the hospital wearing a suicide belt with the aim of exploding  it among the doctors and nurses who had treated her, as well as however many children she could find. She was caught at a checkpoint and imprisoned. Earlier this year she was released as part of a prisoner release agreement. Within hours she was speaking to Palestinian children, urging them to put on suicide vests and kill as many Jews as possible. And some people wonder why the Israelis need a security barrier.

It is simply wrong, I believe ­ and, I am sure, all Christians believe ­ to flaunt one people’s suffering as righteous while condemning another people for simply seeking to secure themselves and their children from vicious attack. Wafa al-Biss was not a mentally disturbed lone killer manquée, but someone who had every reason to be grateful to the men and women who had saved her life. She was part of a killing system, a system that has taken the lives of thousands of Israel down the years.

Read the whole letter. I would love to see what sort of reply he gets. I looked on the ABC's website for any response to Melanie Phillips, so far, nothing.

However, the putative reincarnation/voice from beyond of a former ABC, to wit Cranmer, has penned a missive on the subject here. I should warn my readers that it is heavily ironic, which some of his own regulars seem to have missed. It took me a little while to realise just how sarcastic he was being.

Another open letter from a victim of Terror and a friend of a murdered victim.

Please write on your wall, under the cross, now obscured by the crescent…. “R.I.P Kristine Luken.”
Kay Wilson – (a British-born Israeli)

The Blog  'Anne's Opinions' carries this:

Sharon and Lesley again at the St James market place today armed with our bag of acrylic paint and wall brush.

With no support from anybody the sense was one of antagonism, being watched as we were by the wardens present it seemed, in case we dared to write on the wall. Seeing our paint Tom, a St James warden approached us to say we could only use their now worn out felt pens. Explaining the uselessness of those pens and the fact that others had used spray paint Debbie, another warden said she’d get us some of theirs. Returning a while later she produced grey – the shade they use to obliterate posts they don’t approve of. In the end Tom told me I could paint one message on a designated spot, provided I was professional and refrained from being abusive. Odd that seeing that others could write what and where they wanted as many times as they wanted!

So I painted This Wall Saves Lives, started to write that 1340 Israeli citizens have died as a result of terrorist attacks since 2000, but Tom’s space and location didn’t permit!

I think this has been through a couple of blogs so I do not know who Sharon and Lesley are, but may the LORD bless them.

How the ground was prepared for the "Jesus is a Palestinian " lie.

If you read the birth stories in Matthew and Luke, the names of places and of people, the quotes from the Tenach, the prophecies that parallel those of the Tenach, the genealogies, the circumcision, the presentation at the Temple, the Bar Mitzvah (why else would Jesus go to the Temple aged twelve?); the one thing that you would have to blind and brain-dead not to see and understand, is that these stories are Jewish stories. Some Christians may not like it; some Jews may not like it, but the fact remains, and it will continue to remain, Jesus is Jewish.

Believe it or not, at this point, someone will ask; sometimes in all innocence, "But isn't Jesus a Christian?" I know this because as a teacher of religious education, it has happened to me, frequently.

I explain that Christians follow Jesus because they believe that He is the Christ/The Messiah. Whether you believe this or not, Jesus cannot follow Himself.

When I started teaching, I taught the Old and the New Testaments. The Bible was available to be read and it was read - aloud. When I finished teaching, I was expected to teach six different religions without any real reference to any of their holy texts. This is how the lies take hold. They no longer know the truth.

Ever tried to teach the 'lives of the founders' of six religions in one year? Half a term each and the terms are not the same length. Furthermore the legal minimum of one period is circumvented by making a One hour and ten minute lesson to be comprised of  two periods. This is irrelevant to most subjects but RS gets 35 minutes. Allowing for  time to get the class in and out plus admin and discipline, actual teaching time can be significantly reduced even to zero.

As to the lives of the founders, simple enough in the case of Islam,  and Buddhism. In the case of Sikhism, as it is now practiced, it would be wrong to teach only the first of the ten Gurus and not include the last Guru who shaped Sikhism as it is now known. Can we really do Christianity without St Paul; or Judaism limited to Moses but not include Abraham? Speaking of Abraham, his example is essential to Christian understanding and you can't understand Jesus without an introduction to Judaism. Who founded Hinduism? Nobody mentions Zarathustra, but his influence on Jewish and Christian thought is significant. It has become impossible to teach any of the religions properly.

Religion becomes a matter of opinion rather than established facts. Any attempt to teach facts results in the accusation of forcing your beliefs on others, even when correcting the child's own ignorance about their own faith. Unbelievable, but it happened to me.

You can read a more detailed account of how this happened in a previous post, 'The devolution of Divinity or how to undermine a Christian education and Zionism' This is a longer article sketching the history of the subject and showing how it has devolved into its current mess.

As there is now no real knowledge of the history of Israel, Judaism and Christianity and no-one has ever drawn a sketch of Israel showing Judea, Samaria, Galilee and the Decapolis (at the time of Christ) there is no bulwark against Arab lies.


I still find it difficult to believe that Hanan Ashwari wasn't declared legally insane, but hey, it's religion and its a matter of opinion...
I know what I'd like to say at this point, but this is a Christian blog and it might offend.

Map of Israel in New Testament Times with Roads

Friday, 27 December 2013

Where your charity money goes... you won't like it!

While Christians are massacred in Baghdad and are being driven out of the Middle East, others who call themselves Christian see fit to demonize Israel and fund terrorism. They do this with your money. Find out the charities to avoid

I make no apologies for all the links. This is part of my contribution towards raising awareness of what is really happening.

The massacre in Baghdad as reported by the BBC here and Google for more information.

The excellent Danny Ayalon on the decline of Christians in 'Palestine' and a potted history of the name of Palestine, see below.

Blogger Edgar Davidson has a jaw-dropping report on the Charity 'War on Want', see here . Read it all, especially if you are British.

Robin Shepherd of 'thecommentator' has an article in his online journal about the same subject. He names a range of charities and their funding sources. Perhaps non-European readers should look at their charities more closely.

There is also an excellent article by Steve Apfel on 'Borrowing Jesus' - like this: -


It makes an interesting contrast to what Danny Ayalon has to say. I know whom I believe.

According to Daphne Anson, this temporary wall in London cost several thousand pounds.


You can read more about this expensive obscenity in another excellent piece by Robin Shepherd. He gives links to a video publicising the stunt and to a letter protesting it.

 I wonder how much good could have been achieved if the money spent on this stunt had gone elsewhere?
Hadas Fogel, three months old, was killed by terrorists  on March 11, 2011. Th e terrorists confessed that they  left the Fogel home after murdering Hadas’ parents  and two sleeping brothers but returned to murder  Hadas when they heard her start crying.
Hadas Fogel, three months old, was killed by terrorists on March 11, 2011. The terrorists confessed that they left the Fogel home after murdering Hadas’ parents and two sleeping brothers but returned to murder Hadas when they heard her start crying.
I finish with a quote from Robin Shepherd.

To abuse that most admirable of Christian traditions, and turn Christmas into a message of hate, is not just anti-Semitic; it is the grossest of insults to Christians as well.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas and Anti-Semitism. Some people never let up!

Daphne's latest post on her blog, here, makes the following comments:

In old Europe, Easter was the traditional time for assault on the Jews: as is well-known, many a pogrom took place around that time, stoked by the canard that Jews killed Jesus.
These days, it seems to be Christmas that's the traditional time for an all-out assault upon the Jews, in the form of the Jewish State.  As I remarked here, Yuletide sees an intensification of that Open Season on Israel that takes place throughout the year.

I was intrigued. I could understand Easter being an occasion for anti-semitism, although it is fueled by ignorance as well as by hatred. But Christmas? OK, so the usual suspects are still playing games with Christmas Carols, but hatred for the Jews? This is a birth in Judea. It says so in the Bible. We read these texts every year.

Well, my own blog has given me evidence of a spike in interest, about who killed Jesus, just before Christmas. This post, "Who killed Jesus...?" which is the most viewed post since I started blogging, is viewed almost every day, but, according to my stats, they recorded more views than usual for this post during the past week.

After 2000 years, we still need to know how to apportion blame for the death of Jesus. No other death in custody gets that level of attention. It shows how important a Person this Jesus is.

So to all my readers, Jew and Christian, have a blessed time while we Christians celebrate the Messiah/Christ and may the God of Israel grant us all peace in the coming year, be it the peace of heart, mind and spirit that we may well need in these difficult times.

Luke 2:8 - 21
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

If you wait, they'll tell you...

If you wait long enough and listen carefully, most people will tell you all you want to know about themselves and their plans. The enemies of Israel and Christianity are no exception. In fact, they seem positively eager to spill the beans. 

It's just that the useful idiots, such as the mainstream media and other liberals, take a long time  catching on.

Israel Today carries two such stories. From Iran  comes this one;

Speaking on Syrian News TV on December 11, former presidential advisor Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini suggested that the main motivator behind the recent Iran nuclear deal was US President Barack Obama’s desire to forestall the destruction of Israel.

“Obama had to make a great retreat,” said Al-Hosseini in an interview translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “[Obama] was forced to accept a handshake from President Rouhani…so that the day would not come when he would be forced to kiss the hands of Hassan Nasrallah and [Ayatollah] Khamenei, so that they would hold their fire in the great war that was prepared to annihilate Israel.”

And from Egypt comes this one:

Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, an Egyptian Christian activist and founder of Voice of the Copts, said in a recent interview with Arab media that the new constitution being discussed in Egypt is further evidence that the so-called “Arab Spring” was nothing more than a front for a revitalization of the Islamic agenda.

Ramelah told The Arab Daily News that Christians in the Middle East are far worse off today than prior to the Arab Spring. Proof of that can be found in the fact that it is necessary to consider special clauses pertaining to Christians in the new Egyptian constitution.
“Copts (native Egyptian Christians) are citizens of Egypt. They do not need to have special rights. In a democratic country all citizens are equal under the law,” noted Ramelah.


Finally, from the Telegraph, the Royal and well -meaning useful idiot is beginning to catch on...

Yes, HRH Prince Charles can't understand why all his work to build bridges with Islam is being destroyed. Someone needs to tell him that they were never serious in the first place. It was just a strategy to get Islam accepted until they were strong enough to do what they were always going to do.

Prince Charles accompanied by Prince Ghazi bin Mohammad of Jordan (2nd right) during the visit, celebrating Christian communities from the Middle-East in Britain.
Prince Charles accompanied by Prince Ghazi bin Mohammad of Jordan (2nd right) during the visit, celebrating Christian communities from the Middle-East in Britain. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
And the Prince, a long-standing advocate of dialogue between religions, voiced personal dismay at seeing his work over the last 20 years to “build bridges and dispel ignorance” being deliberately destroyed by those attempting to exploit the Arab Spring for their own ends. 

Twenty wasted years.

Monday, 16 December 2013

An amusing take on a well-known Christmas song

Archbishop Cranmer posted this. If you like Gregorian Chant and have some schoolboy/girl Latin you should find this amusing and musical.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Magnificat - A Sunday Sermon on Mary's Song

The PowerPoint below essentially is somewhere between my notes and the full sermon on the Magnificat. There is enough to follow what I preached and, God willing, to inspire other preachers.

How God used Mary's limitations to preach the gospel and how Mary learned the lesson of the Word God gave her. How God answered the hope for the Messiah.

May the LORD bless you.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Some stories have to be told

I came across this story in the Daily Mail.Two things interested me. The first was that it was about the Holocaust. The second was that the film makers are young students from my home county of Co. Durham. ( For US readers, that is County Durham, England )

Iby Knill: An Auschwitz Promise will be aired this Saturday at 8.30pm on The Community Channel, available on Sky, Virgin Media and BT Vision.

It took Mrs Knill sixty years to keep a promise made to a dying teenager at Auschwitz 1944. She did it as a result of a Theology discussion on sin and evil. I have to admit this puzzles me, because sin is evil, it's just that we cannot comprehend how evil sin is except when all our human weaknesses and strengths combine to do something outrageously evil. (My Thoughts)

A film was made out of Iby's memoirs, The Woman Without a Number, by film and television student Robin Pepper, 22, at Teesside University. He and fellow students Mark Oxley, 26, from Darlington, and Ian Orwin, 22, from Sunderland, made the documentary for a final year project after he read her book in just one day.

Mrs Knill said: 'Robin has done a marvellous job, and I am very happy with the film. It goes some way towards fulfilling the promise I made to the twin all those years ago.' Robin added: 'It was an honour to work with Iby. She is an amazing lady, and we are really pleased we have helped her keep that promise she made so long ago.'

You may need to click on the blank space below, but it should show a short video.

There is another point of contact with Mrs. Knill. She has a gold watch chain from her father. Mine comes down from my great-grandfather to my certain knowledge. It is not full of such tragic memories. These things are precious because they are our links with our ancestors.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

An exercise in hypocrisy

The video has yet to be shown on state-run TV since footage of musical instruments and singing by women are prohibited by Iran's hardline state television. 

Why should anyone trust this man?

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Who says that there is no evidence for the Jews in Israel?

All Jews and Christians who believe that the Tenach/Old Testament is the truth will love this video and the lady archaeologist featured in it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Jerusalem of Gold.

This is a filler, but it is stunningly beautiful in so many ways. There will be original material, but I have so much to write at the moment that the blog is suffering.


Monday, 11 November 2013

The Power of a new Perspective

On Tuesdays,  I usually meet with my prayer triplet. A couple of weeks back, it was an unusual meeting; not much prayer and quite a lot of talking, but it turned out that it was God Who was doing the talking! Bear with me as I outline an amazing set of co(God)incidences.

Normally, one would not include the prophet Malachi, Erasmus, Selwyn Hughes, Thomas Kinkade and the Madeleine McCann investigation (BBC Crimewatch - see below), blaspheming the Holy Spirit and Greek Interlinear Bibles as linked topics. But you would be surprised, as we were.

We start by discussing matters for prayer and other things that concern us which may be prayer material. One of us raised the topic of re-branding a well-known sin. The deliberate calling of evil good and good evil is something that we see happening all around us. What was once classed as virtuous behaviour is now called bigotry and what was once unspeakable sin is now celebrated as admirable. That some of the politicians and judges who have allowed this to happen know what they are doing is highly likely. That the clergy who have blessed this behaviour know what they are doing is almost certain. They are perilously close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit. They may already have done so.

It is not the sin which is being celebrated  that is unforgivable. It is the deliberate celebration of that sin as admirable by those who know better and the conscious and deliberate rejection of what God calls sin that constitutes the blasphemy.

We then moved on to the subject of my title. How do we see things and people as God sees them? One of the triplet had been praying about this and had had a dream which seemed significant. 

She had dreamed of a walk along a beach with a dog called Erasmus. She has no pets. The next day she decided to dip into a book of scripture devotions by Selwyn Hughes and illustrated by Thomas Kinkade (Everyday Light). Opening the book at random, she happened upon a picture that was virtually the same as her dream, including the dog (without the name Erasmus). The text associated with the picture was Malachi 3:16 - 18 .

What of Erasmus? His translation of the the New Testament from the Greek helped to prepare they way for the Reformation. It showed up errors in previous translation and helped to clarify understanding of doctrine, even changing it in the light of a more accurate translation.

I then recalled the BBC 'Crimewatch' programme which had featured the investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Apart from the new hope it has given of solving the case, what was of interest was the process. The UK police had gone back to the original statements and re-interviewed people. The end result was what one officer called a 'revelatory' moment when they realised that the evidence had been misunderstood. People who had been suspects were now witnesses or innocent bystanders and people who had been dismissed as not relevant were now suspects or fresh witnesses. The result has been a of helpful phone calls and emails.

The process was similar, to return to the basics and do the groundwork instead of relying on other people's work that may not be right.

We gain our new perspective by repentance, belief in the Lord Jesus,being baptised and receiving the Holy Spirit, and maintain it by returning to the scriptures, by prayer, by fellowship and by breaking of bread together (Holy Communion). In other words, reworking the basics in our current situation. See also here  (God's conditions for Revival).

This conversation had taken up quite some time and we had not prayed, but the Malachi text was very revealing. It appears that God hears and remembers righteous conversation, and that a time would come when the distinction between the righteous and the wicked would once again be clear.

What of a Greek/English Interlinear Bible? If you buy a good one, it is a way of studying the Greek text for those of us who are not proficient at languages. Like Erasmus, we can go back to the Greek Text and gain fresh understanding.

If you study the life of Erasmus, you will find that he had an encounter with the "well-known sin that has be re-branded"; which is where the dog comes in. Erasmus later wrote against that sin. He repented. 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Striking a blow for justice.

Striking a blow for justice.


Why this is important

Ten years after the US military found a trove of Jewish books, records and religious artefacts in the flooded basement of Saddam's secret police headquarters in Baghdad, the US government is preparing to ship it back following restoration.
The archive contains holy books, including a rare Bible from 1568, Torah scrolls seized from synagogues, and personal and community documents and records.

Iraq's government, however, is insisting that the archive go back to Iraq: it points out that the US interim administration (CPA) signed a memorandum in 2003 promising its return.

The archive must not be returned.

Here's why:

*The archive does not belong to Iraq, but was stolen from private homes, schools and synagogues in the 1970s. It is the cultural property of the Iraqi-Jewish community.
*According to Jewish law, sacred objects such as Torah scrolls must be entrusted to a living Jewish community.
*The Jewish community in Iraq is virtually extinct. Jews of Iraqi origin and their descendants now live outside Iraq - in Israel and the West.

*When there were Jews in Iraq, the modern Iraqi state showed only contempt for them and their heritage. It did its utmost to persecute and destroy its ancient, pre-Islamic Jewish community. From 140,000, the community has dwindled to five people. To return the archive to Iraq will be to compound a crime: returning stolen property to those who stole it.

*Iraq itself does not have the resources to conserve and store the archive safely.

*Iraq's Jews and their descendants, 90 percent of whom are in Israel, will be debarred from access to original documents and history if the archive returns to Iraq.

*The memorandum drawn up between the US CPA interim government and Iraq in 2003 was signed on a flawed premise: that the archive is part of Iraq's national heritage.

It is not. Unless we challenge this erroneous idea, the return of the Jewish archive sets a precedent for all Arab countries who seized the property of 870,000 Jews to claim back as their national heritage any confiscated items that might have left the country. Indeed these states can claim as their own the property of all oppressed communities. Web: iraqijewisharchives.org


Honey, could you bring me a box? It's a war thing.

I came across the following video through the Israel Video Network. I looked up her website http://www.94maidens.com/ and was left smiling by a line at the end of the excerpt from Rhonda Fink-Whitman's book.

"Honey, could you bring me a box?"  It's a war thing. Read on.

I was intrigued by the video, interested by the website and left smiling at the line I quoted above.
I am a former teacher of Religious Education in the UK. I didn't know whether to be appalled at US education and isolationism or terrified at the institutionalised anti-Semitism of a world super-power.
As to her mother's remark, it's a war thing. Obviously, it was far more intense for Jews in Europe, but rationing produced similar behaviour in the UK. My mother-in-law always seemed to be stocking up for another war even into the 21st. Century.
As a child, canned fruit salad (a Sunday treat in post-war UK) was accompanied by a slice of bread "in order to fill you up". It was not until my early twenties when I finally understood what this was about that I was able to dissuade my father from asking for a slice of bread with the (fresh!) fruit salad by the reminder, "Dad, the war is over". Surprisingly, to me, it worked.
I don't buy many books these days, I have too many, so I will make no promises, but I will give this one  serious consideration
I am proud to call myself a Christian Zionist,
Every blessing in the Messiah.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The angels rejoice over Poirot - sort of.

Fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and David Suchet's definitive portrayal will find a recent Telegraph article interesting. Christians and Messianic Jews will find it revelatory! We rejoice with the angels. Suchet is a non-orthodox Jew who has joined the Church of England.

Persevere, if you do not like Poirot, to the end of the article. Like Rocky Raccoon, he went into his room ... and then he read the letter to the Romans. He almost quotes C.S. Lewis in 'Surprised by Joy'.

“I read it as a letter than had just been sent to me through the post”, he says. “ By the time I got to the end, I found a world view I had been looking for all my life; something I could hang onto. I don’t have blind faith. If I were ever to write a book about my journey to faith the title would be ‘Dragged Kicking and Screaming’.” 

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in Curtain, ITV's last Poirot film

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot in 'Curtain', ITV's last Poirot film Photo: ITV

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

More on Christian Jewish relations.

What follows comes from links sent by Daphne Anson for various reasons. I admit it's a bit of a filler, but it's all good stuff and worth a look. I've been too busy with decorating the kitchen (aargh) and  with church and stuff, this week. I hope to put up some original material in the very near future.

A very good article that does not have a go at Christian Zionists. Jews and Christians have too much in common to remain estranged forever.

This article is a brilliant survey of Christian Zionism and Evangelical Christianity.  It is a must-read. http://mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2013/10/evangelicals-and-israel/

Evangelicals and Israel

I don't like rap but I'll give this a pass. It makes a very valid point.

And finally, where our tax money goes when it goes to the UNRWA when it is supposed to be helping refugees. I suppose it is helping them - 

to hate Jews.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The fight against anti-Semitism


Sign this petition to encourage the media to conform to US and EU (!!!) definitions of anti-Semitism.

Recent cases of anti-Israel bias have crossed the line. Demonization of Israel is recognized as a form of anti-Semitism in both the U.S. State Department and European Union Working Definitions of Anti-Semitism.

Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 2                                           Sunday Times, Jan. 27                                       
July 2, 2013: Süddeutsche Zeitung                                                                                              

Somethings just need doing.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Catching up with Australia.

This is a follow-up to my previous post. I emailed Daphne Anson (see blog list) and she replied with a link to an Anglican vicar, the Rev. Mark Durie. He's another Australian and it turns out  also associated with the same School of Theology as Elizabeth Kendal, whom I referenced in the previous post. I intend to add their sites to my blog list. They are too good to miss.
The Melbourne School of Theology fascinates me, because I studied at the, now defunct, Birmingham Bible Institute (UK). The Australians achieved everything that BBI wanted to be. The vision of their founder Re. C H Nash is practically identical to the vision of the Rev. H.Brash Bonsall , founder of BBI.

  1. Biblical knowledge. The essence of training is to provide a thorough working knowledge of the Bible as the one dependable revelation from God. It is the chief equipment for the Christian worker.
  2. Equal opportunity for all Christians. Training is open to people of all ages and levels of educational background, whether they are pursuing full-time paid Christian ministry, or seeking to be better equipped to serve the church and the world.
  3. Practical relevance. There is great emphasis on the application of truth to daily life.
  4. Spiritual growth. The encouragement of personal spiritual growth in Christ is a major objective that permeates the total program of the College.
  5. Training in community. There is a strong emphasis upon students learning, sharing and worshipping together, discovering in depth the meaning of fellowship in Christ and the loving service of others.
  6. Interdenominational unity. One of the great appeals of MST is its denominational diversity. It's exciting and, at times, challenging to learn to express our deep unity in Christ in the midst of our many different backgrounds.
  7. Flexibility in the program. MST is continually seeking to appropriately adapt its teaching and learning methods to a fast-changing educational environment, while remaining committed to the unchanging gospel.
  8. Evangelism and mission. One of MST's great emphases is the training of men and women for evangelism and cross-cultural mission. It is imperative that all students have a clear understanding of the gospel and the uniqueness of Christ as Lord and Saviour in a pluralistic world.
  9. Leadership. MST seeks to equip its graduates for leadership in the church, mission and market place, so that they will be people who influence others in their thinking and behaviour. It is also our passion to equip people for key leadership roles, and to continue to assist their professional growth and development through in service programs.
BBI (UK) would have signed up to all of this. It is a sad reflection on the state of Christianity in the UK that the college lost its vision, its student applications and eventually ceased its ministry.

Nevertheless, in its heyday I spent three happy years there studying the Bible, training for Christian service and enjoying the fellowship.

It's all about not liking God.

That is to say the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, if you are a Jew,  all that plus the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ if you are not , and of Yeshua Ha Moschiach if you are Jew who believes that Jesus is the Messiah.

That God, the God of the Ten Commandments and the Old and New Testaments etc. etc. That - dare I say it - that JEWISH God. 

Actually, God is an Englishman, it's His Son who is Jewish. (It's a joke, readers, about the English, not God, Jesus  or the Jews.)

Levity apart, it's what Peter Hitchins called the 'Rage against God'. I haven't read the book , but the title alone speaks volumes. Almost any believing Jew or Christian could write a book with that title.

Now, at last, there is  an (almost) mainstream media article  about the persecution of Christians - and it pulls no punches.

The Spectator has led with a front page article on,  'The war on Christians'

explosiveThe article describes the scale of the war. It is massive. It also proposes reasons why it is ignored. It misses the anger against God.  It couldn't possibly be sin, rebellion etc. Nonetheless, we should rejoice that the issue is beginning to move into the mainstream and pray that this continues.

The article is well worth reading.

Another such article is provided by the ever-reliable Melanie Phillips.

In the Jewish Chronicle, she exposes Iran's hatred of Israel and Obama's naivety over Iran. Obama is in la-la land. (That's where you refuse to listen to anything you don't like.) 

Israel Today thinks that Binyamin Netanyahu is bordering on the prophetic. My wife and I have always been admirers of him, especially my wife. I think that God's hand is upon him.Pray for Bibi. He needs all the prayer he can get in his job!

Next, an Australian female academic  - no. it's not Daphne Anson (!) - is doing sterling work on religious persecution. She is definitely a resource worth hanging onto.

All her sites are worth monitoring;




Her August posts on the Syria crisis are particularly illuminating.

Finally, adding insult to injury, is the headline article of today's Telegraph Online
Some of the money is getting lost on reaching Syria, but Mr William Shawcross of the Charities Commission is quoted thusly,

The commission said it was up to charity trustees to ensure that donors’ generosity, intended to benefit those in need, was not diverted to terrorists.
“There is a risk that funds raised in the name of 'charity’ generally or under the name of a specific charity are misused to support terrorist activities, with or without the charity’s knowledge,” the commission said.
It warned that “individuals supporting terrorist activity might also claim to work for a charity and trade on its name and legitimacy to gain access to a region or community”.

Presumably, he is unable to say who is at fault because that would be discriminatory or "phobic".

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A welcome addition to the fight for the truth about Israel

The magazine Israel Today is featuring the Jerusalem Institute of Justice and its new campaign called 'The Whole Story.'

The founder of the Institute is a Messianic Jew (believer in Jesus as Messiah/ Yeshua as the Christ). His father is a preacher and was a community leader in Jerusalem.

You can learn a lot more by exploring the links, but these videos give a flavour of what they are about.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Succoth, Hoshana Rabba in the New Testament

It will come as a surprise to many Christians, let alone Jews, that Succoth and, especially, Hoshana Rabba are in the New Testament.

It's clear that, if Jesus was born at the beginning of Tabernacles, he must have been circumcised on the eighth day. However, the gospels do not record this event. It was a standard family event that would pass without comment. There had been enough fuss with the shepherds and an angelic choir.

The Magi had not yet turned up and would not arrive for some time. When Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the Temple they offered the sacrifice of the very poor. Clearly, they had not received any gold at that stage.

Rivers of living water at High Force in Teesdale UK

A firedance
A fire dancer with fire trails creating beautiful effect Stock Photo - 966462
It is much later in the life of Jesus that we find Hoshana Rabba and Succoth . Chapters seven and eight of the Gospel of John take place in the Temple during the feast of Tabernacles. From 7:37 to the end of chapter eight it is Hoshana Rabba. 

It is this background that gives the real drama and significance to what Jesus will say. This ceremony was preceded by spectacular fire dances performed by the Levites. When water is brought from the pool of Siloam and it is being pored into the votive basin by the altar, and as the people are praying for the blessing of the Autumnal (Latter) rains as well as the Spring Former) rains, Jesus answers their prayers with the promise of rivers of living water (the Holy Spirit), if only they will believe in Him.

  Unsurprisingly, this sparks of a storm of controversy. Jesus is, variously, the prophet (like Moses); the Messiah; a man of whom the Temple Guard said, 'no-one ever spoke like this'; a Samaritan and having a demon. 

If He was not the Christ, then he was 'mad, bad and dangerous to know', not unlike the deeply disturbed Lord Byron; but, unlike Byron, Jesus was not disturbed, mad or bad. However, it cannot be denied that He could, and can, be dangerous to know.

The reaction of the establishment was a master-class in how to be wrong. 

No authorities or Pharisees believed in Jesus - just Nicodemus, head of the rabbinical college - and later Joseph of Arimethea. He wasn't born in Bethlehem of the Tribe of David  - the Temple records would show differently. No prophet comes from Galilee - just Jonah, possibly Elijah, Hosea and Nahum.

Jesus taught in the Temple, called Himself, 'The Light of the World', as well as the giver of the Spirit and no-one could arrest Him. They could not lay hands upon Him until He was ready to let them.

It must have been frustrating for them.

In the end, the majority of the Jewish Establishment (the Jews -  just as we say 'the Brits' or 'the Yanks' meaning the authorities) decided that Jesus was, indeed, 'mad, bad and dangerous to know'.

One out of three isn't good enough.

If you read through John, you will find that Chanukah is mentioned in 10:22 and finally the last Passover in Chapter 12.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

When was Jesus born? It's all in Daniel.

Or,  "How the Magi knew the Gospel "

But you do have to look for it! It helps to be a wise man (Magus) or to have some useful software, somebody else's basic research , a helpful website, and a firm belief in the truth of God's Word.

It also helps to avoid any form of Astrology. Looking for a star that exhibits unstarlike behaviour is illogical. Divination of any form, including astrology, is clearly forbidden in Deuteronomy 18:9 - 14 . All attempts to date  the birth using astrology are doomed to failure as they disobey the Word of God.

The useful software is  Mr Scott Lee's Calendar conversion software. It can be seen at http://www.rosettacalendar.com/ or a Mac version used to be available from Pandacorner.com but it doesn't seem to be anymore. This is a pity as it was very easy to use.

The research is Professor H.W. Hoehner's excellent book "Chronological aspects of the Life of Christ". He's done all the heavy lifting, as it were.

The helpful website is devoted to the Babylonian (360 day) Calendar and explains a great deal about the numbers in Daniel and other prophetic aspects of that calendar.

The belief in God's word was that John tells us the season of Christ's birth in the Prologue to the gospel. 

The Gospel of John says, "And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent (a literal translation of  he Greek word) among us..." which is to say 'Tabernacled' . John 1:14 

Daniel tells us when the Messiah will be cut off. You can read the prophecy here.

Let's be honest. Everyone comes up with slightly different answers for the date predictedThey do all come down around 30 - 33 AD. Professor Hoehner has looked at all the arguments and settles on AD33. He apparently uses the Julian calendar rather than the later and modern Gregorian calendar. I have used the modern Gregorian equivalents for the sake of clarity.

He uses a start date of Nisan 444BC. He calculates the 69 weeks of years using the 360 day calendar and concludes that the entry into Jerusalem took place on Nisan 10 AD 33. By historical argument he chooses a birthdate of 5BC, but for some reason sticks with mid-December, even though all scholars in this field know that this was fixed by decree of the Emperor Augustus and not for scholastic or Biblical reasons

If we decide that Jesus was born at Tabernacles, then, using the software, we get a date of Tishri 15, Saturday September 14th 5BC.

 I also calculated the date of the Resurrection. It was then I made my discovery.

(What follows was cut and pasted from a Word document of mine. I don't know enough about HTML to correct the weirdness in the resultant formatting. It looks OK in Compose. Sorry)
The missing piece.

We are now able to discover a new prophetic and biblical insight.

Friday  April 1
Sunday    April 3
Saturday September 14

From Birth to Resurrection there are (1733206 – 1719856) days, which is a period of exactly

13,350 days!

I remember looking at my aging Mac and thinking," I know that number".

Back to Daniel.

Students of Biblical prophecy will realise at once the significance of that number. For any others unfamiliar with the prophetic scriptures, it is ten times the number found in Daniel 12:12. It is, perhaps, inevitable that the Birthday of the Messiah is hidden in the book of Daniel. It is Daniel who told us when to expect the rejection of the Messiah.

The significance of this number.

“Blessed is he who waits and comes to the thousand three hundred and thirty five days”. Daniel 12:12. R. S.V.

Although the obvious import of this verse is about those who survive the Tribulation, its link with what we have discovered leads to me to conclude that there is another message encoded in it. I do not mean some sort of Drosnin-style Bible code, but rather a coded phrase that means something else to the right reader. Rather like the sort of thing spies sometimes use.

The phrase “Blessed is he” is associated with the Messiah in many of its occurrences in Scripture. The most well known being “Baruch ha ba B’Shem Adonai - Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:39). Jesus here is tying the phrase to His return.

Currently, the Lord is waiting as He performs His High Priestly ministry and waits for Israel to call Him back. It is not stretching the point to observe that Jesus is also One who waits and comes. Other translations of this verse use the word “faithful” instead of “waits”. This can hardly be said to exclude Jesus!

If this is correct, why did the Magi multiply 1335 by 10? It could simply be that 1335 represents a blessed person, so a divinely blessed person would be 13350. However, there is another reason for them using this number.

The Babylonian calendar.

The Babylonians, and hence Daniel and the Magi, used a calendar of 360 days. This was not wildly inaccurate if used properly. It has a precise mathematical relationship to our solar (Gregorian) calendar of 356 days, based on a solar year of 365.24 days (see http://www.360calendar.com).

A generation of forty solar years has 40 x 365.24 days = 14,609.6 days. It has 13,350 + 1,260 days = 14,610 days. These facts would be known to the Babylonians, as they were accurate astrologers. Daniel’s verse would scream at them to use the multiple of 1335.

Also, Daniel 12:7 A time, two times and half a time = 3 1/2 years. A Babylonian year of 360 days x 3 1/2 = 1260 days

There are other ways of generating these numbers from the relationship between the calendars. There are also some interesting symbolic relationships to do with Biblical Numerics that are outside the scope of this paper. Amongst them, the fact that Jesus was thirty-seven years old (Babylonian) and in His thirty-seventh year (36 solar) when He was crucified.

And back to the Feasts…

Passover (Pesach) is the Feast of the Lord about deliverance. That is what an anointed one (Messiah/Christ) is supposed to do. The Magi did not make the mistake that the Jews were to make. The people welcomed Jesus as the Son of David, the coming King who would remain with them (Sukkot/Tabernacles). The palm branches declared that they saw it as Tabernacles.

Once the Magi had determined the year of Crucifixion by use of the sixty–nine weeks (see above) they would be led almost to Passover. Counting backwards, using the 13350 days, they would come almost to Sukkot, according to Hoehner and Nehemiah 2:1. The significance of that would not escape them. There were still Jews in Babylon at that time. Correcting the start date and counting forwards from Sukkot, using the 13350 days, they would come to the Feast of the First Fruits.

They knew these verses were about the end times and would tie them in with The Ancient of Days and the Son of Man in Daniel 7: 13 ff. They knew that this Person would wait and then come.  They knew the significance of the Feasts or could consult with Jewish sages to that effect. Interestingly, they did not think to ask where He would be born until they reached Jerusalem.  Nobody is perfect, and that assumption on their part led to the deaths of innocents. So often, it is what we think we know that causes the problems.

 At this point, they had the gospel in a nutshell.

The Messiah is born at the time of God’s dwelling with His people. He is cut off at the time of deliverance, but the numbers carry on to the day when there is a pledge of future harvest and the first-fruits are given to God. The story clearly is not finished. That which has been buried and harvested is now given to God. To the ancient mind, and especially the Persian mind, this would speak of Resurrection and the Messiah returning to God. There He would wait until the fulfilment of other prophecies and then return.

All this they knew without the New Testament and without much of the Old Testament. They had the Book of Daniel and the numbers, plus whatever else they gleaned from Jews in Babylon. They knew He was the Saviour and they came to worship Him because they believed the Word of God.

God gave them a sign to guide them. I still think the star was supernatural, but He led them, as He led Abraham, from Chaldea to the Promised Land, from Babylon to Jerusalem and from darkness to the One Eternal Light.

And so the Magi brought Gold for the King, Myrrh for His death and Frankincense to burn in His Temple. Frankincense declares the risen and Divine Lord.  Unlike any of His chosen disciples, they believed that He would rise again. If they had lived that long they would have been waiting outside the Tomb. However, they will rise to greet the King they knew would return.

They knew…and so would every sage, pagan or Jewish, who studied the book of Daniel. The lives of the Magi bore witness to their faith as they returned home another (and more dangerous) way.

The fact that this has been revealed in these latter days is in itself significant… (Daniel 12:4)

Some Greeks.

One thing was left puzzling me. Surely, if one knew all that I believe the Magi did know, why not turn up for the Resurrection as well as the Birth? I know that I would, or if I could not make the journey, I would send someone. Any seriously enquiring mind would be compelled to do something.

There are plenty of reasons why this might not happen. They could have been too old, they could have died, the next generation might not be interested; and, of course, the last time they turned up it led to a massacre. This time they would be dealing with an empire and not just Herod. If you were to turn up, discretion would be imperative. But what if they did...?

What follows is just speculation, but it might explain a rather abrupt tangent that Jesus seems to go off on.

In John 12, we learn of some Greeks who wished to see Jesus. It should be noted that virtually every Gentile is referred to as a Greek. The words are almost synonymous. They seek an introduction via Philip and Andrew. In verse 12, Jesus answers ‘them’. Is this just Philip and Andrew or does it include our Greeks?

Jesus begins by saying that hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. If our Greeks were the Magi or their successors, this statement would pregnant with meaning. They are familiar with the book of Daniel and ‘Son of Man’ originates there, they have come because of the timings revealed in Daniel; the sub-text is ‘I am the One you seek and you are on time’.

Then Jesus says something rather odd. He is going to be raised at the Feast of First-Fruits, but that is the barley harvest. Jesus starts talking about wheat. The first-fruits of the wheat harvest belong at Shavuot/Pentecost. He appears to be confirming the Resurrection but He is also turning the spotlight onto His disciples. He opens the possibility of resurrection, and its attendant cost, to all His disciples. He is also looking to the fruit of his sacrifice.

The message to our putative Magi is that the story does not end when the numbers run out. There is a much bigger picture, there are other prophecies to be fulfilled and you, too, can be a part of it. He then prays and God answers Him from Heaven. Jesus then talks of the manner of His death and urges all who are listening to believe in the light that they may become sons of light. We have gone full circle and are right back at Chanukah. It is not Jesus who is to be born. His Work is nearly done. Their work, and ours, was about to begin.

Were they the Magi – or just some Greeks? Other Gentiles had approached Jesus without this manner of reaction. Was Jesus using them to make a point – or did He know whom they were? I would have wanted to be there if had been one of the Magi. It seems to me fitting that when their journey finally reaches its end, they discover that they are about to start on a much greater one; a journey whose destination is Eternal.


You can attack every part individually, but I have put them together like a jig-saw puzzle  and discovered a new piece that fits the facts. It's the number you have to explain. Any other attack is a waste of time.

Coincidence is the last refuge of the uninspired’, Numb3rs Series 2.