The Power of Love
“The Gospel calls to love. And love includes the believer and the unbeliever, the near and the far, the friend and the enemy. And this love is like unto the love of the Most High Creator it its characteristics, for He makes His sun to rise and sends down His rain upon the good and the wicked. And the Gospel incites both enemies and friends to good works and urges enemies and friends to love, in the same way.”-Assyrian Bishop Mar Ishu-Yab Bar Malkun of Nisibis (died 1256). See Gillman and Klimkeit’s “Christians in Asia Before 1500” page 250.
“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us-and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother in need and yet refuses to help? Little Children. Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” (1 John 3:16-18)
THE ARAMAIC DEATH CURSE and The Boundaries of the Promised Land
“The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” Habbukuk 2:14 and Isaiah 11:9
In July 2005 Jewish extremists invoked the Ancient Aramaic Death Curse on Ariel Sharon. The curse was pronounced by them over Yitzak Rabin shortly before he was assassinated. Shortly after they preformed this ancient Aramaic curse Ariel Sharon went into a comatose state in which he is currently in as I write this. The death curse is called the “Pulsa Dinura.” In it “the angels of destruction” are called upon to kill an enemy-in this instance Ariel Sharon. By tradition, only bearded men who were over 40 and married could participate in the curse. Rabbi Yossef Dayan led the curse at dawn in an ancient cemetery in Galilee. Pulsa Dinura means “rod of fire” in Judeo-Aramaic and implores God to curse a sinner. This is a morbid example of the continued use of Aramaic by Jewish people. Of course, Ariel Sharon was cursed because he was perceived as giving up land that was bequeathed by God to the Jews. I was opposed to Yitzak Rabin’s peace initiatives because you can’t make a peace agreement with Islamic terrorists. He was making too many “concessions” to the Palestinians without any concessions or accountability on their part. I do support efforts that were made by Olmert and Sharon. Sharon was a patriot. He was only doing what he thought was necessary to preserve the Jewish state. The Israelis should seek peace with their Arab neighbors but stress security first. In my point of view this is what Sharon was doing. Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Yasser Arafat was given the Nobel Peace prize. He shouldn’t have been because he was a cold-blooded murderer. But I believe that Sharon was seeking peace with security. (I do have mixed feelings about relocating established Jewish communities. Are Arabs really ready to live in peace with their Jewish neighbors? If so, why would they insist on relocating a Jewish community? Why did they vandalize the Tomb of Joseph-whom they claim to revere as a prophet of Allah? The biggest obstacle to peace, in my view, is Islamic radicalism among Palestinians and Arabs. And Arab Christians, and also Assyrians as well, suffer the results of Islamic extremism as much as the Jews do, if not more.) I think Sharon should have been commended and not cursed for his efforts towards peaceful existence with Israel’s neighbors.(Besides, Jesus taught to bless and not to curse (Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:14).) Lets examine the Biblical borders for the “Promised Land. When I was in Egypt a Coptic Evangelical Christian came up to me very concerned about claims certain people were making that all the Land of Egypt was part of the Promised Land and belonged to the Jews. This means that they were arguing from the Bible that Israel has the divine right to attack Egypt and expel all Egyptians from their land. Does the Bible really teach this? Arab American Evangelists Salem Kirban and Benny Hinn are both “Christian Zionists.” Benny Hinn is a Palestinian. It grieves me that he does nothing to reach out to his own people or to condemn anti-Palestinian hatred. Salem Kirban on the other hand has argued that all of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq is part of Greater Israel and implies that Israel will expand to these borders and expel all Arabs living in these lands and that it is their divine obligation to do this. I have even seen a map he created showing this. He bases this on a terrible misunderstanding of Genesis 15:18-21, which states:
To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates-the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Perizzites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
Before I show what this verse actually means, let us remember that Arabs are the descendants of Abraham too. If this land did mean all the land between the river Nile and the river Euphrates (which I believe that it does not) this land has been, and is to this day, inhabited by the Arabic descendants of Abraham. (I am not going into detail right now, but although Arabs are descendants of Abraham, there were Arabs, such as Kenites, who were around before he was born.) What I believe that Genesis 15:18-21 is referring to is the land that the Kingdom of Israel controlled at its greatest extent, under the Kingdoms of David and Solomon. The “river of Egypt” referred to here is not the Nile but a wadi called “Wadi al-Arish” a river bed in the Sinai that was the recognized border between Egypt and Israel (1 Kings 8:65). This is made clear in 1 Kings 4:21, “So Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River [meaning the Euphrates] to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.” (See also 2 Chronicles 7:8.) David and Solomon’s Kingdom extended to the Euphrates River. The entire River was not a border. The land expanded as far as to reach a “toe-hold” on the Euphrates. These were “zones of influence” and tributary states and the lands were not seen as Israel lands but as distinct “kingdoms.” The Promised Land was consistently seen in the Holy Bible as roughly the same land that Israel occupies to today and not the entire Middle East. The Bible is consistent in this and this can be seen Ezekiel 47: 13-23 and Numbers 34. People who make extreme claims are very wrong and have not read their Bibles carefully. When certain tribes settled in what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Moses viewed their actions as settling outside the Promised Land and initially felt their actions in doing this was a betrayal. See Deuteronomy 32:6-7. (Note: God expressly forbade Israelites to claim the land of the Moabites, Ammonites or Edomites since there were their near kinsmen. This is clearly stated in Deuteronomy 2:5, 9, and 19. Deuteronomy 2:19 says “when you come near the people of Ammon, do not harass them or meddle with them, for I will not give you and of the land of the people of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the descendants of Lot as a possession.” Ammon is still the capital of Jordan. (In Deuteronomy 23:3 it says that a Moabite wasn’t to be allowed to enter the Tabernacle of the Lord until the 10th generation. If this was strictly applied King David would have been forbidden access to the Tabernacle since he was a Moabite of the third generation from his grandmother Ruth.) If God specifically tells Moses that neighboring lands are not part of the “promised land” who are these Christian Zionists to say that they are?)
Ezekiel says Israel’s non-Jewish inhabitants rights to the land must be honored. Why did Ezekiel say this? Ezekiel as a man obviously had gentile friends and wasn’t a racist, as many people are today. Also, God, not Ezekiel, said that gentiles also have a right to the land-not just the Jews. They are commanded by Yahweh to share his land with their gentile neighbors. Those who speak against this are speaking against the word of the Lord and are in sin and in rebellion against his word and enemies of the Holy Bible. Ezekiel says,
“Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel…and for the gentiles who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the gentile dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord God (Ezekiel 47:22-23).
This Scriptures seems very clear to me. Those who rebel against the word of God should remember that rebellion is “as the sin of witchcraft” (1 Samuel 15:23). King Solomon sold land to the Canaanite king of Phoenicia. King Hiram, who helped Solomon build the Temple, said the land that Solomon gave him was no good. Solomon isn’t condemned for giving the land to the Phoenicians. Also, the building of Solomon’s temple was an international project. Jews and gentiles worked together to build the Temple of Yahweh. Without help from the Phoenicians Solomon may not have been able to build the temple. (For the land of Cabul see 1 Kings 9:10-14. Phoenician help with building the Temple of Yahweh is described in 1 Kings 5:1-12 and 7:13-45.) Also, the land doesn’t belong to the Jews, it is God’s land. According to the Bible, if they break covenant with God they loose their right to live in His (not their) Holy Land (See Leviticus 18:24-28). This has happened before. Because they rejected the words of the prophets, such as Jeremiah, they were exiled from the land for an entire generation. Because they murdered the Son of God (who is God incarnate) and James the Brother of Jesus the land vomited them out, this time for two thousand years. (The New Testament clearly teaches that the Jewish people murdered Jesus. See 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15) There are many good Israeli people, but as a whole, the state of Israel is an ungodly nation full of abortion, pornography and homosexuality. Christians should support the right of the state of Israel to exist. We also should show the love of Jesus Christ to Palestinians, many of whom claim to be Christians. We should pursue peace with all men. As long as Palestinians continue to support radical Islamic groups such as Hezballah and Hamas, it is very difficult for me to feel any sympathy with them at all. It also distresses me to hear Arabs talk about Jews being cannibals and believing in extreme anti-Semitic (or “anti-Judaic” since Arabs are Semitic) conspiracy theories such as those found in the Protocols of Zion hoax. I do listen to Palestinians sympathetically in the extremely rare occasion they speak rationally and coherently. I think that Evangelical leaders should go to the Palestinian leadership and sit down with them and ask them to stop supporting terrorist organizations and stop inciting violence and hatred and ask for them to pursue peaceful coexistence with Israel. We live in an age of “Globalism.” I am against globalism but with widespread use of English and with the Internet and Satellite hateful words spoken by Christians against all Arabs have an international impact. The Islamic religion needs to be denounced but how dare we attack people and hate them because they are descended from Abraham through Ishmael-just because of their family? Why do we call common and unclean a people blessed by God? We should preach the Gospel to every man and command all men to repent and believe in the Messiah, and this includes Muslems. We should love Christian Arabs, our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Extreme hateful and racist statements we make are seen and heard by Arabs and Muslems and these statements are very harmful. They close Muslims hearts to the Gospel and put Arab Christians in great danger. (Abraham also fathered Arabic tribes through Keturah. See Genesis 25. When Abraham begot Arabic tribes through Hagar and Keturah he was fulfilling God’s command to be the father of “many” nations, not only one.)
“A Wild Ass of a Man”
I believe that almost every church I have been to I have heard anti-Semitism, I mean hatred for Arabs, preached from the pulpit. Usually, it goes like this: Abraham tried to “get ahead of God” by taking Hagar as a wife and now we have to deal with the terrible consequence of this, the existence of the Arab people. This means we hate Arabs and wish they were never born despite the fact that a large minority of Arabs are Christian and have been from earliest times. F.F. Bruce has effectively argued that when the Bible says Paul went to Arabia it means he went to preach to the Arabs at Petra (Galatians 1:17, 2 Corinthians 11:31-32, Aretas was the king of Petra). Arabs were there on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11). Mohammed was an evil man but are we to hate all Arabs and have anger towards Abraham because one of his supposed descendents was evil? Ishmael is not presented as an evil person in the Scriptures and he was not Muslim. How is it that Ishmael or Abraham are to be held responsible for the actions of an evil man born thousands of years after their lifetimes? In the Old Testament polygamy was legal. Why is it that there is so much hatred and anger directed against Abraham for taking his wife’s servant as a wife but none at Jacob who did the same thing-twice? The reason for this is that many Christians are racists and hate their Arab brothers but they love Jews. So when Abraham has a child that is an Arab we preach against him practically every Sunday and yet we see no evil in the similar actions of Jacob, because his children became Israelite tribes. Could you imagine how it would feel to be an Arab Christian, either born into a Christian Arab family or a convert from Islam, sitting in church and to hear racist hatred preached against you coming from the pulpit because of your family origin? Really, how is it different from what was heard from pulpits in Nazi Germany besides the racist hatred being incited was against the Jew and not the Arab? (Ishmael conceived: Genesis 16:3-4. Note that the story of Ishmael comes immediately after the story of God making a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15. The unborn Ishmael rescued and blessed Genesis 16:11-12. In Genesis 17:20 God says, “As for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will bless him and make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous…” Note, God blesses, and does not curse Ishmael. God rescues Ishmael a second time and blesses him a third time in Genesis 21:18. Ishmael buries Abraham Genesis 25:9.) Beside this fact, although Ishmael was not the son of the Covenant God blessed him. Ishmael was not cursed by God. In fact God had so much love and compassion for Ishmael that he saved him from perishing in the desert twice. If God hated Ishmael so much and Ishmael and all his children are somehow innately evil, why did God miraculously save him, twice? Why did God bless him and promise him greatness? Ishmael reverenced his father Abraham and buried him. When God blessed Ishmael he said he would be a “wild ass of a man.” To us, this seems like an insult, but to the ancient near eastern mindset this was a great compliment. I can prove his from scripture. Look at Job 39:5-12. This meant that he would be fierce and independent. Ishmael would be a free man. With the desert as his home no empire or kingdom would subjugate him. According to the Bible Jesus came into the world to save all mankind. God loves all people. God loves Arabs and Jesus died on the cross for them. To preach hatred towards a specific race of people, whether it be Jewish people, black people or Arabs is a great sin and a defilement of the Gospel. Racist hatred offends God and grieves the Holy Spirit. Neither the Old nor the New Testament teaches this anti-Arab racism and we need to stop it. (For more information: Books written by Palestinian Christians: Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour and The Liberated Palestinian of Anis Shorrosh, Christians in the Holy Land by Michael Prior and William Taylor, Brother Andrew’s Light Force: A Stirring Account of the Church Caught in the Middle East Crossfire. Charles M. Sennott’s book The Body and the Blood is excellent. He retraces the footsteps of Jesus in the Holy Land as he visits Arab Christian communities. This book is very sympathetic and balanced, as his wife is an Israeli. (www.arabicbible.com)
The Islamist Menace
During the beginning of July, several Muslim medical doctors and medical assistants were arrested in England for attempting to carry out a series of car bombings. One set himself and his car on fire and drove through the window of Glasgow Airport! We should remember that these are very educated people, just like the 9-11 attackers were. This is showing how the extremist mindset is widespread. The news media is afraid to deal with the facts. Remember, they refused to show pictures of the Danish cartoons, which was a major victory for Islamic fanatics. I noticed that both this time, and with the attempted Fort Dix attack, the media quotes people as saying those arrested are not extremists and also we have so-called experts warning us that we shouldn’t stereotype. One very disturbing thing that I saw was how people were interviewed on cnn and fox and were saying that 25% of young Muslems supporting suicide attacks is an insignificant minority-and their comments were not challenged. USA Today’s spin was 75% of Muslems oppose suicide attacks. This is absurd. 25% of Muslem Americans supporting murder for Allah is a very large number and it is frightening. And, I assure you the number is much higher. 25% of Muslim Americans will admit that they support brutality and terrorism in a survey. I would say the actual number is closer to 85%. Read “American Jihad.” During Islamic American conventions, terrorist organizations that carry out suicide attacks go up to the podium, ask for donations, and get standing ovations! We are in a great struggle for the survival of mankind. The forces of barbarism are attacking peace, Christianity and civilization. I want to list recommended books:
Victor Mordecai “Is Fanatic Islam a Global Threat?” (Excellent book because he speaks bravely. Few people have supported the Serbs, who were victims of Al-Qaeda aggression during the Bosnia and Kosovo conflicts. Christians have been enslaved and slaughtered in southern Sudan for over a decade. The media refused to report on it. When it finally became Muslem-on-Muslem violence in Darfar the media finally decided to report on it. To the evil liberal news media establishment Muslem-on-Christian violence isn’t news and they refuse to report on it, or if they do, it is barely mentioned or buried deep in the paper or given a three sentence write up. Mordecai reports on the persecution of Christians in Sudan. Another interesting point in this book is that the author mentions how that African American political lobbies were alerted to the slavery and persecution of Christians in the Sudan but these political groups were uninterested in getting involved. This fact throws a light on the reality of what liberalism is. Why won’t Americans help Christians in the Middle East? Probably because of the power of Petro-dollars, the Israeli lobby, fear of Islam and the influence of political correctness and “mult-culturalism.” We must oppose these things for the sake of justice, truth and righteousness. ” I am not saying that the Israeli lobby is bad, but most Christians in America strongly support the Israelis-but will not even pray for the persecuted Arab Christian. Certain Israeli lobbyists may feel that if Americans did support their fellow Christians this would result in a loss of support for Israel. I believe they are wrong but this though may be for them a motivating factor.) Robert A. Morey “Winning the War Against Radical Islam” “Sword of the Prophet” by Nicholas Trifkovic “American Jihad” by Steve Emerson and an excellent new book written by former Islamic terrorist Walid Shoebat titled “Why we want to kill you.” Someone recently said to me “Islam is not a religion, it is a political system.” This is a true statement. Dealing with Islamic terrorism may be depressing to some people-but it is something we must deal with. Many people don’t like having to get up and go to work. Ignoring reality and escapism, in video games and asinine TV and movies isn’t something to be commended, especially when the survival of mankind hangs in the balance. SEE ALSO: New movie “Islam: What the West Needs to know” by Gregory Davis, author of “Religion of Peace?: Islam’s War against the World. See www.whatthewestneedstoknow.com.
Prayer Requests Pray for the Assyrian Church in Iraq and Iran. Please pray for me that my packet would be approved and that I would become a Chaplain Candidate by September. Also, in August I hope to do a major book promotion in San Diego. Contact me at Stephen Missick PO BOX 882 Shepherd TX 77371 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO HELP THE PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS OF IRAQ
www.iraqichristians.com Aramaic Resource Guide: I have recently purchased “The Gospel of John” in Assyrian. If you speak Aramaic or if you are trying to learn it, this is a great tool. To purchase it go to www.assyriangospel.com. There is also “Aramaic Designs.” Check out www.aramaicdesigns.com. They make Aramaic T-shirts, caps and things like that. Waw-allap and Assyrian Market have similar items. I