Called from the Dead: Pt 4

The Stones Indeed Cry Out
A few days later, I visited Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica and beheld for the first time the incredibly beautiful sculptures and paintings resident there. Especially striking was Michelangelo’s Pieta, depicting Mary, the mother of Jesus, tenderly holding His lifeless body after His crucifixion.
There, in the quiet expanse of St. Peter’s Basilica, I stood transfixed in the presence of pure artistic genius. The Pieta, sculpted by Michelangelo when he was only in his early twenties, was commissioned in 1498 and unveiled in St. Peter’s Basilica in 1500.
With his hammer and chisel, Michelangelo had patiently liberated from the cold marble the sorrowful beauty and tender expression of love on Mary’s face as she gazes lovingly upon her slain son. The beauty of this sculpture is breathtaking, in that it captures the timeless, universal mourning of all mothers who yearn over their children. Michelangelo once said that his sculpting merely liberated the image already present within the stone. I marvel at Michelangelo’s ability to envision such incredible beauty within a plain slab of marble. My hard, prideful heart began to break as I gazed long upon this splendid work of art.

 

Of all the art that touched my soul, however, the crowning moment came when I strode into the Sistine Chapel and beheld the exquisite paintings Michelangelo had rendered upon its ceiling. His labors recounted virtually the entire biblical story of mankind from the creation to Christ. As I examined the various panels, one, in particular, stood out to me. It was the famous depiction of God reaching out his hand to Adam and tenderly touching him with the gift of life.
This masterfully rendered painting struck a deep chord in my soul, and I felt as if a large piece of the puzzle was coming together. Adam is lying naked on an immovable rock, seemingly helpless, with a tentatively raised arm reaching toward God. Adam’s hand is virtually limp, as if without strength, and there seems to be no real effort expended on his part to go to God. It seemed to me that God is making the greater effort. Carried by angels, God is moving toward Adam, straining and stretching out to reach him.
Then it struck me. Was God also reaching out to me? Was He also coming near to my helpless, prideful, arrogant soul? Was He moving upon my heart and drawing my rebellious and unwilling hand toward Him in hope, freely bestowing His gift of life into my tormented heart? This was a difficult concept to grasp, for I felt so unworthy. For the previous years of my life, I had indulged myself in the grossest expressions of sin, giving free expression to my flesh in wanton selfishness. “How could God have any interest in me?” I thought. “And why would He extend mercy to one who has rejected and ignored Him for so long?”
The Master Sculptor Begins To Liberate ME 
Over the next period of weeks, my heart began to soften. Rome’s rich Christian history was making a tremendous impact upon my hardened heart. God’s voice was starting to penetrate my mind and capture my attention. When I think back on this, it was as if the angels of God were whispering over my shoulder, directing my attention to higher things. The depiction of Isaiah in the Sistine Chapel almost reminds me of it.
My personal conversion was not an instant transformation but rather a gradual one. Old habits, attitudes, and thought patterns clung to me. Fleshly gravity like a black hole in space that sucks everything around it into eternal darkness-constantly pulled at my soul. All self-efforts to improve and reform myself ended in failure. Like the childhood storybook character, Brer Rabbit, who vainly fought to free himself from the tar-baby, the more I struggled to be free from my sin, the more entangled I became. My pride wouldn’t allow me to cry out for someone to rescue me, yet an undeniable hunger for more understanding of this amazing God who was apparently reaching out to me began to haunt my every waking hour.
The classic poem by Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven, was as applicable to me as it apparently was to the poet himself.
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;  
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;  
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways  
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears  
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.  
Up vistaed hopes I sped;  
And shot, precipitated,  
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,  
From those strong feet that followed, followed after . . .  
Was I an archetype of helpless Adam in Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Had God so loved and chosen me, one so unworthy among the many billions of His creations, that He moved Heaven and earth to find me? Was He also intent upon meeting me in my naked shame with a feebly upraised arm? My heart told me it was so, but my mind rebelled and refused to believe it. Like one of Michelangelo’s unfinished sculpted images, trapped within the stone, I was trapped within my sin, selfishness, and pride. It seemed God was patiently, gently, and skillfully chipping away the dross to reveal the man He created me to be.
Should you ever stand close enough to me during a quiet moment, and listen with a spiritual ear, you may yet hear the soft sound of hammer and chisel as the Heavenly Master Sculptor continues His patient work of liberating me from the stone. He isn’t finished yet, as anyone who knows me well will tell you, but He has promised to never cease His patient labor until He finishes the work He began.
And so it is with us all. If you also heard His voice calling your heart, you can be confident that He is patiently chipping away your dross and conforming you to the image of Christ. He sees a masterpiece within the stone of your life, and will never cease His work until you are fully liberated into the glorious freedom of the Sons of God.
And we know that in all things  
God works for the good of those who love Him, 
who have been called according to His purpose.
For those God foreknew He also predestined to
be conformed to the likeness of His Son,  
that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.  
And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, 
He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.  
What, then, shall we say in response to this?  
If God is for us, who can be against us?  
(Romans 8:28-31 NIV)  

(To Be Continued…) 

How We Got Our English Bibles

TyndaleBurned

The story of how the bible came to be translated from the ancient languages of Hebrew and Greek is fascinating, to say the very least. It is especially interesting to learn how our modern English translations came down to us, and how the Roman Catholic Church fought so many centuries to prevent ordinary believers from possessing the scriptures, especially in their own language. The Roman church insisted on the Latin Vulgate translation as the ONLY authorized translation, yet only the most educated persons could even read it if one could be obtained, which was nearly impossible.

This English Bible History Article & Timeline is ©2013 by author & editor: John L. Jeffcoat III. Special thanks are also given to Dr. Craig H. Lampe for his valuable contributions to the text. This page may be freely reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, in print or electronically, under the one condition that prominent credit must be given to “WWW.GREATSITE.COM” as the source.

The embedded recording (below) is a great summary of the history of that struggle, and how God was so faithful to get His word to His people, in spite of horrendous persecutions. Enjoy!

      English Bible History

Are You “Coming Home” to Mama Church?

WOLFEN2We are witnessing a growing and aggressive movement by the Roman Catholic Church in our times that seeks to draw lapsed Catholics back to Rome. It’s called the “Coming Home” movement.

However, if you think the Papacy’s aim is merely to draw non-observant Catholics back into the “Mother Church” of Rome, think again. The ultimate goal of the Papacy is to draw ALL Christians into Rome’s orbit, and through the efforts of zealous former non-Catholic Christians, the movement is gaining momentum.

A growing number of high-profile Evangelical pastors and Christian broadcasters are joining the call for “reconciliation” and “ecumenical unity” with Roman Catholicism under the rubric that the Protestant Reformation’s “war” against Rome is “over,” and we’re all free to “come home” to the “Mother Church” of Rome. The reason there is so little resistance to the movement among Protestants is the fact that most non-Catholics have very little awareness of the unbiblical theology taught and practiced by the Roman Church, or the issues that led up the Protestant Reformation, and are easily moved by the emotional “warm fuzzy” feeling associated with terms like; “ending the war,” and the entire concept of “unity.” Most Charismatic, Evangelical, and denominational Christians in this present generation have little understanding of the importance of history when dealing with the Roman Church.

The following audio by Pastor John MacArthur will provide a clear, concise, and well-documented analysis of the danger we are facing with this movement. While he does not directly address the “Coming Home” movement per se, he lays out many little known and often misunderstood unscriptural doctrines held by the Papacy.  I urge you to listen carefully to what Pastor MacArthur shares here. As a disclaimer, I do not agree with everything his ministry teaches on every subject, but I think he nailed the issue here.

For the sake of yourself, your family, and your children, PLEASE take time to hear this audio. It may be one of the most important things you will ever hear.

      temp (360p)

The Hand-Print on the Wall

By: Bruce R Porter, D.Div.

Scanning the empty classroom, my gaze fell upon a small hand-print on the wall just below the sill of a shattered window. It was small, belonging to a child of perhaps only 7 or 8 years old. Broken glass crunched as I stepped nearer to examine it more closely. It reminded me of the artwork little children often create with finger-paint and proudly sign with a crayon.

This was not an art project to display on a refrigerator however. It also didn’t bear a crayon signature, or even a “smiley face” sticker. It was printed in the life-blood of a wounded child while desperately trying to escape the monsters who invaded the child’s school.

Beslan School is located in southern Russia. On the first day of each school year, it is a custom for students, their parents, grandparents, and siblings, to gather for a special day of celebration. Dressed in their best clothes, students bring flowers and gifts for their teachers. On that fateful day of September 1st, 2004, Beslan’s festive occasion was cut short. At 8:45 am, fifty Islamic terrorists stormed into the school’s courtyard in full battle dress, armed to the teeth with military-grade weapons, and captured over 1,100 people within 15 minutes. The hostages were herded into the school’s gymnasium, and held for three days without food or water. Many of the hostages desperately resorted to drinking their own urine. The jihadists tortured and humiliated the captives, even raping many of the young girls right in front of their horrified classmates and parents.

Around 1 pm on the third day, some of the bombs planted throughout the school began detonating. Panicked hostages began jumping out of windows and rushed the exit doors to escape. The jihadists opened fire on the hostages with automatic weapons, and tossed grenades among them. Russian special forces rushed the building to save as many hostages as possible. After a room to room battle, hundreds of people lay dead or horribly wounded. In the end, nearly 600 perished.

When the news broke in America, I knew I had to respond. Over the years, I’d served in my local fire department as a firefighter and Critical Incident Stress Debriefer. I also served at the Columbine High School attack and Ground Zero in New York after 9/11. I believed I could help, and made plans to fly to Russia. This wasn’t easy, for Beslan was nearly closed to foreigners. I kept pushing for visas for my small response team. Miraculously, visas were granted, flights booked, and funds poured in to cover our expenses.

Six days later, we landed late at night at Beslan’s only airport. The next morning, we visited the school ruins. Amazingly, the authorities opened the buildings to anyone to see what the terrorists had done. Family and friends wandered the scorched corridors and classrooms of the buildings wailing and moaning. It was a house of horrors beyond our worst nightmares. In the gymnasium, thousands of open water bottles and flowers were displayed. The water commemorated the fact that the victims were deprived of water during their ordeal. The walls and ceilings of every hallway and classroom were splattered with blood, clinging bits of human flesh, shrapnel, and bullet-holes. Weeping, I stepped past pools of blood and debris, praying God would give me wisdom to help this broken community.

Our team visited hospitals to give small gifts, stuffed animals, and offer what encouragement we could to survivors. It was heartbreaking to see little kids suffering from bullet-wounds, and shrapnel. The vacant stares of little girls and young women who endured the most cruel and brutal abuse haunted me for months. Most physical wounds would eventually heal, but emotional scars can last a lifetime. A nurse remarked that we were the first American visitors, and it was the first time most of the children had smiled or laughed.

I met with Dr. Federov, Director of the children’s hospital in nearby Vladikavkaz. His eyes filled with tears as he described the first desperate hours when hundreds of injured children began arriving in private cars and trucks because there were only a few ambulances. They hurriedly set up a tent to triage the flood of wounded. He choked-up as he described having to use garden hoses to wash blood off the children so their wounds could be assessed. Later, a nurse wept and told me how they had to stack bodies up in the hallways because the morgue was overflowing. With each encounter, we sought to encourage, pray with, and share funds with families from donors in America.

We visited one of the families who survived the attack. They lost their 5-year-old son, Mark. We rode in a car with several bullet-holes. The terrorists shot at the father trying to escape the school with three other children huddled in the back seat. The mother, however, and two of their sons were captured.

While they were held in the gym, she saw little Mark put his hands together, bow his head, and pray. When asked what he was doing, he replied that he was praying for the terrorists so they would come to know Jesus like their family did. She was shocked at his simple, childlike faith. When pandemonium broke out at the end, little Mark was struck in the head by shrapnel from a nearby bomb and died in his mother’s arms. She didn’t want to leave him, but her older son shouted over the mayhem and explosions, “Mom! Mark’s with Jesus now, but we have to get out of here!” She gently kissed her little boy’s face one last time, leaped up, and they ran to safety.

I wept as I beheld in her face a heavenly serenity and peace. She said, “I have forgiven these terrible men, as I know my Markie did in his heart. He prayed for them, and I pray for their souls now.” Such a display of God’s peace in the soul of this mother was inspirational beyond words.

At the new cemetery on the edge of town, we laid a wreath and tried to comfort mourners. Walking among the fresh graves, I saw that whole families were often buried together. Flowers and cards covered the fresh mounds of dirt. I was moved to see thousands of packages with flowers and a letter from the State of Israel laid upon each grave. No other nation did the same. Who could empathize more with the pain of these brokenhearted people than the Jews, who have suffered such undeserved, evil hatred for centuries?

Looking back, I struggle sometimes wondering if our small team made any difference in the face of such a disaster. Hopefully, the hundreds of hand-written cards we gave out from Christian school students, and the stuffed animals and small packages of Columbine flowers assuaged, in some small measure, their grief. Only eternity will tell. I remain inspired by the example little Markie left us to pray for those ensnared in the matrix of evil and hate. I’m also haunted by a disturbing question. Will there be more bloody hand-prints on school walls, perhaps right here in America? I suspect we have a lot of praying to do.

Israel: The National Jewish Homeland

ISRAEL: The National Jewish Homeland

And the LORD said to Abram… 

“Lift your eyes now

and look from the place where you are;

northward, southward, eastward, and westward;

for all the land which you see I give to you

and your descendants forever.

And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth;

so that if a man could number the dust of the earth,

then your descendants also could be numbered.

Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width,

for I give it to you.”

(Gen 13:14-17 NKJV)

  

Islamic apologists (and a growing number of far-left pundits) are working overtime to slander Israel by accusing the Jews of “occupying” so-called “Palestinian” land. They make outrageous claims that Israelis are illegitimately building “settlements” on the “Palestinian national homeland.” There isn’t time here to go into the other contemptible accusations brought against the Jewish State by Islamic “authorities” who claim that Jews are killing and starving their children, raping their women, and “humiliating” them and their religion. All of this is bald-faced claptrap, but such radicals never seem deterred by the facts.

A strident chorus of anti-Israel voices has risen up in recent years that seek to delegitimize and slander the modern State of Israel. In academia, media, and now surprisingly, even in the highest levels of our present government, we are being barraged with disinformation and a modern form of a “Blood Libel” against the Jewish people and the re-established State of Israel.

The success among these hateful voices is impressive. We are witnessing the increasing isolation and demonization of the Jewish people unequaled since the haydays of the Nazi propaganda machine in the 1930s. Jews, and increasingly those who stand with them, are being subjected to threats and vicious slander in the public arena. In Europe, Jewish cemeteries and synagogues are being vandalized, and Jewish people are subjected to random acts of violence. This is even occurring sporadically here in the United States. Apparently, the evil genie of anti-Semitism, once thought vanquished in WW-II, has once again reared its ugly head and found willing ears and hearts to poison.

From my personal perspective as a bible-believer, I regard this ancient hatred as supernatural at its root. No other people in all the history of the world has incurred such vicious hatred and suffered unrelenting violence and genocidal assaults as the Jewish people. To be sure, there have been many persecuted people in the world, but none have endured such never-ending vitriolic hatred as the descendants of Abraham.

Why is this? Simply stated, it stems from a fundamental hatred and rejection of the God of Israel by fallen mankind. (There is no other, by the way.) Ultimately, this hatred is based upon a demonic envy and desire to hurt the heart of God Himself by attacking the people He chose in His sovereignty to carry His word and light to the world.

Those who are influenced and blinded by the darkly whispered voices of satanic psychosis often lash out against the Jews without any regard or notice of the facts or realities of history. If they did, they would realize how truly insane their rants are.

To give those of you who desire to know some of those facts and realities, I offer the following information gleaned from various sources. They will assist you in not only arguing in the defense of the Jewish people, but to insulate and inoculate yourself against the flood of disinformation and lies barraging us all. This level of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people will exponentially increase in the coming years. Brace for impact.
 
Some Inconvenient Facts about Israel.

1. Israel became a State in 1312 BCE, (NOT 1948) nearly two millennia before Islam was a twinkle in Mohammed’s eye;

2. Arab refugees from Israel began calling themselves “Palestinians” in 1967, two decades after the declaration in May of 1948 of the re-established Israeli State. No such nation or recognized people-group ever existed in all of history.

3. After conquering the land in 1272 BCE, the Jewish people ruled it exclusively for a thousand years. Even after multiple exiles and conquering, they maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years;

4. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem maintained its status as the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even under Jordanian rule, (east) Jerusalem was not made the capital;

5. Jerusalem is mentioned 811 times in 764 verses in the King James Bible, but not once is it mentioned in the Qur’an;

6. King David founded Jerusalem; Muhammad never set foot in it;

7. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face Mecca. If they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing Mecca, with their backs to Jerusalem;

8. In 1948 when 7 Arab armies attacked Israel, Arab leaders urged their people to leave, promising to cleanse the land of the “Zionist presence.” The great majority of them fled without ever setting eyes on an Israeli soldier;

9. By contrast, virtually the entire Jewish population residing in neighboring Muslim countries had to flee for their lives as the result of violence and pogroms. Some 630,000 Arabs voluntarily left Israel in 1948, in spite of the Israeli government’s plea that they remain where they were, while nearly a million Jews were forced to leave the Muslim countries;

10. In spite of the vast territories at their disposal, Arab Refugees were deliberately prevented from assimilating into their host countries. Of 100 million refugees following World War 2, they are the only group to have never integrated with their co-religionists. Most of the Jewish refugees from Europe and Arab lands were settled in Israel, a country no larger than New Jersey;

11. There are 22 Muslim countries, not counting Palestine. There is only one Jewish state. Arabs started all five wars against Israel, and lost every one of them;

12. Hamas and Hezbollah official documents still call for the destruction of Israel. In spite of this, Israel has continually sought peace and ceded most of the west bank, the Sinai, and all of Gaza to Egypt and the Palestinian authority, even providing arms to the Arabs to maintain order. Many of these arms have been used in the murder of Israeli Jews;

13. During the Jordanian occupation from 1948 until 1967, Jewish holy sites in and around Jerusalem were vandalized and off limits to Jews. The U.N. remained deafeningly silent while the Arabs, under Jordanian rule, destroyed 58 synagogues in the old city of Jerusalem and systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives. Under Israeli administration after 1967, all Muslim and Christian holy sites are defended and accessible to all faiths;

14. Out of 175 United Nations Security Council resolutions up to 1990, 97 were against Israel; out of 690 general assembly resolutions, 429 were against Israel;

For a comprehensive accounting of Jewish contributions to civilization, please visit the following website. I can confidently say that the extensive list will blow your mind.
http://www.jinfo.org/

Please understand, I am not making a case that the Jewish people are perfect or “better” than anyone else. As a people, they have one prescient redeeming grace. They were favored and chosen by the God of Israel by His sovereign pre-determined choice. This was not done because of any merit in and of themselves anymore than we from among the nations can make any claim to God’s favor on our own merits. It is purely of grace.

However, the vicious hatred of the world toward the Jewish people is not because of human failures on their part, which are as numerous as our own if we are truly honest with ourselves. This hatred comes straight from the pits of evil itself. Lucifer’s unceasing vendetta toward God finds its most vexing expression in his lashing out against the apple of His eye.
The Jewish people will never be uprooted from their land again. The last great battle is coming, and many will die, both of the Jews, and their enemies. However, the God of Israel will defend them in the end, and honor those who stood bravely in the dark hour. We who have the choice now must take a stand for what is right. The right side is to stand with the people of God. Any pretense that the Islamists (or the blinded minions of the Left) have to usurp the Jewish State and possess the land given to Abraham’s descendants by God Himself will end in failure and ruin.

The Jewish Messiah will return and rule the earth from Jerusalem. The scriptures are clear. We who love Him, and have received His grace, will stand before Him with all those from every nation, kindred, tongue, tribe who love His appearing. There will be no more Jew or Gentile, but one new man.

 Israeli Air Force F-15s

Keeping My Gas Mask Handy

Keeping My Gas Mask

by: Bruce R. Porter, D.Div.

I will bless those who bless you,

And I will curse him who curses you;

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

(Gen 12:3 NKJV)
   Author and Israeli Friend in Jerusalem, 1991 

As I sit down to write this, I’m looking up on my bookshelf at a 20-year-old Israeli gas mask. It contains an injectable vile of atropine, chemical agent powder, and a special filter canister to filter out mustard gas. It was given to me by an Israeli soldier as I arrived in Lod Airport in early 1991 during the first Gulf War. Saddam Hussein’s scud missiles were sporadically raining into Tel-Aviv, and no one knew whether or not they might be carrying biological or chemical agents in the warheads.

Israel endured these outrageous attacks from Iraq without retaliating because of pressure from the U.S. to stay out of the conflict. I have been continually amazed over the decades at how much restraint Israel has demonstrated as they endure a nearly continuous stream of terrorist attacks on the nation and civilian populations.

As I walked the streets of Tel-Aviv that evening, it was striking to see nearly everyone carrying a gas mask on a shoulder strap. Even young couples pushing baby carriages had their masks, and plastic coverings folded upon the carriages in preparation of an attack that could occur at any moment. I remember thinking at the time; how long would Americans tolerate such a daily threat upon their lives from a nearby population whose highest aspiration was to destroy their country and murder every last one of them down to the smallest child? It is nearly unthinkable, but this is the reality Israelis live with each and every day of their lives.

For the most-part, the rest of the world vulgarly chooses to ignore this reality, and even find increasingly ludicrous ways to blame the Jews themselves for each and every attack against them. As one who has visited Israel over 20 times in the past 33 years, even during several wars, I’m absolutely stunned at the continuing chorus of Israel-bashing voices in the world. Even among certain “Christianist” groups in the West, there are those who seem to harbor a certain level of anti-Semitism.

I use the term “Christianist” purposely because it is inconceivable to me that anyone who follows and believes in the Jew of Jews, Jesus, or follows the writings of the Apostle Paul who clearly declared God’s abiding love for, and fidelity to, the Jewish people and Israel in spite of their national rejection of Yeshua as their Messiah. He made it clear that this state of unbelief was temporary, and that God Himself would remove this veil when the time suited Him. “Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Rom 11:28-29 NKJV)

Is America Turning Against Israel?

 

As inconceivable as it may seem, the present regime occupying the White House has demonstrated an increasing animosity toward Israel. Barrack Hussein Obama, (aka Barry Soetoro) has consistently demonstrated favor toward Islam in his actions and speeches. From his famous “apology tours,” to his ubiquitous bows to Islamic leaders, and celebrations of Ramadan in the White House (to name but a few) he has shown a clear pattern of anti-Israel bias. Consider his clear snubbing of Israel’s Prime Minister, and the inclusion of cabinet-level advisors on his staff who have repeatedly taken stands against Israel’s interests, even to the point of raising the specter of attacking Israeli aircraft if Israel tries to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program. (See my article: Obama Advisor Brzezinski: U.S. Should Shoot Down IAF Jets  Link: http://www.brucespeaks.com/?p=652)

Recent developments in the Middle East do not bode well for Israel. The former Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, as undemocratic and brutal as it was, was largely accepting of peace with Israel. Islamic extremists now rising to the forefront in the political vacuum left behind by Mubarak’s exit will surely renew long-held Islamic animosity toward what they call the “Zionist Entity.” Even Egypt Airlines recently issued route maps that entirely excluded Israel’s very existence even though they fly into Israel regularly! The Muslim Brotherhood, the hydra-headed monster behind most of the present political unrest in the Middle East is working at warp-speed to grasp the reins of power in each Islamic state where they are fomenting street demonstrations with the full-cooperation of far-left “Community Organizers” based here in the West.

Now, recent reports indicate that Israel has been subjected to renewed volumes of rocket attacks (added on top of the tens of thousands of previous such attacks) on their territories out of Gaza. P.M. Netanyahu has made it crystal clear that Israel cannot and will not continue to tolerate these attacks upon their citizens and is threatening to retaliate. You can rely with 100% reliability that the world’s media, the U.N., and the nations of the West will once again condemn Israel for “aggression” as they fight for their lives and seek to defend themselves. An Israeli friend once told me that it seems in the eyes of the world, the only thing Jews in Israel can do satisfactorily is die quietly. He also said that when there is a “cease-fire” declared, the Israeli view is that what is meant is: “We are in charge of the ‘ceasing,’ and they (the Arabs) are in charge of the ‘firing.'”)

The present Regime occupying the White House is leading us down a path of economic and national destruction. We are a nation at risk. However, I am convinced that the most heinous and supremely dangerous trend within the present Regime is the very real risk that we are eventually going to cut Israel adrift and perhaps even (I’m struggling to even say it) passively or actively attack Israel! Should it come to this, I believe we will incur the well-deserved wrath of God. Look at history and name a single nation that attacked the Jews or Israel and failed to suffer horrendous consequences. God’s judgment of the nations of the world will, in great part, be predicated upon one consideration.

 
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Mat 25:40 NKJV) 

Yes, yes, I know some will challenge my interpretation of these words because they harbor the false assumption that Jesus was only speaking of Christians who would follow Him. However, let us never forget that Jesus (or Yeshua) is, and always WILL be, a JEW. “My brethren” referred not only to the “wild olive branches” who have the privilege of being grafted in to the “good vine” but also to the “natural branches” (the Jewish people). We share a common bible, a common Creator, and a common destiny in redemption.

Let me state that the moment a single American bullet, or a single U.S. bomb is directed toward the nation of Israel or her people in a hostile act by this government, (unless a clearly accidental event followed by appropriate apologies and reparations) I will seriously consider renouncing my citizenship and seek to immigrate. I cannot say I would be accepted in Israel (at least at present), because of my views concerning Yeshua, but I would seek to find somewhere where madness is not enshrined as national policy.

Glancing up again at that old gas mask, I can’t help wondering if there might be a future use for such things, or a newer model, for myself or my family. I keep it in plain sight to remind me every day that peace will not come to this broken world until the Prince of Peace is enthroned in Jerusalem. Until then, the mask remains as a reminder, and my prayers for the peace of Jerusalem will rise up to the only ONE who can bring it. (Hint: It’s not BHO!)

 

Brothers in Grace at Ground Zero

by: Bruce R. Porter, D.Div.

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me
I wish none of this had ever happened ……
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times,
but that is not for them to decide.
All you have to decide
is how to use the time that is given to you.
J. R. R TOLKEIN The Lord of the Rings

Fighting exhaustion and impending nausea, I stumbled from the examination room of the field morgue next to the rubble of the World Trade Center. It had been a long day and I desperately needed rest.

There in an adjacent tent, two young Catholic priests sat, freshly arrived, and looking very intimidated. Hardly into their twenties, it was an easy assumption that they were newly ordained, and like all of us, extremely uncomfortable with what was happening in that tent of unspeakable horrors. I felt sorry for them. Such places cruelly rip out whatever might remain of youthful innocence. I’d lost mine in Vietnam over thirty years before, and compassion welled up within me for them. We were in the middle of a waking nightmare.

I shuffled over to them. “Hi Fathers. How are you?” (It seemed a bit strange to address such young men as “Fathers”) Looking at each other, one said nervously; “We were sent to administer the Sacrament of Last Rites, and bring what comfort we may.” Searching their eyes, I could see that these young men were overwhelmed, and understandably so. We all were.

Glancing back into the exam room, I shuddered as I thought about what they were about to walk into. They were nearly the same age as my own son, and I wished I could protect them. What was in that room was something no seminary could ever prepare them for. My thoughts drifted…

I had labored several days among the forensic and Medical Examiner teams. The putrid air inside the morgue was sticky with the heat and humidity of a late New York City summer. In spite of my biohazard mask, the stench of death assaulted my senses, and my mind recoiled at the sight of the decomposing body parts of my fellow Americans on the stainless steel tables.

A firefighter standing next to me one day sobbed softly, and I reached over and put a gloved hand on his grimy shoulder. Glancing up and seeing “Chaplain” on my helmet, he nodded his thanks wordlessly through bloodshot, tear-filled eyes. He had just brought in the fragmentary remains of a fellow firefighter from the smoking ruins outside. Bits of turnout gear still clung to what remained of our fallen brother. Our grief was unspeakable. Few words exchanged—few required.

Their examination ended and the remains were tenderly slid into a small bio-hazard bag. The Medical Examiner looked at me and said softly, “Chaplain?” Her eyes, peering over her mask, seemed to say; “We’ve done all we humanly can. Now we look to God.” Glancing around for a Priest to give Last Rites, or a Rabbi to say Kaddish, we would each participate in ministering. Without forensic evidence to determine religion, we tried to cover every possibility for the sake of the family.

In a repeated ritual, a U.S. Flag was unfurled, and gloved hands reached out to help cover the stretcher holding our brother. Tenderly, we tucked the edges of the flag around the stretcher like a mother lovingly tucking a child into bed. I prayed. “Thank you Father, for a life given while saving others. There is no greater love…”

Firefighters and officers carefully lifted the stretcher. Leading the small procession, I exited into the street toward a waiting ambulance. As the flag-draped bier came into view, hundreds of people working outside instantly stopped everything, formed lines, and snapped to attention. Only the sound of electrical generators broke the silence. “Hand salute!” Someone barked. Tearfully, I saluted and stood at attention to one side as they placed the stretcher into the ambulance. Everyone stood silently, holding their salute to their fallen comrade. The doors closed, and the ambulance slowly slipped away into the darkened streets. Finally someone shouted; “Order salute!” and everyone returned to their work.

Emerging from my reverie, I turned back to the two priests before me. My heart broke for them. “Fathers,” I said, “Your service to our Messiah in this terrible place is honorable.” Glancing at each other again, they seemed to relax a bit as I continued. “With your permission, I would like to pray for you.” Their eyes widened a bit at this, for I suspect it is rare that anyone ever offers to pray for a priest. They are, after all, assumed to be the ones who do the heavy-lifting regarding ministry. Tonight, the ministers needed encouragement. “Well, thank you, yes, that would be very kind of you,” they said tentatively.

Kneeling down in front of where they were sitting, I clasped their hands and began to pray for their strength to face the challenges of service there, asking our Father in Heaven to protect and give the assurance of His love for them as they reach out to bring the comfort of Messiah to others. I prayed for their empowerment as instruments of His grace far beyond all they could ask or imagine, and that Yeshua would be seen in their faces as they ministered.

God’s presence seemed to fill the room, and I began to sob with the pent-up pain of the previous days. Looking up, both of the priests were also weeping. Spontaneously we stood and hugged in an embrace of fellowship in the Spirit. In this place of suffering, we stood together. These young priests—willing to walk into the bowels of hell to minister to their flock—became true heroes in my eyes that night. So were they also in the Heavenly Father’s eyes.

Walking out into the deep darkness before dawn, I tried to glimpse the stars, whose twinkling orbs often give me comfort. Finding none in the glare of search lights, I gazed at the mountain of smoking, twisted steel, and the billowing clouds of smoke rising from the “pile.” Steelworkers cut away the rubble with torches, making bright fountains of sparks. I whispered a prayer of thanks that the stars still shone brightly somewhere far above. A new day would soon dawn for us all. Come quickly, Lord Yeshua!

Click on picture to view a 700 Club Commemorative Video

A Mosque at Ground Zero?

From Bruce:

Most of my friends know that I served as a volunteer at Ground Zero beginning six days after the World Trade Towers were destroyed by Islamic fanatics who flew hijacked passenger jets into them. I would have been there sooner, but the airlines were totally grounded for nearly a week before I could catch a ride to New York City.

Lately, I’ve been aghast at the unfolding reports of a huge mosque being planned to open adjacent to the site of the worst Islamic Jihadist attack in history. To tell the truth, the entire fiasco has made me nearly speechless with outrage. Groping for words adequate to describe or encompass this unspeakably vulgar display of arrogance by Islamists, I’ve not written of it until now.

Finally, I found someone who actually comes close to describing my feelings and thoughts regarding this. Pat Condell is a British pundit and vlogger who got it right on this issue. I cannot improve on his words. He and I would agree on very little else, seeing that he is a rather vocal atheist who regards people like me as a lower form of imbecile. Nevertheless, in dealing with the issue of the mosque being established near Ground Zero, and to add insult to injury, having it dedicated on September 11th on the day of the tenth anniversary of this Jihadist attack, Pat nailed it!

View the video below. If you agree with him, forward it to as many as possible. We must stop this atrocity from occurring!

Only Israel

By: Dr. Bruce R. Porter

Nearly every day our senses are assaulted by a rising chorus of anti-Semitic voices calling for the destruction of Israel. Shockingly, some of those voices even emanate from “Christian” circles now and then. I cannot imagine a greater oxymoron (or vulgarity) than to profess one is a Christian, declaring faith in a Jew named Yeshua, reading a Jewish bible full of Jewish prophets who predicted the reestablishment of the state of Israel and the regathering of the Jewish people to their national homeland, who would then speak or act against the Jewish people and Israel.

Some would say I’m obsessing over this issue. Perhaps, but I’m in good company. There were a few others who spoke up in defense of the Jewish people before the holocaust. I’m honored to make a small contribution to that cause.

The music video below sums up the case. Enjoy.

Obama’s Intention: Destroy Israel

By: Bruce R. Porter D.Div.

Finally, a voice of reason and clarity regarding the true agenda of Barack Hussein Obama. Dr. Richard L. Rubinstein is a Yale fellow, “Distinguished Professor of the Year,” with an earned PhD from Harvard.  Dr. Rubinstein lays bare what he believes to be  president Obama’s intention to “correct the historical mistake of the creation of the state of Israel.”

One can only marvel that Obama won nearly 78% of the Jewish vote in America in spite of the clear indications of his deep affinity for Islam. There are polls now indicating that this voter-bloc has eroded considerably as Obama’s true agenda toward Israel emerges.

Turn up your speakers and listen carefully to this scholar’s cogent evaluation of Obama’s radical agenda. Then, make sure you’re registered to vote this November. We cannot allow this agenda to succeed, and the time is now to chose which side you’re on. May God’s mercy be upon us, our children, and our nation!