CHRISTIANS WHO CARED

Christians who cared by Wendy Becktt's 30 day devotion, God Keeps Covenant

God Keeps Covenant

CHRISTIANS WHO CARED

Day 6
by Wendy D. Beckett
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” Isaiah 40:1 NIV

Day 6 of God Keeps Covenant: Christians Who Cared.

Dr. Michael Brown has written a powerful book entitled Our Hands Are Stained with BloodThe Tragic Story of the “Church” and the Jewish People. In the midst of recounting the horrific mistreatment of Jews, Dr. Brown gives us a wonderful chapter entitled, “A Blessed and Beautiful Stream,” in which he acquaints the reader with a few of those who have stood out in history against this tide of anti-Semitic evil.

Of course many of these believers were the quiet ones who remained in obscurity. They were those who cried out to God in prayer for the Jewish people or who performed secret acts of kindness despite the personal danger. We know that many of these “righteous Gentiles,” (as the Jewish people call Christians who care for them) gave their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Corrie ten Boom’s family is one of the best-known examples (as depicted in the book and movie, The Hiding Place.)

Interestingly, many of the Puritans who shaped early America had a vision for Israel and held the hope that the Jewish people would return to their land and their Lord. Perhaps one of the reasons God has so blessed America has been the fact that many times through the years we have opened our arms to Jewish people fleeing the persecutions of Europe.

Samuel Rutherford, a famous Scottish Puritan, had a deep love for the Lord and His ancient people. I love this description from one of his letters quoted in Dr. Brown’s book:

O to see the sight, next to Christ’s Coming in the clouds, the most joyful! Our elder brother the Jews and Christ fall upon one another’s neck… They have been long asunder; … O longed-for and lovely day-dawn! …let me see that sight which will be as life from the dead, Thee and Thy ancient people in mutual embraces. (2)

In the early 1800s, the London Jews Society was formed. This organization encouraged Jews to immigrate to Israel and also established the first Protestant Jewish Church there. They opened schools and a hospital. The result was that, for the first time in 1,700 years, there were known to be Jewish people in Israel who came to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. During the intense persecutions in Russia in the 1880s, the London Jews Society helped the first Russian immigrants “home” to Israel.

Even Queen Victoria, who reigned on the British throne for more than 50 years in the last half of the 1800s, strongly supported a homeland for the Jewish people.

In today’s Scripture from Isaiah, whom is the Lord addressing? Could it be that He is actually stirring all of us in the Church to “comfort” His chosen people? I believe so!

Thank You, Lord, that You have always had a faithful remnant in the Church who has understood Your great heart of love for Your covenant people. Thank You that down through the centuries there have been those who have heeded Paul’s warnings and have blessed the Jews. May there be more and more Christians who are inspired to “comfort” with an unconditional love, these dear people who have suffered so much.

Prophetic Confirmation

prophetic confirmation chapter 3 of Why Isreal? by Derek Prince

Prophetic Confirmation

by Derek Prince

Why Israel?

Chapter 3

Why Israel? Chapter 3 – Prophetic Confirmation by Derek Prince.

In this chapter, I would like to introduce another distinct feature of the Jewish people—one which reinforces the certainty that they are absolutely unique: their entire history was foretold in prophecy. That fact is not true of any other nation. The whole history of the Jewish people from Abraham onward was foretold in prophecy in the Bible.

I have listed below the sixteen stages showing the outworking of prophetic predictions concerning Israel. The first three were given to Abraham.

    1. Israel’s enslavement in Egypt (predicted in Genesis 15:13).
    2. Israel’s deliverance with wealth from Egypt (predicted in Genesis 15:14, where Abraham was told they would come out with many possessions. The remarkable fact is that although they had been slaves for nearly four hundred years, in one night—one period of twenty-four hours—they became wealthy with the wealth of the Egyptians).
    3. Their possession of the Land of Canaan (predicted to Abraham in Genesis 13:12-17).
    4. Their turn to idolatry in the Promised Land (predicted in Deuteronomy 28: 26, and certainly fulfilled).
    5. Establishment by God of a center of worship in Jerusalem (predicted in Psalm 132:13).
    6. The captivity of the Northern Kingdom, called Israel, by Assyria (predicted in Isaiah 7:17).
    7. The captivity of the Southern Kingdom, called Judah, by Babylon (predicted in Jeremiah 21:7).
    8. The destruction of the first temple, the one built by Solomon (predicted in detail in 1 Kings 9:8).
    9. The return of a small remnant from Babylon (predicted in Jeremiah 29:10).
    10. The destruction of the second temple, the one that stood in the days of Jesus (predicted in detail by Jesus in Matthew 24:1-2).
    11. The scattering of Israel among the nations, also referred to as the Gentiles, because of their disobedience (predicted in numerous scriptures, for example Leviticus 26:33).
    12. The persecution and oppression of Israel among the Gentiles (predicted in Leviticus 26:38- 39). That prediction has been and is continuing to be fulfilled.
    13. Regathering of Jewish people from all nations (predicted in many places, such as Jeremiah 33). This prophecy is being realized before our eyes. It is important for us to appreciate that its fulfillment is occurring.

Thus far, thirteen of the prophetic predictions have been fulfilled in history. I believe three more remain to be completed:

  1. The gathering of all nations against Jerusalem in war (predicted in Luke 21:20).
  2. The supernatural revelation of Messiah to His people (predicted in Zechariah 12:10).
  3. The coming of Messiah in glory and power to establish His Kingdom on earth (predicted in many places, including Jude 14,15).
With thirteen of the sixteen predictions fulfilled, that makes an accuracy rating at present of around eighty-one percent. With this in mind, it is fair to say we should not be regarded as crazy fanatics if we believe that the remaining three predictions will be accomplished. Some people consider Christians to have strange beliefs. But to me—as a professional logician before I became a preacher—it is logical to believe that if a book can predict thirteen events in advance with correctness and accuracy, any other predictions such a book gives should be taken seriously.

A LOOK INTO HISTORY

A look into history day 5 devotion by Wendy Beckett

A Look Into History

God Keeps Covenant

Day 5

by Wendy D. Beckett

“…do not boast… Do not be arrogant.” (Romans 11:18 & 20)

Day 5 of God Keeps Covenant: A Look Into History.

A devotional may seem to be a strange place to discuss history. Sadly however, many in the Church today have no idea how much persecution has been inflicted on the Jewish people in the name of Christ. So our key Scripture for today is Paul’s warning resounding down through the centuries to all who will hear: “Do not be arrogant.” Regrettably, many have ignored Paul’s plea.

The apostles were scarcely in their graves when key leaders in the early church began turning against the Jews. By the time Christianity became accepted throughout the Roman Empire, every vestige of Jewishness had been erased from the Church. Jewish people who became Christians were forbidden to keep Saturday as the Sabbath, or to celebrate the feasts commanded by the Lord through Moses.

Expulsion, forced conversion and violence mar the pages of the history of Christian Europe as the separation between Christian and Jew continued to widen. Even many of the holiest and most respected church fathers were virulently anti-Semitic. (1)

The Crusades, between 1000 and 1200 AD, became an excuse to eradicate as many Jews as possible as fanatic knights and their followers rampaged through cities and towns on their way to the Holy Land. Once in Jerusalem, these men, convinced they were doing God’s will, slaughtered Jews as well as Muslims until the blood literally ran through the streets.

In Europe in the late 1200s, a story circulated widely that Jews were kidnapping Christian children, slaughtering them, drinking their blood and using it to make their Passover bread. Untold thousands of Jewish people lost their lives in the ensuing centuries because of this preposterous lie. These accusations continued in Eastern Europe well into the last century and still surface today in Muslim countries. How difficult this is to comprehend!

Down through the centuries, persecutions and mass expulsions took place in England, France, Spain, Russia and Eastern Europe. Between 1440 and 1808, 30,000 Jews were burned at the stake in Spain and thousands more in Portugal and Mexico.

Even Martin Luther (1500s) in his later years joined the ranks of those who vilified the Jews and desired their destruction.  It has been said that Luther’s angry outbursts against them helped Hitler justify his purges and death camps.

 It is estimated that in the centuries before the Holocaust 7,000,000 Jewish people were slaughtered by those confessing to be Christians. Then during World War II another 6,000,000 were annihilated.

Where was the Lord in all those centuries of suffering? I believe He was weeping with His people. In all their affliction He was afflicted.” (Isaiah 63:9 NKJV) He was also weeping over His Church. He had left such clear instructions to love.

Lord, what horrors You have looked upon! Our hearts break that Paul’s warning was not heeded and that the Jewish people have had to suffer so intensely for so long! Cleanse us, Your Church, from any remaining arrogance.