Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Helper Is Coming

            In introducing Jesus, John the Baptizer pointed at Jesus and declared two foundational truths:  first, that Jesus was the Son of God who would take away the sins of the world, and second, that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. 
            Stop and think about the impact of those two things.  Jesus has taken away your sins—He has reconciled you the God the Father!  You have received mercy instead of Judgment!  You have been made a child of God through His sacrifice!  You have eternal life!  AMAZING!
            But in addition to that, Jesus has promised you His Holy Spirit.  Jesus told his disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait for what the Father had promised:  “you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”  The result of that baptism would be power to be His witnesses “even to the remotest part of the earth.”
            June 7th is Shavuot, the fourth Feast of the Lord.  This is another feast that Jesus fulfilled by sending Holy Spirit in power on the early Church.  I will give a fuller explanation of the Feast in another blog entry later this week.  I just want to tweak your attention to this upcoming celebration next week and urge you to be in a seeking attitude. We all need fresh infilling of our precious Holy Spirit.  If you have never been baptized with Holy Spirit, I urge you to set aside time to pray and seek for Him as the Church did in Acts 1 and 2.  If you have been Holy Spirit baptized already, take time to place yourself before the Lord and receive a fresh infilling of His Spirit.  We all need this to overcome the fear of man in order to be His witnesses.  Remember Jesus’ promise in Luke 11:13:  “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”  Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find;  knock, and it will be opened to you.
            May this be the best Pentecost you have ever experienced!  Shalom.  Wes

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Are you faith-full?

            In addition to commenting about Israel, I also want to post some personal insights occasionally.
I’ve been going through some really tough times over the past year.  A year ago I was diagnosed with cancer that had spread from my tail bone to my right hip.  I endured 25 radiation treatments and spent eleven days in the hospital last July and then several months convalescing—regaining strength.  I am thankful for the medical treatments available, but I know that I have regained the health I have because God’s Word is true and He has been healing my body through prayer and faith in His Word.  Blood tests this week showed no trace of cancer.  Praise Jehovah Rapha, my Healer!
            But I’ve also been tested in my faith on the financial front.  A perfect storm hit—a combination of no work due to winter weather combined with a downturn in the economy.  I own a painting business and these are tough times for anyone in the construction trades. As I have prayed and prayed without seeing the needed work come in as a result of those prayers, I realized I was in a war that was being waged against my faith.  Would I continue to believe God is for me, that He would provide for me according to His riches in glory?  It has been in a purifying process, to say the least.. 
            Luke 18:1-8 is an exhortation from Jesus for us to press in to the Father in prayer, even when it doesn’t seem that we are getting the answer we feel we need.  The bottom line of His exhortation is that we should continue to pray in faith.  Are you praying with faith?  Or are you praying with an edge of anger because things haven’t come the way you wanted or expected them to?  Have you quit praying because you didn’t get the answer you wanted or it doesn’t seem to make any difference when you pray?   
            Are you in a battle for your faith?  Will Jesus find faith in your heart when He returns?  Wherever you are in your battle, remember that God is faithful and wants you to look to Him in faith.  When Jesus comes, I pray He will find you full of faith. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Is Israel an apartheid State?

            Many who are against Israel often throw out the charge that Israel is an apartheid state that persecutes Arabs/Palestinians.  If that is true, how can Rana Raslan, an Arab, be elected as Miss Israel?  Or how can Walid Badir, an Arab, become captain of the HaPoel Tel Aviv football team?  Then there is Salim Jourbran who is an Israeli Supreme Court Justice (who also just happens to be Arab).  Arabs and Jews shop side by side in many locations across Israel, swim in the Dead Sea together, and do many other day to day activities in peace.  You can see pictures of those mentioned in this paragraph at Revive Israel’s May 15th newsletter:  Webmanager [webmanager@reviveisrael.org] 
            Muslims are permitted free access to the Temple Mount to worship and pray in their holy places.  Were Jews allowed unlimited access to the Western Wall to pray at the site closest to their holiest site between 1948 and 1967 when the Old City was under Jordanian control?  NO! 
            When the Palestinian Authority declares that any Arab who sells land to a Jew should be put to death—that sounds like apartheid to me.  Or when Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, declared in 2010 to Egyptian media that “I will never allow a single Israeli to live among us on Palestinian land”, that sounds like apartheid to me.
            Beware of the bias against Israel that is endemic in most media sources in the West or from Europe. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Two State Solution?

 The pressure on Israel to embrace a “two State solution” by carving out a Palestinian State on the “West Bank” is enormous and growing.  But what is going to be solved by this “two State solution” that hasn’t been solved by the “Multi-State Solution” already in existence?  This proposal is the same “solution” that has been proposed  for the last 90 years or more.
When Britain was given the task of creating a homeland for the Jews by the San Remo Conference of the League of Nations in 1920, they promptly gave 77% of the land to King Hussein and called it Trans-Jordan (now called Jordan).  With Anti-Semitism becoming open virulent hatred across Europe, Jews began immigrating to Palestine in droves in the early part of the 1900s.  As the Jewish population grew to a majority of the population of Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s there were also several massacres of Jews by Arabs.  Couple this with Britain’s refusal to protect the Jewish population and their outright enforcement of laws allowing Arabs to carry weapons while not allowing Jews to do so—it is no wonder that the Jewish leadership finally proclaimed a Jewish State in 1947.  It was a matter of survival.
            Thus, when Israel became a sovereign nation in 1948 it was in the context of hostile Arab nations that refused to recognize or give any room for a Jewish homeland.  One day after becoming a nation, Israel was attacked by four surrounding Arab nations. Since that time, there has been unrelenting pressure on Israel to give up more land, with the ultimate goal of elimination of any Jewish State or presence in the Middle East.  Israel only expanded its territory to include the Old City of Jerusalem and the “West Bank” in 1967 after being attacked by surrounding Arab nations (Syria, Jordan, Egypt, etc.).  In winning that conflict, Israel included this territory that was originally part of the land designated for a Jewish homeland by the British Mandate. 
            This pressure now to carve out a “Palestinian State” is the same pressure they have been under for the last century.  And the creation of a new Arab state will not satisfy the demands from Muslim-motivated nationalists who want all Jews out of the region.  Such a state will only embolden those who want to eliminate Israel completely. 

Defensible Borders

It is difficult for us Americans to understand how difficult it is for Israel to defend itself because we have the perspective of a large country with hundreds of miles of land.  From North to South, Oregon is almost 300 miles.  Israel is about 60 miles wide.  You can fit 13 Israels inside Oregon!

Take a five minute look at the following explanation of Israel's defensible borders.  Select the English version unless you are fluent in Hebrew.


Later this week I will post a viewpoint about spliting Israel into two states.  Meanwhile, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  Shalom!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Support Israel!

Here is a constructive way to express support for Israel.  Send an email to Prime Minister Netanyahu from the following site:


Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Time To Pray!

19 May 2011  A call to pray!
            Today President Obama made a speech in which he called upon Israel to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority to create a Palestinian State with pre-1967 borders.  That may not bother most people very much who will, with a shrug and a “so-what’s-the-big-deal” attitude, go uncaringly about their day.
            Let me tell you what the big deal is.  Pre-1967 borders are indefensible for Israel.
What does that mean?  Look at any map of Israel.  Her true Eastern border since the war of 1967 runs down the middle of the Sea of Galilee, through the Jordan River, and through the middle of the Dead Sea continuing straight South to Eilat.  But as you look at that map, you will notice a big chunk taken out and marked “Occupied Territory”.  If Israel were to give all that territory to a Palestinian State, the State of Israel would only be nine miles wide a few miles North of Tel Aviv.  And all of the Old City of Jerusalem would be in Palestinian hands.  For those of you who don’t know Israel’s history, Jews were forbidden access to the Western Wall in the Old City from 1948 until 1967 when Jordan was in control of the “West Bank” area.  Do you think a Palestinian coalition government with Hamas as a partner will continue to allow Jews access to the Old City to pray at the Western Wall?  Not on your life!  Hamas is committed to the total destruction of Israel and the elimination of not only the Jewish State, but the expulsion of all Jews from the land of Israel.
            I urge you, dear reader, to pray fervently for a change of heart in our President—that he will not pursue this path of destruction by pressuring Israel to return to pre-1967 borders.  Support any efforts to support Israel.  We may be on the brink of Joel 3:2.  More about that another day.