Who Killed Jesus?

It is the season for Passover and Easter. I tremble when I think that on Easter Sunday preachers around the world will stand in their pulpits and blame the Jews for killing Jesus. In times past, this false teaching inflamed the ignorant masses of European Church goers who left their pews to kill the Jews in their community because they “killed Christ.” Thankfully Christians are more enlightened in our world today, still the erroneous teaching will be preached from millions of pulpits by well-meaning but misinformed preachers. May God forgive them because they know not what they do.

So who really killed Jesus? There is the theological answer and the human answer. Christians certainly understand the theological answer; it is the human answer that we have misunderstood that has caused much suffering for the Jewish people throughout history. In this article, I am clarifying the human answer.

There are two human parties involved in the death of Jesus. They can both be summed up in two words, “the Establishment.” The establishment, the people in power, always kills the prophets and revolutionaries of their day. Jesus was both a prophet and a revolutionary. He threatened their position of power, position and wealth. So they had to get rid of Him.

The first of the two establishment’s responsibility for the death of Jesus was Rome. By Rome, I mean the government of Rome, not the people of Rome. The Roman people had never even heard of Jesus. The Roman people lived in Italy and throughout the Roman Empire. They certainly didn’t live in Israel where Jesus lived and died. Even though the Roman government in Israel crucified Jesus by the hands of Pilate and a few Roman soldiers, we cannot hold the Roman people responsible for the death of Jesus. Modern Italians did not kill Jesus. They were not part of the crowd in Jerusalem shouting, “Crucify Him.”

The New Testament is clear that Pilate took it upon himself to put Jesus to death. Luke reads, “So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested” (Luke 23:24).

The second human establishment that killed Jesus was Jerusalem. By Jerusalem, I mean the Jewish religious and political leaders in Jerusalem. As a citizen of the United States, I often use the word “Washington” to speak of the political center of the USA. When I say “Washington” I am not referring to the American people but the American government. Likewise, when the New Testament says that the “Jews” killed Jesus, it is not referring to the ordinary Jew who lived in Israel and Jerusalem. It is referring to the Jewish political and religious leaders over the Jewish people, that is, the Jewish government operating under Roman rule.

In the time of Jesus, there were over 20 Jewish sects in Israel. They all had different views about the Messiah and constantly argued among themselves. There was not “one voice” that spoke for the Jews. Jews who lived in the north were called “Galileans.” They were hard working country folk who talked with a country twang. Peter’s Galilean ascent gave him away as a disciple of Jesus (Luke 23:59). The establishment in Jerusalem considered the Galileans uncultured and unsophisticated.

The Jews who lived in the south were called “Judeans.” There was no love lost between the Galileans in the north and the Judeans in the south. The Judeans were more cosmopolitan than the Galileans. They considered themselves to be high-bred, sophisticated and cultured. They were well-educated and looked down their nose at the Galileans.

When the New Testament talks about the Jews killing Jesus, it is referring to the Judeans, specifically the Jewish establishment in Jerusalem who owed their allegiance, position, power and influence to the Romans. While there were some influential Pharisees at the highest level, the Jewish establishment consisted primarily of the Sadducees.

The Sadducees represented a very small group of powerful religious leaders. They were the priests who oversaw the activities at the Temple and greatly profited from the merchandising at the Temple. It is this group that desired to crucify Jesus because they were jealous of His fame and was afraid He would upset their comfortable relationship with the Roman government ruling over them. Matthew 27:18 says that Pilate knew that the Sadducees handed Jesus over to him because they were envious of Jesus. The high priest and his followers handed Jesus over to Pilate because it was the “politically correct” thing for them to do.

John 11 reads, “Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, ‘What shall we do? For this man works many signs. If we let Him along like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.’ And one of them, Caiaphas, being the high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you understand that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish’ ” (John 11:47-50).

When the high priest had Jesus arrested at night, the ordinary Jerusalemites were in their homes preparing for Passover meals and sleeping. They did not know what was happening. They would have surely protested because many of them believed in Jesus. In fact, Jesus had so many followers in Jerusalem that the Sadducees had to wait until night to arrest Jesus for fear of an uproar by the people. While most Jews in our world today say you can’t be Jewish and believe in Jesus, all the first century followers of Jesus were Jewish. And there were many thousands of them.

Matthew writes, “ ‘You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.’ Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him. But they said, ‘Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people’ ” (Matthew 26:2-5).

The high priest did what politicians do today. He rented a crowd. He instructed and coerced his own followers, all with a vested interest in the establishment, to get a crowd and assemble them. These people are the “multitude” mentioned in the New Testament story. Matthew writes, “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus” (Matthew 27:20). At the right moment, they were instructed to cry out, “Give us Barabbas, crucify Jesus” (Matthew 27:21-22).

This was a completely different crowd of people who earlier greeted and cheered Jesus when He rode into Jerusalem. Their response to Him was, “… Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9)!

When Pilate pretended to absolve himself from being responsible for the death of Jesus, the “rent a crowd” said, “…Let His blood be on us and our children” (Matthew 27:25). Because of this statement, Church leaders have erroneously believed that the Jews, as a collective group of people, pronounced a curse on themselves forever. Therefore, they are the “Christ killers.”

But as we have just learned, this was the Sadducees and a small mob crowd they assembled in order to influence Pilate. Their self-curse was fulfilled 40 years later when Titus burned the Temple and destroyed Jerusalem. Since the Sadducees were the priests administering the Temple, they and their families and their power, position, privilege and fortune came to an end.

Most Jews did not live in Israel during the time of Jesus. They were scattered throughout the Roman Empire. They had never heard of Jesus so they were certainly not guilty of killing Him. Furthermore, as we have just read, many of the Jews in Jerusalem believed in Jesus, they certainly didn’t kill Him.

After Jesus was resurrected He appeared to two of His followers on the Road to Emmaus. They had been in Jerusalem and were eye witnesses to the events surrounding Jesus. Here is what they said, “and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him” (Luke 24:20).

Jesus suffered and died for our sins. God could have used any ethnic group to carry out the execution. In His redemptive plans and purposes and time, it was a petty Roman bureaucrat and a small handful of corrupt priests who actually put Jesus to death. Christians should continuously thank God for His redemptive love demonstrated through the death of Jesus as our Passover Lamb. We should also ask forgiveness from our Jewish friends for blaming them for His death.

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Why the Jews?

Jew hatred is God hatred because the Jews remind the world they are accountable to God for their lives and the world doesn’t want to be reminded.

Christians must stand with the Jewish people out of love for the written, moral and spiritual debt we owe them and to preserve our Judeo-Christian civilization.

We must do it NOW!

 

Dr. Richard Booker

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Yom Kippur in the Time of Jesus

According to the Talmud (Jewish oral traditions put in writing), the destruction of the Temple did not come as a total surprise to the Jewish people. The Talmud records four ominous events that occurred approximately forty years before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. These four events were a warning to the rabbis of the impending doom of the Temple. According to Jewish traditions, all four of the following signs came to pass as recorded in the Talmud (Yoma 39a, b). Here is what happened.

  1. The Lot marked for the Lord did not come up in the right hand

In Leviticus 16, on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest was to present two goats before the LORD. He would then cast lots over the goats to determine which would be offered to the LORD and which would be led into the wilderness as the scapegoat. The goat on which the LORD’S lot fell was offered as a sin offering. (See Leviticus 16:5-10.)

The religious leaders considered it a good omen if the lot marked “for the LORD” was drawn by the priest in his right hand. But according to traditional Jewish writings, for forty years prior to the destruction of the temple, the lot “for the LORD” appeared in his left hand. This bad omen caused great fear of impending doom.

  1. The scarlet thread tied to the door of the Temple on the Day of Atonement stopped turning white after the scapegoat had been cast over the cliff

The High Priest tied a crimson wool thread around the horns of the scapegoat and sent him off into the wilderness accompanied by a priest. The priest was escorted for twelve miles to a designated place where he pushed the goat over a cliff bearing Israel’s sins. A portion of the crimson thread was attached to the door of the temple before the goat was sent into the wilderness. When the goat was pushed off the cliff and died, the thread on the door at the temple was said to turn from red to white. This was a divine sign to the people that God had accepted their sacrifice and their sins were forgiven.

This sign was based on Isaiah 1:18 which says, “ … though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” Rabbinic writings tell us that for forty years prior to the destruction of the temple, the thread stopped turning white.

  1. The westernmost light on the Temple candelabra would not burn was a bad omen that the light of the Temple was going to be diminished

Further signs of doom were that the western most light on the temple candelabra would not burn. This was a bad omen that the light of the temple was going to be distinguished.

  1. The Temple doors would open by themselves

Furthermore, the temple doors would open by themselves. The rabbis saw this as a sign that the temple was going to be destroyed by fire as God’s judgment for their ungodliness. This was based on their understanding of Zechariah 11:1 which says, “Open your doors, O Lebanon, that fire may devour your cedars.”

The obvious significance of these signs is that they began to appear forty years prior to the destruction of the temple. This was when Jesus was crucified. It was a most dramatic way for God to demonstrate that Jesus was the ultimate human reality of the Day of Atonement. His death provided the once-and-for-all forgiveness for sin. “It is finished.” Thank you Lord for your love and mercy!

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Feast of Trumpets – Rosh Hashana

This Sunday evening, September 9, is the beginning of the Biblical Feast day of Trumpets, Yom Teruah, in Hebrew. The world knows it by its more recognized name, Rosh Hashanah. What is the Feast of Trumpets and why should Christians care?

We first learn about the Feast of Trumpets in Numbers where God gave the following instruction, “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:23-25).

We learn from this Scripture that the Feast of Trumpets was on the first day of the seventh month on the religious calendar. This is the Hebrew month of Tishri, which corresponds to the months of September-October on the Gentile calendar. Tishri is also the first month on the Jewish civil calendar and is the Jewish New Year. The Hebrew name for this beginning of the year is Rosh Hashanah; which means, “Head of the Year.”

Originally, two silver trumpets ware blown but they were later replaced by the shofar. They were blown to assemble the people for worship, to break camp, and as an alarm in preparation for battle. A good summary of how trumpets were used is provided in the tenth chapter of the book of Numbers.

As God spoke to the people and used trumpets-shofars to fight their battles for them, the Hebrews began to call God the “horn of their salvation” (See Psalm 18:1-3). In the New Testament, Jesus is given this same title, “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed His people, and raise up a horn of salvation for us I the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,  who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us” (Luke 1:68-71.

For followers of Jesus, the Feast of Trumpets has both a personal and a prophetic significance for our lives. For example, our connection to Jesus teaches us how to win in spiritual warfare. Furthermore, since the book of Revelation opens with the blowing of the shofar, we cannot correctly understand the end times without a good knowledge and personal experience of the Feast of Trumpets.

If you want to know more about the Feast of Trumpets, how it relates to Jesus, our personal lives and the end times,

please order Dr. Booker’s book,  

Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feast

 

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

 

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THE KING IS IN THE FIELD

The Meaning of Elul in the Life of the Believer

By Dr. Richard Booker

Sunday August 12 (beginning the previous evening), was the first day of the Biblical/Hebrew month of Elul. Elul has 29 days and is the sixth month on the sacred calendar and the last month on the civil calendar. It is a month of preparation leading up to the High Holy days of Rosh Hashanah (Yom Teruah–Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).

According to the Jewish reckoning of time, it was the month of Elul when Moses ascended the second time to Mount Sinai to receive the second set of the Ten Commandments and intercede in repentance for the sin regarding the Golden Calf (Ex 32; 34:27-28). The traditional understanding is that Moses ascended on the eve of Elul and descended on Yom Kippur, a total of forty days.

As a result, observant Jews today seek God with more kavanah (focus and purpose) during the forty day period from the beginning of Elul to Yom Kippur. This is a special time of reflection, prayers, forgiveness and repentance when the people search their souls and seek God with their whole hearts in preparation for the High Holy Days.

In Hebrew, Elul is written with the Aleph, Lamed, Vav and Lamed. It is an acronym for the Hebrew phrase, Ani le dodi ve dodi li which means, “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). In times past, many of us used to sing our love song to God, “I’m my Beloved’s and He is mine, His banner over me is love.”

Because the name Elul suggest a loving, intimate relationship with our Creator, Jewish sages have likened this forty day period when a king leaves his palace and throne and goes out into the fields to meet his people and relate to them on a personal basis. He is still king, but he has left his throne to be with his people. He is accessible to them and greets them with love and acceptance as one of their own in a way he could not do in his palace. But his presence is only for a short time and he returns to his palace where he is no longer accessible.

To prepare for the kings coming, in this case the presence of God, the shofar is blown on the first morning of Elul until the morning before Rosh HaShanah, except the shofar is not blown on the Sabbath. The Encyclopedia of Judaism says that the shofar, “calls upon sinners to repent, awakens thoughts of God’s sovereignty, justice, and redeeming power, and expresses the Jew’s hope that God will before long ‘sound the great shofar’ to herald deliverance and the ingathering of the exiles in the land of Israel.”

Rabbi Wayne Dosick comments that the sound of the shofar “serves as a warning to people to wake up out of their lethargy, to scrutinize their deeds, to improve their conduct, it serves as a prelude to God’s judgment; and it serves as a reminder that one day the Kingdom of God, the time of Messiah, will be announced to the whole world.”

Moses Maimonides, one of the greatest of Jewish sages wrote of the significance of the shofar, “Awake O you sleepers, awake from your sleep! Search your deeds and turn in repentance. … Look at your souls, and better your ways and actions. Let everyone of you abandon his evil ways and his wicked thoughts and return to God so that He may have mercy upon you.”

WOW – this is seriously seeking God. The good news is that the Lord has promised that He will reveal Himself to us if we will seek Him with our whole heart and soul (Deuteronomy 4:29). God makes this promise because He loves us and wants to have a personal relationship with us. But we must seek Him and want that love relationship with Him.

For those of us who acknowledge Yeshua/Jesus as our King, we recognize that God loves us so much that He left His palace and throne in heaven and came to the field of our planet to reveal Himself to us. He was still God in heaven but He prepared for Himself a body and entered the human race to be with us, to relate to us on a personal basis. He came out of Himself as one of our own. He was the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. We see a clear example of this when God appeared to Abraham in the form of a man in Genesis 18. The idea that God reveals Himself to us in ways we can relate to is seen throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. It is NOT an invention of the New Testament writers.

Through the person of Jesus of Nazareth, God became accessible to us on a personal and intimate basis that was not possible as long as He stayed in His palace in heaven. Yeshua/Jesus is our “King in the Field.” Everywhere Jesus went He greeted people with love and acceptance, except for the establishment of His day which refused to accept His announcement that the Kingdom of God, the time of Messiah had come. While the people loved and welcomed Jesus, the establishment crucified Him because He exposed their hate and hypocrisy. But even this was predicted by the prophets in such places as Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Zechariah 12:10, etc.

Because Jesus was perfect without sin, death could not hold Him! After fulfilling the Sign of Jonah, Matthew 12:40, Jesus was resurrected and spent the next forty days teaching and showing Himself to His disciples. Did I say FORTY days? That’s right. The King in the Field spent forty days with His people. He then returned to His palace in heaven where He took His rightful place on the throne next to His Father as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Now if that is not enough, here is some more exciting news. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave us a great promise. He said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:15-17).

Yeshua/Jesus promised that He would give us the Holy Spirit who would live in our hearts. The presence of the King in the Field would be with us always. As believers, we do not have to wait for a special month or time of the year for the King to be in the field to greet us. He lives in the field of our heart. He is not just with us, He is in us and we are in Him. The two of us have become one in a spiritual union. In this way, we always have access to our King. But we must prepare the field of our heart everyday by turning away from sin and the cultural bread and circus that hinders our love relationship with our King.

To enjoy His manifest presence living in us we must hear the sound of the shofar of God, the voice of His Spirit, calling us to an ever deeper relationship with Him. May the King manifest His life, His love and His power every day in the field of your heart.

 

 

 

 

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Turkey Fulfilling Bible Prophecy

Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophecy against him” (Ezekiel 38:1-2).

Bible students know well Ezekiel’s prophecy (Ezekiel 38-39) that a confederation of nations from the North of Israel will invade Israel in the latter years before the coming of Messiah. The names Ezekiel mentions are people living in the region of Russia and Turkey and Iran (Persia). Bible students have interpreted Ezekiel’s prophecy to mean that Russia will lead this confederation. Russia is certainly stepping into this role with her active military presence in Syria. A conflict with Israel “in the air” is inevitable.

Syria is mentioned in Isaiah 17:1 where the prophet says that Damascus will be destroyed and no longer be inhabitable. Since Damascus is still in existence, obviously this prophecy has not been fulfilled in history. I believe we will soon see this prophecy fulfilled, which may bring Russia, Iran and Turkey to Syria’s aid. When we were recently in Israel staying at the Dead Sea, we heard, and some saw, five F15 planes flying low right past our hotel. WOW – was that an experience. We did not know until the next day that these were the planes that destroyed 50 Iranian missile sites in Syria. It was awesome to see Israeli pilots flying American made planes.

Turkey is also positioning itself to be a major part of this confederation that will definitely include Iran (Persia in 38:5-6). Here is why Turkey is fulfilling Bible prophecy.

On Sunday, June 24, Turkey stepped into its destiny to fulfill Bible Prophecy. Turkish President Recep Erdogan won a majority of the votes in their national elections with 52.5% of the votes. This win is a culmination of Erdogan’s 15-year effort to establish himself as dictator of Turkey. His victory gives Erdogan unprecedented power over all government agencies. He alone will dictate policy and direction for Turkey.

Erdogan is a radical Islamists who had transformed Turkey from being a pro-Western, secular democracy into, what will quickly become a radical Islamic state. In a failed coup in 2016, he murdered and jailed thousands of his critics. Now with this victory, those who stand against him must go underground or they will be arrested by “Erdogan’s goons.”

Erdogan supports the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in Gaza. He compared Israel to Nazi Germany when the Israeli army defended its border against Hamas terrorists. He warned Austria of a war between the cross and the crescent after Austria closed seven mosques and expelled 60 radical imams from the country. Turkey will now reflect the vision of Erdogan which is to reestablish Turkey as the Islamic Caliph which ruled the Islamic world for 400 years before the fall of Turkey in WWI. This is a dangerous man who will drag the region into war.

It is said that a person is known by the company he or she keeps. The nations that sent Erdogan congratulations for his victory were Iran, Russia, Sudan, Venezuela, the terrorist group, Hamas, plus Islamists in the U.S.

Don’t be surprised or anxious when you see these prophetic events happening before our very eyes. Remember God told us all of this would happen in the Bible. So read your Bible, pray, live a godly life, help everyone you can and love your neighbor and the stranger as yourself. God has everything under control.

 

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A Tale of Two Funerals

Politics, Presidents and Prophets

Today, April 21, 2018, I watched two very different funerals. The first funeral was for Barbara Bush. As the wife and mother of two former American presidents, she was part of a rich and famous and powerful political family that has served the country for several generations. It was very impressive.

The service was conducted at a beautiful Episcopalian church in Houston, TX. There was a big crowd of the rich and famous. The church sanctuary was the epitome of elegance and wealth. The grandeur of the magnificent organ rivaled any in the great cathedrals of the world. The professional choir, all decked out in their colorful robes, stirred the soul with their beautiful voices. People spoke from their hearts with polished, prepared text. The testimonies and stories about Barbara Bush warmed the heart.  Everything was perfect, decent and in order.

But these are not the things that impressed me. I was impressed by the fact that Barbara Bush, a member of an elite American family, openly professed her faith and love for Jesus which the ministers and family members clearly acknowledged. I was impressed by the grace and dignity and love and humility of her life. I was impressed by the uplifting Christian music, the God-honoring prayers and the messages of hope for those who put their trust in the Lord. I was impressed by the service ending with the choir singing “The Holy City.” Now Episcopalian don’t do this but it made you want to shout! Now that’s impressive.

I did not know Barbara Bush personally but after watching her funeral service, I came to love her as a valiant woman (Proverbs 31), a loyal and faithful wife, a wise and devoted mother and a “sister in the Lord.”

Then there was the other funeral. It was also impressive. This was the funeral of a friend of mine; Don Nori Sr. Don was the founder of Destiny Image, a Christian publishing company in Pennsylvania. I have been an author with Don and his company for over thirty years.

Don’s funeral was in Shippensburg, PA. It was not in a beautiful, ornate church building. It was in a modest non-denominational facility. There was not a big crowd but mainly family and friends and people whose lives had been touched by Don’s ministry.

None of those attending the funeral were rich and famous. There was no magnificent organ or professional choir with beautiful robes and harmonies. There was a simple, but anointed praise team with a keyboard, a guitar, a base and drums with one or two singers. People spoke from their hearts without well-prepared notes. Those in the audience lifted their hands to the Lord in spontaneous vocal praise. Not everything was perfect as there were technical difficulties with the microphones.

But these are not the things that impressed me. I was impressed by the fact that Don knew and loved the same Jesus that Barbara Bush knew and loved. Don was not born in a privileged family. He was not part of an elite American family. He did not have wealth, prestige and influence. He had a very modest job selling advertising for a local newspaper. No one knew Don but his family and friends. But Don had an encounter with God.

In 1982, while driving home from a meeting with an advertising client, the Spirit of God filled Don’s car with His presence. Don was so overwhelmed and shaken by the presence of God that he had to maneuver his car off the freeway to control himself and pray.

For the next four hours, Don had a life-changing visitation from God who gave Don a vision of a Christian publishing house that would “publish the prophets.” Don was to give a publishing voice to those that God had called to speak His prophetic words to a generation of Christians that had grown cold, complacent and comfortable in their walk with God. These were men and women who had a heart for God and a word from God but could not get published because the Christian publishing houses did not think their books would sell.

Don had no money, no financial backing, no brilliant business plan, and no famous people of prestige, power and influence to help him. But he had a word from God. Don, along with his wife Cathy, founded Destiny Image Publishers in the living room of their small home in Pennsylvania. Since then, the company has grown to an internationally respected publishing house represented in every country of the world with books translated into many different languages and millions of copies distributed. The books Don published have dramatically changed the lives of tens of millions of people around the world and will continue to touch millions more in the future. This is what impressed me.

Barbara Bush and Don Nori came from completely different worlds. But they both knew and loved the same Jesus. They both read and believed the same Bible that says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

God is no respecter of persons. He loves the rich and famous and the poor and unknown. He loves those who have privilege and those who have nothing. His love, His forgiveness, His salvation, and His hope for eternal life extends to all people of all color and culture, male and female, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, people living in the west and in the east, in Africa, Arabia, Central and South America, in the islands of the world and the most remote jungles.

The Creator of the universe loves us so much that He became one of us to show us the Father. He was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life and died on a cross as the innocent substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. Because He was without sin, death could not hold Him. He rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven where He has taken His rightful place sitting next to His Father. And He will return to Jerusalem along with Barbara and Don and the great cloud of witnesses in heaven to rule over Israel and the nations as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Now that is impressive.

 

Dr. Richard Booker

shofarprb@aol.com

 

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IS THIS IT?

Once again the Syrian president has used chemicals to kill his own people. President Assad is an evil demonic man. With Russian and Iranian support, along with a previous weak American administration, Assad clearly thinks he can get away with anything. While the American military can certainly stop him, should we use our power or allow him to continue his atrocities? What would you do if you were the President of the United States? Would you stop him or do nothing?

President Trump has said he will respond and he probably will in the next few days. Russia has said it will retaliate if America responds. Putin is an egomaniac who must do something to show his “manliness.” He is a fool as God is putting His hooks in Putin’s mouth to lure him into the Middle East in order to destroy Russia and a Turkish/Iranian federation (Ezekiel 38-39). Hold on to your hat and get on your knees and pray because that situation is about to get out of hand and only God knows the outcome.

But this is the good news. God does know the outcome. Since He is outside of time and space, He declares the end from the beginning. His counsel shall stand and none shall stay His hand (Isaiah 46:9-10). He wrote His counsel in a book (the Bible) so we can all know the outcome.

Here is what God wrote regarding Syria through the prophet Isaiah, “The burden against Damascus. Behold Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1). Since Damascus is still the capital city of Syria, obviously it has not ceased from being a city. So this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.

As we see the alignment of nations is Syria, perhaps this is the time for the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. So don’t be surprised at the terrible things that might be soon unleashed in Syria and throughout the Middle East.

Make sure you have a right relationship and walk with the Creator of the Universe so that you can live in faith and not in fear. We are living in perilous times. Please do not get distracted by the American bread and circus and worldly cares and concerns. The world has nothing to offer us.

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