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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Trip of a Lifetime

Dear Friends:
Please check out the link below for the trip of a lifetime. We are co-hosting an amazing trip to Israel with our friend Reform Rabbi Dan Gordon and traditional Jewish friends from the Houston area and beyond.
The purpose of this trip is to participate in the March of the Living with Christians and Jews from around the world to commemorate the Holocaust and to say, “Never Again.” For those who have attended our annual Kristallnacht Memorials, you know how important this trip is “for such a time as this.”
We only have a few seats left, so get registered right away.
The blessings of God await you in Zion.
Dr. Richard and Peggy Booker
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It’s About Time

The US Taxpayer and the UNRWA

 For decades the US Taxpayer has been funding one of the greatest scams of our times. Hopefully that time is coming to an end. What am I talking about?

Under the direction of President Trump, and with the encouragement of US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, the US State Department announced that it is withholding $65 million of a planned $125 million funding it has budgeted for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The State Department said it was releasing the remaining $60 million to keep the UNRWA from completely shutting own.

The US taxpayer is UNWRA’s largest donor, supplying nearly 30 percent of its budget. I understand that Ambassador Haley wanted to completely defund this fraudulent organization but President Trump agreed to the lesser action. What is this all about and what is the UNRWA?

The Real Refugees

Let’s put this in its historical context. When Israel became a state, 800,000 Jewish refugees fled from the Arab states to Israel. These are the real refugees of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Their land and money was confiscated by the Arabs as they fled for their lives with nothing but the clothes on their backs. While it took tremendous sacrifice on the part of the new nation, these refugees were assimilated in the fledging new state and became productive citizens of Israel. The growing Arab population was not as fortunate.

Arab leaders from the neighboring countries declared war against Israel. They instructed the Arab Palestinians to flee the Jewish state until the Jews were annihilated. They could then return and possess the land. Unfortunately for those who fled, things did not work out as they were told.

While there is no doubt that Jewish fighters drove some Arabs away, it happens in war, you know, the Jewish leaders policy was to encourage the Arabs to stay. The great majority of Arabs were not expelled but left without ever seen an Israeli soldier.

An Arab sponsored Institute for Palestine Studies in Beirut reported in 1948 that the majority of the Arab refugees were not expelled and sixty-eight percent left without seeing an Israeli Soldier. This is clearly a different story than the Arab myth that the Jews caused the Arab refugee problem. The hated “Jewish-Zionists” did not force the Arab Palestinians to leave. Their own leaders forced them to leave the land. This created the Arab Palestinian problem.

The UNRWA

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was formed and given the humane responsibility of administering the “refugee problem”. The billions of dollars given the UNRWA to assist the “refugees” have come primarily from the American taxpayer.

While it is normal to consider a refugee a person who had domicile in a residence for many years, there were relatively few Palestinian Arabs who lived a long time in the land. To compensate for the myth, the United Nations changed the definition of an Arab refugee as one who had lived only two years in the land before Israel became a state in 1948. With this all-inclusive definition, it is estimated that there were between 400,000-600,000 Palestinian Arabs who fled their homes. No one could give an accurate number because of fraud.

The UNRWA says the number of refugees with their descendants now number in the millions. Over time, many of these “refugees” found the good life living outside the refugee camps while all the while collecting their “refugee compensation” from the rest of us who have to work for a living. We not only support them but also all of their cousins who were born in some other country. If the American taxpayer understood how their hard-earned money was wasted on these “pretend refugees” they would be outraged.

As the entire world knows, the Arab countries have refused to assimilate the Arab Palestinians and care for their needs. Instead, they continue to use them as political pawns in their struggle against Israel. Ignorant of their own history, all the refugees know is that “the Jews stole their land which was their ancestors from time immemorial.” They have believed the ‘big lie’ and are filled with hate for the Jews who stole their land.

King Hussein said in 1960, “Since 1948 Arab leaders have approached the Palestine problem in an irresponsible manner. … They have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous and, I could say, even criminal.”

If the UNRWA ever had any credibility it has certainly lost it. For example, do you know that UNRWA officials are a part of the leadership of HAMAS in Gaza? UNRWA schools funded with US taxpayer money deny the legitimacy of the State of Israel and allow HAMAS to build terror tunnels into Israel under UNRWA facilities such as schools and hospitals putting children, the sick and the elderly at risk. When they are exposed they pretend to be shocked and bewildered as to how this could happen. The UNRWA has become nothing more than a front for anti-Israel hate organizations.

The refugee problem is a huge business with thousands profiting from it. Regardless of the public rhetoric to the contrary, only the most naïve and misguided connected with the refugees has any interest in ending the plight of the displaced Arab Palestinians. It is just another anti-American, anti-Israel UN hate organization using the American taxpayer as their personal ATM machine. It is time to completely defund the UNRWA.  If you agree, say, “AMEN!”

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AND NOW THE END BEGINS

As the whole world knows, on December 21, 2017 the United Nations (stands for Usually Nothing) voted to “null and void” the US acknowledgment of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Now really, who cares, right? The non-binding vote was 128-9 against the US with 35 wise nations abstaining and 21 cowardly nations not even showing up to vote.

Our courageous US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley warned them before the vote with these words, “The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation. We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations. And we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit. America will put our embassy in Jerusalem. That is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do. No vote in the United Nations will make any difference on that.”

She went on to warn them that “she was taking names.” A few days later she cut the US contribution to the UN by $285 million. Don’t you just love it when someone stands up for themselves. By-the-way, I believe you have just heard from the next Secretary of State and the first female President of the United States of America.

The nations that voted in support of the US were Israel, Guatemala, Togo, Honduras, Micronesia, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Palau. Now we can all go snorkeling at Micronesia because God will surely bless their reefs with lots of fish. And with the tax break just passed you actually may be able to afford a plane ticket to Micronesia.

Guatemala has already declared they are moving their embassy to Jerusalem. The main reason given is because the President of Guatemala is an evangelical Christians as is thirty to forty percent of the population of Guatemala. We can expect several other Central America countries to do the same. Christians, Jews and Israel standing together – it’s about time.

The UN and Zechariah

These 128 “against folk” are so incredibly ignorant I am sure they have no ideas they are fulfilling Bible prophecy and bringing God’s judgment on themselves and their nations. Fulfilling Bible prophecy – really? That dusty old book that God-haters have tried to destroy for centuries – you know; the book many of our politicians, media and educators despise and are afraid your children might read.
Maybe they are afraid they might read something written by a guy name Zechariah. Zechariah was a prophet of the One True God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God gave Zechariah a prophetic vision about events that are actually happening in our times. He wrote down the vision about 2500 years ago. This should not be hard to for us to believe since God, who is outside of time and knows the end from the beginning, can share some of his future secrets with His spokespersons. Can you just imagine Zechariah speaking to our ignorant press journalist at the briefing from the steps of the “God House-Temple Mount in Jerusalem.”

Here is what he said, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness [reeling] to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah [West Bank] and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone [boundary marker] for all peoples; all who would heave it away [remove Jerusalem from Israeli sovereignty and its eternal capital] will surely be cut in pieces [a covenant term meaning destroyed], though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:2-3, 9).

WOW – can you imagine how the “fake news” journalists would have reported that press briefing? If you are not familiar with Zechariah, I urge you to read Zechariah 12 right away because we are living in Zechariah 12 today. Please take the time to do this. You can pray and declare the words written in this chapter over events taking place in our world. This is how you partner with God to bring His will from heaven to earth.

When you finish reading Zechariah 12, immediately read Psalm 2. You can lay Psalm 2 right on top of Zechariah 12 as they are speaking about the same events and the same time in history, the time in which we are living.

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

While we will have many challenges in 2018 including wars and rumors of wars and shaking of the established order, both domestic and foreign, both good and bad, do not fear these things. Do not look at the messy micro of man (evening news) but look at the mighty macro of God (His Word).
The Word of God promises “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD. And all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD’s and He rules over the nations” (Psalm 22:27-28). You can bet your life on it.

Beloved Ones – the King-Messiah is coming for His people.
Are you prepared to meet Him face-to-face?

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Was Jesus Born at Christmas?

While the New Testament records the birth of Jesus, it does not record the specific date of His birth. Unlike modern times, people in Bible times, and for the first three centuries, did not celebrate birthdays because that was a pagan custom. So how did we decide on the birth date of Jesus?

When Antiochus desecrated the Temple by offering a swine on the holy altar of God in 167BC, he chose December 25 as the date because this was the birthday of Zeus. Zeus was the high god of Greece and considered the incarnation of the sun. Together with his goddess-mother, Rhea (the Queen of Heaven), they represented the Greek version of the mother/child cult of Babylon.

December 25th was the winter solstice, when days began to lengthen. In view of this, the ancient world of pagan sun-worshippers celebrated December 25 as the birthday of the sun. For example, to the Romans, Zeus was known as Jupiter. He was the Roman high god of the sun. The Romans celebrated December 25th (the birthday of Zeus/Jupiter) as Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, “the Day of the Nativity of the Unconquered Sun.”

In the fourth century of our era, after Constantine “Christianized” Rome, he chose December 25 as the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus so that the pagan Romans would accept the new Christian religion of Rome. Constantine, himself a sun-worshipper, may have believed Jesus to be an incarnation of Jupiter, the sun god. Because of the obvious pagan origins, many segments of Christianity condemned the observance of December 25 due to its connection to sun worship. In fact, our Pilgrim Fathers did not celebrate Christmas knowing that is was a pagan holiday that Rome had Christianized.

So when was Jesus born? It is likely that Jesus was conceived during Hanukkah. According to Luke 1:5, Zacharias was a priest of the division of Abijah. Luke 1:8 says that Gabriel appeared to Zacharias when he was serving as a priest in the temple. Based on Rabbinic writings and 1 Chronicles 24:10, the division of Abijah served as priests during the second half of the fourth month on the Jewish religious calendar. This was late June when Elizabeth conceived John the Baptist. This would mean that John the Baptist was born the next year around Passover.

According to Luke 1:24-26, Mary conceived Jesus in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. This means that Jesus was conceived during the latter part of the Jewish month of Kislev, or late December on the Gentile calendar. Jesus was born nine months later, most likely at the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah or at Tabernacles (Succot).

Micah 4:8 says that King-Messiah will be born in Bethlehem at the Tower of the Flock where sacrificial Passover lambs were born and wrapped in swaddling clothes and put in a manger (limestone rock). Think about that. But this is another subject.

By-the-way, John the Baptist was not a Baptist, Mary was not a Catholic and Jesus was not a Christian. THEY WERE ALL JEWS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Hanukkah and General Edmund Allenby

I am writing his blog on December 11, a date that will live in infamy as you will soon discover.

This year, the eight days of Hanukkah are celebrated on December 13-20 (beginning the eve of Dec. 12). While Hanukkah has always been considered a Jewish holiday, Christians should also celebrate Hanukkah to commemorate the great victory of the Jews over Antiochus Epiphanes in 164 as recorded in First Maccabaeus. Without that victory the Jews would have perished and Jesus would not have been born.

Three years earlier (167), Antiochus desecrated the holy altar of God at the Temple in Jerusalem by offering a pig as a sacrifice to Zeus. This was on December 25, the birthday of Zeus, who was the Greek high god and thought to be the incarnation of the sun. This was also the supposed birthday of many ancient pagan gods which is why Rome decreed it to be the birthday of Jesus. For this reason, our Pilgrim Fathers did not celebrate Christmas.

Antiochus forbade the Jewish people to practice their religion. They could not practice circumcision, observe the Sabbath, celebrate the feasts, keep the dietary laws, study the Torah, or in any way, worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Those who disobeyed were either tortured or killed or both. Their bodies were mutilated, and while still alive and breathing, they were crucified. The wives and sons whom they had circumcised were strangled. They were then crucified with the dead bodies of their children made to hang around their parent’s necks.

Although greatly outnumbered, and fighting the superpower of their time, God gave the Maccabaeus a great victory. They liberated Jerusalem, tore down the pagan altar, cleansed the Temple and reestablished their religious practices. Traditional writings tell us that when the Jews rededicated the altar to God they only had enough oil to burn the menorah for one day. But after the menorah was kindled, it miraculously burned for eight days, thus, the eight days of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah is called the Feast of Dedication and the Feast of Lights. Jesus celebrated this feast (John 10:22), which certainly makes it “kosher” for Christians. In fact, Jesus was probably conceived in Mary (Miriam) by the Holy Spirit at Hanukkah and born during the Feast of Trumpets or Tabernacles.   

The central focus in celebrating Hanukkah is lighting the eight-branched menorah called a hanukkiah. The hanukkiah has a ninth candle called a Shamash. This word means servant. The servant candle is used to light the other eight. May we all be filled with the light of God’s love and be His living hanukkiah servants to a very dark world. And may we have the faith and courage to fight against the darkness that would distinguish our light.

General Edmund Allenby

Now let’s fast forward from the time of the Maccabaeus to 1917 when another in the spirit of the Maccabaeus liberated Jerusalem. Turkey has ruled over Jerusalem for 400 years from 1517. But just as in the time of Antiochus, God had a plan to overthrow Turkey and liberate Jerusalem so that one day the Jews would be able to return to their ancient capital. The man he chose was General Edmund Allenby.

General Allenby was a God fearing Christian general in the British army. He led the liberation of Jerusalem from the Turks that would bring an end to four hundred years of Muslim control of Jerusalem. The Turks surrendered to Allenby on December 9 and he entered in triumphant on December 11. Before entering Jerusalem, Allenby dismounted from his horse and walked in because he said that only the Messiah should ride in triumphant in the final liberation and redemption of Jerusalem.

Now get this! As a Christian boy in England, his mother taught young Edmund to end his bedtime prayers with these words, “And, O Lord, we would not forget your ancient people, Israel. Hasten the day when Israel shall again be your people and shall be restored to your favor and to their land.” Allenby said, “I never knew God would give me the privilege of answering my own childhood prayer.”

Was it just a coincidence that Allenby was the man who liberated Jerusalem or was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob orchestrating these events? Was it just a coincidence that Allenby, the Christian General Maccabean of WWI, liberated Jerusalem DURING THE FEAST OF HANUKKAH or was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob orchestrating these events? Is it just a coincidence that it is during the approaching season of Hanukkah that the President of the USA has publicly recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God of history. He declares the end from the beginning. His counsel shall stand and none shall stay His hand (Isaiah 46:9-10).

HAPPY HANUKKAH!

 

 

 

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THE PILGRIMS AND THE FIRST THANKSGIVING

pilgrims

Because of the popularity of the Thanksgiving holiday, all Americans have heard of the Pilgrims. Anyone who has studied American history knows something about the Puritans.

But who were the Pilgrims and Puritans? They were Bible believing Christians who did not like the fact that the secular British government, ruled by a secular king, also ruled over the Christian Church of England. The king dictated church doctrines and practices that benefited him and forbade those that didn’t. As you would expect, this corrupted the organized Church of England. That is why it is important, that from an organizational control standpoint, political and religious institutions are not governed by the same entity. This is what Thomas Jefferson meant by the separation of church and state – no state church.

The Puritans and Pilgrims didn’t like a secular king telling them what they could believe and how they could practice their Christian faith. They wanted to study the Bible for themselves, establish their own beliefs as they understood the Bible, and decide for themselves how to live out their faith.

Separation of Church and State Not God and State

In other words, they did not want freedom from religion; but freedom of religion. They did not want the government to have a government church. They acknowledged God as their sovereign; not the King of England. They wanted freedom of conscience to believe and live as they understood the Bible; and not what the King of England told them to believe and do. They would never have thought of kicking God out of the government but wanted to kick the government out of the church. They wanted God to rule the government not the government to rule the church.

Of course this desire for freedom of conscience threatened the king who was not going to tolerate this dissent. King James I vowed to “make these deviants conform or he would harass them out of the land or else do worse.” The more they sought religious freedom; the more the king persecuted them. Using biblical terms, we might say that God hardened the King of England’s heart.

The Puritans thought they could purify the corrupted Church of England from within. The Pilgrims believed otherwise. They didn’t see any hope for change as long as the king was the head of the church. So the Pilgrims separated themselves from the Church of England. This is why they were called Separatists.

The Pilgrim Exodus

Because they were persecuted, the Pilgrims fled England to Holland and then twelve years later they left Holland, bordered a ship called the Mayflower and sailed to America on September 6, 1620. Sixty six days later they arrived at Cape Cod and at Plymouth Rock on December 11. Over the next twenty years, 16,000 Puritans crossed the ocean and founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The Pilgrims were totally connected to the Hebraic roots of Christianity. They saw themselves as reenacting the Exodus from Egypt except they were fleeing the King of England and crossing the ocean to a new promise land. They identified with the Hebrew people, the Hebrew Bible and the Hebrew language. For example, it is likely that the Thanksgiving celebration of the Pilgrims was based on the Feast of Tabernacles in Leviticus 23:39. It was this connection that brought Judeo-Christian morals and ethics to America that made America great. No matter who is in the White House, we must return to our Judeo-Christian heritage to “Make America Great Again.” This will require intense spiritual warfare and much civil unrest because those who hate God would rather destroy the country than bow to God.

 

[For further information on the Hebraic roots of the Pilgrims, please order my book, Christians, Jews and Israel: Standing Together in Troubled Times available at www.rbooker.com.]

The First Thanksgiving

pilgrims2

Of the 102 passengers on the Mayflower, only 53 survived the first winter. In the fall of 1621, they celebrated their survival and a successful harvest that we know of as the “First Thanksgiving.”Along with the Pilgrims, ninety Native Americans, including King Massasoit, came to the feast that lasted for three days. Ladies, can you imagine preparing for and feeding this many people for three days?

There are two descriptions of that first thanksgiving from eyewitness accounts, both written in King James English. The first is from Edward Winslow who writes:

“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

William Bradford was the governor of the Colony. He writes:

“They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.”

There are some teachers and writers who claim that the Pilgrims stole land from the Native Americans and treated them harshly. This is not true. The Pilgrims and the Native Americans in their neighborhood signed a peace treaty of mutual respect and friendship that lasted fifty years. How many treaties do you know that last fifty years? It was only later that less honorable people from both sides violated the trust between the parties.

A Miracle of Survival

Of the original 102 Mayflower passengers, 29 were women. Eighteen were married, ten were children and one was single. Of the eighteen married women, fourteen died in the first winter leaving only four surviving married women. These were Mary Brewster, Susanna White, Elizabeth Hopkins, and Ellen Billington. Symbolically, America was born from the womb of these few godly women who had a Judeo-Christian, Hebraic faith and worldview. Think about it!

Bradford acknowledged the divine providence of God with these words, “Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things from nothing, and gives being to all thing that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea, in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise.”

In 1650, Bradford writes, “Of these 100 or so of persons who came over first, more than half died in the first general sickness. Of those that remained, some were too old to have children. Nevertheless in those thirty years there have sprung up from that stock over 160 persons now living in this year 1650; and of the old stock itself, nearly thirty persons still survive. Let the Lord have the praise, Who is the High Preserver of men.”

 

 

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Remembering Kristallnacht

In October 1938, the Nazis expelled thousands of polish Jews who were living in Germany. However, Poland did not accept them so the people were stranded in a no-man’s land. They were barely surviving under the harshest of conditions in a Polish camp. A 17 year old German born Polish Jew was in Paris at the time and learned his parents were in the camp. The young man became very angry and went to the German embassy in Paris with the intent of killing the German ambassador. But instead of killing the ambassador, he shot Ernst Von Rath, who was the Third Secretary to the ambassador. This was on November 7, 1938. The secretary died two day later on November 9.

The Nazis were waiting for an incident like this to justify an action against the Jews. Hitler gave his storm troopers a free hand against the Jews. When Von Rath died on November 9, they went on a rampage of terror and destruction. Approximately 250 synagogues were set on fire, 815 shops were destroyed, several hundred houses destroyed and 30,000 Jewish men rounded up and sent to concentration camps. This action against the Jews came to be known as Kristallnacht, meaning the “Night of Broken Glass” because the streets were filled with broken glass from the shops and synagogues the Nazis destroyed.

Now for many, this tragic event is only a footnote in the history books. But not so for those who lived through it. They will never forget and neither should we. People who don’t know history, will eventually repeat it. Those of us who are Christians need this understanding so we can stand with our Jewish friends and say, “Never Again.”

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Why We Must Never Forget

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THE CHARGE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

While the world is celebrating Halloween on October 31, God was celebrating something so much more important that few Christians know about.

You see, it was October 31, 1917 that the Australian Light Horseman made a miraculous charge across open desert and captured the wells at Beersheba. Why did this charge change the world?

In World War I the British and her allies were trying to liberate the Holy Land (then called Palestine), from the Turks and their German allies. The problem was they had to go through Beersheba to get to Jerusalem. The British and her allies had to go through Beersheba because the water wells were at Beersheba. In World War I the military still used horses and horses need water. But the Turks were in control of Beersheba and had built fortified trenches to protect the city.

Without Beersheba, the British and her allies could not liberate the Holy Land, Israel would not be reborn, Jerusalem would not be liberated and prophecy not fulfilled.

After failing several times to take Beersheba, British and Australian commanders determined that they would make one last effort to attack Beersheba with the Fourth Light Horse Brigade. Australian Lieutenant-General Harry Chauvel gave the command. It was just before dark with just enough daylight to make the charge. If the charge failed, the outcome of the war could have been completely different. Failure was not an option.

The Light Horseman were mounted infantry. They always rode their horses a certain distance and then dismounted to charge their enemy by foot. This is what the Germans and Turks expected them to do. But not this time.

I don’t want to give away the story except to say that the Light Horseman did a maneuver they had never done which so surprised the Germans and the Turks, the Light Horseman were able to capture the wells at Beersheba. During the battle, of the 800 Light Horseman in the charge, 31 were killed, 36 wounded and 70 horses died.

The result of the victory was that was that the way to Jerusalem was open for General Allenby to liberate Jerusalem in December and drive the Germans and Turks from the Holy Land. This also made possible the implementation of the Balfour Declaration on November 2 giving British support for the rights of the Jewish people to establish a state in their ancient homeland. This victory at Beersheba is as significant as the liberation of Jerusalem in the six day war in 1967. Without it, Bible prophecy would not be fulfilled. The victory is being re-enacted this year in Israel as the 100 year celebration of THE CHARGE THAT CHANGED THE WORLD.

There is a great movie about this event entitled, “The Light Horseman.” It won the Australian Academy Awards some years back. It is family friendly. You would be greatly blessed by watching this movie. I am sure you can order it through Amazon.

www.amazon.com/Lighthorsemen-Peter-Phelps/dp/B000CJ2E5I

It is a great way to learn about one of the most important event in God’s redemptive history for Israel and the world.

 

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