Editorial

What’s It Cracked Up to Be?

Some of this edition of Bible Light on the News was prepared in Jerusalem. However, before leaving the states, I heard a sermon that triggered its theme – “Foundations”.

Not once was Torah – God’s love laws for man – referred to, but “Cracks” in the church’s foundation were mentioned. The preacher spoke a lot about how they’d hunted a long time to find how to repair the cracks in the foundation. Materials used didn’t do the job. But I do not recall a clear explanation of what those cracks are, or how they got there.

In this issue we endeavor to set forth some foundations that stand firm. The Apostle Paul wrote to his right-hand man, Timothy, that “the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The LORD KNOWS THEM THAT ARE HIS. And, Let every one that names the Name of Christ depart from iniquity”  (I Timothy 2:19). What is “iniquity” – and how do we know we’ve got the ‘disease’?

The article beginning on Page 3 contains paragraphs from the introduction of a book manuscript [which we expect to get to press shortly] “Judah, You’re Not Alone; I am Joseph, Your Brother”. The Abrahamic Covenant is foundational to both Jews and Christians. The seal of the covenant, circumcision, symbolizes the cutting off of lustful desire. “Depart from iniquity” is an earmark of a follower of the Son of God’s Love, the ‘Sun of Righteousness that arises with healing in his wings’ (Malachi 4:2).

Christian means “a follower of Christ”. How far behind have we fallen? He declared he had not come to destroy the Law – foundational truths. But we have not only cracked that foundation, we’ve scrapped it!

We were told that Christ’s “fulfilling” of the Law/Torah meant doing away with it. But Torah means “teaching” which Christ accomplished with the ‘vehicle’ of LOVE, by not destroying Torah, but making it effective. He set the pace; he opened and exemplified the way to make God’s Love Laws our happiness-producing life-style. He even gives the desire to live this life-style. He enables us to “accomplish” it – that is, to be over-comers of evil and the death life style. How? By writing it on tables of “flesh” – our hearts – in place of “stone”. Have you asked Him to soften your stony heart?

The original message of the Apostles is the Good News that made known THE GOD OF ISRAEL to us called out from among the nations. He turned us around and back to our roots – Torah love-laws. What do you say we go full stream ahead toward the Kingdom of God on earth? “Wisdom is knowing how God is working in the world and going with Him.” Chazak! Be strong!

Tamar Biblical Park

During a recent 8 weeks in Israel, I spent over a third of that time at Tamar. Where’s that? You can locate it on a map in your Bible Atlas. It’s a few miles south of the Dead Sea near the Eilat highway. We have come to know and appreciate the Curator of Biblical Tamar Park, Dr. DeWayne Coxon of Blossoming Rose. DeWayne is a unique person who has the rare gift of bringing together people of diverse backgrounds, but whose common interest is Israel and the restoration process going on there now.

One reason for the interest in the 53-acre Biblical Tamar Park is that its earliest history dates to Abraham. It is believed the roots of an ancient jujube tree go back to Abraham’s time – maybe under whose shade Abraham was sitting when three visitors came? A small hole bored into the gnarled old tree trunk revealed 2,300 rings!

Painstaking excavations reveal layer after layer of occupation. It was the crossroads of a main caravan route of ancient spice traders; Solomonic gates (constructed using Solomon’s design) to the fortification there are now exposed, and the Queen of Sheba spent her first night in Israel at Tamar. The largest natural spring in the desert is located there – the reason the jujube tree still grows!

Most archeological sites in Israel do not go to the depths of Tamar because later civilizations are built on top of them. Some places, such as Nazareth, have been continuously inhabited, so no ancient remains have been found there – even from the days of Christ. The same is true for Jerusalem; much of the city cannot be dug up because of present-day structures. This makes Tamar the most pristine of Israeli digs because since (and before) New Testament times no new construction was built on top of the ruins.

Major tree planting, fence building, besides working on the excavations and general up-keep – give opportunity to people who wish to donate time to the Park. Blossoming Rose offers visitors an affordable tour of Israel, with some sight-seeing trips while based in Tamar – along with opportunities to be a part of this fine project. You are invited to spend time there in the desert working and praying for Israel.

This 2,300-year-old jujube tree in Biblical Tamar Park is showing signs of its age with a major, living, branch arching to the left. Its scientific name is Ziziphus spina-christi. Its branches contain barbed thorns and small pea-sized fruit which we’re told taste like apples. In the background to the right of the tree trunk, sand bags used to help protect the excavation can be seen. While at Tamar, we had the honor of attending the Jewish wedding of Asher (General Manager of Tamar) and Orna (a teacher of children with special needs) Sofer held in its shade.

A present project is building a fence around the entire park. $100 will build a section of the fence. You can also participate in planting trees adaptable to the heat and desert conditions of the region. Send your gifts and inquiries of this project directly to: DeWayne Coxon, Blossoming Rose; PO Box X, Cedar Springs, MI 49319, or contact the Tour Director, Emil Mullins at 517-740-4498. (No strings attached, but tell them Chris sent you J.)  -