Letter From the Editor

Fall 2005

Dear Friends who Love the Bible’s Light,

“…In returning and rest shall you be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength….” (Isaiah 30:15).

In recent months we’ve seen flip-flops in support of the State of Israel by leaders and diplomats, political and religious. Even Israel’s own Prime Minister, once known as the great supporter of settling the Land of Milk and Honey (particularly the mountains of Ephraim) now seems to be bent on dismantling the settlements. And the majority of Israelis are willing to do just that. Why? What in the world is going on?

Sick and tired of conflict, Israelis support giving away the store in hopes of peace. Both the right and left have much to say about it. There are verbal threats and even violence by some to hold on to the land. And it is disconcerting to see some Christians exasperating this dissension.

Weigh and Consider:

Hitler did not distinguish between right and left Jews. He tried to exterminate them all. Is the right always right? Is the left always wrong? Who can change either one? And which one can bring peace? In the political arena, BOTH parties have lost chances. Reports from Jerusalem of compassion and support toward fellow Jews who have been taken out of their Gaza homes, give hints of these differences dimming. We look for the day when the need for such tags will disappear – right and left.

Now what? Can we find some answers in God’s Word? How about starting with our own selves, as individual Bible believers, simmering down and getting into the “quietness and confidence” mode spoken of in the verse above. It tells us that’s where strength is found. Are loud demands of each other getting the job done? Link this verse in Isaiah with Zechariah 4:6: “Not by [military] might, nor by [diplomatic] power, but by My Spirit, saith the LORD of Hosts.” – Well, then, if we have confidence in Him and get quiet, what might happen?

Isaiah 57 gives a clue: “…merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” Many of the prophets declared there would be judgment in the latter days, unheard of before, and the mountain region of Israel would suffer from this. Is this the time of Isaiah 26:20, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.”

The next verse reveals Isaiah is talking about a time when the earth’s inhabitants “shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” [a blow-up of cover-ups]. There has been enough sowing to the wind to reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7). The bountiful sowing to the death culture will bring a reaping according to the seed sown. Is the harvest of the earth almost upon us when the tares will be removed from the wheat? (Matthew 13:24-30).

You may be wondering why I ask questions instead of “laying it out as it is” in your opinion. The experience of years has had a mellowing effect, and understanding has come that NO MAN OR WOMAN has all the answers. These are days of heart searching, and going back to basics in the study of God’s Word – in whole and not just the passages that fit our beliefs.

We are seeing that our rash of words isn’t accomplishing any thing. So shall we lay down and play dead? Shall we quit speaking of prophetic Scriptures entirely? No, but Isaiah 40 tells us how and what. Let us speak His Word in His Love which guarantees His anointed blessing. On whom? Only the Bible-believers in Israel? Are the rest not God’s people also? Did He not say that when He regathers His people to His Land, He would take away the stony hearts and make a transplant with a heart of flesh? (Ezekiel 11:19. Read also 36:24-29.) In the meantime it seems many who are called Christians are trying to perform surgery without a license.

Love is made known by the manner in which words are spoken and deeds are performed.

But the question still isn’t answered: What shall we do? “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). We can help bring life and healing to desolate areas available to us. One way we can step up projects of restoration and healing is by planting trees – this time in the desert south of the Dead Sea which is behind in restoration.

We’ve been shirking it because of the comfort level! Restoring the desert requires a roughing-in time. Do all the pioneers belong to the previous generations? We will see what God and man can do if we really cooperate with Him. The only requirement is that we operate as El Shaddai does – in Love and in Truth. And the truth is not effective when it’s used to brow-beat and harass. We can’t really be in His Truth unless we operate in His spirit of Love.

As Bible believers let’s ask ourselves: What is the worst thing that can happen now? In spite of our protests more settlements in the Land promised to Israel may be lost. What then? Does this mean all those prophetic promises, such as to the mountains in Ezekiel 36, are null and void? Never! But He doesn’t have to – nor will He – do it according to our dictates. Does fulfillment of prophecy depend on us? What if we bring forth a false peace? Since day one we’ve heard that anti-Christ rides on that track.

If the settlements are lost, shall we get a divorce over them? Attitude is so important. Dogmatism brings division, and turns many completely away. Many times such rhetoric spills forth as hatred. There is something for all of us to learn in this seeming disastrous disengagement.

Considering Isaiah 57:1 and 26:20, could it be that in His providence, the settlers are being put elsewhere, safe from what is coming? If we get quiet and listen maybe He will show us (Isaiah 42:9 & 43:19).

Whether the secular segment of Jews believes or not has nothing to do with the facts. It is God’s covenant and He always keeps His covenants. He is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of His covenants – unconditionally!

The Abrahamic Covenant was the doing of El Shaddai, translated “Almighty” in the King James version. It is not altogether a bad translation for the root of Shaddai is “shad”, Hebrew for breast. As a baby rests on the mother’s breast and receives fulfillment of all needs, so to us El Shaddai is our Supplier and Source of Love, the Greatest Power, the All-Mighty. Don’t we want to know El Shaddai better?

When love is stressed by some, let’s not put them in a box with a label – “humanism”. Shall we let a cult rob us of the strongest force in the world? I don’t know the cult’s definition of love, but we are talking about the love of God for every person, that He will show through us if we walk with Him in the light of His Word and Spirit.

This letter is not directed at any one person or organization, but there are hurtful attitudes in both Christians and Jews who are on the right side and appears not to be riding on a wave of love.

Maybe we’d better revive the old southern tune, “It’s the old-time religion – it makes me love every body and that’s good enough for me”!

                                              In Sincerity,

                                              Chris Josephson

P.S. The enormity of the damage to the southern coastal area of our nation was realized after we’d prepared this mailing. Three Scriptures come to mind. “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance … He set the bounds (coastal regions) of the people according to the number of the children of Israel” (Deut. 32:8). This tells us that all nations have to do somehow with God’s plan for Israel, and in our day, the USA, more than any other nation, has the most influence on Israel. Proverbs 26:2, “…the curse causeless shall not come.” And we cannot over stress the importance of Gen. 12:3, “I will bless them that bless thee; and curse him that curses thee.” May our government and all of us be awakened to the fact these are not mere man’s words. Let us pray for Jerusalem and Washington.