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September 12, 2006

Shalom from Jerusalem,

“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Evil-doers are certainly waxing worse and worse. How can WE be “over-comers”?

I’m writing you a few hours before I go to Ben Gurion airport for my flight back to the States, expecting to be there about two months.

The Elmer Josephson Library and Learning Center” is the working title of the name of the project I mentioned at the close of my last newsletter. This a huge challenge Bible Light has been given to establish a library and learning center at Biblical Tamar Park in the Arava desert south of the Dead Sea.

Our friend, John Hulley, has written an excellent book, “What is the Messiah waiting for?” - soon to be published. The following excerpt pinpoints, I believe, the timing and reason for the Learning Center. John believes we are on the edge of reconciliation because new understanding of God’s Word will come. He quotes many passages for this claim, such as Isaiah 11:12-14. He writes under the title:

Higher truth leads to reconciliation

Since the new understanding will be given to both houses, it should remove the religious obstacles between them. What a time that will be! It may be the one foreseen in glowing terms in the Talmud:

Great will be the day when the exiles of Israel will be reassembled, as the day when heaven and earth were created. (Pesach 88a, BT)

In fact the rabbis teach that in the end-time any or all of their oral tradition may be corrected, along with most of the Bible, leaving only the Torah (=Pentateuch) untouched.

Probably many believers [from the nations - Ed.] would make a similar distinction between Church theology and the Bible. According to one evangelical leader our interpretation of scripture is to be transformed:

The Lord will soon open our understanding of his word and purposes to a depth beyond our present comprehension. The “books” are yet to be “opened” as they will be. When they are, our understanding of even basic truths, such as salvation, being born again, etc. will be enormously increased.

As the two houses unify, there will no longer be rival faiths. No more sects! No more denominations! A great clarification is coming. Everyone will agree. How different that time will be!

“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:9-12)

Paul is saying that our understanding of spiritual truth today is childish.

To make the point plainer he goes on to compare it to ‘seeing through a glass darkly.’ The state of glass-making in his day was primitive. In Europe some 16th century houses are still preserved with the glass windows of the time. It is somewhat like looking through glass bricks. Through them you can distinguish between lighter and darker areas outside; but you cannot see enough to identify the objects. Paul was saying that our spiritual understanding permits us to tell light from dark - thank God! But as for detail it is dim, compared to what it will be. Then we shall perceive that our grasp of truth has been very limited, and we shall ‘put away childish things’. What we know now ‘shall be done away’.

For some years we have been having conferences and small “learning centers” with Jews and Christians coming together around the Bible and learning from each other without intimidating and without an agenda of conversion. I trust these same rules will be prevalent at the Arava learning center. To see what can be done to get this big ball rolling, is my purpose for this trip.

Israel is surrounded by evil and her friends are few. The post war news in Israel is in a “what now?” mode. Yesterday it was announced that the PA and Hamas are about to form a unity government. And Prime Minister Olmert has said he will meet and talk to Abbas, the head of the PA.

Hamas, Hizbullah, their allies and master in Teheran are producing what my friend, Yossi Klein Halevy, has called the “theology of genocide” against Israel. This is a self-destructive path and is actually ripping the mask off this culture of death. The distinction between the evil death culture and the good, sanctity-of-life culture is becoming clearer every day.

We have an opportunity as no other generation to overcome evil with good. Many are praying for Israel and there are many groups here who say they are intercessors and have come to do spiritual warfare. This is very well and good. HOWEVER, we can put feet to our prayers in this project to bring about better understanding of the restoration taking place in our day. We can learn much from our brother, Judah, realizing we don’t have “the whole ball of wax”. Judah can learn from us, also, when we all drop our arrogant attitude and condemning ways and speak as “brothers.”

May the Lord help us all!

Now, my computer is going into my carry-on to the El Al plane. Please answer me and I will get your message in Ottawa, Kansas - according to the good will and guidance of El Shaddai, our Lord.

                    In His Name,

                         Chris Josephson