Jim Caviezel Chooses Films to ‘Bring Most Souls to Christ’ After Heartbreaking Message From God

By: Leah MarieAnn Klett; christianpost.com

(PHOTO: THE CHRISTIAN POST)
Jim Caviezel stars as Luke, a colleague of the Apostle Paul’s, in PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST, which hit theaters March 23, 2018.

DALLAS — Jim Caviezel said he chooses to star in films he believes will “bring the most souls to Christ” after God delivered a heartbreaking message to him when he played the role of Jesus in the 2004 film “The Passion of the Christ.”

“When [God] came close to me in ‘The Passion’ when I was on that cross, [He said], ‘They don’t love me. There are very few,'” Caviezel told The Christian Post. “I was like, ‘Well, I’m going to love You, and I’m going to tell You that I love You.’ Tell it publicly, I don’t care. I’m less afraid of ISIS than I am the media.”

“That’s why our Lord is so alone — His creatures do not love Him,” he continued. “And, He could force Himself on us, but would that be love? I don’t think so. I’m so blessed because I get to convey those stories, but do it in a way … that I know can bring the most souls back to Him, even those that don’t believe.”

In the recently-released film “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” Caviezel stars as Luke, a colleague of the Apostle Paul’s (James Faulkner). Nearly three decades after Christ’s death and resurrection, Paul is languishing in a prison in Rome, awaiting execution under order from Nero. Meanwhile, the early Christians are experiencing extreme persecution, having been blamed for a tragic fire in Rome. Under these circumstances, Luke visits Paul in prison, hoping to glean wisdom from the seasoned apostle that will give hope to local church members.

(PHOTO: 2018 CTMG)

Caviezel told CP that prior to receiving the script for “Paul, Apostle of Christ,” he experienced a series of life-changing events, including the death of his friend and lawyer, Frank Stewart, and sobering visit to Auschwitz concentration camp. But what affected him most, he said, were images shown to him by some Navy Seal friends: Christians crucified by the Islamic State terrorist group on Good Friday of last year.

“I got this script, and I read it, and I immediately thought, ‘Wow, saints, murdered, killed,’ and I thought about Frank being a mentor, and I thought that maybe Paul was a mentor to Luke, like Frank was to me, and it that’s how it organically happened,” he shared.

“So much of the time when I see these movies, they don’t hit me because they’re too fundamental or the performance is strong, but they change the words or they lose that human aspect to it,” Caviezel told CP. “What I found with Faulkner was the humor, the relationship, that these guys would’ve had with each other.”

Through the film, Caviezel said he hopes to draw attention to the persecuted Church — a problem still pervasive around the world today. The actor said he’s inspired by Christians, who, like Paul, sacrifice everything for their faith, as they will be remembered for loving God in a special way.

“When James and John are talking, ‘I want to sit at your right and left hand side,’ that’s what appealed to me,” he said. “And, I saw Paul being like that, and Luke being like that, that they would go the extra mile. There’s so many of us that are called, but few choose.”

Before taking on the role of Luke, Caviezel said he prayed one simple prayer: “Lord, I don’t want the world to see me, I want them to see You. You gotta get closer to me.”

“It’s really like a conversation just like that, and I pray from the heart,” he said. “Christ is the most authentic thing that ever was and the people that really affected my life were those that I played on screen, and Jesus.”

From Sony’s Affirm Films — the company behind “Miracles from Heaven” and “Heaven is for Real” — “Paul, Apostle of Christ” was released ahead of Easter weekend, perfectly timed in its themes of sacrifice, suffering, and faithfulness. Quietly woven throughout the film are lines taken directly from scripture — phrases Caviezel hopes will “go past the brain and into the heart.”

“They slipped it in there; it’s a book over here, a line over here,” he said. “I took a friend of mine to see [the movie], who doesn’t even believe in [God], and he said that the director was genius. He called him a philosopher. And I said, ‘Why do you say that?’ and he said, ‘Well, that line, I love it: ‘To live is Christ, to die is gain.’ I said, ‘Well, that was actually Paul, you know.'”

“But he didn’t know that,” he said with a chuckle. “We didn’t want to hammer you over the head with it.”

(PHOTO: 2018 CTMG)

Caviezel — who is set to reprise the role of Jesus in a forthcoming sequel to The Passion Of The Christ — said he hopes the unwavering faithfulness of Paul and Luke in the face of danger encourages a society riddled with division and unrest.

“The power of it is that, when these guys walk out [of the theater], they go, ‘Wow, even in the face of evil, God still rests with me and I’m not afraid anymore,'” he said.

Filmed in Malta, “Paul, Apostle of Christ” also stars Olivier Martinez (“S.W.A.T.”), Joanne Whalley (“A.D. The Bible Continues”) and John Lynch (“The Secret Garden”). For more information visit the film’s website.

 

As a teen, he boxed his way through Auschwitz…

…At, 92 he is one of the world’s oldest living journalists.

By: JTA Staff; jta.org

(JTA) — As a prisoner in Auschwitz, Noah Klieger narrowly escaped death through sheer audacity: Selected for the gas chamber on account of his pneumonia, Klieger managed to talk himself out of the sentence in a personal encounter with the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. Later, he faked his way on to a boxing squad at Auschwitz that enjoyed better meal rations.

After liberation, he arrived in prestate Israel aboard the Exodus ship and fought in the 1948 War of Independence. Klieger went on to a storied career in journalism, authoring several books and a longtime column in the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot.

 

Israel Says it Destroys Hamas Tunnel Network in Gaza

apnews.com

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said Sunday it has destroyed a Gaza attack tunnel built by Hamas militants that penetrated Israeli territory.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said the new Hamas tunnel was connected to a network dug in the northern Gaza Strip and entered Israel near the Israeli community of Nahal Oz. It’s the fifth such Hamas tunnel Israel has destroyed in as many months.

Conricus said the tunnel was adjacent to the site of recent mass protests, which Israel says Hamas is using as a cover for attacks.

Conricus said Hamas began building the tunnel following the 2014 war. Israel has placed a high priority on halting the tunnel threat since Hamas infiltrated Israel during the war. Although they did not manage to reach civilian areas, the infiltrations caught Israel off guard, with one attack killing five soldiers, and terrified the local population.

In two weeks of protests, 28 Palestinians have been killed and more than 1,500 wounded by Israeli fire. The marches have been organized by Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, but large turnouts on two preceding Fridays were also driven by Gaza’s dire living conditions and desperation among the territory’s 2 million residents, who have been enduring a crippling border closure by Israel and Egypt since 2007.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said this was the longest and deepest tunnel Israel has discovered thus far.

“It’s a tunnel that cost millions of dollars to dig, money that instead of going to ease the hardship of Gaza’s residents has sunk in the sand,” he said. “Residents of Gaza: Hamas is burning your money on tunnels to nowhere.”

Hamas had no immediate comment.

Israel is erecting a subterranean barrier to detect and prevent attack tunnels. Israel says the barrier, as well as new technological innovations, have rendered the Hamas tunnel project futile.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008. During the most recent conflict in 2014, Israel destroyed 32 tunnels.

 

Gazans to Burn Thousands of Tires at Border

Pictures and videos on social media showed that hundreds of tires have already been transported to the border.

By: Tovah Lazaroff; jpost.com

A Palestinian protester throws a tire into a fire during clashes with Israeli security forces. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)

Palestinians plan to engulf the Gaza border with smoke and flames from thousands of burning tires on Friday as Israel holds firm to its order to shoot any protesters who come close to the security barrier. Continue reading “Gazans to Burn Thousands of Tires at Border”

Two Dead Sea Scrolls to go on Display for the First Time in New Denver Exhibit

Israel Antiquities Authority stages massive six-month show, featuring a three-ton stone from the Western Wall and 18 other Dead Sea Scrolls

By: Amanda Borschel-Dan; timesofisrael.com

Israel Antiquities Authority conservator Tatiana Treiger holds a fragment of the Tohorot scroll, on public display for the first time at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. (Yoli Shwartz, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Continue reading “Two Dead Sea Scrolls to go on Display for the First Time in New Denver Exhibit”

A Full 97 Percent of Israeli Jews Host or Join a Seder

Jewish News Syndicate; jns.org

The reasons have heritage at the core: “That’s how my family behaved throughout the generations,” “that’s how I express my Jewish culture,” and “it makes me feel like I am taking part in history.”

A family seen during the Passover Seder on the first night of the holiday in Tzur Hadassah, Israel, on March 25, 2013. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash 90

According to a Jewish People Policy Institute survey of 3,000 respondents, 97 percent of Israelis Jews say they either host or participate in a Passover Seder, compared to the 2013 Pew Study’s finding of 70 percent of American Jews who participated in the Seder the prior year.

Continue reading “A Full 97 Percent of Israeli Jews Host or Join a Seder”

US Again Threatens to Leave Human Rights Council Over Resolutions Against Israel

Jewish Telegraphic Agency; jta.org

Nikki Haley speaking at a UN meeting in New York City, Sept. 4, 2017. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

(JTA) — The United States again threatened to leave the United Nations Human Rights Council after the international body passed five resolutions against Israel.

Continue reading “US Again Threatens to Leave Human Rights Council Over Resolutions Against Israel”

Iran Said to be Building Military Facilities in Syria Near Russian Positions

Tehran’s gambit is apparently based on assessment that Israel wouldn’t dare strike for fear of tangling with Moscow

By: Avi Issacharoff; timesofisrael.com

Iran’s army chief of staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, left, looking into binoculars, and other senior officers from the Iranian military, visit a front line in the northern province of Aleppo, Syria, October 20, 2017. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP, File)

As it works intensively to deepen its military presence in Syria, Iran is building military facilities very close to Russian forces there, The Times of Israel has learned.

Continue reading “Iran Said to be Building Military Facilities in Syria Near Russian Positions”

Israel Among Top 10 Most Powerful, Innovative Countries

Barely 70 years old and with a population of just 8.5 million, the Jewish state ranks up there with world powers, edging out US in innovation.

By: Brian Blum; Israel21c.org

An Israeli flag flies over Masada. Photo by John Theodor/Shutterstock.com

U.S. News and World Report has ranked Israel the eighth most powerful nation in the world. And Bloomberg News reports that the Jewish state is the 10th most innovative worldwide, edging out the United States, which fell in Bloomberg’s survey to 11th place this year.

Continue reading “Israel Among Top 10 Most Powerful, Innovative Countries”

Israel Says it Destroys New Hamas Tunnel Network in Gaza

apnews.com

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said Sunday it destroyed a tunnel built by the Hamas militant group.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the new tunnel was intended to connect to an old one that Israel partially destroyed in the southern Gaza Strip during the 2014 war, in what appears to be the first case of Hamas trying to “recycle” part of its devastated network.

Continue reading “Israel Says it Destroys New Hamas Tunnel Network in Gaza”