March 1999: Volume 21, Number 3


Zola has been asked to contribute a chapter for an upcoming book of the above title. We will run this chapter for your edification starting in this newsletter.

Foreshadows of Wrath

(part 1)
by Zola Levitt

          If it weren't for the Bible, it would certainly be hard to explain why Israel is considered so important in the world today. Indeed when we look at nations with populations comparable to Israel's, we find they are only rarely in the news as would be expected. Benin, Paraguay, Denmark, etc., have their ups and downs like all nations, but the goings-on in such relatively small places is of little concern to the world leaders, the media and the man on the street. David Bar-Illan, senior advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and his media spokesman, bemoaned the fact that his boss was known worldwide while he himself could not even name the prime ministers of comparable-sized nations around the world. Israel

          Media attention is what makes a prime minister or a nation famous or infamous in today's world, and for some reason (known only to Scripture), Israel gets much more than its share of it. While a handful of reporters cover European capitals, there are 400 newsmen, TV commentators and the like in Jerusalem everyday! While entire revolutions take place in countries ten times Israel's size with minor media coverage, CNN virtually stops its news day to report that the orthodox and the secular Jewish people are arguing again on some Israeli street. The Dallas Morning News, a reliable critic of Israel along with so many of its sister newspapers in this country, ran a picture of so-called strife while covering some neighborhood disagreement in the Holy Land in which there were zero casualties. The front page story was accompanied by a huge photograph of the factions that were arguing. On page 13 of the same paper it recorded seven murders over the same weekend in Dallas. The New York Times, our "newspaper of record," keeps up a steady drumbeat of criticism of this allied democracy no matter what else in the world is happening. I would think that if a world war broke out, the Times editor would order his reporters to keep a front-page space open for its usual Israel coverage whatever else might be happening.

          Media attention in the modern world simply means negative coverage, since the media tends to feature the world's troubles. Cynicism, negativism, and some sort of nether drama marks our media these days. They are turning into entertainment organizations simply desperate to draw a crowd to whom they hawk the products of their advertisers. The crowd is evidently better drawn by the sort of negative news that is part and parcel of the human condition. Witness the litany of robberies, killings, fires, etc., on the local TV news each night in every American city. The media could cover the good works of the city every night just as it could cover the fact of Israel's miraculous restoration in one generation to becoming a progressive modern democracy, but news editors favor the tried and true. Bad news about good people always sells.

          There might be an even more sinister idea at work in the media's negative coverage of the news. Wars are a boon to any media. CNN charged triple the going rate for commercials during its coverage of the Persian Gulf War, and sponsors lined up to pay those prices. It did not escape the notice of the editorial board that real conflict — bombers, people dying in the streets, big fires, etc. — provided a huge audience like no local robberies and murders could. What if they could arrange their own wars? This almost science fiction concept may be unconsciously at work today. Coverage of what the media views as trouble spots — Bosnia, Ireland, Africa, and oddly enough, Israel — is in place just in case some spark ignites a real shooting war. And needless to say, coverage of the news in such places aims to exacerbate their situations. Hence the "plight" of the Palestinians and Israel, the "hopelessness" of the arguments in Ireland, etc., etc. We might say that the media are continually publishing introductions for war in the hope that some war will commence where their people are in place. Then the media accomplishes its major purpose, its reason for being. It makes big money.

          We must keep in mind that the media are not some public service but simply profit-making businesses which charge substantial fees for the coverage provided. In previous editions in this series of books, I have pointed out that the media are likely supported by petro dollars since makers of oil-based products buy a great deal of advertising. If the makers of cars, cosmetics, gasolines and so forth are not pleased with the sort of coverage that they receive in the media — if it does not somehow support Arab oil interests — then they possibly buy less advertising space. And so we have a profit-making business covering an ordinary day-to-day life situation in Israel in a most negative and provocative way for reasons of greater profits.

          For its part, Israel goes along, the only democracy in the Middle East, achieving wonderful things. Its per capita income is now comparable to that of England and greater than that in the largest Arab oil-producing states, including Saudi Arabia. As a result the Arabs of Israel, the only Arabs privileged to live in a democracy in the Middle East, are profiting as well and have a standard of living hardly imagined by Arab people elsewhere. (The Egyptian government issues precious few visas for its citizens to visit Israel even though this is perfectly allowable under the Camp David peace accords, and Israelis visit Egypt every day in huge numbers. The fact is the government of Egypt doesn't want its citizens to see how well the Arabs of Israel are living. They fear an absolute revolution when people see their cousins of the Holy Land driving cars, drinking clean water, having doctors in their villages and schools, etc.)

          The international solution to Israel's success seems to be to cut the place in half, give the Jewish people less land, and somehow bring peace by dividing one of the smallest nations in the world. Certainly it is the division of the world's available land into smaller and smaller parcels with different governments that causes the rash of "wars and rumors of wars" of the latter half of this century. When the United Nations was founded in the late '40s there were less than a hundred nations, and at this point there are close to two hundred. Having more nations simply provides the situation where "nation will rise against nation."

          Israel must be the most obvious example of creating new boundaries that create new troubles. If Saddam Hussein of Iraq could complain that the British mapmakers drew a boundary cutting off the province of Kuwait from Iraq, then what would Israel say? Iraq has a murky history emanating from about the time of the Arab conquest of Mesopotamia over a thousand years ago, but Israel started out as one nation under Jewish leadership 35 centuries ago!

          History and archaeology show this to be Jewish land from the Mediterranean to past the Jordan River, and from the deserts of the south to northern borders that exceed the Galilee and Golan Heights on the north. But even though the formal boundaries of Israel are about half the size of what they were in Biblical times, world leaders, and especially Arab leaders, demand that even this small area be cut in half again and an equal portion be given to those who have sworn to drive Israel into the sea.

          Why is all this happening to Israel? The best of all reasons is that prophetic Scripture says it will happen. While the world press dithers over Israel's supposed intractability with the peace process or bad treatment of the Palestinians or a wrong-headed prime minister, the real reason is that Israel must be maneuvered into a position where it will be "hated of all nations" (Matthew 24:9). It is well to remember that close to 100 percent of end times prophecy concerns that tiny nation and that the Biblical signs of the end pertain especially to Israel.

          The Olivet discourse of our Lord. His answer to the disciples. question, "What will be the signs of Your coming and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3) — details phenomena that are global in scope but of particular concern to those in the Holy Land. The Lord addresses His disciples as Israelites in particular when He observes, "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" (v. 13). It is the Jewish people gathered in Israel at the time of Armageddon that must endure "unto the end" — that is the second coming of the Lord — to be saved.

          At the time, "they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and mourn for Him as for an only son ... and a fount of cleansing will be opened unto the house of David" (Zechariah 12:10 and 13:1). It is imagined that the Jews are receiving some sort of favor or second chance due to their salvation at the Second Coming, but they are saved by seeing the Lord come out of heaven to stop that mad battle raging in Jerusalem. Since He is coming back to the earth exactly in their midst where they stand back to back in their nation's capital ("And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives...." Zechariah 14:4), they simply see Him come and they believe. Undoubtedly, Gentile soldiers engaged in Armageddon who look up and see Him are saved as well. After all, anyone looking up into the sky and seeing a heavenly figure riding a white horse with a robed army behind Him and an identification on that robe reading "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" will believe, and that's all there is to that. They believe by seeing, but this is after the age of grace when we believe in "things not seen."

          Besides that piece of evidence that the signs of the end are given in particular to Israel, Matthew 24:15-16 advises "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee unto the mountains" rather than try to cope with the Antichrist. The advice presupposes that the Jews are pretty much gathered in Jerusalem at that dramatic time. I belabor the point that Israel is concerned in Matthew 24 because that discourse is often taught in reference to the Church and erroneously leads to the Church having to endure the tribulation. But obviously Israel is singled out for instructions because Israel is deeply involved in end times prophecy.

          We know that the start of the Tribulation period is signaled by the Antichrist's peace covenant with Israel, and it is obvious that we are being prepared for such news day by day. The "peace process" has conditioned the world to imagine that there is some drastic situation in Israel that badly needs some international agreement to settle it. To look at the world objectively, it is clear that peace covenants are needed much more in other trouble spots where there are real conflicts going on, and not in Israel which is suffering from something more like a common ghetto problem. But to satisfy the prophecy, world opinion is being manipulated to where the Antichrist's seven year offer will be most welcome. Even the Israelis, I think, will sign that covenant in a hopeful spirit out of necessity at the time it is offered. (The necessity will not be the need to make peace, but simply pressure from the United Nations and certain powerful members to come to some accommodation with the Arabs.) The media will immediately trumpet the idea that peace has at least been achieved in Israel only to be proved as wrong as when we trumpeted the same thing about Ireland in 1998. We can all recall the glad ceremonies and triumphant dinners and toasts which preceded the worst bombing in the history of Irish terrorism.

          The Antichrist's false peace will last longer than the Irish false peace by three years or so. At the mid-point of the tribulation, at exactly three and a half years after the signing of the covenant, he will perform that "abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel" (Matthew 24:15) and proclaim himself God in the tribulation temple! The temple may have been built as one of the stipulations of the original peace covenant, but in any case, it will be standing on Mount Moriah at the midpoint of the tribulation and the Antichrist will "cause the sacrifices and oblations to cease" (Daniel 9:27), as he renegs on his agreement. And that, in a sense, begins Armageddon because I believe it is from that point that the kings of the East begin to mobilize the most fearsome army the world has ever known. China and possibly other Far Eastern powers will march 200 million men all the way to Israel evidently to challenge the Antichrist who they do not believe is God. The Chinese communists, after all, are atheists and believe that no one is God, and the huge number of Chinese Moslems (out-numbering the ethnic Chinese!) will take the Antichrist to be a total pretender since he is not Allah. And finally, military-minded Chinese will simply note that the Israelis did not believe he had supernatural powers since they bolted (taking the Lord's advice). And so, the Chinese and other Far Easterners will be motivated to vanquish the pretender, the Anti-christ in Jerusalem, claiming to be the God of Israel.

          A visit by a 200,000,000-man army will do Israel little good. This will be the most difficult-to-handle tour of Israel ever undertaken, and the land and the people will suffer.


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What Good Kings Do

The Dallas Morning News


          While King Hussein of Jordan may have been a good king so far as kings go, the only really good king is the king who abdicates in favor of democracy.

Jimmy Dunne, Houston

Subject: Gundry Text
Date: 09 Feb 1999 10:39:19-0600
From: The Sparks

          I have followed Zola's newsletter's Gundry confrontations closely, and am theologically in agreement. My son is a freshman at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. I learned from your newsletter that Taylor used the Gundry test, and so I sent a letter of concern to the president. Yesterday I received a call from the professor who uses the text. He wasn't sure what the term Replacement Theology and "gentilizing" the gospels meant which I find interesting in itself. But nonetheless, I explained Replacement Theology. In our conversation he was not defensive but more curious and asked if I had suggestions for another text. Of course I drew a blank and feel I missed an opportunity. Can you help me in this matter? What would be an unbiased text for any class desiring a survey of the New Testament? I am preparing a letter to send the professor explaining my position more clearly and would like the extra punch of suggesting a text or several texts. Would appreciate your help as promptly as possible. Thank you for [your] watch-dog efforts.

Denise Sparks

It's not my field, but I can certainly recommend "Once Through the New Testament" by Dr. Tom McCall and myself. We offered it free of charge to Criswell College last year, but they preferred the Gundry textbook.

— Zola


The Jerusalem Post
February 12, 1999

Sir, —

          I'm tired of the misconceptions concerning American attitudes toward Israel. There are people in America who believe Israel (and I mean ALL of Israel, or about 300,000 square miles) belongs to the Jews. That is the area clearly given to the Jews by God.

          From what I read in the Post, many of your politicians are busy trading parts of the present, limited, country for a non-workable land-for-peace deal. You shouldn't be trading land for peace; you should be getting the people who don't belong on your land off your land. You are supported by many more people than you know, because you are in the right. After all, you have the oldest title deed in the world.

Edward Cooney, Fort Myers, Florida

A Prayer for Arafat

Thursday, February 4, 1999

          Perhaps it is an example of Christian charity taken to extremes, but it is hard to understand the invitation to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to attend this morning's Congressional Prayer Breakfast at a Washington hotel. According to Republican Congressman Steve Largent, who is chairing the event, Arafat was invited precisely because, in the words of Largent's spokesman: "Someone like Mr. Arafat should be invited to a meeting that involves prayer and healing and reconciliation, and exemplifies all that is good with regards to faith and God."

          Without wishing to accuse Largent of naiveté, it does seem that inviting Arafat to a Christian prayer meeting is akin to a vegetarian society hoping to win over a dedicated meat-eater by asking him to enjoy a meal of fruit and nuts. One meal, nutritious and healthy as it might be, is unlikely to persuade someone to give up his passion. One prayer meeting in Washington is more likely to be taken by Arafat as a further stamp of American approval, for his cause than to awaken any doubts in the Palestinian leader's mind as to PA's treatment of its Christian minority.

          And yet the PA's relations with its Christian population is a litmus test of the type of society which is developing in the self-rule areas — a test the PA is far from passing. The guests at today's meeting would be failing in their Christian duty if they did not raise with the chairman a number of serious issues with regard to their Christian brethren living under PA rule.

          The most telling indictment of the PA's behavior, in fact, can be found in the United States itself. Last year, two American courts — one in Chicago and the other in North Carolina — granted political asylum to two West Bank evangelical Christians on the grounds of religious persecution. The two asylum-seekers — who won't allow their names to be published due to fear of PA retaliation against their families in the West Bank — had converted to Christianity from Islam. They argued before the courts, with the official backing of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, that, having changed religion, they are potential victims of religious persecution.

          A 1997 internal Israeli government report pointed out other incidents of religious persecution, including the destruction of Christian cemeteries, monasteries having their telephone lines cut, and break-ins at convents. Christian converts from Islam have been brought in for questioning by the PA's Preventive Security Services and, at the very least, warned against preaching Christianity. One convert, Mohammed Bak'r, spent eight months in jail in Nabulus, winning release only after paying a stiff fine. Bak'r was ostensibly arrested for selling land to Jews, although charges were never brought against him. During his time in custody, Bak'r said he was tortured.

          There are other examples of such treatment, but perhaps a more noteworthy, though general, statistic is the decline in the Christian population of the West Bank. As Arafat, rightly from his perspective, seeks to make political capital out of Bethlehem and the year 2000, his Christian interlocutors should be aware that, from a Christian majority in the city during the British mandate, Bethlehem is now 80% Moslem. This is due, at least in part, to Christian migration encouraged by tense Moslem-Christian relations.

          Of course, it would be wrong to pretend that other societies, including Israel, are free from religious prejudice. The shocking trashing of an apartment in Jerusalem's Mea She'arim in November by a group of haredim who accused the apartment's three Christian residents of missionary work, is also to be condemned.

          And this, in fact, is what happened. While the Israeli media were quick to label the trashing as a "pogrom," more importantly the police investigated the incident and arrested three suspects. These men have been remanded despite immense haredi pressure for their release, and their court hearing has been scheduled for next week.

          Freedom of worship and belief is fundamental to any civilized society. As the guests at today's prayer breakfast break bread together, a prayer should be offered that this message is not only heard by Arafat, but also acted upon inside the PA.

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A Note From Zola

Dear Friends,

          This is the year for prophecy teaching I can tell you. We are turning down invitations left and right simply because I can't get to all of the churches and conferences that are afraid the world will end very soon. That is as it should be; correct Christian teaching would remind all believers (and unbelievers) that the Lord can come today. Certainly the Rapture of the Church depends on no particular happening in prophecy, but the events after it, the Tribulation, etc., are clearly announced in Scripture. The text of Matthew 24, by itself, paints a very cogent picture of what we have confronting us in this world today.

          In connection with prophecy, I thought about Israel's existence from the '40s through the '90s and how it squares with the Dry Bones vision. Ezekiel pictures a step-by-step process, starting with the Jews coming back to their land and slowly becoming more spiritual until finally, the Kingdom would come and "The King will rule over them." Ezekiel 37 is very heartening when one looks at modern Israel.

          In the '40s, we saw the remarkable restoration of the Jews to the land in answer to the voluminous Scriptural prophecy. Deuteronomy 30 and a myriad of other biblical references urged on us that God would not forget his chosen people. Some parts of the church had already invented doctrines like Amillennialism and Replacement Theology, because, primarily, they despaired of a forgetful God who was never going to restore the Jews to Israel. Well, 1948 should have put an end to such theological errors and, in truly biblical circles, it did.

          So the '40s were, in effect, the decade when we saw the horrors of the holocaust (Deut. 28:64, etc.) and the restoration of the Jews to the land (Deut. 30:1-5).

          The 1950s saw tremendous emigration to Israel. Jewish people of all lands came to the Holy Land as long as they could get out of where they were. A living, breathing Israel, with a burgeoning population became a reality.

          The 1960s saw the dramatic recapture of Jerusalem in the Six Day War and the reoccupation of Judea and Samaria by the Jewish people. King Hussein of Jordan might have named Judea and Samaria "The West Bank," and there may be contention over it for all time, but after all, it is the area in which God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the land would belong to them and their seed forever. There can be no question of ownership of the land on a Biblical basis.

          The 1970s saw the Arabs turning to a propaganda war on Israel after the failure of the Yom Kippur attack in 1973. Oil boycotts were undertaken and Americans waited in long lines to fuel their cars with gasoline. Israel began to get a black eye in the media.

          In the 1980s, the media continued to pound on Israel, criticizing the thrust into Lebanon, which had the effect of chasing the PLO over to Tunis. Now Israel was regarded as rough and tough, and a bully of the Middle East. This reasoning, still given in the newspapers and electronic media today, flies in the face of the actual populations involved. There are less than 5 million Jews and 200 million Arabs! The Jews do not "occupy" Lebanon and have never occupied anyone else's country in history. They maintain a force just north of Galilee in a strip of southern Lebanon simply to keep the terrorists out of Jewish villages in the Golan Heights and Galilee.

          And now in the 1990s, offering a false peace, the new look in Arab propaganda is to make a pretense of coming to terms with Israel, dividing up the land, agreeing at the conference table, etc., etc. It's the same old war, which was tried in '48, '56, '67 and '73, but now the Arabs are using the tongue rather than the teeth to try to untie this knot. The American government, under Clinton, has cooperated and even praised the terrorist, Arafat, elevating him to some sort of international statesman. He was even given a Nobel Peace Prize! I think that one fact alone will characterize the 20th century for a long time to come.

          Obviously, the false peace decade will lead to the Tribulation period, definitely a time of false peace. If you believe there is peace in Ireland today, or Bosnia, or South Africa, or Israel, etc., you'll love the Antichrist's peace covenant.

          He will convince most of the world that war will not happen anymore and then he will lead it to Armageddon. The progress of Israel's decades urges on us the idea that the Tribulation could well be in the first decade of the 21st century and that would very elegantly fit into prophecy systems where the King takes the Church away at the year 2000.

          I must say again that the Bible gives no such date and correct scriptural study does not subscribe to date setting. With all that said, everything seems so ready for the Tribulation that the Church should be well aware that "night cometh."

          This would be a great time to see Israel in this life and it would appear that a number of you are in agreement with me on this.

          There's quite a bit of excitement brewing over our newest addition, the Kibbutz Tour (June 2-11). This tour will cover many of the important Biblical sites, including Jerusalem, Israel's national memorial to the Holocaust victims, and the Israel Museum where the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed. We will also view the summit of the Mount of Olives, walk through the Garden of Gethsemane and see the Upper Room, Calvary, and the Garden Tomb. In addition, there will be "countryside" activities like camel rides and lunching with the Bedouin. The lodging is more rustic, out in the countryside, and the price is considerably lower than our high season tours with their luxury hotels. We believe that the timing and pricing of this tour will make it the perfect opportunity for teachers and students.

          Our new series, Evidence of God, has begun airing for most of you already. In this eight part series, Zola will be interviewing Israeli scientist, Gerald Schroeder, along with many other scientific personalities from Israel and America. We feel that this kind of testimony will be effective in these uncertain times in which we live.

          In April our crew will be in Israel to tape Prophecy 2000 — Is this the End of the Beginning? Professors and theologians will take an in-depth look at what is happening in the world today from a secular and Biblical perspective. Each telecast will highlight the promises of the nation of Israel being fulfilled throughout history and the beginning of "the end of the age" when Israel became a nation in 1948.

Your messenger,

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In my experience, liberal churches are simply organizations of mainly un-believers. This is born out by their lack of any teaching on salvation and, in my view, their aversion to all things Jewish including Israel (believing churches are exactly the opposite — emphasizing salvation and loving Jewish things).

The United Methodists, along with Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, etc., constantly criticize Israel. The article at right shows a policy of official condemnation of the Promised Land and the family of our Lord while supporting the Moslem pretenders to the land. I won't refute the errors since I have done that many times before. Please know that it is almost a waste of time to try to educate liberals in their anti-Biblical mistakes. They are positioning themselves, however unintentionally, to be the good servants of the coming Antichrist.

United Methodists sign
petition on Palestinians

United Methodist News Service

          More than 200 United Methodists have signed a statement calling for an end to the violation of human rights of Palestinians. The petition is being circulated by SEARCH for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel, a Boston-based group. It was first presented to U.S., Israeli and Palestinian officials on Jan. 26.

          So far, 42 bishops and 160 other members of the United Methodist Church, mainly clergy, have endorsed it, according to Edmund "Ned" Hanauer, a member of SEARCH's steering committee.

          The petition condemns rights violations by Israel and the Palestinian Authority and urges them to "abide by international law and human rights conventions." It calls on the United States to withhold financial aid to the two governments until they do. "Pending compliance, aid should be given to Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations working for peace based on human rights," the statement declared.

The U.S. government also is called upon to:

  • Publicly support full self-determination for Palestinians in a West Bank-Gaza state within the borders that existed before the June 1967 war.
  • Support a peace that recognizes the religious significance of Jerusalem and gives equal national status there to Israelis and Palestinians.
  • Urge Israel to cease the demolition of Palestinian homes and the seizure of Palestinian lands and to return all land and water resources confiscated from Palestinians since 1967.
  • Urge Israel to dismantle all settlements except where settlers are willing to live as equal citizens within a Palestinian state.
  • Support the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland or receive compensation.
  • Support the release of political prisoners held by Israel.

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Our readers are becoming good at correcting the mistakes of authorities in the church. The letter below is by one such authority and the following letter is by one of our viewers.

December 16, 1998
Mr. James E. Clay
Dear Mr. Clay:

          Thank you so much for your letter and your kind words regarding Explore the Bible: Adult Teacher. I regret that you found the use of the term "Palestinian" on page 27 of the winter 1998-99 issue offensive. Certainly it was not our intent in the usage of the word to imply in any way an "anti-Semitic drift" or a "pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel leaning." The word was not intended to convey any connection with, or support of, the modern Palestinian movement. The terms "Palestine" and "Palestinian" have been in usage for centuries to refer to the land of the Bible.

          The Holman Bible Dictionary identifies "Palestine" as a "geographical designation for the land of Bible, particularly land west of [the] Jordan River [that] God alloted to Israel for an inheritance (Josh. 13-19)" (p.1063). The New American Commentary (Vol. 23) in its comments on Mark 2, uses language similar to that used by the writer of the winter issue of Explore the Bible: Adult Teacher. The New American Commentary on Mark describes the type of house using the adjective "Palestinian" (see enclosure). Thanks again for your letter. God bless you as you faithfully serve Him.

Sincerely, Janice Meier, Editor
Explore the Bible: Adult Teacher
Adult Sunday School Ministry Department
Sunday School Division

December 22, 1998
Ms. Janice Meier, Editor
Explore the Bible; Adult Teacher
Adult Sunday School Ministry Dept.

Dear Ms. Meier,

          Thank you for responding to my letter regarding the use of the word "Palestinian" to describe a Jewish house. I never doubted that you could give me solid reasons to prove the technical correctness of your wording. What I can't understand is why the writers would choose the word "Palestinian" in favor of "Jewish." You state, "the terms 'Palestinian' and 'Palestine' have been in usage for centuries to refer to the land of the Bible." May I remind you that the words "Israel" and "Land of Israel" were in usage for many centuries before the word "Palestinian" ever escaped the lips of man. How do you explain the fact that the words "Palestine" and "Palestinian" do not appear once in the old or new testament? How do you explain the fact that Jesus told His disciples to go to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel"? (Mt. 10:6) He didn't mention the lost sheep of "Palestine" which, according to your logic, He should have done.

          Shouldn't we use the same descriptions of the people and the land that Jesus used? After all, the Bible is our ultimate source book. I worry about what the use of the term "Palestinian" may convey to today's serious Bible teachers and students and I urge you to be very careful in your choice of terms.

          Thank you again for hearing my thoughts on this matter. By the way, the enclosure you mentioned in your letter was not enclosed.

Yours in Christ, James E. Clay

PS: Please excuse my poor typing. Both my typewriter and I are getting old.

January 8, 1999
PA television and textbooks teach children to hate and urge violence and martyrdom.

  1. PA television programs for children in which young girls and boys sing songs extolling suicide bombers and promising to "drench the ground" with their blood have prompted coverage by other media. CAMERA's president personally handed Foreign Editor, Loren Jenkins, a video copy of the PA's "Children's Club" program containing clips of young children praising violence and martyrdom. But NPR ignored this story as well.

  2. A non-government Israeli group, The Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, has surveyed 140 textbooks being used by children in PA-run schools and has documented a systematic demonizing of Israel and the Jewish people (see survey at the web address: Throughout the PA curriculum, whether in history, geography or Islamic studies, the theme of Israel's alleged wickedness is reiterated.

An eighth grade literary text asks: "What can we do to rescue Jerusalem and to liberate it from the thieving enemy?"

An Islamic Education text for seventh graders asks: "Why do Jews hate Muslim unity and want to cause division among them? Give an example of the evil attempts of Jews from events happening today."

A section on Zionism in a tenth grade history book is headed "Zionist Greed."

An Arabic language text for fifth graders instructs its readers: "Know my son that Palestine is your country... that its pure soil is drenched with the blood of Martyrs... Why must we fight the Jews and drive them out of our land?" On the maps studied by Palestinian children Israel does not exist. In its place is the state of Palestine.

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Letters to Zola

Note: If those writing to this ministry tell us that they do not want their letters published, we will abide by their wishes.

Believe it or not, we get mail like this all the time.

Subject: Judeo-Communism
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 12:47:53 -0500
From: kenzo


          Why do you people never speak of the horrors of Talmudic/Judeo-Communism, and its genocide of over 150 MILLION people, or the fact that Jewish Fidel Castro (de'Castro) continues the persecution of Christians while his co-religionists in the Israeli State progress an arrogant form of racial supremacy and hatred towards the Gospel of Christ and His followers, as well as other non-Jews?

          Recently Jerry Falwell expressed his belief that the "Anti-Christ" would be a "Jew." Many Jews and their followers (including so-called "Judeo-Christians") chastised him for this relatively logical statement, but why should we find it surprising that the Anti-Christ would emerge from THE paramount anti-Christs of all time? What did Jesus say in St. John 8:44? This, of course does not indicate that I support Falwell's endorsement of satanic Zionism.

          Why did Luther warn the church about them. Why did former Zionist operative Dr. Benjamin H. Freedman refer to Zionist and Talmudist influence in the world, especially Christian countries as: "the issue that dwarfs all other issues — the satanic power which promotes and directs chaos in order to lay low all civilizations in preparation for a well-outlined plan for world dictatorship." Why did a Jewish, New York attorney write the booklet "Zionism Rules The World," and spend most of his own time and funds defending Christian clients from their devilish attacks and kangaroo courts? And, now Rabbi Levitt spoon-feeds ignorant Christians his Judaized pablum, promoting his Mongol Talmudist hoards as "god's chosen people," and "Israelites," "Returning" to a land their forefather had NEVER set foot in. If they were returning to their ancient homeland they would go back to Khazaria? I ask you: have you ever heard Rabbi Levitt denounce the Babylonia Talmud? Wake up!

In defense of TRUTH,
K. Fremont
(cc: Jerry Falwell, Congressman Dan Miller, Senators Connie Mack and Bill McCullum, Specter and Leibermann)

"Missionizing" Quote Was In Fact From Isaiah

The Jerusalem Post
February 12, 1999

Sir, —

          In his analysis of the Vatican's attitude toward the Jewish religion ("Has the Vatican changed?" January 11), Gerald Steinberg refers to a (medieval) church opposite the central synagogue in Rome, where "a Hebrew inscription... still calls on Jews to abandon their religion."

          The matter is slightly more complex. That inscription, above the entrance to the church of San Gregorio della Divina Pieta, is in Hebrew and Latin, and is a direct quote from the prophet Isaiah 65:2. It reads: "Each day I stretched out my hands to a rebellious people who follow a way which is not good."

          Thus the passage is not merely a crude attempt at proselytizing. A Jew and former Pharisee, Paul of Tarsus, quotes part of that verse in his letter to the Romans (10:21), next to a word of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:21). When Paul wrote, there was no Church as we know it; he was engaged in an inner-Jewish debate about the right messianic way, and he was himself a representative of a long line of critical voices.

          Other Jews did similar things, as we can gather from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and their often heated polemical diatribes against "mainstream Judaism."

          The Roman ghetto is a shameful example of what the Christian churches did to the Jews, and the fact that the inhabitants of the ghetto were forced to hear missionary sermons in that church is a painful reminder of those practices.

          And yet, the uncomfortable fact remains that the Hebrew text is from Isaiah, not from an anti-Jewish Christian writing.

Prof. Carsten Peter Thiede
Basel, Switzerland

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Death of a Salesman


King Hussein and Queen Noor
Everyone is falling over one another trying to say kind things about the late King Hussein of Jordan. He was wise, he was patient, he was a peacemaker, he was honest, etc., etc.

          My memory is too long for that. When King Hussein blew up 56 synagogues in Jerusalem's Old City while Jordan ruled the place from 1948 to 1967, he became just another terroristic Arab dictator in my mind. No Jew was allowed in the Old City, period. Thus, the original home of ancient Judaism, it's temple site, was the only place in the world where Jews were not allowed to even walk down the streets. Gentiles who wanted to visit Jerusalem, like our tourists, were obliged to come in from the east, from Jordan, on the pretense that there was no Israel and the entire country was Arab owned.

          It would be a terrible crime if any individual blew up one synagogue, one church, or one mosque anywhere in this world. Fifty-six houses of worship destroyed may be a record for all history.

          King Hussein also seized tombstones out of a Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives to pave roads. Jewish peoples have, for centuries, been buried there because they recognized that, "... His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east..." (Zech. 14:4). (They did not necessarily expect Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but in any case, they believed in the resurrection and they wanted to be right up front when it happened!)

          He also had a four-lane highway built from Amman to Jerusalem so that he could enjoy zooming around in his sports car, a hobby pursued also by the new king on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. The new king, Abdullah, also shares his father's preference for beautiful Western wives and is married to a knockout, who also enjoys the Harley Davidson. King Hussein had three Western wives, including the American Queen Noor.

          King Hussein's lasting legacy was his invention of the curious term "West Bank" for the half of arable Israel that the Palestinians claim to be their own. What salesmanship! Persuading the world that only a riverbank was in question, Hussein proceeded to occupy a huge portion of Israel. It's as if someone would refer to the Atlantic Coast but mean that it ends at the Mississippi River and takes in all land in between.

          It was a brilliant idea, as far as propaganda goes. Perhaps only the invention of the term "Palestinian" for the sundry Arabs who migrated to Israel during the Jewish rebuilding did greater favors for the pretenders on the land.

          The Hussein family — ordinary people, not particularly descended from royalty — have lived lives of such ease and ridiculous spending that they beggar the Arabian Knights of legend. I once examined the 500-person yacht, a 20,000 ton vessel, which belonged not to King Hussein but merely to his brother, the crown prince. This was during a reign when the average Jordanian lived in total poverty and unemployment was rampant. Lavish palaces at Acaba, Jerusalem, and elsewhere allowed the king to live a life enviable by monarchs anywhere.

          About all I can give King Hussein credit for is standing up to the PLO, first in 1980 with "Black September," when he ushered a whole gang of Palestinians out of Jordan and into Beirut. The PLO has fomented war wherever it resided, whether Jordan, Lebanon, or Israel. King Hussein vied with Arafat about the Temple Mount and insisted on control of that site, considered holy to Moslems. Presently, during this "peace process," he has conducted friendlier relations with Israel than his grandfather, who was assassinated for trying to make peace with Israel in the early '50s. A total dictator, he owned all the land, and all the people, until his dying day and he even picked the new king when he could barely raise his hand to point.

          In connection with King Hussein's funeral, Bill Clinton visited with the Syrian dictator, Hafez el Assad. Assad won a new seven year term in a recent "election" by 99.98 percent of the vote. The other .02 percent could be held in the same cemetery. Those two really deserve each other — a black-hearted dictator oppressing one of the most backward police states in the world — and the President who will bow before anybody if it will get him the slightest approval in the polls.

          Three U.S. presidents may have attended his funeral, but I'll go with A.M. Rosenthal of the New York Times, who described Hussein as, "The King of Jordan; never for sale, but always for lease."

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