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Land of 23 Wars:
for one People
from one God
Little Angel was tired. He was not tired of being an angel, for angelic vision is wonderful, and angelic deeds are glorious, since the glory of God is in them, for those who have not rebelled in the light of the Lord, but found Him their keeper and king. He was not tired of serving, since service, like the roaring of the waves which illustrate the majesty and cleansing of the Lord in their blue-green glistering and spuming soaring, is stimulating and sound. It was just a sense of having exceeded his energy quota.
Quota ? he thought. Am I subject to an energy quota ? Does it not say in Isaiah 40:28-31, even for human saints this ... They who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. Then, referring to his immense and intense memory (for an angel!), he cited to himself the glorious words:
"Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
"Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint."
If then to human children of His own body, He gives this strength, why am I weary ? Does it not say, even to the human children of the Saviour, Be not weary in well-doing ? Am I not doing as well as I should, or what else ? Ah! I have it, he cried, I am not waiting on the Lord as I should.
Suddenly, he felt transported to the very presence of the Lord, but this time he did not see the vision of God, as he had earlier, being directly in His midst, but rather had a dream.
He was filled with stupefaction at this, for it meant that he was transported as a witness to a meeting of ... one Iran, two, Syria, three, the EU, four, the UK, five, the UN and six, the US, yes and seven Islamic Jihad and eight, Hamas. There they sat, and all had their representatives, in fact, each had two who sat closely together. His glace revealed another party, sitting somewhat separately, but still present ? who was it ? Ah yes, it was a shadowy background presence, the Madrid Quartet, and of course, as part of it, was Russia, discernible in its midst; and again, there was a Romanist representative.
As in dreams, there was some unclarity about the periphery, but they were all there in one form or capacity or other.
WE DECLARE WAR! they chanted. Now it may be thought that chanting is not the word, but in a dream, what would you ? Are we to dictate its vision or mar its kind, by intervening ? A dream is a dream, and not a survey. In the dream, then, war was declared not in some sort of tom-tom drum chant, nor in a sporting kind of pseudo-hymn chant, but it was a repetition of sonorous kind. They said it seven times.
Then there was silence. A voice asked, On whom do you declare war ?
Now that seemed unsettling to the multitude there, for it was not at all clear whose voice it was, and in this kind of war, this is a most important consideration. They looked
about ? they stirred, they examined each other. No one seemed to have spoken these words, for none was either furtive or expansive, solemn beyond the norm nor portentous.
The voice repeated the question. One of the delegates - it was not clear in the dream which one it was, answered, saying, It is on Israel.
What! resounded the voice, you all, in might and power, in millions multiplied with vast masses of wealth and people, declare jointly war on this midget, which happens to figure in My word.
By now, it was apparent that this was either some sonic trick, the voice of an imposter trying to create a diversion or a difficulty, or that of the Lord. Since however many of these did not actually believe in God, at least not in the one who is there, the living God, they were not too concerned, although impressed in a field of awe, just as an iron particle might feel moved, in a field of magnetic force, but not actually move because the field was not sufficiently intense. Faith opens access; but unbelief quashes it at such moments.
No one contested the statement. If you are the Jews' God, said one of the representatives, though again it was not clear which one, then yes, we will pick on your midget, on Israel, when and if and as much as we please.
Then you do not believe in Me ? asked the voice.
We believe in Muhammad, came the voice.
Did he not state that the Jewish prophets were from God, and is it not clear that the land was given to the Jewish people from generation to generation by the word given to these in Genesis 17.
Little A, auditing this meeting in his dream, remembered Galloping Events Ch. 4, as in SMR Appendix A, and his words seemed to echo in the dream-filled chamber: It is so, it is so.
There is no need to be repetitive, came the voice of the Chairman of the Meeting, who seemed to be someone else, a lurid glow anointing his darkness, and they called him, Your Darkness.
It seemed strange to the Angel that anyone in a dream should reply to him, but then that is the way with dreams.
He decided to await developments, for he was there as a witness.
Then a voice came from someone in the Madrid Quartet, and it might have been the USA representative in that body, and it said,
The same prophets also determined that the Messiah would come, that it would be death for Him amidst His own people, around 30 A.D., and that whoever would not listen to Him would be cut off from the people, that it would be HE to whom the nations would seek, He who would be a light to the Gentiles, and in Him that all peoples would submit before the everlasting Father, as in Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 42, 49, Daniel 9, Psalm 22, Isaiah 49:7, Daniel 7 and Isaiah 11:10.
How is it then that you do not receive Him, since the prophets were of God, by the word of your own leader, and this is what they said. You have missed the bus, and are on a later one going to the wrong destination. You should repent - NOW!
Little A was delighted to hear this, and could hardly believe that a meeting with the Prince of Darkness in the Chair, could have anyone even inside a group, such as the Madrid Quartet, willing to be both accurate and apt, courageous and reasonable.
There was of course an amazing upset, and the delegates almost came to blows, and had not the Darkness fellow intervened it might have broken up.
Listen, friends one and all, he spoke seductively, are we not here to patch up the Middle East, and to find a way for prosperity for the world, so that the murdering of innocents is no more carried out by our Islamic brethren, in the interests of their land passion and desire to have it their own way, and that the power of Israel, with US aid will no more intimidate the Moslem millions, and you may all prosper in peace, amassing money and fame and notoriety in your own ways in your own lands, all living in a world dedicated to peace and tolerance ?
Yes, they chanted, yes we are; but the US representative, after a quick call to the US, was moved to resign.
WHY! bellowed the Darkness Prince. If you go, we are again in this hegemony crisis: the US versus the cultural norm of this world, and there is no peace or even prosperity in that.
That, responded the resigning delegate, is precisely why I resigned. My boss has accepted this proposition in foresight, and advised me of my duty to the nation; so since this is to war on God, I refused and was sacked, or if you like, resigned in a permitted prior move; but sacking it was really, since it was clear that if I did not feel free to be dismissed, they would remove me.
The Chair was on the line at once, and received immediate assurance from the high-ranking monitoring agent in the US, concerning this meeting, of the highest priority, that a new representative would duly be flown out, and in.
At once the other, in the dream vanished slowly, and the new man arrived with a sawny smile on his lips, and a clear parchment sticking out of his pocket, marked, DO IT!
Little Angel smiled. Fancy having a commission displayed like that! he thought, but then, in a dream, essentials sometimes come to the fore in surprising manners.
The devil - for that was in fact of course the Darkness Prince - receded now, since he knows when to move aside to allow 'natural forces', in fact cultural power, to act, and remained hidden. In fact, in the dream, he became a small dog who stayed under the table, and licked the legs of delegates as required.
A new chairman assumed the head of the table, and he had on his head a cap, rising high, on which was written, "The Man of Sin - Antichrist Inc."
That seemed stupid to LA, but then he realised that both evil ways and days, and dreams have their little ways, and so subsided to watch.
All those in favour of disregarding the Jewish scriptures, say Aye! said the MSA Chairman, who had replaced the Darkness Prince.
I don't know that we need to be explicit about this, said the new US representative. Why not just do what we are going to do ?
All agreed with this, so it was so moved and carried.
What then is to be done ? We must make sure that the Road Map works, said 4 Middle Eastern parties.
The Madrid Quartet, the EU and the UN approved. It was passed.
This means that from Israel that now is, a fraction of Palestine that was donated to the Jews by the European Powers who had triumphed in the World War I, not least with Jewish help in industry, there is to be taken more ? I take it, asked one shadowy representative.
Certainly, responded the Chairman, for the fact is that the Jewish nation is pestiferous, and the more they lose, the more peace gains.
Why do you say that ? asked the British man.
It is because they are so distinctive, never yielding their Jewishness, whatever you do to them. Look at the Inquisition, the Pogroms, the work of Louis XIV in feeding on them like ants on aphids, and the changing laws to their disadvantage, and yet they never yield. Remember Masada ? It does not matter how much power you use, they never yield. We cannot have a people like that, whose passion at any time will resist whatever plan is best. They must become subordinate, so that at no stretch of the imagination can they resist the universal cultural desire of the nations.
All agreed to the result of this at least, and no one dared to remind the Chairman that the Islamic posture, though it had not been as steadfast as that of the Jewish people, was in the contemporary situation just as unyielding, just as insistent. They had oil, they had money, they had land, large nations of it, and it seemed unnecessary to upset their composure as the first US representative had done.
Little A was appalled and decided to intervene in his own dream. Mischievously, he pointed out this very fact in a voice so like that of the Russian that that representative visibly cringed, and having been out of the room for a few moments, which was hardly a coincidence, he rushed back declaiming, That was not my voice, it was not, I tell you.
Nobody said that it was! said the Chair, as the meeting increasingly resembled the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland.
But you thought it! claimed the ambassador.
So what ? drawled the US's new representative, who had been specially groomed as a replacement in reserve, to know how to soften people up. If we thought it, that was only because it sounded like you; but since you now both sound and look like you, we no longer think it.
You DARED to think it, though you did not see me ? stormed the Russian.
Now come, continued the drawler, we did not dare nothing.
He had had an unfortunate background, and the point was not lost on the meeting.
We simply heard what seemed to be you, he continued, and were engaged in assimilating this datum, when your personal appearance both reminded us that you were out of the room at the time, and informed us of your actual thoughts, which is a very pleasing thing to hear.
The Chairman winked at the US representative, and inwardly marvelled at the soft, suffusing tact.
We will then all, I take it to be the will of this meeting - proceeded the Chairman, enforce the Road Map or anything which will have the same result, as events unroll and needs arise for our stated purpose ? Is this the heart of this meeting ?
Of course, of course, all joined in unison.
YOU are making war on God! said Little A, with his distant and yet invasive voice.
The meeting was silent for a moment, then the Chairman, smirking, said this. Let us have two minutes silence for the death of God, the God of the Bible! he cried.
They were so stunned at this that they were still, but at the end of it, they all reached a common thought: if this was to be the way of peace and prosperity, to end killing and enable universal culture to rule, then so be it.
They did not actually respond, however, since they did not want to be quotable; and they thought that they could make the Chairman responsible, while he thought that if he said no more, then all would be responsible, since as Chair he had asked for and got a signal so clear, unique in fact, two minutes silence, that no one could possibly misinterpret it.
Thus having acted, they began to disperse.
Little A considered it. Now there was Iran, Syria, that's two, and then there was Islamic Jihad and Hamas, that's four, and the Madrid Quartet, that's five, and the UK, that's six, although it IS in the Quartet, like the EU, yet it is also of this mind and is singularly important in view of its breach of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which GAVE ALL of Palestine, not a mere fraction which they now busily reducing, to the Jews. Certainly, Israel was required to show due regard to other cultures, but since it was to be THEIR homeland and not that of anyone else, it was obvious that they could do as people do at home, and make themselves at home.
The EU similarly part of the Quartet, as most stringent on Israel, deserved decidedly a separate place. The UN as a world leader in anti-Zionism, to the extent that it stripped from Israel not only the land of Palestine, in retrospective concurrence on the earlier breach, but offered Jerusalem as an international city in 1947, with tracts of varied parts for Israel, with much for the Palestinians of this residual territory: it too found a place. The fact that the Arabs refused such an offer makes their jihad culture the more surpassing: they shed blood to gain what they freely refused to accept. LA dwelt on this not a little, but proceeded with his arithmetic.
The US in view of its earlier unequivocal and unambiguous support of Israel, this figured separately too, since moreover it had been so exceedingly vocal, giving a lead in the matter of the Road map: this too had to be counted separately.
Thus there were nine parties. Since each was in this invasive sense making war on Israel, and hence on God in the matter of reducing the land still further in the breach of the original international agreement, held in view by the League of Nations when it gave out the mandates including that of Palestine to Britain in the 1920s, that made eighteen wars: 9 on God, 9 on Israel. The very principle of divine mandate was breached. The land itself was assailed. How vast was this war! reflected LA, with grief in heart. It is they who in the end will be hurt as shown so manifestly in Zechariah 12.
He hated hurting from dulled minds, abrasive wills and fearful compromise. When would man see that compromising with God is a double compromise to oneself, for you breach the bond and hurt what it holds, your own self.
Nine parties astray. Then of course, there is the Pan-Islamic Conference force, such as met in 1991 Teheran, endorsing anti-Israel action - that mobile assemblage, meeting here and there, so really, there are twenty wars, 10 on God, ten on Israel. But the papal endorsement of the same grabbing of more land by Palestinians out of Israel's small fraction of its quota, this was clear also. In all this were to be found 11 parties against Israel, 11 in collision with the word of God.
There was a separate war, that of the settlers who were to be evicted, or many of them, enmity in this against their own government, but since that was not an actual declared war, LA decided to ignore it for the present spiritual purpose.
22 wars focussed or featured in one land! Twenty two doubly disastrous dynamics against man and God! Some land, some war! he thought with that deplorable Americanism which so invades English; but then, as LA was pondering, English is as much American as English, for both countries have many immigrants, and the one came originally from the other in terms of its main culture. Still, England had been there longer, and while there, how its language had changed!
Twenty two wars, eleven against the living God, His divine apportionment of Israel to the Jewish people, preferring a seductive minimum the very laughing stock of the world in unfairness of separation, breach of contract and compromise, and eleven against the land itself, not just the divine promise but the territory and its people.
Are there not two wars in each case, conscience assailed him ? Is it not war so to contract the word of the living God, and on whom else, when you seek to make it happen ? Is it not war on Israel, and on whom else when you assail their territorial integrity! It is one, it is both, it is two wars for each error.
What is it like ? LA asked himself. It is like stealing AND saying that stealing is good. The first is the one flaw, the second is the other; the first is the breach of the perspective, the very word of God, the other is breach in action and attack on the person from whom you wish to steal. You could steal, admit it to be wrong, and you war on His command; but when you make stealing to be good and godly, or either of these, then you war on God Himself, who so speaks as well as breach His command. One is principle; one is practice: both are war on the Speaker.
Twenty two wars then in one land: and why not ? Here did the war of Israel on God reach its conclusion as in Micah 3:5! Here did the war of Rome reach its terrible impact through Pilate! Here the war was direct, then; and now here are twenty two wars as the culmination of those beginnings comes into sight, like a giant tsunami, drawing back not merely a few yards of ocean before striking, but baring a whole coastline!
What! he came to think in that waking reflectiveness which can follow a dream, what could they have done ? what could the Conference have done differently ?
JA who had been watching LA for a little, and realised that he was dreaming, and in that angelic way which can be so disconcerting, had read something from the face and the lip movements of LA, what has happening, then spoke. I'll tell you an answer to that one, he said.
LA was at first close to irritated, and undoubtedly would have been, had it not been unseemly. If there is one thing, he was beginning to formulate, where one must be private, it is in one's own dreams.
You guessed, he mused hopefully, that it was about this land we are now visiting that my amazement occurred, and watched my lips ?
I have been thinking about it all too, and don't you remember our conversation last
night ? queried the angel.
But you do not actually HAVE MY dream did you ? asked LA, who after all WAS little.
Not entirely. I felt a suffusing light as you dreamed, though, and gained some sense of it.
Well then, WHAT could they have done ?
They could have told the Palestinians that those of them who chose to recognise the Jewish homeland could become citizens, and internationally agreed for those to have Israel as their own land, who pledged to live peaceably in just that way one might expect in any other foreign country. They would have equal rights, but no vote until the next generation, since otherwise the Jewish people would soon NOT have a homeland at all! It would be pointed out that much was done on this settled international basis and much capital invested, as the Jews slaved away, much labour was patiently wrought, as waves of immigration pressed into Israel, and great transformation was made in the land, while vast reclamations were successfully and indeed triumphantly accomplished by Jewish initiative to redeem and adorn the land.
Things were done WHILE there was the international gift of Palestine to the Jews. Britain at first actively co-operated, with its Mandate authority, even though it changed the terms of the Balfour Declaration, giving around two-thirds of what had been Palestine, as Trans-Jordan, to Jordan, so that the defilement of agreement was in two stages, then and in 1947. Indeed, in 1920 Britain petitioned the League of Nations to change the boundary of Palestine, reducing the land by some two-thirds. Imagine being given a train steam engine with its coal unit, to dwell in, and then finding the giver, years later, have the definition changed, so that you received only the coal-storage unit, this now being called ‘the train’!
A National Home for the Jews was to be established in Palestine. After all, if you are to make your home in a house, it does not mean that two thirds of it will be the property of someone else; for otherwise, you would make your home merely in part of it, Unit A, Bedroom D, or whatever. Changing the meaning of the address merely robs you. You would not make your home in 23 Bleep St., but in 23A. Thus was the gift denuded. The very word was changed in meaning. That was the first and worst of it. But that was not all.
Even before such 'sale', if only a section is intended for you, the house is not your home, but part of it. You make your home not in the house, but in your part of it. You might say that you live in the Town Hall, and be understood quite clearly to mean that you have a spot there; but if you say that you make or worse, establish your home in the Town Hall, we are amazed. There is that building, and look, you establish your home in it!
Strange indeed would it be for those who renting a segment of a house, asked where their home is, reply that it is in that house: that, it would be mere presumption, an implicit violation of the tenure of others. You would most carefully declare that you home was in part of it.
¨ Do you establish your home in that house ?
No, you make it in your apartment, section, penthouse or enclave.
A home is YOURS, not joint with others,
and you do not establish your home in an address
which is ONLY PARTLY YOURS.
¨ You find first the place in view, give it a name,
and then establish your home in it.
If you want a land to be nominated as a site
in which is to be the establishment of a National Home for some nation,
here the Jews, how can this be
if it is governed
by alien laws,
has contrary codes in force,
sets up offensive standards
or rules by approaches
in violation of Jewish national will, ethos and culture!
¨ Is THAT a home ?
¨ And how would such alienations or contrarieties to Jewish culture
and how could they be expected to be avoided,
if they were not in government in the land!
¨ Do neighbours decide the modes in your house,
and if so, is it your home ?
¨ Unless therefore PALESTINE ITSELF
does not move in any such direction,
and unless in that land so named nothing alienative,
suppressive, violative to Jewishness can be thrust in upon it,
how could a home for Jews be established there ?
¨ It would be like all the other cases,
where Jewish people had no place to call home,
and the gift would become null and void, amazing phrasing
without force or even meaning.
The reference by Balfour to protect the rights of "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" likewise made it clear that the new homeland was Palestine itself, not an enclave. You do not need to protect people when nothing happens to them. You do not need to ask for some restraint in the direction of thoughtfulness, if the thing is not yours. If you give only a part, the other part does not need cover; if you furnish a room, you do not need to protect the rooms of others: but in this document, it was PALESTINE to which the caution applied, Palestine which was in view, the land so called. Here was the gift, here was the caveat. Establish your home here, but be watchful for the civil liberties of others in the land.
Meanwhile, such depictions as the words of Mark Twain in describing what the land HAD been like, could be quoted, in all their dismal and desert-depicting force. Maps could be consulted, calculations of productivity made, then and now, and the two compared.
It could be pointed out that agreements of the international powers could not be betrayed, as the UN had betrayed them, since after all the League of Nations handed on its business to the UN. You cannot just ignore what was had stood for 27 years, and change it because you felt like it! Even if the violation of the Balfour Declaration had illegitimately occurred before, in part, and been enforced, that part left the rest of Palestine for the Jews. Now even the rest was to be man-handled, this also, and subject to negotiation and Jerusalem itself!
THAT, it was no part of Trans-Jordan. They already had been left with only the coal-tender called now the ‘train’, but this too was too much, so perhaps now just the coal ? Violate Jews and Jewishness seems to be a world pre-occupation. If it is not anti-semitism, what then is it ? Is it lust ? But is the lust released because of an underlying attitude!
Thus then I would make an offer to those who want IN, even into this little residue of property the Jews now have for their home. If those desiring to enter, agreed to those terms, then they could have all advantages except voting, and after one generation, even that would come to them, since in that time, if they still had the heart to seek to grab the land for foreign purposes, then so be it.
If they agreed to those terms, then they could have all advantages except voting, and after one generation, even that would come to them, since in that time, if they still had the heart to seek to grab the land for foreign purposes, then so be it.
Now that is of course extraordinarily generous, but it could be done.
Then the Palestinians who wanted to come to this Jewish Homeland, and have the toleration expected in the Balfour Declaration, could do so. The Jews of course would have to be free to ask the Mosque on the Temple Hill to be moved, since this is a national abomination to them ...
LA, for one so versed in human affairs, do you actually imagine that Islam would allow that ?
Possibly not, replied LA; but then it is time larrikinism was crushed. The international body could tell them that this is the plan, this is the way, that they can have access in large numbers to Israel, and theoretically even take it over in a generation if the population statistics and democratic arrangements worked that way, but that in no way could a mosque which deeply struck at Jewish foundations be permitted pride of place in their capital city. They could move it, or rebuild in a prominent place, but not so near to the Temple site of ancient Israel.
Don't you think that your plan could fail in that case ?
It might. It could be better simply to make it clear that Israel had the rights of the Balfour Declaration, and let them decide whether or not they wanted to move the Mosque, or instead, make their own religious building on a site more conspicuous in some way, so that their capital would not be overshadowed by another religion. They could work it all out in their own endemic way then. In any case, even when Britain petitioned, long after the Balfour Declaration, that the boundaries of Palestine be changed, giving two thirds to Trans-Jordan, the change did NOT AT ALL relate to Jerusalem.
Gross though that deception was, it was still quite clear. The Jewish sector, even when the boundaries of Palestine were to be changed, included Jerusalem. It took a second deviation to bring up more land yet, including that city, for grabs.
Yes, that is better. But what of the incessant Muslim demand ? It seems to be this: Do what we want or we will use current technological power to destroy what you create, and so participate in the work of the Great Destroyer, in the name of our religion. Do what we want or you will have oil trouble. Do what we want or we will destabilise sensitive spots and you will possibly not live to regret it, and so on.
It is far easier to build a bomb than a building, so that in this way, evil by economy, triumphs over strength, and much is spoiled by a work of youths, or their equivalent.
That would have to be treated as a threat from a minority of this world, and regarded as terrorism, which the rest of the world would have to deal with jointly, as they did in First Gulf War.
Yet that would mean a terrible conflagration.
Justice is more important than fear.
But people no longer seem to think so.
Then that is where they go - where passion and power live. SO be it. If this is their will, then judgment will come, as it WILL come, and is nearly already on scene. Actually, a better solution for the Palestinians would simply be the use of Moslem money, not for waging Iran-Iraq wars as in the past, not for invading Israel as in the past, not for wanting all and leaving virtually nothing, as in the past, but in taking the Palestinians into Jordan, which got most of Palestine, and teaching them peace, instead of warring on Israel.
That, JA, that is what they did when they WERE given citizenship rights in Jordan, and that is one very good reason why they lost them!
After breakfast on Angel's Food, since they were still angels, despite their mission, the two angels decided to visit Jerusalem, and there found a young man of about 24 years, engaged in some gentle sun-baking on a Tel-Aviv beach.
They decided to place their apparent apparel nearby, and went for a swim, for verisimilitude, for it was most important that their angelic status should not appear; and while they would never deny it, they would not wish to disclose it.
After this, having enjoyed the swim by the remarkable power of their AVI (that actualised virtual imagery which helped so much for earthly assimilation), they settled down on the beach and began to discuss things so vital to Israel's interest that as they had hoped, before long the young man introduced himself and they had a pleasant time exchanging thoughts.
I suppose you are from England ? he asked.
Why do you think that ? LA responded.
Oh your fair complexion and some of the words you pronounce.
No we are not from there, but as Christians our real home is above.
At that, JA nudged LA with his wing - this remained in non-AVI mode, and so was not humanly visible. His look said much. Are we Christians who are not men ? it seemed to challenge his colleague. Well, the relaxed peer back of LA seemed to say, If we are AVI mode men, then we are AVI mode Christians. It is a modal matter: our hearts are the same in that Christ is our Saviour, King and Lord.
Mmm! the look of JA seemed to suggest.
Let's get on! the counter-look of LA responded.
So you are Christians ? interrogated the Jew, whose name being established as Samuel, gained this reply.
Christ was a Jew, Sam, said LA, and we feel at home here.
Yes, but a deluded Jew, said Sam, if you will excuse my frankness.
But He never trusted in man, responded JA, and He was not deluded in that.
I agree with you there, said Sam, but He claimed to be God.
Cannot God claim to be God ? challenged JA.
What evidence for such a profound claim as that could you cite, then ? asked Sam who was inclined to be pragmatic, and to be proud of it.
Well, you know the prophets ?
Yes, I have some conversance with them - you mean the prophets of our Old
Yes, I do. By the way, do you believe this priceless Jewish heritage ?
I believe it to be a priceless Jewish heritage.
Do you know that this priceless heritage includes the death date of the Messiah ?
JA then gave him the facts of the Daniel 9 70 times 7, forecast, and was shown how it landed on a date about AD 30, depending on certain minute historical details, as in Highway of Holiness Ch. 4.
Is that so ? he asked, since he had been visiting the US not long before, and rather liked the pragmatic sounding ring to those words.
LA was rather attracted to his manner, and so decided to risk a little directed playfulness.
Do you mean, he asked, the 'Is that so ?' which means, 'I don't really think so!' or the one which means, 'Is this actually the case, how interesting!'
I hadn't thought about it, actually, said Sam.
Can you do that now, since it will clarify what you mean, said LA.
All right. I meant that this is interesting, but so what ?
So this, said JA. It means that if you believe your own book, then the only One who died at that time with the challenging but sustained ingredients of being of the tribe of Judah, born in Bethlehem, sold for 30 pieces of silver, betrayed by one of his own, rejected by the Jewish nation as in Isaiah 49:7, performer of miracles as in Isaiah 35, while clearly claiming to be deity on earth as in Psalm 45 and Psalm 2, but also as the only Saviour is statedly God, in Isaiah 43:10-11 with 53: it is whom ? The only such one is Jesus Christ.
Say, that is really interesting, replied Sam, who also prided himself on his tolerance and readiness for anything new if it could stand up, and especially was this so when it involved his own nation's past history and identity.
You mean then, that we, our nation, Israel, erred in killing Him, but in so doing, actually made of Him the sacrificial lamb ?
Man, you are quick, said LA, his angelic eyes filled with genuine admiration.
I have often considered the claims of Christians, but have been put off by the Roman Catholic past, and their piece of bread as God, which appals me more than words can convey. I mean, if Christ had meant that a piece of bread was His body, why would He break it Himself ?
Certainly you are right, but since the Bible foretold the Roman Catholic situation and error in I Timothy 4 ...
Did it ?
It mentions there for the LAST DAYS that there would be seducing spirits who would be be negative in the field of matrimony and of eating. Who else is massive or notorious who has done that!
They certainly did forbid marriage when it pleased them, with their notorious priests, who, poor fellows have shown in child sex cases enough of its folly; and they equally clearly are famous for their meat exclusion days.
Furthermore, continued JA, the use of force is forbidden by Christ in the service of His kingdom in John 18:36 and in the case of Peter, whose sword play in defence of the Saviour Himself, was not only rebuked, but repaired in this, that Christ restored the cut off ear of the priests' servant.
What is there about John 18:36 ? I do not know your New Testament so very well.
There Pilate was asking concerning Christ's mission and identity, and the Lord declared that His kingdom was not of this world.
Well, what has that to do with it ? asked Sam, who was beginning to feel uncomfortable, since anything leading back to the churches which he had seen did not appeal at all.
It has this, pursued JA. He added this interpretive word. If His kingdom HAD been of this world, then His servants would fight, but now they would not. Surely if He had in mind a worldly kingdom, He would not put down help to maintain His earthly life! It is hard in a worldly way, to rule if you are not there in body.
You mean He had in mind this kingdom of heaven bit ?
It is not a bit! responded LA rather crisply.
Excuse me for my Americanism, chortled Sam, happy to see LA discomforted, and beginning to feel a sense of kinship with these strange people from far away.
JA continued. You see, the kingdom of heaven is a place for the poor in spirit, the meek, the hungerers for righteousness, those who really thirst for it, for the merciful, and you are likely to suffer in a world like this, for being so absolutely angelic.
LA found it his turn to frown at JA here, and JA in this case, acknowledged the frown with a shrug and a smile of a deprecating sort. It was no time to exalt angels, thought LA, quite rightly, for as in Hebrews 1, it is shown that there are far beneath the Lord, He the infinite God, they mere creations. Mere creations ? Mere in the sense that to CREATE is one thing, to BE CREATED is quite another.
Ah, let me rephrase that, said JA. If you follow God in these paths of peace, you are likely to suffer, since the world is a grabbing, grasping, power seizing, power hungry, pushy place.
Do you really think so ? asked Sam. I have known some people of our own nation, who are not quite like that.
Of course, you would, said LA; but you see Sam, while the world has many sorts of people, its generic way, its radical seeking is often seen to be MORE POWER, MORE WEALTH, MORE SELF INTEREST for this nation, or that, and war, if it means LESS. There is a system, a structure of injustice and fraud which gains and seeks to keep its rewards, and although there are many wonderfully good things done, this is the prevailing dynamic.
Look at the Islamic lust for your own land! added JA.
Sam appeared convinced. But then he suddenly thought of something which came with such force that his neck suddenly jerked outwards, and the thrust accompanied his next few words.
If you can't fight, how can you keep any land at all ? he asked. I see how the Roman Catholics in their Inquisition were wrong, but what of us ? Can we as a nation not fight ?
We have been cheated by the UN of what the League of Nations and the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers accorded us, thrust out from the gifts of the Balfour Declaration in practice, by the actions of 1920 and on, and millions of dollars have been invested in our land. In fact, it has been utterly transformed industrially, agriculturally and educationally, economically and culturally; and now they want to ensure that we do not even keep less than half of it!
I utterly and entirely agree, responded LA. Yet the kingdom of heaven is for people, not nations as such. If a nation wants to invade, you may protect your citizens. That is not thrust and lust and fraud, but concern and duty. Nor is it self-centred, to quash what seeks to enslave a people. It is the Church which cannot fight for its self-centred rights, and people similarly who are in the kingdom of heaven.
Even nations should avoid war, and not involve themselves in mere aggression, lust or greed, being not proud but peaceable. But as to war, don't you realise the significance of the triumphant wars of your nation, in 1948, begun before it even was a nation, in 1967 and in 1973, and the magnificent rescue from Iraq you had in 1990-1991, by a multi-national force, together with the astounding power of your midget-mouse army ...
Midget-mouse ? I'll have you know that our Army is backed by a conscription for military training, by reserves such as had to be activated in 1973 before our magnificent triumph leading us to the far side of the Suez canal and to our surrounding an Egyptian Army. That, it was rescued really by Russia's threat of intervening, a time of red nuclear alert ...
I know, I know, far from contesting it, I admire it.
Then why ?
JA now resumed. Sam, I guess my young friend meant only to suggest that the Israeli army is gleaned from a very few millions of people, constantly surrounded and assaulted by Arabs and Moslems with vast territories of their own, who repeatedly desire the extermination of Israel, as you see in the Pan-Islamic Alliance, as you saw in Nasser of Egypt when he tried to invade Israel, and was ruined. These largely Islamic lands stretch from Pakistan, through Afghanistan to Algeria, Morocco and include Syria, part of Lebanon, since part is invaded by Syria, Iran, and did include Iraq, and that is just a beginning, for we have not mentioned the Sudan.
Since the Moslems have so enormous a tract of land, and the Jews so small a piece, since the Moslems have such endless seeming oil money, and their rulers can spend hundreds of millions in pleasure pursuits, astronomical sums such as one once reported of a holiday in Spain, it is obvious that their resources are huge compared with those of Israel. Hence it was a mini-army, in the comparative sense, which was in mind, for LA, I think. It did not disparage the results of that Army! Who could!
Ah yes, I am too sensitive, I suppose, Sam smiled. You see, when we are surrounded, bombed, blown up in buses of school children, have legs and arms fractured or removed, have supermarkets assaulted, international groups seeking to grab more land from us and calling it a road to peace, as if their very eyes were blind, it is easy to glorify our army; but it did have results!
Sam, continued JA, I was going to point out where the actual power comes from; for if the Israeli basis for an Army is tiny by comparison with the vast flow of mankind in the Islamic camp, so is the Islamic power as nothing compared with that of the Lord.
That is quite correct, I have no doubt ... oh! cried Sam.
Yes, pursued LA, you are seeing, are you not, that it is the God of Israel who is preserving Israel against the most remarkable odds you could ever wish to have ? If an unready England against the co-ordinated and organised might of Hitler, seemed to participate in miracle when it escaped his sea-lion surge to invade, what does Israel seem to receive, when it is engaged against so many nations expressly seeking its destruction, and that, so soon after Hitler had destroyed some 6 and one half millions of them, seizing wealth and disrupting cultural power.
Yes, in 1948, it was a miracle, mused Sam. You mean that God was actively intervening in our behalf ?
I cannot say that, said JA, but I can say this, that He might well have been either in the moulding of events - you know, something happens at this time and not that, some psychological aspect arrives at the right time, as when Jewish soldiers wrought an attack on some Arabs who surrendered, even though it is reported that the Jews had only fake guns; or else in the giving of aid to the vision of the leaders of the Jews.
LA could not accept this measly statement, so he added another.
Sam, he urged, the fact is that in Zechariah 12, the Lord shows that the Jewish nation will have a massive, a mass conversion, and realise that they pierced GOD HIMSELF in human form, as shown in Psalm 2, 16 and so on, in various aspects, and they will repent. BEFORE THIS, it shows victories on the part of the Jewish nation so profound, that it will be that "the house of David will be like God", it says, and "in that day, the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem."
You mean, said a chastened Sam, that all this was predicted in the historical setting of a restored Jewish nation - since Jerusalem does not need to be defended against assault if the Jews aren't in it! there was to be, just as it came to be, a series of wars so violent that the very power of God intervening would arise to give protection to the city ? It happened in 1948, and in 1967. I see.
What do you see ? smiled LA.
Mm, said Sam.
Sam, do you see that that very word of God which is the spectacular heritage of the Jewish people in the Old Testament, has in this way covered from around 500 BC or so, events which had to include first the foretold rejection and piercing to death of Christ, and then the dispersion as in Deuteronomy 32 and Leviticus 26, then the return of your people to their own land - Paul deals with it too in Romans 11 - and then this defence of those returned to their land, by the Lord!
I do indeed, said the pragmatic Sam.
At that moment, a rather larger freak wave suddenly invaded their little spot, and they had to move.
That wave, said Sam, is like the wave of understanding that has just come to me. It is very clear that the God of Israel is very much alive, that He has done all that He said for thousands of years, not only in precise detail but in vast scope, has provided for mankind the Saviour, Himself incarnate, and has offered to man a kingdom, for which He is the Governor, and about which we do not fight with weapons ...
Except spiritual ones! added JA.
Yes, yes, said Sam, but we do not fight with blood. That has been shed already. We need to trust in this same Lord, thus in Christ Jesus, to do the works we cannot achieve, and leave to His wisdom our eventual deliverance, first repenting NOW, not at some future time, and I do that myself NOW.
Sam, cried LA, looking positively cherubic, which was not entirely surprising really, do you understand now ?
This I understand, said Sam, but you wouldn't believe the things I have done. Would the Lord accept me personally ?
Look at the things Saul of Tarsus did, chaining and scourging Christians, and yet God not only accepted Him on the Gospel charge and mandate, but used him
I am not so sure I would like to be used by God.
Why not Sam ? asked LA, with a slight smile of comprehension playing about his lips.
It is because I am not good enough. I would ruin anything really spiritual, always looking to my own power or that of the Army or the nation or the priests or something: I know ME, you see. I tend to take things into my own hands, even the plan and all.
Sam this is wonderful. You are to be born again, restored to direct communion with the Lord who created you.
Wait a minute! I thought it was to Christ. I am a bit afraid of God when He gets too close. There is no one else then to appeal to!
It is to Christ, for you haven't yet realised it. If Christ is the Messiah, the One of whom they said, They shall look on Me whom they pierced ... when the One speaking there in Zechariah is GOD! then when you receive Him, it is God whom you receive.
I realise that better now. You mean that He wasn't so hard to get on with ?
Look at Peter, you know, he ran away when Christ told him not to defend Him with the sword, and even denied that he so much as knew the Lord, when fear gripped him in his confused state, and in fact, Christ had told him this would happen, which he rejected; but it did.
What then ?
Then Peter was met specifically by Christ when He was resurrected, who commissioned him later to evangelise and be pastor to old and young.
Can God love like that, in a human and reliable way ? asked Sam. You know, I would want to feel secure.
Not only so, but divine love is the basis for human love, the kind that does not stray, or have affairs, or deny reality; it continues you know - as in Psalm 103, as a Father pities His children, and He puts away our sins as far as is the East from the West.
Does He UNDERTAKE to keep what is committed to Him ?
Paul uses that very word, saying he is persuaded that the Lord is able to keep that which the apostle had committed to Him, to the very time of the judgment.
He is able, but will He ?
Of course, Paul was showing that he trusted God, whom he KNEW, as he says in II Timothy 1:12. He is not ashamed. Indeed, in that very text, Ch. 4, he roundly declares this:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."
It works on love, doesn't it ?
Yes, Paul said that of faith, hope and love, love was the greatest, and that without this you were as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal, and of no profit at all. And I love this from Paul in the same part of II Timothy:
"But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!"
That's faith, agreed Sam; but I like the love even better. Man if you are not loved, what is the use. Carping criticism, unintelligent judgments, intolerant attitudes, I want none of that.
LA was happy to reply.
The Lord is gracious, longsuffering and Sam, do consider this, that on the Cross Christ could well have lost His temper, if sin were possible to God, and said, Right! this is it. I put up with your hypocrisies and healed your diseases, I exhibited the folly of your squirming evasiveness, and kept presenting love in the very face of hatred, but now that you are mocking Me AS I die for you, praying for you that the Father should not put even THIS sin to your charge, that is enough. You pack of lying mockers, go your way and be damned to you.
Do you wish to trust Him Sam, asked JA ?
LA, Sam queried, do you trust Him ?
Sam, yes, if I had a thousand lives I should trust every one of them to Him! He is the most compassionate, understanding person, and even when He rebukes you, and I can tell you that can hurt, it is for the best. It is not irritable or a matter of a lost temper, and it can be ironic; but He acts with that blessed eye to your development, like a coach, to your welfare even when you are too blind to realise what should be obvious, and especially when it is related to what is not obvious to you but known to Him, as is fitting for a Shepherd ...
Say, that Shepherd bit. I know, that's in Ezekiel 34, where God makes a grim determination that in view of the unworthy, unholy, ungodly grasping nature of the false shepherds, the unreal pastors who were masquerading as if they were His servants when in fact they served themselves, as religious functionaries their career, He Himself will act. He declares there categorically that HE will come and be Shepherd Himself ... And again, in Isaiah 40, He will take up the lambs in His arms ... yes.
That Christ fulfilled, for He it is who is God, and so took up and blessed the little children and even said that of such is the kingdom of heaven.
It is hard to trust though.
Would you trust me Sam ?
I think so - yes, I would, for it is clear that you are both sincere and right.
How then could you trust someone whom you have just seen and not trust the Lord whose word is so clear that a child of 10 can understand His mission of peace, His gospel, His atonement, His resurrection, His power, His gentleness...
Sam pondered long. Then as his gaze rested on the now calmer waters of the sea, he waited on God and then a light shone on his stricken face. I believe, he said, I trust, and I will serve Him.
Long they talked, far into the evening, and Sam was so thrilled at the Bible which LA gave to him.
You know, he said confidentially, I wouldn't be surprised if you were angels. He grinned impishly.
Then suddenly, he was alone.
Yet LA had a plan to visit him again when he had grown a little, for little children, in fact, infants just born, need a little time ... to breathe.