CHANGE IS WANTED AND CHANGE WE ARE GETTING by Merv Watson 

It seems that the whole world is in elections. Israel and the US are just two among the many. Generally, the public wants change, but the political will to bring that off seems to be lagging. Here in Israel there has been a 60 plus period of battle between the leftists who want many of the trappings of Judaism but little of the commitment, while all around us here in Jerusalem literally thousands of Israelis are taking on the dress and the commitment to living the disciplined life of the Chassidim, the “righteous ones”.

In other cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa, there is not the same presence of folks dressed in black and white, and attending synagogues faithfully. But here in Jerusalem, one sees droves of people making their way on foot to the nearest place of worship. The government leadership has been both dismal and dangerous because of the compromise and corruption that has marked this administration under the soon-to-be indicted Prime Minister Olmert. It is hard to understand the outrageous decisions that threaten the very existence of the State. When one sits at a table with someone who is planning to kill you, it makes a very weak case when everything is offered to the killer to provide the easiest way to do away with you. And that is exactly what is happening in Israel and the US.

How does one know? By sifting all the information that comes in and seeing patterns that are ominous and inevitable. The Lord does set up kings and brings them down, but the ongoing insanity in government is almost unbearable if one spends just a few minutes a day thinking about it. Here in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu sits in the opposition, sounding warnings profound and dark. The general public is for his leadership, but the press gives him almost no coverage. But when polls are taken he comes off away ahead in the lead.

The saving grace of the whole matter is that the substitute Prime Minister Livni has not been able to form a coalition, and is mercifully running out of time. This means that there will have to be elections, so that the voting public will be able to express its will over the leadership which has generally ignored the public weal. They have allowed evil expulsions of the best people here, providing nothing for them, and wantonly pursuing them psychologically to try and break their Zionist zeal. However that is not working, and there should be a real political return to the kind of strength that has made Israel famous for resisting catastrophe and devastation.

In the US, the treatment of Sarah Palin, as fresh and capable as she is, is a revelation of
the grim forces at work to completely obliterate values that have made the nation of the US great in many areas of social concern and international generosity. No one calls Russia when they are in trouble!! It seems though, that a completely new political landscape is about to evolve and grab the reigns of power globally.

A new economic system, a new distribution of wealth and vast poverty, is about to paralyze leadership, and wedge them into a block of frightened souls huddling together, hoping against hope that “the more we get together the happier we’ll be!” However, the major “fly in the ointment” is this huge, soulless crowd, who insist on perpetrating acts like the one that happened today. An 86 year old Jewish man was critically wounded here by a terrorist and soon died of his wounds, a couple of days after the Simcha Torah, a joyous festival, had been celebrated.

THE WINDS OF WAR by Merv Watson 

There is a very strong sense of an impending attack coming from Iran (and you know who!) Apparently there is a “chess move” afoot where if Israel makes a move to attack the Nuclear setups in Iran, then the 40-50 THOUSAND missiles that are waiting to be deployed by Hezbollah in Lebanon will spring into action. In addition, Hamas, which has been mightily supplied from Egypt, will send missiles over from Gaza. The new

rockets that Syria has sent to Lebanon (supplied by Iran) have a distance capacity of 450 kms which brings them in contact with any city in Israel. There are several tunnels which have been dug under the “good fence” between Israel and Lebanon, which allow for dozens of suicide bombers to enter the north of Israel at short notice. The strongest resistance to such an attack would be the atomic bomb supply currently sitting in Dimona, a small city in the Negev, where many preparations have been going on for the last 25 years.

But as you know, there is some sort of summit going on during which the UN will be asked to have these atomic facilities neutralized by removing all bombs and other supplies out of Israel. The current Iran leader was speaking at the summit and saying how horrible that atomic weapons are, and that all such weapons should be removed from the Middle East!! How coy!!
 
The exception from removing atomic facilities from the Middle East would, of course, be Iran and its supply of the same type of weapon which will remain in place and unexamined by the AEIA. This suggestion would leave Israel totally vulnerable to attacks from any quarter. There is little doubt that Iran has also prepared a missile launching facility on a freighter or two, since one such ship just docked in Syria, carrying an Iranian flag, but having originated in Russia. I would not be at all surprised that similar attacks are planned for the continent of North America.

At least this is among the statements made recently by a retired US general on an interview on PJTV. Should anything happen to inflame the Islamists, and almost any excuse can be used, then there may be something of a mess in the North American continent. God forbid it!! However the advance of various groups given over to Nihilism, could develop into a serious social conflict.

Pray that the Lord will give those in “charge” some rationale to deal with the problems as they arise. Sorry for the dismal comments, but these are times that serious thought must go into our everyday activities. Thank the Lord for a Canadian Prime Minister like Michael Harper. He must be doing some fine things, because he is constantly being attacked. Pray for him in particular.

PALESTINE: THE EMPIRE THAT NEVER WAS by Merv Watson 

Palestine: This may seem obvious to most people, but, having just read an interview reported in the Jerusalem Post, I see there needs to be some clarification as to what Palestine was, is and will be.
 
~ The name “Palestine” is the Romanization of the word “Philistine” (the sworn enemies of Israel) and was chosen to humiliate the Jews after their prolonged and costly revolt against Emperor Hadrian.

He was totally infuriated by the duration of the battle against this puny nation of nothings (in his estimation!). When the revolt was finally overcome, Jerusalem was totally destroyed, covered by 5 inches of salt and left in ruins. Jews were not allowed to live there - ever! The whole area was included in the revolting name of “Palestine”. and though it never was a country, it has retained the name to the present day!

~ In the course of the next several centuries, the land was further impoverished by a continuance of wars and devastation, until the final Turkish overlords claimed it as part of the Turkish empire. Although basically a wasteland, all Turkish rebel leaders plotting against the Turkish homeland leadership, were banished to this political backwater (Palestine) as punishment for defying the leadership.

They were never allowed to return to Turkey, and in a lather of political hatred, they took over the leadership of this dead end wilderness. As a consequence, they hated the area, and set about to exploit it in every possible way. Of the few Arabs that lived there, only a minimal number received any land, and only after much fawning and prostrating themselves before their fellow coreligionists. Some had their requests result in hanging before Jaffe gate along with other rebels. Even today there are only two extremely wealthy Arab families that direct opinion and events in Palestine. When they say “Jump” the Arab populace asks “How high?”

~ Palestine never was a nation, but was only a totally exploited land mass despised by its Turkish overlords. Trees were taxed (and often cut down to avoid the tax) or used as railway ties for the Hijaz narrow gauge railway. Eventually, trees were reduced to almost nothing with the consequence of hillsides being leached, losing all the topsoil, and valleys filled with malaria swamps. This once bountiful land became a dustbowl of privation – dreary, and revoltingly barren. The population shrunk to a minimum, industry was almost non existent, and diseases were rampant. Leprosy, malaria, blindness from syphilis, and infant mortality were common.
 
~ Into this landscape came the conquering British, opening the land to the rightful, covenanted owners. Returned Israel, at tremendous cost of life and substance, began the long road to recovery and fruitfulness.

~ Here is Israel 100 years later, leading the world in humanitarian and technical exploits, while battling to preserve Western civilization in a sea of potential destructive forces all poised for her annihilation. Every nation seeming to hope upon hope that Israel will be again reduced to rocks, disease, and sand. The whole UN organization of thug-led countries cheer on the sidelines while anticipating another holocaust of the Jews. What they do not know is the Bible has said “To the Jew first, then to the Greek”. It is the rest of the world’s turn this time……the Jews have had their holocaust already

~ Incidentally a conference was just convened in Bethlehem this past week, led by such “leading lights” in the evangelical world as Tony Campolo, denouncing Israel, denying its legitimacy as a nation, and recommending total divestment of any investment in Israel’s present or future. In other words, replacement theology which was invented in Rome, and promoted worldwide, is alive and well. If we withdraw from helping Israel, God, the eternal covenant keeper, will not help US in our approaching crises, as He has made clear in Matt. 25, that helping the least of His

THE UNEASY HISTORY BETWEEN THE JEWS AND THE CHURCH -- by Merv Watson 

I have just come across a book called “The Church and the Jews” by Dan Gruber. It is an extremely clear statement as to what happened at the Nicene Conference of 325 AD when Catholic (Universal) Orthodoxy was born. Anyone not acknowledging the church created by Constantine as the sole representative of Christ’s truth, was branded as an heretic and threatened with death if he did not repent and follow the Constantine “line”.

A controversy started when it had to be decided when to celebrate Passover. Constantine maintained that the church must not celebrate anything that the Jews celebrated, since they were really “vicious killers that killed our Lord!” So from that time on the church was to celebrate on Easter Sunday - since “Sun” (Apollo) worship was already doing well in Rome. The church (he claimed) would be unified if Sunday was the day chosen to worship.

From this simple beginning, the Church developed more and more distance from anything Jewish. Constantine really shifted the church’s foundation from its Biblical Judaic position to a Graeco-Roman foundation, in an attempt to eliminate any association with the Biblical festivals and God appointed worship times. Without any authority but his own, he made myriad changes in the church, which eventually lead to a calendar based on the Sun and not the moon, and to all the days of the week being named after Greco-Roman gods. It is amazing how there are now many writers and commentators who see this very serious, high handed move of the Roman emperor, as one which created a church dependent on the State for approval and support.

The God of the Bible was placed in a secondary role while a “holy Roman empire” emerged as friend and provider for observant Christians. Any person or group finding itself in opposition to this arrangement was considered a rebel seditionist, worthy only of elimination. Millions were done away with once the orthodox creed was established as the only way to think - the Spanish Inquisition was a direct result of this thinking.

Praise the Lord that the power of the Inquisition was finally done away with in 1823, and we as believers are gradually edging towards a new revelation of the importance of following the Bible, and not just political decisions. This will be costly but it is the only way to go!! (A loud resounding “AMEN” from the editor!!)

THE DANGER OF LOW MORALE - by Merv Watson 

While glancing at the weekend edition of the Jerusalem Post, I was struck by an article’s title: “The Israel Defense Forces Have Drastically Reduced Suicides in the Army’s Ranks”. I had never realized that the army, with its high morale had such an extensive problem with suicide, but apparently, the suicide rate rivals highway deaths, and ranks higher than the number of students in US colleges who end their lives.

Finally, after the army had consistently dealt superficially with the phenomena, parents of the deceased teens and early twenties put together an organization that is translated as “Path to Life”. Through persistent pressure from this organization, and finally admitting that there is a problem, the army is dealing amazingly with it. There is a drastic reduction in the number of young people who decide that life is too much.

Praise God for that!! Incidentally, if a soldier has a spiritual connection with his Jewish Faith, then this certainly retards, if not removes the tendency to self destruction. Perhaps some of the techniques and focus that the army applies could retard the devastating tendency that young people have in North America to do the final step. Certainly the demarginalizing of Faith as a real option in young people’s lives in N.A , would act as a real deterrent .

Bible Study on Jewellery 

Bible Study on Jewellery

ADORN: -

ENGLISH:- to decorate with ornaments - deck - grade - trick - array - attire - bedeck

HEBREW:-

= kashet

Pictogram:-

= yaffeh

Pictogram:-

= sheklel

Pictogram:-

= pa'er

Pictogram:-

BIBLE:-

- 1 Tim 2:9 -

- Titus 2:10 -

- Jer.31:4 -

- Lk.21:5 -

- Peter 3:5 -

- Rev.21:2

- Isa. 61:10 -

- 1 Peter 3:3 -

JEWELLERY:-

ENGLISH:- objects of precious metal set with gems and worn for personal adornment

HEBREW:-

= ta'asiyat tekshitim

= mis'har b'takshitim

= takshitim

= avanim y'karot

= tzorfut

BIBLE:-

- Ezek.16:12 -

- Gen.24:53 -

- Ex.3:22 -

- Ex.11:2 -

- Ex.12:35 -

- Ex.35:22 -

- Num.31:50,51 -

- 1 Sam.6:8,15 -

- 2 Chron.20:25 -

- 2 Chron. 32:27 -

- Job 28:17 -

- Song of Sol. 1:10 -

- Song of Sol. 7:1 -

- Isa. 3:21 -

- Isa. 61:10 -

- Ezek.16:17,39 -

- Ezek.23:26 -

- Hos.2:13 -

- Mal.3:17 -

BIBLICAL HISTORY OF JEWELLERY

WOMEN:-

- Isaiah hit out hard at women of his day who trusted in ornamentation, in sharp contrast to the poor women then

- women wore headbands, bangles, crescent necklaces, earrings, bracelets, nose rings, veils, head-dresses, ankle chains, perfume bottles, charms, signet rings, beautiful robes, cloaks, capes, purses, mirrors, tiaras, linen clothing, shawls, and sashes

- if an archaeologist digs up a site now, he can usually find pieces of Jewellery. Gold earrings were usually hollow, but silver ones were heavier and more elaborate

- necklaces contained semi-precious stones (feldspar (green), and carnelian (orange/red)

- jewllery artisans were in prevalence throughout the whole country. Even the ordinary person wore jewellery

- when reliance was made on these ornaments, it produced a pride which God hates (Isa.3:16-23). The prophet was addressing the fact that more time was spent on their appearance before men than before God.

- In the New Testament, Peter and Paul bropught this into a balance as contrasted with this extreme preoccupation with ornamentation. In 1 Peter.3:3 we read that It was NOT that women ought not to wear these things, but that their reliance upon them for ALL their beauty was idolatry, and meant a warped spiritual relationship to God. Paul also concurred with Peter on this. (1Tim.2:9)

MEN:-

- as might be suspected, adornment was primarily for the opposite sex, but men DID wear SOME jewellery

- belts, girdles, - things which kept their tunics in place so they wouldn't become an annoyance as they walked.

- swords or daggers were used inside belts

- if a man were rich, he had a signet ring on his finger. (Lk.15:22). Rings were more than just ornamental. Sometimes the signet ring was also worn around the neck These were the credit cards of those days - the legal signature. Men would dip the ring in wax and its design was pressed on any legal document.

- there were no pockets on garments worn then, so one had to carry a small purse ordinarily made out of leather. (Lk.12:32) This purse was tucked under the belt. In it were coins and anything else that was precious.

- sometimes a gold star was worn on the forehead by nobility. Priests wore them as a diadem. This idea originated from the Roman period in Egypt.

LESSON LEARNED:

- the importance of our appearance should never take pre-eminence over our walk with God. Jesus took food and clothing always under consideration, but He instructed that our loving Heavenly Father would take care of us. Worry about this would be a doubt of God's power and faithfulness to us. (Lk.22:27,28)

- contrary to some Christian legalistic denominations, God is not against jewellery or adornment. He did it Himself throughout creation!! He is not against our beautifying ourselves. What He does NOT like is our concentration on it - our DEPENDENCE on it to gain favour from others. (exampl;e of TV girl who had total "make-over") God is far more concerned with our inner man, because when IT is in shape, a glow comes forth not born of cosmetics or adornment. Some times, cosmetics and jewellery camouflage our needs and sin. Even when our inner man is in a turmoil, our appearance can be beautified or covered up through cosmetics etc. but eventually this catches up with us. God has an entirely different way of assessing beauty. He does not regard the appearance, but looks at the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7) We should be spending just as much time, if not, far MORE time in beautifying our INNER man

- adornment, whether through cosmetics or jewellery, should never be used or worn to seduce men

- care CAN be given to assess the colours we are wearing- to match up, to complement the style or mood of what we are wearing as a dress

OTHER ADORNINGS

- at creation (finishing touches)

- between Isaac and Rebecca (as a sign of endearment)

- the doctrine (to make it palatable, understandable, and beautiful to the common man) (Titus 2:10)

Thoughts on Pentecost (Shavu'ot) - by Merv Watson - May 2009  

The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow! How often we have heard that assertion and take a certain amount of comfort in knowing its truth. The only question that arises immediately is “What was He like yesterday??" From what has He maintained his “sameness”? With everything around us going through extremely rapid changes, what is the relevancy of knowing that the God we worship never changes?

This question is profoundly important as we arrive again at the fixed time of the year when the most revolutionary event occured - i.e. the time when the third member of the Godhead made Himself known with such clarity, that men who lived in Jerusalem from every country in the world, were staggered into belief. Even as the curse on the citizens of Babel caused the confusing and scrambling of all languages, the blessing on the citizens of all varieties of languages and cultures staying in Jerusalem, heard the Word of God clearly. Clearly enough to rush to become part of what God was doing in that city. What was going on in the city was called - Pentecost!


Three times a year, the Hebrew people were to appear before the Lord, prepared to worship during an appointed time and at an appointed place. Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) was one of those times. It was to be an holy convocation, dedicated totally to the rituals that the Lord had requested to be done. Out of each house, two loaves of bread were to be brought to be waved before the Lord as First Fruits. Not only leavened bread, but also two lambs were to be waved before the Lord. The lamb`s blood caused the event to be holy.
 
It was on the completion of this holy day, that the early disciples, who had been waiting in Jerusalem for the power from on high to come, burst forth with unimaginable conviction! This conviction was the birth pangs of what became the church. It had irresistable power that swept the crowd into its vortex of commitment and into a richer awareness of God`s presence following the event of the cross.


Although the fervour of that day in Jerusalem has cooled, the renewal it brought with it has gained a new interest among those who have become aware of it. All over the world, as this spring festival is remembered, there is the awareness of ancient connections that provide hope and joy.

Even as the cycle of spring issues forth from every tree, God`s promises issue forth from this event to challenge us all to a renewal of our souls. As we hear of revival and renewals internationally, we are quickened to celebrate and expect renewal in ourselves. The witness that was promised to go to the ends of the earth has gone there, and is now returning with a multiple harvest of souls in its wake. Even as this is a harvest of first fruits physically, it is also a harvest of souls spiritually. Even as this feast remembers the first fruits from the Dead (Yeshua), we anticipate the winter of our own souls melting before the action of the Holy Spirit as He brings His tongues of fire to bear on us!!

As we commemorate the fact that God thundered forth His commandments from Mt. Sinai many years ago, let us also rejoice that it is indeed possible now to obey them, not through our human grit, but through the power of His indwelling Spirit which appeared on the exact day of Pentecost in the upper room to 120 disciples.

THE TRADITIONAL CALCULATION DATES OF YESHUA’S CRUCIFIXION & RESURRECTION ARE ERRONEOUS!! 

In other words, there was no such thing as Good Friday or Easter. Both commemorations were an invention of the Roman Emporer Constantine in the 4th century. One cannot calculate 3 days and 3 nights from Friday to Sunday morning.


According to most recent calculations by Biblical scholars, Yeshua was crucified Wednesday afternoon, and He rose at midnight Saturday.


Easter was a pagan celebration, giving homage to the goddess Ashtar.

THE EARLY CHURCH AND BIBLICAL FESTIVALS by Merv Watson 

In the first century, fundamental changes occurred, which drew the central authority away from the apostolic order into a new philosophical order. As the church of Jerusalem, under the direction of James, lost its effectiveness because of the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion of the believers, the conduct of the church affairs fell under the auspices of more non-Judaistic leadership.

The progressive effect of this change of authority was a disintegration of the Hebraic basis for liturgy, and its replacement by Greco-Roman philosophical ideas. Following the second uprising around 135 A.D., there was a purposeful rejection of many of the Judaistic influences that were part of the establishment of the early church.

Among those things rejected were the annual memorials, known as the Biblical Festivals. There was a desire on the part of the early church fathers, such as Justin Martyr, to gain the sympathy of the Roman rulers who were profoundly enraged by the last rebellion of the Jews in the second century. Since the early church was regarded as part of the Jewish Faith, the political stigma connected with things Jewish attached itself to the church as well.

The Roman influence, instilled in the early Church, fathered a deep abiding resentment towards the Jews. When the first universal Church leader, Constantine, made the Christian church the official religion of the Roman state, he, as emperor of Rome, established practices which completely destroyed any continuity between the fledgling Church, and the roots of the Faith. Instead, pagan holidays (Christmas, Lent, Good Friday, Easter) were substituted for the Biblical ones, and these are in place today.

Under later leaders, the calendar was changed from the lunar calendar, determining time from the moon cycles, to the solar calendar, reflecting the sun worship prevalent in Rome. This changing of the calendar completely altered the Biblical time cycle for festivals, and separated, finally, any relationship between the Biblical time scale and that of the Church. Commemorating Biblical Feasts is a realignment with the early beginnings of the Faith, and a memorial celebration as a reminder of what God has done in History.

PURIM IS NOW - by Merv Watson  

Daily reports roll into cyberspace, announcing the fact that Israel is becoming an anathema again in the minds of countries where the biased news has painted a black picture of Israel's self defence. There is an old expression which says, “That which comes around, goes around.” It means that there is little new under the sun, that history definitely repeats itself.

On March 10th,, 2009, the ancient Feast of Purim will be celebrated. This is a festival which commemorates the time in the distant past, when almost all of the nation of Israel was living within the borders of Persia. As has happened so often in the history of Israel, her existence was threatened by the rulers of that country.
Iran is the present name of Persia, and again, its present ruler is threathening to totally wipe Israel off the map. In the ancient event, there was an influential leader, Haman, whose ego was profoundly insulted when a certain Jew, Mordecai, didn't bow down to him when he rode in the street. By evil manipulation, he convinced the king, Ahasueras, that all the Jews should be destroyed. The present leader of Iran (Persia) has also in this day convinced the leading religious leaders that Israel deserves to be obliterated!

Haman prepared a huge gallows upon which he was going to hang Mordecai, following the destruction of Israel. Achmedijad, the present leader, is preparing a nuclear holocaust for the nation of Israel. Should this occur, it will not only involve Israel, but could well involve numerous other nations in the Middle East area. In the case of the original event, a young, beautiful woman, Esther, volunteered to speak to the King, even though it could mean death to her. The only woman on the scene now, who could try to prevent a holocaust of Israel, is not very beautiful, not very self sacrificing, but she IS Jewish. Her name is Hilary Clinton.

This has to be the height of irony! However, this time the power of the United States is being controlled by someone who has vowed support for Israel, but apparently has made a secret pact with one of Israel's enemies, Saudi Arabia. There presently isn't an Esther, but there has been an election in Israel, which has brought to power a new sympathetic leader, Benjamin Natanyahu. Now for the most ironical touch - his name means “son of my right hand, gift from God!” It will be intriguing to see if this “gift” will turn the tables on those who are seeking the destruction of Israel at this moment of observance of the time when God saved the people of Israel.