Modern day miracles

NewbornIsrael: As the cease-fire began on Tuesday, a record of babies were born at the Soroka hospital in Beer-Sheva.

68 babies in total were born yesterday alone, leaving people amazed and drawing parallels to the number of victims who have died throughout this war, to date – an astounding 68.

One of the mothers said that the babies were just waiting for the cease-fire to start.

source: http://www.tlvfaces.com/as-tuesdays-cease-fire-began-israelis-mourn-loss-of-68-note-birth-of-68-babies-in-soroka-hospital/

The following comes to us from Rabbi Yossi Mizrachi:

birdwire-1560x690_cThe Dove that saved our soldiers from death. An incredible true story !!!

Ami Maimon (of Bat-Yam) a radio announcer for “Kol Barama” shared an amazing story that he heard in the synagogue from a soldier:

during an all-night military operation of an elite unit, the unit was told to take shelter in an abandoned building under commander orders. They approached a certain house before dawn to avoid being discovered. As they watched the house through binoculars before entering they noticed a pigeon standing stationary in midair above the door. Thinking this to be a strange sight (how could a white pigeon stand still in the air without having to flap its wings?), they looked more carefully through their binoculars when they noticed that the pigeon was standing on a thin transparent fishing line. They decided to shoot toward the dove when the fishing wire snapped and the entire house (which was wired) exploded and turned to dust. It turned out that the terrorists hung the transparent wire so that when the soldiers enter the home, loaded with explosives, they would rip the fishing line and blow up.

source:- http://israelbeyond.com/bird-on-a-wire-an-idf-miracle/

God-changes-path-of-rockets-jewish-telegraph-600More claims of divine intervention are being reported in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, with an operator of Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system saying he personally witnessed “the hand of God” diverting an incoming rocket out of harm’s way.

Israel Today translated a report from a Hebrew-language news site, which noted the Iron Dome battery failed three times to intercept an incoming rocket headed toward Tel Aviv last week.

The commander recalled: “A missile was fired from Gaza. Iron Dome precisely calculated [its trajectory]. We know where these missiles are going to land down to a radius of 200 meters. This particular missile was going to hit either the Azrieli Towers, the Kirya (Israel’s equivalent of the Pentagon) or [a central Tel Aviv railway station]. Hundreds could have died.

“We fired the first [interceptor]. It missed. Second [interceptor]. It missed. This is very rare. I was in shock. At this point we had just four seconds until the missile lands. We had already notified emergency services to converge on the target location and had warned of a mass-casualty incident.

Source:- http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/hand-of-god-sent-missile-into-sea/

I’ve seen many examples of miracles myself amongst Jewish and Gentile believers in UK and Israel.   Sadly I can’t really talk about it on the internet.

Investigate terrorism from your armchair using NEWOCR.COM

fight terrorism from your armchairAbout a year ago, someone showed me a clever cloud based service called NEWOCR.COM

OCR or optical character recognition, is the art of clever software scanning a page of printed writing and convert into text.   This is a complex process to turn an image into actual blocks of text that could be edited in  a regular word processor later.

This software has been around for 20 years or more, but never accurate to be accepted in a real life work place.

The beauty with NEWOCR is it works with all kinds of languages include non Latin alphabets.   You can then feed the results into Google translator.

I think this system could be tweaked further and used for police or anti-terrorism work.

I’ve just seen this news article about a training manual recently found for members of HAMAS, the terrorist group who control the Gaza strip.

fight terrorism from your armchair2

fight terrorism from your armchair3

fight terrorism from your armchair4Open a new tab in your browser, and go to the site.   You can either A) upload a picture saved on your computer or B) use the URL of a specific image you have found on the internet.

Be aware, this will work in languages like Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Russian, Chinese etc.   I’ve even made it work with text at 45 degrees.   The text needs to ideally be large, and text with different images or patterns behind it might cause problems.  Click the blue Upload button.

fight terrorism from your armchair5

Now use the corners of the boxes show to adjust which parts of the image you want to scan.   Then click the blue OCR button

fight terrorism from your armchair6Ok Yalla!! – You can now translate your text.

Please don’t expect brilliant translation quality.   Also the NEWOCR site seems to be short of bandwidth and sometimes not always available.

I’d be curious to see how the police and anti terrorism departments could make of this.

Evil reincarnated from the past

Haven’t felt like doing much writing, despite much going on the middle east and my new life in London.

I honestly can’t remember when the news was more depressing than this, with war between Israel and Gaza, Iraq and Syria having their own citizens murdered, victims mostly Christian.   Meanwhile naive one-sided white middle class people who don’t know much about middle east history put on kefiyah scarfs and join pro-Palestinian rallies with Muslim people in UK and Europe, and make a nuisance of themselves outside Tescos, but choose to ignore the bigger picture of the often turbulent middle east.

“Boycott Israel”  says your average liberal, leftist, vegan for Palestine, from their iPhone which contains memory chips and 3G technology developed in the only democracy in the middle east.  During the time of the Nazis, Hitler’s Germany had a similar idea to boycott the Jews of Europe.

This got me thinking about the names of today’s enemies of decent civilisation.

HAMAS the terrorism group who run the Gaza strip, their name comprises of an acronym in Arabic.   When transliterated into Hebrew, these five letters are pronounced “חמס” the word for violence.

ISIS is the group currently wiping out the Iraqi Christians at the moment, which bizarrely also a pagan god of Egypt long before Islam.

I was reading a while back also that some churches in Norway were set of fire by members of some heavy metal bands.   Most heavy metal music I have heard has a lot of lyrics about revenge, bitterness, anger, darkness and hatred towards God.   I want to Finland about 11 years ago, the Nordic countries seem to be the metal capital of the world.  Some of the more extreme metal bands contain lyrics and culture related to Norse gods like Thor.     This got me thinking this part of the dominant religious system in this region over a thousand years ago.

Its ironic how evil can be around in society for millennia only to come back with a similar legacy that the world has forgot.

War, spiritual attack and fallouts between believers

Currently watching war unfold between Israel and Gaza.   Make no mistake, the clear danger here is Hamas, the political ruler and Islamic terror group that control the Gaza strip.   Innocent people are going to be tragically get caught up on both sides here.  I am praying that Israel can do what’s needed to completely disable Hamas terror group and stop sources of deadly weapons which have potential to threaten about 3/4s of the whole of Israel, as well place Palestinian people in danger of being killed as terrorist infrastructure tends to be built next to schools, mosques and hospitals in Gaza, which is just twice the size of the Isle of WIght but with 1.5 million people.

These days I live and work in London, and I’m trying to catch up with contacting some of my friends and colleagues I worked and got to know in Israel with Skype, seems people are coping well with unstable situation and uncertainty, although Israel has faced wars and threats including its modern day formation in 1948, The Six day War and Yom Kippur War in 1967 and 1973 respectively, as well intafadas and terrorism that have caused many sources of tragedy that have happened as well.

Now due to various different fake peace plans it seems a ground invasion is about to happen.   

I’m looking for a church here near my new home in London, I’ve got to know several different circles of Messianic Jews, in fact I also see many different small niche churches and home churches of believers for a particular nationality, last weekend I was looking for a friends church, but even with using Google Maps on my phone, I couldn’t find my friend’s church so I spoke to some people in the street who were going to a completely different church which was made of people from Zimbabwe, a country I don’t really know much about apart from they have many troubles there.

In addition to groups of Messianic believers I’ve met in Israel and UK, here in London I’ve seen a church at the background of a Chinese restaurant for Chinese believers in London, Persian church with evening services for Armenians, Japanese people doing a special service borrowing a normal Anglican church.   I found this really exciting as we see Christians in London able to reach out to their own brothers and sisters of the same ethnicity without feeling like they are losing their identity.

I’ve still yet to exactly decide on a regular congregation to go to on a Sunday, but I need to soon as I miss not having a cell group and want to make some new friends soon.   These smaller congregations are great, but I’d like to find a church that’s suitable for young single professionals like me, with good teaching, worship and fellowship.

Something I find that troubles me is people I know in Israel and UK, Jewish and Gentile believers who are involved with ministry projects, are under a different type of threats.  I’m seeing spiritual attack in last month or so, in terms of IT equipment failure of large ministry friends of mine work for, and believers getting into disunity with each other, its sad when brothers and sisters in the Lord have fall outs it makes it awkward for those who are mutual friends of those involved.    One of these circumstances happened purely out of asking two friends to meet up for beer, not realising something happened between them, resulting in me being shunned.

The blogging world can be great, to share whats going on with how someone is serving the Lord or reporting on whats happening to a particular group of believers in particular area of ministry.    Something I have seen is often when reporting on false teachers and those promoting a false gospel, is that you can end up spending too much on these things, and can end up missing out in your spiritual life.

I’ve done reporting on such things in the past, I really right now want to seek to understand and learn how spiritual gifts are, and wondered if I have wasted time as a believer than I could of spent better.

Despite several bad things that happened that obviously have been an attack of the enemy (not that’s an excuse for the way we may battle with each other)  I’ve been really blessed by my new job in London, and the Lord has provided many new exciting opportunities have happened, I’ve also seen exciting projects come to fruition by friends reaching out to those in need that really inspire me.   It is at times like this that enemy wants to plant strife and dischord.

Continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and protection on those you know who are in Israel or are involved with projects for Jewish or Arab people.

Why praying for Israel is different anywhere else

To many Christians, taking an interest in Israel and Jewish people may seem just another type of niche type of ministry project no different from any other.

My friend Justin who was volunteering on the staff of the church I was at in Jerusalem for 4 years mentions this:-

“Now Justin aren’t you being a little narrow in focusing so much on Israel and the Jewish people?

Here is why I am not, we are commanded and called specifically to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel, and the Jewish people, throughout the Bible The Holy Scriptures in countless passages.

Why? Because that is GOD’S Land, and they are GOD’S original people, whom HE called and whom HE has chosen, through whom we also have received the preserved Word of GOD, our faith, and ultimately the MESSIAH through their lineage and geneology.

Therefore when you pray for Israel you are not only praying for Israel, but for the world, because when you support your forefathers in the faith, and when you support GOD’S people, that translates to favor, and blessing upon you and the world, and the preservation of things. But when you neglect and abuse, you fail to support and oppose GOD’S People, if you could care less and don’t recognize GOD’S People it will be a curse, and a judgment upon the world.

So a prayer for Israel and a prayer for GOD’S People is a prayer for the world and its preservation and salvation. Furthermore with that in mind we as Christian believers I wholeheartedly believe are an extension of Israel by adoption, and one with the true believers of Israel that ultimately will accept and embrace JESUS CHRIST as their LORD and SAVIOR as well, through the connection and union of ourselves with THE MOSHIACH THE JEWISH MESSIAH CHRIST JESUS.

There are various scriptures which reference this and give light to it. That is why I emphasized prayer for the Christian Church specifically at this time as well. Then of course I referenced prayer for the lost and unbelieving in JESUS CHRIST as well, that they too would repent of their sins, and be saved by inviting JESUS into their hearts and lives to be their LORD and SAVIOR to fill them with HIS HOLY SPIRIT, and delivered from the impending tribulation judgment that could take place very soon by the looks of things in the world, and the end times events that very well could be preparing to be unleashed in the very near future.”

Why apostle Peter would be a really bad Pope today

Recently I read the Pope has a bit of jolly visiting the holy land, which when visiting Beth Lehem, the Palestinian authority put on a nice show for him showing how they were dedicated to peace. You know, showing Jesus’s step-father Joseph with a Keffiyah (Arab headscarf) and other assorted propaganda that make out Jesus to be a Palestinian. Sigh.

I’ve been perplexed to figure out how Catholicism is influenced from the bible.  Someone the other day told me that Peter was the first ever Pope.  Peter is a well known figure that I’ve been reading a bit recently.

In actual fact I think that Peter would be a really bad Pope, at least put into the context of modern day Catholicism.

Peter is quite a passionate sort of chap, he is someone with a temper, good at talking to people and is a pioneer and building churches for the gentile believers.   He has his qualities and faults.

Peter has faith issues! (at least early on)

He doesn’t cope well with walking on water and sinks when hes asks Jesus that this idea doesn’t quite match up with laws of physics. I can see what he means I don’t swim at all, as I’m terrified of water and the idea of drowning. I’ve never managed to swim since several bad experiences as a child.
Jesus challenges Peter, by asking him to feed my lambs. In all honesty, I’ve never figured out exactly why Jesus was being a bit cryptic here. It seems he’s just asking him to check if he really loved him.  After denying Jesus 3 times which was highlighted by the rooster that crowed, Peter realises the terrible mistake he has made.

In Matthew 10 : 32-33 Jesus says Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.  Harsh words indeed.  Peter went on to achieve a lot later.

Its interesting that St Peter’s church in Jerusalem, has a rooster on top of it.  I wrote about this three years ago.

Peter is blunt!

The Pope does a lot of meeting and greeting of heads of state and senior members of other religious groups. On the PR front, Peter would probably get into a lot of trouble.

Christians who prefer only fluffy teaching would most probably consider him ‘judging’ at lot of the time. Peter doesn’t have time for cute Christian rubber wrist bands and that kind of rubbish, he’d rather get into with prayer and fellowship, in fact he’s really quite harsh with false teachers, which is why in the brief 3 chapters of II Peter has number two devoted to the charlatans and phonies in the church.

Peter has his own transport!

I’m pretty sure Peter would not need his own chariot and someone to drive him around in a custom bullet proof automobile. Peter is a fisherman so is used to getting his hands dirty and operates and services his own boat along with his friends.   Wonder if Petey took his fish to market on a horse, or if there was another person in the distribution channel who bought from the side of the lake and sold it to the other parts of the country?

Peter is named a rock by Jesus!  

Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Its really interesting here that Jesus is told people mistakenly think that other biblical figures, some then and some from the OT were thought to be the Messiah.    From here, Peter meaning rock becomes his name rather than Simon.

Peter tells Jesus hes also a rock!

Peter’s own writings from 1 Peter, the metaphorical stones Jesus used in changing Simon to Peter, Peter uses from the books of Isaiah and Psalms.

See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 1 Peter 2:6 / Isaiah 28:16

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 1 Peter 2:7 / Psalm 118:22

A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” 1 Peter 2:8 / Isaiah 8:14

Peter commits violence!

When Jesus is taken away and arrested, Peter hacks off the Roman soldier’s ear! Jesus then heals the soldier of this heavily bleeding cranial trauma, and carries on with the death sentence that’s issued to him.

Peter and Paul once had a disagreement over theology!

Oh dear, and people think troubles in the church are a modern thing, and going back to Hebrew roots will give us a more pure more authentic experience right?   Not quite.  Arguments of the same issues were in the first generation believers.   Here I think this was down to someone having an idea that out of Gentile believers and Jewish believers, one was more important than the other.   Galatians 2 talks about this.

Peter has a calm balanced approach to Eschatology!

Yes, he talks about end times and the earth burning up in 2 Peter 3 but in quite relaxed way, but warns against scoffers, ie: those who are denial about how moral standards would deteriorate before Jesus’ return.  I think today Peter would encourage us today to stay firm in our faith and moral standards but no need to listen to daft conspiracies on Youtube.   I might be wrong but don’t think I’ve seen any mention of the Pope looking forward to Jesus’ return or the worldwide troubles that would be associated before hand.

Instead, The Pope could try and mimic Peter

vaticanstampMaybe the Pope could take up fishing. By getting yourself to the level of a simple occupation that provides food and income, and a still quiet place like the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) would give you ample opportunities to mentor young believers, use the quietness to reflect and seek God.   Society tends to put a big artificial layer of complexity on religion, in terms of our relationship with our Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I don’t really see a need for a man in his own palace in Rome which has an authority with its own special postage stamps.

So dear readers I hope you can read and be enthralled by Jesus and his disciples and the impact they made and not see them set today as people set in a context they were not meant to be.

Having a love like a child in Jesus

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some brand new believers in Jesus. Something I love about people who have been newly saved.

Trying to remember that scripture about the angels in heaven sing and dance when someone commits the life to the Lord. I once worked in sales office with some highly commissioned salesman would get excited and would ring a little bell or press the button on a talking Gorilla cuddly toy, about a couple of times a week, when they got a sale, and the client had faxed or scanned over a signed contract for some IT equipment worth about £10,000-£1m or so. Some of the best evangelists I know have done sales work. I wasn’t great at it, some great deals I did happened when I approached the client at a coincidentally ideal time rather than me pushing the right buttons on the company’s decision maker.

Anyway, the zeal and love for the Lord is proof that scholarly background and knowledge of theology is not a substitute for a love of the Lord.

I read various blogs and news sites from various Christian groups and things going on in the middle east.  A lot of time I’m reading negative things, showing such-and-such a ministry have had a scandal or bad decision of some sort.

I’m often not good at being gracious when I’ve disagreed with. I need to get better at this. I’ve spoken to many people who have worked in ministry for sometime and it seems common to get jaded after seeing so many ugly things in the church and ministry world, in Israel the believing community is small, everyone knows each other so not so easy to keep secrets when mistakes happen.

Jesus spoke about us needing to be like a child in our humility:-

Matthew 18

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

If you’ve been a Christian for a long time I’d be interested how you have got back to a simple love for the Lord.

Post volunteer life back in Portsmouth

Long time since I’ve been blogging I know.

In November 2013 I finished up my volunteering after over 4 years of working for Bridges for Peace.

The last 7 months or so have been hard, readjusting, getting back into my original church and cell group, but getting to know new people in UK to. Don’t have many of the same friends I had 5 years ago, not by choice but just by circumstances.

I’m looking at moving to London for a new job and new adventures.

Jesus was in Hell between death and resurrection? Hell no.

I read recently from a few Christians who have this alarming idea that Jesus was in Hell between his death and resurrection.

Today I decided to do some research of how people come to this conclusion.

I read this site today:- http://www.gotquestions.org/did-Jesus-go-to-hell.html

Seem a lot of this error boils down to mistranslation in this passage here:-

Psalm 16 : 10
American Standard Version
For thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol; Neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; nor wilt then give thy holy one to see corruption.

Darby Bible Translation
For thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol, neither wilt thou allow thy Holy One to see corruption.

English Revised Version
For thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption.

Webster’s Bible Translation
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.

World English Bible
For you will not leave my soul in Sheol, neither will you allow your holy one to see corruption.

Young’s Literal Translation
For Thou dost not leave my soul to Sheol, Nor givest thy saintly one to see corruption.

King James
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

New International version
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

Its interesting how in this case that the NIV is better than the KJV here!

sheol

From the scant bit of Hebrew learning I did, I remember that Nefesh is soul and Sheoul is the word for ‘Hades’

I looked this up n Hebrew wikipedia, which originally just copying שאול shows a listing for Shaul of Tarsius.  A bit more searching found this article http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/ שאול_(מיתולוגיה)  which you can easily read in Google translator or the Chrome browser, bit didn’t tell me anything that useful.    But its fascinating that God’s decision to rename Shaul to Paul considering his transformation from a well educated Jewish Roman tent maker but someone who was a murderer and against the gospel to one who was the most well known missionary and author of the largest amount of the New Testament.

As a kid, I remember reading somewhere that our death and judgement is like going through a large airport security area where you then are evaluated whether you have a passport, ticket, boarding card and luggage are acceptable to the airline and jurisdiction of the country you are travelling to, but with the only requirement is being a follower of Christ and therefore in the big salvation database of every human who ever lived, the Lamb’s book of life.    

Further on, it seems in Revelation, Hell and Hades are described as two different places.

Revelation 20:11–15
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Here its interesting it describes ‘the second death’ here.  Hell isn’t mentioned in Revelation in my NIV, but it does mention the lake of fire.

My conclusion is Jesus didn’t go to hell for the 3 days he was not on earth, but actually visited the inbetween place Shaul or Hades, to set up the process of how people are judged if they are fit for eternal life.   Jesus’s friends didn’t immediately recognise him as he would of had a shave, shower, hair cut and looked much better then when he was arrested I think.

This just makes me more conscious of how I need to live and to repent of the regular bad things I constantly fall into.