Peace monuments in Israel part 2

 This is an old article I wrote in 2012 whilst in Israel, which I never finished, not previously released.   Here is Part 1.

After meeting up with and chatting to a gent who commented on my previous blog post about Peace monuments, here is another selection of gifts from foreign nations have had as well intended but often headscratchingly worthless items that are put on street corners. As I mentioned before, Jesus talks about ‘false peace’  and its true to say there are plenty of examples of this. Here’s one over the West Bank:

Some well meaning people in Italy gave this monument to the Palestinian people in Bethlehem.   Think they could of got someone to do a better poem than this.  This artwork reminds me of all those tacky digital countdown clocks that were in pubs in the UK in 1999, did they all go in the bin I guess?

bell

This bell comes from Japan! Its in Gan Sacher Park, Jerusalem. Here is another not so legal way of trying to get peace: This poster was in a sleezy looking street in downtown Tel Aviv.  I did see before certain types of drugs that promote a legal high, that are yet to be outlawed, and that exact impacts of health and not yet known.

Back when I last visited my home city of Portsmouth, UK, there is this: A traditional style church, next to it is a large mosque that used to be a bingo hall and previously a cinema.   This new Peace design in English and Arabic on the wall seems quite eye catching.   However, I don’t really see peace in Islam, but I do know that Jesus loves the Muslim people and wants them to find him as Lord and savior.   There are a few believers in Portsmouth too who left Islam behind.

For a while now, I have had an urge to pray for Asian and Arab people in Portsmouth who peace, fulfillment and eternal life are only found in Christ, this serves as a good reminder for me to do this.

Strange subtle antisemitism in fruit and veg shop in London

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Ok what’s weird about this picture?

I’m sure the shop I went past during my lunch break near Camden Town in London didn’t notice.   This particular company selling fruit, in this case nectarines (which were very nice, as I did buy one)   The box is marked “Gog and Magog”

Ezekiel 38 : 1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal.

Revelation 20 : 7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.

These are the only two bits of scripture that refer to Gog and Magog.   I’m thinking the Italian company who export their fruit probably consider Israel’s own agriculture to be a big competitor and calling themselves a biblical enemy think it would be hilarious.   It seems sad and quite bad taste.

How the Hebrew language reveals the trinity

Every so often, I see some Christians in some fringe weirdo movement want to deny the trinity.   This seems to happen more often recently.

I hear this same argument from Atheists, Muslims and Jews.   The ideal of the Trinity is hard to fathom, with God being three in one.   The word ‘trinity’ isn’t in the bible they say.  They are right the Trinity isn’t in the bible but the concept is there if you dig deep enough.

In my bible study we were studying Mark and I came across this passage.

Mark 12:36 (New International Version)
David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”‘

This is a copy of Psalm 110:1 
Of David. A psalm. The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

The Lord speaks to the Lord!   These are vitally important scriptures to give to someone with this question.

If you look at the Hebrew here:- (you can check yourself on biblehub.com)

לְדָוִ֗ד  מִ֫זְמ֥וֹר  נְאֻ֤ם  יְהוָ֨ה ׀  לַֽאדֹנִ֗י  שֵׁ֥ב  לִֽימִינִ֑י  עַד־  אָשִׁ֥ית  אֹ֝יְבֶ֗יךָ  הֲדֹ֣ם  לְרַגְלֶֽיךָ׃

The letters in blue is Yahweh or Jahovah, the word for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jaacob.

The letters in purple is Adonai, the actual word for ‘Lord’ in Hebrew.

So we know the doctrine of the Trinity is correct and exists in the Old and New Testaments. Another example of Jesus discretely mentioned before he arrives!

Hillsong church worship songs still attract more to Christ

Hillsong church, the large Australian congregation with satellite churches planted in many other countries is famous for its massively popular worship band.

They are often in the news for different reasons, they lean too much toward prosperity theology gospel despite the fact they are an Australian ministry rather than the US which gave us the “health and wealth” type message common in mega-churches and Christian television.   Also more than a few people are unsure of their teaching and style of church is healthy, particularly as lead pastor Brian Houston said the God of islam was the same as the God of the bible.  Lord forbid!!  Or, it might be using Singapore pastor Joseph Prince as headliner for a high priced ticket event, which Mr Prince says we don’t need forgiveness after sin.   (shudder)

I visited their congregation 2 years ago when I moved to London, visiting with my good friend Warren and two teenage brother and sister eastern European immigrants we got to know there.

I was listening to one of the their more well known tracks “Oceans” which has been played in a huge amount of churches I have seen.

Some Christians have said that Hillsong’s music has over-dominated Christian music and become tired of it.   I can sort of understand this.   I like to worship using contemporary and tradition songs myself.

If we take a fresh look at this song ‘Oceans’  a stellar track from when they were in the peak.

Something I noticed, if you look at the Youtube comments for this track, its hugely exciting and heartwarming to see messages from atheists, fallen away Christians and others saying how this song built them up.   People not attending church in years are asking for prayer!!!   This is massively heartwarming for me.

I don’t know of any other worship music group that can motivate such great responses like this.  I ended up settling in a different church in the end, but today I was happy to see how a band could make such an impact particularly on hurting and lost people.

I couldn’t recommend Hillsongs as congregation but I will certainly still follow and enjoy their worship music and pray they will plant more seeds in the hearts of the lost that are seeking Christ in a fallen and broken world, but I would point people to a more robust church.

Trip to Turkey 24. Tarsus’s fairly small tourist market arcade

During my time at Tarsus, I noticed very few other foreigners visiting, apart from at the waterfall place.   Probably due to:-

1. Not many local people speak English here

2. Due to recent terror attacks in Turkey (back then just Istanbul and Ankara) visitors are not in big number.

3. Tarsus has never been well marketed as a tourist place anyway, despite being an birth place for an important man who traveled spreading the gospel who was once opposed to it and killed someone previously.   The Christian places could be better represented and some tour groups done, although this is a 99% Muslim country.

tarsus arcade

This nice little arcade is very pleasant.

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I got one of these Apostle Paul fridge magnets, just 3 TL (75p)

Tarsus is the cheapest place I have ever seen for ice cream, a small corner shop sells different local made ice creams for 1 Turkish Lira (25p)

Previous 23. Paul’s church
Next 25.

 

Spiritual warfare in communities in UK

With various travelling I have done to the Holy Land, and also to Jordan, Morocco and Turkey and other places, other battles can take place in our own home cities.

harrow preachers

This is Harrow in outer London.

Here, I see some people from a local evangelical church, some young black men, very bold confident, speaking out for Christ on a microphone.  One reminds me of my good friend Ashley who I met in Israel but is actually used preaching the gospel in his home town of Watford not far from me.

A few months ago, some Muslims were preaching messages from the Koran and had booklets and teaching.   In other instances they were telling us we need to have Shariah law in the UK. (shudder)

But instead the Hare Krishna movement were there today.   They seems to be in Indian costume but don’t actually look Indian at all, but Europeans dressed up in Asian type clothing with drums and bells, and have new age type books.

At another end of the street was a man dressed up in traditional Buddhist sarong type outfit.

Later on was a a nice band of musicians doing panpipes.  Although the main thing they were selling were Wind Charms, and other American Indian type stuff.   These items are supposed to keep evil spirits away, but actually Native Americans tended to worship their dead ancestors.  I think London has the highest number of cult groups in the world, the spiritual atmosphere is thick here and it can weight heavily on you.

This is my crazy shopping precinct.  This is spiritual warfare in North West London, and I sense it like I have when I have been in the middle east.   Through this I’ve been learning more of praying in tongues.  I’m relative new to this and I don’t do this to draw attention to myself.  A supernatural way of speaking to the Lord in a more urgent way when conventional words may not be enough.

In the past I would try and debate with people, but often some people from false religions will trip you up and tie you in knots as they are trained in deception.   I don’t see these people as the enemy only deceived by false man made bondage religion.   I’m excited that people can be free of this in Christ.

Its easy to worry and get fearful.  The scriptures says “Do not fear” at least 45 times.   39 in the OT and 6 in the NT

 

Trip to Turkey 23. Paul’s church

st pauls church tarsus 800

St Paul’s church.  This is a Greek Orthodox congregation built by Arab Christians.   Here I found a fury friend to be a guide.   Both here and St Paul’s well required 5TL each as an entry fee, its well looked after, so seems worth giving this (£1.25)

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The church dates from 1102 but the roof done in 1862.  Its really only open during Christian holidays.   I’m really not sure of Tarsus has any local Christians who visit here.

inside of greek church

DSCF9175 800There are pictures of Jesus and the apostles on the ceiling but either in need of massive renovation or not really that much details compared to the cave churches early on in my journey.

Previous 22. Roman road from Paul’s time
Next 24. Tarsus’s fairly small tourist market arcade

 

 

 

 

 

Trip to Turkey 22. Roman road from Paul’s time

tarsus road 800

This square section of land was in the middle of Tarsus and is completely fenced off.

This is a road that dates from the time of Paul.  I could only get a picture pushing my camera in between some chain link fence.

Its exciting to think the man who brought the gospel to Europe and beyond has a journey that began from this exact spot.

This archaeological discovery was found in 1993.

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Previous 21. Signs of unrest in Tarsus
Next 23. Paul’s church

A Mormon abandons LDS for real relationship with Christ

Read this story today.   From the uninitiated, Mormonism appears close to Christianity but actually its very different.

This story this family escapes from the LDS movement

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/december/how-i-escaped-mormon-lds-temple.html

I was surprised that the article says 85% of Mormons come from a evangelical background.  One of the most difficult articles I wrote recently was on what I call “Hyper Hebrew Roots” which is a legalistic cult to gradually gets people to deny grace, their church and the New Testament in favour of law keeping.   This is why I love Israel and ministry to the Jewish people, but the number of religious weirdos popping up on the web who say they are “Hebrew Roots” or “Torah experts” horrifies me.  These don’t bring Yeshua to Jewish people, but look at bringing Judaic practices to gentile Christians in a mixed up confused way.

These cult groups I wrote a few months ago couldn’t be any further away from real Messianic Jews and traditional Jews in Israel which I love and respect.

The fact that some Christians get off track into weird teaching isn’t a surprise as the bible warns this would happen here. 1 Timothy 4 : 1