Archives For Israel

Part 1

When I turned the page (actually, I clicked to go to the next chapter), I found something interesting in chapter 36. There are these two guys, Bezalel and Oholiab, and they are super gifted in craftsmanship and engraving. It says that the Spirit of God had anointed them for this task.

That is not the big deal. The big deal is that Moses takes all the money—all the gold and silver—and he gives to these guys and their team. They are tasked with building a tabernacle.

‘Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary.’ (Ex. 36:2-3)

Several years ago, I met a pastor who pledged to support our congregation. I never saw a penny. However, he communicated to me as if we were buds. Now I am friends with many people who don’t support us financially, but it was weird—it was as if he thought he was supporting us. Money is a touchy subject, so I just continued in relationship with him and never said anything.

After more than a year, I received a message from this pastor. He was so apologetic. Apparently, someone was stealing money. He thought they were supporting us, while a staff member was siphoning off cash. Since then, he has been one of our biggest supporters and cheerleaders.

My point is that in the midst of this great move of God, these men, Bezalel and Oholiab, were completely trusted with the funds. How do we know that they weren’t stealing from the kitty? Maybe good ole Oholiab stuck a few gold coins in his tunic every day. We know he didn’t nor did the other because of what we read next.

‘And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.”

Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.’

According to Exodus 38:24, they gave about one metric ton of gold. That alone—forget the silver, bronze and other elements—would be worth $40,000,000 today!

Now, that is biblical giving and accountability.

  1. The people gave with such zeal and joyfulness that Moses had to give an order for them to stop giving.
  2. And the men receiving the funds were so honest in the fear of the Lord, that instead of giving into the temptation to let the people keep giving, they told Moses about the problem of “over-giving.”

The New Testament equivalent of this can be seen in the book of Acts. In the Hebrew scriptures, God uses elements from the earth to build His Tabernacle and then His Temple. Both times the glory of God comes:

‘Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Ex. 40:34-35)

When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.’ (1 Kings 8:10-11)

This, too, came after supernatural giving:

‘King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.’ (1 Kings 8:5)

Wow! What I would give to be able to have experienced that. But we see the same thing in the New Covenant. This time God doesn’t need gold and silver, but he builds His house with people. In Acts 2, we see the Holy Spirit fall on the 120 in a similar fashion in Jerusalem, causing a revival that would shake the Roman Empire!

And one of the first hallmarks of this revival is… sacrificial giving.

‘They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…’ (Acts 2:45-46)

‘There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.’ (Acts 4:34-35)

The first thing that jumps out at me is similar to what we see in the time of Moses. There was no IRS. No one was checking up on them to make sure the money was spent right. In fact, when two of them in the chapter five lied about how much money they received for a property they sold, they died! The fear of the Lord in the midst of revival caused the people to live in integrity when it came to funds.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in accountability. We are a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and have received their highest rating. Accountability has saved many from giving into temptation. What I am saying is that in the absence of the ECFA, the people were honest.

We can’t get away from it. Revival and supernatural, generous giving go hand in hand. We see it when the tabernacle is dedicated, when the temple is dedicated and when the New Covenant community is birthed and commissioned.

How refreshing! For the past eight years the United States, under the leadership of President Obama, has distanced itself from its historic friendship with democratic Israel. President Trump’s new United Nations Ambassador wasted no time and making it clear that the United States was back on the side of the Jewish nation.

She expressed shock that the Security Council focused solely on issues that have nothing to do with world security—namely Israel. Not a word about Hamas’ extrajudicial executions of Palestinians, Assad’s butchering of half a million Arabs, or Hezbollah’s growing arsenal. They didn’t seem concerned that Iran is developing a ballistic missile that is able to carry a nuclear warhead to New York City. In fact, they didn’t even mention North Korea’s testing of missiles or assassinating the brother of their dictator on foreign soil.

Here is what the NY Sun wrote:

But the meeting, she said, was not about Hezbollah’s illegal buildup of rockets in Lebanon, it was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists, it was not how we defeat ISIS, it was not how we hold Beshar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of thousands of civilians.

“No,” she said, “instead the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. I am new around here, but I understand that’s how the Council has operated month after month for decades. I am here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore to the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I am here to emphasize that the United States is determined to stand up to the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias.”

Images of former Secretary of State, John Kerry, angrily rebuking Israel for building homes, while ignoring those who are committing murder, have subsided. For those still wondering if the Trump administration was going to be pro-Israel, wonder no more. Haley’s Comet  is soaring!

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has proclaimed that Islam is not the cause of Terror. Since when did heads of state become scholars on Islam? I will never forget George Bush’s declaration that Islam is the “religion of peace.” He went on to repeat it over and over again. But it was the result of wishful thinking, not from his scholarly studies on Islam.

Merkel says Islam is being falsely interpreted. Or is it? For instance, when the Westboro Baptist Church says outrageous things such as “thank God for dead soldiers,” “God blew up the troops,” “thank God for 9/11,” and “God hates America,” there is no shortage of evangelical leaders to express that this is radical departure from the Scripture’s teaching. Yet, there are so few Islamic scholars, much less, Muslim head’s of states, that condemn this supposed “false interpretation” if Islam.

Where’s the beef?

I guess I would like to see a little bit of evidence of Islam’s peace. Now I understand that as a president or prime minister you are seeking to calm fears and alleviate tensions. But what if Islam is not a peaceful religion? Can we admit it? Simply because it is a religion, do we have to deem it peaceful, even if most adherents don’t practice it peacefully? Yes, I said most and I’ll get back to that.

Are all religions peaceful?

Let’s supposed that there was a new religion. It allowed wife-beating. It encouraged discrimination against women. It tolerated relatives killing relatives who left the religion. If your sister is immoral, or even raped, you can kill her to save your family’s honor. One of its tenets was that you could lie, if it was good for the religion’s cause. The founder had slaves, murdered his enemies, slept with a corpse, had over 60 sexual partners, many whom were sex slaves and married a six-year-old.

Would we be forced to call it a religion of peace simply because it was a religion or because lots of people followed it? I would hope not. Sadly, the new religion that I just explained to you is traditional Islam!

Strict—the other Islam

While I understand that a majority of Muslims are not suicide bombers or jihadists, I would submit that many of these non-radicals rejoice when these attacks take place. My wife, who has Middle Eastern features, was told in 2002 by Arab men in Paris, “Tell our brothers in the U.S. ‘Good job,’” referring to 9/11. They assumed she was Moroccan, not Israeli. No, they wouldn’t commit the act, but they do ‘praise Allah’ that someone had the courage to blow up a Tel Aviv bus or bring down the World Trade Center.

You see, we have been duped into thinking that there are just two versions of Islam: radical and moderate. Actually, the largest form that is practiced all over the Middle East and world is what I will simply call strict Islam. And strict Islam is what Angela Merkel and Barack Obama have ignored.

These are devout Muslims. They are not strapping on suicide belts, but many of them do beat their wives, abuse their daughters and use every sort of manipulation to make sure their children know that death is preferable to leaving Islam.

A personal story

Take the story of Safeeya. She was born in Kuwait. When Saddam invaded in 1990, they became refugees in the U.S. She explains that, in her home, Allah was cold and distant. He was to be feared. He was not easy to please. She once came in second place at in a Koran passage memorizing contest. Her parents were not pleased; she should have gotten first place.

At a certain age her father told her that her brother would now oversee her Islamic studies and he would be free to beat her if needed. This was normal in her non-radical, but very strict culture.

When she was eight, they made pilgrimage to Mecca, as all good Muslims should. There she saw a woman beheaded. Her father told her, “if you don’t listen to the teaching of the prophet from the Koran…this is what will happen to.” Young Safeeya was traumatized.

When she became a believer in Jesus, her father told her that she should be killed.

Another story

I met Joy in the business lounge at an Ethiopian airport. She was on the run. She was from Uganda, working in “western” Dubai. She and her husband were arrested on false charges and forced to convert to Islam or spend six years jail. She “converted” and memorized large portions of the Koran. She was released from jail and sent to Muslims in Uganda. She was so prolific that she was forced to recite the Koran in front of Libya’s Momar Gadhafi after her release. She showed me the video and death was all over her.

She escaped the Muslims in Uganda and fled. She told me, “If they catch me, they will kill me because I have memorized the Koran. To them, I have the word of God in my heart and must be eliminated.” Fortunately, we connected her to a great church in Uganda where she was reunited with her husband. The last I heard, they were serving the Lord.

A final story

In Pakistan, a man recently killed his sister. Her crime: she married a recent convert to Islam from Christianity. Apparently, he was not Islamic enough. His coworkers mocked him constantly for not acting against his sister. He was humiliated and finally bought a gun and shot her in the head. Her father was outraged. Not that his daughter was murdered, but that now other family members who know of the shame she brought on the family.

“My family is destroyed, everything is destroyed only because of this shameful girl. Even after death I am destroyed because of her.”

Honor killings in Pakistan are on the increase.

“Pakistan has seen an increase in the number of women and girls killed in the name of honor: last year, 1,184 people died, only 88 of them men. The year before, the figure was 1005, and in 2013 it was 869, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. The true numbers are believed to be higher, because many cases go unreported.”

Not a minority!

This is most of Islam. Not peaceful. Not friendly. Not acceptable by any human rights standards. But amazingly, liberals like Ben Affleck stand up for the rights of Tzofia’s father to beat her. Well, he refuses to admit that it is taking place. Other than a few bad guys, Islam is just dandy! And Angela Merkel, a wonderful lady in so many rights, is now an expert on Islamic studies?

“The Islamic faith is not the cause of terrorism” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday, and urged members of the Muslim clergy to fight back against a ‘false’ interpretation of the religion that permits acts of violence to be carried out in its name.

“I expect from religious authorities of Islam to find strong language in order to delimitate peaceful Islam from terrorism committed in the name of Islam. We as non-Muslims cannot do this; it should be done by Islamic clergy and authorities.”

But that will never happen and for one simple reason. That reason is not fear of other Muslims, but because the very “Islamic clergy and authorities” that might have a voice to be heard, have no problem with wife-beating or honor killings. How can they condemn it while they condone it?

The only hope for Islam is its collapse. Because at its very core, it is not peaceful, but quite oppressive and downright evil. I am not speaking of every Muslim, but Islamic teaching and the example of Mohamed. Donald Trump did not get elected because Americans are a bunch of racists (who elected a black president twice!), but because Americans are looking for tough (even if very peculiar) leadership that will not continue to espouse the politically correct and dangerous lie, that Islam is peace.

What about you? Do you think Islam is the cause of Islamic Terror or just a false interpretation of an otherwise peaceful religion? Use the comments sections below to answer. 

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Dear Mr. Bennett,

I see on Twitter that you have turned down a trip to come visit my country, Israel. In your note, you say that you will come in the future, but “it will be to see not only Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza.” What changed your mind was this article in the Times of Israel, so you say.

I don’t make it a habit of calling people liars, but I am not buying it. I read the article and it is harmless. It hardly claims that Israel plans to “use” you, but quotes Tourism Minister, Yariv Levin:

“I am sure that, after the experiences that the players will enjoy in Israel and after they have seen the unique tourist sites and the special atmosphere here, they will become ambassadors of good will for Israel.”

The way you portray it in your silly diatribe is as if the Israeli government had a sinister plan to trick you. You know what our main trick here in Israel is when dealing with people like you, who have developed an opinion of our country as racist and unjust, but have never visited our country? It is simply to introduce you to Israel and the Israeli people, so you can develop an informed opinion. That is all the minister was saying.

But let’s be honest, here is what most likely happened. Others on the left saw that you were going to ‘evil’ Israel and began to call you out. They told you what to think about Israel. They probably said, “visiting Israel is like a vote for Trump.” If your cancellation really is because of Israel’s supposed injustice, why did you agreed to come in the first place? But wait, what’s this?

An open letter signed by pro-Palestinian groups, activists and high-profile supporters including Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover and Alice Walker had urged the athletes not to go. (timesofisrael.com)

Dr. King Loved Israel

It is kind of funny that you posted a picture of Dr. King with your statement that you are not coming to Israel. Dr. King loved Israel and did not see her as an occupying, oppressive force. But then again, Dr. King did not have twitter trolls to tell him how to think.

“The whole world must see that Israel must exist and has the right to exist, and is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world” —MLK

“Thousands of Years” Really?

In your note you say:

“When I go to Israel — and I do plan to go — it will be to see not only Israel but also the West Bank and Gaza so I can see how the Palestinians, who have called this land home for thousands of years, live their lives.”

British Minted Palestine Coin from 1927. There has never an actual Palestinian Arab currency in History.

No, there have not been Palestinian Arabs here for “thousands of years”, or a thousand years, or even one hundred years. The word “Palestine” was given to the region by the Romans in 135 AD, after crushing the second Jewish revolt. It had no connection whatsoever with any Arab ethnicity. By the 20th century, a Palestinian was anyone who lived in what is now modern day Jordan or Israel. It had no ethnicity attached. Before Israel’s birth in 1948, even Jews who lived here called themselves Palestinian.

A coin from 1927, when the British controlled the region of Palestine has the word in English, Hebrew and Arabic. If Palestine were an Arab ethnicity, then why in the world would they use Hebrew? In fact, Arabs didn’t mint Palestinian coins, the British did. The Jewish-owned newspaper was the Palestine Post.

Only in the 1960s did some Arabs began to call themselves Palestinian as national identity, as Yassar Arafat, the father of modern day terrorism (as in ISIS, Hamas, Al Qaeda), led the Palestinian Liberation Organization with the goal of destroying Israel.

“No Palestinian People”

Many Arab leaders took issue with his use of the term Palestinian. The Syrian President Assad said, in 1976, to so-called Palestinian leaders:

“You do not represent Palestine as much as we do. Do not forget one thing: there is no Palestinian people, no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria! You are an integral part of the Syrian people and Palestine is an integral part of Syria. Therefore it is we, the Syrian authorities, who are the real representatives of the Palestinian people.”

He correctly saw Palestine as a region, not an ethnicity.

Peaceful Gaza after Israel liberated her from Egypt, who had locked up Gaza like a prison from 1948-1967.

In 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza, the territories experienced unpresented economic growth under Israeli rule. (In case you don’t know, Egypt controlled Gaza before ‘67 and it was like a prison and Jordan controlled the West Bank—there has never been a Palestinian nation).

“During the 1970s, the West Bank and Gaza became the world’s fourth-fastest-growing economy, ahead of Singapore and Hong Kong, and one of the world’s fastest growing populations.”

Israel set these people free. My wife, as a child, would go into Gaza with her father, shopping for produce. Israelis spent millions of shekels in Arab towns. Everyone was happy—Jews and Arabs.

During your Gaza Trip

Hamas drags body of suspected collaborator through Gaza.

When you do find the time to visit Gaza, please let Hamas leaders know of your passion for justice. Because while you ignorantly accuse Israel of what you do not even know, Hamas routinely murders their own people.

  • During the last war with Israel, Hamas killed dozens of Palestinian Tunnel diggers so they could never tell Israel where the tunnels were.
  • Hamas routinely stole U.N. aid meant for the people of Gaza and used it for Hamas.
  • They impose strict Islamic law in Gaza. One teen was beaten mercilessly for using Western hair gel.
  • Hamas terrorists behead suspected traitors without trials and often drag their headless bodies through the streets by motorcycles as a warning to the people.
  • They use hospitals, mosques, churches and schools to shoot rockets at Israel, in hopes that Israel would respond and it can be a PR bonanza. They would fire from balconies and rooftops full of women and children as Human Shields.

When you are visiting, make sure you bring these topics up to Hamas leaders. You might want to check this out.

Israeli Arabs

Here’s another fun fact your handlers probably didn’t tell you. They are about 1.5 million Israeli Arab citizens. They do not call themselves Palestinian, but Israeli. Because of your passion for justice, you should know that they have all the freedoms Israelis have, such as freedom of speech.

That makes them the freest Arabs in the Middle East. Listen to me, Michael…there are no Arabs in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, certainly not Syria (where you can be hanged just for demonstrating against the government), Yemen, Egypt, etc. who have more freedoms than the 1.5 millions Israeli Arabs. That’s a fact!

Are you aware that Israel has a black population from Ethiopia of 125,000? They were rescued from Ethiopia where they suffered persecution. And lastly, did you know:

  • Israel is taking in 100 Syrian refugee children. Which is 100 more than many of our Arab neighbors like Kuwait
  • An Israeli group just shipped 100 tons of goods for the Syrian people, but had to remove all Hebrew tags first, so they would not know that it was ‘evil’ Israel that was helping them. And still, we help.
  • After the Haiti earthquake, Israel’s field hospital operated at the highest level and was the first emergency field hospital to receive the highest score.

Get the Facts before your Tweet

So…if you want to be a Social Justice Warrior, you might want to get educated first. Here is a free book to help you get started: www.roncan.net/15Facts. And if you really care about social justice, then ask yourself how it is that all the Palestinian leaders are rich and the people are poor. How is it that Yassar Arafat died with nearly one billion US dollars in his personal bank account? Why have Christian Arabs fled the Palestinian territories? Don’t be a selective SJW, get educated.

I don’t fault you for wanting to have a voice, I fault you for being ignorant to the facts.

Oh…I just found a video of ‘unjust’ Israelis treating their mortal enemies, saving their lives. Indeed, we are treating them unjustly, as we are always at war with Syria.

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On Sunday, representatives of 70 nations gathered in Paris to release a document condemning Israel for building in the areas captured in the Six-Day-War (including the Jewish Quarter of the Old City), calling for the creation of a Palestinian state and an end to the “occupation.” There was deep concern from Israel-loving believers around the world, that the “kings of the earth” would “rage” (Ps. 2) in their anger at little Israel.

A Third Outrage

This would be the third outrage against Israel in about a month. First, the United Nations condemned the Jewish nation in December and the United States, who customarily uses its VETO to stop such unjust and lopsided condemnations, chose to teach their ‘friend’ Israel a lesson, and let this condemnation pass. Then, secondly, in the middle of the Jewish Feast of Hanukkah, a holiday that commemorates the victorious Jewish uprising against her oppressors, a clearly angered and agitated Secretary of State John Kerry unleashed a scathing rebuke on the world’s stage against Israel.

It appeared that this third condemnation with 70 nations (a biblical number, interestingly enough associated with the idea of ‘all nations’), standing together in unity against Israel would lead to a fourth outrage, which would be a stronger, more aggressive, Obama-backed U.N. condemnation of Israel and, who knows, possibly the recognition of a Palestinian State.

The timing would be unprecedented (although I would like to write unpresidented), as President Obama has just four more days in office and his successor has made it clear that he doesn’t agree with how Obama has treated Israel. #NotNice! It is very rare that a lame duck president (a president on his way out) would be so aggressive in establishing policy.

While the Paris Conference did release a statement condemning Israel, it was lacking the teeth they had hoped for and it came and went with little fanfare. I am sure that God heard the prayers of His people on this.

Five Things to Know about the Failed Paris Conference

1) There was little unity, as can be expected when you have 70 different delegations. They could not agree on the wording. Therefore, the softer wording won out.

2) John Kerry called up Prime Minister Netanyahu.

After a month of chilly ties between Washington and Jerusalem, Kerry updated Netanyahu about the steps he was taking to “soften” the text of the final communique, which was to be issued by the conference participants later in the day.

3) Not only did Israel refuse to come, but also the Palestinian Authority didn’t even send a delegation. Would Paris just dictate a final decision and email it to the Israelis and Palestinians?

4) Great Britain, in what was seen as a goodwill gesture to the incoming President Trump, refused to even send their Ambassador to France or their Foreign Minister. This was a huge blow to the conference’s momentum.

A Foreign Office statement said: “We have particular reservations about an international conference intended to advance peace between the parties that does not involve them – indeed which is taking place against the wishes of the Israelis – and which is taking place just days before the transition to a new American President when the US will be the ultimate guarantor of any agreement. There are risks therefore that this conference hardens positions at a time when we need to be encouraging the conditions for peace.”

5) And best of all, in his phone call to Netanyahu, Kerry said there would be no additional push in the U.N. before Trump takes the oath. Kerry promised Netanyahu that there would not be any follow-up action to the Paris conference and that Washington would oppose any further political action at the Security Council.

Which only underscores that that was the original plan (or else he could have told him that before the conference).

Make no mistake, this was no victory for Israel. It was a step in the wrong direction, but it wasn’t near as big a step as the “kings of the earth” had hoped for. We must continue to pray for the Jewish nation. The salvation that we so dearly enjoy came into the world through the Jewish people and their Messiah.

Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there.  For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.  They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. (Romans 15:25-27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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