Monday, April 28, 2014

A Book Review: "The Israeli Solution" by Caroline Glick

When watching, listening to, or reading news, it doesn't take long for the subject of Middle East peace to come up. Opinion pieces, blogs, news sites, magazine and newspaper stories all cover the ongoing saga of the Israeli and Palestinian people. Most are brief and overtly biased offering nothing more than opinion. Caroline Glick provides something of substance regarding this difficult issue in her book "The Israeli Solution". 

The premise of her book is to offer a different perspective and solution to the decades old issue of peace in the Holy Land. In order to do this she provides a well researched and honest history of the events and people connected to the "peace process". The backstory alone is eye opening to say the least. She also spends several chapters outlining the policies of Western powers who have tried to solve the conflict. In this she demonstrates the evolution of foreign policy in its being "dumbed down" and the reasons behind it. 

Perhaps the most compelling support for her proposed solution is in the people themselves. The historical, legal, and religious right of the Jews as well as the social and political betterment of the Palestinian situation is at the heart of her "one-state plan" for peace. She contrasts the conditions of Jews and Israeli Arabs in a free society to those of Palestinian Arabs under the rule of a terrorist regime to make her case.

"The Israeli Solution" is definitely worth the time and should be required reading for politicians connected to the peace process. It is an informative, enlightening gut punch to the modern "peace process". 

I received this book free from the publisher for review purposes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

keeping the charge

"But the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, they shall come near Me to minister to Me" - Ezekiel 44.15

Ezekiel prophesied to the Israelites held captive in the land of Babylon who had turned from God, rejecting His Word, and refused to obey His Law. Sadly, the masses were helped along in their rebellion by the religious and spiritual leaders, the priestly line of Levi. These were supposed to be a wall of protection, a preserving agent, against straying from the one true God to follow after the many false gods worshiped by Israel's pagan neighbors. Instead, most forsook the heart and substance of worshipping God in exchange for a hollowed out form of godliness stuffed with the perverse pagan worship of idols, which often involved sexual immorality. To these "who went far from Me when Israel went astray, who strayed away from Me after their idols, they" God said, "shall bear their iniquity" (Ezekiel 44.10)

In His letter to the church of Thyatira, Jesus called them out for allowing "that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols" (Revelation 2.20). Much like the priests of Ezekiel's time, the spiritual leaders of the church of Thyatira were guilty of allowing heretical doctrine and a form of worship within the church that pushed physical, as well as spiritual, fornication. Without repentance, these in the church of Thyatira would be held accountable for their wrongdoing and enter the Great Tribulation.

Much like Israel and the church of Thyatira, the Church today is turning away from the one true God to chase after false gods. Among them are the gods of sex and pleasure. And like the days of Israel's fall and Thyatira's corruption, the Church today is being helped along by many of its religious and spiritual leaders. Sexual immorality is being taught from pulpits by men who deny God's word while contorting it to justify their own wicked and perverse fantasies. Wrapped in the paper of God's design for marriage is a package that holds a rotting carcass of fleshly lust, lies, and bondage. Although wildly popular and often respected, these men, too "shall bear their iniquity".

God's word is clear when it comes to the purity and holiness of the Church. We must first understand the relationship the Church has with Jesus Christ as His Bride (Revelation 21.9). To introduce and promote sexual immorality and sexual deviance in the Church is to defile and corrupt Jesus' Bride. Woe to the person who does so! Paul warned the Ephesian believers to not let fornication, uncleanness, filthiness, foolish talking, or coarse jesting even be named among them (Ephesians 5.1-7) because it is "not fitting" for His holy people. To the Philippians he wrote, "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things" (Philippians 4.8-9). Peter, quoting Leviticus, said, "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written 'Be holy, for I am holy'" (1 Peter 1.15,16). 

Here is the believer's charge to keep: "walk worthy of the calling with which you were called" (Ephesians 4.1).

As members of the body and Bride of Christ we have been called to holiness, purity, and righteousness because He who has called us is all of these. In Ezekiel's day the sons of Zadok, also priests of the Levitical line, were faithful and "kept the charge"watching and guarding the sanctuary of the temple to keep it pure. The sanctuary was the place where God's presence dwelt. We are told that our bodies are now the temple of God, His holy sanctuary (1 Corinthians 3.16; 6.19; 2 Corinthians 6.16), and we are to keep charge, watching and guarding it. Zadok's sons were rewarded with closeness to God Himself. Their promised ministry was unto God Himself. As mentioned, we have been given a similar charge and the reward for our faithfulness to keep this charge is intimacy with Him and crowns of righteousness, life, and glory. In these last days "watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16.13)