Posts Tagged ‘tony pearce’

Signs of the Times – Global ID and the Cashless Society

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By Tony Pearce
Light for the Last Days Ministry, UK

(Tony Pearce is the author of The Messiah Factor and many other vital books, articles, and booklets dealing with the times in which we live.)

The next generation of children born in Britain ‘will not know what money is,’ Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, has predicted as he promoted the smartphone app, Apple Pay, (Daily Telegraph 11/11/15).  Speaking to students in Dublin, he forecast the death of cash by the time current university students have a family.

Cash is still used for more than half of payments by consumers, according to Payments UK, the industry body, but its popularity is falling as people switch to cards and Smartphone apps such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.  People can now use the ‘tap and go’ technology for any transaction under £30, making it more likely to be used in restaurants and shops as well as cafes and newsagents.  Banks and companies such as Apple have an incentive to promote such messages because they earn money when people use a credit card or alternative payment system to pay.

About 20 years ago I heard the late Bible teacher, Barry Smith, say that the move towards a ‘cashless society’ and the use of debit and credit cards was the first step towards the ultimate goal of the information in the card being inserted under the skin in a microchip which can be read by Radio Frequency ID scanners and be used to buy and sell.  He said that this would lead to the Mark of the Beast system of Revelation 13, which describes how the coming Antichrist or Beast takes over the world by controlling people’s ability to buy and sell. Click here to continue reading.

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2016 YEAR IN REVIEW – PART 3 – TOP 10 ARTICLES BY LIKE-MINDED MINISTRIES

See also Part 1 Year in Review | See also Part 2 Year in Review

Listed in order of date posted.

1/Jesuit Pope Francis, Pastor Rick Warren And The Coming One-World Religion for Peace

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times

Hardly a day goes by without news relating to Bible prophecy and especially the advancing trend towards a global religion for the cause of peace. It seems there are few who understand this is what the Bible predicts will happen on planet earth before the return of Jesus Christ to set up His Kingdom.

2/Terror Against Israel

By Tony Pearce
Light For the Last Days Ministries (UK)

Israel is in the grip of a terror offensive as Palestinians have been attacking Israelis with knives and driving their cars at them. Between September 13 and November 30, 2015, 22 Israelis were killed and 215 wounded.

The attacks began after false accusations that Israel was defiling the Al Aqsa Mosque (on the site of the former Jewish Temple in Jerusalem). Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been telling his people that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and “change the Arab and Islamic character and identity” of Jerusalem. He condemned Jews for “defiling the Aqsa Mosque with their filthy feet.” Radical Islamist and terrorist elements are calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews. Statements by Fatah and Hamas have described the attacks as “heroic actions” and “the natural response to Israel”s crimes.”

3/The Rising Storm and a Clarion Call for Humility, Truth, and Repentance

By Chris Lawson
Spiritual Research Network

Filmed between a 45-minute break between down-pouring rain and a storm system approaching from the horizon, this unscripted, impromptu video expresses my heart and desire to see people in the Calvary Chapel movement (and other movements) helped and healed and strengthened in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in these last days.

I have no desire to divide the Body of Christ or needlessly offend anyone who is in Calvary Chapel movement and beyond. I am simply sharing my heart and God’s truth in light of a number of observations I have seen growing for over 25 years now in the Calvary Chapel movement. Things now have become so blatant in the rising storm of ecumenical apostasy that only sincere prayer and publicly declared clarion calls for humility, truth, and repentance will make any difference at all. My prayer is that God Himself by His Spirit and His Word will raise up clarion voices around the globe in this late hour.

As a Christian missionary and as a former Calvary Chapel pastor for many years, I have been observing a growing trend of too many people remaining silent on far too many major ecumenical compromises. A host of other issues are also of concern.

4/Guideposts: Teaching Little Children to Blaspheme

By Cedric Fisher
TruthKeepers

Recently, I was in a hospital waiting room and reluctantly picked up an issue of Guidepost Magazine. I very seldom read Guidepost because the long-time publisher, Norman Vincent Peale, promotes heresy and diabolical religions. He has also denied the virgin birth and the necessity of being born again.

As I perused the magazine, I landed on an article by Anna Gentile, a hospital chaplain. The article was about Guideposts and Gentile’s work with sick children.

5/Andy Stanley’s Dangerous Path – Tells SBC Leaders “Get the spotlight off the Bible.”

By Jim Fletcher

Late last month, the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission” (ERLC) hosted another self-serving conference in Nashville, titled “Onward” (shockingly, the same title as that of the ERLC chief’s new book; it’s about the marketing, stupid). Stanley was invited to speak. Boy, did he.

While ERLC President Russell Moore looked on grinning, Andy Stanley said the following: “I would ask preachers and pastors and student pastors in their communications to get the spotlight off the Bible and back on the resurrection.”

6/The Hijacking of the Calvary Chapel Movement into the Coming One-World Religion

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times

The commentary you are about to read has been written with much prayer and thought. I have not written it impulsively or with ill motive but rather believe God has compelled me to testify of things that have gone unspoken of and hidden in secret for too long. For the sake of the body of Christ and the furtherance of the Gospel, the secret things in darkness need to be exposed.

There are a number of low-profile Calvary Chapel pastors starting to ask questions. Chuck Smith, the founder of the movement, seemed to be biblically sound and determined to serve the Lord throughout his many years of ministry. Toward the end of his ministry, it appears there were strange bedfellows planted around him who in earlier years he would have avoided. So what happened? The purpose of this commentary will be to answer that question.

Chuck Smith attributed the growth and the strength of the Calvary Chapel movement to the Holy Spirit and not to man-designed gimmicks or human effort. He never wavered from that position until the day he died. He called Calvary Chapel “His Church.” While there were those who had some questions about strange things going on behind the scenes, the Calvary ship sailed pretty well most of the time.

7/Fed Up With False Teaching: Calvary Chapel Church Says “So Long” to the CC Association

By Amy Spreeman
Berean Research

Fed up with false teaching: Calvary Chapel church says “So Long” to the CC Association – Berean Research

A Calvary Chapel pastor who warned of false teachings and apostate movements seeping into the Calvary Chapel organization has been removed from his regional leadership position, and is now removing his local congregation out of the Calvary Chapel Association altogether.Pastor Dwight Douville of Calvary Chapel Appleton Wisconsin was informed last month that he was being removed from his position as a regional leader, a position he’s held for many years. Why? He says because personal friendships have been put above doctrinal truth, muddying the waters of what Calvary Chapels are all about. And because he advocated for maintaining and staying the course while calling out wolves and yeast seeping into Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the organization as a whole since the death of founder Chuck Smith.

8/The Spirit of Antichrist—in the Church

By Mike Oppenheimer
Let Us Reason Ministries

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Paul warns us that at the end of the age, inside the church, there will be teachings of demons—quite a serious charge. That it will be a time that is extremely dangerous to believers who do not know the Word correctly and do not watch what they are being taught.

The Devil has tailor-made deceptions for every church in every age; he knows the people’s weaknesses and propensities to do wrong in certain areas. He will use whomever he can in whatever capacity he can to bring confusion, falsehoods, and destruction—especially if he can target a church’s pastor. Contrary to popular teaching, the Devil, who is the greatest of angelic creatures, is of the highest intelligence, has power, and is often underestimated in his scheming by those who think they can bind him.

9/New Age Leader Deepak Chopra Asks? “Will Pope Francis Become a Holy Man for the World?”

By Ray Yungen 

In an article released in January 2016 written by New Age leader Deepak Chopra titled, “Will Pope Francis Become a Holy Man for the World?,” Chopra states,

Pope Francis I is poised to be more than a very popular pontiff . . . He could rise to become a symbol of holiness beyond the Catholic Church. . . . for those of us who aren’t Catholic, there’s a universal message voiced personally by the Pope: “No one can be excluded from God’s mercy. The question, then, is how potent this mission will be.

Chopra says that “millions of non-Catholics feel a fresh wind blowing” because of the Pope’s actions and that Pope Francis has “become a spiritual exemplar.”

In the article, Chopra gives some advice to Pope Francis, that he not become another “theological” pope but rather  one with a “higher consciousness” and like the “Jesus” who was not theological but rather “enlightened.”

10/Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Infiltration of Major School Systems

By Lois Putnam

Miami-Dade County Schools Partner with Mindful Kids Miami

Miami-Dade County Schools (Fourth Largest School District in the U.S.A.) is being transformed into a mindfulness-yoga school system through its partnership with Mindful Kids Miami, and its mindfulness lady leader–Valerie York-Zimmerman.

Yes, grades Pre-K through 12, students as well as teachers and administrators will be instructed in mindfulness meditation. Training centers have been set up all over Miami even in the sanctuary of the “most progressive church in the city”–Riviera Presbyterian Church (USA).  Recently Riviera adherents proudly held up a banner reading, “We All Are God’s Beloved Children: No Exceptions!”

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The Distress of Nations

LTRP Note: While Lighthouse Trails does not always issue comments on tragic events (e.g. shootings in Florida and Texas), we want our readers to know that we find these tragedies heart rendering and deplorable. And we are very moved and aware that the families of these victims suffer terribly. We are struck by a sense of dread as we consider the reality that times are only going to get darker as mankind and societies turn further away from their only hope, Jesus Christ and from the truth of God’s Word.

bigstockphoto.com

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By Tony Pearce
Light for the Last Days Ministries (UK)

The situation in nations around the world points to end-time events taking place as “the distress of nations” prophesied by Jesus for the last days. Since the beginning of Ma,y there were huge forest fires in Alberta, Canada, in Siberia, and Russia’s far east, Cyprus and California. 2015 ended up being the worst year for wildfires in all of U.S. history, and since 2016 began, things have continued to get worse.

Searing heat has also caused droughts in many parts of the world, including east and southern Africa. Malawi has declared a state of emergency as 2.8 million people face food shortages as a result of drought. In India the month of May saw 330 million people affected by drought. The June monsoon has eased the situation in India, but there are doubts about the country’s ability to provide water for its huge population. One source of water, the Ganges River, is now so polluted that the amount of toxins, chemicals, and other dangerous bacteria found in the river are now almost 3000 times over the limit suggested by the World Health Organization as “safe.”

There have been unusual floods in France, Germany, and Russia, while in the USA, West Virginia is dealing with a “500-year flood” after it received approximately a quarter of its entire average annual rainfall in a single day. There have been reports around the world of unusual fish deaths, in particular in Chile and Vietnam where millions of clams, fish, and even mammals have been washed up on the beaches. In China, a vast number of dead fish suddenly appeared in Hongcheng Lake in Haikou.

T

Tony Pearce

Tony Pearce

he most dangerous volcano in Mexico, Mt. Popocatepetl, has roared to life in spectacular fashion, not far from where Mexico City’s 18 million residents live. Our world is being pummeled by dozens of earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater, and a total of 38 volcanoes are erupting worldwide. Seismologists are warning that the crust of our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. They are concerned that the big quake long feared for California may be about to hit. As well as the spread of the Zika virus in South America, urgent action is needed to combat a yellow fever epidemic in Africa amid signs it is turning into a global health emergency. Nearly a billion people are at risk from the deadly disease in Africa and Latin America and Asia.

The Syrian conflict rages on into its sixth year. Half the country’s pre-war population—more than 11 million people—have been killed or forced to flee their homes. Iraqi forces have pushed back IS from the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, but there has been massive devastation as a result. Fallujah’s population of 300,000 is now in camps in the searing desert heat outside the city. While ISIS is being pushed back in Syria and Iraq, it has “celebrated” the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by launching a series of terrorist attacks causing mass death and injury around the world.

More and more countries are falling into poverty with governments unable to provide their people with the basics of life. Greece, devastated by debt and the Euro crisis, has been abandoned by the EU to a situation of permanent poverty. Suicides have doubled to 3,000 a year. Almost one in three people have no work. The young are emigrating, and people have lost hope of the situation improving. In South America, oil rich Venezuela is now running out of food with people killing cats and dogs to eat. Hospitals have no medicine, and the country is in a state of near anarchy. Brazil, about to host the Olympic Games, is also in an economic and political crisis, after the acting governor of Rio de Janeiro state has declared a state of financial disaster and warned of “the total collapse of public security.”

Droughts, forest fires, pollution of waters causing fish deaths, earthquakes, famine and epidemics, wars, terrorism, collapse of economies–all this points us to the coming time of tribulation as prophesied in such passages as Matthew 24.7 and Revelation 8.7-12, and the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only hope of our world. (From the Summer 2016 newsletter of Light For the Last Days)

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Terror Against Israel

Old Town Jerusalem (Photo: bigstockphoto.com; used with permission

Old Town Jerusalem (Photo: bigstockphoto.com; used with permission

By Tony Pearce
Light For the Last Days Ministries (UK)
From the Winter 2015 Light for the Last Days Newsletter. Used with permission.

Israel is in the grip of a terror offensive as Palestinians have been attacking Israelis with knives and driving their cars at them. Between September 13 and November 30, 2015, 22 Israelis were killed and 215 wounded.

The attacks began after false accusations that Israel was defiling the Al Aqsa Mosque (on the site of the former Jewish Temple in Jerusalem). Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has been telling his people that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and “change the Arab and Islamic character and identity” of Jerusalem. He condemned Jews for “defiling the Aqsa Mosque with their filthy feet.” Radical Islamist and terrorist elements are calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews. Statements by Fatah and Hamas have described the attacks as “heroic actions” and “the natural response to Israel”s crimes.”

All of the makes the possibility of a “peace settlement” even more remote. According to a recent poll, the majority of Palestinians don’t want a “two state solution” as proposed by the US, EU, and UN. They want a new “intifada” to replace the whole of Israel with a Palestinian state — preferably, one that now would be ruled by Hamas and jihadi organizations such as Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. Their problem is not with “settlements” or “poor living conditions” but with Israel’s existence. A majority believes that Israel can —and should —be destroyed.

After the Paris attacks, Netanyahu said:

“The time has come for countries to condemn terrorism against us to the same degree that they condemn terrorism everywhere else in the world.”

However, most of the world does not condemn terrorism against Israel but often supports it and turns its condemnation on Israel. In fact, the French government pays millions of Euros every year to Palestinian NGOs whose stated goal is to destroy Israel, thus helping to finance the radicalization of Palestinian society. Just two days before the Paris attacks, Netanyahu took the European Union to task for setting new guidelines for special labelling of goods produced by Israelis in the West Bank, Golan Heights and Jerusalem, which is widely viewed in Israel as a precursor to an economic boycott of Israel. He said:

“The EU has decided to label only Israel, and we are not prepared to accept the fact that Europe is labelling the side that is being attacked by terrorism.”

The world generally does not care about what happens to Israel and sides with those seeking to destroy her. But the Lord does care. Jeremiah prophesied a time when Israel will hear “a voice of trembling, of fear and not of peace.” This is the time of Jacob’s trouble, “but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30.4-7).

At this time the Lord says:

For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds, because they have called you an outcast saying, ‘It is Zion for whom no one cares.”(Jeremiah 30.17)

Related Articles:

Remembering the Holocaust – Who Really Killed Jesus? by Tony Pearce

No Peace – No Messiah by Tony Pearce

 

 

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Lighthouse Trails 2013 Year in Review—PART 5 – Top 7 Articles in 2013 By Out-of-House Like-Minded Writers

The following are the Top 7 Articles By Out-of-House Like-Minded Writers that Lighthouse Trails posted in 2013. These were also used in our Lighthouse Trails Research Journal in 2013.

1) Four Men and Four Books That the Enemy Has Used To Corrupt Christianity  (Sandy Simpson – Deception in the Church)
2) Circling the Wagons (Orrel Steinkamp)
3) What would Jesus think (WWJT) about “the shift” to christ-consciousness?  (Larry DeBruyn – Guarding His Flock Ministries)
4) The Final Accommodation – The Mark . . . Revelation 14  (Bill Randles – Believers in Grace)
5) No Peace – No Messiah  (Tony Pearce – Light For the Last Days Ministry)
6) A Doctor’s Plea for His Hometown – “Why are the pulpits silent?”  (Tom Baker, M.D.)
7) “Propaganda Wins” on Israel  (Jim Fletcher)
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No Peace – No Messiah

By Tony Pearce

In the prophecy of Daniel mentioned in our article “The Fall of the Second Temple,” it says that Messiah will come before the destruction of the second Temple and that following his coming there will be wars and desolations.  This of course does not square with the majority view of Messiah in the Jewish community today.  In discussion with a Jewish friend, he said to me, ‘Your Jesus can’t be the Messiah, because there is no peace in the world.’

I told him that Jesus came the first time to save us from our sins in fulfillment of the prophecies in the Bible of the Suffering Servant and that he is coming again to judge the world in righteousness and bring in the promised age of peace and justice.

“Where did you get this idea of a ‘second coming’ from?  Was it because Jesus did not succeed the first time that he’s got to have another go?  It doesn’t say anything in the Bible about the Messiah coming twice.”

Maybe he had been reading this in Rabbi Kaplan’s book, The Real Messiah?,  which states: “The main task of the Messiah was to bring the world back to God and to abolish all war, suffering and injustice from the world. Clearly, Jesus did not accomplish this.  In order to get around this failure on the part of Jesus, Christians invented the doctrine of the ‘Second Coming’.  All the prophecies that Jesus did not fulfill the first time are supposed to be taken care of the second time around.  However the Jewish Bible offers absolutely no evidence to support the Christian doctrine of a ‘Second Coming.” (1)

He may also have read the “Operation Judaism Fact Pack” compiled by Rabbi Arkush, which is designed to give the answer to Christian claims that Jesus is the Messiah.  This is what he says the Messiah will do when he comes.

  1. Messiah will bring universal peace.  Isaiah 2:4
  2. Families will live together in perfect harmony.  Malachi 3:24
  3. Even the animals will live together in peace.  Isaiah 11:6
  4. There will be no more illness.  Isaiah 35:5-6
  5. There will be no more sorrow.  Isaiah 65:19
  6. There will be no more death.  Isaiah 25:8
  7. The exiled of Israel will return to their land.  Ezekiel 39:25-28
  8. The ten lost tribes will also return.  Isaiah 27:13
  9. Even the dead will rise up and return.  Ezekiel 37:12
  10. The nations will be gathered for judgment.  Joel 3:2
  11. No sin will be found in Israel.  Jeremiah 50:20
  12. The cities of Israel will be rebuilt with precious stones.  Isaiah 54:11-12
  13. Even Sodom will be rebuilt.  Ezekiel 16:55
  14. The Divine Presence will dwell among Israel.  Ezekiel 37:27-28
  15. Joy and peace will reign in Jerusalem.  Isaiah 65:18-23
  16. All Israel will keep the Law.  Ezekiel 36:27
  17. Sacrifices will again be offered in the Temple.  Malachi 3:3-4
  18. There will be no more idolatry.  Isaiah 2:18
  19. All nations will be united under one rule.  Daniel 2:44
  20. There will be only one faith and all nations will worship the God of Israel.  Isaiah 66:23 (2)

Clearly there has not been universal peace since Jesus came, and if you put the average lion in a cage with the average lamb there would not be a very bright future for the lamb.  So does this mean that Jesus is not the Messiah prophesied in the Bible? Click here to continue reading and for footnotes.

Tony Pearce is the author of The Messiah Factor and the founder and director of Light For the Last Days Ministry in the UK.

 

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Remembering the Holocaust – NEW PRINT BOOKLET TRACT – Who Really Killed Jesus?

Who Really Killed Jesus? written by Tony Pearce is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The booklet tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Who Really Killed Jesus?, click here. This month, April 2013, is Holocaust Remembrance month. To remember the Holocaust, Lighthouse Trails has created this booklet and also Anita Dittman’s booklet, When Hitler Was in Power.

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailWho Really Killed Jesus?
by Tony Pearce

Sadly for millions of Jewish people the idea that Jesus could be the one to bring peace and reconciliation seems ridiculous and offensive.

I used to visit a Jewish lady who was born around the beginning of the 20th century and brought up in a small town in Poland. Her first memory of the name of Jesus was when her parents told her to hide in a cupboard in their home because it was “Good Friday,” and on that day, the Roman Catholics would come out of their church services into the Jewish quarter to throw stones at the Jews “to avenge the death of Jesus.” Not surprisingly, it was hard for her to see Jesus as anyone who had an answer to anything. As far as she was concerned, Jesus was “someone who hated us and is responsible for our misery.”

The roots of this hatred go back a long way. John Chrysostom, considered a saint and church father who lived in the 4th century, wrote:

The Jews are the most worthless of all men. They are lecherous, greedy and rapacious. They are perfidious murderers of Christ. The Jews are the odious assassins of Christ and for killing God there is no expiation possible, no indulgence or pardon. Christians may never cease vengeance and the Jews must live in servitude forever. God always hated the Jews. It is incumbent upon Christians to hate Jews.1

When Constantine established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 312, he issued many anti-Jewish laws. Jews were forbidden to accept converts, while every enticement was used to make them forsake Judaism. At the Council of Nicea in 325, he said, “It is right to demand what our reason approves and that we should have nothing in common with the Jews.”

As Christianity in its Roman Catholic form became the dominant religion of Europe, those who rejected it became the forces of anti-Christ. The main group of rejecters was the Jewish people who therefore were considered by the church to be the “anti-Christ” suffering continual persecution. In Spain in 613, all Jews who refused to be baptized had to leave the country. A few years later the remaining Jews were dispossessed and given to wealthy “pious” Christians as slaves.

The first Crusade in 1096 saw fierce persecution of Jewish communities as the Crusaders began their journeys to the “Holy Land” to “liberate” it from the Muslims. They said, “We are going to fight Christ’s enemies in Palestine (i.e. the Muslims), but should we forget his enemies in our midst (i.e. the Jews)?” 12,000 Jews were killed in the cities along the River Rhine alone. When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, they massacred all the Jews and Muslims they could find.

In 1215, Pope Innocent III condemned the Jews to eternal slavery by decreeing:

The Jews against whom the blood of Jesus Christ calls out, although they ought not to be killed, lest the Christian people forget the Divine Law, yet as wanderers ought they remain upon the earth until their countenance be filled with shame. (Epistle to the Count of Nevers)

The first ritual murder charge against the Jewish community was in Norwich in 1144 when the Jews were accused of killing a Christian child at Passover time to drain his blood in order to make Passover matzos. This hideous and ridiculous charge has resurfaced time and again, most recently in the Muslim world, leading to massacres of the Jews. In 1290, King Edward I expelled all Jews from England.

In 1478, the Spanish Inquisition was directed against heretics—Jews and non-Catholic Christians. In 1492, Jews were given the choice of forced baptism or expulsion from Spain. 300,000 left penniless.

Martin Luther hoped initially he would attract Jews to his Protestant faith, understanding that they could not accept the superstitions and persecutions of Rome. But when they rejected his attempts to convert them, he turned on them and uttered words of hatred used word for word by the Nazis in their propaganda:

What shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of the Jews? First their synagogues should be set on fire. Secondly their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. Thirdly they should be deprived of their prayer books and Talmuds. Fourthly their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more. Fifthly passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to the Jews. Sixthly they ought to be stopped from usury. Seventhly let the young and strong Jews and Jewesses be given the flail, the axe, the spade, the distaff, and spindle and let them earn their bread by the sweat of their noses. To sum up, dear princes and nobles who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one, so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden—the Jews.2

In the late 19th century, the Russian Orthodox Church instigated the pogroms, violent attacks on Jewish communities of the kind portrayed in the film Fiddler on the Roof. They devised a solution to the “Jewish problem”—one third extermination, one third forcible conversion to Christianity, and one third expulsion.

Russian anti-Semites produced the libelous pamphlet, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion alleging a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. This fiction was treated as a proven fact by the Nazis and was part of their propaganda effort to prepare people for the “Final Solution,” the extermination of six million members of European Jewry in the ovens of the Holocaust. Today the same libel is being peddled in the Muslim world to whip up hatred for Israel and the Jewish people.

This brief history of Jewish suffering shows the terrible truth that most of it has been instigated by people who claimed to be Christians. The main accusation that has been brought against the Jewish people by the professing church is that “the Jews killed Jesus.”

Who says the Jews killed Jesus?
Back in 1978, I was working as a French teacher at the Hasmonean School, an Orthodox Jewish grammar school in north London. One day I was covering for an absent teacher, minding my own business while the class got on with their work. One of the boys put his hand up and said, “Please sir, I want to ask you something. You’re a Christian. Why do you Christians say we killed Jesus?”

I answered him as best I could, saying that I personally did not say this, but agreed that much of the professing church had done so because they did not really understand the faith they claimed to represent or who Jesus really was. This let loose an outburst of questions and comments from the boys on what was obviously an explosive issue to them. News of this discussion got back to the Rabbis in the school, and the next day one of them came to me and said, “Mr. Pearce, we know you are a sincere Christian and are friendly to our people, but please do not mention the founder of Christianity again in this school.”

As I prayed about it afterwards, I realized how much hurt there is in the hearts of Jewish people over the way they have been persecuted in the name of Jesus. I also became aware of how much deeper is Jesus’ own hurt over the cruel misrepresentation which has been given to the Jewish people by His supposed followers down through the centuries, leading to a massive wall coming between Him and His own people.

The very first verse of the New Testament tells us of the genealogy of “Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matthew 1:1). Throughout the New Testament, His Jewish identity is stressed. He was circumcised on the eighth day (Luke 2:21), brought up in an observant Jewish home (Luke 2:41) and learned the Torah3 from His youth (Luke 2:46-49).

He told a Samaritan woman that “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22), and He kept the Jewish feasts (John 7:2, John 10:22). He told His disciples in their first preaching mission not to go to the Gentiles but “rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6). Sure, He had fierce controversies with the religious leaders of His day, but so did the Hebrew prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, and others.

Concerning the crucifixion, the New Testament does not put the blame on “the Jews” and certainly never even hints that succeeding generations of Jews should be persecuted on account of it. There is a problem with John’s Gospel in its use of the term “the Jews” to describe the opposition to Jesus, but an intelligent reading of the text shows that John is talking of the Jewish religious leadership, not the entire Jewish people.

John 5:18 states, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” Since the Gospel makes it clear that Jesus Himself (John 4:9) and the disciples are Jewish, the use of the term “the Jews” in John 5:18 and elsewhere in the Gospel cannot possibly mean the entire Jewish people. It means the Jewish religious leadership.

In many ways, John is the most Jewish of the Gospels showing the connection between Jesus’ teaching and Jewish festivals and customs. In John’s Gospel, Jesus makes it clear who is responsible for His death:

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17-18)

The implication of this is clear. Jesus Himself takes responsibility for His own death. It happens at the time and manner of His choosing, in order that He might fulfill the Father’s will by dying as the sacrifice for the sins of the world and rising again from the dead to give eternal life to those who receive Him. No human being, Jewish or Gentile, has the right or the power to take Jesus’ life from Him against His will.

This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 53, which states concerning the sufferings of the Messiah, “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10). In chapter six of my book, The Messiah Factor, we look at the different arguments about this prophecy, but taking the view that it is about the sacrificial death of the Messiah fulfilled in Jesus, the responsibility for the Messiah’s sufferings is placed on God Himself. “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him” means that Jesus was put to death to fulfill the will of God.

The Gospels take up this idea as we see Jesus submitting Himself to the will of God in order to redeem the world. He prayed in Gethsemane:

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39)

“This cup” refers to the suffering which He knew lay ahead. It was necessary for Him to go through this suffering in order that He might be “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

According to the Book of Hebrews, those who believe come to “Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24). The blood of Abel spoke of vengeance for Cain’s sin of murder (Genesis 4), but the blood of Jesus speaks of mercy and forgiveness.

Wrong church teaching however has turned this on its head and used the verse in Matthew’s Gospel, “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matthew 27:25), to claim that the suffering of the Jewish people is the result of a self-inflicted curse and even that Christians are therefore justified in persecuting the Jewish people in Jesus’ name.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus Himself prayed from the cross, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), thus expressing God’s will that even those responsible for the death of Jesus, whether Jewish or Gentile, should find forgiveness through His name. Do we base our theology on the words of an enraged crowd or on the words of the Lord Jesus?

The answer to Jesus’ prayer was to be found not long afterwards through the preaching of the Apostles. Peter did place human responsibility for the death of Jesus on those who had called for Him to be crucified:

The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. (Acts 3:13-15)

This was not to say that every Jew alive was responsible, because Peter himself was Jewish as were all the followers of Jesus at that time. It was certainly not to say that subsequent generations of Jews who had no connection with the decision to call for Jesus’ death were responsible. It was to say that there were people alive, who were actually listening to Peter speak at that very moment, who were responsible.

But even to them there was a message of hope and forgiveness. Explaining the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus, Peter said:

And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. (Acts 3:17-19)

The people who called for the death of Jesus were responsible for the miscarriage of justice that took place. However, they were ignorant of the spiritual meaning of it, hence Jesus’ words, “They know not what they do.” The purpose of the preaching of the Apostles was to tell them why Jesus died and rose again and to show them how they too could find forgiveness and eternal salvation by repenting of their sin and believing in His name.

As all the people hearing this message and the many thousands who responded to it in the early chapters of Acts were Jews, Jesus’ prayer for the forgiveness of those who had Him crucified was being answered. It is clear that the message of the Gospel was from the beginning intended to be “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [Gentile]” (Romans 1:16).

Both Jews and Gentiles had to make a choice, whether to believe in the salvation offered by the Messiah or to reject it. Of course, many Jewish people did reject the apostles’ message, exactly as happens when the same message is presented to people around the world, to whichever race they belong. There was a division amongst the Jews of Jesus’ day about Him between those who were for Him and those who were against Him. Exactly the same division takes place today among all people of the world wherever the Gospel is preached.

The statement that really tells us who was responsible for the death of Jesus is to be found in Acts 4:24-28:
[The apostles] lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

In this prayer all categories of people are implicated, Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel. The Gentiles are actually mentioned before the people of Israel, therefore they have no right to claim any superiority or judgmental attitude towards the Jews. It is clear that the physical act of crucifying Jesus was carried out on the orders of the Roman governor, by Roman soldiers in the Roman way. Strangely, no one has ever suggested that the Italians killed Jesus and should be placed under a curse because of this!

All this happened “to do whatever your hand and your purpose determined before to be done,” in other words to fulfill the predetermined plan of God. So again, the ultimate responsibility for the death of Jesus rests with God Himself in order to fulfill His purposes.

Any persecution of the Jews by the churches is a terrible distortion of the truth and a betrayal of the real Messiah Jesus. Unfortunately, the church did the exact opposite of what Paul taught in his letter to the Romans, where he spoke of Israel and the Jewish people being the root, which supports the “olive tree.” By this he meant that the Christian faith is based on the revelation given to the world through the Jewish people in the Jewish Bible and fulfilled in the Jewish Messiah. His message has been communicated to the Gentiles by His Jewish disciples who wrote the New Testament. Therefore, if Christians want to have true spiritual life, it is essential to acknowledge the debt they have to Israel and to repay that debt with love for the Jewish people.

In Romans 11, Paul makes it clear that whether the Jewish people accept Jesus or not, they are still “beloved for the father’s sakes” (i.e. the patriarchs of Israel and the covenant God made with them). He goes on to say that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [irrevocable]” (Romans 11:28-29). On this basis, Christians have a responsibility to love the Jewish people and treat them with justice and kindness, no matter what they believe about Jesus. Significantly, Paul wrote this letter to Christians living in Rome, the capital of the Roman Empire and the city that was to dominate Christendom in the following centuries.

What went wrong? As the church became dominated by large numbers of Gentiles joining it, Jewish believers in Jesus became a minority. The Christians began to move away from the pattern of living given them by Jesus and the Apostles, forming a religious institution which bore little resemblance to the original model given in the New Testament. They also wanted to ingratiate themselves with the Roman authorities who were hostile to the Jewish people following the failed Jewish revolts against Rome in 70 and 135. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, Roman Catholicism emerged as the dominant force in Europe, and the Bishop of Rome became the Pope, taking on much of the power and character of the Roman Emperor (even one of his titles—Pontifex Maximus). This produced a tragic distortion of the Christian message dominated by a corrupted clergy with vast wealth at its disposal, exploiting and corrupting the people of Europe in the name of Christianity.

How different it would have been if the Roman church had paid attention to the letter to the Romans! As the church lost its understanding of the Jewish people, it became cut off from its roots. Therefore the fruit it produced was not the fruit of the Holy Spirit—“love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23)—but the works of the flesh manifested in the cruel and corrupt church of the Middle Ages and beyond.

When I was a student, I remember seeing a film of Bernard Malamud’s book, The Fixer, which made a great impression on me. In this story, Yakov Bok, a Jew living in Tsarist Russia is wrongly accused of murder and imprisoned. The case is a typical example of the anti-Semitism rife in Russia at the end of the 19th century. The authorities involve the Russian Orthodox Church in their interrogations of Bok, by trying to force him to convert to Christianity. They give him a New Testament to read, which he does. When the Russian Orthodox priest comes to interrogate Yakov to find out what he has learned from the New Testament, he states simply, “Jesus is Jewish. So whoever hates the Jew hates Jesus.” This is absolutely true, and hatred for the Jews demonstrates a spirit of force, tyranny, and prejudice which is the absolute opposite of the true spirit of Jesus the Messiah.
Notes:
1. John Chrysostom (c307-407), “Homilae Adversus Iudaeos.”
2. Martin Luther, (1483-1546), the founder of the German Reformation, Concerning the Jews and Their Lies.
3. Torah—the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Pentateuch. Considered by Judaism to be the most important section of the Bible and read in its entirety in the Synagogue every year.

This booklet is an extract of Tony Pearce’s book, The Messiah Factor. Tony Pearce is the director of a ministry in the U.K. called Light for the Last Days. There are two ministry websites you may wish to visit: http://www.lightforthelastdays.co.uk and http://messiahfactor.com, both of which have many articles, book extracts, and much valuable information. Also, his Light for the Last Days website is available in several different languages. You may e-mail Tony at enquiries@lightforthelastdays.co.uk.

A Question and Answer—The question was put to Tony Pearce: Do you believe that the Jewish people need salvation through Jesus Christ and thus need evangelizing. Tony answered by stating: Jesus is the Savior who fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah. Whether Jewish or Gentile, one must accept salvation through Jesus the Messiah!

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