A Special, Talented, Difficult People

Duane Gilchrist By Duane Gilchrist, 9th Jul 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Relationships

When you read the Bible, either the Old Testament or the New Testament, you discover that God has a special concern and love for the Jewish people.

Man's Early Failure and God's Deliverance Through Special People

When you read the Bible, either the Old Testament or the New Testament, you discover that God has a special concern and love for the Jewish people. After all, from the earliest chapters of Genesis, the first book of the 66 that make up the Bible, you read of Satan (the serpent) successfully tempting Adam and Eve to sin. Then in Genesis chapter 3, verses 14 and 15, God makes a promise that He would send a seed from the woman who would be a Deliverer from the the sin that would follow in the lives of all mankind.

Some 9 chapters, (Gen, 12:1-3) and about 200 years, later we read of Abraham being chosen by God to father the nation from which this Deliverer would eventually come. Now, we know that this nation was/is the Jewish race.

And the New Testament clearly identifies this Deliverer to be Jesus Christ, who of course born in a very special way from a Jewish mother.

When Jesus grew to manhood, He demonstrated that He was that Deliverer, by doing remarkable miracles and gathered a small following, we know as His disciples. This small group attracted a large following as these miracles and Jesus' brilliant teaching became known. Jesus declared that He was the Son of God, and as His teachings were grasped, it became clear that He claimed to be the actual Creator God!

Deliverance Rejected by Special People

But, strangely, the leaders of the Jews, resisted Jesus and eventually put Him to death on the cruel cross, thinking Him to be an imposter. In the process of condemning Jesus to the cross, these Jewish leaders, actually insisted that His blood be "upon them", taking full responsibility for killing the One, who it proved to be the actual Deliverer promised by God for the past 2500 years! Jesus had prophecied of this death and also at the same time had told that He would rise from the dead! And He did just that 3 days later!

And even after seeing His prophecy fulfilled, that He would be killed and would rise from the grave, these Jewish leaders continued to reject Him for 50 days until Jesus ascended into Heaven as He had said He would.

Then they turned their attention toward Jesus' disciples He had left behind, and proceded to persecute them. Now, God did not take lightly, that the Jews of the nation He had birthed for special concern, love and honor, had then killed, (crucified) His very Son and had even "bragged about it"!

Jesus' disciples, who had fled from Him at the time of His crucifixion, were remarkably impowered by the Holy Spirit at the time of Christ's ascention into Heaven. They became powerful preachers and the early church was
formed.

God's Chosen People, Blind, Experience a History of Persecution

God fulfilled Jesus' prophecy that the Jewish nation would be scattered and that the city of Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed by the Romans. This happened in 70 AD.

This began a serious persecution of the Jews that continues on to this day! When today's Roman Catholic church was formed at about 325 AD, it seriously changed the structure of the early, simple, New Testament church. It continued aggressive persecution of the Jews, as they accused it/them of being Christ killers! This persecution has contributed to the continued rejection of Christ and His church by the Jews. Sadly, too much of today's "church" continues to persecute the Jews in one way or another.

All of this continues and helps to "block" the Jews from recieving New Testament truths.
This account will be telling of my connections with Jews that reflect the preceding background.

The Author's Experiences with God's Chosen People

About 40 years ago, I entered a close business relationship with a successful Jew. I knew him to not be a Christian, but unwisely, for what I thought special reasons, went into the relationship even though my wife opposed it and I knew that the scriptures also opposed it!

I hoped that our success together and my open stance for my Saviour would cause him to want my faith. Not at all! When I opened the subject of my Christianity, he frankly identified me with the Roman Catholics of past centuries who had heavily persecuted the Jews! While he did not see me personally persecuting them and even agreed that I seemed to have an unusual concern for them, he did not budge an inch on his view of Christians in general. I should add that after a couple years, our business relationship soured and I learned a lesson in subjection to God's Word. I still think about him and pray that he will somehow, someway become a believer.

Other Jewish Connections

I was returning from Phoenix a few years ago and my seat mates turned out to be two young Israeli businessmen. They were brothers, recent immigrants from Israel, living in Los Angelos. They were diamond merchants on their way to a jewelry show in Portland.

I discovered this about them in casual conversation as we got settled for the flight. I noticed they were showing considerable concern for a brief case they carried and for another in the only overhead space some distance forward from our seats. They had explained that they were going to the show and these brief cases were loaded with the diamonds etc. they would be displaying.

Well, I, being an evangelical Christian with some background in sharing my Christian faith, began to steer the conversation in that direction. By this time we were conversing comfortably and I was right up front with them. I told them that as a Christian, I had a great respect for the Jews and would appreciate them sharing their concept of God etc.

They were a little taken aback by this, but replied that they had almost no interest in God or religion. I told them that my beliefs had led me to have a special interest in Israel and their people. Since they were recently from there, I'd appreciate their views on what they observed in Israel in this vein.

So, I asked them if they knew personally any of the Isralis who were looking forward to the coming Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament?

They responded that, yes, there were some of these but they religated them to a strange fanatical group, of no consequence. I pressed a little further and commented that the Old Testament which Jews in general respected, had numerous prophecies that a Messiah was to come to Israel as a deliverer, even a King.

One of them declared, "That's bullshit"! The other grinned his agreement.

Well, I attempted to draw them out a bit, but they simply responded that, "sure there were some crazies who believed that stuff, but not them and not most Israelis"!

The conversation swung to the details of their business etc. and I parted at the airport with the promise I'd stop by the jewelry show and perhaps see them again. As it turned out I didn't locate them at the show.That was the last of that contact, but the memory of the exchange has stayed with me over the years. These young businessmen probably do represent a good portion of the Jewish thought in Israel. I got more confirmation
of this later on a trip to Israel.

A Short Term Mission to Israel

A few years ago, I had an opportunity to join a tour group led by Chuck Missler, a leader in the Calvary Chapel movement. He is noted for his teaching in Biblical Prophecy. My intent was to take as many of the :Jesus Film" videos with me and distribute them in Israel. This was in the days of video cassets before DVD discs. I was
able to pack 36 cassettes into a large suitcase.

When we left New York aboard an Israeli 747 transport, I made friends with one of the Israeli Flight Stewards. I thought this would be a good person to give one of the Jesus Films. So, I casually told him I had a very interesting video I wanted him to have as a gift, He asked what it ws about, and I told him it was a history of Jesus. He immediately "froze" and wanted nothing to do with it, and he avoided me like the plague for the rest of the trip! Wow! I wasn't so confident that I was going to be distributing these 36 videos on the street to casual contacts as I'd hoped! I began to wonder if I'd even get them through Israeli customs! I began to pray seriously that I'd not be taking those 36 back home with me!

Well, when I was processed through customs in Tel Aviv there was no problem and I took 4 of the cassettes with me in my carry on as the rest of my luggage was shipped forward to our hotel in Jerusalem.

One of our early stops on the tour was a gift shop on the bank of the Sea of Galilee, operated by American Christians. I spoke to them about my Jesus Films, offering them one or more if they would like to distribute them. They suggested that when in Jerusalem, I contact 3 or 4 Evangelical missionaries, giving me their phone numbers. So, when I called them, they were very eager to have them for distribution, came to my hotel as soon as possible, leaving me with just 2 videos hoping to find a "home" for them on the balance of out tour.And after several attempts, I was successful.

This experience, gave me a flavor of the challenge being experienced by missionary work in Israel.

Christian Jews

About 10 years ago a young Jewish businessman showed up at our church. I immediatly became acquainted and we had several luncheons together. He shared that his brother had become a Christian by simply reading the Bible.

On his brother's encouragement, he too, began reading the Bible and became a serious believer!

But, when he shared his new faith with his Jewish wife, she had expressed opposition and he had not been able to overcome her anti-christian attitude. To keep peace in the family, he tried to keep his church attendance rare and quiet. After some time, he decided he could no longer live "under cover" with the rest of his rather prominent, non-practicing Jewish family.

So, on a day when they were going to a family gathering, leaving the car, at the family home, he gently told his wife that he was going to reveal his faith to the family. This triggered such a rage meltdown, he had to drag-carry her back into their car and return to their home! Sadly, that ended the occassional contacts we had at my church and also our luncheons as he felt he could not withhold information of luncheon meetings.

On the other hand, I have an acquaintance who is a leading partner in a successful lawyer partnership, in our city, who is a witnessing Christian and a Jew! He is a prominent leader in a Christian Businessmen's Monthly Fellowship meeting.

It is encouraging that on occassion, a Jew becomes a Christian and then an outstanding witness for his Saviour.

Meeting Levi, an Unbelieving Jew

I was reminded of these two businessmen, when, several years ago, I made a random contact on the Portland State University campus with a young Jewish student who I'll call Levi. He was nearing completiton of his studies there. When I opened the conversation, directed toward his spiritual interests, not realizing that he was a Jew, he expressed interest in making some comparisions with what I believed.

However, where those two airplane companions were "cold" toward spiritual things, Levi soon volunteered, that he, as a Jew, had examined Christianity, even to the extent of writing a term paper on the life of Jesus. He would appreciate it if I would read it and give him my opinion of it.

You know, his paper was pretty good! It reflected more of the liberal side of Christianity than I hold, but he had done good work and it reflected good research.

On our next meeting, I was expecting that Levi might even be a "believer". Our previous visit had not progressed to the point where I could acertain his convictions.

It didn't take long to get clarification! Levi quickly explained that the paper did not reflect his beliefs, that it was simply a scholarly exercize to gain a little background etc.

Levi's father was Jewish and his mother a Gentile, Catholic. Neither were "practicing their religion". Levi classified himself as an agnostic. One that welcomed inner-action with a conservative, evangelical Christian who was conservative in his political persuasion.

Lively E-mail Exchanges with Levi

With the ground rules established we began a lengthy exchange of ideas via e-mail. I attempted to steer the discussion toward spiritual issues. He responded to some of my "probes", but usually he answered with another question. Often ridiculing the Scriptures, or he directed his responses toward the political issues of the day, trying to get me off topic while at the same time expressing his doubts regarding the Bible and my literal grasp of it.

(This was a few months ahead of the 2004 Presidential election. Levi, a political liberal, was strongly anti-Bush and I, of course was a supporter of President Bush's re-election).

He especially touted evolution and scoffed at my "creationist" position. I collected considerable evidence in a special web site for him which he refused to aknowledge.In my efforts to support my belief in the Bible as God's written word, I had presented the evidence of many Old Testament prophecies that had been fulfilled in detail by the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I had explained to Levi that we were told there were at least 300 such scripture passages. I tried to feature several of the "clearest" of them.

(Skeptics frequently attempt to discount Biblical prophecy with claims that others like Nostradamus and Mother Shipton, that they also made predictions etc. These are ludicrous, absurd comparisions. For an analysis of Nostradamus' "famous" prediction regarding the bombing of the twin towers of New York,
click here).

We reviewed together the extreme odds, that if just eight of these 300 prophecies actually were fulfilled in the life of one person, the odds represented a ratio of 1 to 10 to the 17th power! We discussed the following evidence;

"The Mathematical Odds of Jesus Fulfilling Prophecy
The following probabilities are taken from Peter Stoner in Science Speaks (Moody Press, 1963) to show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to eight prophecies, ‘we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 1017."

That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that "we take 1017 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man."

Stoner considers 48 prophecies and says, "we find the chance that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10157, or 1 in 10,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 000,000,000."
(This information was taken from the book Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell.)

Levi's response to this was something like, "So what?"

So What?!

Man's efforts to foretell the future accurately is always far less than 100 percent! Only God has such capibility!

Since the Bible is proven to be authored by God by the evidence of fulfilled prophecy, then the central message of the book should be the highest priority of a rational person!

Okay, what is that central message? It is that Jesus Christ is God and He came to save you.

Click here to view the streaming 30 minute graphic video, "The Ultimate Question". This is one of the best explanations of the Christian faith, I've seen!

It's a puzzle to me how Levi could so easily discard such strong remarkable evidence.
How Can Bright Persons Reject Such Evidence?

This question, has prompted me to investigate Levi's thinking and rejection of my "strong" prophetic evidence along with evidence of the actual resurrection of Jesus Christ, for belief in the Bible.

(It has been my practice, as I probe the internet for "Christian" resources, to save the web site if it shows promise and then when I have time, look into them in more detail).

As a result, I discovered a web site that Bill Gordon, a member of a Calvary Chapel affiliate church, had researched to identify and document the 300 prophecies mentioned above. He has each prophecy referenced with the Scripture, along with the New Testament fulfillment. He has them organized by topical groups in addition to having them in Biblical sequence. Some fulfillments are a bit more vague than others. He has a "top ten" featured. Click here for his web site.

He then, assumes the role of an advocate for the unbeliever, explaining how one can with various explanations, as an unbeliever, ignore, what seems so certain to us. He gives such "analysis" to several of the fulfillments that we consider to be "home runs"! Click on his home page link "Checkout Commentary" for this analysis.
Un-believers Work Hard at Un-belief!

You might ask me why I am directing you, (who might be an un-believer, just as Levi, or a believer with minimum background) to such "ammunition" for the opposing view point?

Well, I guess I do it in fairness, as I see how hard the unbelievers, Levi, for instance, have worked to avoid the over all truth of the Bible. Perhaps we should give them some credit for their struggle and work which illustrates their great reluctance to accept the Bible's authentication of Jesus Christ. And, sadly, the extent of their labor and the "depth" of their explanations, often reflects their out-right hatred for our Saviour.

So, I am giving some allowance, that they do have some explanations for their unbelief even though it is eternally wrong.

From another view point, it demonstrates how gracious God is to have opened our eyes to the truth. Except for His grace, I would be as "blind" to the truth as Levi!

2nd Cor.4:3-4 "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

Escaping Un-belief Only by God's Gift of Faith

Observing the blindness of unbelievers demonstrates that even the "faith" we have which allows us to believe is a gift from our God!

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast."

I am coming to another conclusion as a result of the unbeliever's difficulty in seeing the Bible as the very word of God, ignoring all the evidence of fulfilled prophecy; This conclusion is: He/she will have another great hurdle to leap as they attempt to deny and/or disprove the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! Click here for extensive evidence of His resurrection.

Fulfilled Biblical Prophecy and The Resurrection of Jesus, What a Team!

The circumstances and evidence surrounding the resurrection of Jesus Christ are HUGE! Many brilliant people have determined to prove the Bible false and have ended the project becoming it's believer, accepting Jesus as their Saviour!

Here's one of them. Simon Greenleaf: The primary founder of Harvard Law and the greatest authority on legal evidences in the history of the world, set out to disprove the Gospel accounts based on the evidence and facts. He was compelled by the evidence to accept the Gospels as faithful and
trustworthy and ultimately accepted Jesus Christ as his LORD and Savior. Dr.Greenleaf wrote, "IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE that the apostles could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not JESUS CHRIST ACTUALLY RISEN FROM THE DEAD!"

Professor Thomas Arnold, former chair of history at Oxford, and author of the famous volumes, History of Rome, was skillfully educated in the study of historical facts. Professor Arnold, stated, "I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is PROVED BY BETTER AND FULLER EVIDENCE of every sort, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead."

The unbeliever's arguments against the resurrection have crumbled, over and over, as brilliant men have attempted to refute it.

Click here for excerpts of testimonies of 30 former agnostics. There are live links to their full accounts.

Blind to the Resurrection

To deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ you have to close your eyes to the overwhelming facts of history. And that's a very serious thing to do. According to the Bible, God's Holy Word, all are going to die and face God's judgment. The only exeptions are His believers! We are going to escape physical death at the
Rapture, when Christ first returns, meeting His believeing children in the air!

Or, if the Rapture is delayed and we experience physical death, we escape God's
judgment for sin, going immediately into His Heaven! Read about the Rapture here:

1st Thess. 4:13-18, "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words."

So, we are told that the Rapture is imminent, (that there is nothing that must be fulfilled before it can occur)!

And even though the unbeliever lives as though this life is all there is, he should be preparing for his future, knowlng that death is 100%! Yes, all of us are to die unless we are belivers alive at His return!

Heb 9:27, "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,"

But, we believers, have great peace knowing that Jesus took our sin and judgement upon Hinself at the cross! Philippians 1:21-23, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;" (Believers, at death, to go instantly be with the Lord)

The Resurrected, Risen Christ Has Spelled out the Future!

Since Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead — what He said about the "after life" is not something to take lightly!

And Jesus Christ warned of a place called hell — over and over! He mentioned hell eight times more than He spoke of heaven! In Luke 16:23, Jesus described a man that had died, and Jesus said, "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments,. . ."

Jesus said plainly — the man was in hell! Jesus went on to describe the man, in verse 24, who said, ". . . for I am tormented in this flame."

Jesus Christ believed in a place of fire and torment called hell!

A Biblical example of the un-believers's destiny."and they said to the mountains and to the rocks,"Fall on us and hide us from the presence of the Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?"", Revelation 6:16-17

The most important question you'll ever answer

Have you ever received, trusted, Jesus Christ as your Savior? Not joining a church, not religion, not baptism, not good works, not sacraments — but trusted Jesus Christ and
Him alone, as your Savior. If not, you could be — one year, one month, one hour, one minute, one heartbeat — away from an eternity in a lake of fire!

Revelation 20:15 says, "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

God Has Paid the Supreme Price for Your Ransom!

God does not want you to go to hell. 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is. . . not willing that any should perish. . ." Jesus loved you so much He died on a rugged cross, to pay for YOUR sin, and to keep YOU out of hell!

Revelation 1:5 says, ". . . Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."

It's simple to be saved ...
Click here to view the streaming 30 minute graphic video, "The Ultimate Question". This is the best explanation of the Christian faith, I've seen!

He's Coming Again! In the Clouds for His own!

1st Cor, 15:51-58, "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with
immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."55"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.58Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Thanks for spending time here at this web site!

Speed the Day! 2 Peter 3:11-12,
Phil. 1:21-23
Duane Gilchrist

Tags

Bible, Christian, Deliverer, Jesus Christ, Jew, Jewish, New Testament, Old Testament, Persecutionchosen People

Meet the author

author avatar Duane Gilchrist
Has a long background in Computer Sytems,analysis, management, early into pesonal computer useage etc. Presently retired, devote quality time to Christian activity. Great family. Married 64 years to 1 wife. Four adult children have produced 12 grand ...(more)

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author avatar deepa venkitesh
14th Jul 2011 (#)

wow! it is tough for people to get through the fog of maya to reach GOD

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