Bible Believers’ Newsletter 654
“We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . .”
Once again it is our privilege to greet you in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please continue to uphold our Brother, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, his wife and other imprisoned and persecuted Iranian Christians before the Lord. May He strengthen and encourage them to continue to stand for their convictions and shine His Light with reason upon the hearts of men in government, granting them courage to rebuke and withstand misguided clerics, blinded and overcome by their Nicolaitane lust for power over the laity.
This week’s Newsletter departs from our usual format in that it is almost entirely “news.” Our main Article was compiled by Jewish contributing author Barry Chamish, and together with our comments, supplements what he wrote in Newsletter #651. It illustrates the onslaught of Rome’s semantic and juridical siege of Jerusalem, which is to be her capital in the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” Barry is an Israeli investigative journalist, author and lecturer self-exiled in the United States, and may be contacted through the Barry Chamish Website where you will find his books, articles and lectures.
This Newsletter serves those of like precious faith. Whoever will receive the
truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life.
Everything here presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
Your brother-in-Christ, Anthony Grigor-Scott
Bank of America ‘pulls the Pin’ to Explode Financial Grenade
October 12, 2010 — The decision last week by Bank of America to freeze all foreclosures on its mortgages in all 50 US states amounts to ‘pulling the pin’ on the grenade that will explode the global financial system, according to US physical economist Lyndon LaRouche.
Literally trillions of dollars worth of derivatives contracts based on mortgages could be found to have no asset backing at all, which will implode the inflated financial system.
In recent weeks millions of American families who were evicted from their homes as a result of the subprime crisis have discovered that their foreclosures were probably illegal—three years after leading Democrats in the US Congress allied to Barack Obama, such as Barney Frank, blocked LaRouche’s proposed Homeowners and Bank Protection Act which would have protected all those homeowners from foreclosure while the financial system was sorted out.
The present scandal relates to the fact that in all of the slicing and dicing and bundling of mortgages that underpinned the derivatives speculation in mortgage backed securities (MBSs) and collateralised debt obligations (CDOs)—on which dozens of local councils in Australia lost hundreds of millions of dollars—the legal paperwork to prove title and mortgage contracts was often skipped. . .
The trillions of dollars in bailout funds pumped into the banks by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks have shored up securities that were assumed to be backed by assets, i.e. physical houses. The banks foreclosed on millions of those houses to recoup the value of those assets. The freeze will start to reveal that many of the assets claimed by the banks either aren’t real, or aren’t theirs.
In turn, the bailout funds exchanged for those assets will be proved to be worthless, which will set off a global chain-reaction meltdown. . .
Full story: cecaust.com.au. 10,000 wait in line at Cal Expo in bid to save their homes sacbee.com opednews.com
The Secret of Oz
This is an excellent hour-long presentation by Bill Still on money created out of thin air and issued as social DEBT versus Social CREDIT. Full story: youtube
Comment: With Social Credit money is issued as a credit. It would cut out the Merchant of Venice demanding his “pound of Gentile flesh”, the City of London and other Rothschild-controlled Central Banks such as the Federal Reserve around the globe. You will find a list of twenty-odd books on Social Credit at The Australian League of Rights
Nine Months after the Quake – a Million Haitians Slowly Dying
October 11, 2010 — Haiti looks like the quake could have been last month. I visited Port-au-Prince shortly after the quake and much of the destruction then looks the same nine months later. The Associated Press reports only 2 percent of the rubble has been removed and only 13,000 temporary shelters have been constructed. Not a single cent of the US aid pledged for rebuilding has arrived in Haiti. In the last few days the US pledged it would put up 10 percent of the billion dollars in reconstruction aid promised. Only 15 percent of the aid pledged by countries and organizations around the world has reached the country so far.
With other human rights advocates from CCR, MADRE, CUNY Law School, BAI and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, I am huddled under faded, gray tarps stamped US Aid. Blue tarps are staked into the ground as walls. This is not even the hot season. but the weather reports the heat index is 115. The floor is bare dirt, soft from a recent rain. . . Full story: truth-out.org
Comment: It appears things are going according to plan.
Update on the Gulf Oil Spill Catastrophe
October 11, 2010 —
BP wisely planned how to escape as much liability as they could from their unsolvable Gulf oil spill… The media plays a huge role in whether a coverup like the Gulf spill succeeds or fails. . . One of the goals of the New World Order is to drastically lower the world population by up to 90%. The Gulf Oil Spill fits nicely into this plan . . . The steady elimination of foliage and inability to grow food consequent to oil and Corexit damage to crops would clearly be likely to reduce food production in the Gulf states.
Full story: newswithviews.com
Gulf Drilling Ban Lifted.
US seeks to declare Pakistan Failed State
October 8, 2010 — I think we have to look at what is happening. We have these cross-border incursions by US-led NATO forces into Pakistan. There was an attack on some Pakistani military units just the other day. And it would seem that the terrorist threat is not… to Western Europe or the United States, and I have been told by people in Pakistan that US covert operations teams may be responsible for some of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan, that were later attributed to the Pakistani Taliban.
I think there is a conscious effort by the Obama administration to destabilize Pakistan and I think they are working with Mossad and the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to do that, in order to give a pretext for declaring Pakistan a failed state and seize the nuclear weapons.
We see all these phony terrorist alerts. We just had a report last week from a high-level British law enforcement official who said all these terrorist alerts are a load of rubbish. Now we have other people saying that they are nonsensical. So, I think we are seeing a common denominator here that people like Obama and Sarkozy in France are having political prompts. They pull the al-Qaeda rabbit out of a hat to use it for their own purposes. Full story: presstv.ir
Smarter than You Think
October 9, 2010 — As we merged with freeway traffic on Highway 101, one of Silicon Valley’s busiest freeways, Christopher Urmson, the man in the driver’s seat, gestured, not touching the steering wheel. Mr. Urmson is a engineer, and last Wednesday, I sat belted in the back seat as he talked and as the car, a Toyota Prius equipped by Google with radar, video, motion sensors and a GPS device, drove itself at 60 miles an hour.
My eyes were glued to the 22-inch three-dimensional color display in front of Dmitri Dolgov, an artificial intelligence researcher at Google who was riding shotgun. It showed the world around us in great detail, down to painted lane markers, stop signs, traffic lights and a sliding green column that indicated our path. A blocky yellow object representing a car was coming up behind us in the lane we were entering as the robotic, female voice of the Prius announced, “Preparing to change lane”. . . Full story: nytimes.com video
Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles. We think this is a first in robotics research. Full story: googleblog.blogspot.com
Comment: In 1933 the Lord showed Brother Branham seven continuous visions. The fourth vision said, “And it shall come to pass, that before the end time shall come, that automobiles will take on the shape of an egg, become more like an egg. And I saw an American family driving down a highway in a car that. . . They were setting facing one another, and had a table, and were, look like, playing checkers or cards. And they didn’t have any steering wheel in the car. And it was controlled by some power without a steering wheel. How many remembers me prophesying that”? (COD, p. 923:17).
You remember, I predicted that in 1933. And it will be that way too. For I saw a vision before the end time, that great and powerful thing stood up in the United States, [the Roman Catholic church], and she become as stubbles. So then, it’s going to happen. I said, “Automobiles will—come like the shape of an egg.” You know what a ’33 car looked like. And I said, “There’ll even be traveling on the road, they won’t even have to guide it.” They’ve already got that out; I seen it here not long ago. It’ll be controlled by electronics like, or by a magnetic post, to cut their speed and so forth, and raise their speed. They can’t hit against one another and so forth. And I’ve got that wrote in a book since 1933. And it’ll be that way; we’re coming to it now. We’re right in it, because the Holy Spirit is the One that leads the church, and warns us of dangers that is to come” (Lamb and the Dove, #60-0805).
Sarkozy Seeks to Confirm Collaboration with Church
Vatican City, October 8, 2010 — French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Benedict XVI today to confirm constructive collaboration with the Catholic Church, after differences that have arisen in recent months. A communiqué issued by the Holy See affirmed the “joint desire to maintain permanent dialogue at various institutional levels, and to continue constructive collaboration on matters of mutual interest”. . .
The spark that served Sarkozy to request the audience—held in the Holy Father’s library for some 30 minutes—was kindled on August 22, when the Pope exhorted French pilgrims gathered at Castel Gandolfo for the midday Angelus to “accept legitimate human differences.” The Pontiff’s comment came after the president announced the expulsion from France of gypsies who in the majority are of European origin. . . Full story: zenit.org
Comment: Gypsies are wandering Hindus from the Punjab.
The Truth on Christian Water Baptism
Brother Ronnie Milevo of the Philippines has prepared this excellent video presentation on Scriptural water baptism, which clearly illustrates the Supreme Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is God to the exclusion of all others. There is not and was never at any time a God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. God is One, and His compound redemptive Name is LORD JESUS CHRIST. Full story: youtube
Prelude to the Barcelona Conference on the Mediterranean Union
by Barry Chamish and your Editor
This further collation of current affairs builds upon the main article of Newsletter #651, “If You Thought September was bad, wait until November,” which disclosed the “City of London” as the hidden hand manipulating the marionettes of the Council on Foreign Relations toward the establishment of Lucifer’s totalitarian one world government ruling from its capital in Jerusalem which Jesus regards considers “spiritually as Sodom and Egypt” in this time. History is in the making with the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies reported daily in the electronic and print media in real time for those who have eyes that can see and ears that can hear. And once the political Zionists and political Islamists are made a spent force in the ‘hot’ phase of World War III, Rome will restore peace and rule the world in covenant with the non-Semitic, anti-Semitic self-styled international Jews of “the City” as foretold in Daniel 9:27, Luke 21:24, Romans 11:25, and Revelation 11:2. The following reports illustrate how Rome is corrupting and deceiving many with the slippery promises of flattery, also known as ‘diplomacy’ (Daniel 11:21, 34).
This game plan was prophesied by Daniel, while the endgame began at the First Nicaea Council in the fourth century when Imperial Rome transmogrified into Papal Rome to settle a religious problem and fix a powerful, much-needed cultural glue for the Roman world. Emperor Constantine won political support by creating a Christianized Mithras religion in alliance with “those who say they are Jews, and are not,” whose intent is to destroy the Messianic faith (Revelation 2:9). This game plan was employed in the seventh century when the Judaeo-Roman church created Islam to recover Jerusalem from the Hebrews, but Islam became a mighty power independent of Rome as Judaeo-Communism would rebel under Stalin. In the eighteenth century the house of Rothschild began its rise to global financial dominion, reviving the Illuminati to deliver global hegemony. In the nineteenth century they devised Communism, Nazism and Zionism, humanism, feminism and other isms to engage in controlled conflict to realize the kingdom of their god Lucifer, who will soon be cast down to earth to incarnate “that man of sin, the son of perdition,” and rule the world.
Benedict XVI’s “mainly pastoral” purpose is predominantly political and places salvation in the Judaeo-Roman false church rather than in the Lord Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer. You will note in the following articles [in which the emphases are ours], that Rome is wooing both political Zionists and political Islamists, mainly Palestinians, as if she were an honest broker, however she is employing Hegelian dialectics whereby these parties have been brought into controlled conflict with one another so that either Rome wins or they lose. Ever the consummate chess player, Lucifer always controls both sides and plans his moves centuries and decades ahead for a predetermined outcome; as you will discern, his bishop and king are set to make Jerusalem the capital of one world government:
Vatican’s ‘Special Middle East Assembly’ Set to Begin
Vatican City, October 7, 2010 — An unprecedented Vatican Synod of Bishops—a ‘Special Assembly for the Middle East’—will be held in Vatican City from October 10 to 24. One hundred and seventy-two Catholic bishops from Islamic countries, 14 Roman Curia officials, 14 non-Catholic Christians and 30 academic experts will spend two weeks discussing the future of Catholic communities in the Middle East. ‘The urgent reasons for this meeting are that Christians are fleeing from the Middle East, and extremist Islamism is invading the area. We need to find a dialogue with Muslims, and unity among Christians,’ Monsignor Shlemon Warduni, auxiliary bishop of the Patriarchate of Babylon, Iraq, of the Chaldean Catholic Church, told The Jerusalem Post.
Usually, the Catholic Church points to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the factor behind all unrest in the Middle East, declining to denounce the repression of Christian life in Muslim countries for fear of retaliation. Things are changing; [as Rome begins to assert her ancient power she needs local supporters on the ground].
According to Mordechay Lewy, Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See, the oft-repeated lament that Christians are fleeing the Holy Land is misleading. The term ‘Holy Land’ encompasses Turkey, Egypt and Iraq in addition to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, he said. [Is he referring to the Zionist myth of 'Greater Israel' or rooting for Rome]? ‘Therefore, to speak about the persecution or emigration of Christians from the Holy Land is doing an injustice to Israel and Jordan, as those countries never hosted such occurrences. The presence of Christians in Israel and in Jerusalem has not only remained stable since 1967, but is increasing in real terms,’ Lewy said.
Catholics are a small, persecuted minority in the Middle East. The recent slaying in Turkey of an Italian priest, Monsignor Luigi Padovese, by his driver four years after the murder of another Catholic priest, Father Andrea Santoro, are only the most sensational examples of an endless series of sporadic killings and steady violations of civil rights of Christians in Turkey, Syria, Iran, Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq.
In Iraq, for example, the Christian population has diminished from 1.4 million in 1987 to fewer than 400,000 today.
The working document (instrumentum laboris) for the Synod, “The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness,” was produced from a flood of alarming replies to a questionnaire based on a previous outline (lineamenta).
The responses came from the Synods of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, the Episcopal Conferences, the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, and the Union of Superiors-General, as well as from many individual persons and ecclesial groups.
The resulting document clearly expresses concern over the rise of ‘political Islam. . . a threat to all, Christians, Jews and Muslims’ and the consequent ‘ghetto mentality’ of Christians who ‘isolate themselves out of fear of others.’
The official objective is to strengthen Christian identity and promote ecumenism in Muslim countries. The working document’s section on Catholics’ ‘Relations with Muslims’ states that they ‘are difficult principally because Muslims make no distinction between religion and politics, thereby relegating Christians to precarious positions of being considered noncitizens despite the fact that they were citizens of these countries long before the rise of Islam.’
A key goal is acquiring ‘religious freedom’—to be understood as freedom of worship and not, it is cautioned, ‘freedom of conscience, defined as freedom to believe or not believe, to practice one’s religion openly, either privately or publicly, or to change one’s religion for another.’ [A paradox—not freedom at all]!
Instituting ‘human rights education,’ says the document, is necessary for achieving these rights.
As a tribute to the two main non-Christian religions in the Middle East, Pope Benedict XVI and the Synod attendees will hear keynote speeches by three authorities: On October 13, [Papal Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great] Rabbi [Sir] David Rosen, adviser to Israel’s Chief Rabbinate and interreligious affairs director for the American Jewish Committee, will speak; [do you recognize the real power behind Rome "with flatteries"?], and on October 14, both the Grand Mufti of Beirut Mohammed al-Sammak, a Sunni, and Ayatollah Sayed Mostafa Muhagag Ahmadabadi, a professor of Islamic Law at Teheran University and a Shi’ite, will speak.
Rosen said he will address four points:
‘1. The sociological, cultural and political context in which Christian communities function in the Holy Land and interact with Jewry against the background of profound, recent changes in Jewish-Christian relations;
2. Advances as well as difficulties in this relationship;
3. Significant differences in the situation of the Christian communities within Israel and those considered part of a Palestinian polity in the making; and
4. Significant recent changes in perceptions of Christianity in Israel and the role of Christian leadership in interfaith life and its potential for peacemaking in the region.’
Guidelines for relating to Jews and Judaism are contained in the working document’s 10-paragraph section on ‘Relations with Judaism,’ with both theological and political overtones.
Theologically, the post-Vatican II era of respect for the intrinsic value of the Jewish Bible seems to have vanished, overshadowed by the Christological ‘Salvation history’ thrust of this Synod, which defines the Old Testament mainly in its function of ‘prefiguration’ of the New Testament—sadly reminiscent of the Supercessionist theology of the past that effectively delegitimized Judaism.
According to the Synod’s working document, anti-Zionism must be banished as ‘foreign to every ecclesial discourse,’ because although not anti-Semitic, it is purely political. Moreover, Catholic anti-Semitism, said the questionnaire respondents, no longer exists. [Whereas Zionist anti-Semitism thrives].
Catholic communities are urged to engage in dialogue with Jews in a spirit of reconciliation. This dialogue is ‘essential,’ though ‘at times not without its obstacles.’
One obstacle is that ‘some biblical verses can be interpreted according to a ‘culture of violence.’ [What of the Talmud]? On October 19, Monsignor Michel Sabbah, 77, who was the archbishop and Latin patriarch of Jerusalem from 1987 to 2008, will present ‘Kairos Palestine,’ a scathing, mainly Protestant anti-Israel document signed by various Middle East Christian representatives who define ‘the Israeli occupation’ as a ‘sin against God and Humanity,’ (lifting this phrase from John Paul II’s definition of anti-Semitism). The document calls for both love, and ‘nonviolent resistance through divestment’ (jpost.com).
The Vatican Synod on the Middle East Begins
October 10, 2010 — The Catholic Church’s special “Synod on the Middle East” opened on October 10 in Rome with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. The purpose is mainly pastoral: to consider how the Church can better live her mission in that region of the world. But the problematic political tensions in the region are also a concern. . .
“The great history of evangelization recounted in the Acts of the Apostles begins with the Christian community in the Holy Land. All Christians and people of good will look to this land made holy by the presence of the Lord Jesus, particularly at this time. . .” —Opening lines from the Lineamenta, the guideline for the Special Bishops’ Synod on “The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness,” October 10-24, 2010
“Salvation is universal, but it passes through a specific historical mediation: the mediation of the people of Israel, which goes on to become that of Jesus Christ and the Church.” —Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, Opening Mass of the Synod on the Middle East, St. Peter’s Basilica, Sunday, October 10, 2010.
“The Door of Life Is Open for Everyone — But It Is a Door. . .” [that can be closed in your face].
St Peter’s Basilica seemed more “universal” than usual this morning—and also more “particular.”
In fact, the basilica seemed no longer to rise from the soil of Rome, in Western Europe, but rather to have been transported, as if on some magic carpet, to Jerusalem, or Baghdad, or some other city of the near Orient.
Why? Because it was filled with robes, and colors, and head coverings which seemed to come out of some scene in the Arabian nights, as 185 bishops from that majestic and troubled region of the world, along with 70 experts and advisors, gathered here from Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and a dozen other countries in the Middle East.
Pope Benedict immediately made clear that the central focus of this meeting is the same as the focus of his entire pontificate, and of the Church herself: simply Jesus Christ, and the salvation Christ brought, and brings. When we think of the Middle East, Benedict said, when we think of the Holy Land, of Jerusalem, of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus’s body was laid in the tomb, we think of the doorway through which all of human history, and all of human hope, once passed.
When we think of the promise made by God that he would accomplish a universal salvation by means of a covenant, beginning with Abraham, Benedict said, we have hope that all of us may reach that “Promised Land” of peace and abundance. And, the Pope continued, the way is not simply to be understood as the possession of an earthly territory, an earthly homeland, an earthly “Promised Land.”
“God is love and wants all men to be part of His life,” Benedict said. “To carry out this plan He, who is One and Triune, [a pagan unscriptural oxymoron he cannot explain] creates in the world a mystery of a communion that is human and divine, historical and transcendent: He creates it with the ‘method’—so to speak—of the covenant, tying himself to men with faithful and inexhaustible love, forming a holy people, that becomes a blessing for all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:13). Thus He reveals Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:6), who wants to lead his people to the ‘land’ of freedom and peace. This ‘land’ is not of this world; the whole of the divine plan goes beyond history, but the Lord wants to build it with men, for men and in men, beginning with the coordinates of space and time in which they live and which He Himself gave them.”
This, in a sense, is the central message of this Synod, already stated beforehand by the Pope in this opening homily.
The message is that the “Promised Land” of freedom and peace to which God wishes to lead “His” people is, yes, “not of this world,” for, as the Pope says, “the whole of the divine plan goes beyond history.”
And yet, at the same time, “the Lord wishes to build it [the Promised Land] with men, for men and in men, beginning with the coordinates of space and time in which they live and which He Himself gave them.”
In these words is an appeal to all those who live in the Holy Land, Jew and Gentile alike, Muslim, Christian and atheist alike, that the “Promised Land” of freedom and peace begin to be built here and now, in this privileged time, our own time, which is the acceptable time, should hearts be open enough to realize it. [If you present this exegesis of Benedict XVI to God, you will close the Door of grace in your own face – Hebrews 6:4-8].
The Pope’s Homily
On the morning of Sunday, October 10, during a Mass that combined Latin chants with Arabic ones, Pope Benedict formally launched the Synod on the Middle East with the following homily. Here is the complete text:
illustrious ladies and gentlemen,
dear brothers and sisters!
The Eucharistic celebration, the rendering of thanks to God par excellence, is marked for us today, gathered around the Tomb of Saint Peter, by an extraordinary reason: the grace of seeing gathered together for the first time at a Synod, around the Bishop of Rome and the Universal Shepherd, the bishops of the Middle Eastern region. Such a singular event demonstrates the interest of the whole Church for that precious and beloved part of God’s people who live in the Holy Land and the whole of the Middle East.
Above all, we give thanks to the Lord of history, because he has allowed, despite the often difficult and tormented events, the Middle East to see, from the time of Jesus all the way up to today, a continuity in the presence of Christians.
In those lands, the one Church of Christ is expressed in the variety of liturgical, spiritual, cultural and teaching traditions of the six Venerable Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris, as well as in the Latin tradition.
This fraternal greeting which I direct with great affection to the Patriarchs of each of these wishes to be extended at this time to all the faithful entrusted to their pastoral care in their respective countries as well as in the Diaspora.
On this Sunday, the 28th of Ordinary Time, the Word of God offers a theme for meditation which brings us closer in a meaningful way to the event of the Synod that we open today.
Continued reading of the Gospel of Luke leads us to the story of the healing of the ten lepers, of whom only one, a Samaritan, turns back to thank Jesus. Connected with this text, the first reading, from the Second Book of Kings, tells the story of the healing of Naaman, head of the Aramaean army, another leper, who was cured by immersing himself seven times in the waters of the Jordan River, on the orders of the prophet Eliseus. Naaman too returns to the prophet and, recognizing him as the mediator of God, professes his faith in the one Lord. So two lepers, two non-Jews, who are cured because they believe in the Word of God’s messenger. Their bodies are healed, but they are open to faith, and this heals their souls, that is, it saves them.
The Responsorial Psalm sings of this reality:
‘Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed his saving justice for the nations to see. Mindful of his faithful love and his constancy to the House of Israel’ (Psalm 98:2-3).
This then is the theme: salvation is universal, but it passes through a specific historical mediation: the mediation of the people of Israel, which goes on to become that of Jesus Christ and the Church. [If the Pope refers to the Judaeo-Roman church, he is in error – II Corinthians 5:13-21; Revelation 17:1-6].
The door of life is open for everyone, but this is the point, it is a ‘door’, that is a definite and necessary passage.
This is summed up in the Pauline formula we heard in the Second Letter to Timothy: ‘the salvation that is in Christ Jesus’ (II Timothy 2:10). It is the mystery of the universality of Salvation and at the same time of its necessary link with the historical mediation of Christ Jesus, preceded by that of the people of Israel and continued by that of the Church. God is love and wants all men to be part of His life; to carry out this plan He, who is One and Triune, creates in the world a mystery of a communion that is human and divine, historical and transcendent: He creates it with the ‘method’—so to speak—of the covenant, tying himself to men with faithful and inexhaustible love, forming a holy people, that becomes a blessing for all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:13). Thus He reveals Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Exodus 3:6), who wants to lead his people to the ‘land’ of freedom and peace. This ‘land’ is not of this world; the whole of the divine plan goes beyond history, but the Lord wants to build it with men, for men and in men, beginning with the coordinates of space and time in which they live and which He Himself gave them.
With its own specificity, that which we call the ‘Middle East’, makes up part of those coordinates. God sees this region of the world, too, from a different perspective, one might say, ‘from on high': it is the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the land of the Exodus and the return from exile; the land of the Temple and of the Prophets, the land in which the Only Begotten Son of Mary was born, lived, died, and rose from the dead; the cradle of the Church, established in order to carry Christ’s Gospel to the ends of the earth.
And we too, as believers, look at the Middle East with this view, from the perspective of the history of salvation. It is this internal point of view which guided me during Apostolic visits to Turkey, the Holy Land—Jordan, Israel, Palestine—and Cyprus, where I was able to experience firsthand the joys and concerns of the Christian communities.
It was for this reason, too, that I willingly accepted the proposal of the Patriarchs and Bishops to convoke a Synodal Assembly to reflect together, in light of Sacred Scripture and Church traditions, on the present as well as the future of the faithful and populations of the Middle East.
Looking at that part of the world from God’s perspective means recognizing in it the ‘cradle’ of a universal design of salvation in love, a mystery of communion which becomes true in freedom and thus asks man for a response. Abraham, the prophets, and the Virgin Mary are the protagonists of this response which, however, has its completion in Jesus Christ, son of that same land, yet descended from Heaven. From Him, from his Heart and his Spirit was born the Church, which is a pilgrim in this world, yet belongs to Him.
The Church was established to be a sign and an instrument of the unique and universal saving project of God among men; She fulfils this mission simply by being herself, that is, ‘Communion and witness’, as it says in the theme of this Synodal Assembly which opens today, referring to Luke’s famous definition of the first Christian community: ‘The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul’ (Acts 4:32). Without communion there can be no witness: the life of communion is truly the great witness. Jesus said it clearly: ‘It is by your love for one another, that everyone will recognize you as my disciples’ (John 13:35). This communion is the same life of God which is communicated in the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ. It is thus a gift, not something which we ourselves must build through our own efforts.
And it is precisely because of this that it calls upon our freedom and waits for our response: communion always requires conversion, just as a gift is better if it is welcomed and utilized.
In Jerusalem the first Christians were few. Nobody could have imagined what was going to take place. And the Church continues to live on that same strength which enabled it to begin and to grow. Pentecost is the original event but also a permanent dynamism, and the Synod of Bishops is a privileged moment in which the grace of Pentecost may be renewed in the Church’s journey, so that the Good News may be announced openly and heard by all peoples.
Therefore, the reason for this Synodal Assembly is mainly a pastoral one. While not being able to ignore the delicate and at times dramatic social and political situation of some countries, the Pastors of the Middle Eastern Churches wish to concentrate on the aspects of their own mission.
As regards this, the Instrumentum laboris, elaborated by a Presynodal Council whose members we thank for their work, underlined these ecclesial finalities of the Assembly, pointing out that, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it wishes to re-enliven communion of the Catholic Church in the Middle East. [Contrary to the Lord God, who, for the past forty-seven years, has been calling the wise and foolish virgin out from Rome and her (once) Protestant daughters into the unity of the faith for the manifestation of the Sons of God and the translation for the Jubilee of Christ's second or 'parousia' Coming which is at the doors (Matthew 25:6; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 18:4; Ephesians 4:13; Romans 8:19; I Corinthians 15:46-57)].
First of all within each Church, between all its members: Patriarch, Bishop, priests, religious persons, persons of consecrated life and the laity. And, thereby, in the relationships with the other Churches. Ecclesial life, corroborated in this way, will see the development of very positive fruits in the ecumenical path with the other Churches and ecclesial Communities present in the Middle East. [Not according to Amos 3:3 and II Corinthians 6:14-18. Besides which, Jesus hates Nicolaitanism – Revelation 2:6, 15].
This occasion is also propitious to constructively continue the dialogue with Jews, to whom we are tied by an indissoluble bond, the lengthy history of the Covenant, as we are with the Muslims. [Christianity has no common bond with either religious group beyond respecting the fact God has granted to each the inalienable gift of life and free will, which no man or religion can restrict].
Also, the workings of the Synodal Assembly are oriented to the witness of Christians on a personal, family and social level. This requires the reinforcing of their Christian identity through the Word of God and the Sacraments.
We all hope that the faithful feel the joy in living in the Holy Land, a land blessed by the presence and by the Paschal Mystery of the Lord Jesus Christ. ["The mystery of God was finished" in 1963 when the seventh angel, William Branham, revealed the Seven Seals – Revelation 10:7]. Over the centuries those Places attracted multitudes of pilgrims and even men and women in religious communities, who have considered it a great privilege to be able to live and bear witness in the land of Jesus. Despite the difficulties, the Christians in the Holy Land are called to enliven their consciousness of being the living stones of the Church in the Middle East, at the holy Places of our salvation. [The holy Place of our salvation is the Word for the hour, which St. Peter called "the present Truth" (II Peter 1:12; I John 1:7)].
However, living in a dignified manner in one’s own country is above all a fundamental human right: therefore, the conditions of peace and justice, which are necessary for the harmonious development of all those living in the region, should be promoted. Therefore all are called to give their personal contribution: the international community, by supporting a stable path, loyal and constructive, towards peace; those most prevalent religions in the region, in promoting the spiritual and cultural values that unite men and exclude any expression of violence. Christians will continue to contribute not only with the work of social promotion, such as institutes of education and health, but above all with the spirit of the Evangelical Beatitudes, which enliven the practice of forgiveness and reconciliation. In this commitment, they will always have the support of the entire Church, as is solemnly attested by the presence here of the Delegates of the Episcopacies of other continents.
Dear friends, let us entrust the workings of the Synodal Assembly for the Middle East to the many Saints of that blessed land; let us invoke upon it the constant protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that the coming days of prayer, of reflection and of fraternal communion may be the harbingers of the good fruits for the present and for the future of the beloved Middle Eastern populations. To them we address a hopeful greeting with all our heart: ‘Peace to you, peace to your family, peace to all that is yours!’ (I Samuel 25:6). . .
Most of the North American participants are bishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches: Melkite, Maronite, Chaldean, Syrian, Armenian or Coptic. . .
Full story: speroforum.com
Comment: Our Israeli friend Barry Chamish writes: “In short, and this did not take great analytic powers, the Pope has announced that Israel doesn’t exist. It’s just a question of time and “mediation” until Israel realizes this. Then those pesky Jews will covert to “Jesus Christ and the Church.” Unless I misread his Mass, the pope actually said that, though claiming he was referring not to Jews but to salvation. [Jewry will not convert to Jesus Christ but will convert to Judaeo-Catholicism, a religion of their device to destroy Messianic faith (Daniel 9:27; 11:32-35; 12:10; Revelation 13:4-10)].
A major planner of this synod has been at the head of the destroy-Israel movement for two decades, David Jaeger. While Oslo was being negotiated in 1994, another part of the “peace” agreement was also being negotiated; The Vatican-Israel Treaty. In fact, Oslo and Vatican were being negotiated together and for the same destructive purposes. The Israeli negotiators of the Vatican deal were [Sir] Shimon Peres (Szymon Perski) [Knight Commander in the Order of St. Michael and St. George] and Yossi Beilin. The Vatican’s chief negotiator was Father David Jaeger”:
Temple Mount Yes, Mount Sinai No
January 19, 2006 — Dr. David Jaeger, the Vatican’s legal advisor in negotiations with Israel, presented an interesting fact pertaining to the status of holy sites: According to the United Nations resolution on November 29, 1947, Jerusalem is considered a “corpus separatum” that belongs neither to the Jewish or Palestinian state. Therefore, the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem after the Israeli War of Independence was considered, like the Israeli occupation after the Six-Day War, to be “illegal.”
As far as international law is concerned, the status of Jerusalem has not changed since 1947, and, therefore, according to Jaeger, Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot achieve a bilateral agreement concerning the status of Jerusalem. Israel cannot “give” the Old City to the PA because, according to international law, Israel does not have legal authority over Jerusalem.
Full story: haaretz.com. This article discusses how or by whom a site should be declared “holy”; please read in full.
And today . . .
Are Christians leaving the Middle East?
March 12, 2008 — The Reuters news agency on Thursday, October 7, ran an interview with Franciscan Father David Jaeger, a convert from Judaism who became a Roman Catholic priest in 1986, and who is a respected canon lawyer. He was part of the Vatican team that negotiated diplomatic relations with Israel in 1994 and is part of the Vatican team that is still ironing out the details of that accord. . .
What do you expect from the synod?
Father David Jaeger: I think it is intended to be a very significant step forward in the development of the witness of the Church in the Middle East. . . I don’t think people in the West appreciate to what extent the thematics of the Synod are totally new to so much of the Church in the Middle East. Religious freedom some decades ago was not even a known concept. It had never been experienced in 13 centuries [i.e. since the rise of Islam]. It had always been presupposed that it could not be attained. . .
The whole discussion of the civic duty of the Christian, the Christian as citizen, the Christian communities as actors in the national lives of the countries where they live, this is totally new for the region as a whole. For 13 centuries, Christians in the Middle East had been made to live strictly in kinds of socio-political ghettos, not physical ones necessarily, but socio-political and legal ones, and it was a given that general society was something else, in which as Christians they had no part. Maybe individuals did manage to insert themselves into politics in different countries, of course, but that the idea that as a Christian, as a Christian community, you had to participate in the formation of a national culture, in the development of the national political culture too, these are all new insights in that region. These are all (examples) of Vatican II coming finally to fruition in that region too, so it is a very exiting moment for the Church.
Do you fear that Israel may become the whipping boy at the synod?
Father Jaeger: I reject this whole way of looking at the Synod. The Synod is not there to take positions on any political questions, for or against any country. The Church is not there for that in the first place, least of all the Holy See. The Holy See and the assemblies it convenes, such as the Synod, and the pronouncements of the Pope do not intervene, by their very nature, in temporal disputes between nations and states. They give moral judgments on the moral dimensions of temporal issues, in the name of God. Full story: peroforum.com
Comment: Barry Chamish comments: And what is God’s judgement? Well strangely, it’s the same as the Vatican’s. Israel is not in the same theocratic ballpark.
Peres supports ‘100 percent’ Sarkozy’s plan for Mediterranean Union
March 12, 2008 — “I support 100 percent the plan,” Peres, who is on a five-day state visit to France, said in an interview with French radio Europe 1.
“The entire (Israeli) government is in favour of Sarkozy’s initiative of course,” he added. “North Europe countries, the Maghreb countries in the south and the Arab countries in the middle, why not cooperate on what is possible?” he asked, recalling that Europe started with a union on coal and steel. . . Ahead of a EU summit meeting at the end of this week, France and Germany settled their differences over President Sarkozy’s plan to create the EU-Mediterranean new forum… German Chancellor Angela Merkel forced Sarkozy last week to open up the club to all 27 EU states. . .
Full story: ejpress.org
Comment: Barry Chamish: The MU was hatched with President Peres, speaking of all Israelis’ enthusiastic support. But current prime minister Netanyahu is right on board, vowing to meet the actor assigned the part of Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas, in Paris, a month before the MU meet, to sort through details. You see, until the US mid-term elections are finished, five days before the MU conference, President Obama dares not lift the whip to Israel. So Netanyahu is building and Abbas is stalling. It is up to the MU to handle the flogging:
[Jewish] French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos are to arrive in Israel Sunday to move ahead [Jewish] President Nicolas Sarkozy’s idea of a summit in Paris later this month between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
French, Spanish Foreign Ministers heading to Israel to push Sarkozy’s Peace Summit
October 7, 2010 — French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos are to arrive in Israel Sunday to move ahead President Nicolas Sarkozy’s idea of a summit in Paris later this month between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
According to French diplomats and officials in Netanyahu’s bureau, the two leaders have expressed willingness to take part in a summit, planned for October 21. However, implementation would depend on the decision of the Arab League summit on Friday and on a solution to the crisis over the end of the construction freeze in the settlements
A senior Israeli official who is knowledgeable about preparations for the summit said that the American response to Sarkozy’s idea was cool. “Clinton did not say no, but also did not respond in the affirmative,” the official said.
Full story: haaretz.com
Comment: Barry Chamish asks, “Guess who’s coming to Barcelona? Why it’s Pope Ratzinger of the Wermacht. And the celebrations in Barcelona have just begun for him”:
Founder: Mideast Reconciliation is Sign of New Era
Barcelona, October 5, 2010 — The founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio is affirming that although reconciliation in the Middle East is difficult, once accomplished it will be a sign of a new era.
Andrea Riccardi stated this at the 25th International Meeting of Prayer for Peace, an annual gathering held as a continuation of the first interreligious and intercultural meeting called in 1986 in Assisi by Pope John Paul II.
The three-day meeting, promoted by the Sant’Egidio Community, ended today in Barcelona. This year’s event focused in a particular way on the situation in the Middle East, with the theme “Coexistence in a Time of Crisis: Family of Peoples, Family of God”. . .
The meeting began on Sunday morning with a Mass presided over by the archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach. . . During the Mass, a message from Benedict XVI to the meeting participants was read. Cardinal Sistach noted that this global summit of religions and cultures is tied to the visit the Pontiff will make to Barcelona next month. In a press conference preceding the peace gathering, the cardinal affirmed, “Meeting here during these days is a family of peoples, which is the family of God, and it is something much desired by Benedict XVI, as is the dialogue between religions.” Full story: zenit.org
Comment: Barry Chamish: With the MU composed of five Catholic states and five Muslim nations, the odds are stacked a bit heavily against [nuclear-armed] Israel. To usher in the MU conference, look what a nice thing Spain and its king, Juan Carlos, has done for the Palestinians. For those who find significance in dates, November 20/10 will be the 35th anniversary of [Jewish] General Franco’s death, followed by Prince Juan Carlos becoming the King of Spain, and thereby King of Jerusalem:
Spain upgrades Palestinian Mission
Madrid, September 10, 2010 — Spain’s government said Friday it plans to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Madrid due to the prospect of an eventual “creation and recognition of a Palestinian state.” The “General Delegation of Palestine” that has been in the Spanish capital since 1986 will henceforth be called the “Palestine Diplomatic Mission,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. It said the head of the mission will have the status of ambassador, and will be formally accredited in a ceremony by King Juan Carlos. Spain said the decision “reaffirms the friendship and solidarity that unites the Spanish people and the Palestinian people.” Full story: spacewar.com
Comment: King Juan Carlos has the title King of Jerusalem, Defender of the Holy Catholic Land Interests, whereby he is king not only of the Israelis but also of the Palestinians.
Barry Chamish comments: I have found only one pro-Israel source that was outraged by Spain unilaterally recognizing the new state of Palestine:
Spain Recognizes Non-Existent Palestinian State
September 7, 2010 — “Today, Foreign Minister Moratinos, has announced that Spain will behave diplomatically as if The Palestinian Authority was the government of The Palestinian State, its mission in Madrid being given diplomatic status of an Embassy as well as The Consulate in East Jerusalem, that from today will be a Spanish Embassy. He will encourage others to follow in preparation for the coming declaration of independence.”
We have been keeping you informed of the growing movement to legitimize a Palestinian State outside the normal international framework of the creation of a State. Spain’s action is a big step toward establishing such an entity. It completely sidelines Israel on this issue, so it is not dependent on Israel’s approval. By ignoring Israel it sets the stage for the international community to recognize a Palestinian State along the 1967 boundaries. The Palestinians do not have to agree to anything to get this “prize.” Therefore their demands for the so called right of return, their demands for Jerusalem to be their capital, and their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish State will be granted to them and they will be asked for nothing in return.
Spain, as a major state in the European Union, is providing political cover for several other states that are vehement opponents of Israel. This development is a very serious matter. Full story: onejerusalem.org
Comment: This was decided on November 29, 1947 by UN Resolution 181; should the Palestinians recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish’ state they will deny the lawful owners and original residents of that stolen land the right to return, reclaim their property, obtain reparations, and resettle.
Barry Chamish: And now all the pieces are in place for the checkmate of Israel next month in Barcelona. As for the Jews who will lose their homes and sovereignty. . . they’re too busy blaming Arabs and Iran to bother noticing who really controls Israel’s destiny. Or they think, it’ll be okay, God will intervene. They don’t see the essential message of their Torah. God does not intervene, He helps.
Press Conference: President of Spain & Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
September 14, 2010 — President of the Government: This is our opinion as the Government of Spain, and this is the opinion that we are going to convey to the European institutions, and of course to the North American Administration and that we have conveyed to the Palestinian Authority. The Union for the Mediterranean Summit will be held. . . for those members of the Union for the Mediterranean, the parties and countries that form a part of this important forum that can contribute to the peace process. Full story: Pass
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a
non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily
to other ministers and their congregations in other countries. He pastors
Bible Believers’ tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.