Why are western politicians so keen to get involved with the affairs of the Jewish State? Chuck and Karen Cohen follow the latest developments.

Whatever 2017 holds for us, let’s remain focused on the ultimate goal for God’s kingdom – that He would be glorified through the exaltation of His Son. “… every tongue should confess that Messiah Yeshua is Lord – to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:11; see also John 12:27-28)

Old Testament saints knew this, and often based their prayers on it. “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name. Deliver us, and purge away our sins, for Your name’s sake.” (Ps. 79:9); “Not unto us, YHWH…but unto Your name give glory, for Your mercy, and truth’s sake.” (Ps. 115:1)

(A personal blog by Ian Luke Penwald)

The last of my 3 blogs from Poland and despite the angst expressed in my first two, I did in the end make the journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was still pretty much a last-minute decision but as I wandered through Krakow’s impressive and beautiful Old City I found myself praying about whether or not to visit the infamous death camps. Then I turned a corner and find a small random travel agency selling tickets to the very places and so the next day…I was off.

Unless Britannia is insane, she wants no part of a zero-Gospel future. Personal and national security are anchored in God’s history. A word from the Editor…

The dramatic change in Sword’s appearance is the generous and highly skilled contribution of our brother Michael Oakley who, without charge to the ministry, has spent many months working on a ‘text-driven’ design. Here’s how Michael describes his prayerful intention:

In this era of ‘fake news’ there is a proliferation of scams, mainly hitting us in the pocket. Philip Wren warns us to be forearmed against some deceptions that are far more dangerous

A few years ago, four of us travelled to India. Flying overnight we arrived at Delhi Airport in the early hours of the morning India time. After acclimatising and relaxing over a coffee for an hour, we took a taxi to New Delhi Railway Station to catch the 6.00 a.m. train to our destination. On arrival at the station we were met by the usual crowd of people keen to carry our bags. They were also keen to ask our destination. On hearing where we were going they immediately said that the train was cancelled. Then they helpfully directed us to someone on the floor above who would be able to help. This person posing as a railway official assured us that the train was cancelled. To get to our destination we would have to rebook our tickets at a travel agents. The nearest Travel Agent was several blocks away so he helpfully found us a cab. 

At the travel agents, the assistant checked the trains for seats and produced a printout showing that all the trains were fully booked that day. The only way we would be able to get to our destination would be by private hire car. Conveniently there was a private hire driver outside the travel agent’s office. The agent arranged, at substantial payment, for us to be driven to our destination. As we were leaving the agent said don’t forget to give the driver a good tip. 

Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” The first question I have whenever I read this is: “Can I as a 21st century Christian Gentile, not a Jewish person and not living when it was written — not being Joshua — can I take a promise made to Joshua and apply it to myself?” My answer is yes for three reasons.

We are called to be salt and light, to live and think differently, so how come so many christians on all sides of the political divides (on both sides on the Atlantic) are succumbing to the anger and rage characteristic the spirit of this world?

Mike Bickle presents some challenging thoughts on how to live in the opposite spirit and sees the increasing turmoil as an opportunity for the church to show a different way

"There are facts, there are opinions, and there are lies," says historian Deborah Lipstadt, telling the remarkable story of her research into Holocaust deniers — and their deliberate distortion of history. Lipstadt encourages us all to go on the offensive against those who assault the truth and facts. "Truth is not relative," she says. 

(Here is a short story I wrote fourteen years ago in memory of my great-aunt Bessie. I have re-published it to give some background to the London Jewish walks I will be recommencing, starting on March 6th)

It was significant that Bessie's birthday this year fell on Passover, as her story was as much a triumph over adversity as her forbears' celebrated release from bondage. As was customary, the extended family were gathered, a pyramid of generations, with Bessie at the apex and a multitude of tiny ones, crammed at opposite ends of a table that grew healthily each year. It was also customary to invite a stranger to the seder table and this year Bessie had intrigued us with an elderly gentleman, apparently a friend from the day centre, who was sitting politely and quietly to her left, next to Sadie, my mother. I was there as family scribe. To me she had entrusted her many secrets and to me she had given the responsibility to tell them, well all bar one, anyway.

It's well known that Christianity sprang from a Jewish context. While there may be controversy about Jesus' Judaism vs. the traditional Judaism of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Judaism in the first century, there's no doubt that Jesus, his family, and followers were practicing Jews, as recorded in the New Testament. Biblical scholar Lawrence H. Schiffman, Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Director of the Global Network for Advanced Research in Jewish Studies at New York University (NYU), takes this understanding to a new level. He identifies citations in the New Testament that others have glossed over without recognizing their unique significance. On March 26-27, 2015, at a conference at NYU, "Integrating Christianity and Judaism into the Study of the Ancient World," Professor Schiffman delivered a talk titled "The New Testament as a Source for the History of the Jews and Judaism."

It's official! Well, that is, according to the report released by former senior judge, Baroness Butler-Sloss. The thin end of the wedge is getting thicker...

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