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Living Springs Institute
Where Sound Doctrine Endures
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men.  After the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:8

Issue #11

March & April 2004

Following the Biblical Stream:
By Philip Busby

     As we left off last time, we were talking about Gen. Chapter 2 verse 22. We talked about the fact that God used a rib from Adam to form Eve. At the end of this verse God brings Eve to Adam, and verse 23 tells us Adam's response. It is interesting what is not recorded here in verses 22 or 23. It tells us that God brought Eve to Adam, but God does not say anything to Adam about her. Adam was obviously aware that God had taken a piece of him to form Eve, but from here God allowed Adam the freedom to respond to this event. It really is the first time we hear man speak in the Bible. Adam referred to her as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. He immediately recognized the significance of the operation. As we talked about in our last issue, there was only one man created, and all others, including Eve, come from him.

     Here is an interesting fact. If you look into the original language, you find that most of the verses before 23 have been using the same word, in the places we read man, that was used in the places we see the name Adam. So, for example, the place where we see "and Adam gave names to all..." the original word the word Adam was translated from here, is the same original word "man" is translated from in verse 22 where it says "....brought her unto the man." Most of the verses here give Adam as the translation, where the translators believed it is most appropriate to use a proper name. However, the original word is the same most of the time.

     The word for Adam, really is talking about the appearance of blood or flesh, and it also has a very singular sense. So, when Adam says "she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man," he is referring to the fact that his name (Adam) or term (man) really means first and one, but her name or term would have the plural sense to it, meaning more than one. Adam is not denoting a number, but simply saying there was one and now there is more than one. This is important because Adam is changing the sense of his name/term to give to her, but there is significance to the idea that later, after they are cast from the garden, Adam gives her more of a proper name, "Eve". This is to say she is the mother of all. The "giver of life" is the true sense of the word Eve. Of course all names are derived from a word that means something. There are those who think native Americans have strange names, like "Little Cloud". Native Americans do this because they have the tradition of naming children after the first thing they see as the child is born. The only real difference here is the idea that they use more than one word. We think of it as a description, but most of the things we see as names are the same thing just boiled down to one word. My name, Philip, means "lover of horses", but who even thinks of horses in today's world when they hear the name Philip? If this all sounds confusing, it doesn't hold a candle to the challenge of translating from an ancient language like Hebrew into a flimsy language like English!

     Getting back to the point at hand. Eve is given a proper name later on, but at first, man simply calls the female, woman. This shows how in tune Adam was with God. God said it was not good for man to be"alone" or one, so God makes a female as a companion. Adam is one or singular, but when God brings Eve to him he is more than one, so he calls her woman. Later, before the appearance of more than just the two of them, Adam gives her a name for which to be called by others. This signifies that Adam knows the plan of God is, one man for one woman. It is the union between male and female that brings both plurality yet unity. Thus, we see the wording of the way things are meant to be, laid out in the very next verse. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." This is the plan God put into motion, and this is the plan man was in agreement with! The union of marriage being between male and female is not just a covenant between two people, it is a covenant between man and God. It can not be changed!

     Now, in order to meld the verses of chapter 1 and 2, we must now return to Chapter 1 verse 28. This verse tells us the first commandment of God unto men! However, it is very important to note here, that it says "God blessed them....". At first glance it is tempting to say that before God ever gives man a commandment He blesses them. However, I think what this verse is telling us is the fact that the commandment is a blessing! One might be tempted to say, "Sure this commandment is a blessing, God is telling them things they want"; but in truth, all of God's commandments are a blessing. This is a point we need to understand and remember. Look at what God tells them here. He tells man to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue it and have dominion over the planet. These things are really the very things man seeks even today. The problem is the fact that we are corrupted by sin! Thus, we do very bad and many times just down right stupid things! We do not use the resources God has given us very wisely. Most of the time selfishness and greed drive us to use them up fast in an attempt to make our lives what we want, with no care for others, including future generations! The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil. (I Tim. 6:9-10) Note: it is the love of money that is the problem, not the fact we use money. Who can dispute the fact that here in America we can grow plenty of food to feed our population. We are, or at least in the past have been, a major exporter of food because of this fact. So, why is it there are still people living in America who go to bed hungry every night? It is sin that insures we can have enough food for everyone, but not everyone can have food! The commandments of God, all Words of God, are a blessing! We need God's guidance in everything we do. Without it, we will fail miserably! Most tend to look at God's commandments as restrictive, and this is true, but they are only restrictive to the greed of the flesh. If God's Word was followed, we would accomplish things far above anything we could even imagine! (Eph. 3:17-21)

     Here in verse 28, we see most of the same words we have seen before as God gave commandments to the animals. "be fruitful" As we talked about with the animals, this wording is not referring to the procreation processes. Here, God is telling us to do something with our lives. We were never intended to simply stay in the garden all the time and sit around eating fruit. God wanted us to take action so that He could interact with us. Even as man lives in sin, God has been trying to interact with us. God continues to desire a relationship with us, and He has continued to work a plan that will allow this to happen for all those who want it. That's why God sent His Son to die for our sins!

     "and multiply" This wording is the part that tells us we can have children, and God wanted us to do so. Now it is important we look at this point and understand some things! God not only gave us the choice in the issue of how many people there would be, but He also makes it clear He desires us to multiply. Now some will use this as an excuse to say we should all have as many children as we can! Not all will go to that extreme, but many have some philosophy along those lines. This is an example of how we need the Words of God. God wanted us to multiply, but once sin entered in, this became something more complicated. The problem is that sin did not make the issue of physically having children more difficult, (at least at first) but the aspects of having a child and taking on the responsibility for raising that child in the ways of God definitely did! Remember what we talked about just last issue? It is the responsibility of man to pass on the Words of God. In no matter is this issue more important than to raise up a child in the way they should go! (Prov. 22:6) This is why, after they took of the fruit of the tree in which God told them not to, God gave Eve pain in child birth. (The destruction of sin in our bodies would also catch up with us, and make child birth harder.) We need to consider the responsibility we have in this area. No one can make their child follow God. Some parents do a very good job raising their children and teaching them, but the child still chooses to walk away. However, this fact does not diminish the responsibility we have to raise them right. I think one of the things that strikes me most about this issue is just how little effort people are willing to put into knowing the ways of God, but they don't see how the issue of raising a child is connected to that fact.

     It is not the churches' responsibility to raise your child in the ways of the Lord! Just because you go to church and take your children, does not mean you are doing what you should. Yes, the church should be a place of strength and help. I talked about that issue last time as well; but even if you go to what you believe is the best church in the world, it is still your responsibility to teach your children. We should be asking what we can do to help the church reach out to children who have parents who do not care to tell them about God, not leaning so heavily on the church to raise the children we decided to have. Parents need to ask themselves, "what about the Bible - do I not know?" Even if you are not interested for yourself, you have the responsibility to do it for your children!

     Let me be very clear. If you choose not to know or understand the Word of God, if you do not believe it is important to get answers to the questions you may have, if going into eternity in that state is what you feel comfortable doing, that's your business; but when you have the responsibility of a child who asks questions about God and His Word, you had better be seeking the answers!

     Can we have children? Yes. It was the plan of God, but do not, I repeat do not, use this verse of scripture as an excuse to do so without thought, consideration and prayer! Bringing a child into a world filled with sin should not be a light decision, and for any parent, theresponsibility you have before God is very grave!

     "and replenish the earth..." Here we see the wording that expands for man. The animals are not given this wording. The animals were told to fill the places they were created for, (water, sky, land) but they were not told to replenish or subdue. Using the word "replenish" here in the English translation is pretty good. This English word means to fill or make complete again. The planet is already pretty full of animal and plant life of all different kinds, but it is not complete without man. As we talked about before, animals and plants were created all over the planet, but God only created two people. Then God put them in a garden, but that was not the end of the plan, it was only the beginning. What God wanted man to do was to go out, fill the planet, and complete it! He gave us all the tools to do something and make something great, but once again, we just have no idea what this would have been like without sin. Instead, man has just devastated this planet, and how that must break the heart of God!

     "and subdue it:" We do have the God given right to use the resources of this world. Many times we can not take a good look at a subject because people are always wanting to go to one side or the other, instead of walking the path God has given us. When you talk about environmental policies, it seems the ones leading the charge are people who believe every tree has a right to stand where it grows. Then you end up with people on the other side of the pendulum swing, who counter this is ridiculous and we will cut down as many trees as we want! This ministry is based in the state of Colorado, and one of the biggest fights in this state is the idea of wild life management. There are constantly people who want to stop the hunting of animals in this state, but just as has happened in other places, as well as here in Colorado before, when you do this, pretty soon you have herds of deer and elk starving to death because there are too many of them for the food supply. God did not tell us not to touch the planet, but He did not tell us to destroy it either. God asks us to use our heads and think! The animals were not to subdue the planet, because they just do, by instinct, the things they do; but man was given more, and we need to use it. To subdue something is not just to conquer it, or at least that is not what the word means here! When you take something from it's naturally God given balance, you take on a responsibility to care for it. It is not wrong to disturb an ecosystem, but not to care for it after you do, now that is just sinful! One of the things people talk about when it comes to studying nature is the fact that man can not study nature without changing it. That is because God set it up that way. The planet was created with a certain balance that would go on indefinitely, but as man came into an area to complete it, creation would make room Adam was told, after the fall, that the earth would no longer yield it's strength. So, now instead of simply making room for man, many things simply start dying out! What is the saying? Tread lightly? Well, treading lightly is not going to cut it. We must take responsibility for the area we tread in. This has always been the case, but after sin and especially after thousands of years of sin, we should really be saying, "now more than ever before!"

     So, God goes on to make this point very clear. He tells them to have dominion over the fish, the fowl, and every living thing that moveth on the planet; and as one side note, if you don't think this includes the plants, then you've obviously never seen a tree move a building before! God told us to have dominion over all life on this planet, but always remember with dominion comes great responsibility!

     I can not emphasize enough the responsibility God gave us in these Words, and this is only a part of what God was talking about when He said we have all sinned and fallen short of His glory! Many people walk everyday with no clue, but we need to know just how deep our failure goes. When we do, we will again and again realize how much we need a Savior, and that fact will drive us to follow Christ. On top of this, we should realize just what a gift Jesus is to us, and when we put it all together it should drive us to strive everyday of our lives to know and follow the Words of God better than we ever have before! So keep on striving, and I'll see you next time!

He Came Unto His Own!
By Philip Busby

     It is the intransigent position of Living Springs Inc., that the Jewish people are, and always will be, the chosen people of God! That God gave this blessing without repentance. That they who bless them will be blessed, and they who curse them will be cursed. Let no part of this organization, it's beliefs, and/or it's teachings be misconstrued, misinterpreted or misrepresented to assert or contend something contrary to the above stated position!

     If you've ever read Living Springs Institute's website home page, you have read the above statement, but it is not just a statement for our website! This statement is Article 2. Section 3.n of our bylaws. Some have asked why we have a statement like this, and recent events have brought light to the answer.

     There is a film that I am sure we have all heard of by now that portrays the part of Jesus' life just before and during the crucifixion. Now, I personally have not seen the film, so I can not speak to whether this particular film is good or bad in it's portrayal of the gospel story. However, the debate it has caused, does show us what a media driven society we are, and just how much we love the fifteen second sound bite!

     I say this, because of the fact that this film has raised the argument once again, that "passion plays", which are plays portraying the death of Christ, are anti-Semitic! The big problem here, is the fact that people's hearts are very evil. On top of that, we have something I find very disturbing, and that is the fact most people do not know their Bible! Once again, we are very in love with our fifteen second sound bite. It never ceases to amaze me how much media we have, and how much time we spend listening to it. However, it seems at the same time, we only desire to graze the surface of any given subject. That is what is happening with the passion play anti-Semitic connection right now, and that is what we want to take a look at here.

     The first thing you have to look at, is why do passion plays bring up anti Jewish feelings? The short hand answer is the fact some people look at a passion play and come to the conclusion that the Jews put the Son of God to death! From this idea people conclude that the Jews are a cursed people and therefore should be destroyed. Of course this is the extreme view, but there are many who at least feel this idea makes Jews second class citizens. One of the most disturbing things that came up during this argument is the fact that Hitler felt "Passion Plays" could help his cause. After seeing a passion play in Oberammergau, Germany, Hitler made the remark that it was "a convincing portrayal of the menace of Jewry." This interpretation of the gospel story of Christ's death has a lot to do with why people claiming to be Christians, and even claiming to be the Christian church, have a long history of anti-Semitism. Centuries of false teachings and people not knowing the true Word of God has had damaging effects on peoples lives. Many of these things still plague us today, and as usual, the secular media has done nothing but try to confuse people even more in recent days!

     As you take a look at this issue, I believe there is a series of logical questions that need to be discussed. First, did the Jews really kill Christ? Second, does it make any sense that passion plays bring up anti-Semitic feelings? Third, should passion plays be stopped because of this issue?

     Of course, this first question is really the big one! The next two questions must be based on the answer you give to this one. Did the Jews really kill Christ? Here is where our fifteen second sound bite really comes in. This question has been bounced around by theologians for a very long time. As with most things, the answer they have come up with depends on the political climate of the day. So, in more recent times, theologians and the church have looked for an answer that sounds good in the media. This answer has been brought up and used many times in recent days. The answer is that we all killed Christ, because we have all sinned! At first glance and especially based on many bad doctrinal teachings of today, this answer seems like a good one, but the truth is that this answer's only real purpose, is to dispose of the question with ease. We need to do this, because we do not want to take the time to really tell people the story of the Bible. If this answer was the answer given only as a starting point for people who do not know the Bible at all, that might not be too bad. However, what is most disturbing is the fact this is the only answer most people, confessing to know God, can give! The sad part is the fact that once we have all become comfortable with our fifteen second answer, we do not pass on the truth to others, who may want to know. This means the ignorance just keeps getting passed along.

     So, let's take at least a little time breaking the story down. The first thing you must do, is look at the obvious facts. The question is, Did the Jews really kill Christ? The physical answer to this question is NO! It was not the Jews who gave Jesus His stripes. It was not the Jews that plucked out Jesus' beard or put a crown of thorns on His head. It was not the Jews that made Jesus carry a cross to Calvary, and it was not the Jews who put the nails in Jesus' hands and feet. As I said at the beginning of this article, I have not seen the film that has everyone talking these days. Therefore, I can not speak to the idea of whether it portrays the Jewish involvement wrong or right, but according to the gospels, the Jews were not to blame for the brutality of the process Jesus went through. It is not to say they never laid a hand on Jesus, but they were at best a very small part of the physical pain and suffering Jesus went through!

     So, if not the Jews then surely the answer is the Romans physically killed Jesus! They were the ones who whipped Jesus, put the crown of thorns on His head, made Him carry his cross to Calvary and ultimately put the nails in Jesus' hands and feet. However, they still are not really the ones who killed Jesus! The scripture prophesied that not a bone in Jesus' body would be broken. (Num. 9:11-12, John 19:36) This was a reference to the fact that when you are dying on a cross the real reason you die is because you suffocate. So, people hung on crosses would struggle with all their strength to hold themselves up so they wouldn't lose the ability to breathe. Those Romans really knew what they were doing when it came to torture, but in the end the soldiers would get tired of waiting. So, the standard practice to get it all over with was to break the victim's legs, thus, preventing them from holding themselves up. This did not happen to Jesus! The Bible tells us when the soldiers came to Jesus to break His legs, He was already dead, and this is the answer to, who killed Jesus? The Bible makes it clear that Jesus gave His life freely for our sin! (Matt. 27:50, Mark 15:37, Luke 23: 44-47, John 10:17-18, 19:30-37, Gal. 2:20) He cried "Father into thy hands I commit my spirit," and then He died.

     Now, I know some of you think I have found a way to sidestep the issue with another quick answer, and some will say it is only a technicality, because Jesus would have died either way! So, for all of you, let's spend some time looking at a revised question on this issue. Who was responsible for sending Jesus to the cross? There again, the shorthand answer is that we all are! All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! (Romans 3:23) However, this is where we get into the facts people have a hard time understanding. This is due to the fact that many people do not understand what the Bible is telling us. We have been taught false doctrine and ideas in so many areas, we have a very hard time understanding what is actually going on.

     The facts, according to the Gospels, are that the Jewish religious leaders of the day wanted Jesus killed. They believed Jesus' claim to be the Messiah deserved a sentence of death. Pilot, as the secular authority, did not care to take the time to save an innocent man from death. He offered the crowd an opportunity to choose Jesus for release, and when they chose a true criminal over Jesus, Pilot washed his hands and walked away. Roman soldiers, given the authority by Pilot to do so, actually beat Jesus and hung Him on a cross. So, in the end there were many different kinds of people who were responsible for Jesus' death, both Jews and Gentiles. I could lecture for hours on this subject, but unfortunately we do not have the space here. However, there are many people who could be hated for being the ones who brought Jesus to the cross, and one person who should not be left out of the blame game is Jesus Himself!

     Think about it! The disciples brought two swords to the garden the night Jesus was arrested. Peter knew Jesus had done things the religious leaders wanted Him dead for. Peter knew that to keep Jesus alive they would need to fight, but before they went to the garden, Jesus said the two swords they had would be enough. When the guards came to Jesus in the garden, Peter stepped up and tried to defend Jesus. He ended up cutting off the ear of a temple guard, but Jesus told Peter to put away his sword. Then, Jesus in an incredible act of compassion, heals one of the very guards sent to lead Him to His death! So, once again it is not just a cute answer to say that Jesus gave His life. Jesus did nothing to prevent them from taking Him. The story tells us Jesus does nothing to defend Himself before the Jewish council or in front of Pilot. Jesus was not afraid of them. Pilot asks Jesus if He (Jesus) realizes that he (Pilot) is the man who can put a stop to all this? Jesus tells Pilot he would have no authority except it be given him from the Father! So, once again Jesus is as responsible for sending Jesus to the cross as anyone! Should we hate Jesus for giving His life?

     There is also one more thing that deserves to be looked at here! It is true we have all sinned! We have failed to be responsible, for the knowledge of good and evil we received in the Garden of Eden. God knew we would fail to live up to His glory and be responsible with this knowledge. That is why God told Adam not to take of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the first place! (Gen. 2:16-17) (To understand this point better, read the commentary from issue #2 titled "Knowing the Tree." It can be found on our website. Click on newsletter, then back issues, then Issue 2. Or you can write us and request a free copy.) So, yes we have all sinned and there is no excuse! However, the Bible tells us that by one man sin entered the world, and that man was Adam! (Romans 5:1-21) If you really want the shorthand answer as to why Jesus had to die, it was because Adam brought sin on us all! Every offspring of Adam had no choice in the matter. Every descendant of Adam is born with the knowledge of good and evil. We are all responsible for it, and not a one of us has the ability to live up to the glory of God! So, this brings us to a very interesting point in this discussion! Should we all hate Adam because he sinned, because he brought sin unto us all? He really is the reason Jesus had to come and die! If we are going to get on a high horse, believe we can judge someone else for their sin, and believe we would have done so much better, then it only stands to reason that we should be angry at Adam! On that note, I think this is a good time to move on to our second question, and we will talk about both the Jews and the Adam issue at the same time!

     Our second question is, does it make any sense that passion plays bring up anti-Semitic feelings? However, after talking about the above question we really only need to talk about one simple issue, and that is the fact that Christ asked us to follow Him! Jesus did not just mean for His disciples to physically follow Him around. He taught us that we all needed to follow in His footsteps. He told us to take up our cross and follow Him! (Matt. 10:34-38) Let's make one thing very clear here, Jesus' blood brought forgiveness for ALL sin. The question is not whether our sin can really be washed away. The question is do we want it to be? The wages of sin is death, and that is a fact we can not escape! (Romans 6:23) We are all headed to the grave. This means no one still living on this planet is really saved. If sin was a river, we would all be headed for that raging waterfall down stream. This is true whether we are following God or not. Sin has sealed our fate! The difference is, have we decided to give up the things of this life and strive to be righteous? That is what we are talking about when we refer to repentance of sin. Now, whether we achieve a great level of righteousness or not is not the issue. (Thanks be to God!) There is no level we are trying to get to so God will save us, but we are striving for a level. God tells us in His Word we are to be perfect, as He is perfect! (Matt. 5:48) God knew that man would not achieve perfection in this lifetime. No matter how hard we try, sin will always keep us from reaching all around perfection. Sin still tries to reign in our mortal bodies. (Romans 6:12) We will need to fight it daily! (Romans 7:17-21) However, this fact will not stop a true believer in God from trying, but that is the question posed to all mankind, do we even want to try? There are those who do and those who do not. For those who do want to try, God reached down and gave His Son Jesus to make a way for us to go forward in our desire to be what God wants us to be. This life may hold us down, but not forever. The wages of sin may be death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! So to live is Christ and to die is gain! (Philip. 1:21)

     Now, how does all of this answer our second question? Simple, for the one who hears and truly receives (the receive part is very important, because the Bible tells us that many hear but only a few will listen. (James 1:21-22)) the message of the Passion of Christ, for the one who really understands and believes that Christ's death is the answer to life's questions, there is no room to hate anyone !! Not Adam or Eve who took of the fruit, not the Jews who wanted Jesus executed, not the temple guard who's right ear was cut off by Peter, not even the Roman soldier who drove the nails into Jesus' hands! If Jesus could hang on that cross and still look down asking the Father, to forgive them for they know not what they do, (Luke 23:34) then there is no excuse for any of us to give place in our hearts for hate!

     So, no, it does not make any sense that anyone would hate Jews or anyone else after seeing what Jesus sacrificed for us! The issue is simple. If you do not love Jesus, then why would you care who killed Him? If you say you love Jesus and hate anyone, then you are a liar !! (Luke 6:27-38, John 14:15)

     This brings us to our third and final question. Should passion plays be stopped because of this issue? I must start here by saying it grieves my heart that the Jews must suffer so many things. However, it is true that all who follow or represent the things of God will suffer persecution in this world. Jesus told us the world would hate us for His name's sake! (Matt. 10:16-22, Luke 6:22, John 15:17-19) The Devil will stop at nothing to try and halt the gospel from going forward, but we can not let him win! We must always strive to tell the story of Christ's love for us. Even if this means we will die for doing so. For the message of Christ, Jews have died at the hands of other Jews. Jews have died at the hands of other peoples. People of every nationality have died at the hands of people of every nationality for the sake of the cross. However, we must never relent. We must never stop telling the story of the day; Christ paid the debt we could not pay!

     At the top of this article I printed this ministries supporting statement of the Jews. When you teach the Word of God, you talk a lot about what the Jewish nation has gone, and is going through. The Bible puts them under a very intense spotlight. Why? because that is what they were established for. As we teach the Bible, we must talk about the road they have traveled, the times they did good, the ways in which they did good, the times they have failed, and the ways in which they failed to follow God. These things serve as examples for us, and we must teach them. However, the things we look at and see as failures on the part of the Jews, are no excuse to judge them! Instead, these things should serve as eye openers to help us realize just how much we need God and His plan of Salvation! If a people, specially called by God, given a law directly from God, and led by the hand of God, has had the trouble the Jews have had not falling to the temptation of sin, then what hope is there for the rest of the world? The Jews illustrate how hard it is not to get so caught up in the flesh and the things of this world, that you do not even receive the very Messiah you've been waiting for. Do not be fooled by people who say the Jews are cursed or rejected by God. People who hate Jews do so, not because they truly believe they could have served God better, or because they want to serve God better. This truth is evident in the very fact that they hate anyone, and nothing emphasizes this truth greater than hating God's chosen people, a people who God tells us in His word we would be cursed if we curse them, and we would be blessed if we bless them! (Gen. 12:1-3) People who hate Jews will use any excuse to do evil things!

     In closing, I want to say two more things that are kind of a postscript note. First, when we tell the story of Christ's passion, let's tell it right. We must strive to tell the whole story and tell it the way the Bible tells it. Strive to get it as accurate as can be and leave nothing out. We may not always have the time and opportunity to tell the entire Bible from start to finish, but the part we cover should be complete. It was said that in this latest film the subtitles that interpret the words of the Jewish crowd were left out when they say, "His blood be on us, and on our children." (Matt. 27:25) I know that not everyone would understand these words. Many, may look at these words as a curse, but they are actually very precious. We need the opportunity to tell the world that in reality these words are the very thing we need most. We should all pray as we walk in this world filled with the temptation of sin, "please God, let the blood of Christ be upon us and our children"! It is only in that blood which Jesus gave freely, we have any chance at life. This promise comes first to Jerusalem, then Judaea, then Samaria, and on to the uttermost part of the earth! (Acts 1:8)

     The second thing I wish to leave you with, is the fact that if we really care for God's people we should be willing to give on their behalf. Through the millennium the Jews have suffered much for the sake of being God's chosen people. Hitler understood that if he was going to build a world where the things of man were all that mattered, he needed to destroy the Jews first. Not the Christians, but the nation unto whom the oracles of God were intrusted! (Romans 3:1- 4) People who use a passion play as an excuse to up their anti-Semitic ways are simply using the story as an excuse! Sadly, as I said before, this doesn't mean the Jews will not suffer more because of this film, but there are things we can do to help. So, I would encourage all of you to send a gift to a ministry that fights to relieve the physical suffering of God's chosen people. Take this time, especially if you do not do so on a regular basis, to share what God has blessed you with, for those people who have suffered so much for the Word of God! We owe them much. They have plowed the road and we have learned from them. They have given to the world, and the world should give back, especially those claiming to know God. It is very likely that without the stories of their struggles, most of us would have never found God! If they hadn't been the people of the Book, we would not have God's Word to feed on! I do not think any of us know or can quite imagine what a world without the Jewish contribution would be like. So once again, I encourage you to give. This would be a great time for Christians to show they know the truth of God's Word, and instead of huddling in the corner listening to the threats of men that say they will destroy the People of God, we should stand up like never before and show the world that we will not stand idly by! So, give what you can as an individual. Give what you can as a family. Ask the pastor of your church and/or the leader of your Bible study group to take up a special offering for Jewish relief. Do it every week this film is in the theaters. Let Christians fill up the coffers to help Jews in need. Let us show the world that there may be those who believe Jews are cursed, but we are not those people. Let's show them we know the truth! So, give like never before and let this be a time of blessing for you as well as God's people!

     If you do not know of a charity that helps Jews, let me suggest you send your gift to The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. This ministry supports a wide variety of relief for Jewish people. Make checks payable to "The Fellowship" and mail them to Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, PO. Box 37364, Washington, DC 20013-7364. If it is more convenient for you, feel free to send your check or money order to Living Springs Institute. Our address is P.O. Box 271, Loveland, CO 80539. Make checks payable to Living Springs and be sure to fill in the "for" line to let us know you want to help Jews. We will make sure every dollar is given to that purpose! Thank you, and it is the promise of God that He will bless you!

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