"The editor, to misinterpret worldly events as Barry has
done (and apologised for), is one thing, but to misinterpret Scripture is, in my
opinion more serious, and I would like to comment on Andrew Smith's article
'Whose God Is He Anyway'...December Issue...where are we told to pray for
Israel? We are told to pray for all in authority....to say that God chose Israel
for His purpose is true, but to say that God could not fulfil His own covenant
without them is incomprehensible!...surely we should keep our eyes on Jesus...and
witnessing to the truth of the gospel , and to whoever we can without partiality"
Patricia Shepherd, Sheffeild, UK
Dear Patricia, When I began writing the 'Whose God Is He
Anyway' series, it was to be based on 'my understanding' of the topic. One
of my objectives was to 'stir' people into considering the course God has
chosen to reveal Himself to 'the world'. I knew the title would get a
response...as would some of my comments. You have called my commentary 'misinterpreting
Scripture' which is how you see it. For others, they have become hungry for a
knowledge of the Scriptures and have begun to study as a result of what they've
read...no doubt, at various times my comments will be found to be in
disagreement with their findings. As with any ministry or writing, the
limitation of humanity exists SO, aspects of my understanding are bound to
disagree with your own. If the final fruit of our theology is not a Revelation
of Jesus -– I believe we miss the boat regardless. Other than this -– like
facets of a diamond, we all appreciate something special that stands out to us.
You are correct in stating that 'nowhere in the New
Testament are we told to pray for Israel'. Scriptures like Romans 11:11-12,18-23,25-29)
give me my reason for 'praying for Israel'. Because we know
God's plan and purpose, we pray towards the fulfilment of it. Romans 10:1
outlines Paul's heart desire and prayer for Israel in the light of their 'missing
the boat'. I did word it badly saying "God tells us to". Re/. God not
being able to fulfil His covenant without the Jews...I stand by what I have
stated -– in the context that "this is the way God chose to act and relate to
man". We agree that Sovereign God can do as He pleases. However, throughout
the history of mankind, God has chosen to 'limit himself' to various
relationships (eg. Hebrews 2:9) that His purpose should be fulfilled. It is not an
imposed limitation but a 'self imposed' one! Always God's call...always
'for His own Namesake' (Psalm 23:3; Isaiah 48:9-11; Psalm 130:3; 1 Peter 4:18; 1 John 2:12).
I think the Whose God Is He Anyway articles may appear to some to be one
sided and pro Israel...the focus is definitely on Israel -– although via God's
plan (Mystery) salvation is offered to us. Romans 11:8 states that "God hath given
them the spirit of slumber, eyes that should not see, ears that should not hear,
unto this day". I did agree with a lot of your thoughts, including the
contexts you raised. Still ultimately, I believe salvation comes 'from God'
via the Jews to us, as God's plan intended. Ed.
Dear Ed, I recently had a very real dream, in which I was
feeling very scared...I saw Jesus...He told me to let go of what I was holding
onto and trust Him...I felt so secure....I felt a sense of hope and worth. Do
you believe Jesus talks to us in our dreams? Leanne, Victoria
Dear Leanne. I believe the Lord can talk with us in lots of
different ways, including dreams. I think many times we in the Western world are
afraid of 'new age or occult' sneaking into our lives when the subject of
dreams comes up. The Bible gives many accounts of God using dreams and visions
to communicate with people. The important part becomes 'the message'...because
the message can bear good or negative fruit eg. your message from Jesus was an
understanding of where you are, and a wonderful sense of security in Jesus arms.
If the message carried you into a sense of fear or guilt I would be tempted to
discard it. On occasions I have felt that God is directing some of my pending
decisions via dreams. Because we are human, prone to mistakes, I like to have
some confirmation of the direction from another source too! John 10:27 is for
you Leanne. Ed.
"Dear Andrew, Please include more excellent articles by
Marcus Arden in future issues!!" Francis & Peter Corban
Dear Francis and Peter, thankyou for your letter re/. Marcus
Arden's ministry. I describe Marcus' teaching as 'a breath of fresh air'
-– even in areas which would be deemed negative subjects, he has the ability to
bring out practical, useful scriptural direction...as is God's plan -– with
view to positive results and outcomes in our lives. We will bring you Marcus'
articles as often as we can. Ed.