From the beginning, God has used signs to draw mankind to Himself. For example, “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years”
Jesus continued the revelation of signs:
1.The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
2.He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
3.And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
The Greek word for “sign” is sēmĕiŏn, say-mi´-on; neut. of a presumed der. of the base of 4591; an indication, espec. cer. or supernat.:—miracle, sign, token, wonder.
Semeion refers to a special communication between God to man. In other words, using either a natural or supernatural event, God communicates with man to inform, warn or to bless us. A sign is a message that remains hidden until someone of God’s choosing presses in through:
i.His Word and/or prayer
…who then receives a special revelation attached to the sign:
“The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant”
One of the greatest signs of the Israel-Hamas conflict is the incredible revelation that the word “hamas” literally appears in the Biblical text. That’s right, you read that correctly…God inspired the literal word “hamas” to be included in the Biblical text although the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 dates the completion of the OT canon back to 125 to 200 BC!!!
How is the Biblical word “hamas” defined in the Hebrew language?
châmâc̨, khaw-mawce´; from 2554; violence; by impl. wrong; by meton. unjust gain:—cruel (-ty), damage, false, injustice, × oppressor, unrighteous, violence (against, done), violent (dealing), wrong. -Strong’s
ḥāmās: A masculine noun meaning violence, wrong. It implies cruelty, damage, and injustice. Abraham’s cohabiting with Hagar is described as a wrong done to Sarah (Gen. 16:5). In relation to physical violence, cruelty is implied (Judg. 9:24). When coupled with the term instrument or weapon, it becomes an attributive noun describing weapons or instruments of violence (Ps. 58:2). When it describes a person, it can mean an oppressor or a violent man (Prov. 3:31)
-Zodhiates, Hebrew Dictionary
However, in the Arabic language, Wikipedia defines 'hamas':
EtymologyHamas is an acronym of the Arabic phrase حركة المقاومة الإسلامية or Ḥarakah al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah, meaning "Islamic Resistance Movement". This acronym, HMS, was later glossed in the Hamas Covenant by the Arabic word ḥamās (حماس) which itself means "zeal", "strength", or "bravery". (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas)
As you can see, the Hebrew and Arabic languages define the word ‘hamas’ entirely different. Because the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we give Scripture the final determining factor. Following are 7 of the 60 verses where ‘hamas’ is used.
Incredibly, what we find is an exact description of contemporary ‘Hamas’ terrorist group:
Gen6:11- The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Gen6:13-And God said unto Noah, the end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Ps74:20 - Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.
Ps11:5- The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth
Ps140:1- Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
Ps140:4 -Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man;
who have purposed to overthrow my goings.
Ps140:11- Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
Tragically, does Ezekiel describe the end of ‘hamas’?!?!?!
Eze7:11 - Violence is risen up into a rod of wickedness: none of them shall remain, nor of their multitude, nor of any of theirs: neither shall there be wailing for them.
I can only remind you that the word ‘hamas’ included into the Biblical text is not an accident, but a ‘sign’ to whoever has ears to hear, and eyes to see (Matt11:15)!!!
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
22.Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
23.And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?
24.For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee forever: and thou, LORD, art become their God.
26.And let thy name be magnified forever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee.
Make no mistake about it… the eternal God*, Who is: the only Sovereign2*; Who alone created3*; Who alone reigns4*; Who alone is Lord5*; Who alone is omniscient6*; Who possesses infinite understanding7*; Who possesses both…all power8* and all authority9*…
…has a unique calling on Israel!!!
David recognized this calling in 2Samuel 7:23 and 26. Incredibly, this inspired prayer declares that even God recognized His own calling upon the nation of Israel: “thou (God) hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee forever.”
Moreover, God calls Israel to be a special people—to HIMSELF10*---”FOREVER”!!! I repeat, this is a forever calling!!!! And, don’t forget that the references to the calling of God upon Israel in this passage are based upon the Sovereignty of God, which means His rulership as God, which He reveals in 7:22!
And what’s even more amazing, this calling is SOOOO special that God even associated His VERY Name with it: “And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel” (Gen33:20). The Hebrew words “Elelohe-Israel” are His Name, which means: “God, the God of Israel”!
Because God is eternal, which means no beginning and no end, and because His name as revealed in Genesis 33:20 did not become His name when He revealed it, but has always been His name from eternity-past to eternity-future…means God has an eternal covenant with Israel!!
Furthermore, Jeremiah also recognized God’s call on Israel: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah” (Jer31:31).
This entire Jeremiah passage reveals some amazing truths about this new covenant:
35.Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
36.If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.
37.Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done saith the LORD.
This text declares that God made the sun, and ordinances of the moon and stars, etc. But…in verse 36, He promises if those “ordinances” depart; then, and only then, can Israel cease from being a nation---forever!!! I repeat, this is a forever promise!!!!
And again, God repeats Himself in verse 37 using another analogy to ‘WARN’ any individual or people group trying to destroy Israel. In this verse, God sovereignly declares that if a person can measure the heavens above, or search out the earth below---only then---will God cast off Israel!!!
In other words, God has stamped His name on Israel---AND---no individual; or nation; or false God--can ever change that!! To attempt to do so---will only bring a curse upon the perpetrators!
Promise to Abraham
1.Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2.And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3.And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
!Warning to all the nations!
If you insist on attacking Israel—you will only destroy yourself!!! If you doubt me—just do a short study of Israel’s history…AND the nations who tried to destroy them! Ask yourself a question: Where are those nations now?!? Remember, God says,
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. - Zech12:9
And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.
19.Remember the great terrors the Lord your God sent against them. You saw it all with your own eyes! And remember the miraculous signs and wonders, and the strong hand and powerful arm with which he brought you out of Egypt. The Lord your God will use this same
power against all the people you fear.
20.And then the Lord your God will send terror to drive out the few survivors still hiding from you!
21.“No, do not be afraid of those nations, for the Lord your God is among you, and he is a great and awesome God.
But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. -Is45:17
Economics and the Church. Why The anti-Prosperity Preachers Are Wrong!-5
Until the mid to late 19th century, history has shown that neither the church nor the world has contributed positively to the poverty of the nations.
First, regarding the world, Roger McKinney in his incredible book ‘God is a Capitalist; writes, “In 44 B.C. Cicero declared that “commerce*, if on a small scale is to be regarded as vulgar…”” (pg22). On page 63, McKinney continues, “…from at least the time of Aristotle until the 16th century AD Europeans held business in low esteem, often lower than prostitution. The culture valued plunder in war, bribery of state officials, kidnapping for ransom and monopolies on trade as the ‘noble’ means toward greater wealth.”
Second, and as usual, when the church leaves the Word of God, it becomes worse than the world!! On page 63 McKinney unveils the church’s attitude toward business, “Commerce was considered worse than prostitution, and so evil that it condemned the merchant’s soul to hell. As a result of this disdain for their profession, merchants who became wealthy did not reinvest their wealth to expand their businesses but gave much of their wealth to the Church to redeem their souls from hell.”
Although I’m uncertain exactly when the Church became corrupt, one of the methods they invented to extract money from the people—which tragically contributed to mass poverty--is the blasphemous notion of ‘Indulgences’. One false practice of ‘Indulgences’ declared that during the celebration of Communion---which they unscripturally declared was the way to salvation--- priests withheld the Communion elements until a parishioner paid them money!!! As evil as the doctrine of ‘Indulgences’ was, it did not stand alone, but originated from another false doctrine known as Transubstantiation, which taught that a priest’s prayer over Communion miraculously turned the bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ.
Of course, although wicked, one can easily understand the flow of thought, or how Transubstantiation could have given birth Indulgences: the miracle of turning the bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Christ---ought to be compensated!!! In other words, as we now know from the practice of the sin of lasciviousness(Gal5:19), without the intervention of the Holy Spirit, one sin often leads to another.
Another name for the diabolical heresy of ‘Indulgences’ is Simony**-- the making of profit out of sacred things; after Simon the sorcerer who tried to pay Peter to receive the Baptism with the Holy Spirit in Acts 8.
However, the church’s tragic misunderstanding of economics did not begin with Simony. It probably first occurred with St. Augustine (354-430AD), and later Thomas Aquinas(1225-1274), who “carried the utilitarian approach to property into the thirteenth century, asserting that property comes from practical law, not natural, or God’s law.”*** “In other words, property is good or bad depending on its use. Proper use involves the pursuit of higher, spiritual, ends.” McKinney continues, “It logically follows that if a wealthy person does not use his wealth properly as defined by theologians, that is, by giving most of it to the poor or the Church, his improper use nullifies his ownership. Excess wealth retained by the owner became the equivalent of stealing from the poor.” (pg135)
However, McKinney offers a defense for the church’s unbiblical thinking: “In their defense, the Church father’s worried about the poor, and rightly so, for much of the population lived on the edge of starvation. Church fathers had no idea that investment in better tools could improve worker productivity, raise wages and rescue most of the poor from their starvation. Even today few theologians understand it and too many economists refuse to acknowledge it. Another two centuries would pass before Adam Smith discovered how the dynamics of this ‘system of natural freedom’ could lift an entire nation to levels of wealth not imagined by the nobility of the late Middle Ages.” (pg136)
Yet, McKinney continues to highlight the Church’s doctrinal errors that in practice led to poverty, “Theologians failed the common church members by applying different principles to the nobility and king. While the church insisted that wealthy merchants should give their excess wealth to the poor they often justified the conspicuous consumption of the nobility and kings as necessary because of their status in society. They insisted on the sanctity of property between common people, but ignored the theft by the nobility and kings of property owned by commoners. And while preaching the importance of free markets and condemning monopolies, they allowed the state virtually unlimited power over the market.” (pg136)
What we have learned is that just like yesteryear, the contemporary church is guilty of ignoring both God’s abundant nature, and His word--in the area of economics, i.e.money. While I have personally found 1,000 verses on the subject of money, Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church in Dallas/Fort Worth Texas, in his book “The Blessed Life” writes, “There are more than 500 verses in the Bible concerning prayer and nearly 500 verses concerning faith, but there are more than 2,000 verses on the subject of money and possessions.” (pg13)
The following is just one scripture unveiling God’s will for prosperity:
Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
Finally, anytime the church**** departs from God’s word, the devil fills the void (1Tim4:1) by sending ungodly men to “spoil”, i.e.“to take men captive”(Col2:8) who substitute their own demonic philosophy; and/or who raise up “high things” that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God(2Cor5:10). Therefore, it is my humble opinion that the church’s complete disregard for the Word of God--over centuries of time---in the area of economics, i.e.property ownership, i.e.finances, i.e.financial prosperity---literally drove the world, including many supposed Christians, directly into the arms of Karl Marx(1818-1883), i.e.Communism/Socialism/Fascism!
*he refers to business.
***God is a Capitalist, Roger McKinney, pg 135.
****or an individual