NOW, at this point in time, and through history, the Jews' cry "HIS
BLOOD BE ON US AND OUR CHILDREN" has literally been permitted by God.
(Matt 27:25). Christ was crucified for the sin of the world, ALL men and
women were responsible for His death, but the Jews have borne their rejection
of their Messiah for nearly two thousand years. The fearful events of AD
70; when they were banished from England in AD 1020; the casting out from
France in AD 1306; the horrors when they were banished from Prague and
later in Constantinople in AD 1560; the Spanish Inquisition, AD 1492 when
Ferdinand and Isabella banished all Jews from Spain; Hitler and the Holocaust
- so much has happened to these people who are still God's chosen people.
NOW they are back in their land, awaiting the dealings of God and the time
when they will accept the Lord Jesus as Messiah. But a time of God's judgement
still awaits in the Tribulation.
"TRODDEN DOWN of the Gentiles until the Times of the Gentiles
"Therefore fear not, O my servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel;.....For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee; though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I NOT MAKE A FULL END OF THEE." (Jer. 30:10,11).
"And I will bring again the captivity of my people 'Israel' and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall NO MORE BE PULLED UP OUT OF THEIR LAND." (Amos 9:14,15).
Revelation 13; 17 and 18. The Bible indicates that the Woman riding the Beast will be drunk with the blood of the martyrs. This One World Church will bring persecution to all that object that will be merciless and relentless.
* NOTE: the JEWISH RABBI input into the merger of faiths!
"Thanksgiving was created as a day of reflection, a day to show gratitude to God for life and its many blessings. Often in America, however, the focus becomes football and feasting.
Last week, a group of leading clergy and academic scholars gathered in Dallas to discuss how to return to the true meaning of Thanksgiving and make it a more global holiday.
The four-day meeting of the Thanksgiving World Advisors at Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas sought common ground among Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam for celebrating a day of thanks.
Thanksgiving is a necessary element of the growing up of a human person as a human beingþ said Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Vatican Secretariat and Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. Thanksgiving is one of the high points of religious worship.
The get-together, organized by the Center for World Thanksgiving, also allowed the religious and academic leaders to sit down in a small group and talk to cone another about their faith.
Elizabeth Espersen, executive director of the Center for World Thanksgiving, said last week's meetings gave the advisers an opportunity to speak at a very profound level. She recounted that one of them, Rabbi David Rosen of Jerusalem, said most interfaith meetings have 50, 100 or 200 attendees, a size that makes it very difficult to hold informative discussions.
What we do here is ask them to give us advice and also provide them
extended contact and in-depth interchange,
Ms. Espersen said. :When you think about it, this happens a lot in the world of business. It should be happening in terms of religion."
Rabbi Rosen, international director of Inter-Faith Relations for Israel and Rome for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith, said the meeting was a chance for profound personal interchange.
An encounter with a person of faith is an encounter with God himself, said the rabbi, who helped negotiate the recent Vatican Israel agreement.
Feisal Abdul-Rauf, Imam of a New York City mosque and son of Center co-rector Tan Sri Dr. Muhammad Abdul-Rauf, also spoke highly of the diverse religious perspectives present at the meetings.
One of the things about inter-faith (contact) is that it brings us together and gives us insights into our own faiths, he said.
But most of the group's energy was focused on getting more people in the world to show gratitude and give thanks for God's blessings.
In keeping with the meeting's theme Seeking Common Ground: Thanksgiving in a World of Conflict, the religious and academic leaders pored over psalms to find ones that everyone found acceptable for a possible worldwide ceremony.
The advisers were updated on the efforts of people in the Northern Ireland city of Belfast, torn apart by religious differences, to build their own Thanks-Giving Square sanctuary. There also are plans to build a Thanks-Giving Square in the Olympic Village in Atlanta.
The Belfast and Atlanta groups were sent bells as a tiny symbol to them from us saying, `More power to you in your ambition,' said Peter Stewart, founder of the Thanks-Giving Foundation.
Discussions also centered on the prospects for a World Thanks-giving Day and even a World Year of Thanks.
The United Nations has the year of the child, the family, the woman,þ said Cardinal Arinze. þA year for thanksgiving wouldn't be a bad idea at all.
Cardinal Arinze, who has been mentioned as a possible successor to Pope John Paul II, said thanks-giving þlooms large in our lives.
"Thanksgiving, after all, is not a gift which we give to God", he said. It is a debt which we owe. The promotion of thanksgiving becomes not only a human act, it also becomes a religious act."
But Dr. Mahmoud M. Ayoub, professor of Islamic Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, said that while thanksgiving must be tied to the religions that celebrate it, the advisers also must find a way to bring in those people who do not look up to a god.
"For thanksgiving to be a general principle to which all human beings could relate, it need not be completely tied to religion', Dr. Ayoub said. "That's why I say thanks-giving is not a ritual, but an attitude. It's not just a time to eat turkey, smoke cigars and watch football."
The attitude reminds us of the gratitude of thanksgiving in a real way.
Cardinal Arinze agreed, saying that the advisers þmust not presume that everybody gives thanks.þ Bishop Seigen H. Yamaoka, president of the Buddhist Church of America, said the youth of the world must be involved in any thanksgiving movement to ensure that the tradition will continue for years to come.
"That's something we have to deal with now," the bishop said. When we talk about future religions, we need to understand where to focus the attention. There will be issues there. How will religion deal with the needs and concerns they have?
That's what the future is.
Bishop Yamaoka also compared thanksgiving and gratitude to a window. "Gratitude opens up individuals to other things,þ he said. þGratitude allows things to come in. Without gratitude, nothing comes in."
The one issue the advisers must emphasize, said Dr. K.L. Seshagiri Rao, a Hindu scholar working on a 17 volume encyclopedia of Hinduism, is that thanksgiving is not controversial, only practical. "Thanksgiving tells us that there are other values in our world than material values." he said.
Rabbi Rosen agreed with Dr. Rao. "The problem with living in a free societ"y, the rabbi said, "is that what we have is the measure of one rather than what we are."
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