And Then We Were Christians
By J.L. Robb
It was tough being a Hebrew in the days of slavery under African rule in Egypt.
The Hebrews, descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, started off pretty well in Egypt, thanks to Jacob’s son, Joseph. Joseph, a victim of sibling rivalry, was sold to desert travelers and taken to Egypt where he was sold to a man named Potiphar, a prince to Pharaoh. Potiphar liked Joseph’s work (slave) ethic and attitude; and before long Potiphar put him in charge of his other slaves.
Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife took a liking to Joseph; but the feelings were not returned. Feeling scorned, she told Potiphar that Joseph tried to seduce her but she declined. A short time later, Joseph was in jail. Because of his uncanny ability to decipher dreams, Pharaoh finally got word of Joseph’s gift and sent for him.
Next thing you know, Joseph had deciphered some of Pharaoh’s troubling dreams; and Pharaoh promoted Joseph to be his right-hand man, second in command. When Joseph is later joined by his father and brothers, a convoluted story in itself, his family is quite surprised at the living conditions. Royalty was something they had never experienced.
As things happen, a new Pharaoh came along, Joseph and his descendants were enslaved; and 400 years later, Moses freed them with the help of God’s great miracles. And the future Children of Israel complained.
It was tough being a Jew in the days of Roman rule.
The Judahites (first use of the term Jews) were a feisty group, and the Roman centurions put up with little. There were no Miranda Rights back then, and the life of a Jew was not considered of value to many. Persecution of a people who had only one God by a group who had many gods. The Romans considered a group who had only a single God as a little nutty.
Then when Jesus came along to save the Jews from themselves, many of the Jews believed him. With their own eyes they saw miracles that man had never seen and has never seen since. When Jesus cured the man’s blindness, he did not slam him in the head and knock him to the ground; he simply commanded. There was little drama like we see on TV, which of course is false prophecy that deceives even the most elect.
The Jews that saw Jesus and believed were ostracized by the Pharisees and “normal” Jews who knew for sure that the Messiah would ride in on a big, white horse with lots of armor and weapons; and kill all their enemies. Did not happen. Was not predicted to happen at that time. That would be Armageddon.
If you saw a man feed 5,000+ people with a couple of fish and loaves of bread, it would probably make a believer of you. If not, maybe when they picked up basket upon basket of food scraps?
If you saw a man who had been dead for 4 days and had begun decomposition, come back to life; would you believe?
A man named Jesus tells an odorous man to get up after 4 days of death, and he does. Would that be convincing?
Unfortunately, the Pharisees did not see the miracles; and if so, like UFOs, they did not talk about it. I bet, however, there were a few Roman guards that saw it; and I am sure it was confusing. Some probably became believers.
Priests, preachers and rabbis often have huge egos, like “normal” people. The rabbis of Jesus’ day did not accept Jesus as the expected Messiah but as an imposter like others had been.
Jesus put them in their place, which was not a good place. He called out their egos and partiality and hypocrisy. He threw out the Temple vendors, and who will ever know how many kickbacks to the Pharisees that entailed?
So they killed him, just like predicted.
It’s tough being a Christian these days, and it probably has been tough since Jesus walked the earth. It was certainly tough on Jesus when he was nailed to the cross, and what had he done other than help those in need and tick off the Jewish priesthood.
In 64 A.D. in Nero’s day, persecution of Jews and Christians was the norm. Christians were fed to lions, and Nero had them hung on posts and set on fire for his garden landscape lighting.
Twenty years later Domitian came to power and supposedly boiled John the Apostle in oil, though he somehow lived. Domitian lorded over the Second Persecution of the Christians.
It has not gone away.
To be Jewish or Christian, considering that Christians are spiritual Jews, in today’s world is to be denigrated, insulted and assaulted. We are the “problem” with the world, not the decadence that Hollywood spews out or the hundreds of murdered in Chicago or Decadence Parades in the Keys and New Orleans.
Jews are leaving Europe in droves, making their way toward Israel, their ancient homeland. Isaiah the Prophet predicted it perfectly 2,700 years ago when he asked how a new country, the country of Israel after it had been destroyed, could come into existence in a single day, because it was not possible:
Who has ever heard of such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Will a land be brought to birth in one day?
Or will a nation be born all at once?
And of course, the answer was yes, May 14, 1948. In a single day, Israel became a country… again. The one and only time a country has ceased to exist and was reborn. The prophecy that this would happen was remarkable.
But it was tough being a new Israeli. They became a nation on May 14, 1948; and on May 15, 1948, one minute after statehood, they were attacked by five Arab nations who invaded and tried to resteal the land they stole in 700 A.D. That is why there were the Crusades.
In today’s world, the world of hope and change, being a Christian or Jew has become more difficult than usual.
Everyone seems to love Islam, like Raymond. If the people who think that would be a cool lifestyle would do a little research, they would see that they would not get a chance to enjoy it. It is hard to breathe when one is headless.
Christians today, throughout the Middle East, are losing their heads; and it is not on the news. Why not? Don’t we care? Apparently, it doesn’t sell news.
According to a report January 6 on FOX News:
Christians continued to be the most persecuted group across the globe in 2016, according to a study.
The upcoming report from Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions, determined that 90,000 Christians were killed for their beliefs worldwide last year and nearly a third were at the hands of Islamic extremists like ISIS. Others were killed by state and non-state persecution, including in places like North Korea.
“U.S. policy has not had a strategy for specifically addressing the persecution of Christians,” Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for the Clarion Project, told FoxNews.com “For example, very few people are even aware that Iraqi Christians began organizing to defend themselves and needed our help.”
The study also found that as many as 600 million Christians were prevented from practicing their faith in 2016.
The findings continue a disturbing trend from the previous year in which Christians around the world endured horrific acts of persecution, including imprisonment and beheadings.
“These numbers underscore what we already know,” Robert Nicholson of the Philos Project said to Foxnews.com. “There are many places on earth where being a Christian is the most dangerous thing you can be.
“Those who think of Christianity as a religion of the powerful need to see that in many places it’s a religion of the powerless. And the powerless deserve to be protected.”
You can read more here: Christian Seige
You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Jesus, Matthew 10:22 NIV