The Prophesies are Fulfilled

Posted by Roberta Grimes • December 23, 2023 • 43 Comments
Jesus, The Source, The Teachings of Jesus

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
– John Mason Neale (1818-1866), translator, from a 15th century Franciscan Processional.

Never in the long span of human history has there been a people more targeted, more hounded, and more generally all-around cursed and despised than the Jews, who for the past four thousand years have been God’s Chosen People. I like the way Tevye puts it, he who sings as the hero of that delightful musical story of precarious Jewish life amid late Imperial Russia’s persecutions and pogroms, “Fiddler on the Roof.” Tevye says, “It’s nice to be God’s Chosen People. But it might be good if once in a while God chooses someone else.”

And as you and I watch life for God’s Chosen People play out yet again across the twenty-first-century world, we can sympathize with Tevye’s point. When you read the Christian Bible from cover to cover, as I did often during the first half of my life, you see this extraordinary relationship between the Jewish people and their God as a loving, proud and desperate dance of pain and triumph over four thousand years, really ever since Abraham, the founding Patriarch of not just Judaism but also of Christianity and Islam. It is a relationship created by people, of course, and with a God of their own devising, since the genuine God is only love. And as with all such relationships, the Jews’ relationship with their God is fraught with human-created problems. But you can see that it was those very problems that have bound the Jews together as a people, have built their identity down through the ages, and have made them so devout, so resolute, and so unbelievably strong.

It is no wonder to me that Jesus chose to be born and to live His human life as a Jew. He has told me just that He wanted to be born from the Godhead in the same area where He had lived before, where there were settled cities, and where there would not be wars during His lifetime on earth, so He could spend that time first studying humankind, and then teaching what He had been born to teach about human life and the nature of reality, and about God. But He was especially eager to begin His mission by studying people, and there were things that Jesus could learn about being human by living as a member of a persecuted underclass that He never could have learned by being born near any society’s top. There even is some evidence that Jesus might have been born into slavery. And here were God’s Chosen People, the Jews, who perfectly filled the bill for Him.

I don’t know why it took so long after His previous death for Jesus to return to earth. From what little He and Thomas have told me, Jesus’s decision to be born out of the Godhead in order to teach all of us how to escape the cycle of rebirths was immediate: Jesus’s decision was made as soon as He became a Perfected Being and discovered that His earthly brothers could not follow Him. There was some sort of contest going on here that He had apparently won, but without even realizing that there had been a contest going on at all. He flat-out could not stand the unfairness of it! The very thing that had made Jesus such a winner – the fact that He was so naturally loving – made Him insist on going right back to the earth that minute, so He could teach everyone else how to achieve spiritual perfection, just as He had managed to do it, all on His own and without even trying. But yet, there was a delay of some four thousand earth-years between His death as a Neolithic princeling who had become a Perfected Being, and His subsequent birth two thousand years ago that we are once again about to celebrate.

Much is made of the fact that there are ancient Biblical prophesies of the sacred birth of Jesus. And, yes indeed, those prophesies are there in the Christian Bible’s Old Testament. There are not many, but they are there. Some are pretty obscure, like this one: “I see him, but not now; I look at him, but not near; A star shall appear from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel, and shall smash the forehead of Moab, and overcome all the sons of Sheth” (Numbers 24:17). I call this one obscure, because in context you really have trouble seeing it as anything significant. In fact, I have to confess to doubting that it refers to the coming of Jesus at all.

But the two most commonly cited prophecies are in the Book of Isaiah, and they are not obscure! Isaiah is the greatest Old Testament Prophet. He lived some seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus. And he said, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will name Him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). That name means “God with us,” which of course is precisely the significance of the birth of someone being born directly from the Godhead for the only time in human history. Well, that seems to be pretty profound. And Isaiah also said, “For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore (Isaiah 9:6-7). And wow, that is powerful! Having heard now directly from Jesus that, unlike all the rest of us who ever have been born, He always knew while He was on earth Who He was and what His life-plan was, I have wondered over the past year and a half about some of these key Biblical players. Did Isaiah know that he was foreseeing Jesus’s long-term role in human history?

Or what about Micah of Moresheth, who is my favorite of the Hebrew Prophets? Micah was what was called a “Lesser Prophet.” He lived and prophesied at the same time that the great Isaiah was speaking to kings about the Messiah to be born the King of the Jews. And actually, the ruins of the city of Moresheth have lately been found in the same area of Israel where Hamas conducted their massacre of modern Jews on October 7th of this year. I have loved Micah ever since my childhood pastor, a humble man himself, printed Micah’s epic sentence in his bulletin one Sunday, and I cut it out and taped it to the wall above my childhood desk, where it remained for the rest of my growing-up. Micah said, “He has told you, Oh mortal one, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Oh my dear ones, Jesus loves that sentence! Yes indeed, it is clear that Isaiah foresaw the Lord’s coming. But if any of the Prophets foresaw the Lord’s Message by seven hundred years, it was my beloved Micah and not the great Isaiah.

It is the numbers game, though, that comes at the start of the Book of Matthew, which suggests a reason why so much earth-time was allowed to pass before Jesus returned on His teaching mission. Perhaps God thought it might be a reassuring sign to those on earth who awaited the coming of their Messiah. We who read the whole Bible repeatedly will sometimes joke about always skipping “the begats,” which occur here and there where the Jews kept track of their lineages. One such list of three sets of begats occurs at the start of Matthew, and it traces the lineage of Joseph right back from Jesus to Abraham, concluding with, 17 “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations” (MT 1:1-17). And it should be noted here both that Mary also is descended from David, and that, um, it is more generally claimed in the Gospels that Jesus’s earthly body had no human father. Although why that should matter to anyone is something about which I frankly have no clue!

It might be noted, too, that until rather late in His time on earth, Jesus was shy about owning His Messianic role. If indeed Mary was born a slave, and Jesus was emancipated by law at the age of thirty, then His shyness about publicly calling Himself the Messiah might make some sense; and anyway, Jesus seems to have been more comfortable referring to Himself as the “Son of Man,” a term which comes up intermittently in the Old Testament with various and generally more modest everyman spiritual meanings. Perhaps Jesus liked that term because it was a way for Him to refer to Himself as the expected Messiah without being quite so in-your-face about it? He will say things in the Gospels like, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (MT 8:20). And “so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,” (MT 9:6) when He forgave a lame man’s sins as part of healing him, and “whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him” (MT 12:32), and “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” (MT 16:13). It was a clever way for Jesus to claim His Divinity while still not quite claiming the Messianic title just yet, in case there were people nearby who could have been made uncomfortable, or even hostile, by His doing so.

 He may have been made wary about this possibility by an incident right at the start of His ministry. Returning from His Baptism by John and feeling full of the Spirit, Jesus had naively read aloud from the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah in His hometown synagogue on a Sabbath morning. He had read a prophesy about the Messiah and then said, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Jesus then went on to discourse on that topic, thereby making His homies so irate at what they saw as His presumptuousness that they tried to throw Him off a cliff. (See LK 4:14-30). He soon learned to be more circumspect!

Please now read again those prophesies from Isaiah of Jesus’s holy birth. They are all about peace and justice and righteousness, and about bringing the genuine God among us, and therefore they are all about LOVE. Never can you find a single mention of Jesus coming to sacrifice Himself for our sins in those prophesies, no matter how hard you look for it. I am sorry, traditional Christians, and all those who still believe that God required Jesus to be born with that ghastly task before Him. I am sorry, too, for those who think that Jesus’s blood was needed to save us from the wrath of a God whose only actual emotion ever is perfect love! And those who believe that the blundering Roman Emperor Constantine, who founded the Christian religion, ever did anything right in his life. I am sorry to have to say this to those who still are trying to be religious, but the Christian religion is really not about Jesus. Not at all! And sadly, it is fear-based and not love-based, so there is little more of value that it can do for us now. The sooner we  can put it behind us, the better.

Jesus’s work and His life are all about His Teachings! I doubt that He was thinking during His lifetime  about the fact that a Roman Emperor bent on feeding his own power was three hundred years later going to usurp Jesus’s holy name and use it to create an unrelated religion.

Toward the end of the Lord’s earthly life, there came a remarkable scene. Jesus was with His disciples and lamenting the fact that He had given the people so many signs that He was their Messiah, and yet still, just as Isaiah had prophesied would happen, so many of them still did not believe. This was the moment when at last Jesus fully claimed and owned His role as the Messiah. He claimed it all.

But He was not looking forward to what was coming next. The “fully Man” part of Jesus was briefly transcendent in Him then, and you can see that He was deeply troubled and feeling humanly fallible. But He was not shirking anything! This whole passage is really remarkable, and I urge you to read it all; but it is long, so I will quote here just the end of it, which is relevant to our present discussion. Jesus said, “The one who believes in Me, does not believe only in Me, but also in Him who sent Me. 45 And the one who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as Light into the world, so that no one who believes in Me will remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears My Teachings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects Me and does not accept My Teachings has one who judges him: the Word which I spoke. That will judge him on the last day. 49 For I did not speak on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore, the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me” (JN 12:44-50).

How extraordinary that whole passage is, because it is the purest truth! Jesus tells us right here and flat out as He is about to submit to His crucifixion that He is the Messiah, the Promised One of God. And that He came NOT to redeem us from God’s judgment for our sins; but instead, He came to us as our Teacher! And every word that He taught us came through Him from God. And on the “last day” for each of us, when we will have our life review and we will judge ourselves, those words from God that Jesus spoke will be the standard that we will use to judge ourselves. Every word from Jesus’s mouth during His ministry on earth has been God’s Word, all along! Omigod, what I purely love about being a Gospels scholar and an afterlife scholar both at once is the fact that these two sets of knowledge keep validating one another. And you can take it or leave it now, traditional Christians, but Jesus says it all clearly right there in your Bibles, directly in the Gospel of John.

Emmanuel does indeed mean “God with us.” What we will celebrate tomorrow is the human birth of the Son of the Living God, who came to us as our Teacher, and who reveals All Things to us. It is no wonder that Isaiah’s prophesy of Jesus’s birth calls Him the “Prince of Peace,” and says that there will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over His kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. Would Isaiah have said that about some poor Lamb who had to die as a sin-sacrifice to a miserly and unforgiving God? Of course not! But about the holy Teacher who came directly from God to teach all of humankind at last how we can bring genuine peace to every human heart over all the world, using God’s Own Words? And whose kingdom truly is eternal? Even two thousand years later, it has only just begun? Oh my, yes!

(For those who have expressed an interest in taking Jesus’s course, there are more than sixty of you now, and we have modified our plan to include you all. There is room for a few more, so if you have been thinking that making this your last earth-lifetime sounds like a good idea, send an email to by Christmas night. I will send an invitation email to all of you next week. Please watch for it!)

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Adonai, Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times didst give the law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
– John Mason Neale (1818-1866), translator, from a 15th century Franciscan Processional.

Roberta Grimes
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43 thoughts on “The Prophesies are Fulfilled

    1. Oh my dear wonderful Jack, Merry Christmas to you and your family as well, and thank you for all your often magical contributions here!

  1. Dearest Roberta,

    I have Christian friends who love Jesus and I love them. One is very close-minded and we have agreed-to-disagree about the mission of Jesus. The other dear friend is more open minded and I have been able to share with him that Jesus did not not come 2000 years ago to create a religion, but to show us how to love, forgive, and be thankful so that we may not need to continue to have difficult incarnations.

    I am glad that Jesus loves us so much that He incarnated an extra time to help us. I find it sad that the religion that was created in His name is such a hindrance to those who love Him from hearing his Way. But, I know it is all OK and no one is really hurt in an incarnation. Their Life Plan was obviously not to “get it” this time.

    But for me, I am told that I am the last one in my Soul Group to “get it,” so I pray that this is my last turn on Earth. May God bless the Earth with peace and good will during this season of remembering the Lord’s love for us.

    David D.

    1. Dear David, So well said.

      A friend showed me an article on death and dying recently published in Psychology Today by an MD– an obviously conventional scientific MD. It was all about death and dying, including the stages of griefpercieved by Liz Kubler Ross. Oh, so scientific– and totally misplaced councel on the nature and use of death for our mortal education. No one word about our being a soul, and eternal spirit, with life and death an educational arrangement only, with no great significance for death except the grief it creates.

      Yes, the loss of loved ones to death hurts, however many stages of grieving may be technically defined. But it’s only a tool with a temporary role. Instead, life is about living with all of the hurts, and far too few joys– but it’s only a temporary instrument. We are eternal spirit who may thru self-help, and a shove here and there, grow spiritually thoughout eternity in God’s loving embrace.

    2. Oh my dear beloved David D., and so I have been trying to teach that truth for twenty years! But I was too harsh today, and I’m sorry about that. Trying to do too much at once, and still finishing this post right before it went out this morning, I was simply too blunt. Jesus has infinite patience, but I do not yet have His patience about this! I keep wanting to point at the Bible black letters – or sometimes they’re red letters – and shout at those smug, ignorant Christians, “Can’t you see, for heaven’s sake?” While He just smiles His barely-there smile and shakes His head and says, “Not now, little one. Not yet.” So I tone it back. But this time I didn’t tone it back quite far enough.

  2. I am not in the correct mood.The war on Hamas and Palestinians could have not happened. Netanyahu had the 40 p. plans for a year.
    He let Hamas in.
    The Palestinians are jailed targets and they are as beloved as much as the Israelis are.
    Our dumb bombs are killing children of God.
    I wrote President Biden and asked for nothing but the permission to tell how I feel.
    I live in a tiny cabin in the backyard of my partner
    of 40 years.
    It is a mansion to me and I am so thankful for it
    every morning. So thankful.
    Thank everyone here to let me talk. It will leave me faster.
    I will not say anymore again.

    1. My darling Erica, I don’t know whether you noticed, but it was Hamas who butchered unsuspecting Israeli families on October 7, and not the other way around? Please, dear, don’t make the mistake of thinking that Hamas is innocent. The Palestinian families, yes. But please find a way to see or at least learn about some of what Hamas did to those innocent Israeli families. My God.

      I used that wonderful picture of a Jewish boy and a Palestinian girl in Jerusalem to make a point about Jesus. Both children follow Abrahamic religions, and both are members of longstanding communities which go back for thousands of years in that sacred land. Why shouldn’t they share that land? And why shouldn’t they fall in love? Her religion even considers Jesus to be an important Prophet! So, let’s all listen to Him!

      And my dear Erica, your distress over this whole situation is something that your working through Jesus’s teachings will help with considerably. You’ll see. And what happens once we all learn to address and focus our feelings about these things is that we become much more effective at righting all these wrongs, together.

    2. Dear Erica. Bringing up children to hate their “enemies” is futile, and leads eventually to self-hatred over the crimes committed against fellow humans.

      But this is no unique Philistine-Israel problem, but part of a much larger problem among Islamists in particular, but the whole world in general. Consider the following statistics about the ongoing civil strife in Syria, and the Iran-Iraq warring in the 80s:

      “The UN Human Rights Office today published a report that, following rigorous assessment and statistical analysis of available data on civilian casualties, estimates that 306,887 civilians were killed between 1 March 2011 and 31 March 2021 in Syria due to the conflict,” the 2022 release states. “This is the highest estimate yet of conflict-related civilian deaths in Syria.”

      “Iran repeatedly launched fruitless infantry attacks, using human assault waves composed partly of untrained and unarmed conscripts (often young boys snatched from the streets), which were repelled by the superior firepower and air power of the Iraqis. Both nations engaged in sporadic air and missile attacks against each other’s cities and military and oil installations.

      The number of casualties in the Iran-Iraq War ranges from 1,000,000 to twice that number. The number killed on both sides was perhaps 500,000, with Iran suffering the greatest losses. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 Kurds were killed by Iraqi forces during the series of campaigns that took place in 1988.”

      So, Erica, the foundational issue is more about how human free will functions in a material world where we may physically hurt each other. But all of these awful hurts serve the purpose of educating our souls to vastly more appreciate the blessings and joy of our eternal existence in God’s Heaven.

      1. And too, consider the Dresen bombings of WWII, and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. From the perspective of humanity going beyond national interests, did bombing the Nazi out of existence, and bombing Imperial Japan save the world from an even worse fate?

        The spiritual guidance from Christ is personal; it is to live with kindness and to work from love in all of our relationships. It is well, however, that we trust such matters as Earth’s climate, and warfare among nations to God’s will.

        1. My dear Jack, this is a wonderful question! And the answer is, I really don’t know. How can we know? Where the Germans are concerned, maybe. They were somewhat rational. Where the Japanese are concerned, though, probably not.

      2. Oh my goodness, my darling Jack, this is beyond horrifying, and far beyond profoundly insane! Iran and Iraq even fighting one another, and using their own children as conscripts – the mind quails! What on earth is the point??

  3. Oh Roberta,


    I would love to take my laptop or print this beautiful blog to have all my family who are still stuck in FEAR based religion read on Christmas Day as present from our Lord Jesus!!!

    I won’t have the guts to do this because some will call this blasphemy, by their own ignorance. Even though it comes directly from the bible!! They still need a priest from a corrupted religion to show them the way and keep them locked in fear of obedience to a man-made religion who has nothing to do with Jesus.

    Your blog speaks to my heart more than ANY priest, religion could EVER do! I am so happy to have found you!!!!

    When you come to think of it Jesus also said to close your door and pray in secret as your father already knows what you need. He never instructed anyone to go to a building to start a religion in his name.

    I pray that all humanity can be freed from a FEAR based religion and learn to have their own relationship with God.

    I want to wish You and your Family a Merry Christmas!!! And I want to wish everyone on this blog who contribute a have BLESSED Merry Christmas!!!

    1. Oh my sweet Litsa, thank you so much for saying this! You have made me feel better, my dear one, when my Boss thought that what I said this week was a bit strong. He wishes that I could be as disciplined as He is, and patient with those who aren’t quite ready to leave Christianity. He is so saintly! But I guess that is kind of the point, isn’t it?

    1. Hmm… Well, now I think I better understand that term. The absolutely irrational and utterly venal seething hatred for Jewish people that we have seen expressed even all across the United States in recent weeks, simply because they are Jews, has absolutely blindsided and utterly confounded me. I do get it now. And I think now that the Jews are quite justified in claiming that term for themselves! Chosen, indeed. And I would join poor Tevye in wishing that perhaps we might on occasion deflect that honor.

      1. Dear Roberta, Parents inculcate into their children their world views, right or wrong. Good parents work from their God given conscience and or from learning what Christ taught. Bad parents disregard their conscience and train their children to be haters– and the poor children lack awareness that they have become the thoughtless tools of sad and hateful parents. Such children go on to mouth what they unfortunately were trained to think and say, only they are not thinking but reacting reflexively. Your posts work to focus on the love that Christ came here to share. Others reveal in their comments their healthy or unhealthy state of mind and unfortunate sadness.

        I hope that those who reflexively hate or despise others would stop to think about what they do to perpetuate ill will and evil; they surely live uncomfortably with their predudices, because they are galled so frequently by those Jews, Blacks, Latinos, queers, and the filthy rich. Pitty the prejudiced as they make an honestly hard life instead a wretched turmoil for themselves– and waste their opportunities here for spiritual growth.

        How can anyone think that Jews believe or behave as if they were chosen for any special exaulted glory. Just as you pointed out in Teve’s lament, by being “chosen” to tell the world about the true God, and by his Son’s continuing that message, the Jews were made to suffer from all of the world’s ignorant biggots twisted so badly as innocent children.

        May the biggots who injure themselves from hating others stop to think about what Christ taught. Such a simple, clear message:
        Love your Creator, the Creator of all that exists; Love each other, just as Christ loves us without judgement for our weaknesses of the flesh. May they rise above their childish prejudices, before they pass on in their self-induced misery.

        1. Oh my dear much-beloved Jack, how very wise you always are! I don’t watch television or read newspapers, and have avoided the news media for 25 years, but 10/7 was news that really couldn’t be avoided. So I found information online about Hamas, and what they had done, not only to the Israelis but also to the Palestinian civilians that they were using as human shields and who were shot in the back when they tried to flee, Hamas are monsters. They have been running Gaza for decades, and never even created shelters for the civilians? Why does any American support them?

  4. Israeli BS reminds me of the NFL. Player gets a concussion and has to go in a tent to be looked over by experts. Player is allowed to return and is ALL GOOD. No brain damage occurred. WOW!
    Israeli plane drops 2000 LB bomb on women, children, and older men to kill one Hamas member. But fear not. A cease-fire will fix everything and no bomb will have been dropped on anyone. AMAZING! WOW AGAIN!

    1. My dear J.W., I don’t know what the NFL is, and I really don’t know what you are talking about, but there is a strong and very unpleasant whiff of irrational hatred around what you are saying here, and I would be doing you a real disservice if I didn’t help you to smell it, too. Simply switch the attributions and take a good, strong breath. Do you see what I mean? You wouldn’t want anyone to think that you are capable of hating your fellow man, would you?

  5. Roberta,
    May the blessings of Christmas be yours tomorrow, and into the New Year
    Best Wishes for all good things to everyone. I love Jesus more and more and I love hearing about the REAL Jesus. Thank you!

  6. Roberta, Netanyahu knew a year ago what was going to happen. Netanyahu could have avoided the horrid attack.

    Jack, thanks for letting me see beyond my narrow vision.

    JW I am feeling the simular outrage, the injustice, the unevenness of irrational thought.
    Thank you all.

    1. Oh my sweet and much-beloved Erica, I find it impossible to believe that any leader, and even a purely evil one, would have allowed that big rave party to be held on 10/7 right up against the Gaza fence and with zero armed guards around if he had known that Hamas was about to attack it. Even if Netanyahu were so evil that his horns and fangs were actually visible, it would have been terrible for his press relations for him to have done that without at least having had some armed guards about! I think you are listening to lies, my dear one.

  7. Dear Erica, Whether justified or not by their perspective, Hamas was created to kill the Jews, and has been well supported in their mission by Iran, SA, Turkey, the UN, and even the USA intending to buy peace. Hamas was bound to attack, if not here then there, if not in October, then at any time they could catch Israel off guard.

    Of course on the outside we do not know, but there have been plausible reports from Israeli newspapers that Hamas training activities were observed to be unusually active, and reports were passed up from ground level on the border to the next level chain of command where they were not only dismissed as sabre rattling, but also rebuked for being naive– because it was felt that Hamas could not and would not engage in any mass attack. It is unlikely that the senior command and the senior politicians were alerted that a real threat was active; Israel over the past few years has been caught up in so much political intrigue that Netanyaho and cabinet members were too busy fighting each other to imagine an attack was being prepared.

    Regardless of Israel’s negligence in preparing for the invasion on Oct 7, the fact is they were not only invaded, but the barbarity was savage beyond comprehension. I hate to even write such, but to place a living baby in an oven, and light in on fire while forcing parents to watch it burned alive. And then there were the rapes of teens as well as adult women, raped so many times so hard that their pelivices were cracked, before they were dragged thru streets, and finally beheaded.

    Is it any wonder that Israel now chooses to bomb and kill any Hamas in reach. Also understand that Hamas was elected, and generally supported by the citizens of Gaza, granted many are innocent. Consider too that Hamas storage and fighting points have been placed in hospitals, schools, mosques, and private homes; Hamas uses it citizens as human shields so the media can blame Israel. The situation is awful, and there is an identifiable villain.

    1. Oh my God. Is that true, Jack? Is all of that true? Hamas did all those things? And they were created to kill the Jews?

      1. It is true, Roberta, that Hamas charter espouses killing of all Jewish Israelis and all Jews worldwide.

        It is a genocidal, fanatical organization that designed its extensive tunnel infrastructure for the sole purpose of effective, indiscriminate, continual rocket attacks on Israel. Hamas’ subterranean nerve centers are placed under schools, hospitals, residential areas et al.

        Primarily financed by Iran and Qatar, the size and sophistication of armed rockets are only limited by the Israel and Egypt border blockade.

        Psychopathy within Hamas brigades is encouraged and nurtured in the name of waging holy war.

  8. Quoting frm a recent article by Ambassador Mark A green, president of the Wilson Center:

    ” Hamas was established in Gaza at the end of 1987 as both an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood and a rival to another designated terrorist group: the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In line with its belief that “The day that enemies usurp part of Muslim land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Muslim,” Hamas not only condemned the historic Oslo Accords but declares that international peace proposals and conferences are “but a waste of time, and vain endeavors.”

    Such pronouncements and a string of violent acts made it easy for the US State Department to designate Hamas a “foreign terrorist organization.” Others like the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have taken similar steps.

    By 2017, it appeared that Hamas wanted to reshape, or at least clarify, its public image in some quarters. It took steps to soften some of the most extreme language of its 1988 charter by issuing new statements and declarations that, while not repealing or superseding the original document, supplemented it with more ambiguous terms and rhetoric. For example, the original charter called it “compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.” In 2017, Hamas portrayed itself as a resistance movement aiming to “liberate Palestine and confront the Zionist project.” In 1988, Hamas explicitly acknowledged its links to the Muslim Brotherhood, but the 2017 Hamas Charter is devoid of references to the Brotherhood. In 1988, Hamas declared that the “Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them.” By 2017, Hamas claimed its mission wasn’t “a struggle against Jews or Judaism,” but a “struggle…against the Zionist occupation….”

    While the tone and terms of the 2017 charter may be different from the extremist provisions of its 1988 predecessor, the newer document still hints at the violence and hatred at the organization’s core. Article 25 provides that “Resisting the occupation with all means and methods is a legitimate right guaranteed by divine laws and by international norms and laws. At the heart of these lies armed resistance…”

    On October 7, Hamas terrorist forces attacked Israel by land, sea, and air, killing at least 1,300 people—including at least 31 Americans, most of whom were unarmed civilians—injuring thousands more, and taking over 150 civilians and soldiers hostage. ”

    Re the barbaric attrocities by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and ordinary Gazan citizens who joined in the massacre and latter rape and and hostage taking, their acts were well recorded by themselves and initially sent home with glee, and broadcast on media–but later withdrawn when they realized it was bad for their propaganda. But by then, Israel had made copies and have shared them with US and other world politicians and journalists.

    Re Hamas employment of rape as a weapon (remember, Oct 7 was not a direct attack on military facilities, but on the civilian population), the next quote is from a Dec NBC news article:

    ” “ Israeli officials pointed to a Hamas pamphlet discovered on Nov. 2 that gives detailed instructions about how to pronounce phrases in Hebrew including “raise your hands and open your legs” and “take off your pants.”
    During interrogations, captured Hamas militants talked about raping women and children as a Hamas tactic of war. “To have our way with them, to dirty them, to rape them,” said one Hamas militant during a videotaped interrogation.

    Another captured militant refers to dead bodies raped on Oct. 7. “Having sex with dead bodies,” the militant said in a videotaped interrogation reviewed by NBC News. “Meaning the body of a dead young woman,” the militant told interrogators. … The most voluminous evidence is of bodily mutilation of sexual organs by bullet, knife or even scissors, according to an NBC News analysis of the evidence currently available… “They had a thing with sexual organs, both in women and men,” a first responder told police in videotaped testimony.

    A woman whose job it was to open the body bags of women and prepare their bodies for burial told NBC News in an interview Monday that she saw multiple female corpses that had been mutilated. “They were shot in the vagina, they were shot in the breast,” she said. “And this seemed like a systematic attempt at genital mutilation.””

    Steven Spielberg is now working a projexct to gather the Hamas video, plus subsequent Israeli video of the carnage, for posterity.

  9. Merry Christmas Everyone!

    I’ve been trying to understand how both sides of the Israel/Palestine conflict view it.

    From my simplistic perspective, both sides feel they are the oppressed and the other side is the oppressor.

    And they react accordingly based on that understanding. That is what it feels like to me, though, I could be wrong.

    I try to view those of us that do terrible things as slaves to our egos. Many taught from childhood to hate. I pray our souls will break through and become who we really are.

    It’s tough, though, when you see such destruction. Especially to children. Very tough. I understand Jesus’ quote about turning the other cheek. I also understand bad things can and do happen when you may need to defend yourself. I do think defending oneself can also become revenge very quickly.

    I would greatly appreciate if we could take this terrible situation and learn from it. Meaning, how would Jesus advise us on what is the best way to react? Anything that helps show us a path that we can follow towards a more loving existence.

    There has to be a teachable moment in all of this and I was hoping we could have a conversation about it.

    1. Merry Christmas to you, Thomas! And to all!
      Thomas thank you turning what I brought up into something positive.

      I apologize for bringing up the subject. Here. In our
      Today,I remember a phrase I ‘ve read: “Do not lean one half inch on negativity.”
      I took the lid off Pandora’s Box. I want to apologize to
      On a more positive note , Jesus is here for us now! He
      always was, but I can feel Him better today. I love this Earth God made for us, such a beautiful place filled with birds, animals, flowers and trees.
      Jesus is our Shield against evil: The Lord’s Prayer
      protects us too.
      “Vengeance is Mine,” sayeth the Lord.
      Today is Christmas! Our Gift has arrived! It is a good day.

      1. Oh my dear Erica, no worries at all! It is religions that are the primary cause of all the most visceral hatred and divisiveness, believe it or not. And of course Jesus has nothing to do with religions. He is the Prince of Peace!

        Here to brighten your morning is that prophesy from Isaiah Chapter 9 of the Messiah’s coming, in full:

        2 The people who walked in darkness
        have seen a great light;
        those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
        on them has light shone.
        3You have multiplied the nation;
        you have increased its joy;
        they rejoice before you
        as with joy at the harvest,
        as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
        4For the yoke of his burden,
        and the staff for his shoulder,
        the rod of his oppressor,
        you have broken as on the day of Midian.
        5For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
        and every garment rolled in blood
        will be burned as fuel for the fire.
        6For to us a child is born,
        to us a son is given;
        and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
        and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
        Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
        7Of the increase of his government and of peace
        there will be no end,
        on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
        to establish it and to uphold it
        with justice and with righteousness
        from this time forth and forevermore.
        The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.


      2. Hi Erica,

        I don’t see anything wrong with talking about this subject or anything that may be bothering you.

        I’d rather you talk about it than hold it in. It easier to work these things through with open discussions.

        It’s only a problem when people disrespect others that may have a differing opinion. You have never disrespected anyone that I have seen.

        I’m trying to view the bad stuff as learning experiences. Getting mad or hating someone over something really only affects me. So I am trying to train myself to think of anything bad happening to be ego related and not the person/soul.

        I’m no saint, so it could be me doing terrible deeds if I lived their life and experienced what they have lived.

    1. Welcome to our little commenting family, my dear Colleen! And yes, whenever I read Isaiah’s great prophesy, and the word “forevermore,” I realize freshly that we are living through that word now, and that it is our task to bring his prophesy to fulfillment – Jesus has more than done His part!

  10. Dear Roberta. You have told us that Thomas chooses the frame verses, so you may not be able to answer this question. Why would any mention of satan and hell ever be made, except to dispel these myths?
    What makes the people of Israel God’s chosen people?

    1. My dear Ray, that’s a very good point. While Thomas generally doesn’t choose a frame-verse which mentions either term, in fact there is a version of each which does exist – the “outer darkness” is a version of hell, for example, and we put ourselves there; while I think that there actually may be an organized satanish being, or even more than one actually, but they utterly lack any power whatsoever, so all they can do is play with our minds. And since this song talks of vanquishing both, I think that Thomas thought it was suitable.

      And the notion that the people of Israel are God’s chosen people comes from the Old Testament, when repeatedly in their history they were saved or helped by their God.

      1. Dear Roberta. Thank you for the explanation. Since the Old Testament and Judaism are telling us that they’re God’s chosen people, I’m a little reluctant to embrace the idea. We’ve talked a lot here about how fear based it is.

        1. My darling Ray, all religions are fear-based. And all religions are created by people, and not by God. I think of the notion that the Jews are God’s chosen people as almost a marketing slogan, at this point!

    1. My dear beautiful Erica, you have made me laugh out loud! Etch-a-Sketch, for heaven’s sake? No worries at all! Some people have simply put their information on an email, my dear, which works out well. For future courses we will automate things, but for now we’ll just do everything the old fashioned way. And this is going to be so much fun!!

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