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Lessons from a Jewish Terrorist
Author: Barri Cae Mallin
Shalom. My name is Barri Cae. I was raised in a Jewish home and was saved in 1980
in my cousin's Jewish delicatessen. To God be all the glory. Shalom.
Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahin, Abdelkarim Hussein Mohammed Al-Nassar, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Muhsin Musa Matwali Atwah are the Top Five Criminals on the FBI's most wanted list (November 5, 2003). These men have conducted heinous crimes against humanity.
Yeshua commands us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44). Does this mean that we are to pray for these top five criminals? Let Scripture speak to your heart about this. The foremost person to give us insight into the terrorist's mind is our beloved Paul. Yes, Paul the Apostle, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, number one Jewish terrorist.
When we think of Paul/Saul, we think of him as a scholar, as a religiously devout man. He was a Benjamite, a Hebrew of the Hebrews (Phil. 3:5). But dig just a bit deeper, and you will see Paul/Saul's dark side. He speaks of his dark side, before he was a believer.
We first read of Saul as he was presiding over the stoning death of Stephen (Acts 8:1). Stephen was a foreign-born Greek-speaking Jew who believed in Yeshua. It must have given Saul much pleasure to see Stephen die. Scripture tells us that Saul was in hearty agreement with putting Stephen to death (Acts 8:1). He felt gratification at his death.
Saul did his best to make havoc and destroy those who called themselves believers (Acts 8:3). Search and seizure was Saul's method of operation. Night and day - families - widows - children - all believers, Saul knew them all, where they lived. He entered into every home, and dragged them out against their will, and did his best to throw them into prison.
Saul hated them! He literally thirsted for their blood (tz-may dahm in Hebrew). He thought he was doing a service to God by killing them (Acts 22:4); this new way had to be stopped, thought Saul. Saul was like a hungry wolf devouring the flock. He literally breathed anger and hatred (Acts 9:1).
As I punished them, often in all the synagogues, I tried to force them to blaspheme, and being furiously enraged at them, I, Saul, kept pursuing them, even to foreign cities (Acts 26:11). And I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and putting both men and women into prisons (Acts 26:10). Saul's very breath breathed hatred and bloodshed.
I had to do many things hostile to the name of Yeshua of Nazareth...and this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, but also when they were being put to death, I cast my vote against them. (Acts 26:10).
To be honest, I am not so sure that I want Bin Laden reading our Scriptures! I sure do not want him getting any hints from Saul of Tarsus. Yet through all of this persecution, there is much Good News. The more persecuted the believers were, the more powerful did they become. The believers went everywhere preaching the Word (Acts 8:4). The more intense the threats, the more the Good News spread.
When Saul learned that there were believers in Damascus, he desired to punish them as well (Acts 22:5). He appealed to the High Priest (Cohen Gadol) for permission to enter the synagogues there and capture and either force them to blaspheme the name of Yeshua, or throw them in prison. At that time, the High Priest, the Cohen Gadol, had power over all of the Jews in all countries. He commanded great power and authority.
But a funny thing happened on the way to Damascus. The Light of the World, the Or HaOlam appeared to Saul. Yeshua spoke to Saul in Hebrew (Acts 26:14). A great transformation happened. Saul, murderer, former Jewish terrorist became Paul, the apostle and bondservant of the Lord Yeshua HaMashiach!!
Paul picked up the torch that stricken Stephen had laid down at his death.
Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I AM YOUR GOD,
I will strengthen you,
Surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored;
Those who contend with you will be as nothing, and will perish.
You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them,
Those who war with you will be as nothing, and non-existent.
For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand. - Isaiah 41:11-13
More devotionals by Barri Cae may be found at www.barricae.com
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