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Soli Deo Gloria is the writing and teaching ministry of Baruch Maoz in Israel. Baruch is engaged in writing original commentaries on the Bible, and theological and practical works in Hebrew. Some of his books are available in English. His critique of the Messianic movement, Come Let Us Reason Together: The Unity of Jews and Gentiles in the Church, has been published by P&R, and his Devotional Commentary, Malachi: A Prophet in Times of Distress by Crossbooks. Both are available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Shepherd Press has puboished his Devotional Commentary Jonah: A Prophet on the Run.

Baruch is also engaged in writing (in Hebrew) a commentary on Romans and Colossians, futher books in the Devotional Commentary series, an Introduction to Systematic Theology, editing a modern translation of the Bible into Modern Hebrew and writing other expositional and theological books. In the pipeline are also books on church life and structure, How to Preach and Listen to Sermons, and daily Christian disiplines. To date, Baruch is the only author writing Christian literature n Hebrew.

Baruch and Bracha are Israeli Jewish Christians who have served in Israel for 5 decades now. Between April 1974 and December 2006 Baruch served with Christian Witness to , most of that time as Israel Field Leader. Betwen May 1975 and December 2008 he served as Pastor of Grace and Truth Christian Congregation in Rishon LeTsion, Israel. Our website reflects the experiences gained in the course of that time.

Our monthly newsletter, MaozNews, is available for the asking, with back-issues to be found on this website (Baruch's Writings/News From Israel). To subscribe, click address at the bottom of this page.

Baruch's Musings
July 29 2014

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1.CNN interview with Yousef Son of Hamas:


In a to-the-point interview with CNN, Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of the founders of Hamas, said that the terror organization is not only the reason for the current war, but is holding the people of Gaza, and in particular its children, hostage to a violent Islamic ideology.

Yousef, who years ago converted to Christianity after betraying Hamas and aiding Israeli security, was asked why he decided to abandon an organization for whose leadership he was being groomed.

For Yousef, and any other descent human being, the choice is simple. “Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, it does not care about the lives of Israelis or Americans. They don’t care about their own lives. They consider dying for the sake of their ideology a way of worship. How can you continue in that society?”

But then, it’s not always a simple decision. Yousef recalled that in order to leave Hamas, he had to lose everything. And many never come to see the truth, having been indoctrinated from such a young age.

“In the mosques, Hamas told us that without shedding innocent blood for the sake of their ideology, we wouldn’t be able to build an Islamic state. They were preparing us from as young as five-years-old,” he said. “And today, when I look at the children of Gaza, and I know what they are fed, I know that they have no choice.”

Asked if Israel or anyone can coexist with such a group, Yousef reminded his interviewer that “Hamas is not seeking coexistence… Hamas is seeking conquest.”

Nor will Hamas conquest end with Israel. Like the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) in Iraq, Hamas seeks total domination. “The destruction of the State of Israel is not Hamas’ final destination,” Yousef explained. “Hamas final destination is building the Islamic Caliphate, which means an Islamic state on the rubble of every other civilization. These are their ultimate goals.”

In light of all those revelations, Yousef later told Israel’s Channel 2 News that “what Israel is doing to stop Hamas [in Gaza, it is] doing on behalf of every free person in the world.”

These kinds of public remarks from someone who knows Hamas better than most really calls into question the agenda of the Obama Administration, which appears to be trying to save Hamas from destruction at Israel’s hands. The Americans did the same thing with the Muslim Brotherhood, and gained the ire of nearly all Egyptians as a result.

2. Foreign Reporters Reveal Depths of Hamas Depravity
(Israel Today, Monday, July 28, 2014 | Yossi Aloni)

Terrorists disguised as women, a gunman hiding his weapon under a baby blanket close to his chest as though it were a child, and a Hamas spokesman giving an interview against the backdrop of destruction while sitting comfortably in a hospital commandeered as a war-time headquarters.

These are just a few of the examples of Hamas depravity as reported by foreign media correspondents doing their best to report from terrorist-ruled, war-torn Gaza.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has been collecting these reports and distributing them to all Israeli embassies as talking points in their efforts to prove that Israel is fighting a cruel criminal organization that uses both civilians and journalists as human shields.

These are just some of those reports:

“…as journalists arrived at the scene in Shejaia Sunday afternoon, several men with guns were scurrying from the scene. Some bore their weapons openly, slung over their shoulder, but two, disguised as women, were seen walking off with weapons partly concealed under their robes. Another had his weapon wrapped in a blanket and held on his chest as if it were a baby.” (Patrick Martin, Globe and Mail, July 20)

“Inside Shejaiyya we also saw several #Hamas gunmen. One passed dressed in a woman’s headscarf… tip of a gun poked out from under cloak.” (Janis Mackey Frayer, Canadian journalist via Twitter, July 20)

“At the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, crowds gathered to throw shoes and eggs at the Palestinian Authority’s health minister, who represents the crumbling ‘unity government’ in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The minister was turned away before he reached the hospital, which has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.” (William Booth, The Washington Post, July 15)

“During the lull, a group of men at a mosque in northern Gaza said they had returned to clean up the green glass from windows shattered in the previous day’s bombardment. But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque.” (William Booth, The Washington Post, July 17)

“You have to wonder [with] the shelling how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.” (Nick Casey, Wall Street Journal correspondent via Twitter)

“Hamas complains that Israel is massacring civilians, but at the same time is trying to take advantage of civilians and journalists alike by preventing them from leaving and demanding they return and serve and human shields… This strategy of human shields includes foreign journalists … during the battle, Hamas would not allow a group of 20 journalists to leave the area.” (Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun, July 21)

“The Israeli side of the border with Gaza was briefly open today, but Hamas did not let journalists leave Gaza.” (Sophia Jones, Huffington Post via Twitter, July 20)

***

Some have requested to see Ms. Laenger’s posting. I present it here with my responses in square brackets. The burden of my response is above.

Agreed ...Hamas is the worse and causes many problems themselves. 

Hamas is probably trying to manipulate us with photos but it is still appropriate to be sad at these tragic and mounting losses of loved ones (especially children) and to grieving with those who are grieving - realizing that they aren't the enemy because we don't fight against flesh and blood. {Fully agreed]

Although there are many Christians in Gaza [there are not, and the few that were there are now greatly decreased due to Hamas persecution and following the murder of the Manager of the local Bible Shop], the majority are Muslim so when we look at those photos of the dead with a bigger biblical perspective, they are most likely a poor soul who needed Jesus and are now probably in hell for eternity. No more hope for them - that's the saddest thing of all. [Agreed]

This article also doesn't take into account the fact that in the West Bank there are deplorable and unjust humanitarian conditions forced upon them due to the occupation and separation walls even though the government in the West Bank isn't firing rockets from there. In fact they have a different government (granted, it's not much better...but in Bethlehem, by law, the Mayor has to be Christian). [There are no deplorable conditions. Outside the Gulf States, the standard of living is highest among the Palestinians in comparison with anywhere in the Arab world]

Since before Aaron and I lived there in 2009 during that Israel/Gaza conflict, many Palestinian had been (and still are) in an open-air prison - walled in on all sides and/or blocked on the others.[Most of the barrier is merely a low demarcation fence. A Wall was built where snipers fired into Israel or suicide bombers entered Israel.] We were completely caged in when we lived in the little town of Bethlehem with the only way in and out was through very few checkpoints and that was if they were open, had time to wait in the long lines, and if you had permission (which was hard to attain) - sometimes not even then if they just didn't want to let you through. [This is untrue, to say the least. Free access is available to all of the Palestinian areas. Is Israel obliged to allow access into its borders? Are the Canadians fenced in an open air prison because they are inspected on the border before entry to the US?]

We also were not allowed to drive on certain roads because we were with a person not of the Jewish ethnicity so we had to go way out of the way. [This is inciting language. The security roads were built because of drive-by shootings perpetuated by Palestinians] Gaza in particular has almost always been under seige even in between the flare-ups (with groups and materials not easily allowed in or out to help meet basic needs with even their water supply and electricity only being allowed on for certain hours of a day). [Untrue. Food is freely brought in – hundreds of trucks per day via the Israeli border, as is medication. The blockade was only imposed when Hamas began attacking Israel. Water and electricity are provided, and the Hamas regime has declined to pay for these.]

Therefore, this naturally creates unjust humanitarian issues all on its own for the couple million living there. Then compound that with the war and having a Muslim government who doesn't care about them and conditions will undoubtedly escalate quickly from bad to atrocious. That's like walling in an area the size of Detroit with a wall twice the size as Berlin, filling it with twice the amount of people of Detroit, not allow them to cross the borders to flee and then dropping bombs on them. {bombs are dripped when rockets are fired – and they are dropped on launching pads and other military targets.]

The casualties are going obviously to be extremely high (like 100 eyes for one) unless Israel starts being very careful and Hamas stops hiding behind it's people. I know fear that comes from not trusting in the same sovereign God we do can make any secular (non-Christian) nation (and even many Christians) go to extreme measures to protect themselves and their interests (since we are totally depraved without God's grace) but it's the Palestinians Christians behind the walls in these occupied and apartheid territories who suffer the most because they get it from all sides and even more so because they are the Christians. [Israel has NOT enacted an apartheid regime. Inflammatory language cannot alter the facts. The Palestinians have made peaceable, harmonious life alongside Israel impossible.]

All I am saying is that it is not as simple as any article on either side will make it out to be.[Or as yours makes it out to be] It never is when life itself is complicated enough already and made even more messy when you are dealing with sinful people that make up governments who don't know Christ. In war, wrongs are going to be committed by both sides whether they mean to or not [the question is: who premeditatedly targets civilians? Who hides behind one’s own civilians? Who means to and who does not] but justice should be sought after no matter who the oppressor is or whether they even have earthy "good reasons" to oppress. 

One thing living with my Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ taught us was how to not dehumanize people but to love your enemy (in this case those who have harmed you - intentionally or unintentionally) simply because they are human and were made in God's image (but especially because God commands us), to seek justice for all (not just some) and to be Kingdom minded (helping build His heavenly kingdom instead of any earthly nation). What it comes down to is the only true and lasting peace in the Middle East is Jesus - the reconciliation and forgiveness we have with God AND with others that comes only through Him.
[Israelis do not describe Palestinians as “the descendants of apes and dogs,” as the Koran describes Jews].

{Having said as much, I fault the Israeli Government for not stymying Jewish settlement on lands in the West Bank, not dealing firmly with Jewish ruffians in the West bank and not being willing to offer the Palestinians viable statehood within a reasonable space of time.]

***

A Instance of International Shame

The United Nations Human Right Council has decided to conduct an investigation into war crimes -- not the committed by Hamas' shooting rockets onto Israeli citizens, using its own citizens as human shields, transporting combatants in ambulances, storing rockets in US schools, conducting attacks from schools, kindergartens and hospitals -- no, the UNHRC will investigate Israel's purported war crimes. This while Israel repeatedly cancelled or delayed responsive attacks to enabled pre-warned civilians to leave locations about to be attacked, absorbed scores of rockets with limited response (I believe that is what is called "proportionate" response).

Nor will the UNHRC investigate Iran's suppression of its opposition, China's persecution of religious minorities, Russia's governmental abuse of power, North Korea's starving of its population and the hundreds of thousands in it labour camps. Only Israel will be called into account by the hypocritical world in which we live.

Shame! Shame!

This is not to say that, in the course of battle, unacceptable realities occur. Nor is it to claim that all Israeli soldiers are free from blame. But Israel does not have a policy that is deserving of condemnation. Quite to the contrary. Our policy is more humane, more considerate of civilian lives, more generous than that of ANY nation in the history of warfare. It will continue to be so in the teeth of world cynicism.

I am proud and grateful to be an Israeli.

***

Fighting continues in Gaza. Hamas is willing to pay any price in terms of the lives of its combatants or the poor civilians trapped in the war-torn areas, so long as it can achieve gains in its conflict with Israel. The temporary cancellation of commercial flights to Israel is an example of such. For this reason, the organization has refused all offers of a cease-fire.

IDF spokesman issued a statement saying that the IDF attacked targets in the Al-Wafa Hospital compound in Gaza after Hamas militants repeatedly fired at Israeli forces from within the compound. According to the statement, Israel had repeatedly warned the Palestinians of its intentions to attack. The director of the hospital told Haaretz that the hospital has been empty since July 17.

Speaking at the emergency meeting in Geneva, Israel's envoy to the UNHRC, Eviatar Manor, charged that the UN Human Rights Council "failed to protect the human rights of Israelis." He went on to say that the residents of Gaza were not Israel's enemies and that Israel was committed to international law. 

For the second time, Israel has learned of a stash of rockets hidden in a United Nations World Relief Organization school in Gaza.

Anti-Semitic attacks have increased in Europe. A British Liberal Democrat MP is facing disciplinary action for saying he would likely fire a rocket at Israel if he lived in the Gaza Strip.Gianni Vattimo, a well-known public intellectual and former member of the European Parliament, declared that he would personally like to kill Israelis and thinks Europeans should raise money “to buy Hamas some more rockets,” he recently said on the radio. “I’d like to shoot those bastard Zionists,” Vattimo told Radio 24’s most successful show, “La Zanzara.” When asked by the hosts whether he would like to see more Israelis killed, Vattimo, who described himself on air as “a non-violent person,” responded: “Of course!”

Later, he said he “unfortunately can’t really shoot” because he was exempted from military service. Vattimo also said he was planning to launch a fund-raising campaign to buy better weapons for Hamas, saying the militants are “fighting with toy rockets that don’t really kill anyone.” He suggested Europeans form international brigades to fight along with Hamas, just as foreign volunteers fought Franco during the Spanish Civil War, and said Israel was “a bit worse than the Nazis.”

***

Today, Thursday, July 24th, Israel entered the 17th day of its operation in the Gaza Strip. The night had passed with only one rocket fired at border towns. There were no casualties and no damage was done. However, Rocket fire resumed in the morning, with barrages fired at the south and at Tel Aviv and its northern environs. Five rockets were intercepted. The rest fell in open areas.

Hamas is seeking to position itself with some gains as the fruit of the conflict. Among its demands, the complete removal of the Egyptian-Israeli blockade is central. However, both countries are seeking tangible assurances that the end of the blockage will not result in rearmament and the eventual renewal of attacks from Gaza. Hamas' previous action give little room to trust its verbal assurances, even if such were forthcoming.

Israel insists that it has no reason to blockade Hamas-ruled Gaza if these concerns are effectively met by some other means and has proposed a demilitarization of the Gaza Strip. But such an option implies the disarming of Hamas and other Jihadist elements in the Strip and no willingness for such a step is in sight.

Meanwhile, as attacks form Gaza have declined, so have Israeli attacks while Israel Defense Forces continue to search and destroy tunnels and military infrastructure.

***

Israeli troops were shot at from the area of a UNWRA school in Gaza. An IDF source said that IDF representatives made contact with UNRWA and the Red Cross to inform them troops were shot at from the school, and that the IDF would return fire if this was repeated. It was, and the IDF responded as promised. Hamas now claims 15 dead. Earlier, The claim was of 10 civilian casualties.

Hamas political bureau head Khaled Meshal has said that Hamas is prepared to sign a ceasefire agreement – on condition that the siege of Gaza is rescinded. "We seek full international commitment to the end of the aggression and the siege over Gaza - real commitment," he told several Arabic-language media outlets. "We are not interested in the mechanism, what we are interested in are true guarantees that the siege be lifted. We have gotten such promises before, and nothing came of them."

"We want an international airport, we want a seaport, we want an opening to the outside world, and not the situation where we are controlled by a few border crossings that turn Gaza into a huge prison, where no one can leave even for medical treatment or to work […] When we get a clearly worded drafting that guarantees these things, and the international community gives its backing to this draft - than the fire can be stopped, even today." 

In short, Hamas wants to be rewarded for its vicious tantrum, which cost the lives of hundreds of it innocent's civilians and terrorized millions of Israelis and Palestinians. Nor is it wiling to offer anything in return, let alone provide any kind of assurances it will not turn around, rearm, rebuild its attacks tunnel and foment another vicious round of violence.

**

July 22, 2014

Israel has rejected a proposed cease-fire, stating it will accept the cease-fire proposals framed by the Egyptian Government. This includes the disarming of Hamas and demilitarization of Gaza.

Four more attack tunnels were discovered. Two more squads of Hamas militants emerged from one of the tunnels well inside Israeli territory and in close proximity to Israeli villages. They were detected at once, most of their members killed in the ensuing gun fight, with a small, unknown, number escaping back through the tunnel into Gaza.

One Israeli soldier has been declared missing, presumed dead. Authorities believe he was killed with six of his fellow-soldiers when their APC was hit by a anti-tank missile. Hamas claimed to have abducted him, but observation posts with direct view of the area deny such is the case. Body remains are being examined for DNA markers.

Schools, hospitals, clinics' kindergartens and mosques are being used by Hamas as military depots, attack positions and command posts, forcing Israel to attack these.

Rockets have destroyed homes in the Tel Aviv region and its surrounding cities. Casualties were avoided due to precautions taken by the Israeli Government and by Israeli citizens following instructions given. Palestinian wounded are being treated in Israeli hospitals.


****

We Israelis deeply regret the death or wounding of every Gazan civilian. We p[ray for the healing, comfort and well being of every civilian in Gaza and plead with Hamas: you are responsible for the welfare, health and happiness of all Gaza citizens. Desist building rockets with the piping we allow into Gaza for irrigation and sewage. Desist from building attack tunnels, using the rebar and concrete we allow in for the construction of homes, schools, hospital and mosques. Desist from using your own citizens, women and children to shield yourselves when you attack us, and then cynically use their suffering as a publicity stunt. Life for both of our peoples could be wonderful if we would only agree to live side by side in peace. Come, our hand is outstretched to you: let us make destroy our weapons of warfare and use of tremendous shared energies for the good of all concerned.

"UN Secretary-General calls upon Israel to exercise restraint..." Wait a minute: did I hear right? Why are we called upon to "exercise restraint" and not a word has said of Hamas' duty in that respect. Israel IS exercising commendable restraint and has done so for years while Hamas attacked our cities, shot at our children, ambushed our soldiers and now seeks to cover our land with rockets while cowardly hiding behind their own civilians, whose lives they put at premeditated risk.

*

"The European Union calls for the disarming of Hamas and other Gaza terrorist organisations." Well, good morning sunshine. Better late than never. But yet again: disarm Hamas and like-minded organizations and you have robbed them of the very raison d'etre of their existence. 

*

"The US has promised 47,000,000 toward the alleviation of Gaza suffering." I don't understand: is THIS the time to make such promises? What on earth is the US' policy toward the Middle East? Does it have a thought-out policy, or is the present administration in search of such?

 

The Recent MaozNews

2013-04-12   17:55:23

 

MaozNews No. 78 July  2014 

to access, click below 

 

In This Issue:

A Chisel from the Second Temple
The Maozes in the US
Ministry and Family News

 

 

 

To read our most recent issue, or any backissues, please click on the link below this box

Baruch and Bracha are engaged in their 2013 tour of the US, in the course of which they expect to be driving through Oregon, Montana, North or South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisianna, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Washington State.

Baruch is available for ministry in most of these states, He is prepared to preach, report on the scene in Israel, or offer an expository seminar on a biblical book. If your church is interested, please write to languageservice4u@gmail.com

 

Breaking News

July 24, 2014

Here is an example of war crimes (Be sure to play the video):

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4548760,00.html

 

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/
1.607069

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense
/1.607138

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/
0,7340,L-4548894,00.html

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/
0,7340,L-4548821,00.html

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/
Liberman-to-Ban-Israel-outraged-over-UNRWA-turning
-over-rockets-to-Hamas-368578

 

July 23, 2014

Fighting continues in Gaza. Hamas is willing to pay any price in terms of the lives of its combatants or the poor civilians trapped in the war-torn areas, so long as it can achieve gains in its conflict with Israel. The temporary cancellation of commercial flights to Israel is an example of such. For this reason, the organization has refused all offers of a cease-fire.

**

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Germany-France-Italy-condemn-anti-Semitism-in-anti-Israel-demonstrations-368488

**


http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.606590

Iraqi militants crush resistance and head towards Baghdad.

**

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.606641

Iraqi Christians flee Mosul.

**

The first Israeli Jewish Christian casualty in present hostilities is from the Ethiopian community, sergeant Moshe (Moses) Malko. No mention of Moshe's faith was made by the Israeli press. Your prayers for the bereaved family will be appreciated. 

Others of the Israeli Jewish Christianity community have been wounded in the fighting and are now being treated. Please pray for their recovery.

Over 100 Israeli Christians are engaged in the conflict with Hamas. One church alone reports 13 reservists and 20 enlistees.

**


July 22 2014

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/
0,7340,L-4548202,00.html

The Good life of a senior Hamas official - luxury jets, hotels....

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/
Golani-Brigade-Commander-wounded-in-clashes
-with-Hamas-to-return-to-the-battlefield-368431

 

The first Israeli Jewish Christian casualty in present hostilities is from the Ethiopian community, sergeant Moshe (Moses) Melko. Your prayers for the bereaved family will be appreciated. Others of the Israeli Jewish Christianity community have been wounded in the fighting and are now being treated. Please pray for their recovery.

July 21, 2014

Speaking of restraint, how about this example: "We will continue to batter the homes of the Zionists until the last Zionist leaves Palestinian land," Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said last week. "All of Palestine, from the sea to the river."

Testimonials

I have deep respect and love for Baruch Maoz, and the work that he is carrying on in Israel, despite obstacles and opposition. He has been a dear friend for many years. I’ll never forget doing a conference for him in Israel several years ago. I pray that God may use his sound theology, helpful preaching, excellent books, and numerous gifts for the conversion and spiritual maturation of thousands of Israelis and for the abundant glory of God. Rev. Joel R. Beeke, Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation, Author

*

Baruch Maoz has been a minister of the gospel, author, publisher, and voice for believers in the land of Israel for four decades. I have seen firsthand the fruit of his ministry and I cannot recommend it too highly. Baruch’s preaching, teaching, and writing ministry should be supported by all who care about the gospel and its impact in Israel and beyond! Pastor Jerry Marcellino, Audubon Drive Bible Church, Federation of reformed Evangelicals – Laurel, Mississippi

 *

Knowing and embracing our Lord’s clear directive to bring the Gospel to the “Jew first” I, along with BPC have been extraordinarily blessed to work in partnership with the effective biblical and faithful ministry of Baruch Maoz. His ministry of evangelism, discipleship, along with his strategic and insightful writing/translation projects, only enhance my opportunity to recommend him and his ministry. Rev. Harry Reeder, Senior Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church (PCA), Birmingham AL

*

Tom Ascol of the Founders Movement writes: "Baruch and Bracha Maoz serve in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Baruch has served as a pastor, publisher, author and church reformer in his homeland of Israel. He has ministered several times with our Grace Baptist Church family in Cape Coral and our people have come to love Bracha and him dearly. I highly recommend his and his ministry to any church that values expositional preaching and the gospel of God's grace." Dr. Thomas Ascol, Grace Baptist Church (SBC), Founders Movement, Cape Coral FL

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