In that day, I will restore David’s fallen sukkah. I will repair it’s broken walls and restore it’s ruins. I will rebuild it as in the days of old.

– Amos 9:11

Aldersgate or Ichabod?

Charles Wesley (1707-1788), one of England’s most prodigious hymn writers (over 9,000 total) was the younger brother of John and Samuel Wesley (John and Charles together are considered the founders and spiritual forefathers of Methodism). Charles’ songs were the spiritual rails upon which the Methodist revival crossed Britain. His pen was used by God to author classics like “And can it be that I should gain,” “Christ the Lord is risen today,” “Come Thou long expected Jesus,” “Hark the herald angels sing,” “Jesus Lover of my soul,” “O for a thousand tongues to sing,” and “Rejoice the Lord is King.”

Truly an amazing legacy came through this man, who was known in his day as a “sweet singer of Israel” (http://www.stkimbrough.com/page_3a.htm). Some have said that people today are more familiar with Charles Wesley’s hymns that with John Wesley’s sermons!

Three of Charles Wesley’s bejeweled gifts to the body of Messiah are three intercessory hymns that touch upon God’s heart for the Jewish people and God’s many biblical promises to restore Israel to their own promised land. Here are excerpts from two of these hymns.

Calling the Hebrews home

“O that the chosen band might now their brethren bring
And gathered out of every land present to Sion’s King.
Of all the ancient race not one be left behind
But each impelled by secret grace his way to Canaan find!
We know it must be done for God hath spoke the word
All Israel shall their Saviour own to their first state restored.
Rebuilt by His command Jerusalem shall rise
Her temple on Moriah stand again, and touch the skies.
Send then Thy servants forth to call the Hebrews home
From west and east, and south, and north let all the wanderers come.
Where’er in lands unknown Thy fugitives remain
Bid every creature help them on Thy holy mount to gain”.

(Almighty God of Love, words & music Charles Wesley, 1762, based on Isaiah 66:19-20)
(http://www.ccel.org/w/wesley/hymn/jwg04/jwg0452.html)

Praying softly for Jerusalem

“Father of faithful Abraham, hear our earnest suit for Abraham’s seed!
Justly they claim the softest prayer from us…

Come then, Thou great Deliverer, come! The veil from Jacob’s heart remove;
Receive Thy ancient people home! That, quickened by Thy dying love,
The world may their reception find life from the dead for all mankind.”

(Father of faithful Abraham, words & music Charles Wesley, 1762, based on Romans 11:15-27)

(http://www.ccel.org/w/wesley/hymn/jwg04/jwg0451.html)

Methodisms Jewish foundations

Wesley’s revelation concerning the last days restoration of the Jewish people to their patrimony in the land of Israel (including today’s West Bank and East Jerusalem) was coupled with an evangelical heart for Israel’s salvation. He boldly declared that “life from the dead” would come to all mankind as a result of Israel’s warm embrace of Messiah Yeshua.

Wesley therefore instructed his Methodist followers that they must “speak tenderly to” (the literal Hebrew reads “speak over the heart of”) the Jewish people (see Isaiah 40:1-2). The softest and gentlest prayers from Christians are the key, Wesley said, for God to bring life from the dead to Israel, and then through them both to the Church and to the entire globe.

The honorable Chairman of the Wesley Fellowship, Rev. Herbert McGonigle (commenting on Almighty God of Love) said “This hymn, which can be said to represent the views of both John and Charles Wesley, is well worth studying relative to how the Wesleys read scripture in terms of Israel’s future in God’s plans” Herbert McGonigle (http://www.wesley-fellowship.org.uk/Zionist_Hymn.html).

Apostolic warnings for a last days church

The Apostle from the tribe of Benjamin, Paul offers Gentile believers a prophetic warning in his revolutionary statement of Romans 11:18, 20-22, 29-32:

Do not boast over those (Jewish) branches. If you (Gentile believers) do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you… Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God … For God’s gifts (to the Jewish people) and His calling (on Israel) are irrevocable. Just as you (Gentiles) who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their (Jewish) disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may nowreceive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all.

Paul warns generations of Gentile believers that their attitude to the Jewish people – their expressions of mercy, kindness and honor to Israel – all will affect, indeed have eternal ramifications on the very future of the worldwide body of Messiah, as well as on the ultimate spiritual state of all the nations of the world.

The apostolic teaching is plain: Christian attitudes and expressions of mercy to the Jewish people will bring divine mercy on the Church, while coldhearted Christian condemnation of Israel will bring quite coldhearted divine treatment on those who curse or disparage Israel.

Utzu etza (taking counsel) in Portsmouth (à la Isaiah 8:9-10)

The Methodist Conference for the United Kingdom was held June 24 – July 1 2010 in Portsmouth, England (http://www.methodistconference.org.uk/).  Though the Methodists represent a relatively small and declining community in Britain, they are considered to be the fourth largest English Protestant denomination. According to the conference website, “Methodist Conference first met in 1744 under John Wesley, who gathered together his assistants (both ordained ministers and itinerant lay preachers) to confer together about ‘what to teach, how to teach, and what to do, i.e. how to regulate our doctrine (ed.), discipline and practice.’ … The Conference is the body that agrees policy for the Methodist Church”.

At the conference, a vote was taken and passed on June 30 2010 to boycott Jewish goods and services produced in Judea and Samaria, on the other side of the Green Line – what modern media calls the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Up to this point, the Methodist Church has never boycotted any country; Israel has the distinction of being the first.

Islamo-fascist boycott history

Though the term “Islamofascist” has fallen into disrepute lately in America, this term is cutting edge in explaining a historical context for the “Portsmouth Putsch.”

The two outstanding examples of anti-Semitic boycott in the 20th century were, indeed,

Hitler began with a limited boycott – not of all Jews and not of all Jewish produce – merely of Jewish owned shops, banks, offices and stores in the territory of Germany.  The end result, however, was made clear from the beginning by Dr. Josef Goebbels (Reichsminister für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda), “The boycott will be resumed … until German Jewry has been annihilated” (http://www.ajhs.org/publications/chapters/chapter.cfm?documentID=230).

Hitler gradually moved to a total disenfranchising of all Jewish people from full citizenship in Nazi Germany, and declared on January 30 1939 that his primary goal was genocide of all European Jews: “Today I will once more be a prophet…the result will be … the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe”

Goebbels later clarified that Hitler’s comments referred not just to Europe’s Jews but to the entire Jewish race: “None of the Führer’s prophetic words has come so inevitably true as his prediction that if Jewry succeeded in provoking a second world war, the result would be not the destruction of the Aryan race, but rather the wiping out of the Jewish race” (http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/goeb37.htm). 

What began with a selective boycott of certain Jews in certain territories ended with a total anti-Christ onslaught against the Jews, known today as the Holocaust.

Boycotting Israel before it existed

The Arab boycott was formally declared on December 2, 1945 by the Arab League Council: “Jewish products and manufactured goods shall be considered undesirable to the Arab countries.” All Arab “institutions,  organizations, merchants, commission agents and individuals” are called upon  “to refuse to deal in, distribute, or consume Zionist products or manufactured goods” (http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-gersten-f03.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_League_boycott_of_Israel).

Note that the terms “Jewish” and “Zionist” are used synonymously by the Arab League – their boycott was of all products produced by Jews – and all this in 1945, before the establishment of the State of Israel and while Jewish survivors of Hitler’s death camps were struggling to regain their broken health. 

Israel was being boycotted by the Arab world even before it ever became a nation. This Islamic boycott was up and running in 1945 when Jerusalem and the West Bank were still being occupied and patrolled by British paratroopers (and some of them were undoubtedly British Methodists)! Then, as now, the very existence of a Jewish state was anathema, and its stillbirth or destruction was the Arab boycott’s goal.

“Kairos Palestine” – Israel is a sin

In Portsmouth the Methodist conference was called upon to embrace the “Kairos-Palestine” (hereafter KP) document, a manifesto strongly influenced by both Liberation Theology and Replacement theology. Its Israeli Christian co-signors include the Catholic Patriarch, the Greek-Orthodox Archbishop, the Lutheran Bishop, the former Canon of the Anglican St George’s Cathedral and other non-Evangelical notables (http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/60512/sec_id/60512).

A bold one-sentence summation of the entire article by its authors is starkly clear: “In this historic document, we Palestinian Christians declare that the military occupation of our land is a sin against God and humanity” (http://kairospalestine.ps/?q=node/2).

The KP document condemns those who believe that the Scriptures champion the restoration of the Jewish people to their ancient land. Of course, Charles and John Wesley ardently believed in that restoration.  Were they to have appeared at the Portsmouth conference like Dickens’ “the ghosts of Christmas past,” and attempted to sing “Almighty God of love”, they would have found themselves booed or shouted down, accused of violating democratically approved Methodist doctrine! “O tempora! O mores!” (“O, what times we live in! O, what customs we have developed” free translation of Marcus Tullius Cicero, Second Oration against Verres). Incidentally, the Latin word for ‘time’ is tempora, while the Greek word for time is kairos.

KP: Wesleys views bring death and destruction

In KP’s own words, herein lies “precisely the error in fundamentalist Biblical interpretation that brings us death and destruction . . . This dead letter is used as a weapon in our present history in order to deprive us of our rights in our own land” (http://www.oikoumene.org/gr/resources/documents/other-ecumenical-bodies/kairos-palestine-document.html). Abandoning the biblical teaching of a Jewish return to a land promised to the Jewish people alone, one could say that the KP runs roughshod over the Hebrew prophets like a hit-and-run driver – and then reverses direction and backs up over the Wesleys for good measure!

The KP document does not even call for an end to terrorism. Indeed, it refuses to call terrorism by its unvarnished name. Instead, the document merely makes a blithe reference to the fact that Palestinians engage in armed attacks against Israelis (using the preferred Communist euphemism “struggle” to describe terrorism) while off-handedly admitting that Palestinians are also engaged in “peaceful struggle”. KP then describes the first Intifada (where Palestinians rioted, murdered and tortured their way into a cul-de-sac) as a wonderful example of peaceful struggle. “The Palestinian people has gone the way of the peoples, particularly in the first stages of its struggle with the Israeli occupation. However, it also engaged in peaceful struggle, especially during the first Intifada” (KP. ibid.).

For the authors of the KP document, it seems that rock-throwing and Molotov-cocktail-pitching Palestinian ‘peaceniks’ are an acceptable option, right along with the “first stages of its struggle” – which include (as a fact of history) sniping against soldiers and civilians, improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers in cafés and pizza parlors.

Showing an ideological numbness so prevalent among today’s “politically correct”, both the Methodist declaration and the KP document simplistically mouth the words “peace,” “justice” and “evil,” naively assuming that the God of Israel is on the side of the Palestinian ‘angels’ and against the Jewish state.

Indeed, KP’s declaration that the State of Israel “is a sin against God and humanity” is treacherously close to three of Adolf Hitler’s famous quotes:

  • “By defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord” (Mein Kampf)
  • “…The personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew” (Mein Kampf)
  • “Even when we have driven the Jew out of Germany, he remains our world enemy” (Hermann Rauschning, The Voice of Destruction: Conversations with Hitler 1940, p. 237)

The ox, the ass and the Methodist

Years ago the famed Messianic Yiddish writer Haim (Henry) Einspruch authored a wry book based on Isaiah 1:2-3 and titled “The Ox, The Ass and the Oyster.” His focus was on Yeshua as the Messianic Jewish pearl of great price. Isaiah’s emphasis in the 700’s BC was that the majority of his own Jewish people should have been listening to the prophetic promises and obeying them, but instead they had rebelled, running headlong into the wall of their God-given spiritual foundations.

“Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For YHVH has spoken: sons I have reared and brought them up, but they have rebelled against Me. The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand” (Isaiah 1:2-3).

John Wesley commented on this verse in his “Explanatory Notes”: The Lord “directs His speech to those senseless creatures, that He might awaken (them…), whom He hereby proclaims to be so dull and stupid that they were past hearing, and therefore calls in the whole creation of God to bear witness against them”

(http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=23&c=1).

Wesley’s comments (regarding those in Israel who were disobedient to YHVH in Isaiah’s day) have unfortunately come home to roost today among the flock that the Wesleys themselves once had reared. The recent vote at the Portsmouth conference would be absolutely anathema to the founders of that august denomination. Can it be truthfully said today that the Methodist Conference of England is the spiritual descendent of the Wesleys, especially as it concerns God’s heart and promises for Israel?

The Glory has departed

For centuries the saints of God have gazed upon the machinations and deceptions of world leaders and ruefully (and rightfully!) placed their ultimate hope in the justice and righteousness that Messiah Yeshua will bring when He returns to judge the earth in the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Zechariah 14:1-3).

Years ago Percy Bysshe Shelley composed a sonnet titled “Ozymandias.” In that poem the ruined statue of a once mighty king and empire now lay covered by swirling desert sands (http://www.online-literature.com/shelley_percy/672/).  The inscription on the king’s broken statue boasted that he was “king of kings; look on my works, ye mighty, and  despair!”  Yet in spite of the now-silent boasts, “round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away” (Ozymandias).

Fire once swept through Aldersgate. Under the ministry of the Wesley brothers (among others), trembling crowds of people came into the kingdom of God, weeping under heavenly conviction and crying out with joy. This amazing revival became known as the Methodist revival.

Today, some of God’s distant grandchildren from various Christian denominations, in cooperation with Middle Easterners straight out of Ezekiel 36:2-5, have arrogantly and methodically taken it upon themselves to aid in the dismantling of what God Himself is restoring – the Jewish people to their ancient Promised Land.

What began as a mighty flame and a strangely warming fire at a Moravian prayer chapel in the London Ward of Aldersgate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldersgate) seems now to be a barely flickering flame. Sometimes it even seems to be strange fire at that.

“And she named the child Ichabod, saying, ‘The glory is departed from Israel’ “ (1 Samuel 4:21). In John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes on 1 Samuel 4:21  it is written, “The glory – that is, the glorious type and assurance of God’s presence, the ark, which is often called God’s glory, and which wast the great safeguard and ornament of Israel, which they could glory in above all other nations” (http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=9&c=4). What was once spoken over Israel in the days of Samuel is now being spoken over others.

  • Who will intercede with the God of Jacob so that “Ichabod” will not be written over the archways and entranceways of the churches of the United Kingdom?
  • Who will get up on the wall and pray that vintage evangelical fire, courage and commitment to biblical truth will again fall in power upon the pulpits and conference podiums of England?
  • Who will again raise up a Wesleyan standard of burning love, tender intercession, courageous vision and meaningful practice towards the Jewish people and their state?

Thanks for standing with us. Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do!

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey

Donations can be sent to:

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BOX 121971 NASHVILLE TN  37212-1971 USA

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