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To: NYer
This one in particular caught my attention:
–Sometime before the Second Coming, two-thirds of the Jews in "the whole land" will be exterminated (Zechariah 13:8-9):
"In the whole land, says the LORD, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'They are my people'; and they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'"
In fact, during the Holocaust almost exactly two-thirds of Europe's Jews perished (estimates vary between 60% and 72%). [5]
I would think most conservative Jewish scholars would interpret "the whole land" as referring to the ancient land of Israel.

Seems that if you are going to twist the prophecies to the extent suggested here you can pretty much make the Bible say anything you want it to say.

And this:

Jesus Himself prophesied the conversion of the Jews prior to the Second Coming when He said (Matthew 23:37-39):
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem.... Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"
Here Jesus is saying that he will not be seen again (i.e., the Second Coming will not occur) until "you" (the Jews) say, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (i.e., acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah).
Is that really what Jesus was saying? Is the author limiting the timeframe to some period just prior to the second coming, or can this not describe the entire NT age?

I see a lot of Roman Catholic dogma being mentioned, but just curious, are these authoritative interpretations of the Bible, or one man’s suggestions?

The article reads like a strange mix of modern-day fundamentalist Christian eschatology and moderately conservative Jewish thinking. And it doesn’t seem to do either one very well.

12 posted on 11/01/2007 1:28:45 PM PDT by topcat54 ("Friends don't let friends listen to dispensationalists.")
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To: topcat54; Alex Murphy
I see a lot of Roman Catholic dogma being mentioned, but just curious, are these authoritative interpretations of the Bible, or one man’s suggestions?

As far as I can see, he is not quoting Catholic dogma. It helps, however, to be familiar with his upbringing.

I went to my synagogue's after-school Jewish religious education program ("Hebrew School") all the way through grammer and high school.  By high school it was the main focus of my identity and activities, even though by that point there were only about a half-dozen of us who had continued in the program.  I was very close to my rabbi and to several of the seminarians who were my Hebrew school teachers.  As Providence had it, my hometown rabbi was Arthur Hertzberg.  One of the highest-profile rabbis in the U.S., he was president of the American Jewish Congress, advisor to several presidents, and wrote a number of best-selling books on Judaism and Jewish history.  My favorite Hebrew school teacher, with whom I was particularly close, also became a very prominent rabbi who later headed the largest Jewish rabbinical seminary in the U.S..
Growing up I was unusually devout and passionate about God and Judaism, although the suburban conservative context I was in did not really support a life of piety, faith and prayer. In my senior year of high school I met a very charismatic "mystic" Hasidic Rabbi (Shlomo Carlebach) who used to go around the country giving "concerts" which were really prayer meetings over which he would preside, playing guitar and leading Hasidic worship songs, interspersed with religious story-telling and teaching. He had a large following among Jewish hippies and college students.   I fell in with him, and spent the following summer traveling with him in Israel in his entourage.  I wanted to live my life for God and with God, and while in Israel I considered abandoning my plans to go to M.I.T. in order to stay in Israel studying at one of the Jerusalem yeshivas (which are schools where young men devote their time to prayer and religious study, the closest thing Judaism has to religious life).  But I was turned off by a certain sterility and coldness which I saw in them, and which did not speak of real intimacy with God.

He is coming from a solid foundation in Jewish scripture, which is far more than the books we read in the OT. Add to this the experience he had on Cape Cod.

During the spring of 1987 I took a few days off from work and went to Cape Cod to spend time in the nature there.  I was walking in the early morning, in the woods just back from the beach, when God intervened, dramatically and distinctly, into my life to pull me back and put me onto the right path.  As I was walking, lost in my thoughts, I found myself in the immediate presence of God.  It is as though I "fell into Heaven."  Everything changed from one moment to the next, but in such a smooth and subtle way that I was not aware of any discontinuity.  I felt myself in the immediate presence of God.  I was aware of His infinite exaltedness, and of His infinite and personal love for me.  I saw my life as though I was looking back on it after death, in His presence, and could see everything which I would be happy about and everything which I would wish I had done differently.  I saw that every action I had ever done mattered, for good or for evil.  I saw that everything which had ever happened in my life had been perfectly designed for my own good from the infinitely wise and loving hand of God, not only including but especially those things which I at the time I thought had been the greatest catastrophes.  I saw that my two greatest regrets when I died would be every moment which I had wasted not doing anything of value in the eyes of God, and all of the time and energy which I had wasted worrying about not being loved when every moment of my existence I was bathed in an infinite sea of love, although unaware of it.  I saw that the meaning and purpose of my life was to worship and serve my Lord and Master, in whose presence I found myself.  I wanted to know His name, so that I could worship Him properly, so that I could follow "His" religion.  I remember silently praying "Tell me your name.  I don't mind if You're Apollo, and I have to become a Roman pagan.  I don't mind if You're Krishna, and I have to become a Hindu.  I don't mind if You're Buddha, and I have to become a Buddhist.  As long as You're not Christ, and I have to become a Christian!" (Jewish readers might be able to identify with this deep-rooted aversion to Christianity, based on the mistaken belief that it was the "enemy" which lay behind two thousand years of persecution of the Jews.)

Not surprisingly, He did not tell me His name. Obviously, I wasn't ready to hear it — my resistance at the time was still too great.  But I knew, from that moment on, the meaning and purpose and goal of my life; and that sense has not faded or wavered, although the immediate state of perception did.

When I got back home, everything was different. 

Roy Schoeman has stood in the presence of God and reviewed his life. This is an extraordinary occurence. God chose him for a particular reason. As he said: But I knew from that moment on, the meaning and purpose and goal of my life; and that sense has not faded or wavered ... .

This is only one chapter from the book which is well worth reading. And, if you are interested in the rest of his conversion story, you will find it here.

14 posted on 11/01/2007 5:45:30 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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