Joel of Jerusalem Oct/Nov 1977

In a few days I will finish my current tour of duty in the army. This has not been a pleasant period for me, and I will be glad to get home to my family, but still I am happy. This was an important time in my witness for the Lord. There were many attacks made against us, and so I had many opportunities to show my comrades that they were following false teachings. If I do not tell them, who will? They will continue in their old ways and will never know, until it is too late, that they were following the ways of darkness.

Because the men had been urged on by their superiors, the attacks on me were stronger than ever before. I asked my accusers, “What do you want me to do? Shall I forsake God, shall I leave my faith?” “Yes, leave your faith!” they demanded. “All right, then take the Bible from me,” I said. One of them took the Bible and commented, “The Bible belongs to us anyway. How can you read the same Bible as we do, when you believe on a different God?” “That is not true,” I countered. “Your God is my God, and your Bible is also my Bible. As a believer, I too have a right to follow what is written in it. Now, what more will you have me do?”

One of them responded, “We do not want you to preach about the Lord anymore.” “How can I not preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus,” I asked, “when it is written right here in the Bible? You know of Abraham, Moses, Jonah, Isaiah, Hosea – all were Jewish heroes and all preached the Gospel – so I must also. The things I tell you are written in black and white, and you can see them for yourselves.”

I continued by saying, “Tell me, are you following the traditions of men or true faith?” “We are following the traditions of our fathers,” they said, “and we also follow the faith of our fathers.” “But, are you sure your fathers were walking the right path?” I questioned. “Of course we are sure,” they said. I continued, “How can you be so confident that they were right?” “Because they were our fathers!” they snapped.

At this point I read to them several passages from the Bible concerning mothers and fathers, such as Psalm 27:7-10 and Ezekiel 18:18. I told them, “From these examples you can see that fathers in the flesh are not always so right, and we should not always follow their ways. If we follow after the living God, our souls will be saved and we will receive everlasting life.”

I then reminded them. “You were sent here to attack me, and I have shown you the truth. You can even bring to me those who sent you. I am not afraid, because I believe on God and not on man’s tradition, as you do. I will be very happy to show all of you how you can receive life through faith in the Messiah. And, I will not do it in hate but in love, as we are instructed to do in the 12th chapter of Romans.”

After this they cooled off and I could see that they no longer wanted to attack me, so we began to have a good conversation about the Lord Jesus. Then, the ones who sent the men came to my tent. They were very sure that by this time I would be subdued, not by power but by the strong warnings they had instructed the men to bring me. When they saw that we were having a peaceful discussion about the Lord, they were surprised and asked, “What is happening here?” I replied, “These men are now my friends, even though they were my enemies at the start. Then they were feeling very sure of themselves, but they do not think they are heroes any longer. We have come to a good understanding and a unity of mind.”

One of the men then said to me, “We were sure that you were going against our Bible with what you were saying, but now we are not so sure. We are sorry about this mistake.” I told them, “It is only by our mistakes that we learn and can know what is right. It is written in the Bible that if we turn from our sins, God will forgive us and remember our sins no more.”

It was very thrilling to see that they gladly received not only the Old Testament, but also the New Testament. I praise the Lord that He was able to accomplish what for me was an impossibility.

 

*Editor’s Note:

Dear Concerned Christian:

I know you are appreciative of the courage and faithfulness of Joel of Jerusalem. The attacks on him have become organized and more concentrated in recent days. We would deeply appreciate your prayers on his behalf, that he shall remain faithful in his witness for the Lord.

Features

From the Editor Jul/Aug 2021

Who among us, at one time or another, has not questioned God? Why, Lord, did You let my baby die? Why didn’t You heal my child? Why do You allow Christians to...

The Real Friend of Israel

Many Americans are still reeling from the results of the 2020 presidential election. According to two surveys, between 76 and...

Job: Misery’s Poster Child

Americans entered 2020 with great hope. The stock market, employment, and prosperity were at all-time highs...

The Wrong Trifecta

After his wife’s death, C. S. Lewis kept a journal documenting his journey of grief. It was later published as A Grief Observed. One of the entries jolted me...

What Not to Say

I hung up the phone in shock. I had called looking for comfort, maybe some sympathy. A man who had been a pillar in my life and a spiritual father to me had passed away...

Can You?

It is never fun to be in God’s waiting room. If Job could speak with us, he probably would verify the difficulty of waiting on the Lord. Job’s story, told in the Bible book...


Subscription Options

1 Year Digital Subscription

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads

$9.99 every year

1 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Complete Access to Our Growing Archive—Eventually Back Through Our Inaugural Issue In 1942
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads of Current Issues and Select Archives

$19.99 every year

2 Year Digital Subscription

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads

$19.99 every 2 years

2 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Complete Access to Our Growing Archive—Eventually Back Through Our Inaugural Issue In 1942
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads of Current Issues and Select Archives

$39.99 every 2 years

3 Year Digital Subscription

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads

$29.99 every 3 years

3 Year Digital with Archive Access

  • *Free PDF Book Download - What on Earth is God Doing? by Renald Showers
  • *Complete Access to Our Growing Archive—Eventually Back Through Our Inaugural Issue In 1942
  • *Free Full-Issue PDF Downloads of Current Issues and Select Archives

$59.99 every 3 years

Free 1 Year Digital Subscription

Unlimited Articles

Unlimited Posts

Free