The Jerusalem Prayer List – May 7, 2009

There are some phenomena that are axiomatic and they will never change. One of these phenomena is innocent blood that is shed in vain will never be quiet until it is satisfied. I get this concept from the Word of God: “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. “So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” (Gen. 4:9-11)

 


Cain spilled his brother’s blood. They were two brothers alone in the field. No other human eye saw what happened. There were no human witnesses there to testify against Cain. In a modern court Cain would have been acquitted for lack of evidence and walked out of the court, and that would especially be true if he was a rich man and had good lawyers. God looked from heaven and God saw what Cain had done to his brother. Cain killed an innocent man and buried him in the ground. Cain had the idea that he will get by with it and since the body and the blood is buried deep in the ground there will be no consequence to his actions.

It is a very serious thing to shed innocent blood and in Judaism it is taught that until that blood is satisfied either by repentance or by correction (some kind of restitution) or by atonement the innocent blood will not stop shouting and clamoring.

Marcia and I are on the flight from Portugal back to Israel. We have spent a week in Portugal in a conference dealing with Christianism and Marranism. The conference was held in Vimioso a very small town near the Portuguese boarder with Spain way up in Northern Portugal. I would say that the best known authorities on the question of the Portuguese inquisition were in the conference and gave lectures on this very dark and very painful subject. For those who don’t know, the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions were held against Jews who were forcibly converted to Catholicism in the 14th and 15th Centuries and than persecuted, tortured, killed, burned in public for retaining some of their Jewish traditions and biblical feasts. Lecture after lecture from professors and researchers brought to light the records from the so called “holy office” of the Catholic Church in Portugal. These records tell the story of whole families who were questioned with torture that would horrify even the most seasoned Green Beret or American Special Forces veteran who survived the Viet Nam war. The “holy office” of the Catholic Church not only tortured and burned people alive, but also forced them to turn on their own family and reveal at least one member of their family that participated in the “Jewish rites.” In this way the Catholic Church desimated whole families and sometimes whole villages and took the property of these Jewish converts for the “church.”

It was very interesting to visit a very small village in the Duoro region of Portugal, the village of Argozelo. There we talked to an old woman who told us that up to fifty years ago when a “Jew” who was from among the “New Christians” would walk up to the upper part of town the “Old Christians” would shout “Jew,” “Jew,” and throw stones at him. The first intermarriage between so called, “Old Christian” and “New Christian” happened in this village only fifty years ago. This means that for nearly 450 years the hate and enmity of the “Christians” was still burning even after these Jews were forced to convert and actually became Catholic and went to church and celebrated the so called Christian holidays. Now I can understand why my family rejected me after I received Yeshua as my Savior and threw me out of the house! For them it would have been better to see me dead than to see me become a Christian. It was several years later when my family saw that I did not really become an enemy of the Jewish people that they opened up their hearts and received Yeshua as the Messiah.

Now back to the issue of the blood of the innocent that will not stop shouting and calling out of the ground of Spain and Portugal until it is satisfied. Professor Elvira Miea from the Oporto University said that in Oporto alone there were 12,000 executions during the years of the Inquisition, there were 40,000 recorded cases of the “auto-de-fe”, the court examination of the “holy office” of the Catholic Church. Imagine now these 12,000 innocent souls that their blood was shed in vain for the sole purpose of the Christian Catholic Church to take their property and to protect their false doctrine that a Jew that believes in Jesus can not remain a Jew. They forced the Jews that believed in Jesus to change their names and take so called “Christian names” and they forced them to sign papers that they would not celebrate any Jewish rites and not circumcise their children and not eat kosher food . . . .

For this reason I believe that it is time for true Christians and true disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) to raise up their voices and forget about being Catholic or Protestant or even Messianic Jewish – it is time for the disciples of Yeshua to be Disciples of Yeshua the Messiah, the Son of God, and the King of the Jews.

We had wonderful meetings with the academics that are dealing with this subject and we had a wonderful meeting with the mayor and chancellor of another very important historical city that have agreed to participate and put the resources of the municipality and the city at our disposal to hold a conference that will bring to light this issue and call upon both Jewish and Christian authorities to work toward the restoration of the Marranos back into the Jewish fold. The idea is that they will be recognized as Jews and not be forced to convert to modern Orthodox Judaism. Forcing these people to convert to Orthodox Judaism today would be exactly the same as the Catholic Church did five hundred years ago when they were forced to accept and agree to things that they never agreed to. These people have kept their Jewish identity in secret for hundreds of years and paid a very high price for it and they ought not be subjected to accept now customs and practices that are totally foreign to them. Please start praying for this conference and plan to attend it in Portugal and continue the second half of the same conference in Israel. We will plan a special tour to Israel after the meeting in Portugal to discover the Sephardic heritage of the Jews that survived the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition.

The conference is being planned for the second half of 2010, and there will be people of influence and stature from both Portugal and Israel, the United States, and the Far East that will speak and teach and stress the fact that the Bible and the New Testament do not and did not force Jews to stop being Jewish in order to be saved and to receive the Messiah. Just look at one such passage from 1Cor. 7:17-20, “But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called.”

It is up to us today to fix the wrong that was done before us by prayer and repentance and calling the authorities in Israel, Portugal, Rome, and other places to do all that they can to at least recognize and apologize to the survivors of the Inquisition.

The Talmud says:

“They were wicked, but they placed their faith in the Holy One blessed be he. For it is written, “The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money, yet will they lean upon the Lord and say, ‘Is not the Lord in the midst of us? No evil shall come upon us’” (Mic. 3:11). Therefore the Holy One, blessed be he, brought down upon them three evil decrees as against the three vices that were theirs: “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field and Jerusalem shall become heaps and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest” (Mic. 3:12). But as to the second sanctuary, in which the people were engaged in Torah and practice of the commandments and acts of loving kindness, on what account was it destroyed? It was because of gratuitous hatred. That fact serves to teach you: gratuitous hatred weighs in the balance against the three cardinal sins of idolatry, fornication, and murder.” And also see the following text from the Talmud: “Come and take note of what the exegetical unfolding of the passage adduces in evidence: “Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to the other.” That proves that bloodshed had become cheap in their eyes, while the matter of the cultic cleanness of utensils retained its original importance. . . . . What need do I have, then, for the proof-text, “So you shall put away the guilt of the innocent blood from the midst of you (Deu. 21:9)?”

In the above texts it is easy to see that when innocent blood is shed it must be redeemed or it will continue to be held against us. The interesting part is that the Rabbis understand that they have concentrated on dealing with the cultic cleanness of utensils and ignored the much more heavier matters of the innocent blood that was shed in Jerusalem when the leaders of the people shouted Crucify Him, Crucify Him!

Please pray for us all to work toward the accomplishment of this conference and bring this matter to the forefront of Israel’s agenda and also bring the restoration of faith and the grace of God to the last generation of these hidden Jews of Portugal.

You might ask a reasonable question. How will this action help the Jewish people in Israel? My answer right now is that this will help every Jewish Disciple of Yeshua the Messiah world wide. The details of this “how” can not be shared right now, but they will become very clear in the future.

We are on our way home to Jerusalem right now, but we have a deep burden on our hearts for the sick in Jerusalem and among all our friends and brothers the world over. We are praying for Tapio and Terttu in Sweden. They are our close friends and supporters and they pray for us for so many years. We have been praying for them privately because Tapio has falled from very high and has really damaged his health, but this is now a request for all of you to lift Tapio before the Lord and ask for a full recovery of Tapio’s health.

We pray for Paulo in Curitiba, Brazil. We continue to pray for Ruby in Oklahoma. We continue to pray for Lonnie and Barbara in N.C., and for Tim Tucker in Finland. Danah and Noaam, our daughter and granddaughter are also in need of prayer for their health.

In Israel we continue to pray for Aggi a dear friend who is facing cancer, and for Dubi a dear old friend who is quite old and dealing with cancer. We also lift up Miriam, Ahuva, Lea, Liora, Sarit, Sara and Zvi, and Marcia.

There are a whole lot of people and friends that need work both in Israel and in the United States and in fact in the whole world. It is good for us all to pray for the financial situation in the world and ask for mercy and grace from God so that He can extend His goodness and not judge our generation more harshly.

I will stop this letter now and ask you to continue your prayers for Netivyah and the Ministries of Netivyah in Israel and in other places in the world. I also ask you to pray for our brothers and sisters in Brazil and lift them up because they are full partners and participants in this project of the Restoration of the Marrano Jews.

To God be the Glory and Honor and Blessing for ever and ever, Amen!

Joseph Shulam

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