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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 while Shepherd Press produced his Devotional Commentary Jonah: A Prophet on the Run.
Baruch has written a series of commentaries in Hebrew on Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Jonah, Nahum and Malachi,Romans and Colossians. He has written an Introdution to the Life and Epistles of Paul, an Introduction to Systematic Theology, an Introduction to Systematic Theology, and edited a modern translation of the Bible into Hebrew. He is also translating the New Testament into Modern Hebrew and engaged in other writing projects. In the pipeline are books on church life and structure, How to Preach and Listen to Sermons, and daily Christian disciplines. 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 Israel, 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 bottom of this page. His faceBook and Linkedin pages serve as blogs and provide almost daily information on the scene in Israel. His postings are also avaialble via Twitter @BaruchMaoz
July 14, 2015
The Agreement With Iran
In contrast with all Israeli politicians but the Arab members of Israel's parliament, informed Israeli commentators and security personnel are divided as to the value of the agreement with Iran and as to whether or not the agreement will be effective in keeping Iran from nuclear militarily capabilities over the next 10-12 years.
All agree that the opportunity to stymie Iran's destabilizing efforts, its striving after Middle East hegemony, its aggressive stance against the West and its declared intention to work for the destruction of Israel was missed; that the agreement will enrich Iran and thereby further encourage its efforts in the above directions and that it will also enable Iran to prepare for military nuclearization once the agreement has run its course, all the while improving its present ballistic arsenal by which nuclear warheads may be delivered.
Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is adamant in his rejection of the agreement.
From my commentary on Colossians
The only wise God who made the world and has purposed its redemption through Christ,
who will bring all things into subjection to Christ and unite all things in him,
we adore you for your wonderful plan.
We thrill at the thought that the awful effects of sin will be undone
and that all the world will be made subject to Christ.
Help us subject ourselves to him now most willingly.
Help us live with others by focusing on your holy Son,
by ignoring what sin would use to divide
and by relating to others selflessly rather than seeking to compete.
Give us grace to show grace,
and by this manifest your Son’s presence among us.
We humble ourselves before you
and freely confess that we need your help,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.
June 27, 2015
From my commentary on Colossians:
Great God of truth and righteousness
who sees all things as they are, not as we would have them appear to be,
we confess with sorrow and shame that we find it easier to focus on the tangible and the visible than on Christ, on holiness, or on truth.
We tend to trust in ourselves more than in you.
We dare think it is within our power to contribute to our walk with you.
As a result, we lose sight of Christ, the perfect savior, and deny the grace that saved and consecrated us.
Teach us to hunger truly,
to seek those things that are above where Christ sits at your right hand,
and to conduct our lives in chastened holiness.
Forgive us our pride and cleanse us of it,
that you might have all the glory through Jesus Christ, amen.
June 20, 2015
To my readers,
I apologize for being incommunicado for over a week. In the course of this time I packed and moved our belongings, accumulated over 47 years of marriage and 17 years in our home in Gedera, moved and rearranged them in our new (much smaller) home, cleaned both homes, sold some of our furniture, gave some away, handed our old home over to the buyer, held a meeting with the literary editor of my translation of the NT into Modern Hebrew, travelled to the US, met Bracha, spent a day with our daughter and drove 12.5 hours to Canada to spend the coming week with our foster daughter, Katya, and her family. For some days I simply did not have an Internet connection. On others, I simply did not have the time. We were even forced to skip an issue of MaozNews -- something that has not happened ever since MaozNews was first published, over 40 years ago. We are now engaged in our US trip, in the course of which I will renew postings. Your prayers for the trip would be much appreciated.
As ever, we will visiting churches and seeking to serve them in the Gospel, spending time with the family and seeking to help roll back the impact of the Messianic Movement. In addition, we will be making strenuous efforts to reduce the impact of our loss of a large part of our assured income following the withdrawal of a major supporter. The loss of this income has significantly reduced our ability to meet obligations.
Thank you for your patience with us.
From my commentary on Colossians:
Almighty God, glorious in all that you do,
our delight is in your Son, our Savior
in whom all the fullness of the godhead dwells bodily.
Seldom do we think of him as we ought.
All too often we are taken up with our shibboleths instead of making him the focus of our lives and our endeavors.
Teach us to live with all the redeemed in accordance with the Gospel.
Make Christ so important to us that our differences will fade in the light of his glory. Cause us to seek from you and each other nothing more than Jesus
and be satisfied with him
until the glorious day will come when by the power of grace we shall be like him
for we shall see him as he is.
We plead in Jesus’ name,
In This Issue:
A Personal Comment, pg. 1
Gaza and the Syrian Border, pg. 2
On Being a Christian in our Culture, pg. 3
The Ministry, pg. 7
Gulf States Concerns over US Policy in the Middle East
(MEMRI -- Middle East Media Research Institute -- Special Dispatch 6047, May 12 2015)
May 14, 2015 is the date set for the summit at Camp David between U.S. President Barack Obama and heads of state of the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, and Oman. A meeting at the White House with President Obama and the conferees is planned for the preceding day, May 13.
The objective of the Camp David summit, as announced several weeks ago, is to reassure the GCC countries about the nuclear agreement slated to be signed with Iran next month, as well as to discuss tighter U.S.-Gulf security cooperation. In advance of the summit, the GCC held several preparatory meetings at various diplomatic levels, including: an April 20 meeting of GCC foreign ministers; a May 4 summit of GCC heads of state which was attended also by French President François Hollande; a May 7 meeting in Riyadh of Saudi Foreign Minister 'Adel Al-Jubeir and his U.S. counterpart Secretary of State John Kerry; and a May 8 meeting in Paris of all the GCC foreign ministers and Kerry.
However, on May 9, Saudi Arabia announced that Saudi King Salman would not be at the Camp David summit as planned, and that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would be participating in his stead. Saudi Foreign Minister 'Adel Al-Jubeir explained that the monarch would not attend because he had to stay home to ensure peace and security in Yemen and to oversee the arrival of humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people.
Later, it was reported that the Bahraini king, the UAE president, and the Sultan of Oman would also not be attending the summit, sending representatives instead. As of this writing, the Emirs of Kuwait and Qatar are the only GCC heads of state who are planning to attend.
The downgrade of the level of representation at the summit appears to constitute a message to the U.S. that Saudi Arabia and the other GCC member countries were not pleased with the preliminary talks with Secretary of State Kerry, and also that they were disappointed at what the summit would achieve. According to a May 2, 2015 New York Times report, the Saudis had even then hinted that they would downgrade their representation if they felt that the summit was not going to produce results that conformed to their expectations.
In fact, Arab press reports that preceded the announcement of downgraded representation pointed to what the GCC countries were demanding from the U.S., as well as to dissatisfaction on their part. At the May 4 summit of GCC heads of state with Hollande, Saudi King Salman called on the international community, especially the P5+1 that is negotiating with Iran, to "set stricter rules that guarantee the region's security and prevent it from plunging into an arms race." The king also stipulated that any final agreement with Iran must include unambiguous security guarantees. Additionally, on May 7, UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba announced that the GCC would demand from the U.S. guarantees in writing that the latter would defend it from Iran. Likewise, on May 9, the London-based Saudi daily Al-Hayat reported that even at the May 8 meeting with Kerry, the GCC foreign ministers had demanded U.S. guarantees that their countries would have military superiority over Iran.
also reported, on May 9, that the Gulf heads of state, headed by the Saudi monarch, would not settle for aid, military contracts, and defense systems provided by the U.S., but that they were seeking "clear, honest, and practical clarification, by means of absolutely firm, long-term resolutions, that Iran would be prevented from actualizing its expansionist aspirations in the region and from developing nuclear weapons…" Elaph also reported that "the Gulf leaders are headed for confrontation with the American president, and they want answers and explanations about his positions on these burning issues…"
On May 12, three days after the Saudis announced that King Salman would not be attending the summit, it was reported that President Obama and King Salman had spoken by phone about the preparations for the summit, and had discussed the agenda of the meetings that would take place during it. Both the White House, in an announcement, and Saudi Foreign Minister 'Adel Al-Jubeir, at a press conference, emphasized the continuing Saudi-U.S. partnership. According to the White House announcement, Obama and Salman had, in their phone conversation, "reviewed the agenda for the upcoming meetings" and had "agreed on the necessity of working closely, along with other GCC member states, to build a collective capacity to address more effectively the range of threats facing the region and to resolve regional conflicts." The two also discussed "the importance of a comprehensive agreement between the P5+1 and Iran that verifiably ensures the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program" and "emphasized the strength of the two countries’ partnership, based on their shared interest and commitment to the stability and prosperity of the region, and agreed to continue... close consultations on a wide range of issues." Also, at a Washington press conference, the Saudi foreign minister stressed that King Salman's "absence from the summit is not in any way connected to any disagreement between the two countries," adding, "We have no doubts about the U.S.'s commitment to Saudi and Gulf security. The U.S. will present the Gulf countries with a new level of cooperation that will meet the needs on the ground."
At the same time, the Saudi press published numerous articles, including op-eds and editorials, fiercely attacking the Obama administration's Middle East policy, stating that it had repeatedly disappointed the Arab countries, in its positions on Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, and Iran. The articles accused the Obama administration of reinforcing Iran's power in the region so much so that it was now threatening GCC interests and claimed that it was not the Iranian nuclear bomb but Iran's imperialism in the region and Iran's interference in the affairs of the Arab countries that was the "real bomb threatening [the Arab countries'] security," and called on the U.S. to curb these. These articles focused on the demands that the GCC countries would be presenting to Obama at the summit, including that he change his policy towards Iran and "restore the regional balance," while at the same time he would undertake unprecedented security military cooperation with the GCC. The articles emphasized that "the Gulf countries no longer believe the U.S.'s promises and guarantees," and that they would now demand guarantees in writing. Some of the articles even warned that U.S.-GCC relations were now at a point of a grave, even critical crisis of confidence, and that the Camp David summit was a chance for the U.S. to prevent the collapse of its alliance with the GCC. If this alliance did fall apart, they said, U.S. interests in the region would suffer, and the smoldering regional conflict would erupt into a conflagration.
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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
For more, see below.
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