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MM#53.  CHARLIE THE DRUMMER BOY  –  DEC 2008

 

 

 

 

CHARLIE THE DRUMMER BOY

By DR MAX ROSSVALY

 

 

A KEEPING GOD –

AMIDST HITLER’S REIGN OF TERROR

BY LISETTE ORCHER MUTTON

 

 

IT IS TIME FOR Israel TO return

and seek YHWH TheIr God

BY DON STANTON

    CHARLIE, THE DRUMMER BOY

BY DR MAX ROSSVALLY

“Doctor, I promise you that I will not even groan while you cut off my leg and arm.”  The boy kept his promise, but that night I could not sleep, for whichever way I turned, I saw those soft blue eyes, and his words kept ringing in my ears.

DURING the American Civil War, I was a surgeon in the Army, and after the Battle of Gettysburg there were hundreds of wounded soldiers in the hospital, requir­ing my services.

One was a boy who required both leg and arm amputated. He had been but three months in service, and being too young for a soldier, had enlisted as a drummer.

When my assistant surgeon wished to give chloroform before the operation, the boy turned his head and refused. When he was told it was doctor’s orders, he replied, “Send the doctor to me.”

When I came to his bedside I said, “Young man, why do you refuse chloroform? When I found you on the battlefield you were so far gone that I thought it hardly worth while to pick you up, but when you opened those large blue eyes I thought you had a mother somewhere who might be thinking of her boy. I did not want you to die on the field, so ordered you to be brought here, but you have lost so much blood that you are too weak to have an operation without chloroform.”

He laid his hand in mine, and looking me in the face said, “Doctor, one Sunday afternoon, when I was nine years old, I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I learned to trust in Him then. I have been trusting Him ever since, and I know I can trust Him now. He is my strength. He will support me while you take off my arm and leg.”

I asked him if he would allow me to give him a little brandy. Again he looked at me saying. “Doctor, when I was about five years, my mother knelt by my side and said, ‘Charlie, I am now praying to the Lord Jesus that you may never know the taste of strong drink. Your father died a drunkard, and I promised God, if it was His will, you should grow up, and warn young men about the bitter cup.’ I am now seventeen, but I have never tasted anything stronger than tea or coffee, and as I may be about to go into the presence of my God, would you send me there smelling of brandy?”

The look the boy gave me I shall never forget. At that time I hated Jesus, but I respected that boy’s loyalty to his Savi­our, and when I saw how he loved and trusted Him to the last, there was something that touched my heart. I asked him if he wished to see the chaplain. “Oh, yes sir!” he answered.

When the chaplain came, he at once knew the boy, having met him at the tent prayer meetings. Taking his hand, he said, “Well, Charlie, I am sorry to see you in this sad condition.1'

“Oh, I am alright sir,” he answered. “If my Saviour calls me, I am ready, and can go to Him in my right mind.”

“You may not die, Charlie,” said the chaplain, “but if the Lord should call you away, is there anything I can do for you after you are gone?”

“Chaplain, please put your hand under my pillow and take my little Bible, in which you will find my mother’s address. Please send it to her, and write a letter and tell her that since the day I left home I have never let a day pass without read­ing a portion of God’s Word, and daily praying that God would bless my dear mother, no matter whether I was on the march, on the battlefield, or in the hospital.”

Turning towards me he said; “Now, doctor. I am ready, and I promise you that I will not even groan while you take off my arm and leg, if you will not offer me chloroform.”

I pro­mised but I had not the courage to take the knife in my hand to perform the operation without first going to the next room and taking a little stimulant to nerve myself to perform my duty.

While cutting through the flesh, Charlie never groaned, but when I took the saw to separate the bone the lad took the corner of his pillow in his mouth and all that 1 could hear him utter was, “O, Jesus, blessed Jesus, stand by me now!” He kept his promise.

That night I could not sleep, for whichever way I turned I saw those soft blue eyes, and the words, “Blessed Jesus, stand by me now,” kept ringing in my ears. Between twelve and one o’clock I left my bed and visited the hospital, a thing I had never done before unless especially called, but such was my desire to see that boy. Upon my arrival there I was informed that sixteen cases had died.

“How is Charlie?  Is he among the dead?” I asked.

“No sir,” answered the steward “he is sleeping as sweetly as a baby.”

A SONG IN PAIN

When I came to the bed where he lay, one of the nurses told me that earlier two members of the Young Men’s Christian Association came through the hospital to read and sing a hymn. They were accompanied by the chaplain, who knelt by Charlie’s bed and offered a fervent prayer, after which they sang, while still on their knees, the hymn, “Jesus, Lover of my soul,” in which Charlie joined. I could not understand how that boy, who had undergone such great pain, could sing.

Five days after I had amputated that boy’s leg and arm, he sent for me, and it was from him that I heard my first Gospel sermon.

“Doctor,” he said, “my time has come, I do not expect to see another sun rise, but thank God, I am ready to go, and be­fore I die, I desire to thank you with all my heart for your kind­ness to me. Doctor, you are a Jew, you do not believe in Jesus; will you please stand here and see me die, trusting my Saviour to the last moment of my life?”

I did not have the courage to stand by and see a Christian boy die rejoicing in the love of that Jesus whom I had been taught to hate, so I hurriedly left the room. Later a steward found me sitting in my office covering my face with my hands and said, “Doctor, Charlie wishes to see you.” “I have just seen him,” I answered, “and I cannot see him again.”

“But Doctor, he says he must see you once more before he dies.” I decided to see him, but was determined that no word of his should influence me so far as his Jesus was concerned. When I entered the hospital I saw that he was dying fast, so I sat down by his bed. Asking me to take his hand, he said, “Doctor, I love you because you are a Jew; the best friend I have found in this world was a Jew.”

I asked, “Who was that?”

He answered, “Jesus Christ, to whom I want to introduce you before I die, and will you promise me, Doctor, that what I am about to say to you, you will never forget?”

I promised, and he said, “Five days ago, while you amputa­ted my arm and leg, I prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ to save your soul.”

CONCERN FOR MY UNCONVERTED STATE

These words went deep into my heart. I could not under­stand how, when I was causing him the most intense pain, he could forget all about himself, and think of nothing but his Saviour and my unconverted state. All I could say to him was, “Well, my dear boy, you will soon be alright.” With these words I left him, and twelve minutes later he died.

Hundreds of soldiers died in my hospital during the war, but I only followed one to the grave -- that one was Charlie the drummer boy.

That boy’s dying words made a deep impression upon me. For several months after Charlie’s death, I could not get rid of the words. They kept ringing in my ears, but being in the com­pany of officers, I gradually forgot the sermon Charlie preached in his dying hour, but I never could forget his wonderful patien­ce under acute suffering, and his simple trust in that Jesus whose name to me at that time was a by-word and a reproach.

For ten long years I fought against Christ with all the hatred of an orthodox Jew, until God in His mercy brought me in contact with a Christian barber, who was a second instrument in my conversion to God.

One day on my way to Washington I stopped to rest a few hours at New York. After dinner I stepped downstairs to the barber’s shop.

No sooner had the barber put the brush to my face than he began to talk to me about Jesus. He spoke in such an attractive and loving manner that I listened with growing attention. All the time he was talking, Charlie the drummer boy came swelling up in my mind, although he had been dead ten years.

I was so pleased with the words and manner of the barber that when he had finished shaving me, I told him next to cut my hair. All the while he kept preaching to me, and telling me that although not a Jew himself, he was at one time as far away from Christ as I was then.

I listened attentively, my interest increasing with every word. When he finished cutting my hair I said, “Barber, you may now give me a shampoo,” in fact I allowed him to do all that one in his profession could do at one sitting.

There is, however, an end to all things, and I prepared to leave. I paid my bill, thanked the barber for his remarks, and said, “I must catch the next train.” It was a bitter cold day, and ice on the ground made it dangerous to walk on the streets. It was only two minutes’ walk to the station from the hotel, and the kind barber at once offered to walk to the station with me. When we got to the station he said, “Stranger, perhaps you do understand why I chose to talk to you upon a subject so dear to me. When you entered my shop I saw by your face that you were a Jew.”

He still continued to talk to me about his “dear Saviour,” and said he felt it his duty, whenever he came in contact with a Jew, to try and introduce him to One whom he felt was his best Friend, both for this world and for the world to come.

On looking into his face, I saw tears trickling down his cheeks, and he was evidently under deep emotion. I could not understand how it was that this man, a total stranger to me, should take such a deep interest in my welfare, and also shed tears while talking to me.

I reached out my hand to bid him good-bye. He took it in both of his and gently pressed it, the tears still continuing to run down his face, and said, “Stranger, if you will give me your card or name, I promise you, that during the next three months I will not retire to rest at night without making mention of you by name in my prayers. And now may my Saviour follow you, trouble you, and give you no rest until you find Him, what I have found Him to be, a precious Saviour, and the Messiah you are looking for.”

I thanked him for his attention and after handing him my card, said rather sneeringly, “There is not much danger of my ever becoming a Christian.”

He then handed me his card saying, “Will you please drop me a letter if God should answer my prayers on your behalf?” I smiled and said, “Certainly, I will” not thinking that within the next 48 hours God in His mercy would answer that barber’s prayer. I shook his hand heartily and said, “Good-bye,” but in spite of outward appearance of unconcern, he had made a deep impression on my mind.

The carriage of the train I had entered was not more than half filled; and, without being conscious of the fact, in less than 15 minutes I had occupied every empty seat in the compartment.

The passengers began to look at me suspiciously as they saw me change my seat so frequently in so short a time without any reason.

The moment I closed my eyes, I felt myself between two fires. On one side was the Christian barber, on the other side, there was the drummer boy, both talking to me about that Jesus whose Name I hated. I felt it impossible either to go to sleep or to shake off the impression made upon my mind by those two faithful Christians.

On my arrival at Washington I purchased a morning news­paper, and one of the first things that caught my eye was a notice of a Christian meeting in Washington. No sooner had I seen the notice then an inner voice seemed to say to me, “Go to that church!” I had never been inside a Christian church during a meeting, and at any other time I would have regarded such a thought as from the devil.

MY BOYHOOD PROMISE

It was my father’s intention when I was a boy that I should become a rabbi, and so I promised him that I would never enter a place where “Jesus, the impostor” was worshipped as God, and that I would never attempt to read a book containing that Name; and I had faithfully kept my word up to that moment.

In connection with the meeting just referred to, it was stated that there would be a united choir from the various churches in the city, who would sing at each of the services. Being a lover of music, I made it my excuse for seeking to visit the church during the service that night.

When I entered the building, one of the ushers led me up to a front seat, right in front of the preacher. I was charmed with the beautiful singing, but the preacher had not been speak­ing five minutes before I thought he pointed his finger at me. He kept watching me, and every now and then appeared to be shaking his fist at me, however, I felt deeply interested in what he said.

But this was not all, for still ringing in my ears were the words of two former preachers -- the Christian barber and the drummer boy. Growing more and more interested in the words of the preacher, I felt tears trickling down my face. This start­led me, and I began to feel ashamed that, I, an orthodox Jew should be childish enough to shed tears in a Christian Church.

Not wishing to make myself conspicuous, I made up my mind not to take out my handkerchief to wipe off the tears -they must dry up themselves; but I could not keep them back, for they came flowing faster and faster.

OPPORTUNITY TO ESCAPE

After a while the preacher finished his address, and I was surprised to hear him announce an after meeting, and invite all who could do so, to remain. I did not accept the invitation, being only too glad of the opportunity to leave the church. I got up from my seat and had reached the door, when I felt that someone held me by the edge of my coat. Turning around I saw an elderly-looking lady.

Addressing me, she said: “Pardon me, stranger. I have been watching you all this evening, and I beg of you not to leave this house, for I think you are under conviction of sin. I believe you came here to seek the Saviour, and you have not found Him yet. Do come back; and if you will permit me, I will pray for you.”

“Madam,” I answered. “I am a Jew.”

She replied: “I do not care if you are a Jew; Jesus Christ died for Jew as well as non-Jew.”

The persuasive manner which she said these words, was not without its effect. I followed her back to the very spot that I had just left, and when we came up to the front, she said: “If you will kneel I will pray for you.”

“Madam, that is something I have never done, and will never do.” The lady looked me calmly in the face and said:

“Dear stranger, I have found such a dear, loving and forgiving Saviour in the Lord Jesus that I firmly believe in my heart He can convert a Jew standing on his feet, and I will go on my knees and pray for that.”

She fell on her knees and began to pray, talking to her Saviour in such a simple, childlike manner that completely un­nerved me. I felt so ashamed of myself to see that old lady knee­ling near me while I was standing, and praying so fervently on my behalf. When she arose from her knees, she extended her hand and with a motherly sympathy said: “Will you pray to Jesus before you sleep to-night?”

“Madam” I replied, “I will pray to my God, the God of Abraham, but not to Jesus.”

“Bless you!” she said, “Your God of Abraham is my Christ, and your Messiah.”

“Good night, madam, and thank you for your kindness,” I said as I left the church.

On my way home, I began to reason with myself: “Why is it that these Christians take such interest in perfect strangers? It is possible that all these millions of men and women who during the last 1900 years have lived and died trusting in Christ are mistaken, and a little handful of Jews, scattered all over the world, are right ?

“Why should that dying drummer boy think only of my unsaved soul? And why, also, should that Christian barber manifest such a deep interest in me? Why should the preacher tonight single me out and point his finger at me, or that dear woman follow me to the door and hold me back? It must be all for the love they have for their Jesus, whom I despise so much!”

A NEW DESIRE WITHIN

The more I thought of this, the worse I felt. On the other band, I agreed: “Is it possible that my father and mother, who loved me so dearly, should teach me anything that is wrong? In my childhood they taught me to hate Jesus; that there was but one God and that He had no son.”

I now felt a desire springing up in my heart to become acquainted with that Jesus whom the Christians so much loved and worshipped. I started to walk faster, fully determined that if there was a reality in the religion of Jesus Christ I would know something of it before I slept.

When I arrived home, my wife (who was a very strict orth­odox Jewess) asked where I had been. I said, “Wife, please do not ask me any questions. I wish to go to my study, where I can be alone.”

I went at once to my study, locked the door and began to pray. The more I prayed the worse I felt. I could not account for the feeling that had come over me. I was greatly puzzled as to the meaning of many prophecies in the Old Testament, which deeply interested me. My prayer gave me no satisfaction.

My Jewish texts were hanging on the wall, and I caught sight of them. I loved them dearly. I took them in my hand and while looking at them, Isaiah 7:14 came flashing across my mind. “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His Name Emmanuel (God with us).”

I cried out; “O Lord God of Abraham, You know I am sincere in this thing. If Jesus Christ is the Son of God reveal Him to me this night, and I will accept Him as my Messiah (King).”

No sooner had I said this than I flung my texts into a cor­ner of the room, and I was on my knees praying. To throw the texts on the floor as I had done was for a Jew an act of blas­phemy. I was now on my knees praying for the first time in my life, and my mind was troubled and in doubt as to the wis­dom of my actions.

BARGAINING WITH GOD

My first prayer to Jesus I shall never forget. It was as follows: “O Lord Jesus Christ, if You are the Son of God; if You are the Saviour of the world, if You are the Jews’ Messiah for whom we Jews are still looking; and if You can convert me, for I am a sinner, I will promise to serve You all the days of my life.”

This prayer of mine, however, went no higher than my head. I had tried to bargain with Jesus, and if He would do what I asked of him, I, on my part, would do what I had pro­mised. I remained on my knees for about half an hour. Drops of sweat came running down my face. My head was hot. I was in agony, but I was not converted. I arose and paced to and fro in my room.

Then the thought came to me that I had gone too far al­ready, and I vowed I would never go on my knees again. I began to reason with myself; “Why should I go on my knees? Can­not the God of Abraham, whom I have loved, served and wor­shipped all the days of my life, do for me what Christ is said to do for the Gentiles?” I went on reasoning; “Why should I go to the Son? Is not the Father above the Son?”

The more I reasoned the worse I felt, and became increas­ingly puzzled. In one corner of the room lay my texts. I in­stinctively turned towards them and fell on my knees again, but could not utter any words. My heart ached, for I had a sincere desire to know Christ, if He was the Messiah. I changed my position time after time, kneeling and then walking about the room from about 10 o’clock until two o’clock.

At that time light began to dawn on my mind, and I began to feel and believe in my soul that Jesus Christ was really the true Messiah. No sooner had I realised this than, for the last time that night, I fell on my knees; but this time my doubts were gone, and I began to praise God, for a joy and happiness had entered my soul such as I had never known before. I had found the true Ruler of Israel. Emmanuel -- “God with us” -- I believed in the true Messiah -- Jesus -- who was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” who was “wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; and with His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

I had looked on Him whom they had pierced, and I knew that I was converted, and that God for Christ’s sake had par­doned my sin.

I arose from my knees and, in my new-found happiness, thought that my dear wife would at once share my joy. I rushed into the bedroom and threw my arms around her, and began to kiss her excitedly, saying “Wife, I have found the Mess­iah.” She looked at me annoyed, and pushing me from her, coldly asked. “Found who?” “Jesus Christ, my Messiah and Saviour,” was my reply.

She spoke not another word, but in less than 15 minutes was dressed and had left the house, and went across the street to the house of her parents, who lived opposite. I did not follow her, but dropped on my knees asking my newly-found Saviour that my wife might believe as I had.

On the following morning my poor wife was told by her parents that if she ever called me husband again, she would be disowned and put out of the synagogue, and cursed. At the same time my two children were sent for by their grand- parents, and told that they must never call me father again; and that I, in worshipping Jesus, the “Imposter,” was fully as bad as He was.

Five days later I received orders to proceed west on Govern­ment business. I tried all the means in my power to speak with my wife and to say good-bye, but she would neither see me nor write to me. She however, sent me a message by a neighbour to the effect that so long as I called Jesus Christ my Saviour I should not call her my wife. I did not expect to receive such a message from my wife, for I loved her and my children dearly and it was with a sad heart therefore that I left home that morning to travel to my sphere of duty.

For 54 days my wife would not answer any of my letters although I wrote one daily, and with every letter I prayed that God would incline her heart to read at least one of them. I felt that if she would read one of my letters (for in each one, I told of Christ and the joy I was experiencing in my soul), she would reconsider what she had said and done before I left home.

DAUGHTER’S DISOBEDIENCE

It was finally through disobedience of my daughter that my wife was converted. My daughter was the younger of our children. After my conversion to Christ, a sense of duty to her mother on the one hand, and her love to her father on the other kept her mind troubled.

One night she dreamed she saw her father die. A fear came over her, and she made up her mind that, come what may, she would not destroy the next letter in her father’s handwriting. The following morning she waited for the postman at the door.

As he handed the letters to her, she took her father’s letter, quickly slipped it into her dress, ran upstairs into her room, locked the door, and opened the letter. She began to read it, and then read it three times before she laid it down. That letter made her sad at heart to such an extent that when she went downstairs her mother saw she had been crying, and asked her why.

“Mother, if I tell you, you will be offended; but if you promise me not to be grieved, I will tell you all about it.”

“What is it, my child?” said her mother.

Taking out my letter from under her dress, she told her dream of the previous night, and added, “I have opened papa’s letter this morning, and now I cannot and will not believe what my grandpa or grandma or anybody else says about papa being a bad man. I beg of you to read this, mother,” she added, as she handed to her the letter.

THE TRUTH BREAKS THROUGH

My wife took the letter, locked herself in her room, and began to read it. The more she read the worse she felt. She read it through five times before she finally laid it down. After the last reading of the letter my wife returned it to desk and went back to the room she had just left.

Her eyes were full of tears, and it was my daughter’s turn to ask, “Mother, why are you crying?” “Child, my heart aches,” was the reply; “I wish to lie down on the lounge.”

After a while my wife’s mother came across the street to our house. Thinking my wife to be very ill, she gave simple medicine. This failed, so in the evening the doctor was called. He came at once and prescribed for her, but his medicine like­wise failed to remove the heart ache. My mother-in-law stay­ed at our house that night until eleven o’clock.

My wife said later, that her desire was that her mother should leave the room, for she had fully made up her mind to go onto her knees as soon as her mother had gone. No sooner therefore, had she left our house, than my wife locked the door and fell on her knees by the side of her bed, and in less than two minutes Christ, the Great Physician met her, healed her, and saved her.

Like myself, the moment she came to an end of human effort, worldly wisdom, and vain tradition, and surrendered herself, body, soul and spirit to God, she found the Holy Spirit ready to open her blind eyes, to turn her from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.

On the following day I received a telegram worded as follows, “Dear Husband, Come home at once. I thought you were wrong and I was right; but I have found that you were right and I wrong. Your Christ is my Messiah, your Jesus, my Saviour. Last night, while on my knees for the first time in my life, the Lord Jesus saved my soul.”

When I arrived home I saw my wife standing at the open door expecting me, her face beamed with joy. She ran to meet me and threw her arms round my neck and kissed me. Her father and mother were also standing at their open door across the street, and when they saw us in each other’s arms they be­gan to curse us both.

Ten days after my wife had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her Saviour, my daughter was converted. My son was pro­mised by his grandparents that if he would never again call me ‘father’ or his mother ‘mother,’ they would leave all their property to him.

MY SON’S REFUSAL

A year and nine months after her conversion my wife died. The desire of her heart previous to her death was to see her son who lived about seven minutes walk from our house. I sent again and again to him, begging of him to come and see his dying mother. One of the ministers of the city personally saw my son, and tried to persuade him to grant his dying mother’s request, but his only reply was, “Curse her; let her die, she is no mother of mine.”

On Thursday morning (the day of her death) my wife asked me to send for as many members of the church as could come to be with her in her dying hour.

At my wife’s request, we formed a circle, about 38 of us, and we sang:

Jesus Lover of my soul. 

Let me to Thy bosom fly.

Thou, O Christ, art all I want. 

More than all in Thee I find.

As we sang, my wife in a feeble, though clear voice said, “Yes, it is all I want; it is all I have. Come, Lord Jesus, take me home,” and fell asleep (died).

She who from infancy had been taught to hate the Name of Jesus had by grace learned the value of the “Name above every name.” He was the One who had so recently saved her precious soul, made and kept her happy during the last trying months.

My son would not attend the funeral, but later was convert­ed. He deeply regretted that he had refused to see his mother before her death.

One day he visited her grave and while there God in mercy, for Christ’s sake, pardoned his sins and converted his soul. He went home, told his sister the good news, and then wrote to me that same night.

A  PARENT’S CURSE

I wrote to my mother, who lived in Germany, immediately after my conversion, telling her how I had found the true Messiah. I could not keep the good news from her, and in my heart thought she would believe me.

The desire of my heart after my conversion was that all my friends, Jew as well as Gentile, should share with me in my new­found joy. This hope so far as my mother was concerned, was destined to be bitterly disappointed, for she wrote me but one letter.

There was no heading to it, no date, no “My dear son,” as in all her former letters, but it read as follows.

“Max, you are no longer my son. We have buried you in effigy; we mourn you as one dead. And now may the God of Abraham strike you blind, deaf and dumb, and damn your soul for ever. You have left your father’s religion and the synagogue, for that Jesus “the Imposter,” and now take your mother’s curse. Clara.”

Although I had by this time fully counted what it would cost me in embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and knew what I had to expect from my relatives because I had turned my back on the synagogue, I confess I was hardly prepared for such a letter from my mother.

It was not all sadness, however, for never before did I ex­perience the words of Scriptures so full of meaning and encour­agement both to my wife and myself — “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”

Let not anyone think that it is an easy thing for a person to become a Christian. He must be prepared to forsake father, mother and wife for Christ’s sake.

About 18 months after my conversion, I was at a prayer meeting where an old lady spoke to the folk gathered; “Dear friends, this may be my last time to speak to you. My lungs are very nearly gone, so at best I have a short time to be with you. Oh! It is a great joy to know that I shall soon meet my boy with Jesus in Heaven.

My son was not only a soldier for his country, but a soldier for Christ. He was wounded in battle, and fell into the hands of a Jewish doctor. I had a letter later which informed me that my Charlie in his dying hour sent for the doctor and said to him ‘Doctor, before I die, I wish to tell you that five days ago when you amputated my arm and leg, I prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ to save your soul.”

When I heard that lady’s words I crossed the room and said to her. “God bless you, your boy’s prayer has been heard and answered. I am that Jewish doctor for whom your Charlie prayed, and his Saviour is now my Saviour.”

A spirit of praise spread over the meeting, as the people realised Christ’s wonderful power in enabling the dying drum­mer boy to show the Spirit of his Master in praying for an enemy of Christ.                                                                                           

1 1 

 

A KEEPING GOD

AMIDST  HITLER’S  REIGN  OF  TERROR

 

 

A YOUNG JEWISH MOTHER EXPERIENCES

THE MIGHTY LOVE OF MESSIAH, JESUS.

                                                                                                       

BY LISETTE ORCHER MUTTON

“Yea they shall sing of the ways of the Lord: for great is the glory of the Lord.” (Psalm 138:5)

“O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, because His mercies endure forever.” (Psalm 118:1)

My purpose in this testimony is not to call attention to my­self, for I am just a sinner saved by the grace of God -- just a plain, simple believer in Y’shua, Jesus, as the Messiah. Rather I want to show forth the mercies of God and His wonderful ways -- ways which we often do not understand -- ways where we often have a heavy cross to bear, but ways in which we get so many blessings.

My family and I have worked in Belgium as cabinet makers, also doing reproductions of antiques. Of course, we also re­paired many pieces of antique furniture. The Lord Jesus was a carpenter. He was a mender of broken hearts, broken minds and broken bodies. That is what He wants us to be: menders of broken hearts, broken bodies and broken minds -- happiness makers -- a loving heart is what we need to manifest these days. No matter if we are from different countries or if we speak different languages, in the Bible we all speak the same language. As Christians we all belong to the same family; we must love each other. This is the message for our day.

I was brought up in a Jewish family. My parents had a very large house because there were five children, and because our parents welcomed immigrants, Jewish refugees, lonely people who came out of Poland, Russia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.

On account of that big household my parents had many servants, and among those servants was a Protestant Christian girl. She was a plain country girl without education. But she had a wonderful treasure -- she loved the Lord Jesus and she loved the Jews.

Her love for the Jews was amazing. We could not understand how she, a Gentile, could love the Jews in such a wonderful way. I was then a little girl and I loved God.

My mother taught me to say my prayers in Hebrew. But I liked to listen to this servant girl, who told me all the stories of the Old Testament. She told me everything about my nation and about the Old Testament.

I lost my mother when I was very young, but this girl stayed on with us and was very faithful to our family. She was not a talker but she had a loving heart.

A WEDDING PRESENT – THE BIBLE

When I got married, among my wedding presents I found a Bible, the Old and the New Testament in French. It was this servant who gave it to me. We spent our honeymoon in England because my husband had a large business there.

At the beginn­ing I felt a bit lonely because I was very young and my husband often had to leave me alone in London and go off to Scotland, Ireland, and many parts of the British Isles on account of his business. All the time when I was feeling lonely I turned to the Bible - but only to the Old Testament. I never read the New Testament; I was not interested. I was even afraid to read the New Testament because I was a Jewess.

We frequently returned to Belgium to visit our family. On one such occasion we were invited to a Jewish wedding and among the guests I met a young Jewish girl by the name of Mary, whom I had known as a little girl. She was the same age as myself, so I was pleased to meet her again after so many years.

Mary had a very sad face. You see, Mary was an orphan. Her widowed mother had remarried and she suffered a great deal at the hands of her stepfather. I took pity on her and I told her, “Mary, I have something for you that will help you. You will not feel so lonely.” I gave her my Bible and I bought myself another one and went back to England. From England I kept up correspondence with her.

As the weeks went by I could sense a great change in Mary’s writing, but I did not know what it was. On our next trip to Brussels I went to visit Mary. I could hardly recognize her. She was no longer the sad girl I had met at the wedding.  She had a happy face.  She told me everything. She said, “I did not follow your advice.”

When I gave her my Bible I had told her; “Don’t read the New Testa­ment. This doesn’t belong to us. You are a Jewess and this is not for you. The only thing you are to read is the Old Testa­ment. The New Testament belongs to the Gentiles.” Well, Mary did not follow my advice, praise the Lord! She read the New Testament first, and then the Old. And she told me that without going to any meeting, any preacher, only by the grace of God, she found the Lord Jesus in the Bible -- her Messiah.

I can tell you this now with a smile and great happiness, but at that time it was such a shock to me that I nearly collaps­ed. I felt it was my fault that Mary believed in Christ. I said, “You are on the wrong way, Mary. You are living too lonely. You are not meeting people. Keep away from these things, for they are not your business.” Mary just smiled quietly and said; “No, I know that My Redeemer is alive. He has saved my soul. He is my Messiah.” And she begged me to start reading the New Testament.

Going back to England with my husband, I cannot tell you what a state of mind I was in. I was very sad. My heart was literally broken because I thought I had done a very wrong thing.  The day after we got back to England my husband had to leave for Scotland for three weeks.

Alone in London I start­ed praying to God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I explained to Him that I was frightened, fearing I had made a mistake, that I wanted to read the New Testament but I was afraid lest I should go the wrong way. And I asked Him to reveal the truth to me.

I FOUND THE MESSIAH

I then started reading the New Testament and, praise the Lord, everything became clear to me. I sensed that I was a sinner, and not only a sinner, but a sinner exactly like my nation, like the Jewish people. I felt my need of salvation. I got down on my knees and I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus. I can’t tell you the joy that filled my soul.

When my husband came back home I told him everything -- about Mary, about the Bible, about what had happened to me. He was a Jewish man, brought up in the  Jewish  way,  and  he  answered  me,  “Well,  I  don’t understand anything you are talking about, but if this makes you happy, by all means go on.”

But this was not enough for me. I wanted him to find the Lord Jesus, too. I wanted him to have the same experience. I wanted him to be saved. I am a great believer in prayer and I started praying for my husband day and night.

My husband was a man of great ambition. He was a busi­nessman. He was doing very well in England and was a proud man so he had to be brought very low. The Lord had to humi­liate him.

In 1939 he received, as a Belgium subject, his mobilization papers and he was called to join the Belgium regi­ment in Brussels within 24 hours.

At that moment all his am­bitions crashed to the ground. He had to leave everything in London behind, and during that year of mobilization in Belgium he went through great humiliation. Whereas in England he had been a big business man, in Belgium he was just a plain, simple soldier sometimes sleeping in a stable. I gave him a Bible and I kept on praying for him day and night.

THE GERMAN INVASION

When the Germans invaded Belgium in 1940 my husband was with his regiment at the front line on the German frontier. His regi­ment was virtually wiped out during that terrific bombing.

Seeing all those soldiers lying dead around him he felt that he was not ready to meet God; that he was a sinner. And there among those dead people, and in the midst of that terrific bombing, he fell on his knees and gave his heart to the Lord Jesus. He made a promise that if the Lord Jesus would keep him alive he would dedicate his life to His service.

Only a few came out of that terrible bombing and my husband was among them. The joy for me was very great. I don’t need to tell you that I praised the Lord with all my heart and soul.

We were baptized in the Plymouth Brethren Assembly in Brussels, and we suffered a great deal from our own family. Of course they were all Jews, and we had “turned away from the faith.” Among my worst enemies was my mother-in-law. She said it was my fault that my husband gave his life to the Lord Jesus.

In 1942 the Germans, who had in the meantime occupied Belgium, started a terrific persecution against the Jewish people and at that time our family turned to us and asked us if we could not even save ourselves from the Germans, but we were calm and peaceful because we knew that the Germans could only kill our bodies, not our souls. Our souls belonged to the Lord Jesus, so we were not afraid.

We felt that then was the moment to be a true testimony to our family, to help them any way we could. We felt ready to give even our own lives for them if necessary to show them the love of God, to show them a loving heart.

It would take too long to tell you all about our suffering that we went through. It is impossible to tell it. Fifteen persons of my own family were killed by the Germans in concentration camps -- fifteen persons of my family and my husband’s family.

DEATH IN A CONCENTRATION CAMP

Then in May 1944, my husband was taken away to a concent­ration camp. A few months before this happened I felt that the Lord was preparing him for a very hard task. I did not know what task, but I felt it very deeply. He died in March, 1945, in that terrible camp at Dachau, but not before he had been a tremendous blessing among those prisoners in Auschwitz and in Dachau.

From the moment he was converted, the Lord blessed him in a wonderful way with a great gift as an evangelist. For him the war did not matter. He had only one purpose, to serve and glorify His Lord and Saviour.

No need to tell you how I came out of this war. I came out all broken. We lost everything.  In Belgium, in England, all our business everywhere, everything. And I had no home. I was a widow at 27.

The Lord had blessed us during the war in 1943 with a little girl whom we called Cecile; we also gave her the name of Mary, after the young woman who gave me the Bible and who was such a great blessing to me. My baby was one year old. My father was an old man and I had my mother-in-law who was all broken­hearted. She lost her only two sons and grandchild, and brother and sister and brother-in-law and sister-in-law and nephew. She felt that I would become a stranger to her.

I got down on my knees and just said to the Lord, “You are my Father. Give me the strength to make a home for my parents, my mother-in-law, my father, and for my baby.” And I said, “If I should ever have a home again, that home is going to be dedicated to You.”

I have the joy to tell you that the Lord Jesus is the Husband of the widow and the Father of the orphan. Today I do not have a luxurious home. It is just a plain home, but for everything in my home I say, “Thank you, God. Thank you, my Lord,” because the Lord gave me every­thing I needed. He helped me to build again on ashes.

I suffered a great deal, but I would not have missed it, be­cause the Lord has not sent me happy people, but rather un­happy people. I can see why I had to go through all that suffer­ing, because now I am able to understand the suffering people who come to me.

There is a lot to mend among the Gentiles, I quite agree, but there is a lot more to mend among the Jewish people. And that is where I ask you to pray. Please don’t forget the Jewish nation. They gave you the Bible, they gave you the prophets, they gave you the apostles, and above all, they gave you Jesus. Don’t forget the Jewish people. Pray for them, even if you don’t understand them. They need your love.

MARY’S SACRIFICE

Just a few words about Mary before coming to a close, Mary suffered twice over; she suffered doubly. When she be­came a Christian she suffered terribly at home, and had to be hidden all the time from her stepfather.

When the Germans started their persecution against the Jews, in an endeavor to save her mother and stepfather, she gave herself up to the Germans. I cannot take time to explain it all here.

There was a place outside Brussels, a military barracks where the Germans gathered all the Jews they could put their hands on. They caught them and in groups sent them out to Germany to con­centration camps. Mary was put there, but on account of her speaking and writing German so well they told her that she could remain there -- as a prisoner -- and do secretarial work. She had to fill in all the lists of the Jews going to Germany.

She could actually have saved herself up to the time of the liberation, but one day as she was filling out names, she saw among the prisoners her cruel stepfather, her enemy, all swollen and broken. She scarcely recognized him. She had to put his name for the next convoy to Auschwitz.  Mary  got  up  and  went  to  the  German officer and asked if she could put down her name next to his. She wanted to be on the same convoy to nurse him, to look after him.

The German officer looked at her and said, “Are you crazy? Don’t you know that that convoy is going to a concentration camp?” She said, “Yes, I do know. But for the love of my Lord Jesus, I want to go with that man. I want to help him and to show him the love of God.”

She wrote down her own name next to her stepfather’s for the next convoy and she went out to Auschwitz at his side. I cannot tell you what happened on that journey. All I can say is that she died in Auschwitz at the age of 23. She died as she had lived, loving her Saviour and revealing His love to others.

A loving heart is what the Lord Jesus needs in this day.

As I look in retrospect over the years, I praise the Lord for  mercies  in  caring  for  me  through  every  trial, especially through the Nazi era. I know it was because of the loving heart of a merciful God that I have been spared in order to help others find peace for their troubled hearts.

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IT IS TIME FOR Israel TO return

and seek YHWH TheIr God

BY DON STANTON

Above are two moving testimonies of some children of Israel coming to faith in Y’shua the Messiah, long ago.  Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, there have been several hundred thousand Jews who have embraced Y’shua as their Saviour, in many parts of the world. But the apostle Paul said:

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the people of Israel is that they might be saved.”   (Romans 10:1)

“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brethren, lest you be wise in your own estimation; a temporary  hardening  has  happened  to  a  part  of Israel which will continue until the full number of Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. [Isaiah 59:20]. And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins. [Isaiah 27:9]

“As far as the Gospel is concerned, they are enemies (of God) for your sake, but as far as God’s Choice is concerned, they are still the beloved for the sake of the Patriarchs; for the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:25-29)

This is a national restoration of Israel in the first half of the Tribulation – after the church has been completed.

The prophet Hosea declared:

“For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar and without ephod or household idols. Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek YHWH their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to YHWH and to His goodness in the last days.” (Hosea 3:4-5)

Today Israel is living in days when gathering dark clouds are reminiscent of the perilous times that followed the rise of the Nazi regime in the 1930s.

The animosity of many nations against Israel increases, and the even the traditional American support of the Jewish state is expected to change with the new administration.

Jeremiah warned of the holocaust ahead for Israel in the endtimes – the Great Tribulation:

“Ahh! for that day is great, there is none like it; it is the time of Jacob’s distress, but he will be saved out of it.” (Jeremiah 30:7)

Paul quotes Isaiah, speaking of the remnant of Jacob who will return to God:

“A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God. For though your people, O Israel, may be like the sand of the seas, only a remnant within them will return; a destruction is determined, overflowing with righteousness.” (Isaiah 10:21-22)

“Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved.” (Romans 9:27)

Zechariah prophesied:

“In the whole land, declares YHWH, two thirds will be struck down and perish; but one third will be left in it. And I will bring this third through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, 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, ‘YHWH is my God’.”                                                                                  (Zechariah 13:8-9)

The days are coming when the Holy Spirit will be poured out very powerfully on Israel, and “the remnant” - the third – will be both saved and refined during the time of Jacob’s distress. That means there will be some millions of believing Jews.

The prophet Hosea continues to cry out to Israel:

“Return, O Israel,

RETURN to YHWH your God.”

(Hosea 14:1)

It is time to seek YHWH until He comes

and rains righteousness on you.”

(Hosea 10:12)

Isaiah also calls on Israel to return to Almighty God, and encourages them concerning the compassion and salvation of YHWH.

“Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant. I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me. I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” (Isaiah 44:21-22)

“For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In an outburst of anger I hid My Face from you for a moment, but with everlasting loving-kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says YHWH your Redeemer.” (Isaiah 54:7-8)

“Israel will be saved by YHWH with an everlasting salvation. You will never be put to shame or humiliated for ever and ever.” (Isaiah 45:17)

“Therefore YHWH who redeemed Abraham, says concerning the house of Jacob: Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now turn pale; but when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will sanctify My Name; indeed they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and stand in awe of the God of Israel.” (Isaiah 29:22-23)

 

LET US CONTINUE TO PRAY

FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE,

THAT THEY WILL RETURN TO YAHWEH

THROUGH HIS ANOINTED ONE,

Y’SHUA THE MESSIAH,

AND BE SAVED!

 

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